The guard was not, in fact, a guard. Rather they were an impostor, planted by the Britaga. As any employee of the Britaga was trained to do, they had memorised the route to the dungeons and brought an entire arsenal for this one special purpose.

The impostor reached the dungeon in a matter of minutes, already there was Varashden, and the gaoler for the evening, who had been not-blissfully asleep at his post before the half-man appeared and rapped him on the forehead to wake him.

The gaoler woke, mistaking what he saw as a continuation of his nightmare, he gave a loud cry of shock at the horrific face of Varashden, he nearly lashed out. Then he remembered that it was no demon of sleep, but a demon of waking hours, twice as real and ten times as horrifying.

Varashden rolled his eyes and simply walked past the gaoler, leaving him to his own devices. It was then that the gaoler noticed the impostor, standing over him. They leaned close to him and whispered in a sexless voice 'How many prisoners are here?' To emphasize the impostor's hurry, they pressed the flat of a dagger into the gaoler's stomach.

'Just the one. The rest were... moved. First as far away from the prisoner as possible, but even that didn't work. They kicked up a stink 'till the whole lot of them were moved to another cell block. I don't think tha-' his speech was cut short as the dagger drew across his throat, quickly and quietly.

'Enough.' growled the impostor to the dead man. He cut the keys from the gaoler's belt and left the dagger in the man's chest. After all, he had plenty more in his arsenal, why risk detection with a dripping-bloody dagger when he had a fresh one?

In front of him the strange half-man stood by the bars and hissed poisonous words to the cell. It appeared empty but for the shadows and telltale clink of metal on stone. 'You are destined for the Long Halls, my friend. At noon tomorrow, you will be an exile.'

The End

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