There are only three reasons anyone would be in Sindhlot's castle. The most common is, obviously, that you work there. The second most common is that you are a hero with a death wish, off to challenge Sindhlot, one of the three mightiest villains to hold the throne of the largest continent in the whole world, Daplashe. The third and least frequent is that you are a prisoner of sufficient value that you were not immediately put in a jail and/or killed.

That third, last reason was the pitiful case for the newest of the heroes. This one wasn't so dumb, despite that like most heroes, he had a standard Type IV Rugged-Good-Looks body structure. The body type was only natural, and it wasn't likely he'd see Types I, II, or III any time in the near future – meaning never again. This hero, unlike most, was incredibly proficient with swords, knives, pistols, rifles, and essentially every weapon under the sun, in addition to having the brainpower to use them.

"What's your name?" Sindhlot asked. After a heavy dose of dart-delivered sedative from a well-hidden trap, the hero had been bound to a wall in the dungeons. The shackles on the hero's wrists and ankles had chains that went deep into the stone walls on metal sliding tracks, precisely made with preset movement patterns to get the victim into the optimal position for the torture of the moment. Sindhlot now stood in front of him with an arsenal of torture devices, ranging from the aptly named Painpoker, an electrically charged stick used to deliver a painful charge by prodding the victim, to a device somewhat like a power drill used to embed screws within the hero's skin. He smoothed out his navy blue polo shirt and shook his head to rid his dark and narrow eyes of his hair, which seemed to have an almost unnatural attraction to his eyes. In fact, his eyes wouldn't be nearly so narrow if it weren't the only way to keep the hair out of them. When the hero remained silent, he skipped to the next question. "Where are you from?" he asked.

"I'll never tell you, slime!" the hero responded venomously. Snikt-click-slice-slice-cut-slash-stab-cut-slice... The hero's screams echoed through the dank chambers. It was brightly lit, but it was still dank. "I'll never tell you…" he managed to utter, glaring at the switchblade in Sindhlot's hand, which was dripping with blood. The hero had "Sindhlot was here" signed in cuts across his chest.

"Well, let's try this one," Sindhlot replied with a sadistic grin. The shackle on the hero's left hand slid along the wall to straighten his arm. Sindhlot held a metal spike to the hand, pulled a hammer from his black cargo pants, and began nailing the spike through the hand. Every bang of the hammer brought a moment of even louder screams and a splatter of blood. Sindhlot stopped to lick the blood off of his hands, then repeated, "Where are you from?"

The hero's momentary lack of screaming, accompanied by a glare, was interpreted as a direct request for more pain. The shackles slid along the wall to a circular track and began spinning; the momentum picked up over the course of about ten seconds. Sindhlot picked up a rifle, inserted a metal spike into the back, readied it, and aimed. One shot, and the spike was hurled into the hero's arm. The arm was almost ripped off by its sudden stop; the spike broke out of the wall just before the arm was left behind. The spinning slowed and eventually stopped, leaving the hero upside down. Sindhlot balanced the rifle between the hero's immobile legs as he grabbed the power-drill-like tool from his "workbench." A screw was slowly and agonizingly planted in the hero's kneecap; as the hero writhed in pain, the rifle fell to the ground. The blood left in more of an oozing fashion, this time. Sindhlot put the drill back and picked up a large, boxy, mechanical-looking object with a blade of an ungodly size sticking out. He flicked a switch and yanked a cord. The blade began buzzing and vibrating wildly.

"Are we ready to talk?" he asked, though it was more of a threat, as he was holding the blade quite close to the injured arm. The hero glared at him, slightly disoriented by the blood loss, but still determined not to answer whatever question the pain had made him forget. Chop-chop and the limb dropped. The blood was spraying across the floor and wall wildly. Sindhlot paused and kneeled with his head in the direct path of the spray, drinking as much as he could. His entire face was covered with blood, and his hair was soaked with it. A few seconds later, he got up and tapped a button He shook his head to free his eyes of hair yet again as the shackles slid along their tracks to move the hero back to the old spot, hanging him from the three remaining limbs. "Quit your screamin' and talk! Sindhlot yelled furiously, turning off the saw-thing and tossing it casually to the side, grabbing the stake-launcher from the ground and clubbing the hero's ribs with it before tossing it by the saw. He stared at the silent hero for a moment. Nobody could resist his torture forever; in fact, making it past even three instruments was quite an accomplishment. He called for an underling. The henchman was there in seconds. Sindhlot gave him the Painpoker and instructed him to prod the hero until he was willing to talk.

After he walked up the stairs to the rest of the castle, he heard a roar and a clatter of steps behind him. The hero charged him in all his one-armed fury, holding a short sword as best as he could with one hand while running and keeping his balance; he looked sort of like a blind rhino. Sindhlot jumped backwards and pulled a pistol from his shirt and shot the hero in the stomach. The hero stopped dead in his tracks. He flicked the safety back into position and pounded a random tile on the wall. It was ejected from the wall onto the floor. Sindhlot drew the concealed sword from its hiding place.


The hero's head rolled onto the floor; then, with no possible explanation, an enormous jet of blood sprayed from the opened neck. Sindhlot raised an eyebrow at the phenomenon, then stuck his hand into the spray, pulled it out, and began licking the blood off. The hero's body collapsed moments later. It looked like Sindhlot would be "having a word" with the fool traitor who had thought to free the hero. It would be an interesting talk, and the idiot had made it so convenient by already being in Sindhlot's personal torture chamber.