Law & Order

Within the Kingdom of Catreath all people must abide by the law. Legal process lies in the hands of the nobility. The King's Law is set by King Edwin and is common to all of Catreath. These laws are detailed below, and the King expects they are enforced by all of the Kingdom's nobility. In addition to these, the lord of the land may set additional laws to be followed on his lands, as long as these laws do not contradict the King's Law. These by-laws must be documented and efforts made to inform the people of the land of any changes made.

The Watch are primarily responsible for finding and arresting criminals, and for holding them securely whilst awaiting trial. Knights may also arrest criminals, though they would usually take them to the Watch to be held. A criminal who evades capture may be outlawed by a judge.

Trials may be judged by the lord of the land, another noble with the permission of the lord of the land, an individual appointed as a judge by the lord of the land, or any knight. No man may judge a superior noble. During a trial the judge will determine whether the accused is guilty of any crime.

The following have the right to speak at a trial:-

  • A noble
  • A watchman
  • A father speaking of his children
  • A lady speaking of her honour
  • A farmer or shepherd speaking of their animals
  • A captain speaking of his men
  • A priest speaking of his religious practice
All other people may only give evidence if permitted by the judge. If a common man accuses a member of the nobility of lying, they made be accused of the crime of Insulting a Noble.

If a judge rules someone to be guilty of a crime, they must then decide on a punishment for them. The judge has complete control over this, though usual penalties are given after listed crimes. Players may act as judges, but trials should always have a referee present. Serious penalties (execution, slavery, removal of hands or fingers) should be discussed with a referee before being dealt out. Any judges ruled by their superiors to be acting inappropriately will be stripped of their rank and harshly punished. It should be remembered by players that the Goddess of Justice is said to watch over all trials.

The King's Law

Assault

The injuring of a common person when the victim does not die, or of any member of the nobility by another noble. Injury may be inflicted by physical or magical means. 'Person' is usually taken to mean any human, elf, dwarf or halfling. Some judges may consider animalkin or other sentient creatures to be people. Magical affects that do not injure but negatively affect someone may be considered to be assault.

Penalties: Flogging, branding, slavery

Assault of a Noble

The injuring of a member of the nobility by any common person when the victim does not die. Injury may be inflicted by physical or magical means. Magical affects that do not injure but negatively affect someone are usually considered to be assault.

Penalties: Flogging and branding, slavery, execution

Conspiracy to Assault of a Noble

Planning, aiding or colluding to the injuring of a member of the nobility by any common person when the victim does not die. Injury may be inflicted by physical or magical means. Magical affects that do not injure but negatively affect someone are usually considered to be assault.

Penalties: Flogging, branding, slavery

Conspiracy to Murder

Planning, aiding or colluding to the taking of the life of any common person outside circumstances of war or fair duel, or of any member of the nobility by any other noble. 'Person' is usually taken to mean any human, elf, dwarf or halfling. Some judges may consider animalkin or other sentient creatures to be people.

Penalties: Flogging, branding, fine

Conspiracy to Murder of a Noble

Planning, aiding or colluding to the taking of the life of any person of the nobility of Catreath outside circumstances of war or fair duel by any common person. Some judges will consider nobility of other nations, particularly those friendly to Catreath, to be protected by this law.

Penalties: Slavery, execution

Conspiracy to Theft

Planning, aiding or colluding to the taking or destruction of any item that does not lawfully belong to you without permission, where the item is worth more than 5 gold pieces, or is judged to be of particular significance. Theft encompasses the poaching of game.

Penalties: Flogging, fine

Heresy

Giving insult to the Gods, undermining the worship of the Gods, or hindering the rites of worship due to the Gods. 'Gods' is generally accepted to mean the 9 Gods of the Human Pantheon, though this to some extent depends on the interpretation of the judge.

Penalties: Slavery, execution

Insulting a Noble

The giving of an insult to a member of the nobility by any common man, or to a notably superior noble by a member of the nobility. Insult may be given verbally, by gesture, or by action, such as refusing to kneel when instructed, or not allowing a noble to pass you on the road. For a man to be found guilty of this crime the individual insulted must register a complaint, a third party may not accuse someone.

Penalties: Flogging, fine

Interfering with the Dead

The theft of a dead body from its place of rest, the disturbing of any grave, tomb, crypt or similar place of the dead without the permission of the lord of the land, the mutilation of any dead body not executed justly under the law. This law covers the bodies of any human, elf, dwarf or halfling. Some judges may include the bodies of animalkin or other sentient creatures.

Penalties: Fine, branding, execution

Interfering with the Law

The disturbing of due legal process, the harbouring of a known criminal or outlaw, lying in a court of law, not showing due respect to a judge or legal officer within a court of law, speaking out of turn in a court of law, resisting arrest by a knight, watchman or other legal representative.

Penalties: Flogging, fine

Murder

The taking of the life of any common person outside circumstances of war or fair duel, or of any member of the nobility by any other noble. 'Person' is usually taken to mean any human, elf, dwarf or halfling. Some judges may consider animalkin or other sentient creatures to be people.

Penalties: Branding, slavery, execution

Murder of a Noble

The taking of the life of any person of the nobility of Catreath outside circumstances of war or fair duel by any common person. Some judges will consider nobility of other nations, particularly those friendly to Catreath, to be protected by this law.

Penalties: Execution

Petty Theft

The taking or destruction of any item that does not lawfully belong to you without permission, where the item is worth less than 5 gold pieces. Theft encompasses the poaching of game. The theft of religious items is never considered petty.

Penalties: Flogging, removal of fingers or hand

Theft

The taking or destruction of any item that does not lawfully belong to you without permission, where the item is worth more than 5 gold pieces, or is judged to be of particular significance. Theft encompasses the poaching of game. The theft of religious items is never considered petty.

Penalties: Removal of fingers or hand, branding, execution

Treason

Acting to harm or overthrow the King, acting to overthrow the nobility appointed by the King, or planning, aiding or colluding to the above.

Penalties: Execution (no other penalty permitted)

Smuggling

The importing or selling of taxable items without paying due import tax. Taxable items include tobacco, spices, alcohols, scents, some fabrics and other items at the discretion of the lord of the land.

Penalties: Branding, removal of hands, slavery, execution

Penalties

Branding

The criminal shall be caused permanent scarring, usually by use of branding irons on his face. These scars act as a permanent marker of previous wrongdoing, and anyone found guilty of a crime that already bears a brand will be dealt with more seriously. Bearing a brand is likely to reduce the status of a criminal, and may lead to a loss of position.

Execution

The death of the criminal at the hands of a court appointed executioner. The manner of execution may be determined by the judge. Commoners are usually publicly hanged or burnt to death, whilst the nobility are usually publicly beheaded or privately smothered (so as not to damage the body). All criminals found guilty of treason must be publicly executed.

Fine

The criminal shall pay the court a sum of money determined by the judge. The criminal may be given time in which to pay the fine at the discretion of the judge. During this time they may be free or imprisoned at the discretion of the judge. If a criminal cannot pay his fine he will be sold into slavery. The fine, or profit from sale into slavery, may be given to the victim or court at the discretion of the judge.

Flogging

The criminal shall receive a number of lashes decided by the judge. The flogging shall usually be delivered publicly. This punishment is usually reserved for commoners.

Outlawing

When a criminal evades arrest they may be ruled by a judge to be an outlaw. This means that they are not protected by the law, and any man may wrong them without fear of reprisal. Sheltering an outlaw is a crime as it is considered to be Interfering with the Law. It is usual to detail the identities of outlaws to the populace, and sometimes a reward for their head will be offered.

Removal of fingers or hands

The criminal shall have one or more fingers, or one or both hands removed by an appointed legal officer. The criminal may be attended by a healer if they can afford to employ one. It is usual to remove the bow fingers of a poacher or the hand of a repeated thief.

Slavery

The criminal shall either be sold into slavery to the highest bidder at a slave auction, or shall be given as a slave to an individual or organisation, at the judge's discretion. Examples of the latter include being given to a religious or knightly order, or to serve a noble in road building or similar manual labour. A judge should not usually give a criminal into slavery to himself. The profits from the sale of a slave may be given to the wronged party or to the court at the judge's discretion.