William Redcliffe and the Neighborhood Watch
Sapphira is generally full of crime. The Lords of Mechanika aren’t particularly effective keepers of law and order at times, so generally citizens are left to fend for themselves. Outside of the Arcologe, muggings, stabbings, and kidnappings are fairly common, since guards don’t particularly like to go into the lower mechanical areas or the areas deep within the Steamworks. Since the Lords of Mechanika don’t get directly involved in much of the day-to-day life of the average citizen, they don’t end up doing much to prevent crime. One day, a rookie guard named William Redcliffe witnessed a bandit kidnapping a small child in broad daylight in the Market. He chased after the bandit, leaving his post guarding a nobleman’s warehouse, and followed the bandit through a series of tunnels under the city and into a secret hideout, where he killed the entire bandit gang and recovered the child, taking a blast of shrapnel in one of his eyes in the process. He managed to get back up to the Market and returned the child to its mother, but the warehouse he was supposed to be guarding got robbed in the process, and the rest of the guards on duty were horrifically mangled. William was fired from the guards immediately after his wounds were treated, since he’d abandoned his post. His sight recovered almost entirely, so he got a new job as a machine technician and started the Neighborhood Watch, a community organization dedicated to preventing crime in the poorer areas of the city. While the organization initially only contained a few members and watched over one neighborhood, the protection that the Watch provided became much more well-known and respected amongst the general population, and the organization grew in popularity. Areas under the Watch’s protection see a marked decrease in crime, but, outside of the organization, nobody seems to know why, since nobody actually sees them fighting crime. Adventurers do know that they pay very well on their jobs, and those who have dealt directly with them have found the Watch to be remarkably well-armed. In Neighborhood Watch territory, any lone adventurer who sits down at a corner table at a pub and orders two mugs of ale, saying that they’re waiting for a friend, will soon find themselves visited by a member of the Watch, who will gladly give information about gangs in the general area if asked, and can relay messages to and from Watch headquarters… wherever it is.