The Starwatch is a military, intelligence, and law enforcement organization within the city-state of Absalom. Its scope is different from the First Guard of Azlanti Keep, which defends Absalom from external threats, and from the district guards, whose jurisdiction is limited to their own districts.123
Mission and jurisdiction
The Starwatch is primarily an intelligence organization that enforces the decrees of the Grand Council throughout the city, focusing mostly on crimes that cross district lines or implicate misconduct among one of the other guard organizations.3
Relationship with the First Guard
Long-held traditions maintain the First Guard and Starwatch as separate entities in order to avoid internecine conflicts from erupting. While the First Guard are stationed inside the city and man its walls, they avoid regulating the city's political conflicts. The Starwatch, in contrast, are stationed outside of the city but are frequently involved in political disputes; however, the First Guard has the authority to prevent the Starwatch from entering the city, particularly through the eastern Postern Gate. The pact is designed to motivate the Starwatch into strictly preventing conflicts from boiling over and seeding a civil war; otherwise, the First Guard would block their access to the city.2
The imposing keep that houses the Starwatch is perched on the cliffs overlooking Absalom Harbor, and was built after the Siege of Prophets in 1298 AR to bolster the city's eastern and harborside defenses.2 The military community of Dawnfoot, located outside of Absalom's walls near the keep, is home to the officers, families, servants, and laborers required to support Starwatch.1 Asilia of Gyr is the current commander of Starwatch Keep, and therefore of the Starwatch; she spends most of her time on the warship Hurricane Wings but is highly respected as a loyal commander and tactician.2
When Absalom is under siege, the Harbormaster's Guild is authorized to command the Starwatch and deploy siege weapons to Pilot Island. The Starwatch otherwise sequesters itself in Starwatch Keep and augments amphibious pincer attacks against any who attempt to besiege the city or the keep from the east.2
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.