Today I'm talking about The Inquisition, which is featured prominently in my latest release, Claimed by the Zyndevine, Book 4 in the Bayou Magiste Chronicles. The Inquisition and those carrying out the brutal acts against heretics are the main reason Henri Marchand and Chantal Belliveau meet in the first place, when Henri saves Chantal from an attack on her home and family. Henri is also involved in a resistance movement, Il Resistasse, against the Church's violence against who they deemed to be heretics.
Most people are familiar with The Spanish Inquisition, which was the largest and broadest-scoped of all of the Inquisitions. Many don't realize that these acts of "cleansing" were being carried out for hundreds of years prior. The first of the major medieval Inquisitions began in 1184. By a papal bull issued by Pope Lucius III, entitled Ad abolendam, which translates to "For the purpose of doing away with." It was established mainly to deal with the Cathars. They believed in dualism, two Gods. The good God, which is the God of the New Testament of the Bible, created the spiritual world. The second God, the evil God, was the one who created the physical world of the Old Testament. Naturally, this did not sit well with the Catholic Church, and was deemed heresy, which was to be destroyed, at all costs.
Another papal bull establishing an Inquistion, ad exstirpanda, was issued by Pope Innocent IV, in 1243, almost right from the beginning of his term. It authorized torture for some heretics, however, there were some limitations:
· that the torture did not cause loss of life or limb
· that it was used only once
· that the Inquisitor deemed the evidence against the accused to be virtually certain
Of course, in practice, these limitations were mostly ignored. The loss of life or limb could be considered to be an accident, and often "only once" could come to mean a series of tortures that all together were defined as one. And of course, those who carried out such tortures often followed their own beliefs in inflicting torment on those who were suspected of heresy, whatever the definition was at the time. For it most certainly changed and often, due to whatever goal those in command wanted to accomplish.
The Inquisition established by Pope Innocent IV is the one that is occurring during the time of Claimed by the Zyndevine, Of course, in the Magiste world, magic is quite real and is naturally deemed heresy by the rulers of the time. King Louis IX, later canonized as St. Louis, was devoutly Catholic and just as eager as the Church to wipe out those he believed to be heretics. In the 13th century, Mortal men, such as King Louis, were usually frightened of magic, and often with good reason. Just like anybody else, there are good and evil Magiste, and those evil Enchanters and the like used dark magic to commit gruesome tortures against any they perceived as their enemies, or sometimes simply for the enjoyment of torturing a helpless victim. Just like the Inquisitioners in Claimed by the Zyndevine (and yes, I made up my own word for those carrying out the Inquisition. I made up a lot of words creating this world).
Anyway, the tortures of all of the Inquisitions were very similar, though as technology of the time advanced, and of course with more experience in knowing what was more effective against the victims, these tortures increased in brutality and scope. By the time of the Spanish Inquisition, nearly every European country, and often many of the smaller territories within those countries, held their own local Inquisition-like pursuits. Untold numbers of innocent people suffered and died under these agonizing tortures. Many confessed, just to make the torture stop. They were subsequently put to death, though there were other ways to make penance and save one's life. Often that involved the confiscation of all property and fines, as well as jail time. Back then, you might as well be dead anyway if they jailed you.
In Claimed by the Zyndevine, Chantal's own family suffers a terrible fate when they are targeted, as do others. The details of the tortures aren't described in graphic detail; I'm not one to write about someone's gruesome suffering, but most people are familiar enough with the implements of the Inquisition to understand what happens: the Iron Maiden, the Pear of Anguish, the Rack, and others. I do use one of the tortures in another book – the Stocks. This was a pretty brutal torture: a person's legs were locked into the stocks, their feet were greased with lard and then placed against a brazier or fire. Those who suffered this torture often died, and horrifyingly, this was used against children to force them to testify against their parents.
This is what Henri and Chantal are up against, forced to flee for their lives, or suffer unendurable agony. Still, Henri employs his own brand of torture upon Chantal – one which she of course, soon begins to crave. Here's a little teaser of exactly what Henri does with Chantal once he has her bound to his bed and under the torment of the fiere potion. Warning – this is decidedly NC-17 and NSFW:
"Henri, it burns!" Her choked cry sent another throb of lust pulsing to his cock. He ignored it as best he could.
"Yes, it does, but there's more, isn't there? Tell me, Chantal, what else are you feeling?"
He continued his gentle stroking along her skin, noting the way her nipples hardened still further, as if straining to reach his hands. Henri studied her closely, the dart of her tongue along her lips a torment and a delight to his roiling senses.
"I don't know, damn you! But it's driving me mad!"
He grinned at the frustration in her voice. "But I've barely begun, Chantal. If you are nearing madness now, how will you survive the pleasure I plan to show you through the night?"
Her eyes snapped to his, wide with a mix of apprehension and anticipation. "So you plan to torture me all night? You are not the man I thought you were."
He shrugged. "Perhaps not. But I suspect, in the end, you'll prefer me this way."
He leaned over and licked along her full lips, each breath she took rattling through her and pouring into him. Her essence, with the pulse of her magic, drove him to near madness himself. Pulling himself away took every bit of his strength. Her body glistened in the glow of the hearth, but he suspected much of the heat leaving her skin covered in a damp sheen came from within. He dared a look at her pussy, open and ready for him due to the chains at her ankles. A telltale moisture sparkled in the firelight. Did she even realize how much her body wanted what he offered?
"Remember what I told you earlier?" The husk in his voice betrayed his desire, her awareness of the fact sparking in her gaze. A hint of a smile tugged at one side of her mouth.
"Yes, you told me to feel."
He nodded. "I won't tell you not to worry, some of what you'll endure tonight will be...uncomfortable. But I think you'll find the reward worth it."
She closed her eyes briefly, but when she opened them again, he clearly read the challenge in their grassy depths.
"Are you ready?"
You can get your copy of Claimed by the Zyndevine at Amazon: