The monotonous sound of water dripping from the damp ceilings is interrupted by footsteps and the dull dragging of a defenseless body. The sinister shadows of hooded men and their female prisoner move slowly along the shining walls like some strange reptile. The woman’s smock is soggy and stained with the stinking rubbish that lies along the passageway. She offers no resistance, letting herself be dragged along…
Her mind is still clouded by opium and her pupils sparkle in the reddish darkness.
In her mental confusion Marie Luise de Sental pays no attention to the stifled shrieks and the horrendous groans that come from adjacent passageways. Her captors slouch on, slowly but relentlessly. They pass sinister cells packed with small cages, some of them holding naked, defenseless women.
The women are filthy. They bear a brand on their bodies, a strange symbol similar to that borne by the hooded men on their chests. The women have been brutally tortured.
Their groans of panic die down as the procession passes by. This time, none of them have been chosen for the terrible ceremony…
Finally the hooded men come to a wide chamber, barred by iron railings.
One of the men selects a large key and opens the lock. The woman’s heart races as she steps inside, but she cannot speak. The drug has taken over and she lets herself be pulled along.
The hooded men trudge on heavily, as if even they are overawed by the dark chamber. Other chambers are set in the walls, behind iron bars. The darkness is absolute. Only the splashing of water can be heard. They come to the Crypt of the Ceremony. The pale light seems to reassure the men.
A thick mist covers the chambers, making the physical space seem infinite…
Marie Luise is handed over to another hooded man, a man with a higher rank in the religious order than the simple jailers.
The victim chokes on the thin, sickening air of the crypt and her chest goes tight. Awful vapors rise from a dark chalice held up by snakes that seem to have a life of their own.
The woman is wearing only a night smock. She was snatched from her own bed-chamber by the unholy hands of the members of the sect. Her full, comely breasts rise and fall as if they would break free…
But her body will still not obey her. There is panic in her eyes…
Suddenly, a voice cuts through the thick mist. The elder brethren, dressed only in simple monks’ habits, grasping thick candles that make the walls sway, begin a mournful litany.
The woman notices a sinister figure looking at her from a throne set in the shadows. The Great Master beckons and Marie Luise is taken before him. He lifts his hood and places his hand on the woman’s head.
”Is this the Chosen One?”
“It is, Great Master.”
The Great Master declaims solemnly:
”Let the Sacrifice begin. She shall be displayed and subjected to pain, for the delight and eternal life of Yah-Sogot.”
Marie Luise appears to wake up from her lethargy. She knows that voice. She knows the man behind the hood… but she cannot recall his name. Her mind is still clouded and the chorus of acolytes does not let her think, chanting:
”Let the sacrifice begin. She shall be displayed and subjected to pain, for the delight and eternal life of the Yah-Sogot.”
The Priest rips her smock off and pulls her to her feet. Her lovely breasts rise and fall, wobbling heavily in the cold air.
A gasp of deep satisfaction rolls round the crypt. The Chosen One is perfect for the sacrifice. The brethren break into an incomprehensible litany, a hymn to the victim’s physical beauty.
One of the brethren raises a thick rod and swishes it through the air, left and right, left and right…
The Great Master raises his hands the choir falls silent.
“As Chief Priest of Yah-Sogot and Great Master of the Penitentiary Order, I shall take charge personally of the Chosen One and anoint her myself.”
Marie Louise de Sental has no way of avoiding the groping hands of the Grand Master as they explore her generous breasts. She shudders in disgust and fear, her whole body trembling, as the evil-minded Master tests her flesh shamelessly, muttering the terrible, obscene ritual phrases. “This flesh, this flesh born to pain and punishment, this foul and lustful flesh shall be subjected to suffering for the greater honor and eternal life of Yahg-Sogot.”
The followers watch, chanting their monotonous litany, as Marie Louise is anointed with an oily, foul-smelling cream. It is rubbed all over her full, swelling breasts and burns into them like a thousand hot needles, heating and tensing the rounded flesh. Preparing it for the pain to come…
The Great Master recites the same meaningless lines again and again, slowly, hoarsely, and Marie Louise recognizes his voice, the voice she once loved…
“Each blow shall glorify Yahg-Sogot.”
“Each blow shall glorify Yahg-Sogot,” comes the sinister echo from the chorus…
“Each drop of blood shall be eternal life for Yahg-Sogot” the Master declaims.
“Each drop of blood shall be eternal life for Yahg-Sogot” the devote followers repeat, causing the gloomy light from their candles to flicker dizzily.
The Great Master hands Maria Louise over to the brethren and picks up the rod. He begins to work on her body, slowly, systematically, to the rhythm of his chant…
“All pain is a worthy offering to Yahg-Sogot.
Take this tribute, Lord of the Abysses,
Take the suffering of your servant
Who has handed herself over to thee of her own will
May her exquisite suffering
May her shouts and lamentations
Bring thee to us.
Come and take her!
The chorus repeats the lines over and over, until all meaning is lost in a confusion of voices and echoes.
Hooded men drag Marie Louise to the Chapel of Supreme Sacrifice. Marie Louise, her head swirling, hears the Master’s voice, and seems to recognize it… It is the powerful Lord of Branville himself! Her lover!
Her heart sinks as she looks at Branville. Her stomach kicks. She shakes off the stupor and starts to struggle, but is quickly pulled to the ground by the brethren. Her arms are tied above her head. Her legs are forced open. She is chained over the doorway to the abyss…
A heavy iron door covers the opening of the ancient well. Damp vapors waft up from unknown depths, lifting the girl’s torn smock and caressing her trembling thighs, stirring the hair over her most intimate parts…
A nameless horror possesses Marie Louise. She cannot understand how Branville has betrayed her in this way. How could he do this to her? She is hardly aware of anything when one of the brethren picks up the rod and touches her breasts with it, taking aim and measuring distances carefully… He lifts her face so that the faithful can see her clearly.
“Behold the Chosen One! Behold the Chosen One, anointed for sacrifice!” he says. “Take her, Yahg-Sogot!” “Take her!”, the chorus echoes.
“Noooooo!” Marie Louise screams in terror. “Ferdinand! My love! It is me, your faithful mistress! You loved me once! You cannot have forgotten so soon!”
“I’m going to punish those sinner breasts… I’ll make you wish you were dead…”
The Great Master orders the sacrifice to be carried out, ignoring her pleas.
“Take her, Yahg-Sogot!
Take her pain to your bosom!”
Suddenly, with no warning, while the chorus is repeating the psalm, the brother seizes one of Marie Louise’s lovely breasts and brings the rod down onto it with a terrible smack.
A low gasp comes from the devote as her soft flesh quivers and takes the mark of the rod.