The City of Lives
Laws and Policing
One of the Elder Trio’s central tenets of governments is lassez-faire – to keep the government as small as possible, and keep power in the hands of the people. To that end, very few taxes are mandated (and even fewer are collected), and few government services are funded. Notably, there is not police force. However, this conflicted with the traditional beliefs of the Sons of Light and function of the High Council. The result is that the Council passes many laws, but has no way to enforce them. Even the court system is small and underfunded – and remarkably corrupt. And thus rose the Iversdotters gang and the noble Houses’ Justiciars(?) – with the official law as a guideline (though certain laws are ignored in one part of the City, and others are invented in another), the real powers of the City (the Iversdotters and noble Houses, depending on the Districts) do their own policing and dispense their own justice.
Few cases make it to the courts, being decided on the streets, or in front of the local gang leader or House Patriarch(?). There are, in general, three punishments in the City:
- Fine: The usual punishment for small to medium crimes
- If a criminal is unable to pay a fine. they may be placed into forced labor [debtor’s prison, what is that?], maimed, or move up to a greater class of punishment depending on the district.
- Exile: For medium to serious crimes, exile can be from the district, several districts, the City, or even the Realm. Of course, how effective an exile is depends on the sentencer’s ability to enforce it, which varies widely from region to region.
- Death: Reserved for the most serious crimes, death is simple, severe, and permanent. Bloodshifting or Blightshifting to stop the heart is common, as is the simpler hanging and beheading.
Small Crimes – Noble Houses
- Small theft (<5> Medium Crimes – Noble Houses
- Moderate theft (5 so < 50 so)
- Assault on a high-class person
- Murder of a lower-class person
Severe Crimes – Noble Houses
- Major theft (>50 so)
- Murder of a high-class person
- Rape of a high-class person
- Treason vs. this noble house
- Treason vs. the City