Seeking information regarding many things

Chasmania

Artisan
Hello! Basil here. I find myself in need of information. I have been away from the adventuring community and find myself out of the loop, so to speak.

I left the Ceriopolis and have been entirely out of contact about two and a half years ago. Can anyone catch me up on all that transpired in that very strange land? Also, this Stradyn... what's it like? Are there any customs or laws I should be aware of? Types of magic or poisons that are abhorrent to the locals (other than chaos magic, of course)?

I am starved of information, as you can surely tell. Anything that you feel would be helpful for me to know is appreciated. For those unfamiliar with me and my skills, I am an Earth Healer, capable of casting some rituals, and generally avoid caves. I have what I am told are "luscious sideburns" and am a poor fighter, though I can run fast and have a deadly aim with my spells.

Thank you in advance,
~Basil Saesonne.
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
All that has happened in the Ceriopolis since your departure is an excessively large amount of information. I have been present for every gathering there, and tend to take relatively detailed notes, so I may fill in most gaps and answer most questions, but I do not believe I will be asleep for a long enough dream; I would prefer to have the conversation in person.

In extreme brevity: An Outsider riding the corpse of a malignant biata destroyed the Concilium and the House magics. The land crowned Sumnus Aderika Duke of the Ceriopolis. His duchy was outlined as including the Tranquil Plains, to no argument that I recall, and I believe was named Aderika or Aderikus--Polare would recall for certain. Individuals from Stradyn arrived in the Ceriopolis requesting aid. They are chosen by their land as Paragons. We bound Calliphestus to Stradyn through the mists, and there are no more mists separating the lands. The Paragons broke Salute's blood magic, and much of the power of the Savage Legion.

Stradyn is a nation at war with a nation across the ocean named Hargroth, largely populated by undead. This war has been going on a long time. Other less hostile nations nearby are Geralta and Ultus, one of which shares a landmass with Stradyn. I believe Ultus? Geralta is characterized by extremely strict laws. Stradyn's laws are what one would expect from most nations, though the specific banning of cannibalism is curious.

Are there any specific mysteries you wish to have explained? Two and a half years is a long time to be gone, and much has transpired. I will answer to the best of my recollection, which is good.

Squire Vellis Valeriana Tsalarioth of House Phoenix
Former Dominus Mortem of the House of Temperance and Ruin
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Basil,

Welcome back to the adventuring community! I will share with you what I have in my notes:

Strayden is a nation of four Duchies, each Duchy has a Land-chosen individual that's imbued with powers and serves as a...well, a guide? A representative? It's hard to describe. They're not the rulers, because there's a king, but they serve in a pretty close capacity...okay, let's say that the best way for me to describe them is king-adjacent.

Strayden is -really, really, really- flush with Earth energy. This seems to manifest itself in at least one way, which is that those rare individuals that can use adequate degrees of Earth formal magic can establish a powerful connection with the land. That connection has the effect of turning us into living Earth Storms. Only we don't need to maintain focus with the Earth like we normally would, the connection persists for days!

There are two large island landmasses; to the east, you have Strayden and Ultis, Strayden being the northern side. Ultis is smaller, if I recall correctly, and provides a great deal of assistance in the form of supplies to Strayden.

The western island has Hargroth to the north. As Vellis indicated, Strayden is at war with them. They appear to be a thoroughly undead empire. They also might label their undead in the form of colored belts?

To the south of Hargroth is Garalta. I've heard rumors that they're primarily Mystic Wood Folk, but I have not personally visited...and probably never will. They do have extremely strict traditions, though it's my understanding that these traditions somehow power their defenses against Hargroth. I assume there's a mysticism to it, though, again, I've never personally seen it. And probably won't. If this is true, and they have the choice of strict living versus absolute annihilation, I can understand their choice.

Laws! There's a lot of laws. I understand why laws exist, but there's a lot of laws.

That's pretty typical for places that use the words "Duchy" and Duke, I've found, though...

----------------------------
Laws of Stradyn

Below are the only laws recognized within Stradyn. Complexity is the enemy of a civilized society, and the scholars within the noble houses of the land have agreed that simplicity is key. Should someone be found to be abusing the laws for their own personal gain, their punishment will be magnified by a degree of their station.

The laws apply to anyone within the borders of the lands of Strayden. Any crime perpetrated against individuals who are a member of the noble courts of Stradyn falls under the crime of Treason and has that charge attached to the crime.

All crimes are committed against the land, not the individual. It is irrelevant if a victim is not interested in pressing charges, the laws will be enforced to ensure an orderly society.

Punishments.

Fines:

All fines are first given to the aggrieved party for restitution and consideration if applicable. Any remainder will then go to the governing body of the jurisdiction. A magistrate or noble judging the case has discretion on how much is given for restitution and consideration. If the crime was committed outside of a House’s jurisdiction, charges can still be pressed and restitution and considerations may be given to the Lands.

All crimes will carry a minimum fine or sentence. Note that these are mandated minimums. Magistrates and judging nobles can (and often do) impose harsher penalties based on the circumstances of the crimes and perpetrators.

Unless otherwise stated the minimum required fines are as follows:

-Committed against Citizen – 1 Gold Piece
-Committed against a Recognized Institution or Establishment – 5 Gold Pieces
-Committed against a Royal Guild – 10 Gold Pieces
-Committed against Royal Court or Court Members – All crimes committed against the Royal Court holdings or individuals have Treason offenses attached.

All crimes committed are counted individually, for example: casting two Charm spells against someone working in the local Tavern and getting the victim to come with you will result in a fine of no less than 15 Gold, 5 for each spell (Assault) and 5 for leading them away (Kidnapping).

Anyone unable to pay the fines may have their possessions confiscated at a price dictated by the magistrate or noble, or sold at auction (whichever the magistrate or judging noble chooses). If they still cannot pay the fine the convicted may serve a period of servitude to the lands in a capacity dictated by the magistrate or judging noble.

A convicted criminal can always willingly chose to suffer an execution as payment of any fines owed for their crimes. The convicted is executed in whatever manner the magistrate or judging noble chooses and all financial obligations for the crime are absolved. In situations where a convicted criminal would face death for his crimes as well as fines, he would need multiple executions to wipe out the fines.

Servitude:

If a criminal is sentenced to servitude they are compensated at the rate of 1 Silver Piece per day, less the cost of lodgings and food. The master of the servant is required to show an invoice of the costs associated with the room and board of the servant if audited by an agent of the courts, which shall be at a fixed rate depending upon the nature of the servitude, no more than 3 copper to those serving the military, no more than 5 copper for those serving a guild, and no more than 8 copper for those serving on a farm or private establishment.

--------------------------

If at any time the person committed to Servitude wishes to pay the remaining fees in lieu of finishing their sentence, or revert to the option to resurrect, and has the means to do so, they may pay them to a local noble representative before the court and be free of their servitude. A proprietor not allowing this interaction will be tried for Slavery.

If a servant resurrects (or fails to) while still in service their debts are not transferred to any family member, nor are they held upon resurrection, as those whom the criminal serves have a noble oath to protect those who serve them. As such the fines are dismissed at that point.

Death/Execution:

The standard execution in Stradyn is for a criminal to publically admit to their crimes and drink a death elixir by their own hands. They may or may not be afforded last words, or the ability to handle the elixir due to the nature of their crimes, or the nature of the criminal. This is completely at the discretion of the magistrate or noble overseeing the execution. The sentence is only considered completed when the criminal dissipates or the corpse is verified to be permanently dead.

Rite of Banishment:

A criminal sentenced to the Rite of Banishment forfeits all property to Stradyn and will be taken to Shatterpass where they will be forced through the Void Gate. Due to the nature of the Void Gate this sentence will almost certainty result in permanent death, no matter how strong a person's spirit. Anyone sentenced to the Rite of Banishment who somehow resurrects and is seen within the lands of Stradyn will suffer the Rite again.

Exile:

Until further notice, Exile to a neighboring country has been suspended as a punishment due to the current conflict. As such, any outlaw found in a neighboring land or territory will be requested to be returned to Stradyn to pay the proper punishment for their crimes.

List of Crimes:

Assault: Assault is the act of placing someone in fear of imminent physical harm. The standard is an objective one, and the threat must be immediate and real. Simply insulting someone or giving a vague threat is not assault. Also, the threatened harm must be serious for example, requiring the application of healing spells or elixirs or breaking a defensive spell. This includes threatening to apply Charm and Sleep spells, as those would break defensive protections. Note that threatening to Curse someone or use an Amnesia effect falls under this law. Assault always carries a maximum of a one gold fine, making it different than the rest of the crimes within Stradyn. This does not cover casual implied effects, but actual threats of imminent harm.

Battery: Battery is the causing of harm to an unwilling person. “Harm” is defined as damage requiring the use of curing medicines, spells, potions, or elixirs or the breaking of any defensive sells. Performing a Curse against someone does constitute Battery. Those who can prove they are or were under the effect of a berserk or other mind controlling effect would not be guilty of Battery, but the individual who placed the effect on that person would be guilty of Battery. The use of a Prison spell upon an unwilling person is considered Battery.

Bribery: Giving or accepting gifts of value in exchange for favors from someone in authority.

Cannibalism: The consumption of the flesh of any creature that, by race, has the capacity for sentience and speech is strictly prohibited. Within the lands of Stradyn this includes some known enemies such as Kobolds, Goblins, Lupoids, etc. Violation of this law will result in the penalty of death and no less than double the standard fines. Subsequent convictions may result in Obliteration or even the Rite of Banishment.

Conspiracy: A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. Giving aid or comfort to a wanted criminal or obstructing the investigation or apprehension of that criminal is also conspiracy, as is having foreknowledge of a crime and not reporting it or taking reasonable steps to prevent it from occurring. Note that conspiracy requires actual participation of at least two persons; one cannot conspire alone.

Counterfeiting: Counterfeiting is the making or passing of money, guild tokens, or any other commonly accepted representation of wealth, that is false and that the passer knows or has reason to know is false. Note that coin shaving, or using base metal coins or ingots covered with valuable metal fall under this law.

Destruction of Property: This is the malicious destruction of the property of another. Destruction of Royal possessions constitutes an additional Treason charge. If a magistrate or judging noble deems the destruction of property to be involuntary in nature, but reasonably preventable, only restitution to the aggrieved party is usually necessary.

Arson: The willful inflammation of property of another. This is a more careless crime, and potentially more harmful to non-intended victims of the crime. Arson will always result in the death of the arsonist by way of being set ablaze, as well as restitution of the value of all property caught on fire.

Disobedience: Disobedience is the voluntary and willful nonobservance of an order given by one who has power to issue that order within the purview of their station/holdings/lands/etc. Due to the nature of war, on the field of battle this only refers to members of the peerage who have specifically been put in charge of an operation.

Embezzlement: This is the fraudulent conversion of personal property of another by a person in lawful possession of that property. For example, a tax collector who keeps the funds collected would be guilty of this crime, as would be a magistrate who keeps any fines levied for his own use.

Extortion: Extortion is the act of forcing a person to give value against their will through the threat of force or harm. The value can be coins, gifts, favors or anything else a court might deem to have value.

Forgery: Forgery is the production or planting of false papers and documents or false signatures on legitimate documents that the accused knows or has reason to know are false.

Kidnapping: Kidnapping involves the unlawful confinement of a person that involves some movement of the victim to another place against their will. The statute verifies that unconscious people cannot grant their consent, nor can people under mental or magical control.

Larceny: Larceny is the taking and carrying away of personal property of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the property. This includes stealing of another person's possessions from their home, cart, or personal dwelling.

Manslaughter: Manslaughter is broken down into two subcategories: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is a killing that would be murder but for the existence of adequate provocation. This is a subjective test that asks if a reasonable person would have been so moved to commit such an act under the provocation. Involuntary Manslaughter is causing the death of someone through inaction or negligence.

Mockery of a Noble Title: Being insulting, degrading, or otherwise not showing the proper respect to one’s noble title constitutes this offense. While it is not necessary to bow or kneel before every noble of the land, it is considered a sign of respect upon the first audience with them for the day to acknowledge their service to the lands through the action of kneeling, bowing, or through the showing of the open palms, until they have either acknowledged you, or two seconds have passed. While not showing respect to an individual noble in this manner is not grounds for prosecution, to disrespect anyone for taking the act of showing the proper respect to said nobles is considered a punishable offense, and will be punished according to the station of the party showing the proper respect.

Murder: Murder is the deliberate taking of a life though an intent to kill or an intent to inflict great bodily injury which leads to death. This will apply even if the victim is given a Life spell before having to resurrect. This crime has a mandatory minimum sentence of a death plus applicable standard minimum fines for each death caused. More than one person can be convicted of murder if they acted in concert, even if only one of them struck the actual killing blow (and they are likely to face a Conspiracy charge as well.)

Necromancy: Necromancy is the successful use of any necromantic spell, ritual, or effect (including from use or creation of a magical item, potion or scroll). This includes the creation, control of, or assistance rendered to undead creatures. The minimum sentence for Necromancy which involves the undead is death plus any applicable fines. Until further notice, those cases in which necromantic effects are used but do not involve any unliving beings, will be judged at triple the standard fines as well as a period of servitude to the front of no less than one year. As Necromancy always affects the lands, even in the case where there is no sentient being harmed, the prosecution will be for unleashing necromantic energies into the lands, and potentially strengthening the enemies of Stradyn. Note that many magistrates and judging nobles currently consider any use of Necromancy treason due to the war with Hargroth as is their right.

Obstruction: Any willful or accidental act that impedes, or attempts to impede, the execution of Law. This includes, lying to investigators or magistrates, destroying evidence (including memories), coercion, misrepresentation of facts, or trying to trick or stop a duly appointed authority from carrying out a sentence.

Piracy: Piracy is defined as committing crimes as part of a group of outlaws (i.e. not affiliated with a Nation) that engages in criminal activity or other activities that would be construed as acts of war were they committed by agents of a foreign nation. It is not unusual for the crimes themselves (such as Assault, Theft, or Murder, for example) to be included with a Piracy charge or for a Treason charge to be attached if the accused had been an Citizen. Merely being a member of such a group is sufficient to be charged with Piracy. This law includes groups other than pirates (such as bandit groups or other criminal organizations) and is not limited to crimes committed on the high sea. In addition to the standard fines, the punishment is death.

Possession of Unlawful Items: Possession of any items deemed illegal by the courts of Stradyn. Examples include: Any item with a necromantic effect, or any outlawed ritual items or scrolls (refer to ritual laws for details on these.)

Pretending to a Noble Title: A commoner who attempts to convince others that he or she is a noble or member of a royal guild has violated this law and is possibly subject to the penalties of a Treason conviction as well.

Robbery: Robbery is a taking of the personal property of another from that person by force or by threats of force with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property. It is more serious than larceny (which do not require taking from the person themselves).

Slavery: Slavery is the holding in permanent bondage of another citizen or protected traveler. This is not to be confused with Servitude, which is a court appointed punishment in lieu of payment or death.

Tax Evasion: The failure to pay one’s appropriate tax, fee, toll, or other remuneration to the proper authorities. Tax authorities will always be travelling with a Lord known to the lands they are within, in absence of a local Lord, any noble of higher station with direct authority over those lands will also be considered acceptable

Trafficking with Creatures not natural to Fortanis: Entering into any agreement, pact or otherwise holding truck on behalf of Stradyn, one of its Royal Guilds, or Noble stations with a magical or extra-planar creature is strictly forbidden. These creatures are often chaotic by nature and disrupt the serenity of the citizens of Stradyn, and often pose a direct threat to the stability of the lands. These creatures specifically include: Fey, Extra-Planar creatures of any type, Elementals of any station, Planar guardians from the non material plane (the home plane of Fortannis), and Leprechauns

Treason: Treason is any rebellious action that is taken against the lawful governing bodies of Stradyn or giving aid to any enemy of Stradyn. Speaking to encourage others to commit crimes against Stradyn would certainly be Treason. Any noble is considered a “lawfully governing body” as are all magistrates, sheriffs, and other town or city officials.

Punishments for Treason carries the minimum mandatory sentence of death in addition to twice the minimum standard fines (and often far higher than that). Subsequent treason convictions (even if all part of the same incident) can be subject to Rite of Banishment at the discretion of a council of no less than three of Baronial rank or higher.


-------


I hope that's helpful!

-Zeth
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Much as our own ranks are, yes, Hargrothian troops are distinguished by sash color: Green are the newly raised footsoldiers; yellow are slightly more intelligent and powerful; red are the most powerful. A quartered red and "nasty yellow" (according to Stradyn locals) tabard indicates a commander, and a tabard with a skull-bat (I have not seen one in person and cannot clarify) indicates that you should probably run away.

Sq. VVT, Ps.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Thank you, Vellis!

I almost forgot, Basil! Probably the most important thing when a nation is at war with an undead empire!

The people of Stradyn seem to have some sort of....mental or spiritual resistance to learning Earth Magic. Not like they're lazy, no no, they seem to be quite the opposite. But they seem to have difficulty learning it. Many of them can't learn it at all. Those who can learn it seem to be like...

Okay, it's like swimming up a river with a really strong current. Some people can do it, most can't do it at all, and even those who can are only able to go so far, and it's not that far.

I don't know if we ever determined the source of that, but I suspect it might be why Stradyn is practically brimming with Earth energy.

-Zeth
 

Chasmania

Artisan
Thank you, Squire Tsalarioth and Zeth. Both of you have been immensely helpful.

Zeth, as to the Earth Magic oddities, you say that land is brimming with Earth energy, making us who are able to harness Earth Formal Magics able to use these energies offensively. However, those who are from that land have great difficulty using Earth Magic. Is it known if one's length of stay in Stradyn might stunt their ability to use Earth Magic?

Also, what do the locals think of us Earth-inclined folks? Do they resent that we are able to harness this power easily?

This war with the undead of Hargroth- is it fought on both islands? Is combat common within Stradyn borders?
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
We have not yet been in Stradyn, nor has it been open to the mists long enough, to know if the Earth dyspraxia is contagious. I doubt it, given foreign Earth scholars' use of the Earth Storm high magic.

The locals I have met have been welcoming and grateful for our appearance.

I do not believe there are significant Stradyn forces in Hargroth, and Geralta survives largely behind a mysterious barrier, so I doubt there is much active fighting on that landmass. There were a few incursions into the town, but not a shambling mass—all were very organized. We are currently several hours from the front lines by foot.

Sq. VVT, Ps.
 
Top