Laws and Codes (Page 2 of 2)

Now you know the heart of them lets look at more details.

High, Medium, and Low Justice

Laws of Kaurath

The laws of Kaurath are complex in their simplicity. Low crimes are considered the realm of the noble or official in charge of the trial. They are relatively undefined and are therefore open to interpretation. The accepted definition of Low Crimes in Kaurath are very similar to the definition of their Evendarrian counterparts. The sentence of guilty parties is decided by returning to the all-encompassing Luvata Kansa. All punishments must be handed down without violating the code established in the Luvata Kansa.

Unlike Low Crimes, High Crimes are non negotiable and are not open to interpretation. They are considered great offenses and are therefore dealt with either: death, obliteration, or expatriation.

Expatriation is Kaurath's answer to banishment. Similar to Banishment in the Evendarrian Duchy of Volta, when an offender is expatriated they are stripped of name and citizenship thereby rendering them countryless. This means that they are not entitled to the same protections as the citizenry and are not protected by the laws of the Kaurath.

Expatriation is not an unredeemable state. Expatriots can redeem themselves in three ways. The expatriot can seek a pardon from High King Bulzaric or an under-King. This rarely happens and when it does happen it is usually posthumously because of heroic acts of the expatriot. The second way to seek redemption comes from a yearlong tour at Siltamuuri. Siltamuuri is a harsh and dangerous place. Those who seek redemption through this manner are usually meet with a violent end. Those who do survive return as respected members of society. The third way comes from declaring a Quest of Redemption. The declaring of the quest must be witnessed by an emissary of the High King and must be sponsored by a noble. Should one seeking redemption fail or is convicted of another crime prior to redemption, they cannot seek to be redeemed for one year and a day after their failure or violation. Nobility, magistrates, sheriffs, or individuals granted authority under a Writ of Leadership shall deal law to the common. A Writ of Leadership is defined as any writ, granting rule over a group, faction, host, or caravan.

Low Crimes

Low Crimes are defined as any crime that is not considered a High Crime. These include, but are not limited to: Arson, Assault, Bribery, Conspiracy, Contempt of a Noble, Defacing Property, Forgery, Public Disorder, and Theft. Punishment for low crimes shall follow the guidelines set forth by the Luvata Kansa and should not exceed fining or incarceration in the form of assigned duty, save for multiple offenses, or offenses against nobles or noble houses.

High Crimes

The following crimes are punishable by death, obliteration, or expatriation.
Kidnapping: Kidnapping is defined as the abduction of an individual against their will.
Murder: Murder is defined as the taking of another's life, even if a Life spell is administered. Defending one's honor through combat in an established Honor Duel is not considered murder.
Necromancy: Necromancy is defined as the raising and manipulation of undead or the possession of items that raise or manipulate undead. The casting of Chaos magic within town or city limits is considered necromancy.
Pretending to a Noble Title: Pretending to a noble title is defined as falsely declaring oneself as a noble.
Slavery: Slavery is defined as ownership of another individual, or the buying or selling of another individual.
Treason: Treason is defined as the betrayal, desertion, or treachery to Kaurath. Attempted overthrow of Kaurath or any of the Nine Kingdoms shall be considered High Treason and shall result in expatriation.

Obliteration, Expatriation, and Redemption

Obliteration is defined as three successful deaths. At no time shall formal magics be used to obliterate offenders. Failure to attempt to resurrect at the established circle shall result in the expatriation of the offender.
Expatriation is defined as having ones identity, citizenry, and nationality stripped. Expatriated individuals are no longer considered citizens of or visitors to Kaurath and are no longer protected under the laws of Kaurath.
Redemption is described above. It can come through pardon by a King or Queen although this is rare. It can come from Service At the Siltamurri for a year fighting the Barrowheart. With the end of the Barrowheart War that option is no longer open. It can come from declaring an acceptable Quest of Redemption and completing it.

Accords of Avalon

A treaty established among the major nations of Avalon. They provide for mutual aid in case of attacks and some rules of war between nations. The sections that most travelers notice is that they require a measure of respect to titles granted in other realms and a measure of common culture in matters of law and behavior between realms. This does not mean that subjects of the High Kingdom will abase themselves before visiting nobility who have not proven themselves in battle and in honor, but it does require a level of politeness as a courtesy among strangers. And it may place Kaurathi who travel to more pretentious parts of Evandar at slightly more risk o being charged and convicted of crimes that we would consider failure to be excessively deferential to unproven or undeserved holders of titles which should be worthy of respect.

There is a special codicil that permits the use of spells forbidden elsewhere to aid the undead subjects of the Barrowheart for five years since Kaurath signed on to the Treaty.

Signing the Acords of Avalon also allow access to the Avalonian Gate System which allows rapid travel through the most civilized realms of Avalon and Evandar. After much debate the representatives of the twelve kingdoms agreed to build the Gate in the High Kingdom but deep underground surrounded by a strong garrison and connected to the outside through the Royal Customs House.

The Problem of Cause Wounds, Necromancy, and Death

The Legality of any form of Cause Wounds spell is a subject of debate. While forbidden in towns within the High Kingdom except for healing undead citizens of the Barrowhart, Evandar and some other realms consider it Necromancy based on the underlying magical theory that it draws on the Void of Corruption and harms the world. This explanation does not motivate folks like traditionalist Barbarians who eschew Celestial magics as unclean and rely on Cause Wounds as "battle magic" because it harms living beings directly bypassing their armor. And their opinions does not motivate those who slaughter anyone using Battle Magic, although that may result in assault or murder charges today.

Necromancy, the raising of the dead, is technically a separate action although it does use a similar incantation and that in turn suggests to many that the tainted power it uses to break the natural cycle of Life and Death is the same one that Cause Wounds uses. Necromancy, at least, is universally disdained, save by traditionalists within the Barrowhart and the Royal position on the subject is, none the less, clear.

Causing someont to Die, while legally the same as stabbing them in the heart, is not consider Necromancy as the incantation used, "I grant you the Gift of Death" is the same as that of the Life spell and is not "I call upon Chaos to ...." like the Cause Wounds spells.

As a result injuring someone with Earth Magic (Cause Wounds) is, in some cases, treated as a less serious act than Killing them (Death). Those who study the theory of magic can speak to the subtleties involved at much greater length.