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Messages - Ziya

#1
Suggestions / Re: Improved Fourth Legion Armors
July 14, 2024, 11:41:21 PM
Please do give the 4th Legion stronger loot - of all the factions they probably do need it the most, as they may have to PVP fairly frequently and have a job to do. They should really have access to FP too.
#2
The Reformed Penal Code of Ephia's Well

Commentaries

By Balstan Gloamingdaith

1.⠀⠀⠀

The passage of broad sweeping reforms to the Penal Code of Ephia's Well (the "Penal Code") by the Gold Monochromacy of Maribeh-Tabbah IY 7788 introduced seismic changes to the legal landscape of the growing citadel (the "Legal Reforms"). These Commentaries shall serve as my thesis to examine some of these changes and the reasonings behind them. Critically, these Commentaries will further elucidate on many of the procedural and substantive challenges behind lawmaking in Ephia's Well, and I trust that it shall be a useful guide for future Legates who may wish to make amendments of their own.

2.

In approaching this vast topic, I shall first provide an explanation of how the Penal Code operates, the implications of a Gold Monochromacy, and subsequently an examination of certain controversial articles before providing my concluding thoughts. These Commentaries shall, therefore, contain the following:

(a)⠀⠀⠀ Characteristics of the Penal Code;

(b)⠀⠀⠀ The Gold Monochromacy;

(c)⠀⠀⠀ The Legal Reforms, an Overview;

(d)⠀⠀⠀ On Crimes against the Wheel and the Judicial Authority of the Hakem;

(e)⠀⠀⠀ On Treason;

(f)⠀⠀⠀ On Laches;

(g)⠀⠀⠀ On Citizenship;

(h)⠀⠀⠀ On Miscellaneous Amendments; and

(i)⠀⠀⠀ Concluding Thoughts.



The Penal Code
3.⠀⠀⠀

We begin first by examining the Penal Code and some of its characteristics.
4.⠀⠀⠀

First, while the Assembly picks the Legates, the Legates pick the laws. A law can be made at any given time by the Legates in consensus. They can inscribe it upon the Stele of Law, and it is dictated throughout the Ephia's Well for all of its people to hear. Notably, there is no requirement that an Assembly must be held for a Legate to pass a law. Even where an Assembly is held, the Voiced may only convey their concerns or proposals, and the Legates may take them into consideration, but the Legates are not bound to abide by the will of the Assembly: Law & Order: Ephia's Legal System, Johan Marsoss. That said, Legates typically do, if only to have such concerns be ventilated, to rally political support for their legislative agendas, or to pass a law that may offend an Accord Signatory while apologetically pointing to the will of the Voiced.

5.⠀⠀⠀

The foregoing is reflected by the legislative procedure whereby Legates may add or repeal a law. To add a law, a Legate must request for a Legal Paper from the Chief Scribe and draft upon it the intended law. The Legate must then affix his seal and signature upon the Legal Paper before obtaining the same from his co-Legate. Once both requirements are satisfied, either Legate may inscribe the intended law on the Stele. To repeal a law, a Legate may expunge the law upon the Stele, and does not strictly speaking even require his co-Legate's express seal and signature to do so.

6.⠀⠀⠀

In this regard, the legislative procedure is a convenient example of how powers and procedures are rarely codified, and three observations may be made:

(a)⠀⠀⠀ this legislative procedure is not expressly written in the Penal Code or any other laws;

(b)⠀⠀⠀ there are no requirements throughout the legislative procedure for any Assembly to be convened or any public consultations to be entertained; and

(c)⠀⠀⠀ repealing a law without a co-Legate's assent is not expressly criminalized in the Penal Code.

Despite the last point, it must be highlighted that a Legate who repeals a law without his co-Legate's assent would almost invariably invite grievous consequences, likely via the intervention of the Chief Scribe or the Majordomo. In any case, we proceed to examine how the Penal Code criminalizes actions instead of vesting powers.

7.⠀⠀⠀

Second, and related to the above example, the Penal Code typically codifies crimes rather than vest powers upon the state or any state organs. This lack of codified statutes expressly setting out procedural and substantive powers mean that much of these powers are customary, which permits it to be both flexible while simultaneously controversial at time when willful or genuine ignorance results in powers being exercised irregularly. Where it relates to legislation, this characteristic of the Penal Codes results in an uncomfortable limitation when the Legates are desirous of vesting certain powers on an Accord Signatory or an organ of state, instead of merely issuing a blanket prohibition to criminalize a particular activity.

8.⠀⠀⠀

The limitation inherent to the Penal Code has resulted in an unusual legal innovation in Ephia's Well. Specifically, hybridized laws criminalize certain activities only to then carve out exceptions whereby they may be legally undertaken should a particular Accord Signatory or institution authorizes it, thereby creating quasi-enabling clauses that vest powers in these authorizing powers. This not without precedent, with its roots traceable from Unlicensed Activities, but its prevalence has certainly increased with provisions introduced in recent times, such as the provisions on Unauthorized Descent, Arms Bearing, or Accord Governance.

9.⠀⠀⠀

Third, the Penal Code must be understood in the context of the democracy of Ephia's Well and the Accord Signatories. It is oft forgotten that the first years of Ephia's Well were spent in uneasy vacillation, with the Cinquefoil Rose, the Astronomers of Q'tolip, and the Janissaries of the Fourth Legion testing a frayed truce on the streets: The Democracy of Ephia's Well, Anonymous. The resulting Asterabadian democracy that Ephia's Well presently has was a compromise now termed as the Accord, and with the three factions oft referred to as the Accord Signatories. It was this compromise, this Accord, which established our present regime of Legates voted for via lot by an Assembly of the Voiced. However, the implications of this is that the application of the Penal Code on the Accord Signatories has often been haphazard, and largely subject to political considerations and requires the agreement of the lawbreaker's Accord Signatory.

10.⠀⠀⠀

The implication of the foregoing coupled by the reliance of the Legates on the Janissaries to enforce the Penal Code is that whether a lawbreaker from an Accord Signatory may be punished for breaking the laws is often a political issue rather than a legal issue. To this end, the different Accord Signatories often deal with an inconvenient application of the Penal Code in different ways. The Janissaries may simply decline to prosecute or arrest. The Cinquefoil Rose may keep the accused in the Krak des Roses, knowing well that fortifications look inwards as much as outwards. The Astronomers of Q'tolip may threaten to, and have demonstrated the ability to, selectively disable the Shade. Nevertheless, it must be appreciated that the Accord Signatories are neither monoliths nor inclined to protect lawbreakers. An Apothar who senselessly murders in the street may still find himself surrendered by the Astronomers for judgment. What must be kept in mind is simply that where an Accord Signatory accede to surrendering a lawbreaker is politically premised. In this sense, an Apothar who breaks the law in pursuit of Q'tolip's decrees or wishes may still find sanctuary and protection, and be impracticable to prosecute without shattering the Accord.

11.⠀⠀⠀

The characteristics of the Penal Code are important to keep in mind when considering how and what laws are passed in Ephia's Well. A failure to appreciate these characteristics would often result in the decisions of the Legates coming off senseless, or, more disastrously, result in a Legate acting senselessly. The final characteristic of the Penal Code, especially, has been the downfall of many a Legate, when they assume that just because a law is on the Penal Code, that law would be enforceable upon an Accord Signatory by the Legates. Frustrating as it may be, however, that final characteristic also serves as a check on the worst excesses and the powers of the Legates. Seen in that light, the role of the Penal Code and the Legates is fundamentally shaped by compromises.



The Gold Monochromacy
12.⠀⠀⠀

Having developed an appreciation for some of the pertinent characteristics of the Penal Code, we now turn to the political context within which the legal reforms were enacted. Specifically, the nature and implications of the Gold Monochromacy which passed the legal reforms.

13.⠀⠀⠀

It must be appreciated that the Assembly of the Voiced does not merely elect a person as a Legate, but a League's representative as a Legate. The Candidates running for an election in Ephia's Well must belong to a League, and they are beholden to their League and its tenets. This is often overlooked, but that would be a mistake for a simple reason: a League can remove and replace a Legate that the League's Comptrollers deem to no longer be adhering to the League's tenets. Indeed, while the example of the erstwhile and disgraced Legate Ricario Cassella of the League of White has shown that a League may remove a Legate for treason, it would be a mistake to think that that is the only reason for which a League may remove a Legate.

14.⠀⠀⠀

The implications of the foregoing is that the decisions of a Legate will invariably reflect the interests of his League. Just as a Gold Legate may be removed for promising not to raise the price of a Voice, so too may a White Legate be removed for promising not to reduce the price of a Voice. Just as a Gold Legate be removed for failing to approach diplomatic missions with the intent of establishing trade, so too may a Purple Legate be removed for failing to approach diplomatic missions with the intent of declaring a subjugation war. This is a critical and often-forgotten consideration by even the supporters of a League: the League triumphant will almost certainly lead to decisions and laws that reflect the tenets and vision of that League. Typically, most Legates do make necessary political compromises, or outright resort to deception, but when push comes to shove and the Comptrollers make their interests known, almost all Legates will fall in line or be removed by their League. Seen in this light, it is plain why Legate Marcellus Saenus had to break the negotiated treaty with Il Modo when the Consulate paid a visit.

15.⠀⠀⠀

With the above in mind, the Legal Reforms, then, must be understood in the context of the tenets and vision of the League of Gold. In this regard, it would be germane to reproduce those tenets herein:

(a)⠀⠀⠀ To aspire for autonomy and the right for Ephia's Well to govern itself with greater autonomy from the Sultanate;

(b)⠀⠀⠀ To welcome and uplift those little in wealth, but with much merit and able in contribution;

(c)⠀⠀⠀ To seek out trade and riches from the desert beyond, and build Ephia's Well at the center; and

(d)⠀⠀⠀ To give a voice only to those who have earned it, through their deeds or their contributions.

16.⠀⠀⠀

Further to the above, the League of Gold is also desirous of a vision of Ephia's Well whereby it is a bustling metropolis of trade and industry, where the embassies of the Great Ring spring across the breadth and span of the citadel, and where the city is a monument to grandeur. In the Gold's image of Ephia's Well, the city is governed by a regime of the worthies, where the Voiced work with great vim and vigor to contribute to their home, and are treated as princes who have earned their place. In contrast, the Voiceless are guests who have yet to prove themselves, relying on the hospitality and charity of their hosts for shelter and protection.

17.⠀⠀⠀

A Gold Monochromacy, then, or indeed, any monochromacy, is one where the tenets and vision of their League is ascendent. In such circumstances, the Whites would seek rebellion, the Purples would seek stagnation, and the Gold would seek to elevate the Voiced above the Voiceless. The togas that adorn the Legates who are elected, then, are as much symbols of powerlessness as they are of power: a Legate cannot stray too far from the colors of his toga, lest he finds those togas stripped from him. It is in this context, then, that the Legal Reforms were passed.



The Legal Reforms, an Overview
18.⠀⠀⠀

A legal reform of some fashion for the Penal Code had long been considered overdue.
19.⠀⠀⠀

Specifically, there were laws which have ceased to be enforced, were contradictory, otiose, or repetitive. Examples included the presence of both a Destruction law and a Vandalism law when they could have been amalgamated together; and (b) how there were Narcotic Licenses which provided for the legal possession and trade of drugs alongside laws prohibiting the sale and possession of drugs. Further beyond that, there were minor typographical errors scattered amongst the laws, and relics of bygone political battles such as Unlicensed Activities continuing to state that the restricted activity would be an "activity requiring a License from the Scribes of the Sublime Garden" when the Astronomers of Q'tolip were also given the powers to issue certain licenses.

20.⠀⠀⠀

The Gold Monochromacy provided a unique opportunity to undertake the Legal Reforms. Recall that a Legate is bound by the tenets of its League. Normally, where the Legates are of two different Leagues, it is rather difficult for there to be a suitable compromise which would not condemn at least one of the two Legates to grave allegations of unfaithfulness by his League. Beyond that, to get both Legates to agree on a matter is no simple thing, and it can require a vast expense of time, patience, compromise, and diligence: Legal Reformation, Gausim al-Marain. The typical formulae for legislative progress is one of lengthy and seasoned debate, with the process oft becoming overwrought and tiresome. With two Legates from the same League, however, they are both beholden to the same tenets and vision of their League, which diminishes the substantive disagreements that may arise between them. The result of which is that broad, sweeping reforms can be carried out with expedience efficiently.

21.⠀⠀⠀

The downside, however, is that there are few checks on those same tenets and vision, which may well be taken to an unpopular excess. In this regard, it must be appreciated that where a controversy has to be weighed in favor of one League's views or the other, the administration of a Gold Monochromacy must invariably result in it being weighed in favor of the League of Gold's. To do otherwise would be a dire betrayal of a Legate's own League, and the tenets of the same. This guiding principle is one that any prospective Voiced voting in an election or any Candidate running to become a Legate must appreciate and ever keep in mind.



On Crimes against the Wheel and the Judicial Authority of the Hakem
22.⠀⠀⠀

The Legal Reforms classified articles of the Penal Code under three broad categories: 'Crimes against the Person', 'Crimes against the State', and 'Crimes against the Wheel'.

23.⠀⠀⠀

At the time of the Legal Reforms, these 'Crimes against the Wheel' were defined as Brooking, Desecration, Sacrilege, Illegal Worship and Practice, and Offense against the Mother. Concurrently, the Legal Reforms operated alongside the organization of a number of Synods where the clergies of the Wheel are brought together to see elected a Hakem of the Wheel (the "Hakem") in place of the defunct and atrociously named 'Grand Mufti'. Taken altogether, these set the foundations for what would eventual be the decree that the Hakem may now sit in judgment, akin to a Magistrate, over offenses classified as 'Crimes against the Wheel'.

24.⠀⠀⠀

As alluded at [6] to [7] above, however, the Penal Code does not serve as an enabling legislation which vests powers. For one, it does not expressly state that those who hold the title of Magistrates (or, strictly, even a Legate!) may sit in judgment in the Hall of Jurisprudence as a Judge. Instead, it is largely a sensible and customary understanding shared in commonality by most Ephians, and that understanding made into practice the intent. One way of interpreting this is that as jurisprudential powers defaults to a Legate, then a Legate must be capable of delegating that power to whomever he so chooses, and therefore a Magistrate is not vested with the power by virtue of his title per se, but a Magistrate is merely wielding the delegated powers of his appointing Legate.

25.⠀⠀⠀

In that vein, however, belies the question of where the Hakem's judicial authority is to be derived from. If by customs, then, perhaps there are customs within Baz'eel from which Ephia's Well may draw the customary practice. If by delegation, then, what happens if the Legate who appointed the Hakem should lose an election and the new Legate finds the present Hakem objectionable? Recall that the Hakem as an office was not designed to be appointed by a Legate but by a Synod of the Wheel. If by law or decree, then the question is whether the Legates, even in consensus, may by writ and decree bind the Legates who come after. Strictly speaking, Ephia's Well appreciates that the last of the three options ought to be applicable, but there have been subsequent Legates who have felt it convenient to depart from the decisions of their predecessors. In these circumstances, there are often few practicable ways in which to bind the incumbent Legate to abide by the decisions of the Legates before.

26.⠀⠀⠀

This may well remain a live issue for at least a few Legates. If ensuing Legates continue to uphold the judicial authority of the Hakem to sit in judgment over Crimes against the Wheel, then it is likely that that judicial authority will as a custom become entrenched. In this regard, it would be prudent for the Hakem and the Synod to maintain political pressure upon incumbent Legates to preserve their sacred authority, lest Legates should become inclined to forswear the judicial powers of the Hakem.



On Treason
27.⠀⠀⠀

The law on treason has ever remained shrouded in a great deal of uncertainty and ambiguity despite having existed as part of the legal fabric of Ephia's Well from its very beginning. As a concept, treason has historically subsisted in different forms and permutations under different labels across different jurisdictions, but the common character of these acts was the attack in some form or other on the integrity of the state, as a breach of allegiance or a betrayal of one's loyalties: A Treatise on the Laws relating to Treasonable Offences, Ben al-Lomin ("Treatise on Treason").

28.⠀⠀⠀

If the essence of treason is some form of disloyalty or betrayal, the question then is: who is the subject or victim of such betrayal? It would seem then that the underlying thread of commonality behind these conceptions of treason is the purported disloyalty of a citizen towards his state and/or his sovereign, or a breach of allegiance that he owes to his state and/or his sovereign, made manifest by actions which appear to strike at the very institutions of the state itself. In an epoch where the city-state continues to remain one of the most visible and prominent forms of political organization, citizens are expected to uphold the obligations of allegiance and loyalty demanded of them in exchange for enjoying the benefits of their status as citizens.

29.⠀⠀⠀

Resident refugees, though not citizens of the city-state of their residence, are equally bound by a similar obligation of allegiance if they reap the benefits of the waters, foods, and walls of the city-state within which they reside. Breach of this obligation in turn falls into the category of treasonable conduct for all intents and purposes.

30.⠀⠀⠀

What, then, are the acts which are considered treasonous? Across the many city-states, examples of what are considered treasonous conducts are plentiful. These include plots against the person and office of the sovereign, aiding and comforting the enemy, instigating rebellions and insurrections, employing force or levying war on the sovereign and/or the state. These are almost all acts which entail a breach of allegiance on the part of the offender. The rebel who takes up arms against his state and sovereign, no matter how justified he may believe his cause, acts outside of the ambit of the legitimate political expression and so breaches that part of his obligation to abide by the laws of his country: Treatise on Treason. Specifically, it can be appreciated that acts of rebellions, insurrections, assassinations, coups, or the likes, all may be considered acts intended to undermine the sovereign of a state. Thus, the deliberate killing of a sovereign, though also an act of murder, is at the same time an act of treason because it is the intentional targeting and harming of one of the most visible embodiments of the state, with the understanding that the public peace would be greatly disturbed and the machinery of governance thrown into grievous disorder: Treatise on Treason.

31.⠀⠀⠀

From the above, then, we can extract the two main characteristics of treason: first, to wage war against one's city-state; and second, to undermine or harm one's sovereign. It is crucial to appreciate that in either case, the bar is very high. The act must kill, attack, war upon, or overthrow the state and the public peace, and be intended to intentionally target the state, rather than any one non-sovereign person or faction.

32.⠀⠀⠀

However, treason prior to the Legal Reforms was poorly defined as merely "undermining the government". It therefore came to have a long and chequered history of being used for blatantly political purposes, often designed to target the political rival of the day. Without a clear, concretized definition of treason, the scope and character came to assume grossly wide and arbitrary proportions, as Janissaries treat offence after offence as falling within the ambit of treason proper. Examples of these include the Zaniah Almirah's treason trial for making a jest or from Arymathras al-Almadel's treason trial for selling out his own League. In either case, it is plain that none of these actions fall within the grievous severity of what is meant when one is accused of treason, and both were acquitted in the Hall of Jurisprudence. Instead, it must be appreciated that if their actions are and ought to be criminalized, then it is the duty of the Legates and the Assembly to see a suitable offence put in place, not for the politically-motivated to imagine the existence of an offence and find the law that may be best twisted and contorted to fit the agenda.

33.⠀⠀⠀

At this juncture, it must be necessary to touch on the relationship between Baz'eel and Ephia's Well. To put it simply: the laws of Ephia's Well do not bind Baz'eel. Therefore, there was no requirement for the Penal Code to include offenses against Baz'eel or its Sultan. Where offences are committed against Baz'eel, it is well within Baz'eel's authority and power to see the offender punished and the wrongs rectified. In this regard, while the sovereign of Ephia's Well as a satrapy would be the Sultan of Baz'eel, the 'sovereign' in the context of treason against Ephia's Well specifically would be the quasi-sovereign entities that are the Legates.

34.⠀⠀⠀

It is also germane to appreciate that an expansive and arbitrary interpretation of treason only works to put the personal security of each individual citizen at risk. As alluded above, a broad interpretation of treason is always only favored by those who have calcified and cemented political power in Ephia's Well's Janissaries and institutions, because the treason laws may then be more easily used to punish their political rivals. For everyone else, the heady dreams of the tyrant are the dire nightmares of the citizenry, and so the law should as precisely spell out and delineate the contours of treasonable offences in as clear and concise language as possible.

35.⠀⠀⠀

Having developed an appreciation for the above, it is plain to see why the Legal Reforms deemed it necessary to amend the law on treason in a manner that balanced the right of Ephians against the need to preserve the state. Whether this would succeed moving forward remains to be seen, and it may well be that further adjustments may become necessary as the Penal Code continues to be refined.



On Laches
36.⠀⠀⠀

Laches refers to a lack of diligence in pursuing a claim, and is sometimes referred to the doctrine of estoppel by laches. The doctrine has, as its conceptual foundation, the maxim that the law ought to aid the vigilant and not the indolent: The Equitable Doctrine of Laches, Reshid al-Menon. The doctrine is invoked and applied specifically to protect a defendant from allegations raised against him after a substantial lapse of time. The reasonings for why a fair and just judicial system must protect the accused in such circumstances are many, but may be distilled into three reasons.

37.⠀⠀⠀

First, a lengthy delay often means that relevant evidence which an accused may wish to rely on has been destroyed or lost. This is especially egregious as it is often those who conduct the investigations that already have an evidential advantage over the accused, as they may both interrogate and record evidence to spring upon the accused in a trial at a time of their choosing. The result of which is that an accused may be confronted with a corpus of evidence months down the line long after any alibi or evidence she himself may muster have been lost by the passage of time. This cannot be considered to be just or fair by the grace of the Magi's wisdom.

38.⠀⠀⠀

Second, a lengthy delay also allows a prosecutor to pick and choose the Legate whom they wish to bring the trial before. This is a vulnerability baked into the political structure of Ephia's Well, where a Legate would hold term for only two months instead, of, say, the Sultan in perpetuity by the grace of the Mother or other manifestations of similar political systems such as Il Modo's where the sovereign may be expected to govern for years. The result of which is that it is not so long a time that a politically-motivated prosecutor would not be unable to wait out the term of a Legate that may be unfavorable to him, only to then pursue a politically-motivated prosecution against the victim of corrupt intent after a suitably bribed and corrupted Legate has taken office later down the road. If there is no limitation whatsoever on how long a delay may be permitted, then this could only be considered an inevitability.

39.⠀⠀⠀

Third, a lengthy delay also creates uncertainty and stress on a person who may be investigated, allowing essentially for the threat of prosecution to be used as blackmail to command the person. This sword of the Warrior's hanging over the person's head may then be used to slowly and gradually subvert the politics of Ephia's Well, whereby gradually over time, a corpus of materials are developed not for the purposes of upholding the law but for the purposes of imposing political hegemony. A keen observer would appreciate that this actually creates the motivation for a prosecutor to not prosecute, but instead to hold the evidence as blackmail material to compel the obedience of the person.

40.⠀⠀⠀

Taken altogether, it is plain that laches is a necessary component of the Penal Code that had been left out of it for too long. Over the months, it has permitted those who command the powers of prosecution to use the threat of prosecution to compel the obedience of others. Instead of abiding by the Wroth's tenet to ensure that a wrong does not stand unanswered, the lack of laches has instead invited an atmosphere where there is real political advantage to allowing a wrong to continue to be unanswered, so long as the threat of prosecuting that wrong remains politically convenient. This should not be permitted.



On Citizenship
41.⠀⠀⠀

On Wicked Tabbah the Eighth, IY 7788, refugees from the neighboring city-state of Arslan swarmed Ephia's Well. This was in the context of a war that has been raging between the Thousand Clans and Ephia's Well. After sennights of plots and conspiracies that went unrestrained by the Janissaries, the vile fruit of their labors was unleashed. They revealed themselves to be the Seekers-After-Death, collaborators who have sold themselves to Iakmes, and they proceeded to attempt an insurrection. Their attempt came very close to succeeding, and in the early hours of the evening, they seized the Palatial Pyramid. It was only through the efforts of brave and courageous Ephians that they were stopped, but in the wake of their insurrection, blood stained the streets of Ephia's Well.

42.⠀⠀⠀

The incident and many others created a legislative emergency whereby the definition of the extent to which the Penal Code ought to protect non-citizens need to be revisited. Many in Ephia's Well are transients, adventurers, refugees, or travelers that are either passing through or merely seeking to benefit from our waters and bounties for a time before departing again. Very few of them are net contributors to our citadel, and most of them largely benefit from our charity without ever returning in kind. The result of which is that Ephia's Well had always been bleeding, be it bleeding water, food, or, in a very dire sense, the blood of our citizens in the defense of our home.

43.⠀⠀⠀

Aside from Wicked Tabbah the Eighth, other incidents have also created the need to establish a distinction between those of Ephia's Well and those who are not. This became particularly pertinent after the butchery of the black-blooded Qadiran of both an honored Ephian and members of the Accord Signatories. The question then arose as to whether a Qadiran should be protected by the laws of Ephia's Well, which would be absurd, as a Qadiran is plainly pledged in loyalty to another city-state. Indeed, it is not infrequent that adventurers from Ephia's Well would do great and mortal violence upon non-citizens from afield, be it in pilfered granaries or pirates of distant shores.

44.⠀⠀⠀

As may further be gleaned from the analysis from [12] to [17] above, the vision of a Gold Monochromacy also becomes apposite at this juncture. As far as the League of Gold is concerned, it is far better to err on the side of the valued and contributing citizens of Ephia's Well and trust in their moralities and sacred duties to the Wheel, than on foreigners and refugees that have not proven themselves as reliable and dutiful residents of the citadel.

45.⠀⠀⠀

The circumstances of the Legal Reform in the context of an existential war to Ephia's Well coupled with an actual insurrection by refugees which seized its seat of government concocted a brew in which the Legates of the Gold Monochromacy deemed it necessary to revise the balance far in favor of Ephian citizenry. It is with that appreciation that it is hardly any wonder that the Penal Code was reformed to reflect its protection of the citizens of Ephia's Well, rather than merely some nebulous and murky notion of any person that may reside across the vast and endless span of our Great Ring. The definition also neatly sidesteps the issue of personhood, and what constitutes a person and a non-person, which may entail the former to protection while denying the latter of the same.

46.⠀⠀⠀

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it may be that the balance may have been tilted too far by the vision of the League of Gold, and a more circumspect and delicate revisitation of the Penal Code may be required in the future insofar as where protection appears extended to citizens only. Nevertheless, such would likely happen after the war, and where the existential threat no longer looms over Ephia's Well. In any case, those who decry it would bear the reminder that the only blood staining Ephia's Well has been the blood of its citizens, like Martin Ashbury, and those who spilled it, like the Seekers-After-Death. The Voiceless, by and large, remain safely sheltered behind the walls of a citadel where its citizens bleed day after day to defend.



On Miscellaneous Amendments
47.⠀⠀⠀

Aside from the more controversial and impactful amendments by the Legal Reforms, there are a number of miscellaneous amendments which nevertheless deserve a moment in the moonlight.

48.⠀⠀⠀

Specifically, these are:

(a)⠀⠀⠀ Vandalism and Destruction were combined into one article under the Penal Code.

(b)⠀⠀⠀ Drug Trafficking was repealed as unnecessary considering the existence of Narcotics License.

(c)⠀⠀⠀ Unlicensed Activities were amended to clarify that they include licenses issued by institutions aside from the Scribes of the Sublime Gardens.

(d)⠀⠀⠀ Reckless Endangerment, which criminalized bleeding in Ephia's Well was renamed to Offense against the Mother, as the Legates were advised that its origin is related to B'aara, and its name had caused great confusion. A suitable exception was carved out for holy days of the Wheel, such as that of the Letting.

(e)⠀⠀⠀ Desecration was amended to include the desecration of corpses.

(f)⠀⠀⠀ Sacrilege was amended to include damaging or desecrating holy texts or holy relics of the Wheel.

49.⠀⠀⠀

Numerous other miscellaneous amendments were made, including the rectification of various typographical and editorial errors, as well as making consistent the phrasing of the legalese in the Penal Code where possible. Instead of purporting to innumerate them all, these Commentaries have provided a broad brush to highlight some of these miscellaneous amendments, and shall leave it to future academics and jurists to debate and pen of them.



Concluding Thoughts
50.⠀⠀⠀

The laws of a land range from the barbaric to the sophisticated, and the laws of Ephia's Well largely lies on the more unfavorable axis of that gradient due to its turbulent beginnings. Where enduring civilizations have had developed legal codes and corpus of legislations that stretched in the hundreds of tomes and requiring the intense half-decade long studies of jurists undergoing exacting examinations, the conflict-mired circumstances of Ephia's Well rarely permit such luxuries. Seen in this light, the Penal Code must ever be an act of compromise, between what Ephia's Well can be and what Ephia's Well needs to be.

51.⠀⠀⠀

In that sense, the Legal Reforms hope to be a monumental step in bringing the Penal Code closer towards the laws for which a metropolis of trade and industry may be proud of. While the architect of the Legal Reforms would be the first to admit that there remains many defects and imperfections in the Penal Code despite the Legal Reforms, it is entrusted upon future Assemblies and Legates to continue to undertake the diligent labor of seeing it ever refined closer towards becoming something worthy of the Martyrs' approval.

52.⠀⠀⠀

In the meantime, it is humbly hoped that these Commentaries would serve to be helpful to jurists and Legates alike, as they ponder over the future of the Penal Code. Where there are those who may disagree with the reasonings and positions taken in these Commentaries, I invite them to pen their responses and castigations, to publish their own theses and commentaries, in the spirit of learned debate.



Balstan Gloamingdaith

Author of the Compendium to Ephia's Well
Scholar of the Sandstone College
Legate of the League of Gold
#3
Public Speeches / [The Monochromacy: Broken]
June 23, 2024, 12:52:44 AM
The Tabbah Elections have concluded, with a triumph of the League of Purple over that of the League of Gold, breaking the Golden Monochromacy!

QuoteSultan's Herald

Let it be known that Marcellus Saenus of the League of Purple has won the elections for the seat of Legate! They are to report to the Chamber of Rule to be officially sworn in.

With the Tabbah Elections concluded, it is rumored that Balstan Gloamingdaith has returned to the Sandstone College, ready to continue the academic pursuits that he had left behind when he first assumed office.

QuoteArchivist Ezmur

Live and drink. Legate Gloamingdaith, you are invited to the College at your earliest convenience.

The Wheel turns as the Edutu ebbs and the Edutu flows.
#4
Scribes of the Sublime Garden,

As what is likely my last act as Legate this term, I hereby see filed and sealed the below Lease Agreement signed by both sitting and elected Legates of Ephia's Well:


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Gohari has set the precedent that we can, in fact, come to such irrevocable arrangements. After all, we have sold Gohari their land for their factory. In the same spirit and legal intent, so it is that this plot of land shall be leased to the Sisterhood.

THEREBY: On this day, 22 Tabbah IY 7788, Ephia's Well is legally bound by its Legates to lease to the Sisterhood the land required for their Chapterhouse.

Live and drink,
Balstan Gloamingdaith
Legate of the First Seat, two hours(?) and counting
#5
As the Tabbah Elections continue, the Grandmaster of the Cinquefoil Rose herself makes speech!

QuoteGrandmaster Elizabetha d'Auvergne

I do not often take to the sendings.

But I shall here and now. And I will speak plainly and truly, and give voice to something that I know to be true.

Balstan Gloamingdaith is the enemy of the people of Ephia's Well.

He has, with his works, forced chains of conscription upon the people of Ephia's Well. He plans even now to march them to death under Rennik Colmes' command.

He has, with his works, permitted the brazen murder and enslavement of the Voiceless, the ones we are charged with protecting.

I know not for whom you should vote. It seems to me all of these candidates are foisted upon us ignobly. But I speak plainly, once more, loudly and resoundingly: Balstan Gloamingdaith is the enemy of Ephia's Well.

For the first time in Ephia's Well's elections, one of the leaders of the Accord Signatories marked a Candidate as an equal, and make for the Bellows to campaign against him.

Nevertheless, protests against the Grandmaster's Bellows immediately resound across Ephia's Well...


QuoteHosan Abtahi

Balstran Gloamingdaith has led us admirably thus far against the threat Orcan Scourge. He has done well by making tough decisions, as every good leader during Wartime must do. The threat posed to our people is immense and cannot be understated.

Yet, Balstran's willingness to heed counsel during Wartime and retract polices pertaining to conscription of the downtrodden is a value we must admire and aspire for in our future leadership.

He has my vote. Warmaster Colmes and the Fourth Legion has my absolute confidence. We shall prove victorious over the Orcan Scourge. This is Voiced Soldier Hosan Abtahi of the Fourth Legion.

QuoteQari Alriyh

A puzzling series of messages from the esteemed Grandmaster. 'We the swift remember unto those whom are dead' - The war council, and the voiced, all agreed that conscription was needed to win the war. For if we lose, where is left for the swift to go when we fall?

QuoteKhiva Sootbeard

Vote Gold. Anything less and if your lucky you will end up begging at Baz'eel's gate. Or fertilizing the sands around the well. Balstan is the only one with a plan. Hope, whites keep wingeing about... that ain't a plan.

QuoteL

13 Balstan. 8 Marcellus. 5 Arymathras.

The elections of Tabbah IY 7788 continue...
#6
Correspondence / [To Sister Selsi]
June 20, 2024, 02:29:22 PM
Dear Selsi,

It appears that I am not the only one to be gifted with a grim dilemma.

I am prepared to see signed as deed a gift of land in the new District for your Chapterhouse. In this, you know that I am good for the dinar. For months, you and I have ever worked reliably together, and as you have not failed me, so have I not failed you.

I assure you, however, that you will not so reliably obtain the certitude of a Chapterhouse from Arymathras or Marcellus. The former, a pawn of the Astronomers, would promise anything and lie frivolously to deny your Sisterhood any greater influence. The latter, I do not think I need explain further.

Thus, your first option, is to guarantee my election with your vote, and guarantee your Chapterhouse. This may upset the Grandmaster, but I imagine that her dissatisfaction will pass.

Alternatively, one of my electoral rivals may triumph, and you may find your Chapterhouse ever elusive. I suspect that your Grandmaster's satisfaction would be a very hollow thing against that.

I will not deny that the Grandmaster's ire was a surprise that blindsided me. I suspect that it blindsided you, as well, for all your learned divinations. Indeed, I suspect that I am the first candidate in an election to have been denounced by a faction leader, be it the Grandmaster, the Bey, or Q'tolip. In this, I can only find some measure of pride, in knowing that I have warranted such. However, I have no intentions of forswearing my friends amongst the Cinquefoil, and in this, you have my solemn guarantee. In time, I can only trust that victory in this war and the eventual end of Conscription would restore some measure of gentle forgiveness from the Grandmaster for what sins and wrongs I may have done in this ugly war.

Nevertheless, let us be candid. The Grandmaster's ire does not truly change the political landscape of Ephia's Well. Her ire, one way or another, did not complete the District. Her ire, one way or another, did not actually stop Conscription from happening. Her ire, one way or another, did not prevent my Legal Reforms. Her ire, one way or another, will not magically conjure for you your Chapterhouse. I can. I will.

So, I bade you, court with being a little mischievous this Tabbah and let us build a wonderful future ahead. As ever, you will find my door open if you wish to discuss this.

Live and drink,
Balstan Gloamingdaith
#7
Tabbah 17, IY 7788

QuoteBalstan Gloamingdaith

Aye, hearken to my words, Ephia's Well. This may be a long speech, but I shall endeavour that t'is be the only I will trouble yer with fer this Tabbah election.

Fer my first term, I have shown yer my capacity to serve Ephia's Well tirelessly with indefatigable vim and vigor over the sennights. Now, as the campaigning period fer this election draws to a close, I humbly seek yer support once more in having the opportunity tae serve a second.

As yer Legate, I have worked steadfastly. Where I have pledged to see the Wheel honored, we have had our Synods and our Hakem. I have guaranteed that the new District will happen, and so it has happened, and so but a day ere I have moved the final tranche of 200,000 dinars into the funds.

Be it Kardesler or Kha'esh, or the expansion of the Maqbara, I am proud that this Golden administration has only balked at the stagnation and absence that previous administrations oft become mired. Where other Legates had made mirages of promises, we have brought change and betterment.

Where this War makes demands of us, we have nay balked at what must be done. We have acted to secure allies amidst this struggle and to sustain hope amidst these troubled times. Whilst we did nay provoke this confrontation with Evil, we have met it with resolve and determination.

The true measure of our Ephian strength is how we have risen to master this crucible of war when it does arise. Just but a day ere, we achieved a bloody victory over the Thousand Clans. To that, we honor our soldiers and our veterans, our brave Ephians who joined us in meeting the challenge.

The victory, too, paved the way fer a decisive battle to be had against our Enemy, which our Warmaster had just announced. We are reminded, then, each time we think that we have measured our capacity to meet the challenge of this War, our capacity and resolve shall be judged limitless.

It is telling, in the meantime, that my opponents of White and Purple can only dwell in silence and offer nay better. Because, they cannae. They know this, and so do yer. One sold out the Scroll of Domination to Iakmes. One sold out his League, and now half his League won't even support him.

These are the two who think that they can lead yer in this time of war. We know the truth: they cannot.

I am yer Legate of War. Together, we will do what is hard, we will achieve our total victory. We will meet at the war's end triumphant, and toast to absent friends and friends yet there together. We will remind the other civilisations of the strength and potential of Ephia's Well.

I am yer Legate of War. Vote fer me, in this Tabbah election, and by the grace of the Mother and the wisdom of the Magi, we will win this war, together.

Live and drink, Ephians, we shall live, and we shall drink!
#8
Grateful for your work, Daoud. I have filed them with the Divan of War accordingly for their views and inputs.

Balstan
#9
Maribeh 14, IY 7788

And so it begins, a metropolis of trade and industry, promised sennights ere...

QuoteGohari Representative

Legates of the Pyramid. The Director of Gohari Heavy Machinery awaits you at your offices.

QuoteBalstan Gloamingdaith

It is DONE, Ephia's Well. Months of labor and painstaking negotiations, culminating in the beginnings of a new era. What we have promised, we deliver. The walls shall be buttressed and expanded. The new district shall be raised.

The walls shall be buttressed and expanded. Tenements shall be raised fer our populace, ever swollen in numbers. By the project's end, nigh a million dinars shall have been spent by our investors from Baz'eel.

This is what we do battle fer, Ephians - a metropolis of trade, of industry, of factories rising and worthy work fer all. Where all of us shall share in the riches and prosperity of an ever wealthier Ephia's Well of boundless opportunities.

We shall defend our home, and our home shall house us. We shall raise our walls, and our walls will shield us. We shall fight, aye, and bleed, and die, if we must, to see that Ephia's Well be the greater at the war's end than ever before. This be my guarantee.

Fer a golden Ephia's Well!

QuoteDirector Ariette Gildebrand

Gohari Heavy Machinery is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached, and we have purchased the requisite land from the government for 200,000 dinars. We are presently hiring laborers, craftsmen, architects and more.

Please mail by post a resume to 1903 Street of Clinking Coins, Baz'eel. Our teams will review your application and reach out if your skill meets this, or any other of our open positions. Please do not reply to this message.
#10
Janissaries of the Fourth Legion

v.

Arymathras al-Almadel

Citation: Janissaries v Arymathras [7788] EWLR 1

Coram: Legate Balstan Gloamingdaith
19 Maribeh IY 7788


1.⠀⠀⠀

The Accused is one Arymathras al-Almadel. On 19 Maribeh IY 7788, he was charged with one count of Treason pursuant to the Penal Code of Ephia's Well. State's Counsel on record is Rennik Colmes. Advocate is Mirielle Rosseau.

2.

At the material time, the Accused was the Candidate for the League of White in the elections of Maribeh IY 7788. State Counsel contended that in his position as a Candidate, the Accused had energetically undermined or attempted to energetically undermine the government.

3.

The State's case is, in essence, that on 19 Maribeh IY 7788, the Accused had voted for another League other than the League of White despite being the Candidate for the League of White. This appears to be undisputed by the Advocate and the Accused. Aside from that, the State's case is that the Accused had tried or succeeded in selling his vote and support to either or both the League of Purple and the League of Gold.

4.

In support of the State's case, State's Counsel adduced written testimonies from five witnesses: Sephidra Niridhe; Naelin Karstwen; Estellise Azimi ("Apothar Azimi"); Clarissant Llancarfen; and Qari Alriyh ("Mr Alriyh"). The gist of their testimonies is that the Accused had, from either as early as Maribeh 3 or thereafter, discussed giving his support either to the Candidate for the League of Purple or the League of Gold.

5.

First, the Court takes the view that the State Counsel's reliance on Mr Alriyh's testimony is misconceived. Mr Alriyh's testimony amounted to his overhearing of two other persons, Argent Argyris ("Mr Argyris") and Apothar Azimi, discussing what the Accused had promised or what Mr Argyris (as he then was) would do or promise in relation to the Accused. It is, simply, an out-of-Court statement made by Mr Argyris and overheard by Mr Alyrih asserting the truth of what the Accused had said or done. It is trite that such is hearsay evidence, and that hearsay evidence should be treated with utmost caution. A distinction may be drawn against, for example, Mr Alyrih testifying that the Accused had told him specifically that the Accused would vote outside of his League in exchange for something from Mr Alriyh.

6.

Second, the Advocate had rightly submitted that most of the witnesses were of the League of Purple. Indeed, one of the witnesses is presently the Candidate of the League of Purple. The Court must be ever mindful that witnesses may have political or ulterior motivations in giving their testimonies. While such testimonies are not inadmissible, and are not ipso facto incredible, the Court must test their testimonies against corroborating evidence. A conviction that relies wholly on such testimonies may be otherwise unsafe.

7.

The Court moves its consideration now to the applicable principles of law and legal policy. In this regard, there are three points which are relevant in the present case.

8.

First, the Court must be cognizant of the political context. We are presently in the voting period of the Maribeh elections of IY 7788. On trial is one of the Candidates, who was selected by the League of White to be a potential future Legate of Ephia's Well. Considering this context, the evidence against the Accused must be cogent and above reproach. Anything less than the highest standard of proof would create circumstances ripe for abuse, where Candidates may be routinely dragged to the Hall of Jurisprudence to satisfy the political end of their political rivals. It cannot be in the interests of our Asterabadian democracy to transform the Hall of Jurisprudence into the arena by which Candidates are expelled from the elections. While the Court is not closing off the real possibility that a Candidate may commit crimes during an election, the evidential burden that must be placed on the State's Counsel must be high, lest we surrender our elections to the machinations of malicious prosecutions.

9.

Second, the Court must concern itself with whether the State is estopped from relying on the present act as the singular actus reus of the alleged offence against the Accused. Specifically, the Court has to take judicial notice that the act of a Candidate voting outside of one's League had historically occurred, and the State had declined to prosecute the erstwhile Candidates. The one conclusive act which is evidentially undisputed, then, the State is estopped from relying upon as determinative. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no doubt in the present case that the Accused voted for another League aside from the League of White despite being the Candidate of the League of White.

10.

Third, it is especially important to characterize the role of the Judge in the Hall of Jurisprudence correctly. It is controvertible that the doctrine whereby the Legates hold legislative powers and the Judge holds judicial power is part of the basic structure of Ephia's Well. While a Legate often can and does take on the role of a Judge in the Hall of Jurisprudence, Ephia's Well also customarily recognizes that that judicial power may be vested in a Magistrate. It follows then from this doctrine that the Court must refrain from trespassing onto what is properly the territory of the Legates and their legislative policies.

11.

In this regard, the Advocate was correct in law when she submitted to the Court that: (a) there is no law against a Candidate voting against his own League; and (b) whether a Candidate is the proper representative of his League is on the League to determine, and not for the State or the Hall of Jurisprudence. Where his actions may undermine the tenets of his League, he must be held to account by his own League.

12.

In light of the foregoing, and having canvassed and assessed both the evidence and the law in their totality, this Court is bound by the principles of just law and equity to find that the Accused cannot be found guilty of the charge of Treason as framed. While the Accused may have doubtless voted against his own League of White despite being entrusted with the sacred duty of his representing his League, the Accused is accountable in that wrong not to the Hall of Jurisprudence, but to the League of White.


EVIDENCE ENTERED INTO THE JUDICIAL RECORDS











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#11
Public Speeches / [The Tabbah Elections]
June 11, 2024, 12:40:37 PM
Tabbah 11th, IY 7788

The Tabbah Election begins! Legate Balstan Gloamingdaith immediately begins seeking reelection...

QuoteLegate Balstan Gloamingdaith

Hrmph, hrmph. Those of the League of Gold, to the Office, aye. Grateful if I may have a word, and yer signature upon my Petition. Yer know me, and have beheld my tenure. Good laws and sensible judgments. Diplomatic entreaties to city-states that were spat on by the Purples.

A synod to see raised our first Hakem. A reasoned hearing and diligent labor for even my political foes. Accountability and public consultations fer many a deeds of mine. An unyielding, unwavering resolve to see us win this war, that I have shied nay from the fields myself.

Ahead yet be my solemn promise - a metropolis of trade and industry, and such wonder it shall be. Up the Gold, aye! Come, come, to the Office of the League of Gold!

Policies are implemented by the two Legates of Gold to help the Souk recover...

QuoteHubert Brickson

The Golden Legates, in their infinite wisdom, have heard our pleas! Sales taxes will be reduced and Ephia's Well will remain supplied and fed! Gold League for a Golden Future!

QuoteLegate Argent Argyris

Ahem! An emergency measure, to easy the pain of our Souk-bound friends who were so grievously harmed by the saboteurs who yet lurk among the voiceless throngs. A gift from myself and Balstan Gloamingdaith, to all the merchants and yeomen who are the lifeblood of our Well!

As the Gold League quickly united behind their Legate, the White League complained about added restrictions on the refugees, only to have the Gold League retort in the wake of Wicked Tabbah the Eighth...

QuoteGedwyr Karstcleft

I call upon the legates t'protect our fait Ephia's Well from the insurrectionists! They spoke of being poor and needy while they ransacked the souk and the bleeding hearted whites convinced all to stay their hand. Insisting these poor people only need a fair shake.

Soon after those very same 'poor and needy' folk ransacked our pyramid! We need laws put in place to protect our fair Ephia from these cretins! Laws to prevent these insurrectionists from weaseling their way into the seat of legate!

We can't afford t'make another mistake! Who's to say what form of subversive attack the agents of Iakmas will try next. My guess? Something involvin a white flag and I don't mean the type used t'surrender.

In the meantime, the League of Gold makes an impassionate plea for the making of hard and necessary choices amidst the War against Iakmes...

QuoteLegate Balstan Gloamingdaith

We are at war. The Seekers-After-Death had violated our homes in the guise of refugees, stolen their way into our very seat of government, and butchered innocent Scribes after we defied their singular demand to surrender to Iakmes..

It baffles me, then, that the complacency had set in so quickly after. But perhaps it ought nay. After all, the very same who stood by the Seekers-After-Death tae abet their ploy and usher in their men now are the very ones demanding that we keep our gates open and unbarred.

We cannot. This is a harsh war, a war fer our very existence. It will require hard decisions. We have learned that the hard way, and that lesson is not one that I can forget. We must win this war. We will win this war. Our very existence relies on it.

And so, I shall continue tae make the hard decisions, the necessary decisions. Until Ephia's Well is safe, until Iakmes and the Thousand Clans be defeated. Until we are triumphant and free on the other side of this war. So that we may live, and we may drink, Ephians.
#12
Emilia,

Let us do it this way as proposed.

Balstan
#13
Public Speeches / [Writ of Conscription Issued]
June 09, 2024, 04:49:18 AM
Tabbah 8, IY 7788

QuoteBalstan Gloamingdaith

On this Wicked Tabbah the Eighth, the war came into our homes, its blood staining our sands, and its gruesome ruination wrought in our Ephia's Well. Complacency is nay a luxury we can continue to afford. Vigilence is our stalwart virtue.

Hearken then to the decree of the Legates: a Writ of Conscription has been ISSUED. The Voiced and the Voiceless alike shall take up arms and fight fer Ephia's Well, be the battle within our walls upon our streets or afield against legions dark and darkly led.

The Voiced of our home shall have THREE days to don the colors of an Accord Signatories, be it the Fourth Legion, the Astronomers, or the Cinquefoil Rose. Beneath their banners shall yer take the field, and together shall we do our duty to our home.

By writ of law, the Legates and the Prelates are exempt from the conscription; but all of yer have beheld that none of us have shied from taking the fields ourselves. Be it two days ere or this very day, we have nay exempted ourselves from doing battle.

The Voiceless may be conscripted by the Warmaster and the Commander starting hence. After the three days, any Voiced who have nay joined an Accord Signatories are likewise so subject to the Warmaster's and the Commander's decree of conscription.

At the end of the war, all who were so conscripted shall be entitled tae stay in the Accord they have joined, or leave with full honors. Yer shall be recognised, yer names immortalised amongst the annals of our victory.

Aye, I shan't lie to yer, Ephians. There will be deaths ahead. Iakmes and his ilk will come at us with fire and storm, with every horrible cunning they may muster; and yet, yer home calls fer yer, Ephia's Well calls fer yer, to march, to bleed, to win.

We will win this war, through dark and ruin until we come out on the other side. Live and drink, Ephians.
#14
Correspondence / Re: To the War Council and Legates
June 08, 2024, 02:36:19 PM
[Received...]
#15
Correspondence / Re: [A Letter to Legate Balstan]
June 05, 2024, 04:37:49 PM
Miranda,

If some criminal actually murders or brooks, is discovered doing so as the culprit, and then somehow hides away from murder or brooking without the count of two months being suspended for him having fled Ephia's Well or avoiding trial, then I shall eat crow and amend the law accordingly. However, trust me, that won't happen. Even Gemspell didn't last two  months before giving up and perishing somewhere in the dunes. Even Blackvale didn't last two months. The notion of some murderer or brooker hiding away from Ephia's Well for more than 2 months until they are 'immune' to prosecution is overblown. They will largely perish, disappear, and be lost to the annals of history.

As I said, if I am wrong, you may tell me 'told you so' later. I doubt I will, however.

I also must highlight, emphasize, accentuate, BOLD, the fact that the count of two months may be suspended:

QuoteLaches: A person who prosecutes a crime more than two months after the discovery of the crime has committed Laches. The prosecution against the accused person is prohibited or to be discontinued by virtue of the unreasonable delay in prosecution. The count of two months is suspended if the accused person flees Ephia's Well or is unavailable for prosecution or if a Legate approves a suspension of the count for the duration of the Legate's term. Serious.

It is not the simple escape that people seem to have the misconception that it is.

On the other hand, it is crucial that the laches law exists. There are three reasons:

FIRST. It protects the rights of citizens. The lapse of time renders memory fickle, and loses an innocent person his alibis, witnesses, and evidences, that he may otherwise want to rely on to defend himself. The Janissaries, however, can always keep evidence of their own in written form only to ambush an innocent person subsequently after most such evidence is lost to time. There is always a need to balance the power of the state and the rights of the citizens, and the laches law is a crucial law that protects the latter.

SECOND. It encourages the Janissaries to act timeously and without delay. Two months is a long, long time, in Ephia's Well. It outlasts the time of most, and Ephia's Well of one month may well be unrecognizable two months down the line. The notion that two months is insufficient time for the Janissaries to conduct and complete their investigations is simply ludicrous. In practice, criminals are invariably discovered and may be brought to trial within two months. In any case, if the Janissaries do need more time, they can simply ask the sitting Legate to suspend the count of two months for the suspect.

THIRD. It reduces forum-shopping by the Janissaries to obtain the Legate they want before commencing prosecution. You are of the Sagebrush, and this should be very personal interest to your safety. You are also well-aware of how the Janissaries made arrangements for Atticus to preside over Blackvale's trial to obtain a favorable verdict. Imagine if the Janissaries wait until Argent and I are no longer Legates, but there be a sitting Purple Legate favorable to the Janissaries instead, then prosecute you for crimes allegedly discovered during their search of the Sagebrush Hall. The laches law militates against the Janissaries being able to do so, by ensuring that any prosecutions should be conducted within two months.

I trust that the above clarifies.

Live and drink.

Balstan Gloamingdaith
Legate of the First Seat