Act 2

Scene 13: Return of the Count

hill. There is a huge burning pyre on it. The Castle burns in the background. In the middle of the pyre, Wilhelm stands nailed to a stake by his hands and wrists. The nails are of a greenish sheen. The demon whistles Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side of life” in a slightly slower key. Despite the bursting flames, the demonic servant remains essentially intact. The imperial soldiers, headed by Brother Albert, Gustav and Kurt, are standing around the pyre and watching. The Inquisitor looks preoccupied. Gustav rubs his chin thoughtfully. Kurt sighs and sways slightly back and forth on his toes.]

[Kurt] [impatiently] How much longer? How much does one take to burn? It’s not the Sigmar way to burn that long.

[Wilhelm] [stopping his whistling, looking around stoically] Well, sorry to disappoint you. It’ll take some time. [suddenly angrily] Maybe one of you jokers can finally produce a magic bread knife or find a scroll with some banishing spell to send me back to the Void before the boss comes back and gets medieval with your asses?!

[Gustav] Shut up, scum! The holy flames will soon consume your filthy body. By Sigmar!

[Kurt] Yeah, we didn’t go through all the trouble with setting up this pyre to just stab you in the end. That’s stupid and not the Sigmar way.

[Wilhelm] Yeah, I know I’m dealing with an expert on stupidity, but I suppose even you can see that your cunning plan is not working very well, right?

[Kurt] Nonsense. You say so because you want to trick us. You’ll burn any minute now and you know it, which is why you try to use your vile deceptions on us.

[Wilhelm] [rolling his eyes, hysterically] I want to help you, you moron! I have to get out of here before …

[At this point, “O Fortuna” sounds in the background. The Imperial soldiers immediately start to look for the source of the sinister music. Moments later, a black coach with a headless coachman enters the stage on the left. The coachman whips the skeletal horses. Brother Albert steps forward and signals the soldiers to stand ready.]

[Wilhelm] [with resignation] Damn … Well congratulations, now we’re all screwed!

[The coach stops. A deathly silence falls. Suddenly the door of the carriage opens and the dominant figure of Constant Drachenfels emerges from the inside. The troops raise their weapons. The Great Enchanter looks at the burning castle, the gathered crowd of soldiers, the pyre, and then finally his gaze falls on Wilhelm. The demon is whistling nervously again and eagerly watches the sky. Drachenfels starts walking slowly towards the pyre and the demon. Every now and then a soldier tries to block his passage, but some invisible force immediately pushes him aside from the Enchanter’s path. At one point, however, Brother Albert himself stands in Drachenfels’ way. Kurt and Gustav quickly join him.]

[Brother Albert] [in a commanding, powerful tone] We finally meet, Drachenfels!

[There is a brief moment of absolute silence.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [raising an eyebrow, gesturing with his hand casually] Silence priest.

[At this point Brother Albert’s lips literally disappear from his face. The terrified Inquisitor nervously tries to feel them with his hands and looks desperately at his companions for help.]


[Kurt] [looking worriedly at Brother Albert] Hey, what’s wrong with him? Something is wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on it …

[Gustav] [hysterically] His mouth is gone, you idiot!

[Kurt] [with satisfaction in his voice] Ah, of course… [suddenly in horror, looking to the ground] Hey, but where are his lips? Maybe they fell on the ground somewhere?

[The Great Enchanter bypasses the panicked knights and approaches Wilhelm, who now pretends to be dead.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [calmly] Wilhelm, why is my Castle on fire?

[Wilhelm still pretends to be dead. Drachenfels sighs.]

[Constant Drachenfels] Wilhelm, if you’ll continue to ignore me, I will turn you into an amoeba and put you in a toilet in the Castle.

[Wilhelm] [suddenly opening his eyes] My Lord! The sound of your voice has resurrected me!

[Constant Drachenfels] Wilhelm, why is my Castle on fire?

[Wilhelm] I missed you. How was your trip?

[Constant Drachenfels] Wilhelm …

[Wilhelm] What about the weather?

[Constant Drachenfels] [menacingly] Wilhelm!

[Wilhelm] All right. I’ll come clean… It’s all Fluffy’s fault!

[The Imperial soldiers begin to surround Drachenfels.]

[Constant Drachenfels] You know what? Hang a little while longer on this pyre. We’ll come back to this conversation in a moment.

[Constant snaps his fingers. After a moment, out of nowhere there is a watery explosion and a huge creature of humanoid shape appears. It’s body consists only of turbulent water. The closest soldiers are knocked back by the summoning of the elemental. They hit the ground hard with their backs.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [to the elemental] Put out the Castle.

[The creature instantly takes the form of a large snake and moves towards the Castle with incredible speed. After a while, it begins to slide over the walls, extinguishing the flames and drowning people it encounters on its way. Suddenly, a muffled scream is heard from the castle dungeons.]

[Zahrruk] [in the background, from the dungeons] Hey! What’s with all the water?! Gonna give me backache!

[Meanwhile, Kurt draws his sword and charges the Enchanter with a battle cry.]

[Kurt] [with sword high above his head] By Sigmar, die!

[Constant Drachenfels] [with a sigh] You meant “I’m dying.”

[The knight swings, but Drachenfels effortlessly avoids the blow, then the Great Enchanter snaps his fingers and his right hand is instantly engulfed with a black glow. Then Constant throws a terrifying punch aimed at the head of the knight. The head is knocked off his shoulders.]

[Gustav] [in horror] Kurt! [to Drachenfels] By Sigmar! You will pay for that! [to the soldiers, with a commanding voice] Warriors of the Empire! Everyone attack him at the same time! He can’t stand  alone against all of us!

[Constant Drachenfels] Oh, but I’m not alone, am I? [towards the carriage] Death!

[Death] [from the carriage] Yes?

[Constant Drachenfels] Would you be so kind and decimate the invaders while I have a chat with my servant?

[Death] Of course, Constant.

[Death, still in the elf form, gets out of the carriage and heads towards the soldiers. Then she produces her dagger and begins the slaughter. Humans drop like flies as death moves quickly between them. There is panic the ranks of the imperial troops.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [to Wilhelm] As for you, Wilhelm … These are the rules of this game: truth and only the truth will make the punishment mild. Each lie, on the other hand, is an additional eon of suffering. Do we understand each other?

[Wilhelm] [humbly] Yes, Lord. But it really was all Fluffy’s fault! I give you my word.

[At this point, Fluffy runs onto the stage and nonchalantly bites a leg of one of the escaping soldiers and unceremoniously rips it off. Holding the torn limb in his mouth, he stares with an innocent look on his face at Drachenfels.]

[Wilhelm] [hatefully, to Fluffly] You wicked wretch … [to Drachenfels] But Lord! It’s really not my fault! I alone bravely defended the Castle. Everyone else didn’t care, or they interfered [to Fluffy] looking at you, Fluffy! [again to Drachenfels] I even won an Ordeal, but Sigmar is a sore loser.

[Suddenly, lightning strikes the demon from a cloudless sky.]

[Wilhelm] [smoking] Ouch.

[Constant Drachenfels] [dispassionately] When you’re done burning and smoking, go get a rag a broom. The entire Castle floor is wet with elemental water because of you. [strolling away towards the Castle] And clean up these corpses. People will think Nagash came to visit.

[The curtain falls to the sound of groans of the soldiers murdered by Death. “Always look on the bright side of life” sound in the background again.]

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