Law and Justice 

 

The right of administering justice in the Mystwood itself. descends from the Duke, and is primarily administered by appointed magistrates. In certain circumstances, Barons and members of the clergy are entitled to do so as well.

THE CODE CIVITAS

The kingdom of Navarre has many laws, some fair and enlightened, some not so much. The vast majority of these are compiled in the “Code Civitas”, and rarely play a role in the game. There may be a penalty for failing to keep your livestock out of your neighbor's field, but it’s not likely to be an issue for your character. Nor are you likely to be punished for mixing sand in your baked goods, failing to keep up the sections of road near your house, or failing to maintain your weapons for time of need. Indeed, few of the tenets of the Code Civitas are enforced in Mystwood.

There are several notable exceptions, which will affect the everyday life of your character, and these follow. If, in any event, a character cannot pay their fine, they may be subject to public humiliation, a short period of work, or brief exile from the town:

Blasphemy, Gibbering and Ranting

This is, more or less, a polite way of saying “Talking out of game in game areas”. NPCs and other players will react to such talk as foul profanity. The fine is 5 crown. There are some areas that are fine for talking out of game- but the main areas of the game such as the tavern and town square are not them. 

Brandishing

Weapons should not be carried in hand and ready for use when within town walls. They must be sheathed, or in the case of two handed weapons, set aside until needed.

This is punishable with a warning or a 1 crown fine. It is often used by the Town Guard to keep armed strangers from staging surprise attacks. The guard may also require peace bonding of weapons at their discretion. Bows, staves, tools and the like are exempt from this requirement.

Due Payment

It is illegal to take labor or goods from a non-serf without payment. Although intended to prevent enslavement, this law is also used to discourage vagrancy, and enforce a guild's fees. Punishable by fine of twice the value due, with half of the fine going to the victim.

    • One who is cured of an affliction must pay the healer as agreed, pay 4 crown, or offer one hour's service.
    • Those who are depicted favorably in song, story, text, or illustration shall offer crown, a minor service, or payment as agreed.
    • Those who receive food and drink shall offer coin in payment, or if they have none, they shall perform a service such as the washing of dishes.
Public Nuisance

Acting inappropriately within the town, or failing to show respect to those with higher social status. This is punishable with a warning or a 1 crown fine.

The Code Civitas is enforceable by the Town Guard without trial.

THE CODE JUSTINIAN

The Code Justinian deals with grave crimes, and is far more likely to come into play during a Mystwood event. All Justinian Code crimes require an accuser in order to be prosecuted. Without someone willing to swear that the accused is guilty, no prosecution is possible. However, the accused has no particular right to face their accuser, and it is perfectly acceptable to make an anonymous accusation before a magistrate. False accusation is a crime, and thus only the brave or certain will do so, and any accusation that does not result in a conviction is deemed false.

Assault

Punishable by a fine agreed on by the assaulted person and the magistrate, or Chastisement. Note that there is a wide range of assault. Sometimes, assault is punishable by a small fine. Other times it may be immense.

Brewing

The creation of strong spirits is illegal without baronial writ. This is punishable by Chastisement (see below), as is tampering with a lawful tavern. The sentence may be increased to Death with further offenses.

Corruption

Any action that raises Undead, or causes one to become Undead is Corruption. Similarly, summoning Daemons, willingly accepting a mark of Chaos, or willful actions that lead to yourself or another receiving a Mark of Chaos. Action that results in harm through traffic with Chaos is also Corruption, (such as releasing a plague), as is actual worship of a Chaos being or accepting Unlife. Harm resulting indirectly, such as a summoned undead that kills somebody) is punishable as if the character caused the harm themselves. Punishable by Death.

Consorting with Undead or Chaos

This is use of Chaos or Undeath with intent to gain, that does not result in harm to others. Trafficking in Death or Chaos components is considered Consortium. This is considered a lesser offense than Corruption. Punishable by a fine of 50 crown, or Chastisement. Second offense punishable by Branding, third by Death. 

Dark Magic

Defined as use of the Chaos or Death components in magic without a permit, or the casting of any spell with “Chaos” in the name. Other, more amorphous magical acts deemed to be dangerous to the public good also fall into this category. Punishable by a fine of 25 crown or Chastisement, unless it results in harm to innocent individuals, in which case the sorcerer is punished as Consortium or Corruption in addition to the 25 crown fine. Third offense punishable by Branding.

False Accusation

If an accused individual is not found guilty, the accuser will face the punishment the accused would have received. For instance, the false accusation of murder could result in the punishment of Death for the accuser.

High Treason

High Treason is criminal disloyalty to the state- here defined as the Duke or the Kingdom of Navarre. Participating in warfare against Navarran soldiers, spying, assassination, forgery, and sabotage of Ducal holdings are the most commonly encountered. Punishable by Death in all cases.

Murder and Attempted Murder

Punishable by Death or a fine: 100 crown for a serf, 300 for a commoner, 500 for a knight. The Justinian Code makes no distinction between the two crimes. In Mystwood, sending someone to be resurrected is Attempted Murder.

Theft and Vandalism

Punishable by fine of twice the value of the stolen or destroyed goods, or by Chastisement. Half the fine goes to the victim, half to the Duke. Second offense punishable by Branding, third by Death. Fraud is treated as theft. Poaching is considered High Treason, see above.

Judgment and Trials

The accused may either submit to the judgment of the magistrate, or demand a trial. If a trial is chosen, the punishment is often heavier.

Normally the accused may choose the type of trial, however the magistrate does have the right to overrule the accused in special circumstances. Trials take three forms.

Trial by Juror: The magistrate will appoint three jurors, who will be given a short time, often a day, to investigate the case. Upon their return, they will render their verdict. Many jurors are semi-professional, and it is common to allow both accused and accuser to choose one juror. They are thus a cross between lawyers and detectives.

Trial by Ordeal: The accused undertakes some kind of test, usually dangerous, painful, or both. Survival or success is taken as sign of innocence. This is most often used in cases where there is little chance of establishing the facts of the case, but strong circumstantial evidence exists.

Trial by Combat: This is a right of all Knights. It may be requested by the accuser when they wish to carry out justice themselves, or by the defendant when they allege the accuser has harmed them in turn. It is permissible to have someone fight for you in most cases.

Punishments

Branding: Branding is an affliction (“Afflict with Branding”), which results in a permanent mark which must be worn. Branded criminals are obviously not usually welcome in polite society, but in some places it is a mark of honor.

Death: Death is carried out by an executioner in a manner determined by a magistrate. Due to the Book of Life and other wonders, many in Mystwood will survive their own executions. If they repented before their deaths, this is considered sufficient punishment for their crime, but if they do not, they are usually banished from the Keep for several hours. Death by Execution always consumes the Gift of Justice first, rather than the Gift of Mercy, and next the Gift of the Wild if the Gift of Justice has been used. The Gift of Mercy is used last in this case.

Chastisement: Chastisement takes many forms, at the discretion of the magistrate. In the Keep of Mystwood, it normally consists of half an hour in a crow cage, the maiming of limbs, or being made to wear a sign describing one's misdeeds. While these are mild by the standards of Navarre, the strong following of Mercy in the area prohibits the more brutal punishments seen elsewhere. In addition to the “in game” portion of the chastisement, it comes with a penalty of hard labor, assumed to take place between events, the result of which is to reduce your Maximum Hit Points by 1 (to a minimum of 1) for the entirety of the next event.