Kingdom Of Shendenflar
Law And Order In The Kingdom
Shendenflarians are, by and large, a law-abiding people—when so many of the kingdom’s inhabitants earn their living by trade, respect for property is high, and support for a strong, objective police force even more so.
Much of the laws of Shendenflar are unwritten, and fall within the “reasonable discretion” of the Judges (and ultimately, of the King who may overrule them), and therefore cannot all be set down here. A summary of sentences, the “Code Of Law” is provided below.
Code Of Law
Crimes and their corresponding sentences, as administered by the King and the Judges, can be roughly summarized as set forth below. This system is known as the “Code Of Law,” and is only a basis for sentencing, not absolute rules. Note that both the King and the Judges are free to determine absolute guilt and innocence, and set any lesser sentence they consider fitting (or none at all) if a crime is deemed justified or largely harmless and unintentional. A single act can result in multiple charges, under one or more of the three “Sections.” Decisions of the Judges may be appealed to the King by anyone, but such appeals must be within seven days of the initial sentencing. The three Sections are the three different classes of aggrieved parties, or those who are injured by a crime. They are Crimes Against The Government; Crimes Against The Gods; and Crimes Against Citizens. Under each section are four classes of crimes. These four types of offenses are Severe; Serious; Lesser; and Minor. The sentences have been set forth below in a chart to save space. After the letter that denotes a type of punishment, an amount (of time or money) usually follows. The Court is empowered to seize and sell the property of a convict to realize the money needed to satisfy the payment of fines or damages, without the consent of a convict. The family, guild, or business partners of a convict are never liable for the payment of a convict’s fines or damages, unless they can be proven to have aided, abetted, ordered, or coerced a convict into the criminal activity in question.
Temples and priesthoods are not permitted to pass or carry out sentences under the Third Section; only officers of the Court may do so.
Convicted beings may owe fines to the Government and pay as they can over time, but only upon permission of the King or a Judge, who will typically demand at least a partial payment immediately.
Outside of the major cities, law takes on a decidedly different tone. each town usually has it’s own version of the watch and usually has a “Sherriff” or “Constable” that is responsible for upholding law and order. While some towns follow the “Code of Law” some do not and have their own versions of it. The farther North one goes in Shendenflar (away from the cities) the more different the legal system becomes. Summary judgment and sentencing is common in the smaller communities (as is the death penalty)
A Death (Instant)
B Death (upon conviction)
C Exile or Ban Against Future Entry
D Mutilation (loss of offending extremities, branding)
E Enforced Hard Labor
F Imprisonment (Under Castle Shendenflar)
G Imprisonment (light work in the city where the crime was committed)
H Fine (payable to Government)
I Damages (payable to injured party)
J Edict Against Convicted (public pronouncement forbidding
convicted to do something; e.g. continue in
present business, repeat circumstances that led to an
The First Section: Crimes Against The Government
Treason (including Assault upon a member of the Royal Family): A
Impersonation of a member of the Royal Family: A
Poisoning of Water (City Wells; includes attempted blockage or attempts to control public access, or charge fees for such access): A
Murder: B or E (10-15 years)
Spying, Sabotage: B or C (permanent) plus H (costs of repairs plus 2,000-5,000 Crowns) or F (20 years) plus H
Impersonation of a Judge of Other Governmental Official: B after flogging
Forgery of an Official Document: B or C (permanent)
Assault Upon A Judge: B or F (10 years) after flogging
Theft, Vandalism, or Arson Against the Castle Government Buildings or any part of the City Walls: E (as justice demands) plus H (cost of repairs plus 2,000 Crowns)
Impersonation of a Guardsman or Officer of the
Watch: F (as justice demands) plus H (5,000 Crowns) and flogging
Repetition of any Lesser or Minor Offense Against This
Section: E or F (1 month) and/or H (up to 1,000 Crowns)
Willful Disobedience of any Edict Uttered Against One By the King or a Judge: H (up to 1,000 Crowns) or C (up to 5 years)
Fraud: C (permanent) and I (as justice demands) or F (up to 10 years) and I, and J
Fencing Stolen Goods: G (up to 2 years) and H (typically double the sale price) and J
Unlawful Dueling (Manslaughter): C (up to 5 years and I (to family, typically 1,000 Crowns) or E (up to 3years) and I
Murder With Justification: C (up to 5 years) or E (up to 3 years)
Repetition of Any Lesser or Minor Offense Against This Section: F (1 month) and H (up to 1,000 Crowns) and J
Bribery of a Governmental Official (attempted or apprehended):
C (up to 20 years) and confiscation of all property except one weapon, one week’s rations, and clothes worn by offender.
Unlawful Observation or Copying of an Official Document: F (3 weeks) plus H (300 Crowns)
Assault Upon Any Officer Who Is Acting In the Line Of Duty: F (1 week) plus H (as justice demands, usually based on ability to pay; flogging if unable to pay anything)
Unlawful Entry Into The Harbors(1 charge per vessel per occasion): C (1 year) and H (500 Crowns)
Unlawful Dueling (apprehended; i.e. on fatality): G (1 week) and H (100 Crowns)
Blasphemy Against King, Judge, or any Officer:
G (4 days) plus H (120 Crowns)
Bribery: G (1 week) and/or H (amount of bribe or attempted bribe)
Blasphemy Against Foreign Ambassadors: G (up to 1 week), H (50 Crowns) and J Vagrancy: F (overnight)
Littering (includes Relief of Human Wastes in Public): F (overnight) and H (2 Princes to 1 Crown, based on ability to pay) and J
Brandishing a Weapon Dangerously or Threateningly Without Due Cause (Note: being in a brawl is not “due cause” unless one is menaced with a weapon): F
(overnight) and H (1 Crown)
Dangerous Operation of a Coach, Wagon, Litter or other Conveyance (including Airborne): H (5-50 Crowns, as justice demands; note that this will be in addition to the sentence for any other charges).
The Second Section: Crimes Against The Gods
Entering The Garden Of Kings without cause(I.E not a member of the Royal Family of accompanied by a member of the Royal Family): C
Defiling of a Holy Place (Temple Burglary, Arson, or Vandalism): C (5 years) and I (as justice demands) or E (up to 5 years) or F (up to 3 years) and I
Worship Of Iuz C (permanent) or even B if evidence of Treason or Sedition is uncovered)
Theft of Temple Goods or Offerings (includes spoilage or consumption of same): F (up to 1 month) and I (double the estimated value of the goods) and I
Tomb-Robbing (or Unlawful Entry or Vandalism of a Tomb): G (up to 1 week) and I (cost of repairs and replacements plus up to 500 Crowns, payable to whoever maintains the tomb—temple, guild, city, or family) and J
Repetition of any Lesser or Minor Offense Against This Section: G (up to 1 week) and H (up to 1,000 Crowns) and J
Assault Upon A Priest or Lay Worshiper: I (up to 500 Crowns payable to temple, and usually based on ability to pay) and J (in addition to any other charges)
Public Blasphemy of a God or Priesthood: I (up to 10 Crowns, based on ability to pay) and J
Drunkenness (and Disorderly Conduct) at Worship: I (up to 5 Crowns based on ability to pay) and J
The Third Section: Crimes Against Citizens
Arson (of Ship, Structure, or Stored Property): E (up to 3 months) and I (value lost plus up to 500 Crowns), and/or C (up to 10 years) and I
Rape: B(or C) and I (up to 2,000 Crowns) or E (up to 5 years) and I, or F (up to 10 years) and I
Assault Resulting In Mutilation or Crippling: D and I (up to 2,000 Crowns) or E (up to 3 years) and I
Magical Assault: H (up to 1,000 Crowns) and I (up to 2,000 Crowns) and J(Most magical crimes also carry expulsion from the Watchful Order (if a member) as well as a public edict forbidding the offender to use magic in the kingdom)
Forgery (not including official City documents): C (up to 20 years) and D and the confiscation of all property except 1 weapon, 1 week’s rations, and offender’s clothing
worn at the time of sentencing
Slavery: C Immediate upon apprehension (up to 10 years) and flogging if shackling, cruelty, whipping, branding, or physical indignities are observed
Robbery: E (up to 1 month) and I (value of goods lost plus up to 500 Crowns)
Burglary: F (up to 3 months) and I (value of goods lost plus up to 500 Crowns)
Theft or Killing of Livestock I (double the cost of lost stock)
Repetition of any Lesser or Minor Offense Against This Section: F (up to 1 week) and I (double normal), or G (up to 2 weeks) and I (double normal)
Damage to Property: I (value of goods lost plus up to 500Crowns) and J
Assault (Wounding): I (cost of medical attention plus up to 500 Crowns) and J
Assault on Livestock (non-fatal): I (cost of medical attention plus up to 500 Crowns
Unlawful Hindrance of Business I (up to 500 Crowns) and J
Assault (without wounding or robbery): F (overnight) and I (up to 50 Crowns)
Excessive Noise (interfering with sleep or business): I (up
to 25 Crowns) and J
Trials & Sentencing
There is no bail in Shendenflar, although the King or a Judge can dismiss charges at will. This is rarely done. There are lawyers in Shendenflar, although the profession is a relatively new one to the kingdom only being allowed during Simeon Baras’s rule. For the most part Shendneflarian lawyers merely present the defendants case in a coherent manner that (usually) paints their clients in the best possible light. The Judges of Shendenflar hold a dim view of lawyers in general and will severely restrict their actions if they feel the lawyer is “showing off” or trying to take advantage of a perceived “loophole” in the law. Several minor clerics earn regular incomes for themselves or their temples by casting detect lie magic from behind concealing tapestries at a sign. The fee paid by the Government, is 500 Crowns per spell cast, and so this service is used only in the most delicate of important cases.
The death penalty is customarily employed only to deal with dangerous and incurable lunatics, murderers, and those who commit acts of treason against the Government or the King. Sentences of death are usually carried out in the courtyard of the Hall of Kings Justice Center if commoners or soldiers must die; for death in such cases is by hanging, usually at sunrise. Nobles die by the sword; such beheadings are usually carried out in front of the Castle gates. Floggings, are usually also carried out at the Hall of Kings, but may be carried out anywhere if an example to the citizenry of a particular neighborhood is intended.
Specific Crimes and Situations
Bribery is a rare occurrence in Shendenflar as most people make money from their reputations. It is however somewhat common that a criminal convicted of a particularly heinous crime (if able to afford it) will attempt to “barter” a valuable item for a lesser sentence. This is rarely successful.
Shendenflarians are sentenced for debts of one sort or another—either debts to another citizen or outstanding debts owed to the Government due to unpaid fees or taxes or fines imposed by a Judge which cannot be (or are not) paid within a specified period of time. Such “payoff” periods are set by the Judge who passed sentence and are usually thirty days, exactly, from the date and time of the sentencing. Minor personal (private) debts are paid off by the offender, by having him work for the person he owes money. (It is that persons responsibility to monitor and record the offenders attendance, and diligence in, this enforced servitude as the Watch will only intercede if NO service is performed) until service, at the going market rate, equals the debt owed. Major debts may result in the Government paying the person owed from its own coffers, and the offender becoming an unpaid sewer, wall, or road repair worker in one of the cities until the debt is cleared. Only the King can approve a recommendation by a Judge, senior watch officer, or one of their number to seize property or goods of an offender to pay fines; this the do rarely but, combined with exile from the kingdom, it provides an effective last-resort method of removing persistent troublemakers.
Written contracts or note-of-hand are required to prove to a Judge that a debt is owed, if a citizen wishes to bring a complaint before the Courts. All careful merchants will get and give written documents in their dealings.
The wearing of weapons is allowed in the cities, as is using them in clear self-defense, but duels are allowed only in specific places in the cities and must be marshalled by an officer of the watch or a Judge. A duel must be for reasons of a specific, unprovoked injury, allowed by a Judge; simply killing citizens because you covet their money or don’t like their faces is not sanctioned. Governmental officials, Judges, guard and watch members are exempt from challenges, and the Judges usually forbid any duels involving the heads of guilds, noble houses, or priesthood.Duels are seldom to the death; more often, they are to yield or first blood, whichever first occurs; and clerics usually attend to heal (upon payment of temple donations) the loser, and sometimes the winner too.
Fire is not as common in Shendenflar’s cities as it might be. The collapse of a building often douses the fire with a dull “boom” as the full water cistern on the roof is emptied onto the flames, or the building falls in onto a full cellar cistern. Watch officers are adept at fighting fires with sand, night soil, the removal of flammables, and in most cases; the full cooperation of nearby city folk. Timbers are used for most of the upper stories, and for floors and furnishings, but because the two large cities both border water they are generally damp, and most wood is very slow to catch fire. Ground-level stories and the floor directly above them are usually of stone or clay brick. Roofs are often a mixture of boards, thatch, and slates, sealed with pitch.
Members of the Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors will guard buildings against fire, or attempt to extinguish existing fires, for fees (whereas it is part of the watch’s duty to provide assistance against fires). A private home of middling wealth and no especially flammable or valuable contents is 35% likely to have a protection contract with this guild; members will arrive in 4-7 rounds and attempt to douse the flames by magical means.
Slavery is illegal in Shendenflar. No one is deemed a slave, and may not be treated as one. No branding, shackling, or physical punishment. If any of these are observed charges will result, usually including immediate imprisonment for the offender, so that the slave has time to escape.
For most of it’s history, Shendenflar had no organized, effective criminal presence. This has changed over the last 20 years as now the kingdom has at least two large well-organized and well-funded thieves guilds. For their part, the thieves are well-disciplined and for the most part very subtle. There are exceptions of course and banditry and muggings as well as kidnappings are not unheard of. King Baras is just becoming aware of the growing criminal presence in his kingdom and is being pressed by the merchants and guilds of Shendenflar to do something about it. Thefts in the cities often are sentenced more harshly than they once were also, more and more merchants are hiring private guards to protect their goods. These guards can at times be overzealous in their work and on several occasions of late suspected thieves have been killed.
The City Watch
The watch, are the cities daily, domestic police, and do far more than arrest offenders. They may aid passersby with heavy loads, give directions, search for lost children, provide basic medical aid, and referee gambling disputes or children’s fights during a typical patrol.
A watch street patrol usually consists of four members, afoot, two being officers—
a sergeant and a captain or lieutenant—and all are clad in leather and chain armor of black, and gold and armed with rods (treat as clubs), daggers, and short swords. The watch has access to the guard’s armories in the Castle and wall-towers. Reinforcements rushing to the scene of a dispute may be on horse and may wear all manner of armor and bear all manner of arms, as required. Watch patrols are many; all on-duty members of the watch can enter any building or area in the city without hindrance or warning, unless specifically forbidden to by the King and search any person, place, or container at will. Certain areas of the cities are, by tradition, lightly patrolled (the docks, for example) and others are very heavily patrolled (the Garden of Kings In Riverhewn, for example, and the streets around the villas of the wealthy areas of the cities). If a watch patrol encounters a major disturbance, they will blow the distinctive whistles they carry on their belts to summon aid, and one member of the patrol will immediately run to the nearest guard post to spread the word, usually summoning additional aid from the guard if necessary.
The Riverhewn watch is commanded by Captain Elgeon “Strifetamer” Darmikn . His messengers are the “Officers of the Day” (four watchmen chosen from the ranks). Each ward has a number of guard posts with senior officers in charge of each of them; one ward officer oversees the senior officers. Elhorn Daw (the commander of the Riverhewn ward officers) is of equal rank with Mage Brestina Salthon(commander of the Riverhewn watch-wizard forces) and Senior Swordsmaster, Panril Droverson (the Riverhewn administrator of watch weaponry and equipment, and Darmikn’s oldest friend).
If a watch patrol makes an arrest, two of its four members must accompany an accused to a clerk of the court immediately, the other two remaining on patrol, or if necessary assisting or protecting victims or abandoned property. If a vendor is arrested the vendor’s stall will be closed. All losses of business is the responsibility of the vendor and not of the Watch or the Courts. One officer will be with each half of a split patrol, never staying together while their two subordinates go elsewhere together.
For restraining and guiding very dangerous or active suspects, each patrol carries two rolled-up leather capture hoods large sacks with tiny air-holes which are thrown over a person’s head and then drawn tight with straps around the person’s waist or belly, pinioning arms to sides and hampering visibility. Guide-ropes can be clipped to the hood to pull a confined person along in a certain direction, or used by several officers and a lot of strength to hold a confined person away from others that the person is attempting to reach by pulling on lines on all sides of the hood, preventing the arrested from lunging. Watch patrols when arresting will use hand-to-hand fighting to disarm and capture suspects who do not stand and surrender or throw down or sheathe their weapons when challenged. If the suspect continues to be violent, numerous watch members will attack single targets in attempts to hold the suspect down by sheer weight while he or she is disarmed and bound, with feet hobbled, or a capture hood is put on. Watch-wizards also employ slow, sleep, and hold person spells with great effectiveness. In cases of great danger to watch officers (such as an angry, powerful mage or a fighter attacking with magical weapons), watch members can slay to defend themselves and employ speak with dead spells later to determine a subject’s guilt or innocence. Innocent parties are always resurrected at the city’s expense, if possible. Watch officers who must kill in the line of duty are never charged, nor held financially responsible, for the deaths they bring about. An officer who kills often with-out clear cause will be dismissed. Luckily, with the advent of watch-wizards, these occurrences happen with far less frequency, and successful arrests of even the most troublesome of targets has increased dramatically.
The House Guard
The House Guards are permanently employed fighting troops that are exclusive to the city of Riverhewn.(The city of Stormhaven has a garrison of troops that performs the same function) They serve as road patrols outside the city walls, and as garrisons for Castle Shendenflar, and the many guard posts along Riverhewn’s walls, jails, and armories. The guard also serves as bodyguards for the Royal Family and as honor guards for visiting diplomats. The city gates are manned by both by the guard, who control access and see to the security of the city from attack, and by watch patrols, who observe those entering, and are ready to aid the guard in troubles, chase fugitives so that the guard need not abandon their posts, or escort visitors if required.
The guards uniforms are silver scale mail covered by black tabards with gold trim. They tend to be armed with rods, short bows, short swords, and daggers; different posts demand different weapons.
The size of the guard and the watch is known only to The king and Prince Kadre the House Guard commander but is strictly controlled, and thought to be approximately 1,200 guard and 1,600 watch. In times of strife this number can triple. The professionally curious are warned that Prince Kadre has deliberately subdivided the payrolls of these forces so that it is difficult for visiting diplomats and others engaged in snooping to discover the true size and names of the guard and the watch, and these figures may only be two-thirds or even less of the true totals.
Judges And The CourtsThe Courts of Shendenflar are conducted by 20 appointed Judges. At least three such officials are always on duty at the Hall Of Kings, and during daylight hours, there is also a Judge at each gate of the cities. These Judges can pass sentence instantly, although most make sentences conditional on the supporting evidence of witnesses. They are always accompanied by a bodyguard of at least six members of the city guard. Any citizen of Shendenflar is allowed an appeal to the King within seven days of any sentencing by a Judge. The Kings Court is chaired by King Baras, and is attended by Colan Winterblade Lord Counselor to King Baras and two Judges. It is held at about noon every day. This court hears all cases of murder and other severe crimes, rape, and appeals from the citizenry against Magisterial judgments. No lawyers are allowed in the Kings Court. Most judgments are upheld or reworded in a minor way, it should be noted. The Judges are good and perceptive people, or they do not hold their positions for long. Judges can be created at will by public decree of the King.