Qímmu 1st Kekkérja,
The Nchésh of the Splendid Slayers of Ssü.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Law, Police, Punishments, and the Arenas. (Continued)
Pecháni Magistrate issuing a verdict.
Carving on the walls of the House of Enlightened Justice,
Civil courts deal with altercations between clans, temples, individuals, and other legal entities. Assault, robbery, rape, murder, kidnapping, brawling, and other crimes of violence fall into this category, as do suits involving breaches of contract (including marriage agreements), divorce, clan rights, disputes over land or water ownership or usage, embezzlement, fraud, imposture, inheritance, personal slander, and many other kinds of illegalities.
Whenever a civil offence is committed the complainant has three means of redress: (1) he can demand Shámtla –“blood-money”-- from the offender; (2) he may take the case to a civil court, which holds a hearing and imposes a settlement and/or penalties; (3) he may resort to the ancient duelling code, “The Manifesto of Noble Deliverance”. If the matter is such that the complainant feels that he cannot gain satisfaction from any of the above mentioned methods, there is a fourth course open to him: the assassin clans. However, it should be noted that this truly is a final solution when all other courses have been exhausted or dismissed. Under Pecháni Law the assassin clans have the right to kill, commit violence, or destroy property – but only against private persons and clans, not against the state or its officials in their professional capacities. In Pecháno, inevitably, the first recourse is very often duelling. Shámtla is rarely paid out or, for that matter, sought after, and then it is usually only scribes, merchants, or foreigners that demand this type of settlement. Duels are very formalised events in Pecháno, and they are almost always to the death. There are even “facilitator clans” who are employed to arrange the type of duel, the location, and to ensure that the conditions are adhered to. Duels are often held in the Hirilákte Arenas which are present in the major urban centres of the nation, and can involve several combatants. One is reminded of the events in Teshkóa some years back (during the time of Tuhéshmu Rekhmél A.S. 1944).
There was an altercation between the Thushchán and their rivals the Pahrnéb over logging rights in the Guringa Forest, situated in eastern Pecháno. This conflict festered until it ended up being so acrimonious that the clan elders arranged to gather all of their men and meet in the Hirilákte Arena in Teshkóa to settle the issue once and for all. Some 500 men appeared upon the duly arranged day and proceeded to slaughter each other with such zeal that the conflict spilled out of the arena and into the streets of Teshkóa. Numerous casualties resulted amongst the townsfolk, who were not party to the feud, and a good portion of the foreign quarter was set ablaze in the chaos. It was only the direct command of Tuhéshmu Rekhmél himself that ultimately stopped the fighting which raged for 7 hours. Even to this day these two clans still harbour animosity towards each other, and it takes very little to fan the flames.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Well its been some time since the last post. I have started a new game, and this initially took up much of my free time. However, I've gotten the story arc figured out and I can now go back the posting.
There are perhaps 50 clans in Pecháno. No one has ever done a census. The Beneshchán and Rekhmél lineages are the biggest and most powerful. Some are remote mountain clans, almost equivalent to “tribes”. A few are occupation-based: bakers, wine-makers, carters, smiths, butchers, arms and armour-makers, and the like. A couple are religious in nature: secretive and devoted to their deities. Pecháni don’t introduce their clan names with “hi”, as the Tsolyáni do. They put the personal name first, followed by the clan name. The Pecháni, like the Salarvyáni, stress hereditary family position, and noble titles, which are accompanied by both political power and wealth. An individual’s position depends upon his family and its standing in the ranked tiers of the society. Within Pecháni society the warrior lineages are considered the most prestigious. Slavery is present in Pecháno however, like the Salarvyáni, slaves are owned by individuals and not by the clan as a whole. Far more common are indentured servants and serfs who are still accountable under the law!
Pecháni Warriors sacking a Salarvyáni fortress.
Column Carving: Hall of Skulls, Mechanéno.
Law, Police, Punishments, and the Arenas
The legal system of Pecháno is founded upon the principles laid down by the Priest Kings of Éngsvan hla Gánga. Theoretically, this should provide for a monolithic, nationwide hierarchy, which stretches, from the village headman all the way up to the highest courts in the land. There should be no local laws or ordinances: what is legal in Mechanéno should be legal in Teshkóa or Ogréjja. Reality is somewhat different, however. Like Salarvyá, Pecháno is a feudal monarchy, the Beneshchán, and Rekhmél are the absolute masters of their lands, and minor deviations of the state laws are not uncommon. The Pecháni legal system falls somewhere in between the centralised Tsolyáni one, and the decentralised Salarvyáni system. The authority of Mechanéno does manage to keep things consistent for the most part.
There are two types of courts in Pecháno: Imperial, or Royal, and Civil. There are no ecclesiastical courts in Pecháno. Any disputes amongst the temples, or with the temples are settled in Civil Court.A Royal Court tries cases in which the state itself is the aggrieved party: treason, spying, speculation of state monies or property, dishonesty in a royal post, cowardice or disobedience by soldiers and a variety of other similar offences fall under its purview.
Part IV Continued next post...