Aquilonia: Rules and laws of the land?

DasClay

Mongoose
Hey guys, Just wanted to know what kinda of rules and laws everyone was using as far as the countries are concerned. I looked through Flower of the west and as always, I find Vicent stuff pretty good, but I didnt find excatlly what I wanted. Im basically looking for rules on killing, thieft, etc... and what the punishments would roughly be.
I think Shadizar had a chart on that stuff or Messantia, but cant remember. Just wanted to know What everyone is using, and what Vicent suggest for Aquilonia...
Thanks
 
It depends on what court they go to and what their rank/status is in the nation. Lords and justices assign whatever punishment they see fit. Aquilonia does not have a codified law at this point.

Most punishments are fairly brutal - especially if someone did a crime against someone of a higher social class than he or she is. A high-born person committing a crime against a lower-born person would face almost no punishment whatsoever - unless that particular judge had a grudge against the high-born criminal.

There is no chart because it is too variable and based entirely on the opinion and personality of whoever is hearing the case. See pages 72 and 73 of Aquilonia- Flower of the West.
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
Just think of Conan as judge, jury, and executioner (not necessarily in that order), and your good to go.

But all kidding aside, you have several ways of dealing out punishment:
1) Death
2) Loss of body part
3) Imprisonment
4) Whipping
5) Pillary
6) Fines
7) Exile

You could add more, as you think them up.

The punishment may or may not match the crime. Cutting off someones hand for stealing may be very severe. Shem, Stygia, perhaps Turan, may adhere to this method. Aquilonia and many of the Hyborian states may just imprison the offender.

Crime can be catagorized as:
1) Premedatated murder
2) Murder in defense
3) Accidental murder
4) Rape
5) Kidnapping for ransom
6) Horse Theft
7) Poaching
8) Buglary
9) Purse snatching
10) Debt and taxes unpaid
11) Trespassing
12) False witness
13) Slander

There's also crimes against the state. Most of them are punished by death:
1) Spying
2) Insurrection (justified or not)
3) Assassination (successful or not)

Also, there are crimes against a state religion:
1) Heresy
2) Not observing rituals

This above lists are not complete, as you can see.

You can make up a chart with the crimes listed down the side (so you can add to them easier) and the punishments across the top. You can make one up for each village, city, country, government, or religion. I recommend a spreadsheet program.

Get the general feel for each nation in Hyboria and match the punishment and crime to that state or religion. I made Nemedia somewhat harse, and Aquilonia a little more forgiving. Except for rape, Aquilonia is harsher than Nemedia.

I hope I didn't go overboard with this. Do you have a particular country or something you wanted to discuss? I don't really follow the "official" outlines that may be presented in any of the source books or modules. I just do what works for me.
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Is it just me, or does it seems like buglary has to do with abuse of insects? Perhaps this belongs in the Starship Troopers forum. :shock: :D
 

DasClay

Mongoose
Yeah actully I was thinking about Aquilonia. I mean I know that there on a feudal system and things are pretty much left up to the local barron etc. but what about the overall rules of the land. examples would be:
, a common law in Aquilonia against theif, or murder, or destruction of property. I mean everything is open to opinion, but, I just belive there should be some basic guidlines.
 
There is no common law in Aquilonia like that. Lords and barons are not trained in matters of law - it is up to them. If someone has a complaint, he hopes he finds justice. If no one makes a complaint, then no law was broken.
 

DasClay

Mongoose
Ok not trying to pick any fights. but your telling me, that a bunch of nobles, are just gonna go for anyone of there vassels calling the shots on there land? I dont think so.

so like if theres a Baron, that has a really good rep, but one of his vassles, just starts cutting off the hands of his subjects cause there stilling food, because there starving... hes ok with it?
 

DasClay

Mongoose
Ok not trying to pick any fights. but your telling me, that a bunch of nobles, are just gonna go for anyone of there vassels calling the shots on there land? I dont think so.

so like if theres a Baron, that has a really good rep, but one of his vassles, just starts cutting off the hands of his subjects cause there stilling food, because there starving... hes ok with it? Not to mention, the ripple effect its gonna have on the barrons Reputation...
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
Actually, much (not everybody used these codes, so don't go carrying on about my use of the word "much") of the law of the land were codes left by the Romans. Try this link, it gives a good description of Roman Law:
http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/mores/law/legalsystem.htm

Also the Germans had law codes. Try this link, it's from Answer.com and it's another good place to go for answers:

http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery...ekey=GermancLw&gwp=8&curtab=2040_1&sbid=lc05a

Google for different laws of the land with key words like Middle Ages, Medieval, Justinian Law (Roman codes), and try Conan too! Be sure to use key words like "listing." Have fun!
 
DasClay said:
Ok not trying to pick any fights. but your telling me, that a bunch of nobles, are just gonna go for anyone of there vassels calling the shots on there land? I dont think so.

so like if theres a Baron, that has a really good rep, but one of his vassles, just starts cutting off the hands of his subjects cause there stilling food, because there starving... hes ok with it? Not to mention, the ripple effect its gonna have on the barrons Reputation...

The vassals activity would get reported to the baron, who then may step in if he wants to protect his reputation. He may order the baron to pay reparations.
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Nemedian Law (from "God in the Bowl")
to the mines...murdering a commoner
hanging...killing tradesman
burn at the stake....killing rich man
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
Nemedian Law (from "God in the Bowl")
to the mines...murdering a commoner
hanging...killing tradesman
burn at the stake....killing rich man

There are long lists on how to carry out the sentance of death for murder. Are there lists on the different types of crime such as slapping a noble? Punishment for crimes may change depending on social status and the whim of the judge, but the crimes are probably written down somewhere, or at least the judges might know what they are.
 

Castel

Mongoose
dunderm said:
Are there lists on the different types of crime such as slapping a noble?

Well i would say "Skinned alive"...

It´s really up to you (or lets us say the one who judges), like Vincent D said...

The problem with law is that at that time it was not very stable, and it was really not impartial...
In the feudalistic model you were judged by the noble or representant of the kingdom in that place.
If it was a problem between nobles they would be judged by a higher Status Noble...
So it would really be more of a decision than a judgement.

Argos, Chorintia, Nemedia and other Hyborian kingdoms may have a structured Legal system, but most of them lack one.

A list of laws defined by the state would be great, but then we must remember who is in charge and that you don´t get a lawyer... so the probability they don´t really get followed is rather large.

But since it seems that Howard left some small clues about the general law of the countries, those can help... but then law changes from king to king, and from time to time, so there is really only need for a "generalistic law" for great crimes... all other are left to the Judge to decide.

In most places the law is defined by they religion and social stigmas.
Fail these and you´re probably going to wish they had killed you...

And one other thing, the king made the rules, if he said that the law was to kill Nemedians, well i wouldn´t like to be a nemedian in that place...
But if you hapenned to be judged by a noble friend, you would be considered "not Nemedian"...
It´s easy as this...
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
How law and punishment is given out to "commoners" (I use this term to mean those that do not claim a connection to "noble" blood), may be as arbitrary as you make it out to be, but this would not go over well with crimes amongst the nobles. Unless the ruler of the land is a total despot, some sort of council of nobles would have set down some laws to govern each others behavior, otherwise, total chaos would be the rule of the day.

The people of Hyboria seem too well organized for me to believe there was not some sort of agreed upon laws that was written down somewhere.

I can't agree with the opinion that the law was so arbitrarily decided.
 

DasClay

Mongoose
I agree, they seem to well organized for that. I mean, there not tribes, there actully large cities generating business, and even in that respect there are Guilds, and we all know any guild or organization is going to have laws or Rules. The only thing I could find was in AFotW, there was a breif mention about putting people on trial, and they had to make a diplomacy roll or something of that nature, but I dont think it was very indept, and I think it had to do more with nobles (im at work, and I read this a few days ago).
 
dunderm said:
The people of Hyboria seem too well organized for me to believe there was not some sort of agreed upon laws that was written down somewhere.

I can't agree with the opinion that the law was so arbitrarily decided.

Custom and Tradition (precedent). People lived a long time without written down rules. Oral traditions also work. For a people defined by honour and allegiance, actual laws are unnecessary. People can be organized without written laws. Oral laws and traditional laws will work just fine, especially if the children of the nobles are brought up with those traditions, and a heritage of honour and allegiance.

The King's Law only works when the King's soldiers decide to enforce the King's Law. Have you read A Game of Thrones? Eddard was assaulted by the Queen's brother at one point - and there was nothing he could do about it. Anyway, that book (although not Hyborian) shows how a complex society can work even without a written body of criminal law.

Also, in reference to that work, when Lady Stark wants the Imp arrested, she does not reference any law - she calls on those who swore allegiance to her family to arrest him. Allegiance plays a HUGE part of Aquilonian "justice." If you smack a noble, you may well be facing every noble who has sworn allegience to him.

You might also recall that King Kull smashed the written laws of Valusia and decreed the only laws are his oral edicts. He basically decreed the written laws to be invalid from that point on.

It is all custom and tradition, mixed in with honour and allegiance - and force of arms.
 

DasClay

Mongoose
VD, your speaking of a society in which there is no corruption, or wrong doing.... and that has never existed. Even people defined by honor and allegiance, which would be a ideological society, would have rules to support when a person honor is challanged, or questioned...
 
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