weasel and Sigrid - A Good Idea (UNEDITED)
This story is the first in a potential series of short stories. My inspiration for this particular story was the idea that player character backstories in tabletop roleplaying games are often some of the most fun stories to create. So, I decided to create a character named Weasel - a thief in the Dungeon World system. I realized quickly that his story would be very boring without a partner, so I also created a wizard named Sigrid. There is something to their pairing that may be explored with future stories, but for now all that exists is the scene below.
“I admit, it’s not my best plan.”
Weasel was leaning against the ancient stone wall of their cell, deep down in the castle dungeons. It was now the morning after they had both been locked away by the town guards.Sigrid had spent the night on the one cot this cell contained, though admittedly it wasn’t much more comfortable than the hard ground where Weasel slept.
“What plan? You never have a plan,” Sigrid shot back, her sharp eyes narrowed. “I certainly would never have agreed to any plan that involved sleeping on a slab of rock pretending to be made of wood.” Her leather armor and dagger confiscated, the mist elf Sigrid sat up on the edge of her cot in her stylish, though now a bit faded, traveling clothes.Her arms were folded and her legs crossed. “You don’t think they have a bath in this dungeon, do you?”
“What? No, of course they don’t have a bath,” Weasel retorted before taking a large draw of breath through his nostrils. “Do you smell that? That’s the smell of several centuries of men who never had a chance at a bath permeating this sad, dank place.”
Sigrid took a short breath herself and then coughed. “Ugh, you’re right. Now I won’t be able to stop thinking this gods-awful smell. This place is disgusting.” She kept her face stony and unexpressive, but Weasel could see that her long, pointed ears twitched in a way he had learned was a tell-tale sign of anxiety.
A sudden noise came from outside the cell as a guard marched down the hallway before coming to a stop outside their cell. He cleared his throat and looked at Sigrid, almost nervously.
“Look, I’m sorry that it smells bad in ‘ere,” he said, with a hint of shame in his voice. “We try real hard to keep the smell down and trust me it was really bad just last week. We gots to stand ‘round in ‘ere too, you know?” He thought for a moment about what he was doing and then quickly added, “And keep it down in ‘ere! We don’ want none of your blathering, thief!”
The guard nodded to himself satisfied with his stern warning and then left the two alone in their cell. The rest of the morning was spent in silence as the sun slowly moved in the sky, its faint light visible through a small window at the top of the cell. As noon approached, some rays of direct light peeked through and Sigrid took the opportunity to sit on the floor in a meditative pose and bask in them.
“What, are you a cat now?” Weasel asked his companion.
Sigrid did not open her eyes to look at him as she responded, “Don’t ruin this for me. This will probably be the most enjoyment I have in anything all day.” She sat there in silence for a few more minutes before stating, “I’m going to get a cat.”
"Are you serious?" asked Weasel, skeptical. "That's another mouth to feed. Also, where would you keep it? We don't exactly stay in one place for very long."
Absolutely, I'm serious," said Sigrid, still sitting calmly, her eyes shut. "After this adventure in this terrible dungeon I am going to get a cat. They are very useful, you know."
"A cat is useful now?" Weasel was less-than-convinced of this. "What exactly would a cat do other then nap, occasionally get lost or in trouble, and eat more of our food?"
"Those are perfectly good questions, Weasel," started Sigrid, "but first perhaps you should ask them of yourself."
Weasel thought on this for a good, long while, before nodding, "Fair enough."
Sigrid allowed a slight smile to cross her face. Now there was something to look forward to, as soon as they could get themselves out of this cell. She knew that Weasel had a plan for that, but as she had stated before, his plans were not always very well thought out beyond the thought, oh this might work.
The sound of boots marching down the hallway could be heard again. Sigrid, her back to the prison bars, did not bother getting up or moving. "I 'ate to tell you this, miss, but we can't allow you to 'ave a cat in 'ere. It's 'gainst protocol and all that."
Sigrid smoothly unfolded herself from her sitting position and rose. Slowly, she turned around to face the guard and approached him. Though the thick bars of her dungeon cell separated the two, she loomed over him. She was a head taller than him, and he was not short for a human by any means. Mist elves are, generally speaking, larger than humans or even other elves. She reached a slender hand up and gripped one of the bars, pulling herself closer to the guard so that he needed to crane his neck to meet her gaze.
"I wasn't asking you, guard, I am merely stating a fact," she said, keeping her voice low and over-enunciating her words. "I am not going to rot in this cell. I will be free of you and this smell and this disgusting dark place. And then I. Will. Get. A. Cat. Do you understand me, guard?"
The guard was struggling to meet her gaze and was finding himself inexplicably intimidated by this woman, though he was safely on the right side of the barrier and was armed and armored. er nervously thumbed the short sword at his side as sweat began to glisten on his face. A few droplets slid down his face from beneath his helmet. "Th-that'll be enough of you, prisoner. You just quietly accept your fate 'ere and behave. The king ain't lenient with no thieves, 'ear?"
Sigrid stared daggers at him as he marched back down the hallway to his post. A sly smile spread across her face, which she quickly hid when she noticed it. She turned back toward her cell and was disappointed to find that the last rays of sun had disappeared from their cell. She would have no more direct sunlight this day. She pondered for a moment and decided that this meant she would need to get back outside before morning so that she could see the sunrise.
Time passed again. Weasel never left his spot on the wall, while after a few hours Sigrid began pacing around the cell.
"This place is maddening!" she eventually yelled in outburst. "What am I supposed to do in here? I need a book, any book! I would even read that awful drivel that my sister writes if it meant one less moment of looking at this blighted place. And two meals?! That's all we get here? If I ever meet that king I'm going to have some words with him, believe me."
Weasel watched his companion in her very short slide into despair. "Yes, yes, I'm sure you'll get a chance to have your words with the king soon enough."
"Don't talk to me, you weasel," she snapped at him. "This is entirely your fault!"
She could hear an exasperated sigh coming from down the hall as the guard left his post yet again and made his way to their cell. "Look, I wasn't talkin' to ya and I ain't definitely no weasel."
Sigrid glared angrily at the guard, "Well your face says otherwise."
The guard's nervous expression turned to stone, his eye darkening. "Alrigh', I don' like doin' this none, but 'round here we got to teach prisoners respect now and then."
The guard pulled the cell keys from his belt and unlocked the door. He swung it open and marched into the room, looking at Sigrid who was now shrinking away from the door toward the back of the cell.
"Now, please remember that I don' like this none either," he said as he reached for the small club that he kept on his belt. He was, however, very surprised to find that it was now missing. He looked behind him and managed to see it floating in the air just above him. He was not confused long enough to stand idly as the club swung at him. He was again surprised to find that the club was not floating at all, but was being held by a man whose invisibility was just now fading.
"What the hells?" the guard yelled as he grabbed for the club to wrest it away from his attacker.
"Hey!" yelled Weasel, struggling to to retain control of his new weapon. "You were supposed to get knocked out! Stop fighting so we can make our daring escape!"
"I don' know who you are, mister," said the guard through clenched teeth as he began overpowering the younger man, "but you're in lots of trouble for tryin' to break out a prisoner."
"That's a real fine job you're doing there, Weasel," said Sigrid who was standing with her arms crossed watching the pathetic fight in front of her. "You want some help?"
"Nah, I got this!" replied Weasel, who most certainly did not have this. After nearly another minute of struggling, the guard wrenched his club away from him and prepared to take a swing.
Snap, went Sigrid's fingers as she cast a simple spell. The guard was immediately overcome with intense sleepiness and passed out.
"I totally had that, you just have no faith in me!" protested Weasel, now rubbing his sore wrists. “You’re welcome, by the way.”
Sigrid looked on at her disheveled companion with a look of disdain. He looked up at her, his face full of the expectation of gratitude for a job well done.
“You know,” Sigrid began. She could feel a slight sense of satisfaction for what was about to come. “When I made you invisible, I expected you to take out the guard from outside the cell. Why did you follow me in?”
Weasel stood there dumbfounded, his face set in stone but his eyes full of panic and rapid thought. “Well,” he started, “I suppose that does make mores sense, doesn’t it?”
Sigrid rolled her eyes and sighed, bending down to begin removing the armor from the sleeping guard. “Come on, help me get this off of him. I will have you escort me right to the target.”
Weasel snapped to as if from a daze and started putting on the pieces of armor that Sigrid had finished removing. “Right! Of course! See, I told you this was a good idea.”
Sigrid just smiled.