DM Sinvel's Tales of the Night Watchmen

Game Master Sinvel Menter

Follows the journey of four new members of the Night Watchmen in the Great City of Azir.

Once part of ancient Osirion, the region known today as Rahadoum fell under the control of numerous isolated city-states after Osirion’s fall. When the faithful of Sarenrae came upon this region, they met sudden resistance from these independent city-states, who favored Nethys and Norgorber. The Oath Wars—more than 6 ruinous decades of religious war between rival followers of the three gods—followed, devastating the region.

In 2555 ar, the weary militia of Azir put all of the great city’s temples to the torch and exiled members of their clergies. Led by the philosopher Kalim Onaku, the militia stabilized the warring city and set down a list of new laws, the first of which was, “Let no man be beholden to a god.” Over the next 5 years, the laws of Azir spread across the region, ending the Oath Wars and expelling all forms of religion from the land and establishing The Kingdom of Man. No one in Rahadoum denies the existence or power of the gods, but the lack of religion has indeed brought the region the peace it so desperately desired.

Plague has ravaged the cities of Azir and Botosani three times in the past 500 years, and the prospect of famine hovers over the fragile land like a shroud. A century ago, Manaket was among the lushest ports of the Inner Sea. Today, it is choked by encroaching desert sands, and nervous whispers abound that the gods have finally decided to punish the people of Rahadoum for their insolence.

Azir, The Great City, is the capitol of Rahadoum and also its largest city. Located at the mouth of the Jodin River and the Port of Nuat, Azir is a free port which draws an enormous amount of merchants to the region. Many of whom prefer to drop off their shipments here instead of sailing further south and risk the dangers of the Eye of Abendego and the murderous pirates from the Shackles. Still, some superstitious sailors refuse to set foot on the land, calling The Great City “Port Godless”.

Today most Rahadoumi are a mixture of the various races whose ancestors flocked to Rahadoum during the Oath Wars. The original inhabitants and second most prevalent group of people, the Azirians, call these “newcomers” to their land the Kortesians. Most of the Azirians left now settle in Azir where they make up close to half of the population. The Azirians are more prone to hold on to the relegious idols of their ancestors, but the vast majority of both Azirians and Kortestians do not practice religion, even in private. The rest of the population is a mixture of all of the surrounding areas, from rich merchants and nobles to criminals seeking refuge to ex-pirates turned “legitimate”.

The Pure Legion is the national law enforcement agency of Rahadoum and follow the orders of the mayor of Azir known as The Keeper of the First Law. Their primary mission is to keep the Kingdom of Man free from religion in any form, from spoken and printed scriptures and sermons to holy symbols and other paraphernalia. Despite their existence, there are rumors of clerics living throughout the city who follow all sort of deities. The fact that some clerics and priests have even gotten comfortable, often operating without much fear of reprisal, is an open secret. Citizens caught carrying an idol or holy symbol by the Pure Legio will usually get harassed, the severity of which depending on the personal views of the militia men. Visitors to Rahadoum are left alone, however, as threatening those who are the main source of commerce in the nation is frowned upon without better cause.

The Night Watchmen is the Great City’s quasi-vigilante neighborhood protectorates. Instead of concerning themselves with political interests of The Keeper of the First Law’s rule, the Watchmen deal with the day to day crimes that happen in the streets of Azir. Mainly for dealing with the petty crimes that occur, they have been known to bring large conspiracies and organized crime to justice, sometimes receiving help from The Pure Legion but most of the time not.

Azir is a somber city in many respects, but recently, art and architecture have exploded with creativity. New buildings sport improbable angles, as builders strive to “break geometry,” while older buildings receive colorful new facades and unexpected gargoyles peering down from their eaves. Rahadoumi visiting Azir from the deserts in the west can be spotted wearing their thobes and egals, and sailors in port can be seen in their wide hats, shirtless with tattoos, but those who make The Great City of Azir their home wear modern fashions typical of the regions to the north. Currently, bright colors rule the streets, perhaps to cover their lack of religious accoutrements.

The Great City of Azir, The Kingdom of Man
Over the centuries, the city of Azir has come to be divided into six distinct sections, are Wards: The Port, the Army Ward, the Trades Ward, the Castle Ward, and the Residential Ward, itself being divided into two parts.

The Port is where the Jodin River meets the Port of Nuat and, of course, the main reason why Azir is the city it is today.

The Army Ward is home to both the army, navy and The Pure Legion. It us located close to the docks to support Azir's formidable pirate-fighting navy. It also houses the city's prison as well as a large arena for entertainment. The small headquarters of the Night Watchmen are also located in this Ward.

The Trades Ward is where the city's merchants take care of their business. It is where the Merchant's Council is located as well as shops and warehouses of all of manner.

The Castle Ward was to hold the leader of Azir, but was never occupied. Built during the Oath Wars, the castle was not completed until after the wars were over and the Kingdom of Man took rule. Today it is the central location of the nation's government and home to Council of Elders and their elected leader The Keeper of the First Law.

The southern part of the Residential Ward is where the richer residents live, with many large and/or gaudy structures. The majority of residents there are Kortestians. Almost all of the Azirians live in the northern half of the Residential Ward which at one time was the Temple Ward. The homes here are older and in more disrepair, although there are a few noble houses that lay within.

The Night Watchmen
Although the Night Watchmen's headquarters are in the Army Ward, it is not much more than a few offices located on the side of Rahadoum's prison facility. The Night Watchmen themselves are all assigned to various stations at various locations inside the Wards. Most Wards have one, but the Trades Ward has two. The Council of Elders ensuring that merchants and commerce are protected above all else.

The stations or often times former or current inns. The Watchmen assigned to that location live and work out of those buildings. On top of their weekly pay, they have free room and board, but food and drinks are not included.

The Watchmen must do their share of patrolling but other than that they are given free reign to keep the peace and prosecute criminals. Some merchants or citizens may give the Watchmen monetary compensation to reward a resolution to crimes although the "generals" of the Watchmen are quick to punish corrupt watchmen severely for extortion.

Healing Surges
In order to keep the game from turning into one big hunt for healing, I am allowing healing surges. Once a day a player can use his stored reserves to heal himself. You may rest for 10 minutes and regain half of your total hit points (rounded up). Or, if time is important, you may do a "quick surge" and use a full round to regain a quarter of your total hit points (rounded up). For example, a player with 15 hit points can take a 10 minute rest and regain 8 points, or a full round and regain 4 points. This can be done only once a day, regardless of which type is used.

Map of Rahadoum

Map of Azir

Map of the Trades Ward