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Captain of the Guard: The Tree Doesn’t Dream of Becoming Lumber

October 19, 2019

It had taken two uneventful days for Silas to get back to Slenna after leaving Cedric and the others. Silas was not a practical young man and he did not like acting like a messenger. He believed, as a lot of young men do, that he was meant for greater things.

Inside him was a hero just waiting for the opportunity to come forth. That opportunity had not yet presented itself, but he believed that he would know it when it happened.

So he waited. He joined the guard believing that there would be more opportunities to prove himself., though he was a middling at best kind of soldier that did not see the point of the routine of a soldier’s life. He did not exert a tremendous amount of effort training, learning new skills or expanding his areas of knowledge.

Nor did he seek out opportunities which would have, perhaps, increased the possibility of some event occurring that would have propelled him into a life of adventure. He felt, like most people that it would ‘just happen.’ Most things don’t just happen and when someone says that it did, there is almost always someone that made it happen.

As the situation with Ro had progressed, Silas had begun to believe that the time that he had been waiting for and knew would be coming had finally arrived. Upon seeing Ro’s dead body, his heart had secretly leapt in his chest. Not because he wanted Ro to actually die, but because the death of the barbarian meant that there was a cosmic opening for the occupation of hero. Everyone knew that when one hero falls another shall rise.

So it was that almost immediately after he was left with a deep and abiding disappointment when Cedric sent him back to the kind with news of Ro’s untimely (although Silas saw it as very timely) demise.

He nursed a faint hope that Cedric and his band would disappear or get massacred which somehow would propel him to greatness. Again not because of any particular ill will towards his comrades in arms, but one didn’t make a house without cutting down some trees.

It did not occur to him, as is unfortunately typical for individuals of his bent, that he might be one of the trees about to be made into lumber.

He did not gallop toward his destination. There were two reasons for doing that. The secondary one was to keep the horses from tiring quickly, but he did change horse frequently so that he could ride longer than normal while keeping the risk of injury to the horse to a minimum.

The main reason was the hope that some event would occur that would be important. A wise magi, a messenger of the gods, the rescuing of a grateful virgin or some magical guide, the chance meeting with an unsavory, but ultimately boon companion.

He had some trepidation passing the Inn of the Disappointed, but the Travelers were long gone, though evidence of the fire was everywhere, and the burned-out husks of several abandoned wagons remained in the clearing.

The smell of smoke was heavy in the air and he was glad to put it behind him even if a faint hope of something happening would occur to his benefit died.

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