Aelland at one time had an extremely sophisticated set of laws for an extremely sophisticated and advanced society. Several years of war and being conquered by the human barbarian tribes have replaced those laws with more feral laws which have now been in place for over 400 years. With the freeing of the enslaved tribes there is change in the air, but in a world where messages are transmitted primarily by courier and messaging birds change can be slow to enact.
The primary God of the land is Kord. That is perhaps the largest change in Aellan Culture since the barbarians took over. Originally they revered Obad Hai, but the new god of the land is Kord.
The primary law is the Law of Thing. A remnant of the ancient barbarian culture, this law has been proven so effective that most will not wrong another. There are several other laws that protect human rights, but all defer to this singular law. For the most part the Law of Thing reduces the role of soldiers in law enforcement, and enables them to focus on protecting the cities and towns they inhabit.
The Law of Thing: The tenants of this law state that if one feels they have been wronged by another they have a right to vengeance on that person. The culture states while a slave takes their vengeance out instantly, the civilized individual waits until the other party least expects it and can take their vengeance out in kind. These bindings are called grudges. A grudge can be carried out on a person at any time, although those who seek instant gratification are usually looked down upon as cowardly. (It’s always best to let the convicted mull over what they have done, and fear the vengeance.) The longer a person waits on their grudge, the greater a vengeance is permitted in punitive treatment.
A famed grudge was done by Bolomir the Just who’s wife was killed by Jorgen the Tainted. Bolomir waited 40 years after being awarded the grudge before seeking his vengeance. Bolomir single handedly slaughtered Jorgen’s direct line of progeny, killing three generations of his family. Jorgen was older by this time and was forced to live at the mercy of others.
The grudge is awarded by the City Champion, an individual considered to be the most fair person within the city. (Basically the city gets together when it comes time to appoint a new champion and they shout the name of who should get the office. The loudest consensus wins). While the appointment of the City Champion can be considered dubious at best, even the most corrupt Champions usually turn around very quickly as they can be challenged to Trial by Combat if they are thought to be unfair in passing judgement so long as it is not a challenge issued by the accused or plaintiff. For this reason most City Champions are exceedingly careful in passing judgement. A Champion cannot have had a past grudge levied on them prior to being elected to office. Once in office, any grudges levied on them follow the Trial by Combat law.
Bolomir’s Law: In Bolomir’s case he was also famed for offering Jorgen, in place of the grudge, to instead leave his life and become Bolomir’s thrall for life to replace the one he took. Jorgen, prideful as he was rejected the offer.
Bolomir’s law is an exception to the Law of Thing. The accuser can grant relief of the grudge, instead offering the accused another alternate acceptable punishment. This law is not always fair, a thief caught stealing a bauble valued at only a few gold, but with a high sentimental value, could be offered or beg for Bolomir’s law. The accuser can ask for any amount of gold or even a tenure of service in reparation. Provided that the accused accepts the terms, a deal is struck and on payment the grudge is nullified.
Trial by Combat: Trial by combat is perhaps the most lowly form of justice in the eyes of Aellen culture. This form of justice harkens back to the days when the great warriors of old believed that the gods would protect the innocent, and the guilty would be defeated. This also used to be the only way a slave could get justice between it and another slave, much to the pleasure of its master. Between two citizens it is the accused that gets to choose the method of combat (armed or unarmed) and it can rank between simple combat for minor disputes to mortal combat for major disputes. In the event of the aged they may declare a defender for their cause. In any combat no magical devices or spells may be used, and combatants are permitted only a loincloth.
Since the rift, the island of Latem has adopted this law in place of the Law of Thing. Gruumsh is the patron god there.
Homestead: In the colonization of Aelland, if one is on unclaimed territory they may claim it by building a residence on it. The closest city may levy a tax on the property and can assume ownership of the property if the tax is not paid. The tax is the same as any land owner in the region is paying and the property owner is responsible for defending it themselves if no soldier is near by, however they can report malicious activity on their property and expect a reasonable response by the local garrison.
Fealty: The realm declares fealty to Harperhall. Any treasonous activity must be reported directly to the garrison, and the garrison will investigate and report any activity to Harperhall.
Taxation: The governing agents are able to tax its citizens appropriately, either through barter or through coin. If for any reason a citizen is unable to pay the tax, they will be placed into forced labor until the debt is paid.