Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
The Watch are, for most people in Rithaign, the most commonly seen symbol of the King’s authority. They mostly recruit from local commoners, which gives them the unparalleled advantage of local knowledge, but also saddles them with the baggage of being susceptible to corruption and favouritism, as well as the ineffectiveness and lack of imagination that comes with being an emotionally-crippled commoner.
The Watch mostly pursue those who have broken the King’s laws, leaving actual insurrectionists and people who commit crimes of passion to the Kingsmen and the Dryght, and those who offend the Duke to the Militia. They arrest pickpockets, shut down illegal smuggling operations, sink unauthorised ships in the harbour, seize contraband, beat people who hassle the nobility, guard the city walls and gates and mostly try to keep the peace. They are woefully unqualified to perform actual police investigation and leave the work of tracking down hard to find criminals to professional thief takers.
The common people have an uneasy relationship with the Watch. On the one hand, they are the front line of the King’s oppression and the people most likely to throw you in the stocks or beat you for crimes real or imagined. On the other hand, they are staffed with people you once knew from your childhood, or who are the children of your neighbour – and no matter how bad they are, the Dryght and the Militia are definitely worse. Most commoners spit on the ground when the Watch pass one day and offer a mug of warm ale to their old friend Bob the Watchman on a cold evening the next, depending on their mood. Unlike the masked Dryght, it is difficult to forget that the Watch are human, just like you.