The Watchmen


From Shishinza’s Dossier

The Watchmen is the organization which has the duty of policing the city and keeping public order. They are also the personal army of the Governor of Broken Wave City. The number of Watchmen is always in flux, due to that as many as half at any given time are actually Third Storm bushi temporarily assigned to the unit in order to bolster its numbers while their ships are in port. The true Watchmen recruits are a considerably different breed to the Third Storm conscripts. There are about two hundred and twenty keisatsukan, the lowest rank and file of the unit. These rank and file Watchmen wear light armor and are generally armed with naginata. Their armor is very distinctive, being a bright and untarnished green, with a dull yellow kabuto and snake-like mempo. The armor has given rise to the nickname “copperhead,” which is often used to describe the keisatsukan foot warriors. As well as their weapons training, the copperheads are competent sailors, and have three kobune which they utilize to patrol the port, and to board suspect ships while entering or leaving the Bay of Thunder. Mantis and Phoenix ji-samurai make up the bulk of the foot warriors, though Crane, Crab, and minor clansmen are not unheard of. There are another sixty who are Umi-tora, Sea Tigers; the fast response and naval interdiction unit of the Watch. Generally armed with light armor, tinted orange and black, and wielding kami or yumi, these bushi are effective at any range, whether boarding a hostile vessel, or engaging in ship-to-ship combat. The Sea Tigers utilize and maintain three fairly large and very fast kobune for their exclusive use and can easily mobilize to anywhere on or near the coast within a half hour. Most of this unit are uniformly Yoritomo or Tsuruchi bushi who are experienced with maritime operations. The final twenty which make up the true Watchmen belong to the Rakuraiban, the Lightning’s Strike Squad. This is the elite squadron of the Watch, and the only criteria for entry is merit. No single combat style, school, or family dominates the unit, though all are proficient with the kusari-gama, so that non-lethal force can be applied when called for. The Lightning’s Strike Squad all wear uniform white mempo fashioned after an orochi, and a distinctive white badge emblazoned with a blood red lightning bolt. Yoritomo Jerako, the commander of the Watchmen, trains and drills them constantly, and they are always maintained in a state of readiness. Ultimately all Watchmen take their orders and assignments from Jerako except for the two to three hundred Third Storm samurai, who still take orders from within the naval hierarchy, but get their assignments from the Watch. This often confusing overlap of authority can cause frustrations, so usually the entire contingency of Third Storm Watchmen are assigned to the urban defensive works, or in and around the Third Storm Haven. The contingent of Third Storm tend to utilize whatever their standard equipment is while on duty within the fleet, and wear a special badge to signify that they are acting as Watchmen.

From Ryurai’s Writings

Normally the office known as the Watchmen are under the control of the Governor of the island, but in the current climate the distinction is cloudy at best. At the time that I am writing this the current head of the Watch Is Yoritomo Jerako. With the political climate being what it is this may come to change.

The watch Is comprised of three parts. The first is the head of the watch, this person oversees all things that the watch does deciding how best utilize the resources that the organization has on hand. Next Is the Raikuraiban or the Lightning’s Strike Squad, this is a unit of elite members of the watch handpicked by the head of the watch to be a first response unit in times of crisis or the spear point to be driven into the heart of those that would seek to do the city harm. The next group of the watch, the Keisatsukan, is the largest as it consists of the rest of the members of the City Watch, traditionally these members have volunteered themselves for this service and so all are welcome to join if they so feel the desire. I believe there is room to improve upon the way that this is done, and I also believe that this process can be made more inclusive.

But more on that later.

The Watchmen

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