Back in Luguvalium for the Winter, Grainne grows large with child.
Still being watched. Dream of a dark man standing over me, nothing there when I wake.
Are there things moving under the floor? I’m sure I saw some eyes flashing in the dark.
Sleep is hard to come by.
Another celebration, Grainne has twin girls and is well. We leave her sleeping in the birthing hall.
Still find sleep troubled, figures, eyes, movement in the dark. I am not asleep and the eyes are really there and a figure attacks as it steps from the darkness.
I roll for my sword and attack, but it is fast, much faster than I expect and its claws rake across me.
I hear the sound of fighting from the hall and the rooms about me. I hope my friends are doing better.
Now I know its speed, I predict where it will be an my sword cuts it in two. I pull my armour on to cover my wounds and head out.
Cadwaladr and Gwalchmai are injured but all the dark figures here are dead, I run down the halls to the birthing hall followed by Elias. We find Cumhall standing over an unconscious Grainne, with dead dark figures all around.
We run outside and see fighting at the gate. I run for the gate, while Elias runs to the stable. There are dark things all over the gate and something big outside trying to get in.
Carafanon commands the warriors at the gate and has them in a shield wall, pressing the dark figures – there are heaps of dead dark things around them.
BOOM against the gate
BOOM, the gate bars start to crack.
I join the fighting at the gate. There are many dark things dead, but more seem to be coming from a shadow on the ground, just beyond the shield wall. I leap from the line towards this dark hole, Elias on his horse throws a mighty javelin to clear my path. I slice my sword (the gift of the Sidhe) through the shadow and it bursts into light and the hole shrinks a little. I can see stairs leading down through this hole and countless dark things climbing up. I must stop this, or all is lost.
BOOM on the gate.
The dark things turn towards me, I keep attacking this hellish portal, each blow shrinks it. But I will not last long with all the dark things moving towards me.
BOOM – the gate still holds.
Fighting chaos around the gate, I continue to concentrate on the terrible opening, and finally it vanishes.
BOOM – the gate sags on its hinges. Carafanon shouts to withdraw away from the gate, as archers get ready and oil is poured down the road.
BOOM – the gate crashes down, a gigantic pale, mouldy man creature comes through with a giant club, followed by many insect like men in armour. Our men drop oil and light it. Fire rips through their number, but many make it to the square, even though they burn. I nearly get caught by the flames.
Arrows strike them from everywhere, Carafanon commands a mighty defense and Cadwaladr leads us to shore up any weakness. He spots a section in trouble and we charge. The insect men are thrown back and many killed by our charges, they turn and run. We ride them down. The Giant is killed by many arrows and fire.
I hear later about Cumhall and Grainne clearing the hall, and the fighting in the streets. Wolf things went into Bayliss house and ripped it apart – luckily he is away. But the wolf things have headed North, perhaps to track him down.
The town has been hit hard, there are many dead or injured and it takes time to put the fires out.
The dark thing bodies dissolve as the morning sunlight strikes them.