Nine of Staves
Wary and watchful, the sentry waits at the access point. Once beaten and twice the wiser for it, this guard is waiting for anyone who will dare to challenge. They are weary and wounded, but present all the same- pain and fatigue do not erase the necessity of standing watch. Injury does not mean the enemy will wait until you have licked your wounds before coming forth again; rather foes are emboldened by weakness, perceived or real.
The guard does not know if the threat is real or imagined- whether an army, or a fearsome beast, or simply the vagaries of fortune, they wait. Perhaps they are waiting unnecessarily- why close the barn door when the horse has gone? Or perhaps they have retired, but cannot give up the habits of a life-time’s training.
What are you guarding against all comers? Is it worth the stress and exhaustion of continual defense? Is the threat real, or imagined? What does it look like if you allow yourself to drop your guard? If your defense is necessary, how can you maintain it without depleting your resources? How does one become vigilant without being anxious? What wounds must you bind up in order to be an effective deterrent?