A Thief’s Opinion on City Guards

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Clyde here . . . For some reason.  I’m supposed to talk about my opinion of city guards since I’m a thief.  That means I’ve run into my fair share of them.  It also means Mab has gone into hiding and probably slipped my name to someone in order to avoid doing this herself.  Lately, I’ve been more warrior than thief while she’s still a burglar to her core even now.  Can’t promise this will be long or coherent and I won’t be giving tips on how to catch someone like me.  Well, the one piece of advice is to get out of my way, which is all you’re going to get from me.

Long ago, I was a thief and that made me the mortal enemy of city guards.  Not my targets, but those who would stand in my way.  There’s no way to specifically define these relationships because they vary from one person to another.  One member of each group might see no problem with killing the other while their friend is more into evasion or capturing.  A person can go through phases too with a thief starting out as someone who avoids notice and then gets more lethal.  Personally, I’d rather not waste my time on mortal guards unless I’m really angry or they don’t give me a choice.  Vampires are something different, but there really isn’t much point in slaughtering mortals when it’s more of a challenge to get by them.

City guards really are the most common living obstacle that you’re going to run into.  I say living only because someone might say walls and doors are more common.  Those aside, you’re bound to bump into at least one guard on your way to an urban heist.  All it takes is one noise to get their attention and then you have to escape.  Even the least talented of their kind can sound an alarm if you give them a reason.  Unlike walls and doors, they’re moving obstacles, which makes it more difficult.  Few things are more embarrassing than thinking you have the patrol patterns down and you turn a corner to slam into a knight who decided to sneak away for a snack.  Since they’re always suspicious of people roaming at night wearing all black, you have to hope you can talk your way out of it.  That’s a skill that many thieves are lacking in these days.

Would my job be easier without them?  Of course, but you wouldn’t have nearly as much fun pulling heists.  What’s the point if there’s nobody to hold the victory over?  Sure, there are bodyguards and rival thieves, but they do it for money.  Going up against guards means you fight men and women who believe in the law and are out for justice.  There’s an odd thrill to defeating them and, at least for me, a level of respect since they are fighting for what they believe.  People like that can be easy to predict at times, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat.  Unlike bodyguards and thieves, these people won’t give up as soon as you leave a heist.  You know they’re going to hound you for at least a few hours and, even after that, you can easily fall back into their sights.  Not that I’m afraid of them.  I just admire the challenge they add to my jobs.

Guess that’s really all I can say about them before I say too much.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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9 Responses to A Thief’s Opinion on City Guards

  1. Clyde makes a good point about dedication. Guards are paid, but not enough to compensate for the long hours and hassle of guarding someone else’s property.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    Interesting perspective from someone who knows guards in the course of them just doing what they get paid to do. Would a guard be as objective about Clyde? 😁

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    • Hard to tell. I’d say there’s a level of fear and anger towards him. Depends on the era and if the guards know he’s a vampire. After all, Clyde is a bit more lethal than your average thief. Though he’s mellowed ever since mortal guards became no challenge whatsoever.

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  3. Maybe he needs to start stealing from dragons. More of a challenge that way.

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