This Monarch's Decree represents the Ruling Monarch’s values that are to be upheld or expected while living within their Monarchy. They create the basis for laws within the Dutchies and can be only changed by the ruling monarch of Harodom. Decrees are to be held as a code or belief more than a strict law, the Ruling Noble under the Monarch then rule their lands in accordance, creating laws to better satisfy the Decrees. Directly or blatantly breaking a Decree can lead to the removal of noble titles or other punishments based upon the severity.
- No one within the Monarchy may act against the Ruling Monarch, the Monarch’s interests, or the Monarchy’s alliances.
- Ruling Nobility are to be considered speaking for the Monarchy with their decisions on law and governance and may create exemptions from laws for the purposes of protecting the people and lands of Harodom
- All who live on the lands of the Monarch as Yeomen or greater shall not suffer their life to be taken by another.
- All who live on the lands of the Monarch shall not inflict grievous harm to one another.
- No individual may claim ownership of another and all servants must receive fair compensation for their service.
- Possessions owned by those living as Yeomen or greater are to be owned by themselves, they shall not be taken or destroyed without their consent or through a Ruling Noble’s greater need.
- Duchies shall claim the right to fair taxation of those who live within their lands.
- Finishment of a spirit is considered a vile act against life. It is forbidden to Finish the spirit of a Citizen or greater.
- Haradom does not recognize nor encourage the worship of the deities Blythe, Stasa, Kazzok, and Astrid.
- Practicing the Faiths of Balaxa, Hemulis, Strega, Anajaream, Iccula, and Kell shall be watched so as to ensure no harm comes from their worship.
- Those who study and utilize Necromancy shall not share the protections of the Monarchy. Necromantic action shall not be suffered by those who have past or the living.
- Spells are not to change the lives or lands of the Kingdom in hostile ways.
- Any person who willingly summons a creature from beyond the Curtain or treats with an Infernal being shall not share the protections of the Monarchy.
- All Noble titles shall be recognized and respected within the Monarchy.
- None shall hold positions of power if they do not swear complete loyalty to the Ruling Monarch.
- The Right of Sanctuary shall be maintained and recognized for all.
Noble Titles, Rights and Responsibilities
The Ruling King/Queen/Monarch:
They set the Decrees of the Monarchy, dictate the lands of the Dutchies, negotiate Alliances and are the only ones who can declare Haradom at war. They also have the freedom to promote or suppress certain faiths. The Monarchy is inherited by birth or if no suitable heir is available, the Dukes/Duchesses appoint a Monarch.
They are in charge of large areas of land outside the Monarch’s lands. They are charged with aligning their Yeomen, Citizens, and Nobility to follow the spirit of the Monarch’s Decrees. They are in charge of defending and maintaining their lands in such a way as to be profitable to the Monarchy and ensure the actions of those within their lands are aligned with the Monarchy’s interests. This title can be given or inherited by birth.
Oversees an area of land with strategic resources within a Dutchy or around a Dutchy. Not All Barons/Baroness’ operate exclusively within a Dutchy. The Primary difference between a Baron/Baroness and a Lord/Lady is their allowance to raise and command military force. While a Lord/Lady may have the service of Knights/Dames, personal guard or mercenaries they cannot muster a proper army. The title of Baron/Baroness can be given or inherited by birth. Often the lands and title last over a long period of time while the charges of such may change.
Often given smaller charges or have strong influence. They are often awarded lands of their own that they may utilize for personal use or to assist with their charge. These lands are often not of significant value to the Duchy unless they directly relate to a charge such as land over a node, or presiding over a gatehouse or barracks. These titles are awarded to those of significant wealth or reputation, or can be inherited through birth. Many charges have faded away from generations though their titles and wealth remain. Bearers of this title may be Merchants, Guild leaders, relatives of Nobility, Law or Tax collectors and so on.
Those of this title are given the honor of upholding the Decrees of the Monarchy under the Nobility that presented them the title. They hold no lands but instead act as representatives of Nobility as well as those who protect the spirit of the Decrees. They are a common form of Nobility and often the ones that Yeomen and Citizens deal with most often.
This title is an official representative of a Noble. The Magistrate is given the duties of maintaining certain aspects of a Noble’s affairs and thus given greater status and authority to represent such. They are often tasked with conveying their Noble’s wishes to Yeomen and Citizens. Many have strong advisory roles and can have a good deal of independence.
The Service and Oath of the Knight/Dame
The honor and status of a Knight/Dame is unique within the lands of Haradom. This title can be granted to any Yeomen or Citizen by any Noble of Lord/Lady or greater. This honour is expected to be given only to those individuals that embody the spirit of the Monarch’s Decree. They represent individual martial prowess, courtesy, trust, and loyalty to the Monarchy and those who live within it. A Knight/Dame must make an oath to uphold the Monarch's Decree no matter what, protecting and serving it while maintaining loyalty to the individual who honoured them.
If a Knight/Dame serves a just noble this can be relatively straight forward. But if a Knight’s/Dame’s service to a noble breaks or puts the Decree at risk they are expected to hold the Decree above their Noble’s wishes. After all, the oath to the Monarchy is made first. Thus Knights/Dames are one of the few noble classes that can act against their superiors.
A Noble may strip a Knight/Dame of their title, casting them out. If a Knight/Dame cannot find another Noble to serve, they lose their status in the eyes of all Nobility. Those who refuse to give up their colors or sigil may also find themselves outlawed.
Duchies and the Law
Law is the enforcement of the Monarch’s Decrees within the Duchies. Laws may differ slightly depending on the Duchy and how it has organized itself. They are given the freedom to enforce the law how they see fit, but not given the freedom to directly go against the Monarch's Decrees. If a Noble is believed to be doing so they may become investigated by the Inquisition or dealt with by other Nobles.
Since the Duke or Duchess is responsible for the Law they dictate who has the authority to enforce their laws. Their laws extend to all people including Nobles within their lands. This means even visiting Nobility should be up to date on the Duchy laws.
Dukes and Duchess’ often meet with the Monarch's court who will have suggestions or guidelines for laws, in some circumstances, the Monarch’s court may request a direct law though the Duchy may choose to deny the request.
A Ruling Noble is the Noble assigned by a Duke or Duchess to attend to matters within a specific section of the Duchy. This Noble is responsible for maintaining the land, collecting taxes, deciding upon claims of Sanctuary, applying the Duchy’s Laws and upholding the Monarch’s Decrees.
Guilds are organizations that operate within multiple areas of the Monarchy, some even spanning multiple countries. They often offer a service within a region to those that live there. A Guild must have the permission of the Duke or Duchess ruling the land to operate there, even if they operate in other locations.
Guild laws do not offer the right to impose laws on others. Instead they offer the ability to be charged under a different set of laws should they conflict with Duchy law. If a Guild is given license to operate they may have certain protections when carrying out their Guild activities. This could include protections from assault for Bounty Hunters, or illegal spells for Arcaners.
Very Few Guild laws offer immunity from the law, they instead offer reduced sentences or allow their Guild leader to defend a charge against them. Fines, Labour and Debt may potentially be done through the Guild if the Noble agrees. In essence Guild law offers other alternatives and protections.
Other Noble Titles
Other Noble titles granted by Nobility must be honoured by the Monarch and all people within the Monarchy. This includes Noble titles from other countries or titles created by current Nobles.
Members of the Inquisition are given titles by the Monarch themselves. These titles transfer into all Duchies. Meaning they are never considered a Visiting Noble, but as a Noble of their station within all Duchies. They function to uphold the Decrees of the Monarchy and investigate possible breaches of the Decrees perpetrated by Nobles.
All people holding a Noble title in their own country travelling into Harodom are considered Visiting Nobility. These Nobles are to retain that title while in the Monarchy and must present themselves to the Ruling Noble of any land they enter. Visiting Nobility are to be treated with respect due to Nobles of the Monarchy unless specifically removed from that protection by the Monarch or a Duke/Duchess.
Yeoman, Serfs and Citizens
The difference between a Citizen or Serf and a Yeoman is in the loyalty expected and the protection granted by Nobility.
Citizens have been granted an elevated position generally due to their service to a Noble. This position grants them favourable treatment by a Noble and specific protection against Finishment as a punishment. Their Citizenship must first be removed before Finishment can be considered. Though they have no direct charge they have an easier time gaining audience for their concerns and may be given more opportunities to voice their opinion on a subject.
A Yeomen is a free folk who lives within a Duchy, they are offered protections of the Monarchy at their Ruling Noble’s discretion based on the Decree and Duchy Laws. They are expected to keep the peace, pay their taxes and follow the Monarch’s Decrees.
A Serf is one who has agreed to be employed by a Noble who may hold land. These people are granted full protection from the Noble whom they work for and a safe place to reside in exchange for a sizable portion of the goods or services produced by the Serf. A Serf is considered equal to a Citizen in status so long as they work to the satisfaction of their Noble.
The Ruling Noble under the Duchy is responsible for determining punishments and may deal with them on an individual basis. In some circumstances a Trial is required. A trial may be requested when a Yeoman or greater is accused of crime and a notable person beseeches the Ruling Noble for a hearing on the matter. The Ruling Noble makes the final decision to hold a Trial or not.
Notable people who may request a trial include: a recognized leader of a church of guild, any Noble or Citizen or any Yeoman the Ruling Noble deems worthy.
All Citizens and Nobles of Magistrate, Knight/Dame or higher status requires a Trial for any punishments.
Right of Sanctuary
This right is given to all those within Haradom and must be recognized by those in positions of power. This privilege is granted to avoid unneeded bloodshed especially during times of distrust. Sanctuary can be requested by any individual who suspects they are charged with a crime but have not been yet judged.
The individual may seek Sanctuary from one of the following: A recognized head of church, Guild leader, or any Noble. If Sanctuary is granted then whoever is pursuing the individual must recognize the Sanctuary and refrain from further pursuit of the individual. Sanctuary granted by these organizations or Nobles must be upheld until it is declared invalid by the Ruling Noble or Duke/Duchess whose lands the individual is on The Sanctuary also concludes at the end of the individual’s trial or judgement.
Sanctuary allows the individual to stay within the company of whoever granted it until the time of their trial or judgement by a Ruling Noble. The one providing Sanctuary is granted allowance to attend the trial or Ruling Noble’s judgement. Granting Sanctuary means that they will take direct responsibility for the individual until their trial or judgement. Failure to do so or evidence of assisting in their crime may cause all involved in the Sanctuary to be given punishment.
In some situations if Sanctuary is granted on the land of another Lord/Lady or greater, a Tithe may be requested to be paid. This tithe is held in lieu of a trial and used as a potential fine should there be a failure to appear. It is commonplace for this amount to be used as a Bounty to those who flee their trial.
Church Leader: Must own and maintain a physical Church officially recognized by the Ruling Noble of that area. Can grant Sanctuary to any of their faith, invested or followers.
Guild Leader: Recognized by the Guild as the leader and officially recognized by the Ruling Noble of that area. Can grant Sanctuary to any Guild member.
Knight/Dame or Magistrate: May grant Sanctuary to any one person at a time.
Lord/Lady: May grant Sanctuary to anyone on their Land.
Baron/Baroness: May grant Sanctuary to anyone on their Land.