Not far from the Most Noble Compound, just down the Western Gate street in fact, is a small square plaza. Nothing faces the plaza, only the backs of buildings. In the center of the plaza is The Bell. The large iron bell is hung from and covered by a small slanted roof held up by four pillars. These pillars rest upon a square raised foundation. There are small stairs that lead up to the level of foundation, leading from the direction of the Western Gate Street. The foundation also has four strong iron loops towards the edges. If one does not know the two traditions, this arrangement makes no sense.

First, no one is allowed to do harm to those of Highest/ Imperial rank, those of the Imperial household or those related within two steps of blood. One can take no hand to them. The second tradition is an executioner must be of a higher rank than those he executes. This leads to “issues” when someone tries to harm a member of the Imperial clan or when those members are subversive.

The Bell resolves these things. The “criminal” is simply laid under the bell, secured by chains to the rings. The bell is then rung. And rung. And rung. Relays of guards maintain the rhythm. Over the course of a day or three, the person under the bell dies… untouched by human hand. The power of the sound is what kills them; neatly resolving the issues of those who can not be touched.

The bell is also rung (once and with nobody chain underneath) to mark certain holidays and special events in the Most Noble Compound.

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