Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Swords of Mars: Laws in Izmir

I pulled out an old document for an earlier idea for a campaign setting, and tweaked it for Izmir. Rather than setting up a complex document for playing out legal issues, I wanted to set things up to see general principles.
  • 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 excommunication. 
  • Sedition: The Aquilans take great exception to rebels.
  • Sorcery: The use of magic to create undead, summon demons, dominate or charm others, or cause harm or unwilling transformation is criminal sorcery which punished by imprisonment, disfigurement, or even death. Use of magic for fraud is 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. Beastmen are commonly used as labor slaves, Hadiri 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, though some murders may result in imprisonments. Only heinous murders or murder of a noble or ranking priest 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.