he Marn City Guard, unlike the untrained thugs who laughably pass for guards in many settings, are tough, skilled, trained, and can call in all sorts of weaponry, magical, and clerical assistance. The harsh reality of living in a secluded little piece of hell has hardened these men into formidable opponents and killed all the weaklings who couldn't watch their backs. Indeed, the guard can function like a small military if the need arises.
f Marn's 15,000 inhabitants approximately 500 are guardsmen. This is 1 in every 30 people, and does not include the civilian helpers (such as healers) who are called upon when needed, nor does it include the Battlemages. Nearly all the guardsmen are human or half-elven males. They are held in high esteem by many of the citizens, and showing disrespect to the Marn City Guard is punishable by a severe beating and/or imprisonment, and is generally considered a greater offense than any other petty crime.
The guard are headed by High Constable Thomnas Oslun; a large, overbearing man in his late 50's who has been serving with the guard his whole life. In times of need he serves as a sort of general, coordinating large actions. Most other management duties are performed by the Captain of the guard, Camulous Smithson, who deals with the men more directly than Oslun. Camulous is a surprisingly adept fighter for a human, toughened by training with other humans and elves and used to dealing with the worst of the worst.
Although magic is illegal and the Marn City Guard have no mages in their ranks, the need for battlefield magical support and healing led to the creation of the mysterious Battlemages. These mages are few in number and serve the judges directly, bypassing Camulous and Oslun's authority. They wear similar armor, but can be distinguished from the regular guard by their red leather gloves and lack of helmets.
Armor & Equipment
ll guardsmen wear a mixture of treated leather and plate armor manufactured specifically for them in Marn using techniques perfected over the years by the collaborative efforts of the best gnomish, elven and human smiths. The armor is a simple and efficient affair, unadorned with decorative frills. Plates of metal are strapped over a black leather bodysuit which is treated using a secret technique which gives it the protective value of fireproof kevlar. The metal is able to offer impressive stopping power while remaining light enough to allow its wearers full mobility. Guardsman can run around, dive and roll without much trouble. The treated leather under-suit provides excellent protection against slashing and piercing attacks between the plates. The suit is topped off with a sallet-style helmet. These helmets are elegantly curved and can be worn with a neck guard (known as a bevor) and a raisable visor, or without either.
Many of the guardsmen who patrol the inner parts of the city are issued maces because they can be used effectively in both lethal and non-lethal manners. The maces are made of metal and have heavy, blunted, 5 star flanged heads. They are quite effective at breaking limbs, even on large opponents. When not issued maces for peaceful patrols the guard prefer to carry well crafted arming swords which have blades of just over two feet long, however the men are allowed to carry their own swords and may bring their personal preferences to the field. A small shield or buckler to accompany the sword is optional, and while unnecessary with the armor can be effective for parrying and delivering blows.
When swords and arrows are not enough, the guard also have an assortment of gnomish and human weapons to draw upon. These include cannons, mortars, and strange, often complicated artillery pieces. Pistols and rifles are also available but are rare and almost always crafted by gnomes, which means that they are prone to strange quirks and misfires.
Jurisdiction & Limitations
lthough the guardsmen usually operate within the restrictions of the laws laid down by the First Settlers, they take many liberties when dealing with criminals and do not answer to any other supervisory body. Whether or not the guard should be accountable to the Judges of Religious, Cultural and Ethical Enforcement is an issue of much debate, and most guardsmen would say that they do not. The Judges, of course, would love to have this authority but the citizenry favor the guard over the Battlemages.
The purview of the city guard encompasses all non-magical offenses like murder, theft, and disorderly conduct. They can beat, arrest, and kill people as long as they can provide a reasonable amount of proof that it was necessary. Camulous and Oslun have the authority to serve as magistrates in civil disputes when necessary, and there are also citizen magistrates appointed by the people who deal with petty disputes. Guardsmen have the authority to arrest or kill people who use magic in the city, but often call on the Battlemages for help in these cases. It is difficult for a guardsman to prove that someone has used magic, while a Battlemage does not need proof.