This is not a comprehensive list. It is intended to give the player some idea of the local society.
Unlike the Imperial Age, there is no central legal authority that promulgates and enforces the law. Instead, a series of customs based on a strong-man (chiefdom) society has arisen over the centuries. Enforcement is up to the local chiefdoms but as their authority does derive partly from their ability to maintain order, customs and laws are not taken lightly.
Human society in the Trionesse region has five tiers:
- Knights: the warrior caste. These are men and women who are the lords or serve a lord directly. Free farmers fight in the levy but are not warriors although they may become a warrior by finding a sponsoring lord and dedicating themselves to warcraft.
- Channelers and Bards: the learned who maintain customs, laws and intercede with the spirits. Technically, they are equal to the Knights but in practice are a half step down. They can expect to be seated with the lords at feast, often in an honored seat, but are also expected to defer to the Knights in matters of war.
- Craftsmen: these are never seated with knights but are still respected in society.
- Thralls (slaves). Killing a thrall is frowned on in the same way that beating a dog or horse to death is considered poor judgement but it is not illegal. Thralls are generally very poorly treated.
Wizards have no formal place in this hierarchy but tend to be treated like a bard or channeler.
Wergild (Blood money or "Man-gold")
Except for acts of sacrilege or treason, most crime is handled by the payment of a fine called Wergild. The local chief sets the fine in consultation with the priests and bards. Example fines are:
- 2000 gold for murder of a warrior, channeler or bard (half for a child of this cast)
- 1000 gold for murder of a craftsman (half for a child of this cast)
- 800 gold for murder of a free-farmer (half for a child of this cast)
- Twice the value of a slave for murder of someone else's slave or for abetting inthe slaves' escape.
- Twice the value of the animal for theft of a cow or horse.
Sacrilege can be a very broad category and can include murder under certain circumstances, such as the murder of a guest or ward and the malicious murder of a child as well as the more obvious descration or dishonoring of spirits. Some specific examples:
- Challenging a guest when the guest is under your roof.
- Challenging a host under his roof.
- Stealing any offerings to a spirit, even those left unattended.
- Breaking an oath taken in the name of a spirit.
When sacrilege involves the dishonoring of a specific spirit, a channeler of that spirit consults with the spirit to determine punishment. Keep in mind that most lords and settlements have one or more patron spirits who would be consulted for any of the sacrileges listed in the bullet list above. That is, we in the 21st century might not think challenging a host is a particularly irreligious occurence or that it would offend a particular god or spirit but in Mithlond, it is a specific offence against the spirit of the host and that spirit must be consulted, even if the host would let the offense pass. The formula is for the lord (after checking with a bard or channeler) to propose a specific punishment to the channeler who then consults the spirit.
Spirits are aware of politics and politically important people are most often punished by requiring an offering, quest or both. Less important persons might also receive a punishment of offering or quest (often more harsh) but might instead be sacrificed to the spirit (i.e., executed). For example, a son of another chieftan who attacks his host might have to go on an arduous quest to a shrine in a distant land whereas a free-farmer who attacked a lord might be hung from a tree or strangled and thrown into a bog.
Treason is in the eye of the beholder but great abuse is prevented by the fact that treason can only be declared with the consent of an appropriate spirit. As with sacrilege, the lord proposes the punishment with the guidance of a channeler or a bard. Punishment for treason is similar to that for sacrilege except that:
- offerings may be replaced by a gold or other offering to the offended lord. Spirits are fond of requiring a person to offer a prized magic item instead of simple wealth.
- Execution for treason is performed both in the name of the offended lord and the governing spirit. It is performed as a religious rite in the same manner as a blood sacrifice to the spirit alone. Additionally, a spirit is more likely to acquiesce to execution of high cast individuals if the treason was a straightforward power play.
Channelers cannot telepathically communicate with their spirits. In order to consult with a spirit regarding a punishment, they must either perform some divination magic (such as augury) or physically travel to the spirit.