Alexander of Brennenburg stood motionless within his study, observing a self-portrait he had once hired a famed Prussian painter to make of him. It made him wonder about the mortality of the world he was trapped in. Nobody could live forever. Generations approached, and made their respective exits silently. And yet, Alexander stood by throughout each and every passing. He had seen great, powerful, and strong leaders rise and fall. But he had also seen weak, flawed, and corrupt ones. All passing by in what seemed like a blink of an eye to Alexander.
He wondered. How much longer would he be in this limited dimension? How many more centuries would he have to pass until he could see his beloved wife again? When would the era come, in which he would no longer have to watch other people die, while he lived on eternally?
His mind switched off track, to Daniel.
Ahh yes, Daniel…
Alexander had some sympathy for the poor boy. Daniel's situation was almost hopeless. And yet, he had some faith, some confidence. You had to give the young man some acknowledgement for how he assessed his own fate.
But it didn't matter. Soon, (hopefully) Alexander would be able to return to his own world, his own dimension. All with the help of Daniel himself.
But the chain of command that Alexander used to work towards his goal had its weak links among the others. Willhelm, on of his trusted members of the Order, was a problem. His servants were a problem. Alexander's servants and gatherer's were being killed swiftly and systematically by the guards of nearby towns.
All these servants were under the command of Willhelm.
But soon, the solution would be at hand. Alexander had set up a clever ruse, so as to easily remove the weakest link, and the others being weakened by it.
A celebration seemed simple enough. With lots of wine. Perfect. Slip an old recipe of Alexander's homeworld into the Wine, and the recipe for destruction would be complete. A lethal concoction known to be violent, malforming, and defiling to the user. A potion that practically rearranged the entire form of the unfortunate drinker, or anyone exposed to it for that matter.
This was not an act of revenge, no. This was an act of self-salvation. In the end, Alexander knew this act would turn out well.
He traveled down to the Wine Cellar. Through the Entrance Hall, down the stairs, through the doorway and into the cellar. The wine bottles everywhere would have given one the initial thought that it would be a lot of work poisoning them all. But Alexander's expertise had treated him well. He needed only place but a drop in each bottle, then move on. He felt rather sad for his soon-to-be-victims. But at least they would have no knowledge beforehand of their fate.
By the end of the hour, Alexander had successfully poisoned all the Wine reserves, and had headed down to the prison to awaken Willhelm and his servants. The time had come.
Wilhelm and the rest of his men followed Alexander down the corridor to the Wine Cellar. The other men were talking happily, conversing with great joy. But Willhelm remained silent. Something just wasn't right. He could sense it in the air.
As they walked into the Wine Cellar, Alexander presented them with enough wine to flood the whole Back Hall of the castle.
Alexander bid them a good night, congratulated them, and headed upstairs. All the men cheered, knocking glasses and bottles against each other in toasts to their success.
In the midst of the commotion, not a soul heard the wooden door lock them in, sealing their fate for good.
After about an hour, the celebration was in full swing. Everybody was having a good time, the drinks tasted spectacular, and even Willhelm let his guard down for a bit to enjoy the festivities.
After a while, Klien spoke out randomly, and everybody was silent as he spoke.
"Where did the baron go?"
Heibert responded in a slurred tone: "Who cares? He left us enough wine to last us a lifetime! Or at least until tomorrow!" And with that, he gave out a drunken cackle, keeled over, passed out, and fell to the floor-taking the table and all its Wine bottles with him.
Everybody was having a good time. The men were still cheering, and the party looked like it would never end.
But then, something happened. Something that nobody saw coming. And when it happened, it took everybody by surprise.
But their realizations after, didn't
In what everyone initially perceived to be the sickness brought on by simply drinking an extraordinary amount, Heibert began wretching in agony on the floor, crying out in pain. Everybody stopped talking, moving-they even stopped breathing for a second. Then, Heibert began vomiting rather violently. In the dim light of the torches, Willhelm spotted blood mixed in with Heibert's vomit.
This was not supposed to be happening.
Klein rushed to the old man's assistance, checking to see what was quite wrong with the poor drunkard.
"It appears to be some kind of poisoning. Perhaps some reaction to the wi-"
Before he could finish his sentence, Heibert's eyes began to pour blood. His own blood splattered to the floor from his very eyes as he crawled, trying to get to the door in order to escape.
No such luck. As he went to open the door, he found it was locked. He tried to open it with all his might, but the door was bolted heavily into place. Alexander sealed them down here. Suddenly Klein fell over, gasping in agony:
"What's happening? It feels like my..chest is…going…to burst!"
Storm yelled out across the room:
"My god! Willhelm, do something!"
Willhelm could do nothing but acknowledge their fate. They would die an unbearably painful death down here. God had found them for their unspeakable acts of murder and kidnapping, and now their day of judgement had come.
"Accept it. We're not getting out of here alive."
Storm was taken aback by this remark. He was known for having determination, and he wouldn't give up his life so easily.
"How can you say that?" And banging on the door, in a vain attempt to escape, he yelled "Alexander, you piece of shit, let us out of here!" and he fell over, coughing and vomiting enough blood to fill ten wine bottles on their own.
Heibert was dead, blood pooling in his open mouth. Klein, despite his deteriorating condition as well, did his best to try to tend to everyone.
Suddenly, Willhelm fell over as well. A pain unlike any kind he had ever experienced rose up in his stomach. A pain that could only be compared to 5 hot, rusted metal spikes being thrust into his stomach simultaneously. At that moment, he too, began vomiting. It felt as though his very insides were coated in a layer of napalm, and set aflame with a stray match.
He imagined Alexander up in his study, laughing giddily as he and his subjects were being tortured by their own temptation and greed. He hated Alexander. And from this very hate, he drew a burst of energy. He crawled up to a nearby table, found a quill and inkwell nearby, and began to write his last words, his final will and testament.
After finishing writing, his hands almost immediately started to have an onset of unrivalled pain. The very bones in his fingers started growing out past his skin, shooting out of his fingertips like ghastly blades of human flesh. While ironically, the bone in his jaw felt as though it was dissolving. Suddenly his lower jaw fell down to his chest, having no bones inside to support it.
The feeling of your own skin, bones, blood and flesh grafting itself into some monstrous form is no doubt, the worst feeling anybody can have to go through. And as Willhelm was experiencing it right there, he didn't know how much more he could take before he blacked out. He figured if he did, he most likely wouldn't wake up.
After crawling along the floor with his horrific abominations of hands for another five minutes, he started to feel himself slipping away into blackness. He couldn't quite make out his fellow servants, but he know most, if not all of them were dead. The last thing in his distorted vision was Dragen, lying on a table. His body disfigured beyond recognition.
Willhelm then passed out.