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The Norlandic Code of Law


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Code of Law of the City of Varhelm

And the Lands of the Kingdom of Norland

Issued in the First Year of the Second Age

In the Name of King Halvar I

By the Advice of and Scribed by High Keeper Alisa Camian


Contents

I.The Common Law

II.The Red Law

III.Codes of Honor

IV.Entitlements of the Citizen

V.Authorities and Responsibilities of the State

VI.The Clan System

VII.Laws of Residence

VIII.Criminal Punishment


PREAMBLE:

These laws, set forth in the name of King Halvar I, shall form the basis of the society of Norland and her subjects; a society based on our long-held traditions of honor, liberty, and self-determination. In the interests of ensuring the good of our Kingdom in this new land, this code of law has been formed from the cooperation of all levels of our society, with input from common man and chieftain alike. Let no man be below another; Let no man be made to kneel; Let no man want for freedom.


ARTICLE I: The Common Law

In furthering the ordered conduct of society, the following statutes are set forth to ensure the betterment and health of our society and the common good of the populace. The punishments  for the crimes listed hereafter shall be decided by present Guards, or if requested or severity warrants it, the presiding Keeper.

 

            CONVENTIONAL CRIMES

·        Theft: The unlawful seizure of another’s property with intent to deprive them of it.

·        Burglary: The unlawful entry of a building with the intent to commit a crime.

·        Disturbance of the Peace: Disruption of the city’s order and day-to-day activities by way of excessive sound, violence, or inciting of general chaos.

·        Assault: Directed, intentional violence, outside of common brawling, with the intent or end result of bodily injury.

·        Tax Evasion: Failing to pay one’s dues to the state in a timely manner.

·        Murder: The taking of mortal life.

·        Banditry: Involvement in the acts of marauding, raiding, and extortion, or association with and/or aiding of known outlaws or outlaw organizations.

·        Conspiracy: Agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act, along with an intent to achieve the agreement's goal.

 

            HIGH CRIMES

·        Treason: Committing acts which directly harm the State, its representatives, and/or its activities.

·        Espionage: The trading of sensitive information to foreign or enemy powers, especially when such action may do harm to the State. 


ARTICLE II: The Red Law

The Red Law consists of those laws set forth by the Hearth Council and the High Keeper; Laws which are meant to guide society in regards to spiritual wellbeing and protection from the darkness that would threaten all life. The punishments for the crimes listed hereafter shall be decided by the presiding Keeper.

 

I.SORCERY: The use or proliferation of the arcane arts, or the aiding of practitioners thereof. This shall include:

·        Any act of casting.

·        Possession of undisclosed magical items.†

·        The teaching of arcane practices.

·        Encouragement of arcane practices.

·        Abetting wanted sorcerers.

·        Dissemination of unapproved texts on the arcane.

           

Exceptions are to be made for practitioners of Druidism, Paladinism, Chi and Shamanism, provided they abide by Norlandic law and that they do not disturb the public peace with their abilities. Without explicit permission from a Keeper, any flippant use of these magics is to be considered unlawful.

 

†Magical items and their functions must be disclosed to the city guard upon entry. Guards will be given a list of approved items that are to be permitted within the city. All other items must either be turned over to the guard for the duration of one’s presence within the city or be presented to the High Keeper for approval and documentation.

 

  1. OATH-BREAKING: The breaking of oaths, be they to another, to the State, or to the Father. This shall include:

·        Any oath made before the Father, be it a vow of union or an oath of loyalty.

·        Any documented oath to another person.

·        Any pledge or vow made to the Throne or other state entity,

 

  1. UNHOLY ACTION: Committing an act that violates general rules of social morality. This shall include, among other things:

·        The desecration of the dead.

·        Apostasy, or the encouragement thereof.

·        Fraternization with unholy entities, such as undead or demonic beings.

·        Unlawful spilling of descendant blood.

·        Any attempt at forcing another to accept deities that are not their own.

·        The vandalism of shrines.

·        Irreverent behavior on temple grounds, or disruption of the temple’s peace.

 


ARTICLE III: Codes of Honor

Citizens of and visitors to the Kingdom of Norland are expected to adhere to a code of honorable conduct, in the interest of preserving both public order and Norlandic traditional values. Repeated violations of the codes of honor shall, without exception, result in expulsion from the city for a period of time, or permanent banishment in more serious cases. All within the lands of Norland are bound by this code, be they king, citizen, guest or foreigner.

 

HONOR IN WORD: One shall always say what he means and mean what he says. He shall deal in neither deceit nor fraud, and shall not use his words to mask his intentions. Honesty is more polite and honorable than a falsified facade of kindness.

·        One shall never commit forgery.

·        One shall never deceive others by use of false identification.

·        One shall never speak a word and not act in their best effort to ensure that word is kept.

 

HONOR IN DEED: One must conduct himself with integrity and self-respect. He must keep his dignity, and he must not undermine the dignity of others. In pursuit of this, he shall abide by the following:

·        One shall always engage with others on equal terms.

·        One shall neither bow nor kneel to no man, and no man shall bow or kneel to him.

·        One shall not draw a blade against an unarmed man, nor against children or the elderly, unless otherwise provoked.

·        One shall live by his word, and follow the same values he would expect of others.

·        One shall bring no harm to his guests nor to those who would host him.


THE HONOR DUEL: Should one feel his honor has been unjustly insulted or stripped from him, he may challenge the assailant to an honor duel. A time-honored practice of Norlandic culture, duels are the most direct and simple way of settling an honor-based dispute that can’t be settled any other way. Where discussion and legal proceedings cannot bring peace, one may invoke the right to an honor duel. The following restrictions shall apply to every duel, and violation of them shall be considered a breach of honor:

·        The honor duel shall not be invoked to settle common arguments.

·        To kill a man in an honor duel shall be considered murder.

·        To purposefully maim a man in an honor duel shall be considered assault.

·        To deny a rightfully-made challenge is to accept loss of the dispute, and one shall abide by the consequences of said loss. Furthermore, there is no reason, apart from physical disability, that one may cite to justify denying a rightfully-made challenge.

·        One shall not use weapons in an honor duel unless agreed upon by both parties.

 


ARTICLE IV: Entitlements of the Citizen

 

I.DEFINITION OF THE CITIZEN

A citizen of the Kingdom of Norland is either a naturally born freeman within the Kingdom or a foreigner who has been granted citizenship by the King of Norland or the High Keeper of the Red Faith. Citizens are entitled to the full protections of their citizenship status and foreigners are entitled to the full protections of their foreigner status unless they have infringed upon the laws, edicts or orders of the King or High Keeper and certain allied nations which have an extradition clause in treaties with the Kingdom of Norland.

 

  1. RIGHTS OF THE CITIZEN

A Norlandic citizen is naturally a freeman, by virtue of birthright. They are privileged to be Norlandic and therefore are granted the following rights:

  • The Right to Travel freely and come and go from the Kingdom of Norland as they so please.
  • The Right to Speak and Act freely so long as it does not violate any laws, edicts, or orders within this document or any further documents issued by the Kingdom of Norland.
  • The Right to Practice any skill, trade or service which they deem suitable.
  • The Right to an Audience with any member of the Throne or Faith so long as it is within reason and can be planned in advance.
  • The Right to Protection from foreign peoples, entities, and nations.

 

  1. RIGHTS OF THE FOREIGNER
  • The Right to Equal and Fair Treatment under the laws of the Kingdom of Norland
  • The Right to Travel freely and come and go from the Kingdom of Norland as they so please.
  • The Right to Speak and Act freely so long as it does not violate any laws, edicts or orders within this document or any further documents issued by the Kingdom of Norland.

 


ARTICLE V: Authorities & Responsibilities of the State

 

I.HIERARCHY OF THE STATE

·        King - Monarch of the Kingdom of Norland

·        High Keeper - Head of the Red Faith

·        King’s Council

·        Chancellor - The Hand of the King

·        Marshal - The leader of the Northguard

·        Chamberlain - The Chief Scribe and Aid to the King

·        Master of Keys - The Head Steward

·        Master of Coin - The Kingdom’s Treasurer

·        Royal Architect - The Overseer of the Kingdom’s Infrastructure

·        Hearth Council - The Keepers of the Red Faith

·        Landholders - The Jarls who govern lands beyond the Capital.

·        City Guard - Members of the Northguard

 

  1. AUTHORITIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE THRONE

The Throne is, as in any Kingdom, the central executive power from which all secular authority is drawn. The monarch is burdened with the responsibility of maintaining his lands and people, and ensuring their strength and safety.

The responsibilities of the Throne are:

  • To ensure the proper function of the Kingdom, and if needed, the functions of its holdings.
  • To resolve disputes between the Jarls, Chieftains, and Clans
  • To ensure the continuation of military might and the defense of the Kingdom of Norland, all its holdings and its allies.
  • To ensure the maintenance of the Kingdom’s diplomatic ties and the protection of the Kingdom of Norland in all foreign matters.
  • To see to the the proliferation of all royal, legal, and public decrees to the peoples of the Kingdom of Norland and all its holdings

The authorities and powers of the Throne are:

  • The authority to impose taxes on all persons and entities within the Kingdom of Norland and all its holdings.
  • The authority to assign Guardsmen, enforce laws and execute sentences determined by the Faith or Guard.
  • The authority to sit in and offer an official position on judicial trials.
  • The authority to add to and remove individuals from the King’s Council of Norland.
  • The authority to grant or revoke titles and holdings to/from any person or resident family within the Kingdom of Norland and its holdings.
  • The authority to grant official clan status to prospective clans.
  • The authority to rally and direct the Guardforce and any Norlandic Militias of the Kingdom of Norland and all of its holdings.
  • The authority to draft freemen into a militia under the command of the Guardforce.
  • The authority to write, propose and sign treaties, pacts, and compacts with forign peoples, entities and nations.
  • The authority to declare and wage war or initiate conflict between rebelling vassals, foreign peoples, entities and nations.
  • The authority to make declarations, decrees and orders in the absence of standing law or emergency.

 

  1. AUTHORITIES OF THE KEEPERS AND THE HEARTH COUNCIL

The Red Faith and its leaders, the Hearth Council, act as the moral and legal backbone of our society; It is they who record and keep our laws, enact justice, and maintain and teach our cultural values for posterity. 

The authorities of the High Keeper and the Hearth Council are:

  • The authority to act as the judiciary in all legal proceedings and other matters which require adjudication; To issue and carry out sentencing in criminal trials and to act as mediators in feuds and disputes of property.
  • The authority to review all acts of legislation put forth by the Throne to ensure their adherence to Norlandic cultural values.
  • The authority to determine and enforce the statutes of the Red Law.
  • The authority to issue and pay bounties for known criminals, mages both dark and common, and unholy creatures.

 

  1. AUTHORITIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GUARD

The Guard serve as the direct defenders of the peoples of Norland, the enforcers of our laws, and the keepers of the public peace. As such, they are charged with the responsibilities of upholding the laws of the Kingdom, and defending the Kingdom and its people from enemies both foreign and domestic. 

The responsibilities of the Guard are:

  • To enforce all laws, codes and other decrees of the Kingdom of Norland outlined in this document and subsequent documents pertaining to law.
  • To act as the first line of defense from traitors, ill-willed foreigners, and banditry against the Kingdom of Norland and all its holdings
  • To offer their aid to those in need within the Kingdom of Norland and all its holdings.

The authorities of the Guard are:

  • The authority to assess, enforce and judge all conventional laws, if a Keeper is not requested to hold trial.
  • The authority to issue bounties for known criminals.
  • The authority to exercise militarily with other peoples, entities, and nations, if the King has not declared them an enemy.

 

  1. AUTHORITIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LANDHOLDER

The Landholder is charged with the responsibilities of governing all held lands and the support of the Kingdom of Norland as a whole. 

Their responsibilities are as follows:

  • Ensuring the proper function of their held lands and their levy.
  • Supporting the Kingdom of Norland with their levy, produce or any other good the Throne calls upon them to supply.
  • Issuance of any public decrees to the residents of their lands.

Their authorities are as follows:

  • The authority to impose a tax upon the residents of their lands, if the King has not made any declarations which would revoke taxes to a specific person or entity.
  • The authority to draft freemen into a militia to aid the military in the defense of the Kingdom of Norland.
  • The authority to issue decrees and orders to their levy.

 


ARTICLE VI: The Clan System

 

I.DEFINITION OF THE CLAN

A clan is a family or a group of associated families who identify themselves and are identifiable as a cohesive societal unit. Clans are given the right to bear heraldry and are considered by the Throne to be a single political entity. All clans reserve the right to maintain their own traditions, rites of passage, and appoint or dismiss their leaders as they see fit, provided their methods comply with the greater laws of the realm. Furthermore, in times of war a clan may, at the King’s discretion, be given permission to levy Bannermen to fight in their name, on the condition that said Bannermen adhere to the orders of the King and Marshal.

 

  1. THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF NEW CLANS

The Throne of Norland reserves the right to grant or deny recognition to any prospective clans which petition the court. In order to be recognized, a clan must reside in the Kingdom for a period of no less than fifteen years and provide proof of residence and presence in the Kingdom before bringing their petition before the King and his Council for approval. Those clans which receive the Throne’s blessing shall then be issued a public writ of recognition by the King.

 


ARTICLE VII: Laws of Residence

 

I.RESIDENCE

All citizens and friends of the Kingdom of Norland are welcome to seek residence within the walls of Varhelm. Depending on the resident’s preferences they may choose any home which suits their and their family’s needs, so long as all monetary requirements are met and the home is unoccupied and properly registered with the Master of Keys and his Stewards. 

 

  1. TAXATION

Each residence within the city of Varhelm shall be subject to an annual tax determined at the discretion of the Master of Coin. This tax shall be collected at the end of each year. Failure to pay one’s dues within a timely manner will result in legal consequences, and those who repeatedly fail to meet this deadline may be evicted and barred permanently from owning a residence within the Kingdom of Norland.

 

  1. EXPULSION

In the interest of keeping houses open for those who seek them, any house which is found to have been uninhabited for a period of three Elven Weeks will be evicted. When such a decision is made, a three-month notice will be delivered to the residence after which the home shall be fully evicted. Additionally, any person who commits a crime of sufficient severity shall be similarly dispossessed.


ARTICLE VIII: Criminal Punishment

Pursuant to ensuring deterrence of criminal activity and social recompense for wrongs against the people and the state, the following punishments are set forth as a matter of law.

 

I.Fine - Financial compensation paid to the Throne, in an amount which matches the severity of the wrong committed. All crimes are to be punished at least in part by fine. Should a criminal be unable to pay their issued fine, they will instead provide labor of equal value to the Kingdom.

II.Indentured Labor - Compensation paid to the Throne in the form of physical, productive labor.

III.Corporal Punishment - Physical punishment dealt by lashing, bludgeoning or another sufficient method, to the satisfaction of the wronged party or the Keeper overseeing the trial. Suitable for minor crimes such as disturbance of the peace.

IV.Branding - The placement of a brand upon a visible part of the body, such as the underside of the forearm, administered by the presiding Keeper. Suitable for crimes such as theft or repeat offenses.

V.Banishment - Exile from the lands of Norland, be it permanent or temporary. Suitable for repeated violations of honor codes or crimes such as burglary or assault.

VI.Execution - The sentence of death, carried out most typically by beheading. Suitable for the crimes of murder or violation of banishment. In cases involving sorcery or severe unholy acts, execution is to be carried out by way of burning.

VII.Hanging - The cutting of the wrists and subsequent display upon the ashwood tree by way of a noose about the neck. Reserved for those crimes which harm the Kingdom as a whole, such as treason, espionage, murder or banditry.

VIII.Entombment - A method of execution in which a person is bound and placed in a coffin filled with sap or tar with only the face exposed. The coffin is then sealed and disposed of, leaving the person within to die. This is to be reserved only for those who commit the most terrible of crimes.

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AMENDMENT I: On Properties of the Kingdom

In the pursuit of the protection of the properties of the Kingdom, the following articles are set forth to assert, as a matter of law, those items, lands and entities which are considered the sole property of the constituent entities of the Norlandic state.

 

    I.    The Palace of Varhelm and the grounds upon which it stands shall be considered the sole property of the Royal Household. Any unidentified, uninvited or otherwise unexpected persons found within the palace shall be considered a trespasser and dealt with as such.
    II.    The Hearth Temple of Varhelm and the grounds upon which it stands shall be considered the sole property of the Hearth Council. Trespassers shall be dealt with at the Hearth’s discretion.
    III.    Any and all military installments in the Kingdom, including fortresses and the city battlements of Varhelm, shall be considered the sole property of the King and the Northguard. All uninvited civilians or nongovernment individuals shall be considered trespassers at best, or belligerents at worst, and shall be dealt with as such.
    IV.    The Ashwood Tree and its products are to be considered the sole property of the King of Norland. The Ashwood’s seeds shall only be handled by the King himself, members of the clergy, and those of the Rurikid bloodlines. Any other individual found to be in possession of, or tampering with, any product of the Ashwood tree, without the express, documented permission of the King shall be considered guilty of theft, treason, and, depending on circumstance, possibly conspiracy.


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