Before the Darkest Hour
An overview of Halruaan judicial system – A twin face of Justice
In matters concerning wizards themselves ,for most part, Halruaa is a self-policed country. Wizards competing for knowledge and prestige keep a close watch on their rivals, if a quarrel or a feud does break out – the parties try to settle the matter privately. Sometimes these grudges last for years, and spiral out of proportion, sometimes they are settled swiftly according to the rules of the Magebond or by a Mageduell.
Practice has shown that when a mediator is needed, most of these fueds between wizards undergo an arbitration by an independant party – most commonly, a powerful leader from a Wizard household, or a priest of Azuth. The arbitration is an ardous process which in most cases is forced upon the parties by their peers (exhausted by the ongoing rivalry).
However, when a wizard interlopes on the grounds of forbidden knowledge, or in some way presents a serious threat to Halruaan society, the Magehounds spring into action, sometimes independantly, sometimes on a request and make an independant investigation.
Sorcery is not strictly forbidden by the Magebond, but the Church of Azuth, most Protarchs and powerful wizard leaders view it with suscpicion, bordering on prohibition. If one is found to be a sorcerer, he effectively loses social standing by ostraicism from his Household.
No matter the forum, if a wizard is found guilty of a serious transgression there are two kinds of punishment – imprisonment or ostracism.
The Common Folk
For the folk of Halruaa, justice waries from community to community – depending on the local Protarch. In matters regarding trade, protectionism reigns supreme and though the Netyarch tries to impose a system that would provide a fair chance for all merchants and craftsmen in Halruaa, that is hardly the case.
If the common folk enter a quarrel, they can usually choose (if they can agree upon) an arbiter among the professional lawmen, or a powerful wizard if he accepts to judicate. If the matter at stake directly affects smooth running of a community, it is the duty of the local Protarch to resolve the conflict – usually this falls to an apprentice or a Jordain advisor of the Protarch`s Household.
As Halruaa is a land of plenty, there is little or no theft (though in contrast, the wizard households commonly steal spells, secrets and items from one another) or robbery in most communities, rape and crimes of passion still abound – the trial of these crimes falls to the local Protarch, and in rare cases the Netyarch or the Council of elders judicate. The transgressors caught, sentenced and convicted are imprisoned or banished. Banditry is tried on the field of battle, and the sentence is usually death.