- Commanding Officer: Golden Stag
- Secondary Officers: Gavne Wheelwright, Mindros Yami
- Armor Color: Red; target shield bears a white mountain on a red field
- Motto: “Let none of them survive!”
- Numbers: 5,000 medium infantry functioning in 20-man platoons (250 platoons total)
- Armorment: Lamellar armor and slotted helms, half carrying great axes and half with pickaxes and target shields
Gethamane has no army, only a Guard that keeps order and defends against creatures from the underways. At 5,000 well-trained troops, the Guard is quite a formidable force for a small city but has no experience operating in groups larger than the 20-man platoons (in most of Gethamane, it just isn’t possible to gather more soldiers in one place). Guards wear red lamellar armor and carry target shields blazoned with a white mountain on a red field. They favor heavy weapons that can hack, pierce and crush eldritch horrors.
Gethamane’s lack of a standing army or the ability to fund and furnish one means that the city pursues a generally pacifist line and has no inclination to invade other city-states or take over their resources.
The Guard wants to recruit thaumaturges for the enchantments, talismans and alchemical medicines they can provide. The city has few skilled thaumaturges, though. Thaumaturgically proficient outsiders who want to join the Guard can easily wangle adoption into a family with strong traditions of Guard membership.
When riots erupt in Gethamane, half the responding Guards carry leather-padded clubs, but the Guard never operates without the threat of lethal force and big damage.
Despite the high death rate from incursions below, the organization never lacks for recruits. A career in the Guard is considered very prestigious, and a Guard gets a high ration of the Dole. Less nobly, (and the main temptation that lures children into training) Guards receive greater opportunities to meet outsiders and 'collect' small gifts from them in return for assistance 'beyond the call of duty' (such as explaning the local geography and laws). Large bribes, however, or attempts to subvert a Guard into serious breaches of the law, constitute “injury to the city” and result in the Guard’s arrest if he is caught. don’t count as bribes but are considered tokens of gratitude for assistance beyond the call of duty.
The Captain of the Guard, Golden Stag, is aware of this and takes care that his seconds, Gavne Wheelwright and Mindros Yami, rotate their soldiers between duties regularly so everyone gets a fair share. These three officers command various district and shift lieutenants, and Guard posts are spread throughout the city.
The Guard’s overall commander occupies a Guardhall in the Garden District. Here the Guard trains, gathers to organize hunts for invading monsters, and imprisons lawbreakers. A few 100 Guards bunk in the Guardhouse at all times, ready to go wherever needed.
Unlike the subdued tones of the rest of Gethamane, bright red pennants mark all entrances to the Guardhall. Doors in this complex are always high-quality iron.
Each Guard post has a large drum mounted on the wall. In any disturbance, one soldier beats a signal on the drum to alert other posts of the nature and location of the trouble, and to call for backup if this seems prudent. In the case of major disturbances such as monsters from the underways, riots or rampaging Exalts, a runner is additionally sent to the Guardhall with a report and a request for full mobilization.
In the event of serious trouble, a runner is always on duty to contact the Guardhall, and more Guards can be mobilized at a moment’s notice. The Guard tends toward firmness and severity. The constant awareness of the horrors lurking in Gethamane’s underways leaves the Guard on edge.
Guards quickly move in to capture anyone who makes a ruckus, while drumbeats signal for reinforcements and a runner races to the Guard’s headquarters.
Riots in the Guild District Edit
As the busiest district in Gethamane, riots are a somewhat common occurance in the Guild District.
There are many possible causes for riots: arguments over space, accusations of theft, claustrophobia, culture shock from the surroundings, etc. It’s very easy for a crowded group of people to become a screaming mob. When this happens, any important merchants present barricade themselves in, and the Guildmasters themselves retreat to Tribunal Cave, while sending in mercenaries to crack heads and disperse the crowd.
Gethamane don’t care if foreigners in the Guild District kill each other. There will always be more outsiders coming to trade or to explore the underways. However, locals flee the Guild District themselves if they know a riot’s starting and are (from experience) quite good at spotting the tell-tale signs of rising aggression. This generally alerts the Guard, who either moves to break things up in the early stages, or just close off the Guild District and wait for things to die down. Any surviving rioters are liable to be tried on charges of breaking all three of the Rules and are likely to be fined for everything they possess.
Incursion Procedure Edit
There is a specific Guard alarm, given by drumbeat (or thumped out on the side of the wall or on the floor) — which everyone in Gethamane knows from childhood — that signals an incursion from the underways. Any Gethamane citizens who hears the signal retires to the nearest defensible spot, taking all non-combatants with them, and arms themselves for battle. Any Guard who hears the drumbeat will immediately head for the area, forming into squads there and preparing for battle.
Guards who carry drums will repeat the drumbeat, adding the signifier, which makes it clear which underways’ entrance the alarm refers to. The Guardhall goes on full alert, the Gardens and Council are shut off, wards are raised and any outsider combatants in the vicinity who owe service to Gethamane (particularly thaumaturges or Exalted) are asked to lend their assistance.
This is never treated as a drill or taken lightly; the people of Gethamane are terrified of the things that live beneath.
Once the incursion has been dealt with, the all clear is given (again by drum signal). Monster corpses are taken to the Courthouse for investigation, dead humans are taken to the temples for immediate funeral rites to prevent them rising as undead, while wounded Guards and civilians alike are taken to the Guardhall for treatment and observation (there have been cases where citizens wounded by the underway creatures turned out to be under their mental control and tried to sabotage areas of the city, assault Guards watching the entrances, or just go on killing sprees.)
The Guard on that particular entrance is doubled for the next half-month, in case of more incursions. The procedures have been honed by practice, and both Guards and citizens alike know what they are expected to do.