The Port Guard (Petrichor 365)

24 January, 2023

Watching you?The Port Guard are the closest thing Port Imperial has to a constabulary but even they primarily serve as the enforcement arm of the Imperial Bureaucracy that oversees the actual port of Port Imperial, keeping ships safe and making sure that the proper taxes and fees are paid.

Their numbers have grown over time from an initial force of twelve to seventy-five or so now.  They are glorified civil servants, not soldiers, though the Imperial forces give they weapon training weekly at Fort Ajzure, their role is to watch and intimidate and fight only if necessary.

They are visible by their long pale grey coats, armbands with the Imperial crest, and lanterns at night.  They usually carry stout cudgels with more dangerous weapons concealed under their coats.

They are most often found in pairs but sometimes larger groups are dispatched if trouble is expected.

The Port Guard are well enough paid that bribing them is, though not difficult, it can get expensive.  They will often request minor bribes to “overlook” petty laws that they were not going to enforce in any case.  They know not to shake down the locals, who know the limits of their authority in any case but will sometime try and take advantage of new arrivals.

The bureaucrats try to keep their reined in but do not always succeed.  The threat of the military stepping in, however, does keep them in line and they are always on their best behavior when any Imperial military forces can see them.

Having contacts in the Port Guard is useful as they know all the (aboveboard) comings and going on the docks and can help expedite certain tasks.  Conversely, making enemies of them will make a character’s life uncomfortable, they are unlikely to attack the character but they will use their influence with the Imperial bureaucracy and status to pressure people and businesses not to associate with or help them, making business in Port Imperial more difficult.

Notes: Many fantasy cities have watches that act as modern police forces, none of that here.  The Port Watch is here to spot fires early and collect taxes and little ease.

Petrichor 365.  Previous: Thata Iccei, bodyguard.  Next: Commodore Pharos

Art Illustration of a watchman found on RawPixel and sourced from the New York Public Library and is in the Publuc Domain,

One comment

  1. Bribing to overlook unenforced laws!

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