It is said that the Wildlands are exactly 32 dangerous, while Fastheld is 31 safe. It is said that you can't throw a stone without the Royal Guard arresting you for it. It is said that you can't really do much in Fastheld because it is a utopia of peace and harmony, free of all crime and discontent.
That's not entirely true.
I'm going to lay out where you'd expect to find certain guards, and where you're likely to run into trouble, if you're ever out adventuring. :)
The Royal GuardEdit
The Royal Guard (previously the Imperial Watch) are the Kingdom's own militia. Trained to high standards of discipline and knowledgable about many aspects of the law, they are loyal, well equipped, and well funded.
Harboring a rich legacy that extends back to the creation of Fastheld, the Royal Guard are the soldiers of the Royal Crown, and are able to go anywhere and enact the law as they see fit.
Corruption within the Royal Guard is virtually unheard of, as their level of pay, support, and focus on their lineage, make them an exceptionally dependable force indeed, sworn to duty to the Kingdom and her people above all else.
Though once seen all across the Kingdom, the greater emphesis on permitting the four Great Noble Houses some degree of autonomy has seen them relegated mostly to the midlands (Royal Crown Territory), the Aegis, and along roads and highways across the Kingdom, regardless of territory.
Painted as surrogate Royal Guard under a Noble's payroll, House Guard are House Militia, and maintain the peace and the Royal Law within the townships of the Nobles who they work for. Though held to lower standards than the Royal Guard, they are no less capable in a fight, though are perhaps not quite as loyal in their duty when the chips are down.
Comprised of former mercenaries, redeemed brigands, retired Royal Guardsmen and have-a-go heroes alike, House Guard are often a mixed bunch, but do their best to maintain law and order in their home territory, and often do a very good job of it.
They may also be found patrolling the roads and highways within their territorial boundaries, either working in tandem with the Royal Guard, or going it alone. House Guards that operate beyond townships are known to be somewhat less reliable at times, however, since they are often beyond the gaze of their benefactors.
In general, urban areas within Fastheld are generally safe and low on major crime. Though petty crimes are a common and accepted problem within all areas of population, the Royal Guard and House Guard do an excellent job of keeping the peace, and citizens who are the victims of any misdoing within these townships can expect to find themselves supported by an agent of the law within minutes of being accosted.
That is not to say that some townships don't have their "slum" areas where dens of crime are rampant, but most criminal activity within urban areas happens behind closed doors, away from the worries of the people and the swords of the Guard.
To that end, most highways and roads are relatively safe as well, with caravans often hiring paid escorts to take them from Point A to Point B, and the Royal Guard and House Guard patrolling the length and width of infrastructural routes to keep them mostly free of trouble and the occasional wild animal.
However, as one moves away from the roads and townships, the chance of encountering trouble heightens. Though within the reach of the law, the forests and wilderness areas of Fastheld are rarely policed by anything more than rangers of the Royal Foresters, roaming Adventurers, stray Knights, and the occasional sight of Royal Guard on patrol around a nearby fort or camp.
Suffice to say, the forests and wilderness regions of the Kingdom provide excellent hiding places and bases of operations for the Kingdoms more questionable groups. Brigands and Bandits sometimes camp in these areas, using them as bases to launch raids on caravan routes, horse thieves call the wilds home, and slavers - though rare, due to their not being a market for forced labor - are not unheard of, kidnapping travelers with the intent to ransom them back to their families.
Fugitives from the law may also be found in wilderness areas, as may practitioners of the Shadow, loose groups of Scourges who were abandoned after the collapse of the Church, and any number of wild animals and creatures.
This is not to say that one might encounter such groups as a matter of course, however, for Fastheld's overland regions are vast and the chances of running into trouble (unless one goes looking for it) are quite slim. However, danger exists beyond the reach of the Kingdom's mailed fist, and one should always be cautious, no matter how safe the location seems.
Areas of open wilderness harbor greater chances of running into trouble than forested areas do, however. On that note, however, the Starkhorn Forest is known to be relatively safe, as are the Solace Woods, Wildcat Vale, and the Dawnstar Forest.
The Kahar Woods are known to be camping grounds for Scourges, while the Silvermoon Forest and the Cinderwood have bandit problems due to them being excellent sources of cover for caravan raids. The Kahar Woods may also hide River Pirates within its reaches, though - for the most part - is relatively safe to travel if one is careful.
The Wildling Woods are usually "no go" areas to begin with, for obvious reasons, while the Silkwood has been said to be prone to habitation by "Men of the Wild" - people not unlike "rogue" Wildlanders, but who have never set foot in the Wildlands.
The Shadow DistrictEdit
It should also be noted that the Shadow District is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous places in Fastheld, perhaps even greater than that of the Wildlands; for while the Wildlands are host to a great many natural dangers (more than Fastheld, with few places of retreat) the dangers present in the Shadow District are all of a human nature - and there are few things more dangerous than depraved humanity itself.
This is not to say that the combined efforts of House Zahir and the Royal Guard have not blunted the open criminal activities, however - but even dedication and vigilance to a cause of law and order cannot undo centuries of rampant crime and discontent. The Shadow District is a hive of barely contained chaos and anarchy, and one should not enter it lightly, nor expect to leave unscathed... and that's before you consider the many elements there that have been corrupted by Shadow, for even the soil itself is bleak, desolate, and twisted.
Anyhow, I hope this brief overview will give you some ideas as to what you might be able to do within Fastheld if you're looking for trouble to encounter. Again, Fastheld is - for the most part - safe, and (much like real life!) you have a very slim chance of running into much trouble unless you go looking for it, especially within townships and along roads.
That's not to say that trouble might not find *you* from time to time, or that you won't be the victim of a cutpurse or a tavern brawl every now and then, but serious crime within populated areas and trade routes are infrequent, and when they do happen you can expect the local Guard to have your back and ride to the rescue - especially when another PC is the one committing the crime!
Suffice to say that our NPCs are pretty dutiful in making the populated areas safe places to RP, free of general jackassery and asshattery. :D
The theme has a foundation of law and order at work, and it is important to the theme that that aspect be upheld, and that players can RP with the knowledge in mind that they won't have their entertainment ruined by someone who thinks it'll be fun to pull a sword and stab people for kicks, just because they're bored.