Fanlu is divided into very different neighborhoods, but luckily, all enforce a universal law, Founders Law
Founders Law is easy enough that even Fanlu’s young understand it well, and visitors are expected to learn it quickly. Founders law formally forbids the major types of crime one might expect. Murder, assault, theft, destruction of property, and smuggling are all forbidden.
Under Founder’s Law the severity of a crimes punishment is balanced according to the circumstances under which the wrong doing occurred. The founders recognized that sometimes people commit a crime by mistake, and that is very different from willfully doing so. There are 3 levels of wrong doing. Accidental, Reckless, and Willful.
A person might be arrested with goods they do not realize are stolen, or they might be forced to break a minor law in order to deliver an urgent message. If a person becomes part of a crime unknowingly, or commits some minor crime out of necessity or innocent intentions, their crime will be judged as accidental. Great lenience will be shown, and perhaps no punishment will be given.
Sometimes a person might do something recklessly that results in destruction, death, or injury. They did not intend to do harm, but their actions led to misfortune and were done in such a way that disregarded the greater good. In this case, their crime is said to be reckless. They will face a serious punishment, but some lenience will be shown, especially if they are young, or have not committed previous crimes.
If a person willfully breaks the law they show themselves to be enemies of order. They will face strict punishments, but the circumstances will be considered and some lenience can be given if the criminal can offer substantial restitution to who they have wronged.
Fanlu’s punishment system is simple, with really only 5 forms of punishment.
Fines are the most common punishment for non violent crimes. They must be paid on by the same day the following month. Those without money must seek a loan, charity, or beg to be allowed to work it off instead.
Real imprisonment is rare in Fanlu. There is neither the will, facilities, or man power to keep large numbers of people locked up for long. Most criminals who “do time”, only do so for a few days while they await trial. If there is a need for a long term punishment, it is done through forced labor. Most often the criminal is forced to work in the ditch diggers and road clearer’s guild, which is comprised completely of criminals working off sentences. Terms range from a month for petty crimes to years, but terms of more than 5 years are extremely rare. Fanlu sees a lot of rain, and being on a hillside, there is a constant need to keep drainage paths and roads clear of mud, and to also dig ditches along the roads when they back up with mud and debris.
Branding is sometimes given along with Forced labor or Fines. It is a powerful statement that Fanlu’s leaders are considering banishing the person from town. Brands are delivered on the chest. A second offense might earn a second brand at the base of the skull, and a third brand would be put on the back of the right hand, which also means the person is banished from Fanlu. Criminals know the branding process, heart, head, hand and banished.
Banishment from Fanlu is considered a harsh punishment, that many citizens would view it as a death sentence. Those banished are branded at the right hand so they will easily be spotted should they every try to sneak back in. Banished people who sneak back into town are usually executed if caught. Banished people who have great wealth might be able to have the brand magically removed, and move to a new settlement to start a new again, but most people are not so lucky. They will have to secure a place in a caravan, which is really the only safe way to travel to another settlement, and even then, they will be treated as outcast, likely forced to trail behind and sleep outside the firelight at night. Should they reach a new settlement, they will have to work double hard t be accepted on a account of the brand they bear that marks them as a criminal. Most will instead chose to live in one of the shanty towns outside Fanlu’s walls. These are completely lawless places, perhaps just as dangerous as the open road when it comes down to it.
Execution is usually done by a quick beheading. It is reserved for the worst crimes, and not given out lightly
Enforcement and Trial
There are some parts of town where a criminal might ply their trade with impunity, and others they would dare not visit. The wards and neighborhoods of Fanlu are very different.
In Southtown, there is a well regulated town watch run by The Brotherhood of the Southern Route. In addition to this watch, any member of a Brotherhood merchant house is allowed to bare arms and make arrests if they witness something illegal.
In Laketown, it is up to each common’s Man-at-arms to make arrests. The Man-at-arms can deputize others in the common to form a temporary posse if extra muscle is needed. In some commons, certain crimes like smuggling or theft are seen as necessary parts of life, and are often ignored unless an example has to be made. Sometimes the families running a common are little more than criminals, and some of the commons in Fanlu are very corrupt.
The Brotherhood of the Southern route has been known to hire a town constable from time to time when things are getting out of hand. This lawman owes no local allegiances and is not bound by neighborhood and ward, so he is loyal only to the law. Such constables will wonder the street freely searching out crime independent of all else. Constables will generally respect the local Headmen of Fanlu’s neighborhoods, but have also been known to arrest them!
As far as actual
Considerations for Adventurers
Only simple weapons and armor can be borne about town freely, anything more requires a special license.
All melee weapons are to be “peace bound”, all ranged weapons are to be carried unstrung. One can attain a license to supersede this.
Any weapons or armor you are not allowed to carry openly in town can be kept stored at a personal residence, checked with an official, or transported, but only in a sealed container.
Drawing weapons on the street or in a public place is prohibited.
Threatening someone with a drawn weapon is the same as assault.
Any magic item which has the potential to wound a person or destroy property in any way is treated under the law as a marshal weapon.
Any magic which controls, coerces, or confuses a persons mental faculties is forbidden.
Any magic which renders an individual invisible, obscured, or which alters a persons appearance as to be unrecognizable as themselves is forbidden.
Any magic which creates an energy or force that can harm persons or property is forbidden.
Traveling After Dark
No one is to travel the streets after dark unless in the company of a lantern bearer, who must also have a contract of passage which states each travelers name, where they are headed, and where they have come from.