Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Dungeon Guard's Works is Never Done

They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the Patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No one ever asks them if they want to.
― Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

Alright lads, I know these dungeon guard meetings are boring, but they’re important so pay
Do you happen to have any Grey Poupon?
attention.  First, a quick moment of silence for our newly departed: Guillaume, Bob, and Pedro.  They knew the danger when they signed up, but they’ll be missed.

Alright, the numbers for the quarter are in, and our dungeon-breaks are down by seventeen percent.  I want to thank every one of you for your hard word and dedication to dungeon guard duty.  Seriously, without you, there would be no prison.  It would just be a bunch of cells with people in them.

Okay then, boys.  Let’s go over some new safety notices that I’ve drafted up.  First, on prisoners getting sick.  Is anyone here a blood-letter or has skill in leech-craft?  No?  Well then, none of you should be going into a prisoner’s cell to determine the degree of illness.  That’s how Pedro got it, remember?  Prisoner pulled the old pretend-to-be-sick-until-the-guard-is-close-enough routine.  Clocked him right on the head.  You know how soft our skulls are, so be careful.

Hey, what are you doing out of your cell?
Do you have a dungeon pass?
On a similar note, if the prisoner is actually sick, still don’t go into cell.  You may be walking into Black Plague, Red Plague, Yellow Fever, Spotted Plague, Speckled Yellow Red Fevered Plague or something even worse.  Let’s stick to reporting any sickness to the desk sergeant who can call in a proper medical student to kill the prisoner right, and we can all sleep better without racking pain in our bowels and spitting blood.

Right then, we have one job.  Just one job.  I can’t stress this enough.  We’re here to keep prisoners in the dungeon.  That’s our job.  It’s our only job.  Prisoners are prisoners, they are not your friend.  Prisoners want to get out.  That’s their job.  It’s why they wake up in the morning and why they eat the gruel we feed them.  So if a prisoner is suddenly trying to make nice with you, that should be a warning sign.  You’re about to get bashed in your soft skull at the outset of a prison break.  Everyone remember Bob and how he ranted about his besty, Prisoner 623457?  Oh, Prisoner 623457 is so funny.  Oh, Prisoner 623457’s philosophy on life is so grand.  Bam to the head, Prisoner 623457 escaped and all Bob got was a moment of silence from us.  That’s it.  One job.  That’s all we have.

A note on treasure.  I’ve heard from wild rumors going around that some of the prisoners are hiding a
Pedro needs food, badly.
treasure.  Ok, let’s think this through slowly, right?  If a prisoner is on the dungeon, it’s because they lacked the means to keep themselves out.  If they had a treasure, that would either keep them from our cells in the first place, or else buy them freedom at a higher level than us.  It might be that they're keeping a treasure secret from someone else, but there again, someone higher up is going to want that, and you're not really in a position to keep it from them.  Any of you really want to try to keep a treasure from Cardinal Inquisition after what happened to Pedro?  Most likely the prisoner is just trying to lure you into their cell and bash in your soft skull.  So, let’s put the kibosh on any “treasure” talk going forward.  Most prisoners are poor.  If they weren’t before they came in, they are now.  That’s why they’re prisoners.

Finally, I want to commend Gaston for his quick thinking during last week’s dungeon break.  Instead of attacking the prisoners leading the break one at a time as we usually do, Gaston threw himself into the fray and it turns out that two or even three well-fed and well-armed dungeon guards are more than a match for a starved prisoner in rags.  Who knew?  So, we’re all going to take this as a learning experience, and no more waiting your turn.  You help your fellow dungeon guards, hit the prisoners in the back of the head, and I think we’ll find that our numbers get better next quarter too.

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