A Guard’s Life

Guard Woodrow was happy to have the Tower of Three as his assignment. Traffic was low, and what there was were mages, who ignored him. Some of the Guards preferred Qeynos Harbor, with high traffic and excellent opportunities to practice observation skills. But the quiet duty suited Woodrow fine this morning. He’d been up late at Fish’s last night. The dancer there who did the Antonia Bayle impression had let him buy her a flagon after her show. There was promise there, thought Woodrow.

Woodrow caught sight of someone approaching and let his arms drop back down to his side. Hmm, blue robes, red hair, high elf…it must be Exalted Toldain Darkwater, thought Woodrow. He’s pretty well known around Qeynos, and some of the Guard saluted him, but not Woodrow, not at the Tower of the Three. In Woodrows mind, salutes were reserved for Guard members in uniform. And that meant armor, not some pansy robe. But Woodrows face remained impassive. With luck, Exalted Toldain would pay him no attention at all. That’s what most of the Concordium did. Then Woodrow spotted the giant hammer the Exalted had at his belt. That meant trouble.

Toldain looked right at him and said, “Care to spar?”, and pulled out the hammer. Really, it was damned polite of him. Most who did this didn’t even bother with the pleasantries. It was just out with the hammer and WHACK! to get things started.

Woodrow did his best to fight back. He concentrated and swung his sword in a blow that he knew would cut an ordinary person in half with one swing. He never saw the Exalted move at all, but his blow connected with exactly nothing. Woodrow continued to make what should have been deathblows as Toldain brought the gigantic hammer around and up. Someone so slender should not even be able to lift that thing, thought Woodrow, just before another WHACK!

And just like that it was over. There was a faint musical hum, and a shimmer in the air, but no more high elf. Woodrow gave a small sigh and put his weapon back in the sheath. That was exactly what he had hoped to avoid by getting guard duty here. Still, he thought, the guards in Qeynos Harbor had it much worse. They got to “assist” the Qeynosian elite in their travels far more often than Woodrow. What crazy mage invented that hammer anyway?

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