Waterdeep maintains two separate armed forces, the Guard and the Watch. The City Guard serves as Waterdeep’s soldiery and its members staff garrisons, road patrols, and watchposts, and serve as bodyguards and gate guards. The Watch is the local police force and in addition to capturing criminals, its members settle petty disputes, give directions, summon medical and priestly aid, generally performing duties that promote the idea that Waterdeep is a city open to all who know how to behave themselves.
Waterdeep has strong walls on its landward sides and is protected in part by Mount Waterdeep on the seaward side. Mount Waterdeep is studded with watch towers and defensive positions, and patrolled by special guard units on flights of hippogriffs. Aside from this Waterdeep also benefits from a large native population of the adventuring class (including powerful mages, priests, and warriors) who are more than willing to deal with any and all miscreants who threaten their home city, and have done so in the past. This has often proved the City of Splendors most potent defense.
Waterdhavian justice is dispatched by the Magisters, who direct the common courts of the city. These Black Robes, as they are often called, are empowered to pass sentence. They are always accompanied by six members of the guard. Any individuals found guilty may appeal to the Lord’s Court, ruled over by the masked Lords of Waterdeep, where serious cases are usually heard. Individuals bringing frivolous cases to the Lord’s Court usually face stiffer fines than if they accepted a magister’s ruling.