Realizing she'd reached the end of another dead-end passageway Sam started to worry that she might really be lost. She was beginning to regret
her spontaneous decision to explore the castle's ancient catacombs by herself in the middle of the night. And it didn't help that she
was freezing. She had to admit that changing first would have been a good idea, the negligee she had on, while sexy, offered little
protection from the cold dampness of the catacombs.
An archeology graduate student, Sam had come to this remote castle in the mountains of Romania to comb though the castle's archives to see if she could find evidence to confirm the area's ancient legends. Dark legends concerning a cruel and evil Baroness who'd ruled these lands back in the early fourteen hundreds.
It had taken Sam weeks of digging through musty piles of parchment to discover there might be something to the legends. In the records she'd found evidence that a plague ravaged this area in 1407, killing thousands including both the local Baron and his wife. But it wasn't until she discovered a 1409 royal proclamation appointing the Baron's surviving thirteen year old daughter, Cassandra, as Baroness that things began to get interesting.
The records indicated that just over a year after Cassandra became Baroness the area became plagued by the mysterious disappearances of young girls. These disappearances continued until 1413, when acting upon information provided by the local priest, representatives of the holy inquisition arrested Cassandra and twelve of her handmaidens on charges of heresy and witchcraft. The records indicated the inquisition also arrested several of Cassandra's personal guards on charges of heresy and kidnapping.
In the end, all of the accused confessed to their crimes. And knowing the kind of punishment that awaited them, Sam could well imagine the brutal torture they'd endured before their interrogators finally managed to extract those confessions. According to records, the inquisition publicly burned seventeen year old Baroness Cassandra at the stake on June 18th in the year of our lord 1413. On the following morning, the inquisition executed all twelve of Cassandra's handmaidens by public disembowelment and beheading. But for Samantha, perhaps most intriguing part was the fate of Cassandra's personal guards.
The inquisition also condemned Cassandra's personal guards for their role in abducting the innocent young girls the evil Baroness and her devil worshiping handmaidens sacrificed during their satanic ceremonies. As punishment, the inquisition decreed that the members of Cassandra's personal guard would first be castrated, the entirety of their male genitalia be cut from their bodies, then they would be entombed alive in the deepest depths of the castle's catacombs. Some local legends even said that by night the decaying corpses of Cassandra's personal guard rise to roam the catacombs seeking out fresh sacrifices to their long departed Baroness.
Finally, accepting the realization that she was cold and truly lost in the castle's ancient catacombs Sam glanced down at the candle that was her sole source of illumination and realized that soon she could add lost in the darkness to her list of problems. It was then that she heard the faint sound of movement in the darkness behind her.
Sam's final thought, in that timeless moment before her entire world became one of unrelenting torment and death, "Rats, I hope that isn't the sound of rats, I really hate rats."
Moments later as they emerged from the darkness to surround her, Samantha discovered that within the ancient catacombs deep beneath Baroness Cassandra's castle, there are many things far more unpleasant then rats.