Guards and the Military in Blackfen
The defense of Blackfen, Kirn and the surrounding areas falls primarily to the Silver Stalwarts of Blackfen, the Watchers of the South and the local militia. A small contingent of independent dwarves, who call themselves the Dwarven Defenders of The Silver Hills, also help protect the lands (specifically, The Silver Hills) against unwanted intruders. Large troop soldiers moving to and from the front line and the war with Zykerathox pass through Blackfen. The Silver Hills are home to large numbers of makeshift barracks, but the Blackfen authorities have no say or control over the movements of these soldiers. The Silver Stalwarts of Blackfen, on the other hand, are under the direct control of the city authorities.
The Silver Stalwarts of Blackfen are a small, professional body of troops, paid for by local tax revenue. Their numbers have swelled in recent years, though still relatively small. Under the King's War Decree, Blackfen is forced to send soldiers to aid the conflict, but the remaining forces are for the protection of the city itself and the surrounding regions which fall under its sphere of influence. They are under the command of General Rufur Denzen, who himself follows the direct orders of the Blackfen City Council and, ultimately, the King.
They are divided into three regiments: the Silver Watch, whose job it is to guard the city itself and who act as local guards, policing the city at street level; the Shields of the Silver Star, who patrol the lands around Blackfen; and the Blades of the Silver Stalwarts, the largest body of troops whose job it is to defend the city and the local area. It is the Blades of the Silver Stalwarts who usually make up the largest contingent of troops sent to the frontline.
General Rufur Denzen, who reports directly to the City Council, commands the Silver Stalwarts of Blackfen, with each regiment commanded by a Lieutenant General. The position of General is chosen by the City Council and is always selected from amongst the Lieutenant Generals. As might be expected, there is a lot of competition between the regiments, which is also reflected in the competition between the Lieutenant Generals. General Denzen is highly respected and considered by many to be the best General of the Silver Stalwarts for a very long time, if not ever, having served with distinction against in the war with Zykerathox and, earlier in his career, the barbarian hordes to the east of Gorind.
The Silver Watch
The Silver Watch consists of around 150 professional soldiers and their main role is to police Blackfen. Guards encountered patrolling the Blackfen streets or at the main gates will all be from The Silver Watch, as will those in the palisade guard towers. They are generally lightly armored and wield small shields and short swords. Whenever the city is threatened, their numbers are augmented by the local militia (see below), who come under The Silver Watch's command. The Lieutenant General of The Silver Watch is Malfist Hannaby, who is a charismatic figure well loved by his regiment.
The Shields of the Silver Star
The Shields of the Silver Star is the most prestigious regiment, being highly skilled, lightly armed mounted soldiers whose swiftness is key to their ability to launch quick raids against, typically, giants and humanoids - often small bands of advance roaming orcs or goblins. There are around 75 Shields of the Silver Star. They are well known for their superb horsemanship and are the pride of Blackfen. They are key to advanced reconnaissance around The South Downs and are used to make swift attacks against their enemies until reinforcements arrive. The Lieutenant General of The Shields of the Silver Star is Aarad Pirthont, a superb rider who commands the respect of those that serve under him. Soldiers and sergeants are mounted on magnicicent horses, while captains and colonels often ride nothing but the finest steeds.
The Blades of the Silver Star
There are around 150 paid Blades of the Silver Star. These primarily consist of foot soldiers armed with both two-handed battleaxes and longbows, and are highly trained in both. During combat, a number of the troops will be allocated as archers, while the rest take up the front line. The Blades of the Silver Star have a reputation for being tough warriors and it can be quite intimidating for those opposing them to see their massed ranks, battleaxes in hand, with the archers raining arrows over their heads. The Lieutenant General of The Blades of the Silver Star is Sariel Antellis, the highest ranked woman in the Silver Stalwarts whose troops trust in her leadership completely.
The Local Militia
The local militia consists of the ordinary folk of Blackfen and the surrounding area who must arm themselves and muster whenever there is a call to arms. It is the duty of every adult man and woman to defend the land and the people in it when necessary and they are expected to arm themselves as best they can. Since the majority of the militia is made up of common folk, the majority are armed with little more than pitchforks, scythes, and other agricultural tools and very few have armor - only the lucky few can afford to have even the most rudimentory armor. The local militia is under the command of The Silver Watch.
The Watchers of the South
The Watchers of the South are not exclusive to Blackfen, but have their headquarters here and help to watch much of The Silver Hills and the border with The Fallen Lands. They are a loose knit organization, consisting mainly of rangers who keep watch over the lands for signs of humanoid activity, invasion, or anything strange. They most often work alone, though occasionally work in pairs or even teams. They are few in number, despite covering large swathes of land, and are not regular visitors to any given locations. Many Councils, Blackfen amongst them, pay them a small stipend for their services and for the advanced warnings that they often give.
Dwarven Defenders of The Silver Hills
Although not officially recognized by the local authorities, the Dwarven Defenders of The Silver Hills are nonetheless an effective part of local defenses as this small band of hardy dwarven volunteers patrol The Silver Hills and liaise with the dwarves who live in there. Those that make up the Dwarven Defenders of The Silver Hills are typically well drilled in the art of warfare and rely upon their natural dwarven traits to make up for their relatively small numbers. Despite their name, most of the dwarves that volunteer their service are little more than local craftsmen who usually live in Blackfen, with only Heshog, the ceremonial head of the organization, and Krilnoch Silverbeard, the General, actually being trained in the art of warfare.