Bill of Amendments , Year of the Harvest 621

TO HER MAJESTY, QUEEN BEAH OF EIRE
TO HER MAJESTY’S COUNCIL OF PALADINS
TO THE GREATER GLORY THAT IS THE KINGDOM OF EIRE


It has been four years since the Reformation of our Kingdom following the defeat of the Carythian occupation. Our war against the powers of the Withering and hordes of the undead continue. We have earned great victories in this time, most notably creating the Bastion of White Sun, reclaiming the Greater Earth Circle of Chiram’s Hollow, and our most recent defeat of the void tainted lich, Emilio, and the reclamation of the Bastion of Stone Roost. Our victories have not come without great sacrifice, as we have now laid to permanent rest Sir Wynn Geffrin, Squire Paladar Beltaine, and the adventurer Marcus of Freeport. All were loved well by the people, and each gave their lives in brave sacrifice for the betterment of the Kingdom of Eire.

The hard fight has, at last, earned us a small breath between battles. There is much labor still ahead, but we must take this moment to reflect upon the vast changes in our world and to adapt accordingly. In these last few years, we have encountered new races, some friend and others foe. We have forged new alliances and have begun spreading our hands back out across the mists. We have seen uprisings of the fae, and strange workings of elementals who have forsaken their Declaration of Severance and now act again in the mortal world. For all these reasons and more we must re-examine certain matters of law and make adjustment for the further stability of the Kingdom of Eire. With these due considerations in mind, we hereby recommend the following amendments to the Laws of Eire and any lands annexed under her authority.

Amendments to the High, Common, and Low Crimes of Eire

A Clarification on The High Crime: Consorting with The Undead


First, to reiterate our founding creeds: aligning with the undead is illegal. This includes willingly betraying any Bastion, the Kingdom of Eire, or any member of a civilized race to the undead. Working with the undead for the sake of personal gain is illegal.

However, the act of speaking with the undead is not illegal. In fact, it is often necessary to converse with these creatures to gain useful information or to deter them from attacking the innocent. Moreover, it is not illegal to communicate with the undead for the sake of ensuring, or attempting to ensure, the safety of the Bastions or the Harvestlands of Eire.

Eire-man and Thelucian scholars believe that we are now outnumbered by undead, nearly ten to one. Though the Harvest Kingdom boasts nearly one million subjects spread throughout the Bastions and Eire, reports note the undead at nearly ten million spread throughout the Deadlands. Though we have little accurate information regarding how many creatures of monstrous race still survive, we do again suspect their numbers could swarm and swallow our own. We no longer have the luxury of high moral ground and can no longer hide in the comforts of civilization. These desperate times require desperate measures.

Reconsideration of Punishments of Banishment or Exile

In Recognition of the New Enemies that threaten to overwhelm us, we must reconsider all punishments of Banishment or Exile into the Deadlands. Such punishment, levied against traitors and necromancers, at one time ensured they would never again endanger the honest and law abiding people of Eire. Exile into the tainted wastes was indeed unto a secondary death sentence. This is no longer the case.

With the rise of Legacy so close to our own borders, and the fanatics of Sadeen Moore gathering the downtrodden to their cause, banishment of our criminal population only serves to strengthen the tide of our enemies. The undead lords of Legacy welcome our miscreants and swell their ranks with the necromancers we cast off into the Deadlands.

With such consideration, we, the nobles of Eire, must amend our High Crimes and revoke all punishments of Exile or Banishment. Instead, it is proposed that the High Crimes of Treason and High Necromancy be punished by an expanded program of forced labor, or execution until Permanent Death. Sentences of forced labor or Permanent Death shall fall to the residing Justicar, and they shall cull those who may still present a useful resource to the nation of Eire from those to receive the headsman’s axe.

Recognition of New Races as Protected Races of The Harvest Kingdom

New Allies have also risen in these dark times. In the moment of Severance, when the elemental planes abandoned the mortal world to the forces of the Withering, the Icon of Fire alone refused to forsake the mortal races. Making great sacrifice, and empowering his servants against the undead, he has bequeathed his elementals to the mortal realm where they now wander amongst us as the Firekin. Our Majesty, Queen Beah of Eire, has already issued decree to extend the protection of Eire to these Firekin, and offered them a home among the mortal races. Her decree must now be reflected in written law, and the Firekin must be added to the list of Protected Races and afforded all rights and responsibilities given by our Code of Law.

We have recently seen the awakening of an ancient race known as the Children of Autumn. In the year since they have woken they have proven themselves allies against the forces of undeath. They have fought beside our own soldiers on numerous occasions, and have shown themselves dedicated to the protection of the natural world. In recognition of the service they have already rendered, and in accord with negotiated entreaties from their leadership, it is further recommended that the Children of Autumn be added to the list of Protected Races, and afforded all rights and responsibilities given by our Code of Law.

It is, however, also recognized that some among the Children of Autumn have been infected by the power of the Withering during their years of slumber. These creatures evidence a clear corruption and physical transformation that separates them from the healthy members of their people. As such, these Malwoken are not considered Children of Autumn, and are not protected by the body of Eire law. Instead, Malwoken are to be considered a monstrous race, tainted creatures of Chaos, and given no consideration for their heritage.

On Standing and Proposed Treaties, and Declarations of Hostility with Other Powers across Laerthan

In the four years since we have engaged our war to purify the Withering from our realm, we have been fortunate to learn that we do not stand alone. With the opening of the Circle Portals, we have made contact with peoples across the expanse of our continent who have held steadfast against the advance of the undead. Although they have not yet committed themselves to joining our nation as a province or people of Eire, it is our hope that time and our continued allegiance will unite us as one kingdom.

Scholarly Thelucia represents our strongest and most like-minded ally. We stood together at the battle of White Sun, and Thelucian forces lent great assistance in the reclamation of Chiram’s Hollow. Although we have enjoyed a military alliance with the nation of Thelucia, still we hope for even greater friendship and brotherhood. To that end, it is proposed we commit ourselves further to our brother nation, pledging to combat their enemies as our own, recognizing their noble titles within the boundaries of our own realm, allowing for the pursuit and extradition of criminals across our borders, and allowing for their ambassador to be privy to matters of our legal process. Furthermore, we acknowledge that the Bastion of White Sun is a shared holding of both our nations. Each must commit equal resources to its maintenance and share equal responsibility for its protection.

The Order of the Hierophan are also acknowledged as allies of the Harvestlands of Eire. Though they have sworn no allegiance to the Crown, their commitment to combating the Withering and purifying the lands of Laerthan is unquestioned. In recognition, and by royal decree, we submit they hereby be acknowledged as an order of Knights errant. They are to be heeded and respected as Knights of our realm, and are afforded all rights, responsibilities, and privileges thereof. They are to be given sway over any lands they can successfully reclaim from the Withering, and are to be acknowledged as Counts within those domains. It is our hope that, in time, they will join the ranks of Eire’s nobility as a proper order of Knighthood. Let it be known that the chosen title for a Knight within this Order is Ria, and their title equivalent to a Squire is Childe.

Clarification: There have been reported misunderstandings over the wording of the law concerning the Order of the Hierophan. To clarify, within any Bastion and within the Harvest Lands of Eire, Ria and Childe hold equal rank to all other Squires and Knights under the Crown. The jurisdiction which pertains to their duties lies withing the Deadlands, proper. Therefore, within this fallen realm a Ria's authority will overrule that of any given Knight; and the same is such that a Childe will outrank a Squire. In terms of comparison, the Deadlands is the realm which the Hierophan govern, as any noble is given the right to govern his own land and home. A Knight's authority over his peers, of equal rank, is unquestioned within his own lands, for there, his word his law. By law, only a noble of higher rank could enter the Knight's land and hold authority over him. Such is the case with the Hierophan. In the Deadlands, unless overruled by a Paladin or a member of the Royal Family, the Ria's authority is unquestionable. Bear in mind that even a Justicar cannot overrule a Hierophan in the Deadlands, since outside of his or her own Bastion a Justicar holds the equivalent rank of Knight. Therefore, except for on any given Knight's estate, there is no place were a Ria would be overruled by a Knight. In Eire and in any Bastion they are equals. In the Deadlands, the Hierophan's home, the Ria's word is law. - Lord Nathaniel Galloway, Year of the Harvest 622

The growing armies of Sadeen Moore and the Good Father who rules them pose a grave concern and potential threat to our new Kingdom. They are not like-minded in their pursuit of righteousness, nor have they proven themselves such staunch allies against the evils we face. Their ideology, which dictates the elimination of all magical forces and peoples, is clearly contrary to our own. Nevertheless, their opposition to the powers of Void and the armies of Legacy are equally clear. In these dark times, is there any other choice but to recognize the enemy of our enemy? In light of their conflict with the armies of Legacy we must commit ourselves to a pact of non-aggression with this new nation. Neither sword nor spell shall be raised against them without direct attack or provocation. An assault by Sadeen Moore upon Thelucia or the Order of Heirophan shall, in this regard, also constitute an attack upon Eire. Until such threat is proven, their citizens are to be afforded shelter in our realm and afforded protection of law as any citizen race. In the unfortunate event that our pact is broken, and this nation brings acts of war upon Eire or her allies, then we shall enter in such war recognizing that this is a nation of civilized peoples, owed the same honor and respect of life due any of the mortal races. Torture or mistreatment of such enemy combatants will not be tolerated, and in all regards our soldiers are to conduct themselves with by the highest standards of knightly virtue. All peaceful expatriates of Sadeen Moor willing to abide by Eire law may seek asylum in any land under the Crown. However, it is within the right of the ruler of any Bastion, Barony or Estate to accept of refuse entry for these refugees of war. Our Mercy, however, is not an invitation for acts of espionage. Spies sent into our territories under the pretense of peace shall be found, charged with Treason, and swiftly executed.

The Power of Void and its armies are now recognized as the single greatest threat to the survival of the Kingdom of Eire and to all of Laerthan. They are enemies of the Crown, and of life itself, and their destruction is prioritized beyond any other enemy to the Harvestland. We submit it must be clear and official policy of the Crown that any enemy not directly stained by Necromancy or Void is of secondary importance to the reclamation of the land and the destruction of Void. Be they fae, elemental, magical abomination, or common criminal, our pursuits against the hordes of undeath take priority over any other conflict.

As Regards the Fae and the Elementals

We submit that the fae and elementals, as distinct races, are not to be known as enemies of the Crown. Although some individuals, such as the creature known to be the Fever Grey, have shown clear malicious intent and committed grave crimes against out citizenry, these are to be taken as the acts of individuals. They and their followers are to be combated as they arise, but the nation of Eire has enough enemies for the time being. It is the hope of the Crown that alliance will be formed with the greater number of these races, and that a common law can be established to guide our further relations. If we are to learn anything from the Sundering and the Severance, it must be how the many creatures of Laerthan depend upon each other to maintain a world in balance. As such, though not Protected Races of the Kingdom of Eire, no fae or elemental is to be assaulted in our realm unless our citizens are directly attacked or provoked.

Clarification Regarding Knightly Orders and Their Establishment

In order to achieve our many goals and promote the interests of Eire into the Deadlands, our Knights have been given leave to form their own Knightly Orders. Such fraternities are established by official petition to the Order of Seneschals and the Council of Paladins. Petition for Knightly Orders must include the following:

- An intended purpose and mission to guide all actions of the Knightly Order. Each Order must have a mission which is distinct and unique and have an enumerated Statement of Purpose.

-A Charter Oath to be sworn by all members of the Order which reflects their dedication to both the Order’s purpose and our Knightly Virtues.

-A clearly stated hierarchy and chain of command within the Order.

- A designated member of the Order to serve as liaison to the Lord Seneschals and the Council of Paladins. This emissary shall bear responsibility for delivering all reports and requests to the Crown, and shall represent the Order in all legal matters.

-A Knightly Order requires no fewer than four founding members. There is no limit to the number of members an Order may induct in time. All founding members must sign the initial Charter Oath and Statement of Purpose.

-A Heraldric symbol by which the order will be identified must be devised and emblazoned openly.

-A statement of resources the Order believes are required to pursue and complete its mission.

-A scrupulously detailed and documented accounting of the Order’s resources. The Crown and Council of Paladins shall at any time have the right to demand these accounts. At such time, the Order must relate the manner in which its resources have been used and a detailed plan for the further pursuit of their Statement of Purpose.

If the Statement of Purpose, Charter Oath, membership, and all facets of the proposed Knightly Order are found acceptable to the Crown and Council of Paladins, the Order will be granted recognition and permitted use of their unique heraldric symbol. Membership in an Order provides no additional rights of nobility save those dispensations vouchsafed by the sponsoring Knight. It may, however, petition the Crown for subsidy in pursuit of the Order’s Statement of Purpose.

The Crown or Council of Paladins may, at any time, by decree or majority vote respectively, dissolve a Knightly Order if it is deemed they have strayed too far from their intended Statement of Purpose or has acted in such a manner as to render them improper.

Establishment of Commoner Guilds and Crown Sanctioned Associations

In like manner, the commons are hereby given the right to form themselves into Guilds. All Guilds of the commons shall fall under the purview of the Lord Seneschals. Each Guild must submit a Formal Petition for their formation to a Lord Seneschal in their home Bastion or Barony. Such Petitions shall include a broad Statement of Purpose, a Charter Oath, a statement of Guild structure, and designate a single member to serve as representative to the Lord Seneschals. Guilds may request subsidy from the Crown for the fulfillment of their Statement of Purpose. Such requests must be delivered in writing to their Lord Seneschal and include a detailed accounting of how the resources will be utilized. Lord Seneschals shall be responsible for taking accountings of the Guilds within their domains, and may do so as often as once each month or as seldom as once each year, as the Seneschal sees fit. Each Guild shall be responsible for a monthly tax to their local Barony, amounting to one tenth of their total gains.

The Crown or Council of Paladins may, at any time, by decree or majority vote respectively, dissolve a Commoner’s Guild if it is deemed they have strayed too far from their intended Statement of Purpose or has acted in such a manner as to render them improper.

As Regards Hereditary Entitlement and the Bequest of Estates

Given the high mortality rate of our citizens and soldiery alike, it has now become necessary to pass law regarding the dispensation of wealth, title, and all other matters of heredity. We find ourselves in an evil time, when life is uncertain and all too transient. It has long been the commonly held tradition for properties and titles to pass to the eldest child, male or female, and for that child to assume all responsibilities of their forbearer’s position.

Custom must now give way to need, and we must now recognize that the eldest is not always the most fit to fulfill the required duties. In the case of the commons, wealth and property shall still default to the eldest child, but such dispensation may be overruled by a residing Lord Seneschal or Baron. Seneschal and Baron may, in consultation with each other, redistribute wealth and property to the spouse, siblings, or younger children of the deceased if they deem these heirs to be of more appropriate ability. In all cases, all wealth and property in its entirety is to remain in the possession of the deceased’s family.

In the case of nobility, all children shall be privileged to receive, at minimum, the noble title of Lord. However, responsibilities of office may be deferred to a child other than the eldest by majority vote of the Council of Paladins. Majority control of the noble’s wealth and property will be transferred with the responsibility of office. In such cases, the child deemed unfit for service shall receive a sum of no less than one third the total monetary holdings for the provision of their future.

As Regards Succession of The Monarchy and Inheritance of the Crown

The burden of the Crown is the greatest of all and must only be carried by the most worthy. The crown of Eire shall still fall by tradition to eldest child, but the Council of Paladins or the Assemblage of Barons can nominate a different heir to the crown if the interests of Eire are believed better met by another among the royal children. In such cases, a Royal Conclave shall be held. The two potential successors will be brought before all the nobles of Eire, including the Justicars of the Bastions. The successors will be questioned on matters of ethics, leadership, policy, history, military knowledge, and any other matter the Royal Conclave deems proper. The reigning monarch must then choose based on their performance. This decision can only be overruled by a two-thirds vote by the Assemblage of Barons and The Council of Paladins combined.

Thus, we submit this litany of clarifications and annotations designed for the betterment of Eire and all her people, to be canonized by Her Majesty, Queen Beah of Eire, and the Council of Paladins.

These new provisions of Law shall not be met with unanimous and thunderous applause. In a better time, in a kinder world, many of them would not be necessary. Alas, we do not live in that world anymore. These last four years have taught us hard, but taught us well. If Eire is to continue to grow, and Laerthan continue to heal, these provisions are now necessary. It is our hope that in the years to come, there will be one Harvest Nation that stretches forth across a land cleansed of the Withering, uniting the Bastions as one Kingdom and one people. At such a time, we should revisit these laws, and many others. When we are free from persecution and evil we can embrace a kindlier way to live. Until then, let them stand, and see in them an opportunity to find the very best in each our hearts.

Authored by,
Lord Justicar Francis Southkin of Finn Castle Bastion, and Lord Chamberlain of Authenrai
Lord Nathaniel Galloway, Royal Knight of Eire, Order of the Harvest
 
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