War at My Door: The First Day

Erin.

It’s finally happened sister.

Ingrid warned us they would come but no one would listen to her. Everyone said she was a mad old cow, that the war would never reach us, that the Legion would stop them. It turns out the old crone was right all along. The Dothylfar have invaded the Westervale.

They came in the dead of night and killed the guards patrolling the road into the village. It was quick, too quick. I ran.

The screams of the villagers, they surrounded me as I tried to get back home. There’s blood on my gown. I haven’t a clue if it’s mine or not. I scraped my leg against that damned loose plank of wood, you know the one, sticking out half a yard from the horses’ pen. The one father said he would fix when he got the chance.

He’d being saying it for months now. Every evening he would sit down to supper after trading at the market, every evening he would scold himself for leaving it too long.

‘Maellor help me’ he’d say.

‘I’ve gone and let the bloody daylight get away from me again. Don’t worry my dear, I’ll do it in the morning. Just after I’ve fed the horses. I’ll get to it tomorrow.’

He won’t be able to fix it in time for when you return from the city I’m afraid Erin. He’s dead. Lying by the doorstep with two arrows in his back and a gash in his throat. He’s dead and he’s gone. He won’t be able to fix that gods damned fence anymore.

I think he was waiting for me to come home. You know what he was like when we were children. He would stand on that doorstep until the sun went down, cursing and spitting as he yelled at us to get inside or the wolves would come down from the Wraithwind Woods to gobble us up. Or that time he threatened to lock me in the cellar for staying out past midnight with that hunter from the tavern. He wouldn’t do it though, he knew I was scared of the rats.

He never stayed mad for long, did he? Always hugged us after supper before taking us to bed. He did it every day since mother died. Do you remember?

I don’t know why I’m even writing this letter to you. I can barely see the page in the dark with this one candle lit and there’s no one left in the village to send it to you. I think I might be the only one still alive. Father hid mother’s old quills and papers down here. I found them in her old chest with her letters, they’ve been down here all this time. They still smell like her Erin.

The screaming stopped an hour ago, I think. Now there is only quiet and the smell of fire. The silence is, it’s a little too much for me. I barred the front door so they couldn’t get in and I hid down here in the cellar. They stopped trying to break the door down after a while and I think, maybe, they might have moved on.

I’m not scared of the rats anymore though. Compared to the Dothylfar, they’re harmless little things.

Why did they even come to our village? The wars supposed to be all the way to the east in Frosthaven. How did they get all the way past the garrisons from Stonehold? How did they cross the Silverblade River without being noticed? And then there’s the King’s Silver Legion. By Maellor, how in the bloody hollow did they get so far inland to the steps of Amberfall? What’s there that they could possibly want?

I hate them sister. I hate those fucking red eyed, godless, flesh eaters! I hope Maellor smites those bastards into the bowels of the bloody hollow. They slaughtered our village like cattle in a pen, killed our father and now they are likely heading your way. Oh gods, did they eat him? Did they eat father? Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!

I need to go sister, I need to go and check on him.

Please, please be safe and may the Aeons protect you.

13 thoughts on “War at My Door: The First Day

    • Thank you. It is the beginning of a short story that will be presented in the form of letters written from the perspective of a survivor of the destruction of a small village. The village lies at the foot of a region near the Summerpeak Mountains and is the final stop before the path into the city of Amberfall, the Golden City of Summer.

      All of the above is just a small portion of the fantasy world that I have created, called Ayl’gard, and I use my site to bring small segments and stories from that world, little by little over time.

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

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