One of the most diabolical, scheming, and conspiratorial of the Royal Bureaucratic Council members is the Lord High Sheriff. Unlike the Lord High Inquisitor, who rather blatantly keeps the police state strong by their use of fear and intimidation, the Lord High Sheriff is far more subtle in how they collect information, and how they act upon it.
The primary operation of this office is the operation of the Rural Constabulary, the far-ranging enforcers of the law that keep the peace outside of urban boundaries. They are charged with keeping an eye on the nobility in the countryside, and this includes making sure that the citizens are content and nobody is plotting criminal activity or treason. They watch every roadhouse, inn, and wayside stop along the roads of the realm, and insure the safe passage of travelers everywhere in the Empire.
Another primary function of the Rural Constabulary is to hunt down anyone fleeing from justice, such as escaped convicts, thieves on the lam, and people that have crossed the borders from other lands with nefarious intent. While the military takes primary responsibility for guarding the border, Rural Constabulary are crucial to securing the frontiers of the realm. Smuggling is always an issue, and the Lord High Sheriff is continually concerned with how such activities are being dealt with, and making sure that nobles in border estates are properly vigilant towards these illicit trespassers.
One should never assume that any conversation held in a remote tavern isn’t being eavesdropped upon, and vital info being relayed to the local Rural Constabulary. The juiciest of this gossip, plus that collected from estates and farms and the tiny hamlets of the country, is all filtered upwards to the Lord High Sheriff. It might take awhile for this to be of any real use, but when it does, be forewarned that any good sized tree can serve as a gallows. Justice can be cruel to the highwayman.