12, Leaffall, 1364-Year of the Obsidian Descent
The nights are beginning to slowly freeze. The cold does something to the creatures outside. The hordes of the Black Army seem to thrive off of cold. They seem to grow stronger, more energetic. I can hear their heavy pounding far below me. Senselessly pounding. Pounding. Pounding. They snarl and howl throughout the night. Every few hours I find myself drifting off, and their howling always brings me back. I think that they can smell me. They know when me guard is down. If only they could get to me.
As much as the night is haunting and jarring, the day is much worse. Civilians wouldn’t understand. But up here, on the first line of defense, you see everything. When that bright sun sets the sky ablaze, I don’t see the lush forests of my home. I do not see the love of Lyris looking at me with open arms. I see death. I see the plague spreading, the infection. During the day people have the courage to travel. Have the courage to move. And every day I see their hope crushed, as those infected plead with the gatehouse for entry. Sometimes if the gatehouse is particularly busy, they howl for hours. That’s right, howl, like those beasts. Only its much worse. Much worse to hear the sobs of babes who cannot save their children. Who are doomed to die the following night at the hands of the Black Army. Sometimes we kill them, for mercy. We send a streaming bolt through their heads. But ammunition is precious, and we only do that with the worst of them.
I don’t know how long we can survive like this. Surely they will break through one day. They will learn to climb or dig, or they will splinter the foundation. And without a hope to live off of, I wonder how anyone survives these days.
-Mason Feldt, Night Watch