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Author Topic: Burton Sable introduction / Santharian Underworld discussion  (Read 5403 times)
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Rakvél Tennur
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« Reply #15 on: 05 January 2015, 14:17:58 »

First and foremost, welcome! grin
I've been reading this thread for a while now and something just popped in my head, so here's it: For an underworld to exist, there needs to be a definition of laws and authorities to antagonize; so the question is: Do we have a clear set of laws for the regions of Sarvonia? Is it a single book (like a constitution) or is it a bunch of edicts and documents that have no organized structure? How about each region, do they have autonomy and how much of it?

I'm unsure if there's something like this already, but if there's not, perhaps it'd be a good time to get this law system down, so the boundaries are clear and thus the crimes and their punishments are clear too.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #16 on: 05 January 2015, 16:44:04 »

Looks like there are couple of people out there with identity problems... lol

As I see that Valko has changed his name to Rakvél Tennur. Just so that everyone knows.

Anyway, I've also changed the thread's title to "Burton Sable introduction / Santharian Underworld discussion", because Darien is now Burton, and well, this thread is mainly about the Underworld. There, order restored - for now... ;)

Concerning the laws thingy Rakvél brought up: Well, yes, this hasn't been developed as of yet. I guess it's not necessarily important to know what punishment you're likely to get if you murder someone in Santharia e.g., but it doesn't hurt to know either. And if there are local differences etc. Would be a major project to do that properly, and it would imply that we know how all the provinces are organized, or at least have a rough idea on that. Ranks and titles vary considerably throughout Santharia (see the entry on that), but the basic provincial structure is pretty much the same throughout the kingdom, so there might be mostly consensus in key things regarding policing authorities and laws. But well, exceptions confirm the rule. Such entries about laws (like a Santharian codex) and policing still need to be written... Any volunteers?  :P
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Rakvél Tennur
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« Reply #17 on: 05 January 2015, 17:07:52 »

I indeed changed the name, figured that it'd be better to find my "Compendium Alterego" and a good name would be a good start. :P

That aside, I'd love to work on a Santharian Codex, however this one is a big project and I feel my knowledge regarding Sarvonian politics is limited, so I wouldn't be able to say for example if Slavery is tolerated in some regions or outright banned in the kingdom.

Other than that, I can figure some of the laws that must be within the codex for a kingdom to work, such as an oath of allegiance to the King and the Codex, tributary laws for those holding the lands, laws regarding the rights and obligations of and to the serfs, peasants and slaves, laws regulating the hunt and fishing as well as establishing the limits of the royal hunting grounds and protected lands, laws declaring the guards of the kingdom and their divisions...

Of these, the one that gets most of my attention is the laws about hunting/fishing and protected lands, and the guards and their divisions.
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Burton Sable
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« Reply #18 on: 05 January 2015, 19:34:54 »

As I was brainstorming my crime ideas, i've been bumping against this "law system"  a lot.

When you got Crime (and a rising underworld), the law has to grow as well.

I've been bumping against some of these questions about the law…
And so far i've been assuming things.
For example:
It's a medieval time, medieval lands, yet more civilized and peaceful than years back.
I would assume there is some kind of CODEX, probably created trough a religious system in which there is a moral code and laws.
I would assume this CODEX is the law system of the SANTHRAN who strives for order and peace. (thus the creation of the codex might have also played a part in the unifications of the kingdoms of santharia).
LAWS used to be just a SYSTEM to create ORDER by the former kings (who are now dukes? The moment the kingdoms unified, the other tribes had to give up their titles of kings towards santhros? I'm not sure about this).
So which is important is….
Who are the highest authorities in the kingdom?
They are the wielder of the laws. The Lords of high justice are the same as the Dukes or Kings of santharia (double titles apply to the same position).
Also there are the ORDERS (order of the fallen for example); they might enforce only the laws they stand for. (They might have the function of an FBI or CIA in synonym towards our real world)
The highest authority of any tribe has to live by the rules of the CODEX.
Yet some of the kingdoms still have influences of ancient culture and laws of their own tribes.

Then you would talk about 'slavery'.
There are many more moot points like 'slavery'.
Perhaps the Law against slavery would exist if there had been slavery in the past somewhere.
In this history of slavery there might have been some kind of rebellion or uprising that eventually created a "necessity for this law"

Also there is the questions of:

The punishments.

-Is torture still legal (it's medieval)?
-If an elf performs the same crimes as a human, does the human society make distinctions? What if the punishment is death or the hacking off a limb. Does an elf of 400 years old have to live forever with the loss of a limb? It seems kind of unfair and drastic. However maybe it should be unfair and drastic.
-There might be high courts and prisons for the higher class and the demihumans.
-It's medieval. As crime spawns bigger, there might be needs to make an example out of someone. (how about gallows, head chopping and burning at the stake to set an example towards the lower class?)
-magic and racial crimes might play a big part in the LAWSYSTEM.

My underworld can be written independently of the law system.
I will just assume that somewhere and anywhere every type of law and punishment applies.
The organic evolution of UNDERWORLD is directly influenced by LAWS.

I would look at the higher AUTHORITY to determine LAWS.
A powerful mage or brutal warlord might establish their own laws and are flagged criminals by means of the codex.
But the santhran and kingdoms might still profit somewhat from import and export, and might value the peace in the lands to be more important then pursuing the criminal (as it might mean full-blown war). Thus borders become important. Especially if 2 kingdoms are too different. (1 has slavery, the other doesn't) then you might want to enforce the border or avoid crossing it.
Anyways there are huge grey areas, like illegal migration, or perhaps illegal goods.
There might be tribes in santharia that have no interest in following CODEX laws, simply because it would ruin their welfare.


@Rakvel

If you want to make laws or a codex…

I could provide you with some background info regarding to crime, that you could draw from….
Which might stimulate more ideas and aspects to implement.
 grin
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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #19 on: 06 January 2015, 01:51:03 »

Is it really that likely that the 'legal' systems across the world are that similar? Would one 'codex' actually apply? Certainly things like theft and cold-blooded murder are probably illegal everywhere, but even in the 'one country' of the USA, laws regarding prostitution, drug use, and weapons possession vary widely. And in other parts of the world, the predominate religion in the area plays a major part in what laws are enforced and how. Across Sarvonia, I'd imagine there would be very wide ranges of laws, courts and punishments. In a city like Ximax or a dwarven mine or elven village, how things are handled would, in my opinion, be quite different. Therefore, there would also be a wide ranges of 'underworlds'.
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Rakvél Tennur
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« Reply #20 on: 06 January 2015, 03:39:22 »

According to the entry regarding Ranks, the Thanes hold a meeting once per year to discuss politics, and while I suspect there'd be variations across Sarvonia, I'm sure there'd be a core law every Thane adheres to, the most abstract and the most general law would be the Codex, from there, each region would probably add to it, or modify, but under the Oath of allegiance none of them could or should subtract from it.

Thus, the Santharian Codex would have to be the barest minimum, like a Constitution, delegating the more specific cases to laws under it.
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Burton Sable
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« Reply #21 on: 06 January 2015, 04:28:42 »

Well i am thinking a bit about 'game of thrones'.

I thought southern sarvonia was called the kingdom of santharia.

And i thought there used to be different kingdoms.

But now they all bow to one king.
The santhran.

I would think there is still lots of laws that differ from country to country.
(especially from race to race)

But there are some laws of unification and laws that concern the greater whole.

The more local laws are bound to territory and are there to advance welfare or some personal gain of the authority.

This codex might be something like "the ten commandments" from the bible, is what i figured.


@Ryldor

 grin

Now you understand the scope of my entry, and why it's a tough one to write.
It needs to generalize crime as a whole.
Its basically an entry about any crime form in particular.
In the entry i might give examples of territory bound crimes.
Underworld can be found everywhere but how it looks and acts is different, since laws differ; everywhere.

@ Rakvél

yes!
That's what i meant.
Hmmm
I thought up 2 directions you could take this in:

The codex is an ancient book, very old.... from which all kingdoms adapted their own versions.
or
The codex is a newer book.... that was needed to stop wars, bloodshed and complexer crime as it emerged during expansion and unification.

Hmmm
law gets really complex if you add demihumans toward it.
Any small trivial matter, might become a big matter when longer lifespans are involved.
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Rakvél Tennur
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« Reply #22 on: 06 January 2015, 08:14:15 »

Doing some research about laws back in the middle age.

The laws back then were dictated by both the king and the church, with the church having the most general laws as the church gave its authority to the kings of each region. Perhaps we should do this same here, with the most general laws being the ones set in the Thanemoot and by the Santhran, and then each region and race having its particularities, which as I said should add or slightly modify, but not subtract from the central laws.

I figure the laws would be a mix of old and new, since we have ancient races such as the elves, who likely have preserved laws and systems for a very long time, and races such as the dwarves with a very strong tie to traditions. New laws would have to be to unify and settle disputes among the races now united under the banner of the Santharan.

I figure the Codex would be divided in 2 sections, the Civil matters, and the Penal matters, with the civil matters declaring the privileges and obligations for each rank of the society, starting with the King and ending with the peasants, while the Penal matters would go on to classify the "Common crimes" and their punishments within the kingdom...

In any case, in which forum should we post all of this? Perhaps it'd be a good idea to start a section regarding laws and crime?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #23 on: 06 January 2015, 17:08:22 »

Yeah, I agree with most things said here: It's a comparable situation to a union of states like the US or even the EU. Basically, that is. So there needs to be a set of ground rules (Constitution/Codex) laid out by the Santhran, and on that the legislation of the Provinces has to be based, but can vary within the given parameters.

This is valid as long as we talk about provinces as human governmental entities and completely forget about the fact that we also have to deal with territories within these provinces, which are governed by other races (elves, dwarves and halflings). So there's another layer that applies here and has to be taken into account.

In general I guess it can be said that the more important to the kingdom as a whole, the more an issue is likely to fall under jurisdiction of the kingdom (state treason etc.) So there's probably some sort of High Court. Next would be provincial jurisdiction, and then the local one (elven, dwarven, halfling jurisdiction). It has to be determined who was involved/affected by the crimes and based on that it's either the province or the local jurisdiction that has precedence, I'd say.

Two more things:

Slavery

I guess we can assume that the United Kingdom of Santharia is more or less advanced in this aspect and slavery can be considered abolished. You find a couple of things on that on the site if you search for the term "slavery" in relation to Avennorian history, where people that were brought to the Sarvonian from Aeruillin were considered property, but this was millennia ago. Orcs, half-orcs and the likes might live in kind of slums and be used as cheap work forces after some of them remained in Santharia after the Third Sarvonian War, but they're not slaves as such.

Capital Punishment

The death penalty most likely is still an option at the current date, though it is much rarer used nowadays I would suggest than in ages past. After all Santharia has developed a good deal away from the dark ages, just like there were huge changes here on Earth, but Santharia is still on the brink and hasn't shaken off such practices completely. There are various examples of executions in the past throughout the site and I also mentioned it in the "Uninvited" Santhworld module, because it still adds some authenticity to a medieval setting, so why not have it. On the other hand we could also have e.g. a nice Alcatraz-like prison in Santharia for serious criminals - always good for nice stories :)

Oh, and regarding the church:

Well, there have been major wars in Santharia, where clerics were involved (see this History thread, especially Clerical Age 610-825). I would say that there was also a similar development in Santharia as here on Earth that the influence of the church in politics dwindled after such dramatic wars incited by clerics. So while there's still a moral code existing that derived from religion, the Codex shouldn't be directly related to the church. This also because we have major differences in belief as far as the races are concerned, so we cannot just let Santharian human religion dictate a Codex that is meant to apply to all members of the Santharian Kingdom.
« Last Edit: 06 January 2015, 17:16:28 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #24 on: 06 January 2015, 18:31:03 »

While there might be some laws that apply to the kingdom as a whole, I'm not so sure about the existence of a constitution in the sense of a set of laws that establishes the structure of the government and defines what it may or may not do.  That's a relatively modern invention, if I'm not mistaken.  In any case, that doesn't seem to be what you guys are talking about, so I'd advise against calling it a constitution. 
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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #25 on: 07 January 2015, 01:10:08 »

A) MINA!!!!! Come hang out in IRC sometime! (That goes for the rest of you too.)

B) Is there actually already something written to say there IS a codex/constitution/Sathran dictated set of rules, or are we assuming there is, or are we creating one just for the sake of creating this one entry?

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Rakvél Tennur
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« Reply #26 on: 07 January 2015, 03:19:52 »

In the Kingdom of Santharia entry we can see there were some edicts and changes in the ranks nomenclature as well as the division of the Kingdom when Santhros ascended to the throne.

I imagine there must be some core text that all the allied races signed in order to form the Kingdom, otherwise it'd be a Kingdom awaiting its fall as divisions and differences prevail and maintaining order becomes increasingly difficult.
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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #27 on: 07 January 2015, 05:04:44 »

I don't think you can safely assume that. Just because they would have pledged allegiance and fealty doesn't mean any independent laws were ever codified into a permanent document.

Also the Ranks entry clearly states that  laws were often left to the provinces or, if issued, ignored. So we're back to the same dilemma of provinces either having different laws or ignoring different laws.

And that leads back to my broader question: are we talking about taking on this question of the codex just for the sake of an entry on the underworld?
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Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
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« Reply #28 on: 07 January 2015, 05:49:01 »

The issue is that, if there is no centralized laws, no "Common Crimes" among the provinces, each province can and likely will have its own underworld pending on its own laws and what they allow or don't allow.

With a set of "Common Crimes" the underworld extends beyond borders among provinces and requires more organization, there's space for more guilds to interact beyond the borders and some issues may scale into Kingdom jurisdiction.

I also like Artimidor's perspective, a crime against the King would not be the same as a crime against another peasant, and there would be crimes against the Kingdom too. I also recall reading somewhere that Necromancy was a forbidden practice throughout the Kingdom, so either all provinces agreed on it, or it was an edict that wasn't ignored.

More so, the Ranks entry doesn't states that all the laws passed by the Santharan are ignored, and doesn't states that the laws resolutions agreed by the Thanemoot are ignored at all, which makes sense. The King is emblematic, and while he does have the power to settle things in a Thanemoot and pass edicts, it's logical that each Thane has some liberty to disobey the King, within a certain limit, since each province has different needs and not all of them may be able to implement the same regulation. This doesn't invalidates the need for a set of core laws to maintain unity and provide order as well as a means of persecution against those that jump from one province to another after committing a crime.
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« Reply #29 on: 07 January 2015, 19:20:09 »

Quote
A) MINA!!!!! Come hang out in IRC sometime! (That goes for the rest of you too.)
Hi.  I didn't realise anyone still used the channel.  It seemed pretty dead a few years ago. 
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