LAWS


Category


The laws of Tours

HIGH JUSTICE

High Justice is a right reserved to the King alone and his appointed justices. High Crimes carry the death penalty. Because of the high station of the nobility, the only crimes they can be accused of under this form of justice are treason, rebellion, or conspiracy against a liege lord. The accused can elect for Trial by Combat a L'Outrance or trial by court. Penalties are:

  1. Temporary loss of Honour. Dishonour could last for 1 month to 1 year.
  2. Disgrace (permanent loss of Honour), subject to performance of some great deed to restore that Honour.
  3. Disgrace and loss of lands.
  4. Disgrace, loss of lands, and banishment.
  5. Death.

If a noble vassal is treated unfairly, he can stage an honourable rebellion against his suzerain. The ultimate rule, however, is that he win his fight. Losing is dangerous to one's health in such cases. At the same time, an Overlord must be able to prove charges levelled against a vassal. The feudal bonds are based on mutual trust and good faith. Vassals take wilful charges against one of their fellows as cause to examine their own loyalty.

LOW JUSTICE

Low Justice or Common Justice was largely reserved to the commoners and is administered by Barons in their own private courts. There are four distinct groups of crimes in this area:

High Crimes

All crimes in this section carry the death penalty:

TREASON, REBELLION, CONSPIRACY, & ESPIONAGE are punishable by hanging, drawing, and quartering.

MURDER is punishable by hanging by the neck until dead.

POISONING is punishable by burning at the stake.

CANNIBALISM & SKINNING BODIES is punishable by burning at the stake.

PERJURY is punishable by whatever the accused in the crime would have suffered.

DESECRATION OF A CHURCH OR HOLY PLACE is punishable by burning at the stake.

ARSON is punishable by death by burning at the stake.

SMUGGLING is punishable by fine (confiscation of goods plus the same value again in coin), 36 lashes, or death by hanging, depending on the severity of the offence and the number of convictions. Each half-dozen lashes require a Fort save vs CR15 or a point of damage is suffered.

RIDING A HORSE is punishable by 10 lashes. Repeated offences are seen as lese majeste and are punishable by death by hanging. However, Petit Sergeants and wealthy commoners may be granted special rights in this regard. Of course, Knights and members of the military are exempt.

STRIKING A FOOL is punishable by 5 lashes and a day in the stocks. Feeble-minded folk are protected from abuse. Unusually brutal treatment may merit the death penalty (hanging).

DRAWING WEAPON ON GENTILITY is punishable by death by hanging for rebellion - if the offender survives the wrath of the Knight or Noble so insulted.

ASSAULT carries a penalty of 20 lashes. If blood is shed or if there is a maiming or serious wounding, the penalty may be death by hanging.

Theft

Comes in a variety of forms, and so carries a variety of punishments, depending upon the offence:

PIRACY carries the punishment of death by hanging or by 1000 lashes.

HORSE THEFT is punishable by death by hanging.

THEFT OF PEPPER OR OTHER SPICES is punishable by cutting of the throat

ROBBERY ON THE HIGHROAD is punishable by death by hanging.

POACHING IN THE ROYAL FOREST is punishable by loss of a hand. The same is true of poaching in a forest belonging to a noble.

SLAYING OF A KING'S DEER is punishable by death by flaying.

THEFT OF A BEAST OF BURDEN is punishable by 24 lashes.

CATTLE LIFTING is punishable by 24 lashes.

MUGGING is punishable by 24 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by hanging.

ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO WOUND is charged if there is bloodshed.

CUTPURSE is punishable by 24 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by hanging. The offence includes all forms of non-violent theft from the owner's person.

BURGLARY is punishable by 36 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by hanging. All forms of breaking and illegal entry are included, and actual theft need not be proved, only the entry itself.

STEALING is punishable by 12 lashes. The offence includes theft of items under the value of 10 SP from shop stalls, yards, etc.

Torts

Include injury to person or property including both intentional and negligent damage. Nobles may bring actions against each other for torts and may also do so on behalf of vassals or commoners.

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY brings full restitution or compensation if unintentional and double or triple damages (punitive) if intentional. Commoners may also receive up to 24 lashes for intentional damage.

INJURY TO PERSON brings compensation. A commoner receives 10 SP + 1d10 SP per body point lost. A noble receives 10 GP + 1d10 GP per body point lost (tripled for titled nobles). ASSAULT may be charged if the offence was deliberate, and the offender a commoner.

REBELLION is the deliberate offence by a commoner against a noble. Nobles charged with the offence will always insist on Trial by Combat, as such matters are affairs of honour.

REPLEVIN is an action to recover property in the possession of another. Nobles are forced to resort to it if they are not prepared to go to private war against another noble. If the property cannot be restored to the owner in fit condition, damages will be awarded.

Business Law

Is that which governs most transactions.

FRAUD is any false representation of goods or making false promises which lead to financial loss to the victim. Penalties tend to be 1-3 times the profit made on the deal plus restitution or full compensation to the victim.

DEBT is failure to pay what one owes in the agreed time period. The aggrieved party may sue for payment. This may result in the seizure of money, lands, cattle, or other goods to secure the repayment. Nobles secure their debts with sealed deeds (promises) which even a commoner can enforce in a Royal Court. Impoverished commoners can be forced into service to repay debts. Refusal to make enforced payment by service is punishable by death if the debtor runs away.

BREACH OF CONTRACT is failure to live up to one's word, which need not be written down, only witnessed to be an oral contract. The Court will enforce the recovery of financial losses or order the terms of the agreement to be carried out in full.


The laws of Laval

Uzbek, as a subordinate noble, only has the power to mete out Low Justice. This code is one that he thrashed out with the help of the cities lawyers. It's main goal is to simplify the law and to provide a strong deterrent to wrongdoers.

LOW JUSTICE

Low Justice is administered by a court consisting of Uzbek, or his appointed agent, a military officer, and a member of the guild council (or their appointed agent). There are four distinct groups of crimes in this area:

High Crimes

Most crimes crimes in this section that carry the death penalty are by beheading with an axe.

TREASON, REBELLION, CONSPIRACY, & ESPIONAGE: Death.

MURDER: Death.

POISONING: Death.

CANNIBALISM & SKINNING BODIES is punishable by being flayed alive then beheaded.

PERJURY: Death.

DESECRATION OF A CHURCH OR HOLY PLACE is punishable by death by whatever means the church in question deems suitable. Note that all religions may practice in Laval, with the freedom to do so in any way they see fit except with sacrifice of persons. A person is someone of Human, Droch, Gnome, or Dwarfen blood.

ARSON is punishable by death by burning at the stake.

SMUGGLING is punishable by fine (confiscation of goods plus the same value again in coin), or death by beheading, depending on the severity of the offence and the number of convictions. Each half-dozen lashes require a Fort save Vs CR15 or a point of damage is suffered.

RIDING A HORSE WITHIN CITY LIMITS is punishable by 10 lashes. Of course, Knights and officers of the army are exempt when on government or military business. Common soldiers are not.

DRAWING WEAPON ON GENTILITY OR MILITARY OFFICERS is punishable by death by hanging for rebellion - if the offender survives the wrath of the Knight or Noble so insulted.

ASSAULT carries a penalty of 20 lashes. If blood is shed or if there is a maiming or serious wounding, the penalty may be death by beheading.

RAPE is punishable by castration. It's not rape unless the woman and their guardian press charges. Those that withdraw them in favour of marrying the accused are eligible for the farm allotment program.

Theft

HORSE THEFT is punishable by death by beheading.

THEFT OF SPICE is punishable by beheading.

ROBBERY ON THE HIGHROAD is punishable by death by beheading.

POACHING IN THE MUNICIPAL FOREST is punishable by a fine equal to the value of the animal(s) poached. Second offences are punished by loss of a hand, and third offences by beheading.

SLAYING OF A DEER WITHOUT LICENCE is punishable by death by beheading. They are a scarce resource right now, and unrestricted hunting will exterminated them.

THEFT OF A BEAST OF BURDEN is punishable by 24 lashes.

CATTLE LIFTING is punishable by 24 lashes.

MUGGING is punishable by 24 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by beheading. ASSAULT is charged in the event of injury.

CUTPURSE is punishable by 24 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by beheading. The offence includes all forms of non-violent theft from the owner's person.

BURGLARY is punishable by 36 lashes. A second offence brings loss of a hand and branding. A third offence carries the penalty of death by beheading. All forms of breaking and illegal entry are included, and actual theft need not be proved, only the entry itself.

STEALING is punishable by 12 lashes. The offence includes theft of items under the value of 10 SP from shop stalls, yards, etc.

Torts

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY brings full restitution or compensation if unintentional and double or triple damages (punitive) if intentional. Commoners may also receive up to 24 lashes for intentional damage.

INJURY TO PERSON brings compensation. A commoner receives 10 SP + 1d10 SP per body point lost. A noble receives 10 GP + 1d10 GP per body point lost (tripled for titled nobles). If the offence was deliberate, a commoner may also be charged with ASSAULT.

REBELLION is the deliberate offence by a commoner against a noble. Nobles charged with the offence may insist on Trial by Combat, at which point the case will be fought in the Marquis' court. Uzbek is generally happy to uphold his law in such a case.

REPLEVIN is an action to recover property in the possession of another. Nobles are forced to resort to it in Laval, as Uzbek doesn't tolerate private war. If the property cannot be restored to the owner in fit condition, damages will be awarded.

Business Law

FRAUD is any false representation of goods or making false promises which lead to financial loss to the victim. Penalties tend to be 1-3 times the profit made on the deal plus restitution or full compensation to the victim.

DEBT is failure to pay what one owes in the agreed time period. The aggrieved party may sue for payment. This may result in the seizure of money, lands, cattle, or other goods to secure the repayment. In the event that the debtor cannot pay the city will cover their debit and then recover it in whatever manner it sees fit. Currently this involves forced labour on city farms, but selling debtors for cash has been considered.

BREACH OF CONTRACT is failure to live up to one's word, which need not be written down, only witnessed to be an oral contract. The Court will enforce the recovery of financial losses or order the terms of the agreement to be carried out in full.


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This Page was last updated 26JUN2004
This Page and all content not otherwise noted copyright Rupert Boleyn, 1999-2004