Sundown Law Enforcement
by T.A. Saunders ©2009 v1.0
The Shadow Hunters: A Purpose Reborn
One of the first acts by Lord Kithanis uth Braegon at the close of the Sundown Civil war was to establish some sort of law enforcement for the city; keepers of the peace that would work for the people’s best interest and for the common good. With so much corruption in the previous militia and the various peace keeping forces from other nations preparing to disembark, Kithanis had to come up with a viable solution quickly. In this matter, he called upon Samuel Brookholte and his Shadow Hunters to take up the reigns of this responsibility. At first, Sam was unwilling to commit the Shadow Hunters to such a task, having thought to perhaps disband them, since their purpose was the removal of Ko and the vampire regime that controlled Sundown for so long.
A long conversation and council sought by the Order of the Flamebringer, Samuel decided that he would indeed commit the Shadow Hunters to this task. There were still vampires in Sundown to deal with that were hiding in the Old City and running their roots deep to evade detection and with a host of other problems emerging after the war, it seemed to him that there was still work to do be done and that placing the Shadow Hunters in charge of peace keeping would be the way to go.
Since the day Lord uth Braegon signed the law that made the Shadow Hunters an official government body of law enforcement, crime and corruption have been down all over the city, however that is not to say it has disappeared entirely. A great deal of crime still exists and the corruption that Sundown suffers in its government offices at the lower levels is still prevalent. There is indeed much work for this new arm of the law to do.
Going from Rebels to Lawmen
Initially, the Shadow Hunters did not have ranks and did not even meet in large numbers most of the time, to avoid detection from the very vigilant vampires. There was a time that the title Shadow Hunter meant you could be slain in the street and nobody would bat a lash at the action. While Kithanis uth Braegon and his cadre of heroes did a great deal to bring down Ko and her regime, it was the Shadow Hunters that worked behind the scenes, worked with the people of Sundown and spread the word through the Temple of Kaal and through other various underground channels that there was a better way, a better way of life for the people of Sundown. They were also responsible for innumerable hit-and-run strikes throughout Sundown at various vampire interests, disrupting Ko’s activities wherever they could, in hopes that doing so would cause her or her coven to expose themselves in a way that the people of Sundown would begin to wake up to the true evil of their city.
Since the civil war, the Shadow Hunters have been forced to become more organized and more efficient in becoming the hand of Sundown’s Law. While many of them have a great deal of military experience, the Shadow Hunters are not soldiers or military. They are keepers of the peace and handle internal city issues only. While not a true military organization, they do have basic ranks and divisions that they maintain to better address the city’s needs (see below).
Leadership (gold badge)
Grand Marshall (Administration)
Marshall (Investigation and Internal Affairs)
Divisions (silver badge)
Reaper Company (Special Operations)
Wraith Company (Undercover Operations)
Phoenix Company (Civil Operations)
Recruits (bronze badge)
Deputies (Civil Assistance Duties)
All Shadow Hunters are given formal training on tactics and situation handling techniques as deputies, then upon proving their proficiency with various weapons, unarmed fighting and tested in various civil disputes that may or may not require physical force, the deputies earn their Heavy Witchfire Crossbow and their silver badge. Deputies until that time are not assigned a weapon and are expected to get help before addressing a possible physical confrontation.
Enforcing the Law
Sundown has never been, nor ever will be a city for the faint of heart or those who have issues accepting culpability for their actions. Because there is still so much crime that the Shadow Hunters have to reign in, it is legal for citizens to carry weapons and defend themselves with lethal force if need be. It is also legal for a person to kill another person in a fair fight or in a called duel. This empowerment of the citizenry does a great deal to prevent people from attempting to use the city’s law enforcement to their advantage, or to blackmail other people.
Conversely, people are also expected to at least attempt to solve their disputes civilly and most people do indeed prefer solving their problems with a discussion, rather than getting shot in the face with a flintlock. In this regard, Shadow Hunters are expected when enforcing the law to take prisoners whenever possible, save on issues where Kill on Sight bounties are in effect. Any vampire found in Sundown for example, that’s doing anything other than sipping animal blood or blood from a willing blood doll is going to find themselves the target of law enforcement (and bounty hunters) rather quickly. Such bounties are collected at Sundown’s Guard House. Presently Sundown’s Kill on Sight bounties are as follows:
Rogue Vampires: 70 gold Keshra
Brigands and Highwaymen: 50 gold Keshra
Pirates and Raiders: 50 gold Keshra
Cultists of Khavos: 70 gold Keshra
Zombies: 30 gold Keshra
Sundown is also cracking down on the city’s tremendous drug trafficking problem and its illegal slavery problem. As far as drugs go, opium, thistleweed and jukurai (or simply juka) are the most commonly found, but there are others. Illegal slavery is defined as any slave that is under eighteen years of age, or any slave that has been forcibly taken into slavery, rather than by choice or by indenture. It is rumored that the vampires that remain in Sundown, under Nevi’s quiet hand, are deeply entrenched in this activity in particular. Any Shadow Hunter that sees such activity has clear and direct orders for search, seizure and capture of perpetrators, paraphernalia and materials in such cases.
The black market in Sundown continues to thrive, but has become much harder to both get involved in and make purchases from. With the Shadow Hunters very familiar with the black market and what it traffics, new tactics are being developed to evade their agents. Likely, the black market will always have something for the discerning purchaser to find, but with new law in the city, the days of simply wandering into the Old City to buy what one wants are over. As with illegal slavery and drug use/trafficking any Shadow Hunter that sees such activity has orders for search, seizure and capture of perpetrators, paraphernalia and materials in such cases.
It is important to remember Shadow Hunters have the option to use lethal force if necessary. While it is preferred that capture and detention are done to bring a perpetrator or perpetrators before the city Magistrate, if such individuals are armed and attempt to assault an innocent person, or a Shadow Hunter, killing them outright is perfectly legal. In cases where perpetrators are able to be brought under arrest, most times they will be taken to Sundown’s Guard House, where they will be detained until they can be taken before a city magistrate and either issued a fine, jail sentence or combination thereof.