Medievia Mudslinger

November 4th, 2001

The Guardsman - Written by Yarhj

Tavos paced back and forth across the ramparts, looking out over the city in search of trouble. Looking in on the city, he found that amusing somehow - no trouble had ever come from the wilderness, Vryce's shield took care of that quarter. Never had an invading foe come within sight of the golden spires of Medievia, but there was trouble nonetheless. The junior guardsman looked around nervously, for his was an unpopular job, and one of the most dangerous to boot. Patrolling the streets was easy, and breaking up the occasional drunken brawl in the warrior's quarter was never too difficult, but those fools that got it in their heads to be adventurers, *they* were the worst. They roamed the city, killing and stealing, with no respect for janitor or commoner or guardsman. Even Beslan, the city's mayor, was not safe! Tavos sighed. No matter how many of the fools he and his brethren managed to kill there were always more. Perhaps if someone opened the gates to the baenlyrs...

"Tavos, grab your sword. You get to patrol Merchant Way today." The voice of the Guardsmaster interrupted the young guard's plotting.

"Seven hells!" Tavos cursed, "That'll take me right through the courtyard!" Some parts of the city were safer than others, but the Castle Courtyard always had some of the pestilential adventurers roaming about in it. He would be lucky to get out with his skin.

"You didn't join to complain, you take my orders!" With that the burly Guardsmaster dragged Tavos unceremoniously down the stairs and thrust him out the door.

"Be gone with ye! And don't come back until your watch is up, or I'll have your hide for a rug!" Cursing all the while, the young guard tramped towards Merchant Way and certain demise at the hands of some incompetent. From some of the more grizzled veterans he had heard that there were some places where the Gods had forbidden violence, but none of them would tell him exactly where. Maybe he could find some sort of safe haven, and stay there until his watch was finished.



Halfway through his patrol Tavos began to brighten, perhaps he could make it through this ordeal somehow. He had not seen any of those bothersome adventurers, and the other denizens of the city had given him no trouble thus far. Perhaps the early hours kept most of the trouble at bay. Whatever the reason for the lull, the slim city guard was thankful. He was thankful right up to when he felt someone tugging at his wallet. He spun around, and glimpsed a frightened adventurer backing up.

"Why you... Come back here!" Tavos shouted, as the short thief tripped him and fled down the street. The guard gave chase, and suddenly came face to face with his assailant who must have gotten turned around in one of the many alleys. Tavos bellowed a war cry and charged into the delinquent, knocking him flat on his back. Not giving the cutpurse any time to catch his wits Tavos kicked savagely, and sent a silver dagger flying from his foe's hands. The thief turned to flee, but the guardsman caught up with him, and just as he raised his sword for the finishing blow...

"Violence is NOT permitted here!" Boomed a voice from nowhere and everywhere. Confused, the guard spun about, trying to identify the speaker. Once more he tried to strike his foe, but his sword glanced off of an invisible barrier mere inches from his quarry's skull. Finally it dawned on him. He had found one of the safe havens of Medievia City. Though he would have rather exacted justice on the delinquent he had been pursuing, he decided he might as well use the safety to his advantage, and settled in to wait until sundown. Every now and then he dashed quickly into a nearby marketplace for some snacks. He sat and talked with the citizens of the city for many an hour, until finally the light began to fade. Under the cover of the dim light the guardsman made his way back to the barracks.

As the sun began to set upon the golden city of Medievia, Tavos made his way back to his post on the wall. The city truly glittered in the fading light, and...

A viscous backstab from behind caused the guard to choke on his own blood! Tavos whirled, and brought his sword up just in time to deflect a second slash. It was all he could do to keep his sword moving, to match the pace of his opponent.
Parry!
Dodge!
Thrust!
Parry!

His last block came a moment late, and a trail of fire traced its way up his arm as his foe's dagger raked him. Summoning his last strength Tavos smashed the hilt of his weapon into his opponents face, then turned and fled. He ran at random, hoping to escape his pursuer, but where was he? Was he lost? Wait, that building... Suddenly the guard knew where he was. Only three more blocks to the barracks! Only three more blocks until safety! Two! Just as he was about to pull open the door, a shadow detached itself from a nearby wall. There was a horrible pain, then blackness...



Tavos awoke on the wall, wondering how he had gotten there. "Tavos! what are you doing? You didn't join the Guard to loaf around! Get back out there, you've got double watch today!"

The body of the Master of the Guards was never found.

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