The Golden Wastes
Laws of the City
This page collects various laws of Velos or bedouin as might impact the Player Characters. For the most part, most laws should be invisible to the players, as characters will know what they are and what to do. Some may become pertinent during play, and the GM will notify the players when that happens. This page is simply a repository of such laws for convenience.
Judges sit in their court house with a secretary to record decisions. There are legal notaries who are responsible to be witnesses to documents. Judges act as full magistrates and are responsible for investigating crimes as well as applying the law. The city is divided into a few districts where the judge has authority. Any writs, exemptions, or other decisions are typically only within that district. The Brass Gate district covering most of the caravanserais and poor neighborhoods in town is administered by Judge Gongde.
There is no trial by jury in the city. Neither innocence or guilt is assumed at the beginning of the trial. All trials are conducted by judges who act as chief investigator, although anyone may come forward to provide evidence. While awaiting trial, suspects are kept in gaol or house arrest depending on social class. There is no appeal except at the hand of the Overlord himself in matters resulting from wrong application of the law. The Overlord may also pardon or commute sentences at his mercy.
Torture is acceptable as a means to obtain confessions, but such torture must be performed publicly so that can decide for themselves if the confession is false. If so, the judge who ordered it will be subjected to the same for ordering it on an innocent.
There are no prisons, and guilty sentences involve either paid compensation, indentured servitude, forced labor, dismembering, or death.
- Murder is punished by confiscation of property, or death for the landless.
- Disturbing the public peace is punishable by fine, variable to the degree of the disturbance.
- Interference with the Overlord’s men gets you placed in a forced labor camp for 1-4 weeks.
- Use of destructive magic is punishable by exile in addition to any other punishments for subsequent damages.
- Treasonous activity is punished by one day of slow torture and then drawn and quartered.
- Anyone guilty of the crimes of sorcery or being undead are burned to death.
Law on Carrying Weapons
Only light melee weapons doing up to 1d6 damage can be carried openly in public. All other weapons must be tightly bound in cloth to prevent their use. “Tightly bound” means it takes 1 full round action to make the weapon usable. If not, the person is fined 10 sp. Note that repeated offenses, especially in a short period of time, is punishable by greater penalties.
Damnatio ad Bestias
Condemnation to beasts iss a form of capital punishment in which the condemned are maimed on the circus arena or thrown to a cage with animals. The spectacle of such is used as a form of entertainment in the Great Hippodrome. The penalty is only applied to the worse crimes such as:
- Deserters from the army
- Those who employed sorcerers to harm others
- Poisoners (Illuminati and Armigers are beheaded, other castes thrown to lions)
- Counterfeiters (who could also be burned alive)
- Political criminals
- Instigators of uprisings (either crucified, thrown to beasts or exiled)
- Those who kidnapped children for ransom