Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Haven: Laws

Inspired by (and perhaps even stolen from) notes in Vornheim, as I took notes on basic ideas of crime.
  •  Arms and armaments: Armor is illegal except for the Guard, Centurions and licensed bodyguards. The latter can only wear light (leather/studded leather armor). You can also try to conceal light armor. Most weapons are illegal. Daggers are fine, and nobles may carry long swords. Walking sticks (clubs) and quarterstaves are acceptable. Slings are easy to conceal, though technically controlled.
  • Sumptuary Laws: Fancy hats, shoes, clothes, and even foods are restricted by social station. Thus, even if you look like a noble, you can't live like a noble without having a title or living in danger of arrest.
  • Taxes and Fees: Taxes and fees can be frequent, arbitrary, and common. In addition to government taxes and fees are also allowed to guilds, universities and the like; and tithes are allowed to churches.
  • Canon Law: Churches cannot enforce law on non-believers, but followers may not be held to laws about decency, morality and heresy. These cannot result in imprisonment, but may result in shunning, branding, lashing or other corporal harm, or even excommunication.
  • Sedition: The Aquilans take great exception to rebels.
  • Illegal Worship: The Aquilans also take great exception to demon and devil cults and liberation cults. Holy symbols to these gods, public declaration of affiliation, etc. may lead to arrest.
  • Sorcery: The use of magic to create undead, summon lower-planar creatures, dominate or charm others, or cause harm or unwilling transformation of others is criminal sorcery which may be punished by imprisonment, disfigurement, or even death. Use of magic for fraud, however, is typically just a property crime.
  • Property Crime: Is usually remedied by repayment, hard labor, or indenture.
  • Slavery: Slavery is legal in the city. Most slaves are captured in war or are indentured servants. Nobles often keep slaves as personal servants and tutors. Goblins are commonly used as labor slaves, halflings as household slaves.
  • Poison: Use of poison is illegal in the city, but surprisingly common, except by licensed members of the Assassins' Guild. Punishment is death by poison, unless the Assassins' Guild gets to you first....
  • Murder: Killing a slave is a property crime. Otherwise, the penalty for murder depends on motive, victim, and killer. A commoner victim killed in the heat of the moment may result in a punishment in weregild, some murders may result in imprisonments. Only truly heinous murders or death of a nobleman or a ranking Aquilan official may very will result in death.
  • Trade Crimes: Guilds license the practice of their professions an may levy fines, ban practice of a trade, or exile those who violate trade monopolies and controls under their charter.