City Guard and Rural Watch
City GuardThe City Guard is the police force of Port Karn (any city, really). They make themselves visible, in order to deter crime. It works, to a certain extent. Mostly they are there to break up fights, stop egregious theft, and discourage murders. They are typically armed with clubs, swords, and knives, and gambeson armor. Some might have linothorax as well. The captain has a steel breastplate, which he keeps polished. It doesn’t see much action, as he is a good delegator when it comes to such things. Their orders are to try to not kill anyone, but they won’t hesitate to use force if they think it’s necessary. Three aarakocra provide overwatch, two during the day, one at night. Some have wondered why there are two during the day, when most criminal activity seems to take place in the dark of night, but they need to be seen for the people to know that the City Watch is out there, doing their jobs. It’s public relations, and a bit of security theater.
Rural WatchIn the Tondene Empire (a large polity on the continent of Endrica) they have something called the Rural Watch. The Empire, in it's expansionist period, encompassed and absorbed nations of almost every racial type: Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Hobbits (who were already well-integrated into Human societies), Orcs, Goblins, and the Aarakocra. As a mixed race society, they have learned to utilize the various racial traits to their advantage (an Orc's nocturnality and infrared vision, the Aarakocra's flight, etc.) The areas around most cities are tilled fields, extending for miles, and dotted with small farming villages that exist primarily to provide homes and services for the agricultural workers. It takes a lot of farms and farmworkers to feed a medieval city. That area needs to be protected from various threats emerging from the wilderness areas that the more civilized areas are carved out of. The Rural Watch is, in many ways, similar to the City Guard, except it’s specifically designed to protect farmers, teamsters, and farmhands from predators who might come out of the wilderness and into the fields. They are, in effect, monster hunters. The Rural Watch Ethos I am a Rural Watchman.
I serve the people of the Tondene Empire.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their shield.
For them I am always ready.
I live the Rural Watch core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.
I am a guardian.
We are the Rural Watch. There is a day shift, manned primarily by humans, hobbits, elves, and dwarves, and a night shift, manned primarily by orcs and goblins. The Rural Watch around Port Karn employs seven of the fourteen local Aarakocra, who provide overwatch, both during the day and night. (The naval base employs one as a courier/scout; the City Guard employs three as “eyes in the skies”, and the remaining three take care of the young, the eggs, and the nesting itself.) Each field has a bright red flag on a ten-foot whippy pole, and an eight foot torch. They are to be waved if a predator is near: the sharp eyes of the sky wardens (the Aarakocra term for “ranger” or patrolman) will see it (and the long arcs due to its length will differentiate it from someone just waving a torch around) and they will alert the nearest watchmen to provide aid. They will also help themselves, when they can. But their main job is to be alert and coordinate the ground units. Sometimes they can airdrop a goblin or hobbit, or carry children away from danger. The hedgerows aid in predator defense as well: not only do they block line of sight (a mixed blessing), but there is often a four foot to six foot high stacked stone wall as well. The fields seem to grow stones as much as crops. The walls, in conjunction with the hedgerows, discourage predators, and at least slow them down, allowing the Rural Watch to take care of them. Overall, the Rural Watch tends to have a better reputation than the City Guard. The Rural Watch tends to be less political, and there is less graft and bribery. After all, you can’t really bribe a sabercat. The Rural Watch typically has the watch patrollers set up in teams of two. There is just too much area to cover with too few people to have larger groups, and most of the time more isn't necessary. If a big bad is terrorizing an area, however, they may funnel more patrollers to cover the area and lend support. This short vignette gives some more details about how the Rural Watch functions (although in this case, the protagonist is acting solo, as his partner was unavailable). It is its own organization, primarily run by local governments at the Duchy level (although in practice the cities have more say in day to day activities). In Port Karn, the Port Karn Agricultural Council oversees its functions. It is not only something like a farmers' guild, but also has a mages' guild division and the Rural Watch under it's purview. It is a city-run administration. They are driven primarily by the need to protect their agricultural industries. There is a lot of wilderness out there, and sometimes critters who live there decide that the big field with all the sheep conveniently clustered together would make a nice larder. Those creatures (ranging from things like antelope who might munch on food crops, to manticores who might munch on livestock or farmers) need to be discouraged from feasting on things that the farmers, herders, orchardists, and dairy workers have spent so long cultivating. Training is usually by the military, from which many of the Rural Watch come from. Those not having previous military training are taught by trainers who are experienced in combat in Rural Watch training facilities. These areas are modeled on military training grounds, although usually much less expansive. Trainees are taught the standard weaponry of the Watch: armor (gambeson, mail, and brigandine, for the most part), halberd (helps to keep the monsters at a distance), sword and/or axe, and shield. Monster-fighting tactics are also discussed, since fighting a sabercat or stun lizard is very different from fighting an army on a battlefield. So the "coursework" includes a bit of teratology (the study of monsters) and some naturalist skills (to understand, at least a bit, of how the local ecologies work and to help figure out advantages when fighting them). Newer recruits will be partnered with more experienced patrollers, in order for them to learn on the job (and, hopefully, not get killed). They have legal enforcement powers, much like the City Guard, except over a much larger area. Since their charter is specifically to protect the farms and farmers, crimes committed in the rural areas fall under their jurisdiction. They have the ability and authority to make arrests, and to actually injure/kill perpetrators. Arrest is preferred, because justice is actually a thing, and their job is not (necessarily) to be executioners. When they kill a criminal, there is at least a cursory investigation of the event, although with access to mind magics and truthsayer potions, the facts of the matter can be discovered pretty easily. While they technically have the authority to call out ranking officials/nobility, there are political ramifications (just like the City Guard). As such, it's a case by case situation, as the wealthy have a lot of power. So, unfortunately, there are two justices: one for the rich and powerful, and one for the rest of the population. The rich and powerful often get away with all kinds of shenanigans. They have access to the best justice money can buy. The Rural Watch typically has a headquarters in the city, along with several smaller branch offices. These branch offices are usually placed towards the edge of the city limits, since the patrollers spend most of their time out in the agricultural areas outside the city proper. Trophies may be taken by those who are into that kind of thing, but it isn't a "standard practice". It's a personal choice, although some notable beasties may have their heads or whatever displayed in the headquarters. The military is not used for this because the military is busy protecting the nation as a whole, much in the same way the City Guard isn't military either. They are more of a law enforcement group, although, of course, the beasties they fight aren't really law-breakers in the criminal sense. In the city of Port Karn, for example, they are basically under control of the Port Karn Agricultural Council, which is not only something like a farmers' guild, but also has a mages' guild division and the Rural Watch under it's purview. It is a city-run administration.
Both the City Watch and the Rural Watch have the same command structure, similar to a military structure, but stripped down. Captain
The City Watch is tasked with keeping the peace. The Rural Watch is tasked with protecting the farms from predators, of all kinds.
The City Watch has a headquarters building and smaller offices/jails in each district. The Rural Watch has their main headquarters in the Sunset District, and an office in each farming community.