The main police force of the city is the Watch of Dyvers, about three hundred fifty in number and known for the large, flashy coat of arms they wear on their surcoats. The watch is strongly backed by the church of St. Cuthbert and handles such duties as patrolling the streets, managing prisoners, and running “nuisance courts” for minor complaints and fines. Justice here is less strict than in Greyhawk, with most punishments involving forced labor (street cleaning, waste removal, and so on) or fines. When conflicts between the Watch and the Alliance threaten to become too dangerous, high-ranking members of both groups have an informal meeting to resolve the problem.”Slavers, pg 9
This passage from Slavers always makes me think of the Watch as though they were a bunch of cowardly, dandies trying their best to keep order but never actually doing anything of any real substance. Especially since the Alliance, the largest gang in Dyvers, can so easily keep them in check.
Here’s the thing, though, the Watch isn’t exactly being paid to be the most diligent and direct force on the continent. They’re there to keep things from getting too unruly, and as a result of their lax standards Dyvers is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to live. The broken forces of Elemental Evil have made their way into Dyvers and while the Watch is fully capable of dealing with a bunch of drunks and low-rent thugs, they’re not ready for the level of evil that has come into the city.
How they deal with that rising tide is an interesting question and one that I find myself thinking a lot about recently. There aren’t a lot of good answers at this point though.