his is a long one so grab some tea or coffee and settle in, it is time for a Q&A on guards. This was intended as one long article but while writing it, it became clear to me that it would be too much to do it in one long article. So instead, it will be in parts. The first part is about Stormwind's favourite guard. Sergeant Larony.

Background

Golf Company, aka King's Footmen is a relative new guard unit on the streets of Stormwind. They have been operating about three months now and they have had a mixed and rocky start. Initially they set out to be just and fair, the captain seemed serious about keeping the unit clean and punish her people if they stepped over the line, but as time went on more and more stories of rude behaviour, brutality, use of excessive force and even breaking the law started surfacing in the city. Evil wagging tongues from the people of Stormwind with a less than legal way of life some might say - and I admit I initially saw many of them as such. There has always been stories about guard brutality and corruption going on, this is not new, but the sheer amount of these stories reached a level where even I - who generally respect the work the guards do - had to look into it and take it serious. This is the first part of that series of articles.

Disclaimer

I have tried to be fair, treating this subject with the professionalism I hope our readers have come to rely on, so while I will make speculations and ask questions in the following, then I have also tried to be fair and show both sides of cases raised. It is not my job to judge. Often it is he said/she said - or just downright a matter of different perspectives on the same situation. So, I leave it up to you dear reader to form your own opinion. I just try to give the facts from both sides where possible. I have spent more than a week talking to the citizens of the city, and I have collected many stories from people. I couldn't possibly list them all here, neither did I bother Captain Stormblade for comments on all of them. So, there is some selection done by me, but hopefully you can see from the ones I picked that I have not simply picked all the bad cases for the guards, and thrown the rest away. With all that said, lets crack on with it. We have a lot to discuss.

Sergeant Larony

Few guards have managed to piss off so many people in so little time as this guy has. If a contest was held to name the names of guards, this guy would win in a heartbeat. I think more people know of Larony than of his superior. Alas, he is not known for anything good. Several people I talked to refused to talk to me about him unless I promised to not mention their names, a lot of them stating that he is "protected" and that nothing will be done about him, some are even downright afraid of what he will do if he finds out they have spoken to me about his actions. Anonymous citizen 1: "Larony, he's 'above' the law." Anonymous citizen 2: "Untouchable, unpunishable." Anonymous citizen 3: "No accountability." Anonymous citizen 4: "He is protected." Anonymous citizen 5: "I'm afraid of him." This is without a doubt one of the biggest problems faced by the guard company, and because of that - this is where we start.

Empathy

Anonymous Gnome: "It was during Winters Veil and a group of friends i know were throwing a gift party in old town, however, being old town.. someone broke in and stole some of the presents and burned the rest. I had a special gift for a friend I know, a cloak, quite expensive and would mean a lot to the person it was intended for. It burnt. When I found out about it the fire was already put out and guards, including Larony already had dealt with it. I did not know that however, and I went roaming the city for a guard to tell them. I found Larony in mage district outside the Recluse tavern and I ran up to him gasping for air because I had run so much. I informed him of it and told him why I was so upset about it due to the cloak being burned. He proceeded.. ..To just laugh at my predicament and laught at the the fact the cloak was burned. I was annoyed to annoyed to continue further so I left. Larony gave me the feeling that my issues did not matter. That reporting to him ultimately felt useless." Okay, a bit insensitive - but I suppose we can't expect every guard to show empathy you may think, but alas, this is not a one off. Sergeant Larony: "Fuck off back to your shit job." As recent as Friday night Larony managed to cause a scene in the Golden Keg in dwarven district. Tafton Mek, the new manager of the place, has tried to get the guards to - as a courtesy - ask the staff before they inspect the place, not that they would refuse an inspection he told me, but just because they would like to be shown the respect from the guards, acknowledging it is private property and that guards because of this can't just do as they like. I'll be the first one to admit that Tafton was quite riled up when I arrived, and maybe I am alone on this, I just expect better from guards than to sling insults and get into insulting matches with citizens. Anonymous Gnome: "I refrain from using names because i dont want to involve the people I know out of fear of reprisal. They have nothing to do with this report and this is all on me. I have friends in old town that i sometimes take care off, i feed them and the such make sure they got a bellyfull for the night. One of these nights i stumbled upon Larony in Old Town conversing with them near the tavern down the alleyway which leads to a part of the canal system. He was just flaunting his authority around basically not entirely sure why and he seemed to threaten one person i know out of the rest for some reason, she was doing nothing but trying to survive, that alley and sewer system being her home. This Larony. -Threatened- to assault her. And throw her into the canal. A homeless citizen." H. Lester: "Did he give a reason?" Anonymous Gnome: "I argued with him and told him i would report him for it. I think if i was not there stating that I was watching this he might of just done it. Larony does not need a reason I have found to flaunt his authority. I dont know why he was as I stumbled upon it. All i know was he threatened to chuck her in the canal." H. Lester: "So he said he would beat up a poor homeless person and throw her in the canal?" Anonymous Gnome: "Yes."

The punch at the Faire

Here is another more recent story, this one may be less simple than it appears however, and Sergeant Larony himself has a different take on what happened, first the account from the citizen. Anonymous citizen: "So obviously Sergeant Larony - Most of th'folk who work around here know him, he comes by and patrols an' honestly he was never too much of a rude man on those patrols. Maybe a bit of a lazy officer, but nothing overtly criminal or such in his doings. Though what I did start to notice is he would be going off with some of th'women who work with me here in the shop. Takin' them for private talks an' such. I was told by them he was attempting to woo them in some form. Talking of their beauty an' such. This happened on and off for the past few weeks I'd say he got t'know a few of the local girls around here, he'd go off for little talks with them an' stop his patrols an' such to have his own personal conversations. It's become somethin' of a runnin' joke around here, so anyway we knew he'd likely be present at th'Faire this evening, so one of the girls thought it would be funny to craft him a flower crown an' try to place it atop his head at th'Faire. And so we went to the Faire this evening, and saw an opportunity, approached him at his stall with the rest of the Footmen, an' the lass approached him to place the crown atop his glorious bald head. An' he just-.. He clocked her one in th'jaw. Punched her square on. Didn't do nothing else mind, jus' shouted "Don't rush at me!" after he clocked her." H. Lester: "Did she appear threatening in any way when she approached him?" Anonymous citizen: Not at all, she was holding a crown made of flowers between both of her hands and walking up to him to put it on his head. Th'Corporal was there to witness it too, they just said he clearly wasn't keen on the gift and told us to move on." After talking to Captain Stormblade about this, I had a visit the day after from Sergeant Larony, who besides threatening to throw rocks through our window also gave his version of the event. Sergeant Larony: "Well, the Captain and I were here earlier to give you the truth, but you weren't here." H. Lester: "Had a busy day I'm afraid." Sergeant Larony: "I'm sure you have had a busy day, dealing with the deluge of complaints that your 'satirical' article may have spurred forth. Let's talk." H. Lester: "No one complained so far. Not that I don't think it ruffled some feathers though. Wouldn't be satirical if it was tame." Sergeant Larony: "Well Lester, I might throw a brick though your window, and if you complain it'll just say it's satire." H. Lester: "Can I quote you on that?" Sergeant Larony: "Yes, as long as you don't take it out of context like I know you like to do." I believe that is quoted within the context, I'll leave it up to you readers what to make of that, anyway about his explanation of what happened at the Faire: Sergeant Larony: "So about the attempted assault on me at the faire." H. Lester: "Yes?" Sergeant Larony: "Apparently I assaulted Betsie without cause, punched her in the face." H. Lester: "That is what I was told, yes." Sergeant Larony: "Well, it wasn't quite like that. She, Reid and Natalie approached me all dressed up. Betsie then rushed at me with my warning, attempting to put a flower crown on my bald head. She was holding it behind her back, so I couldn't see what she was carrying. I thought she was trying to harm me. We guards are often victims of unprovoked assaults. We're always weary." H. Lester: "So you felt attacked?" Sergeant Larony: "So, as is my right, I threw a punch in self-defence. It clipped her jaw. I didn't -feel- attacked, for all I knew at the time I was -being- attacked." H. Lester: "Okay. Noted" I wasn't there, I cannot say if he had a reason to feel he was being attacked, but I can certainly see some reason to that statement, and while I would have preferred a less violent reaction than a steel covered fist to the face, then it does show that while there is A LOT of complaints about Sergeant Larony, then perhaps sometimes they are not as black and white as some would lead us to believe. But it still leaves a lot of complaints. Of course, true to his style then he couldn't leave without insulting at least one citizen. Cecilia Graften: Hey Lar. Sergeant Larony: And whatever this one says, she's prejudiced. She used to belong to our company. Cecilia Graften: You are really afraid of what people will say huh.. H. Lester: Everyone is prejudiced Larony. That is the nature of people. Sergeant Larony: I'm not afraid. But you were. That's why you quit. Couldn't hack it after all. Cecilia Graften: You are really the charming personality.. Sergeant Larony: Anyhow! Chesterfield and I will resume our patrol and ensure the safety of this city for all you fine, grateful folk. That, was satire. H. Lester: Thank you for keeping us safe. That was satire as well.

And so much more...

I could also mention the time Sergeant Larony was in the Blue Recluse, getting upset that they do not serve alcohol to guards on duty, so upset in fact that the other guard with him at the time issued the following threat: "Oh really, then I think you have smuggled goods in basement", the dwarven guard was later fired, but apparently no actions were taken against the Sergeant who stood and watched it all, and who didn't report it until a citizen herself took action and reported it. The number of stories about Sergeant Larony, his temper, his unprofessional behaviour, his threats, insults and brutality are too many to list here, but to round off this article we go back to Tafton Mek who has another story about Sergeant Larony to share: Tafton Mek: "He threw rocks at one of our entertainers because 'he doesn't like music'." H. Lester: "He did? when was that?" Tafton Mek: "About a week ago, it was.. Roch Hilton." Tafton Mek: "Roch isn't around for comment, he's away sailing. But his own guardfolk saw it happen, too." I’d like to strongly urge other guards who witness these kinds of actions and behaviours to report it to their superior, if you do not, you will be seen as in support of them and I am sure there is good guards in Golf Company. If you are worried about reporting it, then do feel free to stop by our office and have a chat in all confidentiality. I'll leave you with a few more quotes from the dear Sergeant, of course all taken out of context just to prove him right. Sergeant Larony: "TWAT!" Sergeant Larony: "Dunno. Just more overpaid and oversexed bartenders making our lives difficult." According to Captain Stormblade of Golf Company then Sergeant Larony was recently "[...] put off duty and was investigated by a different branch, plus reprimanded", unfortunately we have yet to see it having had any effect at all, as far as the citizens of Stormwind can see, then he is as much of a menace as he was before.
Remember, you can always come tell your stories to The Lion's Roar. Confidentiality is offered to both guards and civilians alike.