The free Domain of Herz
The free Domain of Herz is a barony dedicated to the values of heart, honour, and soul. Any man or woman may become who they want here, free of discrimination and bigotry - no matter what race, gender, or religion. The barony is established to the North of the lands of Nordengrad, embracing woodland, fertile, agricultural plains, and the creatures that run within.
It was a cold winter’s night, and the wind was stirring. Words were lost in the gentle breeze, words of corruption, greed, and injustice. Like silk, these words slipped and slid across the snow and ice, until they found the tall oaken door. With invisible hands and invisible eyes, the words infested themselves across the courtroom. “Trial overruled.” People sigh and tutt, rolling their eyes at the unfairness of it all, however with an air of defeat and sadness, their fury and rage bottled in the grasp of oppression. One woman, Lady North Bellatrix Stow, tore free from the beast of tyranny, and her shouts were not silenced by casual threats, “This is not fair.” She cried out, while in a meeting with the other government officials of the town. “Tis not fair we slave away for our Count and he repays us with treachery and bias. That man was as guilty as charged, and he walks free as a bird.” A murmur of uneasy agreement echoed around the room.
“What can we do? Our people cannot rebel, we are workers and farmers, against guards and soldiers, against the knights of the Count.” Someone responds, hopelessly throwing their hands up in despair. Lady Stow stands up from her seat, sending an enraged fist to the table. “Damn their soldiers. Damn the Count. Damn every man who turns a blind eye, damn every man who believes himself to be a God among men, and damn every man who follows them.” People around the room begin to nod, edging in closer to the conversation, the dying flame of hope relit, and smoking. “We shall start our own barony, one free of the damned. One with honour, heart, and soul.” All but one man agreed with her, and with this support, the idea of Herz was born.
The barony was founded on the 7th of the Malins Welcome 1681 by Lady North Bellatrix Stow, and, with the help of friends, began to be built brick by brick.
The core principles of Herz are centered in freedom, clear oppositions to oppression. The main laws, written by Lady North Stow herself, were scribed under the first acts of Herz to be created. And they declare as follows:
Public misdemeanor Act
Stealing, pickpocketing, or damage of property are deemed illegal. If you are declared as, or found to be, guily, then you shall have to pay a fine of 100 minas, to be paid to Herz’s treasury.
Acts of aggression, such as brawling (outside of arrange duel combat) are deemed illegal. If you are declared as, or found to be, guily, then you shall have to pay a fine of 50-200 minas, to be paid to Herz’s treasury.
Public misdemeanors such as public nudity, continuously loud shouting, or disrupting the common interests of the people are deemed illegal. If you are declared as, or found to be, guily, then you shall have to pay a fine of 50-100 minas, to be paid to Herz’s treasury.
Major Offences Act
Conspiracy, soliciting, or attempts of murder are all illegal. If you are declared as, or found to be, guilty, then you shall be banished from Herz.
Murder, or grievous bodily harm is illegal. If you are declared as, or found to be, guily, Then you shall be publicly executed, by means decided by the current leader.
Threat to public safety. If you kidnap, ransom, extort, plant explosives, or commit arson in Herz, and you are declared as, or found to be, guily, then you shall be banished from Herz. Depending on the extent of your crimes you may also be publicly executed.
Treason, If you plan to overthrow the government for whatever means, and you plan to, or attempt to, do so through force rather than bringing it to the council’s attention, you will be charged with treason. Then you shall be publicly executed and banished, by means decided by the current leader.
Any citizen can become a council member by simply asking the leader. This is called the open council, worth 1 vote. Out of these members, the most loyal, dedicated, and hard-working individuals can be chosen to become a high council member, worth 2 votes. The people elect a mayor who gets 2 votes, and brings up issues of the people to the high council. The leader herself receives 3 votes herself, and may only overrule if the matter could cause significant damage, or significance to Herz, such as war, allies, or treaties. The high council (and the mayor) convene and discuss topics and different solutions to issues, and then they meet in the forum and call an open meeting, where any members of the open council can come. Here, they vote on the different solutions, and they may bring up any problems they have themselves too. There are also Stewards, these people collect taxes, recruit more citizens, and give out keys to the city, who are made by the high council (and mayor).
A trial occurs only if the criminal has lived in Herz for 4 or more years (a month or more) and they have committed a major offence. While they await trial, they are not allowed into Herz. Every council member attends, both open and high members. The leader sits upon her throne, with her lords, ladies, knights, and mayor to her left, her high council on her right (these are referred to as the court) . The accused sits opposite the leader (bound in chains), behind them the open council, and behind them - regular citizens. The accused stands ad speak their case, and then any witnesses or people with extra information must come forward. The accused is now questioned based on the evidence. Once questioning is over, the court gather privately to discuss the verdict. The court votes on whether the man is guilty or innocent. If he is voted as guilty, the default punishment for breaking the law is usually applied, unless a court member believes another punishment would be more fitting (if so then that is voted on). They return to court, and the leader announces the verdict. The punishment is always immediate.
The barony has a guard to protect their people and property. This guard is ran by the General, chosen by the leader. The General chooses Lieutenants, who each run their own sector of around 3-5 people. The general gets 2 votes if they wish to attend council, and manage the majority of issues to do with the guard, as well as rallies, patrols, etc.
One is able to achieve knighthood one of two ways. Either through squiring, or a great feat, the foremost being the most common. To become a squire you must train well and show promise, and then complete the trials. Once you have done this, you will work under a knight or dame, completing both the mundane and exciting tasks, and providing any assistance you can. When your knight believes you are ready, they must inform the leader, and she decides whether to knight/dame you or keep you as a squire. You must speak your oaths to Herz and the leader, and she will accept them. The other way to achieve a Knighthood is through a great feat (or continuous feats) of strength, courage, and honor, and then the leader may choose to gift you a knighthood. Knights are automatically high council, and receive their privileges.
If you contribute massively to Herz, but not in a combatant way, then the leader may choose to reward you with the title of lord or lady. This traditionally comes with a nickname, chosen and given by the leader herself; "Lord of the...", or "Lady of the..." This title, like knighthood, doesn't fall to heirs, however, unlike knighthood, the marriage partner of the lord/lady, shall receive the corresponding title.
Building is not completed.