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"Dog eyes. Dog ears. Dog instinct."
Ahuda to the trainees[src]

The Provost's Guard is a force whose purpose is to enforce the laws and keep the peace in Corus-the capital of Tortall-as well as other cities like Port Caynn. The Guard was created in 127 HE by King Baird III[1][2].

The Lord Provost is the administrator of the Guard, which is a civilian, not military force. The first man to hold this position was Padraig of haMinch[2]. Much detail is known about the Guard as it was during the 240's. This was the time of Rebakah Cooper's service.


Guards were referred to as "Dogs", trainee guards as "Puppies", and guard stations as "kennels". When a group of dogs took up a challenge, it was a "Growl". The holding cells for kennel prisoners were known as "cages"

This slang became popular in 177 HE[1][2], and died out around 320 HE[3].


Each district of Corus had its own kennel, with a permanent set of Dogs assigned there. Dogs who did well attempted to get reassigned to better kennels, in districts that were less dangerous and more lucrative. Each kennel had various personnel assigned to it, including one or more mages.

Cage Dogs

Cage Dogs are those who are assigned to guard and question prisoners, the latter through the means of torture, making an extra living with the bribes they get from the families of those in custody, which is supposed to buy them some better treatment as cage Dogs are normally quite rough with the prisoners.[4] They were often shaved for practical reasons[5]. Street Dogs are those who patrol the city, investigate crime, and capture criminals. There exists a mutual dislike between both kinds of Dogs, mainly because of the work the cage Dogs do[5]. Only volunteers work as cage Dogs, none of them are forced to question people[6].


In each kennel, there were three watches and each watch was supervised by a Watch Sergeant.

The Day Watch took place from nine in the morning until five in the afternoon. In the Lower City of Corus the Day Watch was usualy less active since the crooks and thieves come out at night. Evening Watch is Rebakah Coopers watch time with Kebibi Ahuda, who is later replaced by Clara Goodwin, as the Watch Sergeant and Acton of Fenrigh as the Watch Commander. It starts at 5:00 p.m. and it goes until 1:00 a.m., when Night Watch takes charge. It's supposed to be the busiest time out of all the watches and also the most dangerous. Especially for the Dogs who roam the poorer areas of the city like the Lower City and Cesspool.[7]

The Night Watch took place from one in the morning until nine in the morning. Word has it that in the Lower City the criminals own the streets during Night Watch. The very worst Guards have duty then. The most incompetent dogs, including drunks, were generally assigned to the Night Watch, where they would do the least damage. They are the ones who just don't care about the work, the ones who are regarded as expendable.

In addition to these three watches, there was a Fourth Watch, which covered all three watches on their Court Days and off days.[2]

Dogs within their watches were paired with another Dog, in more-or-less permanent partnership. Trainee dogs were assigned to an experienced pair.


The uniform of the Provost's Guard is black and consists of a tunic, which is short-sleeved in summer, breeches and boots. On a leather belt a purse, a water flask, daggers, a baton and rawhide cords for prisoner taking are fastened. Trainee Guards wear a white trim on their tunic.[8]

Depending on when and there Dogs do their duty, they also add further protecting gear like a gorget (mail plate cover for the neck, like a collar) or gloves with mail sewn onto them[9]. This extra protection is especially important in the Cesspool on Evening Watch.


The first year of training is made up of theoretical work and combat practice only. During this time the trainees learn, amongst others, about interrogation, which means torture, and the work cage Dogs do[5]. Some of the trainees, if not all, among them Beka, are even exposed to mild forms of questioning, like the Drink[6]. The trainees live together in barracks for this year. Afterwards they are assigned to their districts and watches to serve a year as Trainee Guards, so-called "Puppies", together with experienced pairs of Guards. The combat practice continues for four years of street duty, which includes the year as Puppy as well as the first three years as a guardsman or guardswoman[10].

One in ten Puppies die on duty[11].

The trainees are taught to always be on their guard, because Dogs make enemies. That's also why Dogs are supposed to leave their home through different exits and not the same one every time, because developing habits might get them killed.[12]



Dogs, lacking the proper resources and funding from the realm's coffers, supplemented their revenue with the Happy Bag, a form of protection money donated from businesses and individuals in the kennel's district. The happy bag funds were pooled and went to pay for things like funerals for guards killed in the line of duty.

Individual Dogs also customarily took bribes and purloined stolen goods. If the personal bribe exceeded a silver noble a third of it went into the Happy Bag[13].

The Crown paid for half of the meals which Dogs took on duty[14].


The Provost's Guard has its own burial ground and when burying one of their fellows Dogs usually dress in their uniforms. Lord Gershom speaks for every dead Dog on his or her burial[15]. When a Puppy dies the parent Dogs sing "The Puppy's Lullaby" to show him or her the road to the Peaceful Realms.[11]

Known members of the Provost's Guard


Jane Street kennel (Lower City)

Most information is known about Evening Watch in the Lower City, as this is Beka's watch. The District Commander in 246 HE is Vannic haMinch, the Watch Commander of Evening Watch Sir Acton of Fenrigh, the Watch Sergeant is Kebibi Ahuda, who also supervises combat practise, and the mage on duty is Fulk[16], although he dies in April of 246 HE.

There are six Corporals on Evening Watch and twenty-five Senior Guards.[16] Among the Corporals are Finian Karel, who is a Desk Corporal and normally makes sure every pair of Guards is where it is supposed to be, Nyler Jewel, the most senior street Dog and partner to Osgyth Yoav. Clara Goodwin, partner to Matthias Tunstall and training partner to Rebakah Cooper, is also a Corporal. Another Corporal is Greengage. The Senior Guards include Osgyth Yoav, partner to Nyler Jewel, Matthias Tunstall, partner to Clara Goodwin and later to Rebakah Cooper and Wulfric Birch, who is partner to Vinehall in 246 HE and becomes the partner of Ersken Westover in the summer of 247 HE. The scent-hound handler Elmwood is also a Senior Guard.

On Beltane of 246 HE Verene, a Puppy, and one of her training guards, Rollo, got killed on duty. As a consequence of that four other Puppies, among them Hilyard, and a second-year Dog, Phelan Rapp, left the Guard. That meant that nearly only about half of the trainee guards who began their Puppy year at the beginning of April remained afterwards.[17]

There are two guardsman on Evening Watch at Jane Street kennel named "Hanse".

Further members of the Guard include:

Other districts

Port Caynn


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tortallan timeline
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Terrier, Appendix, The Provost's Guard (p. 565)
  3. In the prologue of Terrier, six-year-old George Cooper says guards were called dogs up until one hundred years ago. George was born in 413 HE (
  4. Terrier, May 7, 246 (p. 412; Random House paperback)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 333; Random House hardcover)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 334; Random House hardcover)
  7. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 (p 91; Random House hardcover)
  8. Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 24)
  9. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 112)
  10. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 80)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Terrier, May 1, 246 (p. 381)
  12. Bloodhound, September 11, 247 (p. 100)
  13. Terrier, May 1, 246 (p. 386)
  14. Terrier, April 3, 246 (p. 162)
  15. Terrier, May 1, 246 (p. 378)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 23)
  17. Terrier, May 2, 246 (p. 390; Random House paperback)

See also

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