The City Watch of Sharn (informally, the City Watch or simply Watch) is sworn to protect the city's citizens and enforce the laws of its government. The Watch has almost 400 employees, including clerical staff, and is unevenly distributed throughout Upper, Middle, and Lower Sharn in several towers.
Nowhere does money talk louder than it does in Sharn, and nothing reflects this better than the Watch, which is reputed to be massively corrupt from top to bottom.
The personnel of the Watch are collectively referred to as Watchmen (or "cops", due to their copper badges). Almost exclusively veterans of the Last War, most watchmen were former army footsoldiers, not officers. Because the veteran market is so oversaturated and the Watch is a relatively steady and respectable position, watchmen tend to be well-trained and comfortable with long hours and pitched combat. Many have decorated military records.
Watchmen tend to be disproportionately human. Nonhumans are usually drawn from "civilized races" such as elves or dwarves; halflings and gnomes tend to be rare as they lack the physically imposing stature required of a beat cop. Warforged and (half-)orcs watchmen exist but are rare, and usually reserved for busts or deliberate displays of power. "Monstrous races" such as shifters, changelings or goblinoids are almost unknown. These demographics are most true at the higher levels of Sharn; jurisdictions in Lower Sharn tend to be more eclectic.
There are no official requirements for members of the Watch, nor any mandatory training programs; Tower Captains are trusted to judge their employees appropriately. In practice, however, proficiency with close combat and high levels of physical fitness are almost omnipresent. Most watchmen are war veterans, and drawn from the top drawer of an oversaturated market. Watchmen should also be physically above average for their age and race, not only to hold their own in a fight, but also to walk long patrols or intimidate suspects into co-operation. Some critics have complained that the Watch has come to resemble a paramilitary organization more than a police force.
In contrast, other "police" skills such as diplomacy, investigation and even community awareness have fallen behind since Desjardins took command of the Watch. Although there is a growing shift in hiring practices to take on recruits with more varied skills, the Watch continues to rely heavily on civilian contractors when specialized skills are needed.
Again, each watchman's individual kit is left up to the discretion of their Watch Captain. However, most rank-and-file watchmen can be expected to carry the following:
- Sharn City Watch uniform, consisting of a red jacket, red breeches, sturdy leather belt and leather boots
- Watch badge
- Light armour (usually, but not always, studded leather)
- Two sets of manacles, each equipped with a simple lock
- Manacle key, interchangable with all manacle locks used by the Watch
- Signal whistle
Because much of this equipment is bought from military surplus, there may be variances between the specifics of a watchman's kit. Watchmen patrolling Upper and Middle Sharn tend to be as strictly uniform as possible, but those working in Lower Sharn may deviate significantly, even within the same jurisdiction.
The Watch Badge displays the emblem of the Sharn City Watch, molded in copper and set in a leather wallet. Opposite the emblem is a personalized card recording the watchman's name, rank, tower and identification number. Although the craftsmanship is strictly pedestrian, it remains the most essential of a watchman's equipment and the primary symbol of their authority.
The Watch operates out of several towers in Sharn, referred to as Watchtowers. Each is a squat, utilitarian building of Goblinoid construction, hundreds of years old and built for military purposes. Although the exact details of their size and dimensions vary, each is equipped with facilities for storage, recordkeeping, short-term imprisonment and medical support, and kept running around the clock with 24-hour magical lighting.
The staff of each tower is referred to as a "Division" corresponding to the tower's designation (for example, the Central Division, the First Division, etc.).
Base-to-tip the tallest tower in Sharn, the central Watchtower is a broad, imposing tower whose foundations stretch down into Middle Sharn and is the only remnant Goblinoid architecture in Upper Sharn. Although many in Upper Sharn decry it as an eyesore that should be replaced, the Central Watchtower is an extremely practical facility and the spine of the Watch's nervous system. Most of the Watch's paperwork, except for day-to-day reports, goes through here at some point or another, and the Head Captain has his office here.
This tower is staffed by significantly more personnel than all others, including the hand-picked Watch Elite. It is also notable for its intermediate-length imprisonment facilities, as a little over a hundred cells make up its deep basements.
- Notable Central Division Personnel:
- Zelus Desjardins - Head Captain
Tower 01 is located in Middle Sharn.
Tower 02 is located in Middle Sharn.
Tower 03 is located in Middle Sharn.
Tower 04 is located in Middle Sharn.
Tower 06 is located in Middle Sharn. Ilyesa Vanellar works here.
Tower 07 is located in Middle Sharn. Tower 07 takes a keen interest in protecting the Sharn Lightning Rail Station, which is within its jurisdiction, and has at least two watchmen on location around the clock. The Seventh Division has been so proficient at patrolling the station that they've earned the nickname of "Border Guards" by many travellers.
Tower 08 is located in Middle Sharn.
Tower 09 oversees Sharn's docks and shipyards from a position jutting out of the cliff's face above the water. Although technically they have full legal jurisdiction over the area and even command a couple of small ships, in practice they deal with petty crime on the land and let the nearby navy base handle problems on the water.
Tower 10 is located in Lower Sharn. Because there are few towers in Lower Sharn, its jurisdiction is larger than of that of most towers.
Tower 11 is located in Lower Sharn. Because there are few towers in Lower Sharn, its jurisdiction is larger than of that of most towers.
Tower 12 is located in Lower Sharn; in fact, it is the lowest watchtower in the city. Because there are few towers in Lower Sharn, its jurisdiction is larger than of that of most towers, and includes the homes of all current player characters.
- Notable Twelfth Division Personnel: