Law and Order

Law and Order in Velitrium
The Watch:
  Every city and town of any size has a Watch. These men serve as the police force, fire brigade and as the noncom officer cadre for the Spear Levy when that is called up.
  The Watchmen are generally armored in reinforced leather and are armed with a club or staff to subdue drunken rowdies, and a short sword and crossbow for more serious problems. A Watchman wears a brass badge or pin in the shape of a lantern, a representation of the light the patrols carry at night and a symbol of the `Light of Truth and Justice’ that their presence brings.
  The Watch is generally under the operational command of a Captain who will have one or more lieutenants, several sergeants and corporals as needed. The true commander is the Deputy Sheriff assigned to the community.
  The Watchmen are always careful not to intervene too soon in any brawl where the odds are not stacked heavily in their favor. The job does not pay extraordinarily well but does carry a pension, it attracts a cautious and thoughtful kind of man.
The Rangers
  The Rangers are to the countryside what the Watch is to the town. Operating in small patrols from barracks in the outlying communities, they police the countryside, dealing with matters like poaching, cattle stealing, and highway banditry. They also serve as the police in those communities too small to maintain a force on their own.
  The Rangers are generally better armed and equipped than the Watch. Scale mail, shields, broadswords and bows are standard. Rangers wear a brass badge or pin in the shape of an arrow head. They are mounted and have assigned areas that they patrol. Rangers have a reputation as being less inclined to subdue opponents than the Watch.  
  Like the Watch they have officers for operational command but answer to the local Deputy Sheriff. And like the Watch they tend to be cautious in carrying out their duties, and to look before they leap. This is understandable since they often deal with problems while miles away from help or reinforcements. Many people complain that the Rangers know their way around the country inns better than the county they’re in.
County Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs
  The Sheriff, there is only one, is appointed by the Count or Countess of the county. The Sheriff’s principal function is to oversee the collection of taxes. To this end Deputy Sheriffs assist the Baron’s taxpayers in collecting from reluctant citizens. The Sheriff travels from Barony to Barony and checks the local Baron’s books to ensure that he took no more than his rightful share of tax revenues, and to see to it that the revenues of last year where truly spent as they were intended. If the Baron set aside funds for bridge building and road repair then the work had best been done.
  The second function of the Sheriff, and especially his deputies, is law enforcement and more importantly prosecution. In most local criminal affairs, especially those that take place in town, the Deputies undertake the investigation, if any. They also serve as the prosecutor against the accused during the trial. For manpower the Sheriff and Deputies may call upon the local Watch, the local Rangers, the Militia or the Count’s personal troops and those of the local Baron’s.
  The Sheriff and his Deputies are not permitted to operate outside their County, nor may they arrest a noble on any matter other than tax fraud or tax evasion. The Sherif and his Deputies may not arrest, pursue or take anyone off of Church land or from a Cathedral, temple, chapel, shrine or monastery; without the Church’s permission.
  The Marshals are appointed by the Duke or Duchess of the Duchy. Their primary function is to ensure that the Counts don’t keep any more of the tax revenues than allowed and that the revenues are used properly. The secondary function is to police the lesser nobility and the Sheriffs and his deputies, and if needed, investigate and prosecute the Barons and Counts.
  For armed support the Marshal’s may use Ducal forces, County troops, Baronial forces or the Watch and the Militia.  
  The Marshal’s jurisdiction is anywhere in their Duchy. However the Marshals may not arrest, pursue or take anyone off of Church land or from a Cathedral, temple, chapel, shrine or monastery; without the Church’s permission.
Royal Constables
  The Royal Constables serve for the King the same function as the Marshals do for the Dukes. The ensure that the tax revenues collected by the Dukes are properly administered and shared with the King. They also investigate any impropriety on the part of the Duke and his people.
  For armed support they may call upon Royal Troops and even Avengers. The Constables have jurisdiction throughout the Kingdom.
The Laws of Velitrium
  The Laws are divided into two codes, they are Secular and Church. Some crimes fall under both codes and a guilty party may be prosecuted, convicted and punished under both. This is usually done only in cases of hardened criminals and serious and repulsive crimes.
Secular Crimes Penalties
Perjury Death by hanging.
Murder Death by hanging and weregild to family.
Treason Death by decapitation and forfeiture of all property and titles.
Necromancy Death by decapitation and the body is burned.
Robbery (by force) Death by hanging.
Distribution & sale of banned materials Branding and/or flogging and fine and/or indenture.
Rape Castration and fine.
Maiming Flogging and indenture.
Arson Branding and fine and indenture.
Dueling Flogging and fine.
Theft, major Flogging and indenture.
Slander Flogging and indenture.
Tax Evasion Indenture.
Assault Flogging and fine.
Trespass Flogging and fine.
Poaching Flogging and fine.
Bootlegging Flogging and fine.
Possession of banned materials. Flogging and stocks.
Theft, minor Flogging and fine.
Insubordination Flogging or stocks or fine.
Public Drunkenness Stocks and fine.
Disturbing the Peace Stocks and fine.
Prostitution Stocks and fine.


Decapitation is by a axe and is done by the Executioner.

Executioner's Block and Hood
Executioner’s Axe, Block and Hood

Flogging. The Magistrate may sentence from 3 to 99 lashes, at his discretion. Every six blows roll 1D. On a sentence of three to five roll 1D-2. Some flogging sentences call for the miscreant to be ‘Whipped through the streets’ as a method of combing humiliation with physical punishment. In such a case the prisoner is tied to the back of a cart or a horse and is lead through the streets while the executioner walks behind administering the flogging.

Whipped through the Streets
Whipped through the Streets

Stocks. The judge may sentence as little as 1 hour to as many as 1,000 hours. The sentence may be continuous or in X hours per day.

Common Stocks
Common Stocks

Fines are split between the victim and the local Baron. (The Baron must divide this with the Count, who divides it with the Duke, etc.)

Indenture. The criminal is sold into slavery for a period of years, never less than one year and never more than thirty. The criminal is generally sold at public auction or, in some cases, is given to the victim as compensation.

Branding. The brand is placed on the forehead for easy visibility.

Castration. Pretty self explanatory.

Hanging. This is performed by the Executioner and is done on a gallows.

Church Crimes


Perjury Death by hanging and Anathematize.
Murder Death by flogging and Anathematize.
Treason Death by decapitation and Anathematize.
Necromancy Death by fire and Anathematize.
Blasphemy Death by flogging and Anathematize.
Robbery (by force) Death by hanging.
Distribution & sale

of banned materials

Branding and flogging
Rape Castration and branding and Anathematize.
Maiming Like maiming.
Arson Branding and flogging.
Dueling Flogging and Anathematize.
Theft Branding.
Assault Flogging.
Trespass Flogging.
Possession of banned


Impiety Flogging.
Public Drunkenness Public Penance.
Disturbing the Peace Public Penance.
Prostitution Public Penance.
Public Penance can take several forms. Examples include, walking the streets ringing a bell while carrying a sign that proclaims the crime. Carrying a large candle while being lead through the streets by a donkey. Riding in a cart bedecked with signs while criers read out your sins, etc…
The effect is to damage the individuals reputation. -1 to -3, depending on the crime, for everyone in the local area.
Anathematize. To cast out or excommunicate the individual from the Church.
Death sentences. The Church has it’s own Executioners.
Explanations of the Laws:
Poaching. Hunting on privately owned land, Royal or Ducal lands. Also hunting deer in the valley without a permit. These are issued by the Rangers and are only valid in the County of issue.
Maiming. Willfully injuring someone in a malicious way or in an unsanctioned act of violence. The injury must be permanent, otherwise it is Assault.
Assault. An unprovoked attack on another.
(Self defense and protection of property or another person are valid defenses.)
Insubordination. When a commoner fails to show proper respect or deference to a noble. Often time the noble’s henchmen will provide an informal beating of the offender.
Bootlegging. The Duchy requires all brewers and vintners to hold a permit. All alcohol is taxed when sold to the wholesaler.
Theft. The theft of livestock, weapons and armor, the means employed to make a living (ie, tools) are generally considered major. As well as large sums of cash, generally anything over $400.
 The theft of small items of low value, clothes, household goods and especially food is considered minor.
Blasphemy and Impiety. Impiety means publicly denigrating the Church, any of it’s servants, it’s policies and goals.
Blasphemy, a much more serious offense, means publicly questioning Mitra and Mitra’s teachings, cursing Mitra or Mitra’s miracles, etc…
Banned Materials. These primarily deals with two items.
Mali: This is a mushroom and it’s spores that grows at higher elevations. When eaten, or inhaled, Mali causes hallucinations. Mali is used extensively by Jhensari shamans as part of their religious rituals and, reportedly, by some Cults of the Dark Lore. It is highly addictive, hallucinogenic, illegal and a dose costs $50. (25 point disadvantage)
 (A close relative of Mali is Das-Mali. This mushroom is virtually identical to regular Mali, only an expert can tell them apart (roll Vs Naturalist skill). Das- Mali is highly poisonous.)
Bagra: A plant that grows around certain oasis in the Desert of Nygg. It can be dried and smoked or distilled and laced into wine. It is mildly addictive and provides the user with a blissful and relaxing couple of hours. Relatively cheap, $10 for an ounce or $20 for a pint. Both quantities will produce about ten `highs.’ (This is a 15 point disadvantage.)
A Trial is presided over by one or more Magistrates.
Some Magistrates are appointed by the Count in the county in which they are `seated’ and some are appointed by the Duke as a Superior Court, and some are appointed by the King as a Court of Appeals.
Magistrates are either Priests of Mitra, or important and respected lessor nobility. In a few counties there are Druids serving as Magistrates.
In cases where the penalty is death the Superior Court of the Duchy hears the case. There will be three Magistrates on the Court. Further the verdict, if guilty, may be appealed to the Royal Court.
At the trial the County Sheriff or a deputy will serve as the prosecutor. As the arresting officer he knows the case best. The Sheriff himself will prosecute a case before the Superior Court.
The accused has the right to an Advocate of his choice. Frequently these are Clerics of Mitra or Druids, though there are professional Advocates.
All testimony is under oath and a Priest of Mitra, capable of TRUTH SAYER acts as witness to the testimony. The accused may elect to remain silent but this may reflect against him.
There are no juries. Verdicts and sentencing is by the Magistrate.
Unless the penalty is death or Indenture for a period greater than three years, the sentence is carried out forthwith. There are no appeals.  Trials may be held in Abstentia as long as the accused has proper representation.
Clerical Court
Church Law only applies to members of the Church and former members. Violations of Church Law are tried in a Clerical or Ecclesiastical Court. There are three judges, all Senior Priests or, if the case is serious or major, Abbots or Abbesses, on occasion even Bishops. A Senior Priest acts as prosecutor and another acts as Advocate.
All testimony is under oath and is witnessed by a Senior Priest capable of TRUTH SAYER. Unlike a Secular court the accused may not remain silent and if he or she refuses to speak methods, usually magical, will be employed to persuade  or pry the truth from him.
There is no jury and there is no appeal. Sentencing is immediate. A majority of Bishops may vote for clemency or even to pardon, but the likelihood of this happening will be known even before the trial begins.  Like Secular courts, trials may be held in abstentia.
On a few very rare occasions Druids have been permitted to serve as the Advocates of the accused.
Confessions and the Law
The following applies to both Secular and Ecclesiastical matters:
If a criminal gives a sworn confession that is witnessed and confirmed by a Priest capable of TRUTH SAYER, then an automatic Guilty Verdict is entered into the record, even without a Magistrate present, and any accomplices that are implicated by the confession receive a similar verdict, even if these accomplices are not present or even in custody.
Spell Casters anf the Law
An obvious problem for law enforcement is controlling spell casters, both in regards to taking them into custody and later holding them.
The Cities and most of the major towns have cells or holding areas that have been depleted of all mana, an effective deterrent to spell casting.  Many other towns have manacles or collars, called ‘Jougs’ that have been enchanted to suppress a wearer’s magery.  But both these techniques are expensive and many villages and local lords lack the resources to buy or fabricate them.  Clearly a mundane method is needed.  
The two devices used to secure a spell caster are known as a ‘Brank’ or ‘Mage’s Bridle’ and a set of Finger Pillories.

The Mage’s Bridle locks over the spell caster’s head, with an insert, often spiked, that intrudes into the mouth and prevents the prisoner from uttering a spell.

Mage Bridle
Mage Bridle





Finger Pillory
Finger Pillory

The Finger Pillory locks the prisoner’s fingers into immobility, preventing spells requiring gesture.  While it is possible that the prisoner may be proficient enough to still be able to cast, such individuals are rare.

Portable Finger Pillory
Portable Finger Pillory