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Law of the Loregiver

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Qadi

A qadi listens to both sides of the story before dispensing judgment.

The Law is not Justice, nor is Justice the Law.
  — Zakharan proverb[1]

The Law of the Loregiver was a set of universal beliefs based on the teachings of the Loregiver that united a continent,[2][3], literally transforming the burning land of Zakhara into the Land of Fate.[4]

History & LegendEdit

Legend stated that the Loregiver transcribed the Law for the benefit of all Zakharans. However, at that time the population of the Burning Land was not ready for such radical adjustment, so the Loregiver hid the scrolls containing the Law within a cave where they waited for centuries until they were found by a young man. The man, recognizing the potential benefit for all mankind presented on the scrolls, decided to share them with the people of Zakhara, unifying them under its doctrines and eventually becoming the first Grand Caliph.[5]

The House of the Loregiver, within the Golden Mosque of Huzuz, contained lacquered wood displaying the oldest known transcription of the original scrolls containing the Law of the Loregiver. The Grand Caliph would typically give similar transcriptions to new mosques for them to display with honor within their halls.[5]

It was believed that when the first Grand Caliph neared the end of his life, he took the original scrolls deep into the desert, returning them to the very spot where he first discovered the treasured words.[5]

Nature of the LawEdit

Zakharans readily accepted the Law of the Loregiver because it was simple, easy to understand, and based on obvious factors needed for a society to function.[5][2] Even some of the raucous corsairs of the Corsair Domains would not attack a ship if they knew it belonged to someone with whom they shared a salt bond or if they knew the ship to be the only vessel that a merchant owned.[6] The Law stressed tolerance, established uniform prices and commercial methods, and detailed oral and legal traditions. The Law of the Loregiver had three distinct parts. The first part dealt with the relationship between Zakharans and their gods, the second discussed the relationship between the Grand Caliph and those he ruled, and the third part was concerned with civil law or the relationship between citizens.[2][5]

A sense of right and wrong was set down through the Law, but enough freedom was given so that unique circumstances and grey areas could be addressed correctly. The Law categorized all actions performed by citizens, or anyone inhabiting Zakhara, into the following groups:[2][4]

  • That which is Required (Required Acts)
  • That which is Encouraged (Encouraged Acts)
  • That which is Tolerated (Tolerated Acts)
  • That which is Discouraged (Discouraged Acts)
  • That which is Forbidden (Forbidden Acts)

For a crime to be committed under the Law of the Loregiver, it must be both witnessed and reported. In all cases the individual accused of committing a crime needed to be found and presented before a magistrate. All rulings involving crimes committed under the Law were swift and efficient. Judgment was given on the same day when an accused was brought before a qadi unless unusual circumstances presented themselves, at which point the qadi would hand down judgment on the following day.[1][2]

PunishmentEdit

Law

A Zakharan is given the gift of time to contemplate his mistakes.

The punishment for committing various illicit Acts depended on the severity of the offense. The local qadi, or sheikh or vizier in the case of Al-Badia,[1] meted out appropriate punishments for crimes.[2]

Forbidden ActsEdit

Forbidden Acts were those whose nature was heinous in the eyes of civilized Zakharans and the Enlightened gods. Forbidden Acts included:[2][4]

  • Consuming the flesh of a sentient creature
  • Murdering an innocent
  • Enslaving an Enlightened soul
  • Threatening the Grand Caliph, his court, or the lands he ruled
  • Preaching that the Enlightened Gods did not exist
  • Disobeying the Grand Caliph
  • Malicious theft (Defined as stealing or cheating a man out of his livelihood or the majority of his goods. This could also be punished with severing the right hand of the offender.)

Death by beheading[1] was usually the penalty for committing such acts. Other punishments included permanent enslavement, permanent exile, or disfigurement by either removal of a body part or branding the forehead.[1]

In addition to other sentences, those convicted of murdering an innocent usually faced a diyya charge in the amount of 1,000 dinar per surviving family member of the deceased.[7]

Discouraged ActsEdit

Discouraged Acts included crimes that were unpleasing to society and the gods, but not nearly as severe as Forbidden Acts. These included:[8]

  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Justifiable homicide
  • Bribery
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Public drunkenness
  • Destruction of property
  • Fraud
  • Disobeying curfew
  • Preventing someone from performing a Tolerated Act
  • Negative actions against any agent of the Grand Caliph or his court.

A qadi usually ordered some kind of restitution be made to the offended party for a Discouraged Act.[8] Other punishments included temporary enslavement, imprisonment, and exile.[1]

Tolerated ActsEdit

A Tolerated Act was a basic right of an enlightened citizen and part of their daily life. Tolerated Acts were not punished, nor were they rewarded. These included:[8]

  • Trading or loaning
  • Worshiping any god within a mosque
  • Public celebration, including smoking and drinking so long as they were not excessive
  • Free speech, so long as it did not defame or slander others or speak out against the Grand Caliph or the Enlightened gods.

Encouraged ActsEdit

Encouraged Acts were pleasing to the gods and enlightened citizens, serving as the mark of Zakharan civilization. Individuals who performed Encouraged Acts on a regular basis were often viewed as pillars of their society. Encouraged Acts included:[8]

  • Worshiping the Enlightened gods
  • Tolerance
  • Paying taxes
  • Providing charity and hospitality
  • Enlightening an unenlightened soul.

An individual known to perform Encouraged Acts was likely to receive leniency and mercy from a qadi or the courts should they ever find themselves brought to justice on criminal charges.[8]

Required ActsEdit

Required Acts were necessary for maintaining Zakharan civilization. Directly opposing these actions was considered treason, heresy, and/or slander against the state. They included:[1]

  • Belief in a greater force (including both common and Enlightened gods)
  • Obeying the proclamations of the Grand Caliph
  • Pilgrimage to Huzuz and the Court of Enlightenment. Every Zakharan, no matter where they lived on the great continent, was expected to partake of a pilgrimage to Golden Huzuz at least once during their lifetime. This pilgrimage exposed Zakharans to great travel and allowed them to see how their brethren lived, helping to unify the population.

AppealsEdit

Sentences or rulings received from a sheikh could not be appealed. However, sentences and rulings administered by a qadi could be appealed to the local ruler, or Caliph, or the Grand Caliph in the case of Huzuz. For a ruling to be overturned during an appeal, the friends and family of the accused needed to present convincing arguments for their case since most Caliphs did not enjoy having their time wasted by worthless pursuits.[9]

GeniesEdit

Genies followed an entirely separate set of rules complete with their own courts and magistrates. These courts were usually much more strict compared to mortal courts. A genie could never be called to testify as a witness in any mortal court. Furthermore, any crime committed by a genie against an ins, or vice versa, was judged within a genie court.[9]

Magical EvidenceEdit

Magical evidence could be used to prove or disprove the accused's innocence or guilt, but the qadi needed to be able to validate the evidence. This could be accomplished either by the magistrate himself should he possess skill in magic, or through a trusted adviser or expert on the subject matter.[9]

Matters Involving SlavesEdit

Since slaves were considered the property of their master, a master was directly responsible for the actions of his or her slaves. Debts incurred as punishment for crimes committed by slaves were paid by their master. In these cases, the master could even use the value of the slave as partial or full payment. Any slave convicted of committing a Forbidden Act was destroyed. Needless to say, wise masters kept a watchful eye on their slaves.[9]

JurisdictionEdit

It should be noted that even though the Law of the Loregiver was the law within the Land of Fate, it was difficult to enforce beyond the boundaries of the cities and regions controlled by enlightened tribes of jann or Al-Badia. Because of this, law-abiding citizens often had to kill in order to survive the harsh realities of the sweeping deserts of Zakhara. These instances were usually not considered to be a violation of the Law since they were rarely brought before a qadi.[7]

The Law in HuzuzEdit

Huzuz, the City of Delights and capital of the Land of Fate, added a few unique conditions to the Law of the Loregiver. Tolerated and Required Acts were the same in Huzuz as they were elsewhere in Zakhara.[2]

Racial prejudice was condemned across the Land of Fate, but more so in the capital of Huzuz than anywhere else. Members of virtually every race could expect a fair trial with the qadis of Huzuz. One spectacular suit in Huzuz's history involved a beholder winning a case against a group of adventurers on charges of assault, vandalism, and theft.[2]

Forbidden Acts in HuzuzEdit

Forbidden Acts within the City of Delights included the following offenses:[2]

  • Using the minarets of the Golden Mosque for any purpose other than a call to prayer.
  • Stealing from either the Grand Caliph or any of the great mosques.

Crimes involving the minarets of the Golden Mosque were punished with penance, imprisonment, or possibly severing the vocal chords.[2]

Discouraged Acts in HuzuzEdit

Discouraged Acts within the City of Delights included the following offenses:[2]

  • Blocking any public thoroughfare. This also led to another Discouraged Act—preventing others from participating in tolerated actions.
  • Displaying prejudice against racial differences.

Encouraged Acts in HuzuzEdit

Encouraged Acts within the City of Delights included the following actions:[2]

  • Buying slaves with the sole intent to free and/or teach them about Enlightenment.

Other CourtsEdit

Besides the genies, there were two other groups within the Land of Fate who handled justice in their own way—mamluks and holy slayers. The crimes committed by mamluks were handled by a military tribunal. The various holy slayer organizations in Zakhara considered all actions of their agents as either "just" or "unjust." Unjust actions committed by holy slayers were punished accordingly.[7]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz (1993). Al-Qadim: City of Delights (Golden Huzuz). (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  3. Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  6. Nicky Rea (1994). Corsairs of the Great Sea (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 978-1560768678.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Fortunes and Fates). (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 978-1560763291.

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