Content of the article: "A hunter’s letter to his wife: Soon I will be home."
Feona, my dear, sweet love, soon I will be home, and you will be in my arms. If this letter arrives to you by courier, know that I am dead. But I hope to hand it to you yourself, you will read it, and we will never speak of its contents, for it is too heavy a memory to bear.
I hope little Bran and Gerri are doing well. It pains me to leave them behind so long every year, they barely get to see their old man. I know Bran doesn't understand, but the caribou keep moving and the hunter needs to follow. I know how badly he wants to come with me, but this journey is just too dangerous. Bran isn't afraid, and that is exactly why I don't want him to come with me. Fear is what keeps the hunter from becoming the hunted. We should’ve been more fearful.
Beeko is such brave girl, the bravest of us all. I didn't want a dog, but you got one anyway, and I couldn't be more thankful. Bran misses Beeko, doesn't he? How old was she when she saved him from those sabres? Six months? She was so small, but more courageous than a mammoth. She never bit or even snarled at us, always so careful, so loyal.
I should have been back home already, but things change. The caribou never set foot in the Reach before, but this year their path led them through Shattermist Glen. We blindly followed the prey. We didn't know the environment, the dangers. We should've known the reindeer were led astray. Known that Shattermist Glen was the hunting ground of Hircine.
Under a red night sky thick fog rolled in over the glen. The mist dampened sounds, stole our sight away, crept into the soul. We hurled up around a campfire, shoulder to shoulder. Breon went to check on the horses and never returned. Then we heard growling nearby, stalking us, circling around. They didn't come close, not while the fire was burning. We ran out of kindling and soon we had to burn our clothes, until they too were burned up and the fire started to die out. The dark of the night tightened its grip, and that's when the screaming began. Wolves and men alike were shrieking their dying cries while we ran, we didn't know where to go, we just knew we had to find the other groups and stay together. One by one we were separated, we stumbled, took a wrong turn or simply gave up until I was all alone. Eye in eye with a werewolf. It's eyes were human, intelligent, but wild beyond compare. Blood soaked saliva dripped from its open jaws.
If it wasn't for Beezo, I wouldn't be writing you right now. She distracted the beast, bit its leg and wouldn't let go until I stabbed it in the throat with my hunting knife. We laid there, hidden from the horrors of the night below the bleeding corpse of the beast until the red moons were replaced by the red of dawn.
The sight that met us was horrific. A river of blood ran through the glen, fed by hundreds of reindeer carcasses. Hunters were trampled, horses flailed, wolves lay shredded and spears and arrows stuck out of the few corpses not torn apart.
The survivors, naked, cold, terrified and covered in blood gathered meats to eat and furs to wear and we started walking. We walked in complete silence for days, not because there were no thoughts on our mind, but because there were no words that could do them justice.
Every morning we were met with the sight of our companions, shred to pieces. We grew numb to it after a few days. We walk all day and lie awake all night. Days blur into night. Sometimes I fall asleep while I walk and wake up to Beeko licking my face, hours, maybe days later. Closer to home, closer to you.
Hircine's beasts are cunning, but they did not follow us from the Glen. They are among us. Within us. We can't outsmart them, because we can't outsmart ourselves. Only Hircine knows how many of us had fallen victim to his curse. How many of us when night falls tear the flesh off the bones of the people we spoke and cried with that same day.
At dawn we'd check the hunters for signs. The wild-eyed men and women with the smell of blood on their breath were slaughtered. Some fled into the woods and we had to hunt them down, for they would do the same to us come nightfall. We thought we had found them all.
For four days we were safe. Four days we thought we would all make it to the city alive. Four days we had hope to see our family again. When the sun rose on the fifth day, Beeko lay atop of me, licking my face as always. We were the only ones there. The others had all been torn apart. I wish I could send my condolences to their families, but I don't even know their names. We did not speak about home or family, for their sake. We could not allow the beasts within to track them down.
I am sorry Feona, but Beeko will not come home. Her breath smells of blood, as it has for weeks. I was too blind to see. I didn't want to see. I hoped to see her again in Sovngarde, when she came to pass in due time. She would've met Ysgramor. I would've showed him the tricks she can do and the scars she has gotten when protecting me so many times. And I would've slipped as many food scraps below the table as she can eat.
Even while I am writing this, she has her head on my lap. I’ll be stroking her for the last time, and she doesn’t know it. She just keeps looking at me with the same big brown eyes that have looked at me since she was just a pup. She would never hurt me, not even Hircine could command her to do that. Which makes it all the much harder to do what I must do.
Soon I will be home. Don't show Bran or Gerri this letter. Tell them Beeko died defending me. That she fought valiantly and will be waiting in Sovngarde, laying there waiting for us at the door like she always does.
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