The life and times of serving in the City Guard in a Fantasy World.
|The Life Expectancy of the average guard in most works of Fiction is about 30 seconds after meeting the Hero. No one thinks anything of them. This Interactive is dedicated to those fine men, among others, including the great Fantasy authors, who created their own worlds.|
Bowlworld – it is a world in the form of a very large bowl, sitting in the middle of a disk-like object, which could be mistaken for a giant’s tabletop. Imagine a bowl of cereal, with large chunks of cereal, and plenty of milk. Now, substitute the milk for water, and the cereal for large islands, continents, and you got Bowlworld. Don’t ask where the spoon is, for there is no spoon. Also, imagine that the sugar that you sprinkled on top of the cereal is where various towns and cities are located. One of those sugar crystals is Big Fat Pig City, one of the largest cities on Bowlworld.
The origins of Big Fat Pig City has been lost to history. Were the original inhabitants refugees fleeing from war? Did someone decide that they hated carrying around a smelly tent all of the time, and decide to settle down? Or, more likely, did a wagon wheel hit a rock, breaking it, causing the owner of the wagon to kick the rock, only to break his foot, and cause everyone to have to wait until the man’s injury healed and the wagon wheel was fixed?
The origins of the name are better known, and have been recorded as thus: The Leader of the Wandering tribe came before the Farmer and said thusly, “That is one Big Fat Pig. Give him to me, and I shall let you marry one of my daughters.” The Farmer and his Wife were married for fifty years, and had twenty children, one of which became King of the City, exactly how is happened is filled with bloodstains (although it is unknown if this is the actual blood of his rivals, or if the writer cut his finger and bled all over the paper) and the city was renamed Big Fat Pig, in honor of his grandsire’s prophetic words.
Of course, in time, the King’s bloodline weakened, Civil War came, and the then-King was beheaded by the Commander of the Guards, who was the leader of the Rebellion. He too was eventually beheaded. That being said, no Kings ever retook the throne, and these days, Big Fat Pig City is ruled by a Tyrant, who is, mostly, a Tyrant in name only, as he rarely terrorizes the average citizen, as long as they pay their taxes. As for those who fail to pay their taxes, or those who are not average citizens, well, it is well-known that the Tyrant went to the Assassin’s Guild and graduated at the top of his class, but it’s just a rumor that he kills people himself – that’s what legally hired Assassins are for.
As for the City itself, it’s mostly ruled by Guilds – the Butchers, Bakers, Candlestick-makers, Fools, Pest Exterminators, Beggars, Assassins, Thieves, Seamstresses (aka Ladies of Negotiable Affection), among others – who control most of the day-to-day operations of the city.
Then, there’s the City Guard. After a number of Civil Wars, and the like, to say nothing of the legalization of the Thieves Guild – who were entitled to steal a set amount from people and businesses in return for cracking down on unlicensed thievery – as well as the Assassins Guild – who could only be hired to kill those who could defend themselves, or had the means of hiring the means of defending themselves, and had to leave a note after a legal job – the Guard was reduced to hiring those no one else wanted to work for them, and even that number reduced after a while. This changed after Turnip, a human raised by dwarves, joined the force, and set up improving the Guard.
Now, while the City Guard will still hire refuse from the streets, said refuse is honed and formed into an efficient force. The City Guard also looks past the fact that applicants are not always human – over a third of the force is comprised of dwarves, trolls, werewolves, vampires, intelligent zombies, gnomes, and other non-human races. In fact, the current Commander of the Guards, Rutabaga Blackfur Copperfindersson is not a full human – he’s half werewolf and half dwarf-raised-human, as Turnip ended up taking a female werewolf as a lover – The Guard being willing to look past the stereotype that women are the weaker sex, as they’ve found out that females will catch male criminals off-guard nine times out of ten, although criminals also use this trick, which is why there is always one female guard in every group out on patrol. As to how his mother, Vivian Goldenfur von Stoon, and his father became lovers, well, that’s a story in and of itself, but it involved a hostage situation, and, after it was resolved, well, there was a bed in the room – the real question is Who was the Hostage, and Who did the Rescuing? Romantics claim that Turnip saved Vivian from a Werewolf-Hater, Werewolves claim that Vivian saved Turnip from a renegade Vampire, while Guards claim that an unlicensed thief found out that angering Vivian over her wearing men’s clothing was a bad idea, and thus, while being questioned by Turnip, confessed to a number of small crimes that had occurred over the previous month, in order for Turnip to ask Vivian to let go of the thief’s feet, after which, the thief fell into a pile of horse dung. In any case, Vivian got pregnant, and Turnip was the father.
In time, Rutabaga Blackfur Copperfindersson became a guard, just like his parents, and eventually became the Commander. Thus, he makes life difficult for the Wealthy and Nobility, who like to think that they are above the Law. As such, he is the target of constant assassination attempts, both by Licensed and Unlicensed assassins. Licensed Assassins survive their attempts, but end up with at least a broken arm or leg, although female Assassins get an even worse punishment and are glad that they wear black to every event (especially their own weddings). Unlicensed thugs end up getting not only both of their arms and legs broke, they also end up going to the Tanty, and, depending upon what all else they’ve done, might end up paying a visit to the Hangman, who is very good at his job, and has never had any complaints from his visitors.
Copperfindersson is also very protective of the guards under his command; should an inexperienced guard wander into the wrong part of town, the worst they’ll suffer, usually, is being robbed of what they had on them – gear, armor, weapons, snack rations, cigarettes, money, that secret stash they thought had been hidden from the commander under their helmet – and maybe having some black and blue bruises, and the occasional broken arm, leg, or toes and fingers. That being said, they are usually left alive. Anyone foolish enough to kill a Guard soon finds out the hard way, as Copperfindersson will pay the killer a personal visit, and, if the killer is foolish enough to resist arrest, Copperfindersson will “defend himself”, meaning that the killer will be very lucky to not be too badly bruised, and thus cheating the Hangman of a visitor.
However, this is nothing compared to Copperfindersson’s biggest secret; through his father’s bloodline, he is the rightful heir to the Big Fat Pig City throne – it is a secret that is so-well kept, that everyone in the city has heard about it, and immediately dismissed it. After all, rightful heirs to thrones don’t remain in the Guards, they carry really big swords, which Copperfindersson has, they go right into the Palace, which he has, and they demand what they want and get it, which he has – pay raises for the guards, better benefits for them, and a new dartboard – and he always gets what he wants.
In fact, the Tyrant has asked Copperfindersson the reason why the werewolf/dwarf-raised-human has remained in the Guards and not become King, and this is the reason: If I were the King, then I would be forced to marry a Princess, and I find them to be very dull. I’d rather spend my time with a Seamstress, as they are more fun, and leave when I pay them.
1. This is a Pseudo- Medieval/Renaissance Era Fantasy, with lots of fantastic, mystical, and mythical creatures.
2. Rutabaga Blackfur Copperfindersson is the Commander of the Guard, but fill in the rank-and-file yourself.
3. Spelling and Grammar are a must.
4. Third Person is preferred.
5. While fetishes can pop up, the stories are to revolve around a plot of some sort, not a fetish.
6. Most anything else goes – I’ll think upon any changes later.