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ID: 2156

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March 9, 2006, 2:22 pm

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Hammar's Code

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A set of laws that could be used for any feudal fantasy kingdom. Throw it into a library or a courthouse if you want!

This is a set of laws of a semi-feudal country I created, but could be used as a basis or a jumping off point for any country’s lawbook. I tried to cover all aspects of law in the country, and write it in an archaic manner. It was origonally put out as a help wanted for my personal benefit, but I decided to throw it up as a system. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a use for it!

Hammar’s Code

The Great Laws of the Iron Throne Set Forth

Contents –

Concerning Estates and Owners
Concerning Theft and Assault
Concerning Titles and Taxes
Concerning the Crown and Throne

Concerning Estates and Owners

1.) A man shall own a property when he has paid its owner and received papers or proof of his transaction, or when he claims an unclaimed land, and then receives papers from the throne as proof of his ownership.
2.) No man shall use another’s property, or place his property on another’s property, without papers of proof of consent.
3.) No man shall say that none can walk his land, or he shall pay a pittance to the throne.
4.) In time of war, no man can deny his land to soldiers of the throne. If his land is made unusable, he shall be compensated.
5.) A noble can lay claim to a man’s lands, or a king to a noble’s, and he that was taken shall be compensated.

Concerning Theft and Assault

1.) A man shall own an item when he has paid its owner, or made it himself.
2.) No man shall steal another’s item, or he, when caught, will forfeit the item to its owner and pay the throne the cost of the item.
3.) If a man has stolen twice an item, and cannot forfeit it nor pay the throne, he will receive the mark of the throne in fire.
4.) If a man has stolen twice an item, and cannot forfeit it nor pay the throne, he will lose the hand that took the item.
5.) If a man flees from the throne, he will receive the mark of the throne in fire.
6.) If a man flees twice from the throne, he shall lose the foot that fled the throne.
7.) If a man has lost hand or foot, and is found in theft or fleeting, he will be put to death by the blade of the throne.
8.) If a man assaults another without cause, he will receive a day in the arms of iron.
9.) If a man assaults a noble or king without cause, he will be put to death by the blade of the throne.
10.) If a man harms a woman without cause, he will lose his sight.
11.) If a man kills another in self-defense, the word of three good men will take him from the hands of the throne.
12.) If a man kills another without cause, he will be put to death by the blade of the throne.
13.) If a man is charged of the crimes of theft or murder, the word of two good men will put him under the mercy of the throne, or out of the hands of the throne.
14.) If a noble or king is charged of a crime, the word of nine good men will put him under the mercy of the throne.

Concerning Titles and Taxes
1.) A man is of the throne when named by lord or king to nobility.
2.) If a man claims nobility, and has not what he claims, he will lose his right eye.
3.) If a man claims to be of the throne, or claims title that is not his, he will receive the mark of the throne in fire.
4.) If a man makes the coin of the throne himself, he will lose the hand that stamped the coin.
5.) No lord shall take from his subjects more than 50 titles of their worth.
6.) No king shall take from his kingdoms more than 40 titles of their worth.
7.) None shall collect the coins of the kingdom but those of the kingdom coin.
8.) The people shall give coin to their lords and cities, the lords and cities to their kingdoms, and the kingdoms to the throne.
9.) A lord or king shall take no more than 10 titles of the worth of his subjects for himself, using the rest for his land and kingdom.
10.) A lord and king has power over all trade and commerce within his borders.
11.) The throne has power over all trade and commerce between kingdoms and outside lands.
12.) Any kingdom dealing in dark magics or potions without the consent of the throne shall have all trade stopped by the grand army of the throne, and will fall under the mercy of the throne.

Concerning the Crown and Throne

1.) If a man causes harm to the throne by word or action, he will be put to death by the blade of the throne.
2.) If a man is charged of treason, the word of six good men will put him under the mercy of the throne, or out of the hands of the throne.
3.) No woman shall hold sword or office of the crown while the nation stands.
4.) No man having been charged with crimes against the throne shall hold sword or office of the throne.
5.) If a king or lord shall perish by age or sword, the heir shall claim the throne.
6.) Should a king choose to step from the throne, the heir shall claim the throne.
7.) If no heir remains to claim the throne or land, a king shall appoint a successor, the successor being of the throne.
8.) If no heir is chosen, the council of lords and generals shall appoint a successor, the successor being of the throne.
9.) Should the successor not be of age, the steward shall rule in his stead until the day of crowning.
10.) If a lord or king is determined by the council of lords and generals to be deficient, he will lose crown and country.
11.) In any absence of kingship, the steward shall claim the throne until the heir is crowned.
12.) The steward of the throne shall be appointed by the king.
13.) Each city and lord of the land is granted a guard, of the house of the city or lord of the land.
14.) Each kingdom is granted an army, of the house of the kingdom.
15.) The army of the kingdoms will bow to the grand army of the throne, and fight in it as one army in times of war.
16.) Should a kingdom attack a fellow kingdom without the consent of the throne, the throne and loyal kingdoms shall rise and set it down, and the nation shall fall under the mercy of the throne.
17.) Should a kingdom attack another land without the consent of the throne, the throne and kingdoms shall rise and set it down, and the nation shall fall under the mercy of the throne.

The will of the people and throne being in these words, I set them forth to govern this kingdom until it itself does shatter.

In the interest of the common people, and those from lands we cannot see, I have taken the words of the High King, blessed be his majesty, and written them in terms that even those of southern blood could understand. – Morad Helastar, Master Scribe of the Iron Throne

“The Throne” refers to the Iron Throne of Norodgard, and all factions beneath it. To “Hold sword of the throne” is to serve as a soldier to the throne, while to be “of the throne” means one holds an office of nobility or royalty. “The mark of the throne in fire” refers to the branding of criminals, usually on the right hand. “The hands of the throne” refers to the prisons, while the “mercy of the throne” refers to the judgment of the royal or city court. The “arms of iron” refers to the pillory or the hanging cage, and the “blade of the throne” refers to the headsman’s axe. “Good men” refers to any men of the crown, or any men not charged with any crimes. A knight is worth two good men, and a noble or king is worth three. A “title” is one coin out of one hundred – a man taxed forty titles of his worth would give up four coins for every 10 he earned. To “lose crown and country” is to be stripped of duties and rights and exiled. Typically, “a kingdom” refers to the smaller lands of the houses that divide our great land, while “the kingdom” refers to the kingdom of Norodgard under the High King. Lastly, “dark potions” is a reference to the drinks and powders that addle the mind and leave the user depraved and senseless. For he who would seek to cast scorn upon these laws, I would set him upon the throne for a tenday, and see if his scorn is not vanished.



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Spark
January 11, 2006, 14:47
0xp
Now, I know this is BIG article, but what I was setting out to do here was create a system of laws for a quasi-feudal country governed by a king, lords beneath him, and people beneath them. While the country no longer exists, this code is used as the basis of law for the countries formed out of its ruins.This set of laws needs to be defining, with as little chance for loopholes as possible. It is stern, yet not overly harsh. It is also somewhat archaic, but I put a "translator" at the bottom.

What I need are some responses -

Is anything too harsh/to lenient/just plain out of whack?
Is there anything that could be exploited/are there any loopholes?
Are there any facets of law I have overlooked?

I will also be using this set as a basic outline for other sets of laws in my world.

Thanks all!
MoonHunter
January 12, 2006, 16:08
0xp
My wondering is why you are trying to re-invent the wheel? You could take a real world feudal legal system (common law and cannon law) and make it work for yourself (after some editing and such of course).

A little reading on Common Law ( http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv2-77 ) or law of similar periods might give you an idea of what is important (or what people in a feudal society thought was important).

I am doing some research now and I will get back to you.
CaptainPenguin
January 16, 2006, 13:26
0xp
Because, Moon, he wants to do it himself.

I, personally, think you should leave loopholes in it. That'd be realistic... Law codes are never foolproof. Perhaps there is a major loophole in it and that's what caused the Iron Throne to collapse. I dunno', just my take.
Spark
January 30, 2006, 20:36
0xp
Ok, well I've made a few changes and additions, and thrown it out into the Citadel as a law system. Anchors aweigh!
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
February 21, 2006, 14:05
0xp
A neat set of laws that is easy to use for the GM in any any feudal fantasy kingdom(that means most of them;) I have not found any loopholes in it yet, has anyone? This is the kinda thing a GM often find a need for but does not always want to create him/herself.
Good work.
Voted valadaar
May 6, 2013, 22:19
Only voted
Voted axlerowes
March 10, 2014, 12:19
0xp
I think this is well written for its purpose and thus very accessible. I say we dare not judge any post on the citadel too negatively for re-inventing the wheel.

Freetext



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