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District Militia and Night Watch

by Giampaolo Agosta

Every district in Specularum traditionally handles the night watch on its own. It is an essential service, since accidental or criminal fires would easily get out of hand if there was no vigilance.
In the old times, the night watch was merely an extension of the Marilenev army. After the Thyatian conquest, the army was dissolved, but the night watch was maintained. Actually, some superior Thyatian technology was introduced to help the fire-fighters, especially fire-dampening chemicals.
With the creation of the Grand Duchy, Duke Stefan re-established a national army, with the 6th and 7th divisions being the heirs of the old Marilenev army.
In wartime, each of the eight districts (Hill, Stronghold, Bricktop, Church, Merchant, North End, South End and Old Quarter) provides a single regiment, headed by a Captain and eight Lieutenants.

In peacetime, the same regiment functions as the night watch. Only a single squadron per regiment is active each night, so that each squadron is active only three weeks per year (these people have their own job to mind, after all). Members of the active squadron are divided in two shifts, so that at any time there are eight watchmen on duty in every district, divided in four patrols.
Each night watch regiment maintains a single barrack with enough room for eight off-duty watchmen, plus the tools of the trade -- hooks and poles to tear down wooden buildings, ladders, horns and bells, ropes, buckets, and barrels of vinegar-based chemicals provided by the Apothecaries' Guild.

The officers of the night watch are elected by the district residents, in a bi-yearly election. These positions are usually assigned to young members of noble or affluent families, since they are expected to use personal funds to improve or replace the watch's equipment, as well as to organise the participation of the district to the various festivals and traditional religious ceremonies. For example, the watchmen of the North End are usually in charge of carrying the statue of Lucor, and the Captain and Lieutenants of the North End collect (generally from their own pockets) the funds to finance the Festival of Lucor.

The non-commissioned officers, on the other hand, are selected by the Lieutenants on the base of military experience -- they are often veterans from the other divisions of the army.