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"To Protect and Serve" the Specularum City Guard, Night Watch and District Constabulary

by AllanP incorporating material by Damon Brown and Giampaolo Agosta from Threshold Magazine issue 21

There are three organizations that deal with the safety of Specularum: the City Guard, the Night Watch and the District Constabulary.


The military group, traditionally known as the Guard Phorsis1, was declared as the 1st Division of the Karameikan Armed Forces by Duke Stefan after they defended him from the Marilenev Uprising soon after his acquisition of the former Thyatian protectorate. The history of the force goes back many years to the early days of the Free City of Marilenev.

The General in command of the Division is currently Duke Stefan himself, although most of the command duties are left to the senior Captain of the Division, Mikel Pyotrev. The City Guard is primarily responsible for the defensive positions outside of the Duke’s Stronghold (which is protected by the Elvenguard and Duke’s Guard of the 2nd Division KAF). The 1st Division guards the city gates - checking on travellers and cargo goods, supporting the tax collectors and other gate officials, and for patrolling the battlements on the lookout for potential threats.

The structure and deployment of the City Guard is shown on the accompanying chart. Unlike most of the other Divisions of the Karameikan Armed Forces which comprise between 2 and 4 Battalions, the 1st Division is only equivalent in size to a single Battalion. The ranking captain and his 3 administrative lieutenants command 244 troops (4 Lieutenants, 16 Sergeants and 224 Soldiers). These troops are formed into 16 Squadrons (14 soldiers with 1 Sergeant in commend). The Division is split into 4 Companies, each comprising 4 of the Squadrons; each Company is commanded by a Lieutenant. The Squads are deployed at the 12 gatehouses around the city as shown on the chart.

Various signalling systems are in place to allow communication between the towers. Beacons may be lit on top of the towers if circumstances arise. The Hightower provides a night time illumination for the harbour from its specially constructed beacon.


For many centuries, each of the city districts has traditionally handled its own Night Watch. It was an extension of the Marilenev army. The Watch provided an essential service, looking out for and fighting fires (accidental or criminal) and similar threats that might easily get out of hand if there was no vigilance. As time went on, the Watch took on other responsibilities in the maintenance of law and order in the city streets.

After the Thyatian conquest, the Marilenev army was dissolved, and with it the Night Watch. However, after a number of incidents, the then Town Council petitioned the Thyatian Governor to allow the reinstatement of a non-military street watch operation. This led to the instigation of a Night Watch Brigade in each city district that benefited from superior Thyatian technology (such as fire-dampening chemicals) to help the firefighters.

Each Night Watch brigade maintains a single station 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 North End Brigade is associated with the Festival of Lucor and Watchmen of that brigade are usually in charge of carrying the saint’s statue in the festival procession. 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 divisions of the army. The District Brigades do not operate a patrol system. They may be alerted to fire incidents and the like by the local population in the areas they are responsible for. They may also be alerted by members of the City Guard, particularly those stationed on the towers of the inner gates, or on the High Tower, to such incidents that may be spotted by guard patrols.


While the 1st Division/City Guard provides defence and security for Specularum’s perimeter, safety in the streets is provided by the District Constabulary force. Each city district operates its own force of Constables, organised into patrolling groups. Each group, or Beat, is led by a Beatmaster who reports to the district’s Superintendent, who in turn reports to the District Prior on the Town Council.

The Constabularies grew out of what was once the Marilenev Night Watch that had existed prior to the Thyatian occupation. With the dissolution of the former Marilenev army, maintenance of law and order in the streets fell into disarray. Succeeding Governor- Generals were loath to utilise their armies to deal with crime, and they welcomed a proposal from the Town Council that in similar fashion to the Night Watch, each city districts should be responsible for its own street patrols, both day and night.

Each Constabulary Superintendent operates from the District Administration Office which includes small holding cells for any prisoner before they are transferred to the District Courthouse for trial.

Not all parts of the city have an active Constabulary. As might be expected, The Nest can be a law unto itself, and mere lip service is paid to the concept of a Constabulary, which in the past as been seen merely as an extension of some of the criminal organisations in the area. Similarly, the Foreign Quarter and Trader’s Corridor pay lip service to the Constabulary based in the Quarter’s Administration Office, due to the sometimes volatile mix of nationalities that encounter one another in the area. However, the various merchants and traders of the outer area have become somewhat more agreeable to the assistance provided by the Constables in the maintenance of a relatively stable environment.

Like the Night Watch, a proportion of the Constabularies have had experience in the military and have taken up their role after completing their service in the armed forces. A recent initiative has seen some veterans from the Karameikan Navy operating as a patrol on the waters of Mirror Bay. Superintendents are appointed by the Town Council Priors.

The Constabularies are becoming more involved in the tracking down of perpetrators of crime, investigating robberies and assaults. Should Player Characters become engaged in criminal activities, they may find themselves being trailed by Constables.


"Specularum City Guard" by Damon Brown

"District Militia and Night Watch" by Giampaolo Agosta

"The Specularum City Guard" by Allan Palmer

The Duke’s Law from “The Grand Duchy of Karameikos” (GAZ1)

1 The City Guard is introduced in GAZ1: "The Grand Duchy of Karameikos" 244 troops (4, page 25)