For the most part, the Realms avoid the use of death as a punishment except in cases of the murder of five or more people. When death is called for, it is always seven days out, and the executed are left to stay for seven days.

Fines are common, in some form the guilty can pay, and fines are always in percentages, tracked by the Fodge based on taxes. For a large business, this can be significant. A criminal fine can be as low as 1% or as high as 40% for significantly harmful crimes.

Corporal punishments used are common, and considered to start with forfeiture of Estate, there is also whipping, stocks, pillory, branding, and amputation of a body part as sentences.

Flogging is a public whipping. Whipping stands are a common feature of Court squares, and usually carried out in the afternoons.

Stocks are a public display where ethe sentenced are locked into an uncomfortable semi-seated position, legs spread and held fast by wooden braces, head and hands firmly seated in similar, and open to the view of all, allowed on water and a crust of bread twice a day.

Pillory is the lashing of an individual to a post, typically in a cage, for all to see, for at least three days and not more than a fortnight. Those in a pillory are allowed only water, and only one cup each day.

Branding is fairly common, usually on the forehead, neck, or hands, but sometimes on the chest or back.

Amputation, usually a foot or hand, very rarely elbow or knee, is considered a “third strike” option.

Indenturing is a sentence, and some jurisdictions will impose stripping of name, status, wealth, and similar effects. An indenture is always for a set time in the Empire. The length of that time is always five years. No person may be indentured for longer than nine years, even one day. Indenture is recorded before the Trusty of the region itself, witnessed by at least two Imperial Enforcers, and often with some part of the person’s Clergy and possibly even an Agency representative. On the flip side, those charged with holding such Liens are responsible for the well-being of the enslaved. A meager ration, a place to sleep out of the elements, and clothing (including, explicitly, shoes) are required, and should a person die while under sentence, the holder of a lien is required to fulfill the time remaining on that person’s sentence. This does not mean that death of the indentured is uncommon. Merely that there is strong encouragement not to do so.

Lastly, for Sibola, Durango, Lyonese, Dorado, and Akadia, there is also Conscription. It is considered a death sentence for many, and it is not used unless there is a good reason, for they do not want unskilled or untrained bodies to serve in the Crusades.

Enslavement is not used anywhere within the Empire, the Sea Realms, or the Savage lands. It is used extensively in Lemuria, Duat, and Thule.

Prisons & Jails

Prisons exist, and are used, but they are dark pits of despair where people who have no value or purpose to society are sent to die for the most part. The most famous prison is Tarterus, located in a hollowed-out mountain in Durango. It is overseen by a very cruel Warden and is said to be able to house as many as five thousand.

There is usually one Prison in each Realm – even Antilia has one. Prisons are used only when there is no other option and are not pleasant places. Inmates must not only provide everything for themselves, but they must also provide often unreasonable burdens to the Wardens, who in turn must send that to the government. It requires extreme criminality or violence to be sent to a Prison, and Prison terms have only one length: until death.

Jails are always used as short-term detainment, and a standard jail cell has a cot, a desk, a chair, facilities, fresh water brought in daily, at least three meals, and is usually a two-room space about 10 by 10 in total. Cells are typically located below ground, with no outside visibility or access. Common jail terms are either in days or months, and rarely longer than a year and a day.

Confinement is considered a chore, a bother, an inconvenience, and most of the Jails can hold no more than a dozen prisoners, though in the cities there are some that can hold up to several hundred. Jails involve chains, weights, and work parties that are charged with such activities as settlement sanitation and other things, because no one will let people just sit around.

All of this might lead one to suspect that Wyrlde’s people are lenient. They would be in error. Fines may be the most common form of punishment, but indenture is the preferred model for those crimes which may not deserve exile or death but are more serious than common crimes. There are no petty crimes on Wyrlde, however – theft is treated harshly.

There are secret Prisons, of course. Filthy pits where people are placed, usually via a sliding tube that is the only access point besides a lift for food delivered once every three days.

Spread the Word: