I’m trapped. I am trapped in our cellar and I don’ think I can go anywhere. Someone has been knocking on every door and window upstairs for the last two days. The noise, the banging, it goes on for hours I think. I can’t stand it anymore.
Who is it? Could someone else have survived that dreadful night? Is it even possible that one our neighbours could have somehow managed to escape the Dothylfar? We’ve both heard what they are like, the rumours from the east, the monsters that they are made out to be. I even spoke to one of the mages from the Citadel once, the one that came to help with our drought two summers back. He told me he spent some time in Frosthaven with the Alchemists Guild before the war started and had to learn all about them. Such horrific stories for hundreds of years without a single account that doesn’t involve the spilling of blood.
‘The blood cursed of the Ayl’far’ he called them.
Do you remember when father would tell those creepy stories when mother was asleep in bed so as not to overhear? I know, it’s all folly and theatre when it’s not happening to you. He would tell us that they have a tragic history and that if we ever saw one that we shouldn’t talk to them or try to reason with them. Run, he would say to us should we ever have the misfortune to encounter one of the ash folk. Run home to the village and don’t look back.
Bloody hollow, I feel queasy! I can’t sleep well enough with father’s fur hides the only comfortable thing to lie on down here. The stones of the floor are cold and damp, I won’t get more than an hour of sleep before the rats feasting on that foul fucking cheese wake me up again. I’m almost out of bread too. I would strangle an Alamaxian right now for a decent meal and a cup of wine.
And I would consider shagging one too if it would get me a hot bath!
The hunters from the tavern would tell each other tales that were far worse than anything father told us. After a few ales, they would prattle on for hours about how bloodthirsty and savage they are, that they keep slaves in their cities and eat the flesh of their captives. Well after they came to our village, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt – it’s all true sister. They kill without remorse and sought only the utter destruction of everyone and everything we hold dear.
I saw one of them, Maellor help me, I saw one of them ravaging the miller’s wife with blood dripping down his mouth whilst he roared into the sky. I don’t even know if it was hers or if she was even still alive! I only caught a quick glimpse but the fire was bright and I saw what I saw long enough for the memory to have seared itself into my nightmares for the rest of my years.
That is why I cannot open the door to whoever it is that continues to ceaselessly bang their fists on every corner of our house. I just can’t let them know that I am here. No one could have survived that slaughter Erin. No one! So, it has to be them, the Dothylfar have come back to claim what they missed and the only thing stopping them is the block of oak wood blocking the entrance upstairs and the iron locks of our cellar door.
They must know I am here though, why else would they keep banging at my door like a feral Grimlurk? Oh, maybe it is one of them, from a horde of sodding Grimlurks dining on the leftovers the Dothylfar couldn’t be bothered to deal with. Nasty, rotten scavengers the lot of them.
Oh gods, please no! I’ve just realised something. What if it’s father? What if father somehow survived and has been desperately trying to get back into his house, our home? And I have stopped him from getting in. I’m the reason Erin, it’s my fault he is suffering. Suffering out there all alone with the Grimlurks and the Dothylfar, oh gods have mercy on us.
I need to go to him Erin, I need to let him in. He is trying to come home and I have ignored him for days, his own daughter has left him out there at the mercy of the foulest cursed creatures the gods have ever allowed to walk the lands in all of Ayl’gard.
Fuck them Erin. Fuck the gods and their twisted schemes! Fuck Maellor, fuck Mithron, fuck Samaia and Ashyara – FUCK every single one of them into the bowels of the hollow realm and may they rot for all of eternity. And fuck the King and his bitch, Baroness Orelia, for leaving us here to be murdered and mutilated at the hands of the enemy. It’s been days and no one is coming to help us. No one.
The knocking, it’s started again.
I need to go sister. He’s banging on the door and he wants to come home. Father is out there, all alone. No longer. No fucking longer!
I’m coming father, hold on. I’ll let you in…