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    Canonfire :: View topic - THE LAW
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Gran March Gazetteer
    THE LAW
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:35 am  
    THE LAW

    Here is my draft of the Laws and Institutions of the March.

    The lack of formating may make this near unreadable.

    The Laws and Institutions of Gran March:
    A Primer

    The Laws and Institutions of Gran March were established by the original Commandant of the March when the March was turned over to the governance of the Knights of the Watch. Theses "Laws & Instititutions," form the constitution of the March and were drafted by the Knights with their Code and Philosophy at the forefront of their minds. The Goodness and Righteousness of the Knights of the March is nowhere more evident in the Daily life of the March, than in the Laws.
    The credit (and the occasional blame) for the Laws and the Institutions of the March are commonly credited to the Knights of the Watch, and they hold a revered place


    The following is a draft of the Laws of Gran March

    In the earliest days of the establishment of the March, it was apparent that the Knights of the March would soon control a vast region. Their initial rule was marked by campaigns they considered "Just," against the infidels, the Flan and the other scattered peoples who had lived under Vecna's rule.

    These Knights determined that by virtue of their knighthood, they were all the law demanded. Each was unto themselves a judge and jury, and they termed themselves Justicars when they took up the role of meting out justice.

    However, as we know, these knights were later disbanded, due to their excesses. They were replaced by the Knights of the Watch, a good and noble order, headed by he wrote the following general laws, which are upheld even today in the March, though the government itself has change. Of all the boons brought to Gran March by the Knights of the Watch, these laws are generally the most respected.

    Law
    The March Shall be governed by the Commandant.
    He shall rule at the bequest of the Council of Knights and the Peerage of Nobles.
    The Electors shall cast their Rods at the Feet of the prospective Commandant.
    One must be present in order that the Rods be Cast at his Feet, excepting only the Duke of Dorlain.
    The Commandant shall serve at the pleasure of the Knights and Nobles.
    Either the Council of Knights or the Peerage of Nobles may call for the Rods to be Cast.
    The Council of Advisors may request of either that the Rods be Cast once per year.
    Should the Council of Advisors request the Casting of the Rods for five consecutive years, then the Rods must be Cast.
    Should the previous Commandant be alive, he shall Cast a Rod for his successor as Commandant.
    The Council of Knights shall have 11 Members.
    The Knights shall determine the first 10 Members.
    The Commandant of the March shall be the 11th Member
    Each Member shall Cast one Rod.
    If the previous Commandant is deceased, the Knights shall have 10 Rods.
    Should a Council member not be present, his Rod shall not be Cast.
    The Peerage of Nobles shall consist of the 10 Barons and the Duke of Dorlain should he so choose.
    Each shall Cast a Rod.
    Should a Baron be dead, his heir shall Cast even should the heir be without Majority.
    Should a Baron be absent, their Rod shall not be Cast.
    Should the Duke of Dorlain choose, he may designate another to Cast his Rod.
    The Rods cannot be Cast without a Crier first being sent to Dorglast Castle, attending first the Barraks in Marlbridge and Blackpike.
    The Commandant shall maintain the March and it's Institutions.
    The Institutions shall be the Watch, The Nobility, The Guilds, The Army, The Temples, and The Commons.
    Unto each institution shall be granted rights to govern their members and within their demenses.
    The Concil of Knights shall Consist of 12 representatives determined by the Knights.
    A Council of Advisors shall assist the Commandant in the Governance of the Institutions.
    These Advisors shall Consist of One Representative from each Institution.
    Each Institution shall choose their own Representative to the Council of Advisors
    The Commons representatives shall choose from among the Mayors of those Townships and Cities Chartered to Petitioners.
    Should any Institution be unable to decide upon their Advisor the Commandant shall Choose.
    Members of the
    Petitioners Law
    Only Petitioners shall have standing to seek Charters of Towns, Guilds, Temples, and Schools.
    Only Petitioners may own lands within the March. Exceptions to this may be granted by the Commandant for purposes of Foreign Embassies.
    Petitioners shall have appeal from the Justice of any Institution to the Institution of their birth and Station.
    Petitioners are assumed to be all Nobles, the Knights of the Watch, Temples and their Clergy, Chartered Guilds and their members.
    All Commoners who meet the following requirments are considered petitioners.
    All those who serve in the Army and honorably complete their service are considered Petitioners.
    All Wives of petitioners are considered Petitioners
    All Daughters of Petitioners are considered Petitioners
    In regards to Crime.
    The Penalty of Death is reserved for the Commander of the March. All others, be they Order, Temple, Lord or Magistrate must bow before this, excepting only the Marshall General of the Army of the March during times of War. All other judgements shall be reserved for the Order, the Temple, the Lords or the Magistrates. Should any of these determine that Death is a penalty appropriate, this shall be brought before the Commander of the March.
    Each Institution shall have the authority and right to administer justice within its demenses and on those under its authorities. Non Petitioners have only appeal to the appropriate Baron.
    Petitioners may request the transfer of their Trial to the Institution of their station or birth.
    The Army
    The Commandant should and shall raise and maintain an Army. This Army shall be under the command of a Marshall General, appointed by the Commandant, selected on merit.
    The Army shall work in the defense of the March, and the Marshall General at the direction of the Commandant.
    Service in the Army is Mandatory to all with fifteen years of age
    All males regardless of race, must serve in the Army of the March, begining at the age of 15 and until such time as the Commander determines such service complete.
    All females have the right to serve in the Army, but have no obligation to serve in the Army.
    All those who serve in the Army must be prepared to serve again for a period of fifteen years in the event of war, and for twenty five in the event of invasion.
    Excepted from this are those pledged or seeking to pledge to the Knights of the Watch or to a Temple.
    Those of Noble blood are excepted, so long as they are active in the defense of their demenses.
    Other groups may be exempted by treaty or order of the Commandant.

    The Lord's Law
    The Nobility shall not be tried by the Laws of the Common.
    A Lord is exempt from Military Service provided he serves in the defense of his lands, his Barony, and the March. Any Noble judged to lack in this regard shall be striped of their status as a Petitioner and Escorted to the closest Border of the March. This commitment is for life and cannot be waived or refused.
    The commitment for the defense of the Demense, the Barony and the March extend to all members of a Lord or Lady's Family.
    A Lord must defend all persons of the March, unless a compelling need demands attention elsewhere.

    The Law of the Watch
    The Watch shall be governed by the Seven and the Twelve within the bounds of the March.
    The Watch shall govern itself and its members and shall be subject to no other law unless the superior of the offender shall determine that such is appropriate.
    The Watch shall be required to pay no tax nor tithe.
    The Watch and its Demenses are immune the Law of the Tempe, The Law Martial, The Lords Law, Guild Law or the Law Common.
    The Watch may act as Justicar, only at such time as a Magistrate of appropriate jurisdiction is more that three days travel.
    Within the March, the Knights shall abide at the direction and succor of the Commandant.
    The Watch shall abide the laws of the domain in which they dwell or inhabit.
    Should the March violate the Lords Law, Temple Law, Martial Law, Guild Law and the Magistrate protest, they should abide until their superior may be summoned.

    Martial Law
    All Roads are under the Jurisdiction of the Army. The Army of the March shall maintain, patrol, and enforce justice on all Roadways
    The Army must provide a road to all Chartered Townships
    The Army shall provide for the Defense of Chartered Townships above that of Non Chartered Townships.
    The Army Shall Regulate the Militia, its number and size, in each Township,
    The Army Shall

    Temple Law
    Each Temple Shall regulate its own affairs, and that of its Clergy.
    Each Temple shall be responsible to the March for the Conduct of its Clergy.
    Each Temple may relinquish its members to the jursidictions of the other institutions.
    Guild Law
    Each Guild must obtain a Charter, to be approved by their Mayor, their Baron and the Commandant.
    Each Charter must designate the home of the Guild and each Chapter House.
    Each Chapter must be approved by the Temple of Zilchus or the Mayor if in a Chartered Township.
    If a Chapter is not within a Chartered Township, then the Chapter must obtain approval of the Baron.
    Each Guild must obtain the renewel of their Charter every five years from the Temple of Zilchus.
    Should a Guild fail to obtain renewel, the Charter shall be reviewed by their Mayor or their Baron as appropriate.
    Should the Mayor or the Baron refuse to renew the Guilds status, the renewal shall be reviewed by the Commandant.
    Should the Commandant refuse to renew the Guilds status, the Guild is disolved and all of its holdings and chattel shall be given to the poor, the disbursment to be administered by the Church of Pholtus.

    The Common Law
    The Common Law shall be enforced by the Magistrate of each Charter.
    All Commons who are Petitioners have standing before any Institution which claims jurisdiction over them.
    The Commons shall not be tried by the Laws of the Nobility unless they commit offense on the Demenses of a Noble. Even at such times, if they are a Petitioner, they may appeal to the Commandant. If they are not a Petitioner, they may appeal to the Knights of the Watch.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 11, 2004
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    Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:55 pm  

    A possible edit to the laws:

    Quote:
    All males regardless of race, must serve in the Army of the March, begining at the age of 15 and until such time as the Commander determines such service complete.


    How about changing it to "...beginning at the age of majority and..." as a 15-year-old dwarf and human and half-orc should NOT be signing up at the same time. 40, 15, and 14 is fine though. It also gives the impression that there have always been... old-school term alert... demi-humans mixed in with the human population.

    Otherwise, quite good!
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:15 am  

    I think that Anced was referring to Human races since 79% of the population is Human. I think a separate clause should be included to the non human races’ military requirements. BTW I still use the term Demi human.

    Quote:
    A Lord must defend all persons of the March, unless a compelling need demands attention elsewhere.

    This is an interesting loophole do we want to define what that means "attention elsewhere". I can see this causing a whole lot of trouble.
    I am also thinking there should the Law of the Land as Gran March is full of wide-open spaces who does the land belong to and who owns the right to resources. In creating the houses I have used the terms Sokeman to define Freeman, Villain to describe a peasant with land and Cotter to describe a peasant with no land. Can that be added? Perhaps a form of manor law should be included?
    The ideas for freeman and peasant names came from this site. All spelling mistakes are deliberate.
    http://eserver.org/langs/feudal-dictionary.txt
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    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:28 pm  

    Just a thought...

    The laws are nicely categorized but medieval societies generally didn't have these well recognized legal distinctions. The medieval system was based more on an unspoken understanding between powerful interests within the society than a rule book per say. The various power groups kept the jurisdiction and authority purposely vague too increase their influence over the society. Perhaps your idea for a code is a little "too well thought out", where is the "grey area", the ebb and flow between the groups.

    I agree their should be a heirarchy,
    Ruler
    Aristocracy
    Church
    Military
    Merchant
    But does it have to be so clear cut?

    We didn't have any definition of royal power until Magna Carta (which other monarchies opposed), no codified labour laws until the 19th century. Where is the "tradition and societial understanding" because that is the way it's always been, dynamic within the society, if everything is filed and recorded unless you feel GM should have a modern legal system.

    GM as a nation full of lawyers and I thought the Abyss was a scary idea Shocked
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:44 pm  

    As a government attorney, I think such a law would be dreadful. As a limited scholar of Medieval history, I think such a law is probably very inaccurate. As gamer, I think it is just right for the March. Wink It would nice in the gazetteer if it were an exhibit type presentation with scrolling and half-illegible calligraphy.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:11 pm  
    Oh my god!

    I knew there was something wrong with you Wolfsire. I am a government contractor. One who employs a large number of attorneys just to fence with you guys.

    What area do you practice? Please dont tell me procurement law.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:33 pm  

    Quote:
    As gamer, I think it is just right for the March. Wink


    I agree with Wolfsire here. It makes sense to because Gran March was recreated buy Keoland and Keoland was created by Suel and Oredian Migratants. The Suel is a thousand of years olds society. It would have some formal law structure as well. Given that I would say that it becasue of the smaller population there is not more laws.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:06 pm  

    Here is a list of various court to the 14th century
    Quote:
    COURTS OF LAW: The medieval English, like most medieval people, were subject to a wide variety of courts. Though the "central royal courts" which met at Westminster were the most important for the future development of the Common Law, most medieval Englishmen only had contact with one of the many others.

    * BOROUGH COURTS: These were developed forms of hundred, county, or manorial courts, with some additional privileges granted by charter. The precise rights and constitution of these courts varied from borough to borough. Generally, the aldermen (ward-moots), bailiffs, and mayors had their own courts, with additionally a Hustings Court (or its equivalent with a different name) which acted similarly to a county court. Boroughs with their own sheriffs, such as London, also had courts presided over by the latter officer.

    * CHURCH COURTS: The system of courts set up by the Church to enforce Canon Law. Generally deacons trained in the law served as the judges, advocates pled the cases, and proctors prepared the cases. Summoners served, in essence, as process servers. Church Courts had jurisdiction over most family matters and wills, sexual offences, marriage and divorce, bastardy, testate and intestate succession to personal property, defamation, battery of a cleric, and breach of faith. In case of conflict, the king's law prevailed.

    * COUNTY or SHIRE COURTS: From Anglo-Saxon times, each shire had its own court to which all freemen of the county had an obligation to attend. Its jurisdiction was originally limitless, including the right to outlawry, but these did not develop into royal courts until Angevin times. Shire courts usually only met twice a year--at Easter and Michaelmas--and judgments and pronouncements were given by those designated as "suitor" or "juror." Originally the local Earl, Bishop, or Abbot (or their representatives) presided, but in Norman times the sheriff took on this function, and with the Angevins a royal justice had to be present. Thus, by Late Medieval times, in practice the meeting of this court would involve the sheriff and some of his clerks and officers, the coroners, some of the bailiffs, the lords' stewards, those involved in suits, a royal justice, and enough of freemen owing suit of court to conduct business. By the fourteenth century rolls and files were kept of the proceedings, and professional pleaders and attorneys practiced before it. This court did not deal with criminal matters, though it did pronounce outlawry. Most intra-county disputes between the freemen of the shire were heard in these courts, along with criminal proceedings, tax collections, and so forth.
    * COURTS BARON: See: "Manorial Courts."

    * COURT OF CHANCERY: In the fourteenth century, the Chancellor, sitting in Chancery, began to hear various pleas for legal redress either not actionable in any other court (such as suits against the king or his officers), or for which no remedy existed (since the Chancery issued the writs which began every legal case in the royal courts--there existed a specific form of writ for each action, so where no writ existed the Chancellor might order one granted to fit the facts of a peculiar case). This court followed a modified form of informal complaint and procedure common to the Church Courts, though it was never a court of Canon Law. This informal procedure, with no limits on evidence or procedural matters, allowed the Chancellor to provide swift and inexpensive justice, especially for the poor and oppressed, the weak and foolish. Each case turned on its own facts, and there was no interference with any of the central royal courts (Common Pleas, Exchequer, King's Bench). By the end of the fifteenth century the Court of Chancery had became so flooded with suits that it became the third major court in the kingdom, ahead of the Court of Exchequer.

    * COURT OF COMMON PLEAS: In England, a court applying Common Law to hear disputes (or "pleas") between individuals but not involving the king. Almost all civil litigation was within its term of reference, as was supervision of manorial and local courts. This was the court which more than any other made the Common Law, and the chief of the "central royal courts." From the early thirteenth century (with brief exceptions) this court met in Westminster Hall for 15-20 weeks during the four law terms (Hilary, Easter, Trinity, and Michaelmas), and only in the mornings. When not in session, the justices of this court would be sent out on various commissions and circuits in the counties. The "Serjeants-of-the-Law" had a monopoly of pleading in this court.

    * COURT OF EXCHEQUER: Probably the oldest of the three "central royal courts," it normally held pleas relating to revenue or debts owing the king (or those where a plaintiff claimed to be "in debt to the king").

    * COURT OF KING'S BENCH: In England, a court applying Common Law to hear disputes (or "pleas") between individuals and the king, or in cases in which the king had an interest (thus including criminal law). This was the second of the "central royal courts" and met in Westminster Hall as well, for about the same periods as the Court of Common Pleas. Both attorneys and serjeants-of-the-law could plead in this court.

    * COURT OF THE EARL MARSHAL: This began in the mid-fourteenth century with jurisdiction over martial affairs such as treason, prisoners of war, ransom, and army contracts. It was presided over by the Marshal of England.

    * HIGH COURT OF ADMIRALTY: This began in the mid-fourteenth century with jurisdiction over naval affairs, but also many mercantile matters, especially involving those between foreign merchants on English soil, or between foreign and English merchants. It was presided over by a judge of the Admiralty, usually a Doctor of Law applying the Roman Law of the Sea.

    * HIGH COURT OF CHIVALRY: This had jurisdiction over disputed coats-of-arms, and followed Roman Law.

    * HUNDRED COURTS: Dating from ancient times, these met every three weeks or so in each hundred, and were attended by 40-50 people (those owing suit of court, bailiffs, various officials, and others with business to be heard), presided over by the hundred's bailiff. This court dealt summarily with minor criminal and civil cases, trespasses, debt less than 40s., breaches of contract, slander, and offences against the Assizes of Bread, Beer, and Weights and Measures. See also: "View of Frankpledge."

    * HUSTINGS COURTS (O. Eng., "House-Things"): Often but not always found in most boroughs, this court originally was set up for the settlement of trading matters and disputes arising from trade.

    * MANORIAL COURTS: Usually each manor held its own court, which regulated the agricultural affairs of the community and the enforcement of the bye-laws, labor services, transfer of manorial land, petty offences within the manor and against the servile dues, election of a reeve, etc. Such courts usually followed Customary or Manorial Law. In theory there should have been two types of manorial court, the Court Baron for free tenants, and the Court Customary for servile tenants, but in practice there was normally but one, meeting every three weeks or so, presided over by the lord's steward. The court also sometimes dealt with assault, trespass, and slander intra-manorially, and if the lord had a franchise, those rights were exercised through this court too.

    * PIE POUDRE COURTS: Courts held during the course of a fair, for resolution of disputes between merchants.

    * VIEW OF FRANKPLEDGE: A court held twice annually (at Easter and Michaelmas) by the sheriff in the hundred court in his tour (or "tourn") of the county or, especially by the thirteenth century, by a manorial lord including the right to oversee the activities of the members of local tithing groups and the enforcement of the assizes of bread and beer. Additionally, lesser offences such as failures in the Frankpledge system, obstructing highways, diverting watercourses, failing to raise the hue and cry, assaults, and breaches of local customs could be tried here and punished by pillory, stocks, or amercement.

    * WARD-MOOTS (or COURTS): Usually found in most boroughs, each ward usually had its own court over which its alderman would preside. These courts dealt with the settlement of minor offences.


    I think Anced as covered quite a bit of these. It gives one the idea the medieval era was more litigious than we think

    I have also changed my mind and want to ditch the villain name for serf and change it to ceorl Old English for the same

    http://the-orb.net/medieval_terms.html
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    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:13 am  
    Hello

    Hello all,

    Thanks for the comments. One thing I didnt make clear is what these laws do not cover.

    In my concept, the March uses the Law to maintain a society in a fairly rigorous environment. However, they are not control freaks, they have plenty to do without trying to monitor Aunt Sallys garters. Maybe we should say that in the early days they tried to move towards a more totalitarian state and nearly lost the borders due to huminoid invasion.

    Anyway, in my concept each city and town is Chartered by one of the Institutions, including guilds, temples and the KoW. Even commoners can Charter a Town if 20 Petitioners will speak for it.

    It is in the Charter of the Town that the governance and courts are worked out, as well as the basic tax structure. This gives a general law for the land and for the roads, but each city in the March can go their own way, so to speak. This should give some creative freedom to any future DMs without having to rewrite what we do here. It should also allow for things like Hochoch being under the control of the Knights, Shiboleth the Guilds, Lortenford the Army, etc. Institutions could also allow their Charter to lapse, as I would think Knights have in Lortenford, and then it was picked up by someone else.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:39 am  

    Most impressive, Anced. I like the loose setup of the law structure, and I agree with your last point.

    One question though, why is it that only the most powerful man in the March can determine the death penalty. I think that is akin to the governor of a state giving the yea or nay in a modern day case.

    I only say this because I'm reminded of the scene in Braveheart when the lowly magistrate declares, "An assualt on one of the Kings men is the same as an assault on the King himself" and promtly slits Murin's throat.

    You follow me? Please let me know what you think.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:35 am  

    Hammarr Jaerome, I know you were asking AncedMath, but I hope you do not mind me throwing in my two cents.

    As I understand it, at some point, Medieval English law reserved High Justice, which included punishments of death to the King and his circuit judges. Of course, one could be killed trying to avoid capture or spend years in a dungeon or tower locked up, or a lesser lord might just ignore the jurisdiction limit with no one to gainsay him.

    I do not think the comparisons are appropriate because movies are theatric (it would not have been exciting for Murin to wait for justice) and the modern governments, like states with governors, have much larger populations than the March. Gaming is theatric too, but not "2 hours for the whole plot" theatric.

    In the county that I live in there are about 80,000 residents to every judge that could impose a death sentence. Although there is a backlog in the courts, with a strict criminal/civil split of jurisdiction that number could be multiplied by 3 to get roughly the population of the March. A lot of other factors could come into play. I did not see that the Commander could not fully or partially delegate the authority with circuit judges and mandatory appeal to him, or simply rely on advisors.

    I guess my point is that it is not unrealistic.
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    Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:25 am  

    I see your point Wolfsire. Mainly I'm curious as to what time frame Anced drew his laws from. They are exceptionally well done, and I don't neccesarily have a problem with the death penalty thing, more passing curiosity.

    Anced, in this brief discussion, it occured to me that in the modern military, we have a legal system which is mostly the same as the US system, but with a little bit more in some cases and a little less in others (the UCMJ). Do you think such a system would be appropriate for an army of the time?
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:46 am  
    Hammar

    Hammar,

    I did not attempt to draft something from a timeframe. Rather, I looked at Keoland, its Charter, and the other influences that would have been present at the various times that the Laws of Gran March would have been written.

    I assumed the following: (progression based on the Grand Sheldomar Timeline)

    1) The Gran March of Dorlain is established and is a wild west, or klondike type environment, or maybe the Russe at the time of the first viking invaders. There were few laws and no order, which is why the Keoish Crown threatened to take control.

    2) The Duke of Dorlain sends forth his most religiously extreme Knights to conquer the March. This results in a fairly horrible state, with lots of order, though law is contained in the personages of the knights themselves. They supress and repress the population, using brutatlity and genocidal tactics. Death can be dispensed by any authority, and is on a regular basis for next to no justification.

    3) The Keoish Crown steps in and replaces the Knights of the March with the Knights of the Watch. This is a more enlightened group, one who holds the ideals of a fairly forward looking philosopher on high. However, like their predecessors, they value Order more than goodness. They establish the basis of the Laws as I have written them, but without the checks on the power of the commandant. He is dominant over the nobles, the army, and quashes the guilds, the temples and the populace.

    4) This results in the independance of Gran March after the Short War. The wails of the Nobles, and of the other subjects cause a slightly democratic oligarchy to form. From this, i assumed a form of government that met all the critieria contained in canon (commandant elected by nobles, women active in commerce, etc.,) plus the unstated facts, like the effectiveness of the military.

    We know from history, greek, roman, and modern, that the most effective armies are those that believe in their nation, their leaders, their army, and that they have respect and a stake in society. This is not the peasant armies of medieval europe. Or of any peasant/surf based socieity. Even the Janissaries of the the Ottomans received respect. So, we know that GM has a strong effective and disciplined army, mainly mailed cavalry, but all units are effective and disciplined, if not abundant. I assumed that this is because they have a stronger role in society than the average commoner in History or the Flaness.

    Finally, I thought about the abuses these peoples have suffered. And their high level of training and their temperment. I did not see them as people who would stand idly by while some noble kills their daughters. I could not imagine a reasonable commandant who would either.

    I imagine that to prevent the populace of Orlane (for example) from getting their pole arms and storming the castle of lord so and so, they would take the right of Death away. Remember what happened to Longshanks and his son. Also remember, the March has been stable and without rebellion for nearly 450 years. That is a long time, and I have to assume that there is a reasonable system of government. Though earth has several countries that have existed this long, few if any can claim to have gone this long without some rebellion. From this I take it that there is good government. That is what I have attempted to craft.

    Also, I did take the example of the seperate code of militay justice into account. With the military in the march being so important, I thought it should have a seperate code, and seperated it out first. That is when I thought of the Institutions of the March.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:32 am  

    Point well taken, Anced.

    In reference to your military law though...I didn't see it in your original draft? Am I just terribly dense, or have you not released it? :)
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:52 am  
    Little

    Actually, there was very little. I created an overall structure where it would fit, but I was going to talk with you about filling that section in. Other than the broad outlines I had done, I did not think it made sense for me to do more.
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    Tue May 03, 2005 8:34 am  

    Understood. We'll have to get together offline someday soon and work that out. I don't suspect it will have to be terribly complex.
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    Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:07 pm  
    Code of Military Justice

    Hello All,

    The laws are fairly well finished... with two exceptions. I have to craft an introductory statement to give them context. Yabs has reviewed them and determined that without such, they are nearly incoherent. Second, I need to get with Hammar in order to craft the Military code.

    Look for them in the next few days.
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    Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:54 pm  

    "nearly incoherent" ... I thought that was half the point Wink

    Seriously, in gaming it is. If the characters get involved in looking at the law, it should be a task. But it should not be for the DM, so an introduction would be very important.
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    Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:43 pm  
    Introduction

    Well,

    I will start crafting the intro here. Actually, it is my hope that Marchers, like americans and brits (for example) hold their laws up as a key of their success. THough most american have an abominable understanding of the law, and legalistic thought, they are proud of the constitution (rightly so). The people of the March are proud of the "Laws and Institutions of the March," in a similar manner. And these "Laws," and "Institutions," hold a similar place in their legal system. It has little to do with the sentances imposed for horse stealing, or the tax rate in Shiboleth. Actually, it is designed so that such things are left to the Chartering Institution of each Chartered city. If you are outside a city, on a Road, you are subject to Martial Law. If you are in the countryside, you are subject to the Common Law as adjudicated by the local Noble. If you offend the person or property of a Noble, you are subject to the Noble's Law.

    The Laws that I have drafted are designed to be a Legal Framework. In the March all petitioners are proud that they have eliminated the brutality often found in other countries... particularly in the arbitrary death penalty imposed by various parties. They are proud that anyone who serves in the Army becomes a Petitioner and cannot be denied the rights of their station. They can hold property. They cannot be held as slaves or indentured servants after after their 15th birthday, and only through criminal or irresponsible action can such a state be reimposed.

    It is my hope that these are the things that characters would know. All that said, my prose is not nearly as coherent as that of our founding fathers, so I need to write an introduction.

    Actually, I am going to ask Yabs to go ahead and post the draft in the members section only and let me have it right in the eye. All questions comments and critisisms, please post here. I think in the final text I will have a DM's Summary, and a players summary. This Players summary will be designed to give them more a flavor of the law than a real understanding. If they get draged into court and are suprised, well they should of read the law. Kind of like the United States Happy
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    Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:15 pm  
    tap

    just to skip it up
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    Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:31 pm  

    I just did a cursory review of the Laws; did we include a 5 year term for the Commandant? If not, we need to. It is canon, and part of the WoG and the LGG. It woudl affect the story of the GM significantly.
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    Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:03 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    I just did a cursory review of the Laws; did we include a 5 year term for the Commandant? If not, we need to. It is canon, and part of the WoG and the LGG. It woudl affect the story of the GM significantly.


    It is addressed in Article 9. You went for something more complex and IIRC you chose to deviate from canon. 5 years is given a reference and much was left out, overall, for the laws. So 5 years could be the general practice even if it could, as a matter of law, turn out otherwise.
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    Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:34 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Anced_Math wrote:
    I just did a cursory review of the Laws; did we include a 5 year term for the Commandant? If not, we need to. It is canon, and part of the WoG and the LGG. It woudl affect the story of the GM significantly.


    . . . So 5 years could be the general practice even if it could, as a matter of law, turn out otherwise.


    I agree with Wolfsire.

    I do not see a turn over in Commandants being at all common. I see them practically serving for life unless they screw up majorly.
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    Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:38 am  

    Crag wrote:
    Just a thought...

    The laws are nicely categorized but medieval societies generally didn't have these well recognized legal distinctions. The medieval system was based more on an unspoken understanding between powerful interests within the society than a rule book per say. The various power groups kept the jurisdiction and authority purposely vague too increase their influence over the society. Perhaps your idea for a code is a little "too well thought out", where is the "grey area", the ebb and flow between the groups.

    I agree their should be a heirarchy,
    Ruler
    Aristocracy
    Church
    Military
    Merchant
    But does it have to be so clear cut?

    We didn't have any definition of royal power until Magna Carta (which other monarchies opposed), no codified labour laws until the 19th century. Where is the "tradition and societial understanding" because that is the way it's always been, dynamic within the society, if everything is filed and recorded unless you feel GM should have a modern legal system.

    GM as a nation full of lawyers and I thought the Abyss was a scary idea Shocked


    I agree here with Crag.

    I think one can have it both ways, however. There is THE LAW and then there is ACTUAL PRACTICE, with a nod, more or less than passing just depending, to THE LAW.

    The difficulty I see is that most PCs don't react well to LAW, no matter their ostensible alignment. Wink
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    Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:16 pm  

    I recommend restructuring the council to include just the nobility, many of whom will already have ties to the KotW or be members of the order themselves. Those who are not will probably have ties to the regular military in most cases. These ties are the norm, but certainly are not all inclusive. There will be council members who are merchant nobles too, but the council members mostly favor involvement with one or the other military group. I'd say that is enough intertwining of the order, the nobility of the land, and the military.

    The Knights of the march were disbanded due to having too much influence, so the Council of Knights need not be there at all. All there needs to be is a Council of Peerage, though you might wish to have the KotW have a standing member on the council, you might also therefore under this structure include one representative from of each of the main power groups in the land as well- each Guild, each Temple, etc. Ruling nobles would automatically have a seat on the council due to their status. Many of the nobles, guilds, and temples will have ties to the military, the KotW, or other groups as well. Overall it makes for a nice kettle of fish I think(lots of overlapping, but related influences).

    I look at this section as simply describing the overall ruling structure of the land, with a bit of info on how ruling power in enacted. It need not be overly defined, and more vagueness would probably be best. There is not need to write a legal code, other than to just cover the big no-no's(murder, theft, treason, etc.).


    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:07 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    I recommend restructuring the council to include just the nobility, many of whom will already have ties to the KotW or be members of the order themselves. Those who are not will probably have ties to the regular military in most cases. . . . I'd say that is enough intertwining of the order, the nobility of the land, and the military.

    . . . you might wish to have the KotW have a standing member on the council, you might also therefore under this structure include one representative from of each of the main power groups in the land as well- each Guild, each Temple, etc. Ruling nobles would automatically have a seat on the council due to their status. Many of the nobles, guilds, and temples will have ties to the military, the KotW, or other groups as well. Overall it makes for a nice kettle of fish I think(lots of overlapping, but related influences).

    I look at this section as simply describing the overall ruling structure of the land, with a bit of info on how ruling power in enacted. It need not be overly defined, and more vagueness would probably be best. theris not need to srtie a legal code, other than to just cover the big no-no's(murder, theft, treason, etc.).


    I agree with Cebrion, too. Smile

    The only add I might suggest is that any standing members not of the peerage are strictly observers, admitted as a courtesy and for advice, but get no vote.
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    Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:01 pm  

    I have been absent for a few days and did not see this posting.

    I have to say that the Laws are among the things I like most about the GMP so far. Though I understand Crags comparison to Medieval Legal systems, we thought to differentiate it a good deal from a simple medieval parallell.

    It is medieval, and more and less. GVD envisioned the Knight as being the overriding archetype of the March, it's defining icon. I disagreed, as it seemed too pat and answer... to simple and thus uninteresting as a place of intrigue and wonder. We have worked a comprimise that I think is far more interesting, incorporating the Warrior as the masthead of GM society, and the Knight the Preeminent Warrior. (this will come out in the History of GM sometime soon).

    In my vision, there is something of the lost eastern world in the Sheldomar, the world of Rome/Greece/Egypt/Persia/Babylonia. Not in it's architecture or styles, but in it's engineering and codification of law. The stratification of social class and custom that does not occur in European traditions (at least in comparison to the caste systems of the east). It is very medieval in it's "look." However, it is a very different world, one that is a rich and complex political tapestry.

    IMO, the Laws are very good... detailed, yet only 9 articles. It can be as narrow or far reaching as one wants it to be. The purpose of the Laws was to create a setting that allows a highly political game, and yet allows the DM to craft his own World.

    I think if you look at it again, you will see that the Laws are not really very restrictive... Every city has it's own laws as each can be founded by a different Intitution. It could be religious, guild ruled, the Army or the Knights. You choose.

    I will say that as I read through this, I agree that the role of the KoW should be greatly reduced in the Casting of Rods. However, they have to have a way to influence the Rods or the recent history does not make any sense.

    Agree or Disagree?
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