The United States has no contact or relations with this Empire. All information is based in hearsay as reported by officials of the Eyrian Empire.
The government is technically a Timocracy; a state where only property owners may participate in government or where rulers are selected and perpetuated based on the degree of honor they hold relative to others in their society, peer group or class. With the Emperor being the most important landowner.
The Domains are ruled by an absolute monarch, one Toshira Nagara. Within Eyrie he is still refereed to as "The Dark Lord" He is known as a strict ruler of law, and justice under that law even if the law is not in the least fair. "Fair" is not his problem.
Toshira Nagara is ethnicly a mixed blood Markian, The area that possesses a culture similar in many respect to the China/Japan culture set. (Similar, not everything applies). He came to the Anidornindorian continent 1600 years ago and set himself up as ruler. Those that objected where removed.
Toshira Nagara is noted as being a sadist and a misogynist. Your opinion of this does not matter. The first law of the land is that he rules and gets want he wants.
The second law is you do not attract his attention in a negative fashion. Annoy him enough and you will die slowly and interestingly, after you watch your family suffer the same fate.
The term "Don" in The Domains refers to a landowner, be that a single house or an entire province (see laws) Not all Dons are equal.
Someone holding only a single house or farm. They have no tenants, They have the right of arms, contract, and some respect in society. They are barely in the social class.
A Don that owns more than the property they live on. They have tenants, but only a few, or in the case of city housing they might have many. They have the right of taking women but society will think of them poorly if they take advantage of it.
Dons in this category have the right of civil resolution. They may judge civil disputes among their tenants. This is considered the rule of law.
A don that has a village or town on his estate. Generally considered under 10,000 persons. These Dons might have lessor Dons whose land they encompass. No one says anything if they ravish a few girls, it is expected.
Dons in this category have the right of civil resolution, and the right of low justice. They may judge civil disputes among their tenants. They can also judge criminal matters of less that death. This is considered the rule of law.
The right to enjoy the sexual favors of unmarried women has an interesting double standard. A Don of rank Major or higher is frankly expected to ravish a few girls a year. As proof of his virility to the community and to engender a few by-blows for the safety of his line. First the son, then the bastard, then the daughter. The community thinks less of the Lord if he isn't raping girls. For anyone else it's a crime. Along with the right is the responsibility to care for any children they father. A girl with the lord's bastard on her knee is actually a good marriage prospect because that bastard comes with an income.
Dons with more than one village on their Estates or a city as their estate. These Dons will have lessor Dons whose land they encompass.
On the estate the Don Noble enjoys considerable power. They have the power of low and high justice. High justice being any case that can result in death. The right to enjoy such unmarried women as he will (Note the assumption that the Don will be male. A near universal case). In general the Don Noble is a total despot as long as order is maintained. A disorderly estate will gain the negative attention of the Emperor.
Dons Noble, are required to spend half the year with families in the Court. To most the duty is not one that is liked. They are way from their estates and under the eye of the Emperor, worse their women are under his eye and he has a reputation to taking what he wants.
The Court is noted as being a snake pit of backbiting and back stabbing. The Emperor himself causes none of this. He seldom if ever comments or injects himself.
At this level the Don might as well be a king. Multiple cities and entire provinces will fall under the control and ownership of the Don d'Estat. They might even have Dons Noble encompassed on their lands.
The Don d'Estat has all the rights of the Don Noble, only more of it. Even Commoners can appeal to these Dons if they feel they are getting a raw deal from the Don that owns the land the live on.
Anyone that does not own land and is not a slave. The majority of the population. It is impossible to be a landless noble in the Domains. Title and rights follow the land. Commoners have the right to shut up and do as they are told. The only recourse a tenant has for harsh treatment is to move. Landlords have no right to keep people in their land. Too many exits is a sign however you are about to get that negative attention. A commoner can be rolling in cash, but without land they are nobody. Hence the first thing usually bought with that cash is land.
Even in this there are tiers. Catalan commoners are seen as better than Hindustani, and Hindustani better than despised half bloods. The less meaningful the distinction the more it is fought for. You are still a landless nobody.
The Domains are a slave holding society. The slave population is seldom greater than a tenth the total population of the country. Saves are less than no one. Their very lives are dependent on the good grace of their masters. Any freeman can kill his own slave with no more legal repercussion than killing his own dog.
Slaves by law must be bare from the waist up. The master can keep them naked if they desire. The child of a slave is a slave. One can be made a slave as a result of criminal behavior. Incidentally the convict has the right to refuse to be bought and suffer the penalty of law, usually torture or death. That is often preferred.
It is possible for a salve to be freed. It is an unusual event. It is far more common to end up a slave than a slave end up free.
The breeding of Exotics is common in The Domains, mainly as half animal slaves. They are considered animals under the law. Due to certain twists of the law this makes them very popular with bored noble ladies.
Bureau Note: This alone is good reason to stay far away from here.
There are two inter-mingled cultures in The Domains. The Catalanese are the dominate culture. They have the land the money and the power. The Hindustani culture is imported from the client state to the south with the people that have been enslaved or moved there as cheap labor.
The majority human type in the Domains. They have a medieval Spanish flavor. Catalanese are average height for humans. They have swarthy skins and dark hair, with black predominating. Eye color is brown or black.
Catalan society is male dominated in all respects. A man is expected to show machismo or "manliness" in word and deed. Women are expected to be submissive to the men.
Catalan society is highly modest, especially women. However, it takes an unusual form as to what may and may not be bared. The shoulders must never be bare, as that is the sign of a slave. A Catalanese woman would sooner bare all else before her shoulders. In the Court, bare breasts, and massive shoulder pads are common.
The minority in the Domains and majority on the south west coast. Hindustani are 4 inches shorter than human average, and are very dark of skin, from brown to golden brown in color. Hair is always black and eyes are black or brown. The occasional golden eyes do occur.
The Hindustani are under the thumb of the Domains. The Dark Lord has a heavy influence over the rulers of those lands he does not directly control. Traditional society is one with four levels of stratification. The fall of the traditional gods and conquest by Domain have cracked the hard facade of the caste, the Hindustani culture's primary coping mechanism. It is in the process of change.
Nowhere is caste better exemplified by degree of complexity and systematic operation than in the Hindustani lands. The Hindustani term for caste is jati, which generally designates a group varying in size from a handful to many thousands. There are thousands of such jatis, and each has its distinctive rules, customs, and modes of government.
Hindustani people are by nature modest. Covering the primary and secondary sexual characteristics is considered modest. Having them covered is enough, but more covered is better. The higher your caste, the more important modesty is. Signs of affection are not displayed in public. Holding hands is enough to get one frowned at. This is contrary to their art and dance that can be highly erotic.
Hindustani people consider 3 to 4 feet to be a good conversational distance, except in Domain proper, where they stand much closer in order to not be heard.
Legal rights are few and depend on class. Justice is striven for. Fairness is not. Counsel is available if you can pay for it. The golden rule applies in that if you have gold, you make the rules. Judgment and punishment are very much dependent on your class and stature in society. Crimes that would get a commoner hung are mere fines to a nobleman, or no crime at all.
Trial is on the Inquisitorial model. The judges do the questioning directly. They may use what methods they deem needful to compel an answer. Magic, torture, anything. The accused is considered innocent until guilt is proven.
Punishment in Domain is corporal or monetary. Few crimes do not call for death. Those typically call for mutilation unless you are rich.
Many penalties can be bought off. If someone else pays the fee they own the convict. If the convict themselves can pay the fee, they are free to go. Yes this favors the moneyed.
Most death sentences are executed by hanging. A method of hanging is favored that is slow and painful. There is no drop. Mutilations from hands, tongues even breasts is practiced for "lessor crimes".
Use of magic in a crime gets you sent to the Emperor regardless of the crime. Being hung is a better outcome.
- Sentence: Death
- Soical View: If sufficient social distance exists between the victim and the killer the penalty will be severely lessened. Provided it's the killer who is higher class. The fee will depend on the social class of the victim.
Domain also has a long tradition of the code of dueling. Duels are not considered murder as long as both participants were armed and willing. Dueling is a right of land owners "Dons". Those without land rights have no right to violent redress. Defending yourself against a Don and winning will get you hung for murder.
Assault & BatteryEdit
- Sentence: Fines, flogging
- Social View: Not usually dealt with in law. A matter of personal redress. This is only a crime if the offended is of a higher social class. The offended Don that doesn't stick the upstart is usually considered less of a man for not defending his honor. Conversely any low class person that lays hands on someone from the upper classes has committed a crime, even if the Don started it.
- Sentence: Castration or death
- Social View: This is considered a property crime against the male that is responsible for the female, husband, father, or brother as the case my be. Raping a male is a matter of honor, not criminal law. If the rapist is low enough in the social scale and the female high enough they will be castrated then hung.
The victim of record, the responsible male, decides if the convicted can be bought. They also have the option of simply taking them in a duel themselves.
NOTE: Forcing an unmarried female tenant to have sex with you is not rape by statute. It is rape if the female tenant is married.
- Sentence: Death or lessor punishment
- Social View: A fee is usually attached. Thieves can be bought off the gibbet. They are not a popular choice as slaves. Would you trust someone that steals? Not to mention they can be expensive slaves for the quality. The fee will reflect the amount of theft that was not recovered.
Dominion law is big on recovery of stolen goods. If the money or goods are recovered the thief themselves will generally suffer less.
- Sentence: Death or lessor punishment
- Social View: A highly unpopular crime. Lying to steal is considered worse that sticking a knife in someone's back. An "honest thief" will not lower themselves to fraud. Yes, thieves care about this sort of thing. A "guild" might buy a member of the gibbet if they are an honest thief. A fraud is allowed to hang.
- Sentence: Death or lessor punishment.
- Social View: This generally falls under fraud for the social view. Forgers generally get their hand cut off before they are hung. The exact punishment will depend very much on how much was stolen, how much was recovered and who was stealing from whom.
Real PropertyEditLand owners are called "Don" (Dame if female) A land owner has considerable rights over tenants on their land. That land can be as small as a single farm or even a city dwelling. Or as large as a Provence. While the tenants are not serfs and do have freedom of movement, the Don has similar rights to those of a noble over his serfs.
On large estates a Noble Don is considered to have a duty to "ravish" and impregnate a few maidens. It proves his virility and ensures that should the worst happen he will have heirs. He is also considered responsible for those children, and must at the least give the Mother a stipend yearly. Surprisingly peasant girls with the Lord's bastard on their knee are not shunned by men. A tradesman or farmer. will often consider that stipend and her proven fertility. There is a double standard of Machismo.
- Sentence: This will depend on the landowner
- Social View: A matter of personal redress. Since a property owner has the right of justice on their own lands they can kill you if it suits them. That will get you talked about. Most of the time people are told to scram. Repeat offenders or those caught stealing are another matter.
Damage or Destruction ofEdit
- Sentence: Death or slavery
- Social View: In this case the criminal is fined. If the fines are high enough the convicted is given to the property owner. They may keep them or sell them as they please.
Moral (Blue Laws)Edit
- Sentence: Legal, but taxed.
- Social View: Prostitutes, that fail to pay their taxes are debreasted. This is in effect a death sentence. If they don't have the money for the taxes they don't have the money for healers. The knives are not close to clean. This law is enforced no matter the social status of the woman. (Technically it is also enforced on men, they are castrated. But male prostitutes in Domain are rare as hen's teeth.) If you take money for sex, and don't have a tax certificate, too bad.
The convicted can be bought off the gibbet. It is a popular method for getting female slaves.
In the case of slave prostitutes the owner is responsible for the taxes. The penalty is usually surrendering the slaves, they are usually sold.
As long as you are doing it to yourself the law doesn't care. However those that distribute "bad" drugs or drink will suffer in accordance with the damage caused.
- Sentence: Death by Impaling
- Social View: This is a crime for women, but not for men. A woman convicted, and only married women can be convicted is impaled, nude and publicly.. They cannot be bought.
The man that did it with her can be killed by the offended husband or not. He can grant his wife mercy, and keep her as a slave. If he does he cannot pursue the male.
Curiously sex with animals is not considered adultery. Exotic slaves are considered animals, and many a bored noble woman has an exotic male or two to ease her boredom.
Note: We have learned of an Ane, a Personal Servant of Suszan (See Centaur Gods) does buy women off the gibbet that have committed adultery. We are not sure what the arrangement is here. But he is allowed what others are not. No woman has impaled in Domain for ten years. We are told.
- Sentence: Not a criminal matter.
- Social View: This is a moral failing, but not one that is punishable by law. While sex between an unmarried woman and any man is not a crime, it is a sin and frowned on. If she gets pregnant the man is expected to "do the honorable thing" and "make an honest woman of her". Frankly this is often pursued by couples when Daddy doesn't see the man as a good catch. An unmarried girl that gets caught with a married man has effectively assured she will die an old maid and end up the family Duma.
Virginity has a value, and in that last case a father or brother will sometimes pursue a civil case to get damages or challenge the fornicating cuckoo to a duel.
The Duma is either the Father or Mother's maiden or widowed sister that sees that good young girls stay good young girls. They are not popular with girls or suitors.
- Sentence: Fines or Enslaveing
- Social View: There is a state religion. It is illegal to publicly practice any other faith but that of Torshira Nagara. What you do in private is your own business, but flaunting it is forbidden. Likewise proselytizing another religion is against the law. Clerics will not be enslaved. they will be fined and cast out of the country. A second offense will result in Death.
A recent change is allowing the public practice of the Cult of Harimad. She is mainly attractive to women.
Corruption (Bribes, official lawbreaking)Edit
- Sentence: Death, or worse
- Social View: Torshira Nagara has no and I mean no patience with corruption. Not only will the official suffer, but most likely so will his family.
- Sentence: Death or lessor punishment.
- Social View: Speaking out is not a right of the people. Keep your place and keep your tongue. Removal of the tongue is not an uncommon punishment either.
- Sentence: Disappearance
- Social View: Torshira Nagara has no and I mean no patience with treason either. Not only will the traitor suffer, but most likely so will his family while he watches. No one knows for sure other than a few rumors. Traitors and their families are simply never seen again.
Marriage is both a rite of the church and a matter of law. Only marriages recognized by the church are recognized by law. Women are basically chattel. The husband to be and the Father do the arrangement. The bride will be lucky to get a say in the matter. The higher the social position, the less say the woman really has.
Patrimonial decent. First sons get the lion's share. In the rare case a son does not exist an illegitimate son will be considered before a daughter. If, and only if, no boy can be found can a girl inherit.
Daughters, widows, unmarried sisters, excreta are expected to be cared for.
A widow without sons is likely the luckiest woman in Domain. She inherits the property and is free to do as she pleases, unless she marries again. Highly unlikely.
Considered the right of men. Under only rare circumstances can a woman even own property.
Those that own land are called Dons. A Don can be anyone from a slum lord to the ruler of the equivalent of a small nation. The more land the more rights. Any Don with two or more villages in their estate must spend half the year, with their family at court. These are considered the "Noble Dons". They have more rights than most including high justice. They are however expected to keep the peace. If word of a lack of peace reaches the ears of the Emperor, they will "be replaced".
The golden rule. He that has the land, makes the rules. The more gold and land you have the more rights you have. Land being the most important. The less, the less you have. Noble Dons have nearly unlimited power on their estates, as long as the peace is kept. A slave doesn't even have the right to themselves.
Slavery, indentured servitudeEdit
Slaves are the total property of the slave owner. He can do as he wishes including putting them to death just to watch them die. (Whether in Memphis or not)
Slaves have no personal or property rights. They can be forced to mate and to breed. The children of slaves are slaves.
Slaves have no normal responsibility for their actions. If a slave commits a crime the owner is sought for redress. That can be a simple as turning the slave over to be killed. No matter how minor the crime this is usually the case. The slave is sacrificed to appease the law.
Slaves must be at least bare above the waist. They can be kept completely nude. A well considered slave will have either full skirts or baggy pants. They are still nude above the waist. A Dominion Freeman will turn inside out to avoid being seen with bare shoulders. Bare breasts have become a fashion in the Imperial Court, massive shoulders compensate for the bare skin above the waist.
As long as you pay your taxes the Empire does not care with whom you do business.