Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
To police the streets, the Commissar of the city commands a force of more than eight hundred troops and City Watch guards, including a few dozen elite individuals (captains, mages, clerics, etc.). While the constables in many of the Empire’s cities are considered glorified street-sweepers with little competence or desire to actually enforce the law, this is not true of the experienced and well-equipped guards of Ptolus, particularly those known as the Commissar’s Men.
Nevertheless, this well-trained and well-paid force has its hands full maintaining order in the city. Helping to enforce the law is a special order of monks called the Sisterhood of Silence. These nonspeaking female monks patrol the streets and apprehend criminals, even though they are not— strictly speaking—sanctioned to do so officially. A male eunuch always accompanies a small unit of the Sisters of Silence to speak on their behalf.
However, neither the city guard nor the Sisterhood of Silence is willing to go down into the Dungeon and fight monsters. Nor are they likely to help against such well-known and influential noble families as House Vladaam or House Sadar, or such powerful groups as the Church of Lothian or the technophilic Shuul. Of course, those groups would never break any laws, so there’s surely nothing to worry about…
Crimes in Ptolus
While obvious things such as murder and theft are illegal in Ptolus, so are compulsion spells cast upon citizens (locals frown on charming shopkeepers to get a better price) and spells of mass destruction cast within the city proper (no fireballs or disintegrate). Any spell with the [evil] descriptor is also illegal; in particular the authorities hate animate dead and other spells that bring more undead to the city. They also prosecute people severely for doing anything that spreads disease—including casting contagion. These and other crimes can be reported at the district’s Watchhouse.
The Fire Brigade
Firehouses are located throughout the city, often near Watchhouses. Each has ladders, buckets, and other tools necessary to fight fires. (Firehouses are marked on the Ptolus poster map and with a flame icon.) In most districts, members of the Fire Brigade usually respond to an alarm within thirty minutes. They arrive with a wagon of fire fighters, buckets, ladders, water, and other tools. This is rarely fast enough to save the building on fire, but it is fast enough to prevent its spread to other buildings. In fact, “fighting fires” rarely means attempting to save the building already on fire, but rather keeping the fire from spreading. When a building has fully caught fire, the Brigade makes no attempt to save it. They allow the fire to burn itself out without spreading.
The Fire Brigade only deals with fires in the Warrens if they threaten to spread outside the slum.