198/366 – A Frayed Plan at Best

Day 56 of 100 Word Prompts: Dull

Dylian reached the guardhouse at a full sprint, nearly bouncing off the stone wall as he skidded to a stop outside. He grabbed the latch and pushed, but found it locked.

“Come on, we don’t have time for this,” Dylian said as he shook the door and pounded on the wood barring his path.

Inside the sound of a dull thud echoed through the stone building, allowing him time to release the handle just as the door was pulled open.

“What the hell do you want?” a massive goliath asked, stooping low in the doorway. “Why are you trying to get in here? You do realize that this is a guardhouse, right?”\

This creature stood easily seven feet tall, dwarfing Dylian. His broad shoulders tensed as he held aloft a great axe in his right hand, though he wore no leather armor on his upper half. The smell of the barracks, not pleasant in any regard, wafted out of the room behind him carrying with it the stench of at least a dozen men who routinely sweat in their armor. Dylian’s stomach churned in an instant, threatening to put his most recent meal on the street.

“Yes, I realize that,” Dylian replied, slicking back his tousled hair as he tried to hide his disgust. “I need to speak with the captain of the guard. There have been changes with the situation involving the Salvation Brotherhood.”

“Are you in the city guard?” the goliath asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Not exactly,” Dylian replied. “I am a member of the local militia. We have been gaining numbers to help the guard defeat our mutual foe.”

“We have no militia,” the goliath replied, shaking his head.

“Wait, I can assure you, we are a militia. Just a moment ago, I was speaking with one of our weapons suppliers-oh, what was his name?” Dylian paused for a moment, only just realizing that he had never asked the dwarf’s name when they had spoken. “You know him. He’s a dwarven fellow. Usually rides around with a cart full of weapons.”

“Rutag?” the goliath asked.

“Yes! That’s him,” Dylian said, flashing a wide smile. “He’s going to meet us here. He wants to attack the Brotherhood tonight.”

“Tonight?” the goliath repeated a confused expression on his face. “Why tonight?”

“That’s when the militia was planning their attack. I figured that we could use all the help we could get,” Dylian replied. “Unless the city guard doesn’t want the honor of such a battle. I could understand if you were all too afraid to-”

“Afraid?” the goliath interrupted, his hand squeezing the handle to his axe. “The city guard is not afraid of anything!”

“That’s what I said,” Dylian replied, putting his hands up. “That’s why I was coming to speak with your captain. I need to talk with them so that we can coordinate our efforts. What’s your name, by the way? I want to be able to tell the captain who held me up for so long, delivering this information.”

“My name is Cluvir Cloudbreaker,” he replied. The goliath’s face suddenly twisted in mild confusion as he tried to process the quick words of the half-elf standing before him. “Give me a second. I’m trying to-”

“Is the captain here?” Dylian pressed, not wanting to give Cluvir the opportunity to dissect his words. “I need to speak to them.”

“N-no,” Cluvir replied, shaking his head. “The captain is on the wall by the gate. That’s where he’s been since the Brotherhood-”

“Thank you for your time,” Dylian said, spinning on his heel and taking off at a dead sprint for the front gate.

“Wait!” Cluvir called behind him, but Dylian was already rounding a corner.

Dylian continued his run for the front gate, knowing full well that the dwarf was to meet him there. He wasn’t sure how long the dwarf would be, but he knew that he would expect to see the captain of the guard there. He swore silently at the problem with the plan already beginning to show cracks. He should have known the captain would be watching the imminent threat to the city.

“Whoa there, buddy,” a guard said, stepping out in front of him as he neared the gatehouse.

“By Vero’s beard!” Dylian yelled, veering to one side to avoid hitting the person.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry?” the guard asked, eyeing him.

“I need to speak with the captain,” Dylian said between great heaves of air.

“What could be so important right now? The captain is dealing with the problem just outside our gates. I can help you with a problem inside,” the guard replied, a warm smile spreading across his face.

“Cluvir just sent me here,” Dylian said after taking a moment to catch his breath. “The city’s militia is going to meet at the guardhouse to ready an attack on the Brotherhood tonight.”

“There is no militia in this city. The town guard is here as the only fighting force in town,” the guard rebutted.

“Listen,” Dylian said, putting his hands on his hips, facing the guard squarely. “You’re just a human, and I’m just a half-elf. We both know the goliaths here run the show. Cluvir insisted that I inform the captain of the guard. Rutag, the dwarf, is gathering his men and meeting at the guardhouse. I need to speak with the captain.”

“Rutag? The weapons merchant?” the guard asked.

“I don’t know,” Dylian admitted. “I only know what I know, you know?”

“Wait here,” the guard said, giving Dylian a suspicious look. “I’ll go speak with the captain, and we’ll see what happens.”

Dylian took a step closer to the guard, knowing the inherent risk. “I don’t think you understand,” he said. “I need to speak with the captain myself. Cluvir insisted-”

“Cluvir is a simple watchman, he holds no rank, therefore no station among the guard. You will wait here while I go speak to the captain, or else I will assume you work for the Brotherhood and, therefore, have been sent as an assassin to kill the leader of the opposition,” the guard said. His tone did not falter in the even delivery, but the warning was obvious to Dylian. He knew he had no choice but to wait and hope the guard could get the captain to come down.


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