Dhoesone system of government
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Dhoesone is ruled by the Baron (or Baroness) in the ancient Anuirean tradition and has been since the land ceased to be seen as an administered province and became formally part of Anuire. The counts of the provinces are given greater latitude than in most parts of Anuire, almost akin to the Rjurik tradition of jarls. Although most of the law is Anuirean (particularly property rights and inheritance), certain laws and customs remain Rjurik such as the right to roam of nomads in the north and west and the right of Druids and skalds to travel unmolested and free of encumbrance by the crown.
Typically the title of each Baron and Count passes to the heir of the former incumbent, although from time to time a line has died and the Baron has exercised their prerogative to appoint a new Count, the Barons of Dhoesone have however been too weak for centuries to refuse to recognize the heir of a count barring obvious defects such as deformity, idiocy or godless mien (femininity ceased to be recognized as a defect prohibiting inheritance after Baron Shaemes failed to produce a male heir many centuries ago).
Helaene Dosiere is the Chancellor of Dhoesone. Though unblooded, she oversees much of the kingdom's operations. She is also largely the reason that the guilds do not hold more power than they already do. Helaene manages to accomplish impossible tasks routinely.
The Chancellery has three functions. Its oldest power is as a court overseeing cases concerning equity. "Equity" is a legal principle that allows an authorized court to do more than provide remedy after the fact, but to enters injunctions or decrees directing someone either to act or to forbear from acting before injury has occurred. Often this form of relief is in practical terms more valuable to a litigant than a monetary payment after an injustice. Through this power, Helaene Dosiere has been able to issue injunctions against the guilds to prevent them from becoming a law unto themselves and taking whatever the want because they can afford to offer compensation.
The Chancellery has also developed a considerable administrative capacity starting with the enforcement of its rulings through its control of sheriffs. This means that in practical terms, the Chancellery controls the law holdings, although that power has serious technical limitations through other courts and the provincial bailiffs. Property courts and the feudal courts are controlled by the local counts, for instance. Much of the state bureaucracy is part of the Chancellery, and the Chancellor directs what amounts to an army of scribes.
Finally, the Chancellery is responsible for various ceremonial functions, including organizing investiture, vassalage, and designating an heir.
Traditionally, Haelyn's Bastion of Truth has had considerable influence on the selection of the Chancellor, and often the Chancellor has been a cleric in the Bastion.
Rhuimach Taeline, Lord of Taeline, is Captain General of Dhoesone. His knowledge of the land and intuitive grasp of strategy has kept the realm secure.
The Captain General's duties are complicated by the source of recruitment and maintenance of the military. The Barony has only raised a company of militia, though like their neighbors, the Rjurik, this unit is a hardy body of irregulars. Additional levies would no doubt be standard Anuirean levies. Two units of Elf Archers and a company of Elf Cavalry is provided by Tuarhievel.
Thurazor provides a company of Goblin Infantry. And two companies of Knights are provided by the Haelyn's Bastion of Truth from temples and realms throughout Anuire and from volunteers who come to Dhoesone as free lances to serve in this noble cause. Of course each of these units comes with strings attached, political limitations, and constraints on the Captain General's decisions.
Carel Edvien is the Guardian of the Vault for Dhoesone. The largest problem facing the Treasury is its poverty. Money is a powerful resource to address the problems of the realm and the Baroness has too little of it. Carel would like to see the law strengthened to support tax collection and bringing the guilds into support of the realm. He believes one of the guilders, perhaps Bannier Andien or Adaere Doneim, should be given a patent of monopoly in exchange for alliance with the Baroness and committing to the good of the realm.
Aedric Nolien, Count of Nolien, is the Bearer of the Seal of Dhoesone and no law can be enacted without the seal being affixed to the bill. The Bearer of the Seal shares many of the functions of the Rjurik Laghman, but with the look and ceremony of an Anuireal official. The Bearer receives all new legislation from the crown or from the assembly and affixes the seal to the law, records the law, is responsible for preserving all of the laws in books so that can be consulted, employs scribes to reproduce copies of the law for use by courts, and in the spirit of Haelyn is expected to speak in the interest of the law to those who would use the law for any end harmful to the people, the realm, or the law itself. Traditionally that has meant safeguarding the rights and liberties of the people against Barons who would impinge on the law to achieve their goals. More recently it has meant confronting the guilders who view the law as nothing more than a shield to protect their wealth.
Crime such as theft is rare in Dhoesone as relatively few people have valuable goods in a portable form that can be stolen. Violence is however a growing problem due to guild conflicts. The ongoing church arguments tend to be more subtle than outright violence, but have on occasion led to armed conflict. Dhoesone, like most Anuirean realms cannot afford to imprison folk (save overnight drunks and the like) and so punishment is typically measured in fines, forced service, floggings and so on. Particularly heinous crimes are marked by branding, amputation of limbs, or execution.
Unusual crimes in Dhoesone include murder of a goblin, punishable by a fine at the least (in many Anuirean realms a bounty is paid), hunting in the woods, by agreement in the sidhe hunting is banned in much of the east or allowed only during certain seasons. This ban in particular is bitterly hated by the peasants who often hunger in winter and dislike what they see as pandering to the elves. Similarly the restriction on what game can be hunted - hares may be hunted only under the permission of a noble, deer may be hunted by the nobility only, while stags are royal game alone in all the royal forests - which account for more than half the land in Dhoesone.
The Northbyrn River is subject to the power of the Barony's customs agents, who assess goods imported and exported to levy duties. The two branches of customs, the Riverguard and the Ridingsmen are loathed along the river as many are corrupt and the imposition of a duty on salt and beer a generation ago brought even the poorest peasant within the obligation to pay taxes. The guilds in particular detest the customs officials, however draconian penalties for harming or slaying a customs man have been in force for decades and the guilds appear to have reluctantly understood that the killing of a 'swagger-man' would bring grievous reprisals if linked to them. Adaere Doneim is the Collector of Tolls in Dhoesone and he is not adverse to penalizing his rivals with zealous collections while his own guild avoids payment entirely.
The verderers (officials of the forest) take poachers to the court of the woodward (the manager who oversees the forest area in question). The forest court has the power to blind or castrate poachers although most are merely fined and flogged. The verderers often come into conflict with the commoners who live in the forest due to the rights of commoners to keep animals within their curtilige - a poorly defined area around their property. This has led the verderers to have as poor a reputation in the east of Dhoesone as the Baroness's customs agents have in the west.
In practice 'self defense' allows some people to get away, literally, with murder, particularly when popular opinion supports the killer. Similarly even a close servant of the crown must be careful when dealing with a person of note to ensure they have the law fully on their side.
imprisonment and bound servitude. The rights of middle justice are restricted to counts and judges of the realm.
exile, forced marriage of a noble, and a few other areas but these are rare in practice.
faith having the power to discipline them barring the crime of assault on an agent of the crown which is punishable by the Baroness.
Due to the conflict between the churches (in particular over which church constitutes the superior faith) the baroness has occasionally been able to take direct action for other crimes, but even the ever-loyal Haelynites oppose the Baroness when she seeks to restrict the privileges of the churches.
Persons of powerful bloodline have similar rights if they are both persons of note and act in accordance with their bloodline (as determined by the relevant church) - a powerful scion of Anduiras in Dhoesone therefore has certain rights in relation to the faith of Haelyn for example. The wise scion uses these rights sparingly however as their use is inevitably proscribed by the church in question.
Fhiele lacked the inclination - or military power - to seek conquest of other realms. Instead she practiced the art of diplomacy to neutralize the threats facing Dhoesone. Thurazor's raids were stopped with a treaty which left Dhoesone paying for the upkeep of a goblin warband hired to it by the King of the goblins. The alliance with Tuarhievel left the eastern provinces guarded by the elves, while Fhiele oversaw much of the law of western Tuarheviel. A series of 'moonlight treaties' were signed with Stjordvik and Rjuvik prohibiting Rjurik raids and forming an alliance should the raiders of the Giantdowns or the Blood Skull Barony attack any of the realms.
, 08-16-2008 at 10:45 AM|
Last edited by , 10-23-2011 at 12:08 PM
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