Fridolin was a wonderful child. Born and raised in cramped conditions, it was his loving, warm-hearted mother and his gentle father who gave their best to provide him with a happy childhood. Mostly isolated from the daily struggles of his parents, he grew up safe and sound in a caring environment on his parents' farm.
He was still a little bugger, hardly taller than a goblin when it happened. His father had just come back from the fields and was about to drive the animals into their stables behind the house in the light of the descending suns.
Fridolin had stayed on the porch of their modest little cottage that his paternal grandfather had once built in Thais' surroundings, to play with the small figurines his father had recently carved out of wood. With a watering mouth and growling stomach he was sitting below the window sill, trying to inhale every piece of the appetising scent that his mother's freshly baked cake spread out through the open kitchen window into the world.
Only the thick, black clouds, which were inexorably coming closer from Thais foreshadowing heavy rain and wind, disturbed their little paradise. In the far distance, thunder was already booming and Fridolin's mother rushed out of the house to help her husband with the animals.
The wind began to howl, whipping the rain towards their farm and turning the heavy drops into sharp needles. Fridolin stood on the roofed porch and watched his parents hastily close the gate to the barn.
Meanwhile the rain was already pouring down in buckets pooling ankle deep puddles on the uneven soil. Fascinated by the huge amount of water falling from the sky, it took a while before Fridolin noticed that the muddy ground near the barn began to move.
One after another, the puddles disappeared. Engulfed by deep cracks that started to spread all over the yard. A fine, white mist escaped from the ruptures and covered the surface swirling gently around the water trough and wooden stakes near the barn.
He had never seen anything like that before and followed the trail of cracks ploughing through the ground with big eyes. Focused on the widening gaps, Fridolin almost got a heart attack when huge claws suddenly emerged from the depths digging deep into the brink of the chasm. Slowly, blurred and hazy outlines heaved themselves to the surface. Huge figures, way above two metres tall, rose from the ground.
Their eyes and mouths blazed in a dim light. Fridolin screamed at the top of his lungs at the sight of these creatures. Alarmed by their son's shrilling cry of fear, his parents realised the imminent danger and ran as fast as they could towards the house. But it was too late.
All over the place, demons had climbed up from below and the hasty movements of his running parents had already attracted their attention.
The demons, crouched, gathered their strength and pounced on their fleeing prey. One of them struck Fridolin's mother with his paw. She screamed in agony as the claws dug deep furrows into her back and tore her dress into blood-soaked pieces.
Bawling in pain, she lost her balance and fell to her knees. Another demon seized the opportunity and spit a great fireball towards the struggling mother, who was trying to get her wounded body back on her feet. The rain and distance weakened the attack, but the remaining shreds of the torn dress caught fire and the fetid smell of burnt hair spread across the yard.
Fridolin's father realised the danger and clutched his wife, threw himself to the ground with her and rolled back and forth to smother the fire.
The fouling mire sank into the gaping wounds on her back and she screamed her pain loudly into the night.
Meanwhile the demons had gathered like a pack of hungry war wolves circling their prey. One of them grabbed the father's foot scooping him up into the air with ease. Thunderstruck, Fridolin stood on the porch and had to watch his father wriggling and squirming like a worm between two claws of this terrifying creature.
Driven by a voracious appetite for their prey's despair and agony, the demons started puncturing the vital organs with sharp and pointed claws. For demons it seemed to be very delighting to watch a poor soul in his death throes until the very end.
Bleeding like a stuck pig, the father's spirits had already left his tortured body when the demons lost interest and smashed him into the rugged, rocky ground at full tilt. The loud, horrible crackling sound on impact only reassured that the man's broken body had full-on turned into a lifeless shell.
After they realised that they had already ended their little toy’s life, the horde gave their attention to the woman who was still lying whimpering in the mud. Like wild animals they began to harm the maltreated body of the mother.
They had learnt from their previous mistake and although her cries of despair and pain made them ecstatic and stimulated their lust for blood to new highs, they avoided killing the young woman too quick at all cost. Her martyrdom was to last for several hours and in the end the royal guards, who were sent out by King Tibianus the next day to document the extent of the cataclysm in the surrounding areas, found only her gnawed remains.
Fridolin, however, was not aware of his mother's prolonged ordeal. He was long gone. Unnoticed, he had fled into the night, into the darkness when the intruders were busy torturing his beloved parents. He had lost everything, nothing was keeping him in this forsaken place.