Burning. Screaming. The stench of sulfur and molten stone.
She had been trapped for longer than she could remember. In this wretched pit, surrounded by fire and darkness and the horrific ugliness of demon-kind. At first, they had made sport of her. Then they became bored and simply left her to wander.
Even without the moonrose, she had survived. Off the blood of their weakest, as she had in the lands above. Disgusting raw without the preparation and herbs. It burned her throat. But it kept her alive. Granted her the powers as it had before she was trapped. Enough to fight off the demons and, occasionally, kill them.
The scavengers among them had learned to follow her around. She didn’t shy them away. They got to clean up the mess and she got a sort of bodyguard. As long as she stayed clear of the greater demons – the ogres, the trolls, whatever they had once called them above – there was nothing to fear down here any longer.
But also nothing to do. Nobody to speak with. Nobody to share a bed with. Nobody to reign over. Not really. Demons were idiots. Even the largest and strongest of them.
This was not what she deserved. She had greater strength and foresight than any of her kind. She had sought, for once, to push past the provincial homeliness of the tribes and make a real kingdom for the fairfolk. And they had simply cast her out. Eventually, forced her into this place with their mortal enemies. She expected they thought her dead.
One day, they would find out how wrong they were.