They were once the province of the corrupt aristocracy, running down escaped slaves and tracking prey in hunting expeditions. Those days are gone, but the clockwork hounds still tick and hunt. The Praetors of Zobeck seized them during the revolt that established the Free City, and now, they operate only on the command of the secret police, hunting down persons of interest wanted for more aggressive questioning.
Hounds sometimes operate alone, but usually, they are sent into the streets seeking their quarry as a party of three hounds and two huntsmen. Because they are unsleeping and tireless, few can hide from them for long without magical assistance.
Clockwork huntsmen and hounds are painted matte black with mithril trim, occasionally outfitted with armor or barding for added intimidation. Common folk detest them; all but their keepers and commanders shun them. They represent a link back to Zobeck’s darker past and remind all of how it came to its present state.