Exploring a side story.
I served in the army of the monster.
They came to the village and gave us no choice. We put down our hoes and herding staffs and belted on the rusty blades they provided. From the start, we were just fodder. But better to be fodder that has a hope of living than to die by the hand of the beast.
They said his witch could burn you with a thought if you held rebellion in your heart for even an instant. So we all obeyed and marched to the front of the battle line, farmers and seamstresses and blacksmiths all shaking in fear, all wondering if it was better to march to our deaths or flee and face his wrath. They said his witch ate the ones he killed.
Who can know how much was real?
“K—– save us,” the woman beside me prayed.
I might have prayed myself if I believed we could be saved.