Laws and enforcement of them are the basis for Cormyr’s greatness. To a Cormyrean, it was laws, conceived by the king and enforced by his Purple Dragons and other militias, that tamed the wilderness of Cormyr and brought the area under an organized, peaceful existence.
A number of laws are common throughout Cormyr. Naturally, some of these laws are enforced more than others, and each town differs in its treatment of violators. Some extract fines, others banish miscreants from their midst. Some national laws are:
Commoners of both sexes bow their heads to royalty. Visitors bow their heads to the local lord. Armed adventurers who go in peace wear “peacestrings” around their sword hilts, which (in theory) prevent the swords from being drawn quickly. This is largely a symbolic gesture, for they do not strictly interfere with a quick call to arms. An ambush against a group with peacestrings attached would not be notably more successful than an ambush against those with no peacestrings. Everyone must submit to a search by the militia upon request. Foreign currency is to be traded only by businesses approved to do so. This is intended to prevent the introduction of foreign currency into the general populace, which itself might devalue Cormyr’s own currency.
The Legal Court
One of Cormyr’s greatest achievements is its court system. Of all the legal systems of Faerûn, Cormyr’s works the best. Whether or not it is the best system for its subjects is a matter of debate, but the system works as well in practice as it did on paper at its inception.
The court system works much like those in other kingdoms. The local lord or noble sits in judgment and sentences violators to punishment. Nobles can demand to be tried by either the king or a jury of their peers (other rulers or senior War Wizards). If they appeal the verdict, the appeal must be to a jury of a dozen commoners chosen personally by the king.
However, Cormyr is unusual in two respects. First, the accused is not thought of as guilty or innocent until proven otherwise. Instead, a suspect is required to “respond” to the charges and the accuser is required to “substantiate” the charges. Second, there is an appeals process. A land owner (who therefore pays taxes to the king) is entitled to appeal the judgment to a higher position in the chain of legal authority.
The heads of militia are most often used as accusers. In small towns, this means the accuser is also the judge. Some towns have a reputation as bad places in which to be charged with serious crimes.
The kingdom does not provide the accused with any facilities. The accused is responsible for making his case to the judge and persuading him that he should be found not guilty.
The Law of Cormyr
A Death (Instant) B Death (Upon conviction) C Exile or Ban Against Future Entry D Mutilation (Loss of offending extremities, branding) E Enforced Hard Labor F Imprisonment (Dungeon) G Imprisonment (Light work in Castle compound) H Fine (Payable to the King) I Damages (Payable to injured party) J Edict Against Convicted (Public pronouncement forbidding convicted to do something: eg; continue in present business, repeat circumstances that led to an offense, etc)
The First Plaint: Crimes Against the King
Treason (Including Assault Upon the King or Royalty): A Assault upon a Lord: A Impersonation of the King or a Royalty: A Impersonation of a Lord: A Impersonation of a Council Wizard: B after flogging Forgery of an Official Document: B or C (permanent) + D
Theft, Vandalism, or Arson against the Palace or Official building: E (as justice demands) + H (cost of repairs + 2,000 GP) Impersonation of a Guardsman: F (as justice demands) + H (5,000 GP) Repetition of any Lesser or Minor offense against this plaint: E or F (1 month) and/or H (up to 1,000 GP) Willful disobedience of any edict uttered against one by the King, Royalty or Lord: H (up to 1,000 GP) and/or C (up to 5 years)
Unlawful observation or copying of any Official document: F (3 weeks) + H (300 GP) Assault upon any Official or Officer who is acting in the line of duty: F (1 week) + H (as justice demands)
Blasphemy against the King, Royalty, Lord, Council Wizard or Official: G (4 days) + H (20 GP)
The Second Plaint: Crimes Against the Kingdom
Poisoning of water (City Wells; includes attempted blockage or attempts to control public access, or charge fees for such access): A Murder: B or E (10-15 years) Spying, sabotage: B or C (permanent) + H (cost of repairs + 2,000 – 5,000 GP)or F (20 years) + H
Fraud: C (permanent) and I (as justice demands) or F (up to 10 years) and I + J Fencing stolen goods: G (up to 2 years) and H (typically twice the price the goods were sold for) and J Unlawful dueling (manslaughter): C (up to 5 years) and I (to family; typically 1,000 GP) or E (up to 3 years) and I Murder with justification: C (up to 5 years) or E (up to 3 years) Repetition of any Lesser or Minor offense against this plaint: F (1 month) and H (up to 1,000 GP) and J Bribery of Guard Officer or Official (attempted or apprehended): C (up to 20 years) and confiscation of all property except one Weapon, one week´s rations, and clothes worn by offender.
Unlawful dueling (apprehended; i.e. on fatality): G (1 week) and H (100 GP) and J
Bribery: G (1 week) and/or H (amount of bribe or attempted bribe) Blasphemy against foreign Ambassadors: G (up to 1 week) + H (50 GP) and J Vagrancy: F (overnight) Littering (includes relief of human wastes in public): F (overnight) and H (2 SP to 1 GP, based on the ability to pay) and J Brandishing a weapon dangerously or threateningly without due cause (note: being in a brawl is not “due cause“ unless one is menaced with a weapon): F (overnight) Dangerous operation of a Coach, Wagon, Litter or other conveyance (including Airborne): H (5-50 GP as justice demands; note that this will be in addition to the sentence for any charges placed under The Fourth Plaint)
The Third Plaint: Crimes Against the Gods
Defiling of a holy place (temple burglary, temple arson, or temple vandalism): C (5 years) and I (as justice demands) or E (up to 5 years) and I or F (up to 3 years) and I
Theft of temple goods or offerings (includes spoilage or consumption of same): F (up to 1 month) and I (double the estimated value of the goods) and J Tomb-robbing (or Unlawful entry and/or Vandalism of a Tomb): G (up to 1 week) and I (cost of repairs and replacements + up to 500 GP, payable to whoever maintains the Tomb-temple, guild, kingdom or family) and J Repetition of any Lesser or Minor offense against this plaint: G (up to 1 week) and H (up to 1,000 GP) and J
Assault upon a Priest or Lay worshiper: I (up to 500 GP; payable to temple, and usually based on ability to pay) and J (in addition to charges placed under the Fourth Plaint arising from such an assault)
Public blasphemy of a God or priesthood: I (up to 10 GP, based on ability to pay) and J Drunkenness (Disorderly Conduct) at worship: I (up to 5 GP, based upon ability to pay) and J
The Fourth Plaint: Crimes Against Citizens
Arson (of ship,structure or stored property): E (up to 3 months) and I (value lost + up to 500 GP) and/or C (up to 10 years) and I Rape: D and I (up to 2,000 GP) or E (up to 5 years) and I or F (up to 10 years) and I Assault resulting in mutilation or crippling: D and I (up to 2,000 GP) or E (up to 3 years) and I Magical assault: H (up to 1,000 GP) and I (up to 2,000 GP) and J Forgery (not including Official documents): C (up to 20 years) and D and the confiscation of all property except 1 weapon, 1 week´s rations and offender´s clothing worn at the time of sentencing Slavery: C (up to 10 years) and flogging if shackling, cruelty, whipping, branding or physical indignities are observed
Robbery: E (up to 1 month) and I (value of goods lost + up to 500 GP) Burglary: F (up to 3 months) and I (value of goods lost + up to 500 GP) Theft or killing of livestock: I (double cost of lost stock) Repetition of any Lesser or Minor offense against this plaint: F (up to 1 week) and I (double normal) or G (up to 2 weeks) and I (double normal)
Damages to property: I (value of goods lost + up to 500 GP) and J Assault (wounding): I (cost of medical attention + up to 500 GP) and J Assault on livestock (non-fatal): I (cost of medical attention + up to 500 GP, maximum damages always apply if livestock´s breeding capability is impaired) Unlawful hindrance of business: I (up to 200 GP) and J (this charge includes instances of blocking access to place of business without permission of owner or Official; and trying to frighten, disgust, or drive away customers in or in front of another´s shop)
Assault (without wounding or robbery): F (overnight) and I (up to 50 GP) Excessive noise (interfering with sleep or business): I (up to 25 GP) and J
Mages of any rank of power, from Thaumaturgists (lvl:5) and up must report their names, sigils and whereabouts of abode to the Royal Magician, in Suzail.