The temple of the Nightstalkers was located on a rural, wooded property whose owner had died years ago and let it fall to ruin. There was an overgrown outbuilding behind the house that the Stalkers broke into and converted into their place of ritual. They painted a large pentagram on the concrete floor, set up braziers on lamps around the corners of the room, and placed a table covered in a black sheet near one wall to serve as an altar. Behind the altar on a pedestal stood a statue of a dragon: three feet tall, made of resin and painted black. The figure had two horns protruding from its head and a bladed tail; its clawed hands held a chest with a trident symbol painted on it. This was the Black Dragon – Niger Draco – one of the guardians of the gates of Hell, and a great incarnation of the Devil Himself. It was also the symbol and namesake of this Nightstalker coven, which called itself the Black Dragon Clan, and its members Black Dragons.
The Nightstalkers had arrived at the temple in their usual fashion: stealthily, at night, without anyone seeing or hearing them. This was made easier by the fact that the property was isolated and there were no nearby neighbors to worry about. They got to the property on foot, parking their cars in town several miles away and walking by a path they had cut in the nearby woods. They were dressed in their standard attire – cargo pants, hoodies, face wraps, fingerless gloves, machetes strapped to their backs, waist packs – all black in color. It was always a production to meet at the Black Dragon temple in this manner, but it was more secure this way and it was also part of their mystique. For to be a Nightstalker was to be a creature of the night and a master of will, operating outside the laws and limitations of the daytime world.
Arriving at the temple property, the Nightstalkers quickly made their way through the overgrown grounds to the temple outbuilding. One Stalker stayed outside to act as a sentry, while the others entered the outer chamber of the building. Inside, they lit torches and immediately stripped off their clothing. They put on the simple black hooded robes they had each packed with them, and tied black bands adorned with dragon symbols around their heads. One of the Stalkers, the Draconian Priest, went into the inner temple chamber first, lit firestarters in the braziers and prepared the temple.
A few minutes later the other Stalkers entered the temple, naked beneath their robes, face wraps and headbands. They dropped to their knees in a row in front of the altar and made the sign of the inverse trident across their chests. Bowing low before the Black Dragon statue, each stalker whispered “Ave Draco; Ave Diabolus” as they touched their foreheads to the ground. Then they sat up straight, buttocks on their heels, knees on the floor in the traditional seiza posture of the Eastern warrior.
The Priest stood behind the altar facing the others. He wore a more elaborate red-trimmed robe and a large trident medallion on a chain around his neck. A fire burned in a metal bowl upon the altar, emitting an acrid, sulfurous smell. A dagger and a chalice were set on either side of the bowl; a sheet of paper with the image of a man on it lay in front.
“Welcome brothers and sisters of the Black Dragon clan. We begin by hailing our Lord, who has many masks but is one.”
“Ave Niger Draco. Ave Satanas. Ave Diabolus.”
The other Stalkers repeated after him in unison.
“We ask that Lord Satan give us the power to defeat His enemies, who are also our enemies. We ask for power.”
“Dona nobis potentia.”
“This conclave has been called to curse an enemy of our clan, and an enemy of Satan’s Temple. This enemy must be destroyed, if the Devil wills it.”
The Priest picked up the sheet of paper and held it up for the others to see. On it was a image of a pudgy man of about forty, with the dark features often seen among the mixed Native-Euro Americans in the area. He wore a cross around his neck, a rather flashy suit, and had a gray-flecked goatee.
“This is a picture of Reverend Aaron Johnson. Some of you know of him. He is a preacher at the biggest Nazarene congregation in town, the Church of the Nazarene. Lately he has been warning his flock to beware of Satanic activities in the area, and suggesting that there may be Devil worshippers in the neighborhood. He mentioned some of our magickal attacks, like the attack sigil left in their suggestion box. He also told them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, and to report it to the church authorities and the police.
“This is the same church that has been importing Christian filth by the boatload from the most wretched corners of the Earth. I know about them because we have a Black Agent who attends the church and keeps me updated on their activities. Take a good look at Reverend Johnson, brothers and sisters, and remember his face well.”
The Priest passed the photograph to the first Stalker in the row, who gazed intently at it for a moment, then passed it to the man on his left. When the last Stalker had studied it, he handed it back to the Priest.
The Priest picked up his dagger, held it over the top corner of the photograph, and said: “May the Devil destroy this person, who seeks our destruction. May the Black Dragon smite this enemy of our Temple, curse and damn him to impotence and death, and disgrace his church. Attack him brothers, with all your Stalker stealth and black magick. Destroy the one called Aaron Johnson!”
As he spoke the final words, the Priest slashed the photograph diagonally with his dagger, slicing it into two triangular halves. He dropped each piece into the burning bowl, chanting “Niger Draco eum perderent” (“Black Dragon destroy him”) as it went up in flames. They all gazed into the flames until they burned out. Then the Priest cleared off the altar, lifted up the chalice and motioned to one of the Stalkers.
“Now I call for the Temple whore, Mara, to come forth and seal this oath before the Devil. Come, sister Mara, and drink the blood of the dragon. Serve Satan with your body and soul upon the Dragon altar as is our way!”
The lone female Stalker present came forward to the altar. She was raven-haired and pale-skinned, her eyes alluring above the face wrap. She took the chalice from the Priest and took a deep drink of the dragon elixir. Then she immediately disrobed, revealing a small-breasted, narrow-waisted and full-hipped body. She did a little gyration toward the dragon statue then laid down upon the altar.
“Now, brothers of the Black Dragon, come forth and consecrate this night with our sister, in the name of Lord Satan. Drink the dragon elixir. Feel its power!”
Each Stalker came in turn before the priest, took a drink and disrobed. Already most of them were highly aroused, and after their drinks they immediately began fondling and caressing Mara upon the altar. The dragon elixir, which contained a special mixture of aphrodisiacs, alcohol, stimulants and mild hallucinogenics prepared by the Priest, would begin to take effect within minutes, and the orgy would escalate accordingly.
For the next few hours, the Black Dragons would carouse and fornicate with Mara and sing chants to the Devil until each was spent and Satan was well pleased. Being Initiates of the Temple of Satan, they were expected to be highly sexually potent, and such rituals were the proof. And when they were finally done, they got dressed, packed up their belongings and left the temple grounds as stealthily as they had come.
Over the next days and weeks, as the pleasures of the conclave faded from their minds, the Nightstalkers’ Satanically-inflamed malice would bend toward the man named Aaron Johnson, and they would begin to work their evil wills upon him as instructed. Their black magick and mastery of the night would indeed strike terror in the heart of their enemy, eventually breaking his will and the will of his entire congregation. But that is a story for another time – if the Devil wills it.