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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Holystone - Crime and Punishment

The Laws of the City
Nobles and knights have the right to pronounce sentence on commoners. This right is not abused, as it can be removed by the Count’s decree. This has only happened once since the founding of the city. The noble in question was himself banished following the stripping of his rights.
Nobles who are accused of crimes are judged by the Count.
Knights who are accused of crimes are judged by a suitable noble, whether it is the knights liege, the Count, or the Master of the knight’s Order.
Clerics who are accused of crimes are judged by their church leader, possibly with the Archbishop and the other church leaders getting involved if the crime is serious enough.
Women are treated the same as men under the law. There are no special circumstances due to sex, with the exception of adultery.

The City Prison
The City Prison is located in The Gates district. It is run by the City Guard. Most of it is above-ground, and is used as a Guard base and to hold non-violent prisoners. There is a dungeon level for the torturers to use and for especially dangerous prisoners. A mage is stationed here to deal with arcane threats, and there is a platoon of Guardsmen here at all times.

Sir Robert Granvel (F9) is the officer in charge. He is a knight and isn’t very happy about this duty, though he performs it well.
Arister Corwell (M8) is the mage assigned here. He spends most of his time reading magic tomes, and rarely has to deal with magical problems. He gets on well with Sir Granvel.  
Ortho Nine-Fingers (T3) is the Head Torturer. He is a small, quiet man, who takes professional pride in his work. The regular Guardsmen avoid him and he doesn’t care.

Crimes and Punishment
Adultery – A fine is paid to the wronged husband by the man involved. The husband may then file for divorce. There is no penalty for a husband with a mistress. The husband may request a duel, instead of a payment, at his discretion. Special Case: If the woman involved is a powerful noble or important merchant and was wronged by her husband, she may pursue her own trysts with no fear of reprisal and will even receive support in society.

Arson – The arsonist is hanged in a public square. His assets are seized and used to pay for any damages he incurred. 

Assault upon a Noble – Commoners who assault a noble are given twenty lashes with a whip and put in the stocks in a public square for one week. This sentence can be dropped to one night in the stocks if the noble instigated a drunken brawl, or it could be increased to death by hanging if the assailant intended deadly harm with no provocation from the noble.

Assaulting a City Guardsman – The thug is fined and sentenced to three nights in the stocks in a public square. If a weapon was used in the assault, the attacker is fined, receives 20 lashes from a whip and is put in the city prison for one month. If magic was used, the criminal is charged with Sorcery. If a City Guard was killed, the attacker is charged with Murder and may be executed.
Attempting to Free a Prisoner – The criminal is fined and sentenced to twenty lashes of the whip and one month in prison.

Blasphemy – The blasphemer must pay a fine to the Church.

Brawling – Brawlers are sentenced to one night in the stocks in a public square.

Bribery – Bribers are sentenced to one night in the stocks in a public square for something minor. If the situation is serious enough, the briber could be sentenced to more time in the stocks or even death by hanging. Officials who receive a bribe are fined, and may lose their position and even be executed, depending upon the situation.

Child Abuse – Depending upon the situation, the child abuser may be sentenced to the stocks in a public square, a public whipping, or even castration followed by execution by hanging.

Cowardice in Battle – The coward is beheaded in front of his regiment.

Debtor – A person who cannot pay his debts will be indentured to whomever he owes money for the period of one year. If the debtor owes more than one person, he will serve each person for one year as part of a consecutive sentence.

Demon Worship – The cultist will be tortured to discover his accomplices and then beheaded in a public square. Noble rank will not spare the cultist.

Destruction of Merchandise, Farmland or Produce – The person involved must pay a fine equal to 150% of the value of the product destroyed.

Destruction of a Ship – Anyone who willfully brings about the destruction of a ship for financial gain is sentenced to a public hanging.

Murder of a Commoner – If the murderer is a commoner, he has his right hand removed and spends one year in the city prison. If the murderer is a noble, he pays a fine to the victim’s family. Nobles who are guilty of multiple murders may be banished or beheaded, depending upon the situation.

Murder of a Knight or Noble – If the murderer is a commoner, he is publicly tortured and then hanged. If the murderer is another noble, he may pay a large fine or be beheaded in a private setting, depending upon the situation.

Piracy – The pirate is suspended in a cage in a public square in the Docks district until dead. If the pirate was important enough, he might be given water every day to lengthen the time before he dies.

Rape of a Commoner – If the rapist is a commoner, he is castrated. If the rapist is a noble, he must pay a large fine to the victim, and will likely be ostracized by other nobles.

Rape of a Noble – If the rapist is a commoner, he is castrated, then tortured, then hung in a cage in a public square to die of exposure. If the rapist is a noble, he will have to pay a massive fine to the person raped. In addition, he will likely be banished or even executed.

Slavery – The slaver has all property and assets seized by the Count. He is then hanged in a public square.

Sorcery – Use of magic to commit evil deeds is punishable by torture, followed by being burned at the stake. The Church will oversee all such cases, with advice from the Court Mage. Examples of sorcery include: mentally controlling someone, fireballing a group of non-criminal citizens, summoning demons or other evil beings, using magic to torture someone, or becalming or sinking merchant ships or naval warships. 

Tax Avoidance – The person involved must pay a fine equal to 150% of the value of the original tax he avoided. If he cannot do so, he is considered to be a Debtor.

Theft – The thief is branded with a T on his left cheek and spends three days in the stocks in a public square. If caught again, his right hand is removed and he spends a month in the city prison. If caught a third time, he is publicly hanged.

Treason – The traitor is tortured and then hanged in a public square. This sentence includes any who would help the ratmen who live below the city or who willfully attempts to endanger the city militarily.


The Bane said...

Good stuff right there!


Dan said...