The Fall of Barrowald
Darius Sherman, Captain of the Guards
In one of the largest, and by far one of the most impressive trade cities in the world, Barrowald has a very strong undercurrent of illegal activity that lurks and schemes in it’s deep underbelly. This is only exacerbated by the constant, and often frivolous, mandates made by the Council of Twelve, whose favorite past time is banning common trade goods, consumables, and even races from entering the city. In all of this chaos, one might wonder how the city-upon-city still stands. It is almost entirely because of the city guard and specifically one dwarf.
Darius Sherman himself holds the title “King-Under-The-City”, a mark of nobility amongst dwarves of the Brunken Isles, but his title in Barrowald proper is “Captain of the Guards.” Not a young dwarf, he is turning 154 this year, and has served 90+ of those years as the Captain for Barrowald. In those years he has turned himself from a person into an almost supernatural force.
Sherman has turned the High Guards, Low Guards, Guards on the Wall, and Guards of the Guilds into a tightly regimented and extremely efficient regulatory machine. Though a creature with a particularly meticulous nature, and extremely powerful personality, under his rein the rate of crime has not decreased and organized crime has actually raised significantly. Though one should not confuse this with a failing of the part of the Guards, as Sherman is often quoted with saying that he’d “rather have three well documented Peklish rings running than some mad-man with a knife running around.” This can be best seen in the illegal trade of cabbage that is organized under the notorious Goodfellows branch of the Bakers of Barrowald. Cabbage, which has been ruled illegal under the Vegetable Containment Act as written by the Council of Twelve fifteen years ago, is an extremely profitable and affordable trade item despite its recent black market nature. It’s price has been properly adjusted, quality monitored, and several batches infected with Noxious Rhinewurm eggs were stopped from entering the city, all without help from the city guard.
These sorts of common failings have allowed the people of Barrowald to live in a relative peace despite the tyrannical rulings inflicted by the Council. Their strict laws regarding particular races entering and leaving the city have all been circumvented by the fifty pages of paperwork mandated by Sherman for reporting each forbidden individual and the three different reviews that must be done before a person can be marked for removal. All of this is done by the Guards on the Wall, while finding said individual then is the duty of the Low Guards, which have much more pressing matters than finding a few Obitu or Half-Orcs that have entered into the city.
That being said, there are many laws that are draconianly enforced. There are several traders that would rather cut off their own hand than deal in necromantic texts, and the list of truly banned substances is known by heart by every dealer. Sherman himself is known to tolerate talks with the Mayor himself, as well as other representatives of the Gambatic League.