by Kathy Steinbach. (C) 1992.
(C) 1992. Budgie Licenceware.
In the reign of King Louis VI, in the
second medieval age, many thousands
of years after the nuclear wars of
the 1990s and early 21st century,
there was the frightening practice,
known now as the Steinbach phenomenon
This was basically a form of torture
used to give pleasure to its very few
spectators, and horror to its victims
as can be said of many 'sports' that
have come and gone through the ages.
King Louis' unique variation on this
theme was to imprison his victim in a
lonely cell atop the sentinel tower,
one of the seven gates leading direc-
-tly to hell lay unlocked on one side
of the cell, whilst on the other side
lay a door locked by a strange device
which was always some sort of puzzle,
sometimes the cube puzzle, sometimes
the puzzle captured on this disk. If
not one of the aforementioned two,
then whatever puzzle the Kings craft-
smen had devised at that moment.
To this day no-one knows what lay
beyond the puzzle-door as none of the
victims ever returned from that, or
indeed the Hell-door. There was, as
there still is much folklore and other
rumourings as to the puzzle-door lea-
ding to Heaven, or one of the seven
planes of existance. Or that some much
desired ability was that way to be
found, the King himself disappeared
through the puzzle-door, never to be
seen again in his recognisable form.
But all of this is speculation, now
as never before is your chance to
experience something of the mystery of
that long forgotten time.
The victim had as much time as he
needed to open and enter the door of
his choice but no food or water was
ever given the victim, while on his
plight. Thus effectively imposing its
own limit on time: dehydration.
The pressure on the victim and his
own great fear at his situation would
sometimes break his mind, when in fact
he would, ordinarily, in other circum-
stances have easily solved the puzzle
and escaped, to what he would not have
known, so you see his dilemma.
All this was not as fascistic as it
might first appear, since the victim
was usually a condemned murderer, or
some other serious criminal type and
was given the generous priviledge of
choosing between being beheaded, or
partaking in 'The Games'.
Usually by the fourth or fifth day a
powerful storm would ensue with wild
bolts of lightening striking at the
tower, but strangely, never imposing
the slightest damage, sometimes these
bolts would be of the stangest colour
any person observing would know, or
assume they knew which door the victim
had finally entered due to two things:
The awful screamings coming from the
tower and within, accompanied by an
awesome winged demon flying overhead,
unimaginably large,terrifying all those
whose eyes let upon its ugly gargoylian
The influence of this on the people was
profound, inciting untold violence and
hatred in everyone, it was not unknown
for the population to half in the days
following the demons appearance!
The king would during this time lock
up in padded cells all people whom he
wished to keep unharmed.
The King ever mindful of his subjects
welfare once tried to fix the game, in
favour of the victim, this was obviou-
-sly frowned on by the dark ones, he
never tried again to fix the game!
If not these things did occur then just
as strange an event would follow, if not
as terrifying in its result.
The storm would be almost identical, but
absent would be the screams and the most
sweet, melodic sounds would ensue and
everyone in its vicinity would be enve-
-loped in the most complete ecstatic
raptures that they would all walk around
smiling and laughing, giving of their
possesions freely to perfect strangers,
and taking several days in recovery,
upon which they would find that they
had given most of their belongings and
in return had been given the belongings
of others, similarly enraptured.
Both of these opposite effects,invoked
absolute ecstacy tens of times more
powerful than any sexual or druginduced
ecstacies and once experienced, were
always hankered after somewhat like the
mere drug addictions of more primitive
This alone ensured the perpetuation of