Thank you for this comprehensive guide on the dangers awaiting in the demon’s lair. We found this extremely useful. Thanks to this information, we know exactly how to infiltrate and rescue you.
Be ready. We should be with you in a few hours. As heroic and melodramatic as it would be to run the rescue operation on the last possible day at the last minute, in practice it only means delaying your rescue and prolonging your suffering for nothing. So we will come as soon as we are ready, and it will be today.
You might want to stay away from the walls.
29th January 1995
I can see you have a plan. We will be ready. But it would be helpful to know what to be ready for? Nessa wants to take the diary away from me and write to you herself, but I do not trust her to make much sense right now. She’s happy we will be out soon, though. You put some glimmer of hope in her eyes.
I hope you know what you are doing,
29th January 1995
Of course we know what we’re doing! Do you think we would play games with your and Nessa’s life on the line? No! We have the most perfect, foolproof plan of all, and it was me, the amazing Unn, who came up with it.
(I am smart, I know!)
It just seemed logical to me that if approaching via the ground and via air is likely to result in our untimely, painful deaths, we should find another way in. You seem to forget Lydia is a Dwarf (though I don’t know how that is possible, given her height and avoidance of toilet humour). You seem to forget that Dwarves are Earth Beings and thus have a certain level of control over the ground we step on. You seem to forget that one time you almost became our friend because Lydia dug you out of a mineshaft using said control over the ground.
Guess what: we’re digging you guys out of that cell! Lydia is going to get us 20 meters under the ground and part the earth away until we find you. That evil demon (no offense, but those words usually mean the same thing) will never even notice we’re here.
If it sounds too easy, it’s because I’m just that good at making up escape plans. I escaped to the surface on my own, after all, so I have a lot of experience on that department.
Now sit tight and wait for the earth to rumble around you. And tell Nessa that Lydia loves her very much and is making me write those lines because of course she has to.
Kris here (can’t be bothered wasting time with all the formalities. It’s already hard enough waiting for you to finish your message before I start writing mine).
Your grand plan is to dig a tunnel to get to us out? It definitely sounds too easy. I want to believe it can work. I don’t know about any magical wards around the underground. I can’t tell if Zhofie considered dwarves’ powers when she planned her defences.
But I would rather believe she did. You have to be prepared to find some sort of barrier as you approach. Or something else that’s alive and can hurt you as much as all the other security stuff around the house. Don’t let your guard down just because you think Unn is too smart for her own good (for the record: no, you are not. But that is an argument for another day.)
(Also you were not the only one who escaped on your own. I did too. I lost much more than my horns and probably caused the death of my best friend, but I got here in the end. And all my ingenuity was still useless against a fully powered demon. So don’t let your guard down).
Fine. We’ll be paying attention to what we’re doing and Lóránt will be on the lookout for threats as Lydia digs her way in.
You’re so picky it’s almost like you want us to fail. Must be the demon in you.
This is Nessa.
Kris has now curled up in the corner (or I think it’s the corner. I can’t see beyond the light of the diary). He’s whispering something I can’t understant. I think he got upset that you compared him to Zhofie.
Look, Unn, this is not the time to start an argument. I can tell you have been fertilising each other’s gardens, but now is not the time to pass on the pepper. Leave it for when we’re all safely out of here.
I’m clinging to the hope that we’ll see each other again soon. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to take on that darkness. That cold that’s also unbearably (and weirdly?) warm. I’m scared. I don’t want to be here anymore.
If you don’t come, I’ll begin to wonder whether being under the mind control spell is such a bad thing after all… at least I might see nature again…
No, Nessa, never dare to think that!
(This is Lydia. I cannot wait another second to be next to you again)
I would love to say that we will keep Unn away from the diary from here on, however we need her to be our communications officer while we put our plan into motion. I will be busy opening up the tunnel and Lóránt will be on the lookout for danger. That only leaves her able to talk to you. We have, however, asked her to refrain from putting Kris on the same tunnel as those he fought so hard against and sacrificed so much to get away from.
This will be the last you will read from me for a while. But never doubt that I will be doing my best to get to you as soon as possible. I cannot wait to have you safely with me again.
I miss you. Stay strong.
Thanks for reading!
And once again we test the limits of diary story-telling format by having a "real time" dialogue between the two groups of characters. It almost gives us hope that the final battle will broadcast live instead of as a giant wall of text after it happened and we know for sure the main character survived...
And yes, we'll have a final battle. We can't let Zhofie go after all she did to Nessa and Kris. And we can't pass up the chance of discovering more about those demons...
Of course, for my patrons the final battle is a little bit closer. It's a simple formula, really: you give me money, I get the means and the inspiration to live for this work. So what are you waiting for?