The Ceremonial Guard stood at the Gate of Truth, continuing their head counts of the crowd that was gathering there. While each was coming up with a different number, all had no disagreement that said numbers were very, very large. Rather worryingly so in fact. And this was leading the Ceremonial Guard to ask themselves many questions, such as could their ceremonial armor protect them from a knife blow, or, just as hypothetically, a very large rock.
Many suspected the answer to both questions was 'no', which only added to that growing sense of unease.
And then there were the Guard's weapons, some very long pikes. This sounded excellent and deadly, but unfortunately said pikes were both very heavy, and rather old, with blunt, dull heads. Further, no member of the guards had in fact ever practiced fighting with said pikes--on top of that, most members had little practical combat experience, the Ceremonial Guard being something of a sinecure. After all, it was widely agreed that the citizens of Talossa would never raise their hands against the Council of the Ancients.
And yet here they stood. And so the outnumbered Guard faced their potential foes with weapons they didn't know how to use, and that they rather doubted the usefulness of if they did have such knowledge. They were increasingly aware of how angry the people looked. And how cold it was. And how nice a drink would be now.
A Lamplighter stepped forward from the crowd. "We come to petition the Ancients, for we bring news of dire happenings, and demand they explain what has transpired, as is custom."
The members of the Guard shifted nervously. As uncomfortable as all this sounded, it also sounded like a way to get out of this without having one's head split open, something most of the Guard was hoping for rather eagerly. After a moment, Serjeant Alberico stepped forward, having decided he was probably the most senior member of the Guard, or close enough.
"How grave are these matters?" asked Alberico, in what he hoped was a suitably grave voice.
"Very grave," answered the Lamplighter.
Alberico considered for a moment--or appeared to--then nodded and stepped out of the way. "Very well. Petition the Ancients." The rest of the Ceremonial Guard followed his example.
So ended what would later be called the Defense of the Gate of Truth.