Sharn: The Last City
Who are protected by the Law?
Breland adheres to the Galifar Code of Justice. Currently the protection of the law is extended to all citizens of the 12 nations recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold and all members of the dragonmarked houses. This notably excludes Droaam and the Shadow Marches, although Marchers or Droaamites in the employ of House Tharashk are protected. As a result, creatures from Droaam are not protected by the law unless they are working for House Tharashk. All beings are expected to abide by the laws of the city, so while there is technically no legal penalty for killing a Droaamite gnoll, the gnoll is held accountable is he murders a Brelish citizen.
The warforged are protected due to rights granted them by the Treaty of Thronehold, but getting the representatives of the law to always enforce this protection is tricky.
Crimes of Aggression
Assault and Battery: The consequences of unarmed brawling depend on class. In lower class districts, the law completely ignores brawling. In a middle-class neighborhood, the consequences depend on who is involved in the fight. The guards wont bother if two laborers get into a fight, but if a respectable barrister is attacked, that is another story. People that are caught brawling recieve a mark on their identification papers, and are fined 5 sp for every mark on their papers. If they are unable to pay they are taken away to the local garrison and assigned to labor detail. Upper-class districts follow the same guidelines as middle-class, but there are far more guards, so a brawl is more likely to be spotted and stopped.
Armed Assault: Once people inflict lethal damage on one another, a brawl becomes more serious. Guards rarely investigate armed assaults in lower-class areas. But they will certainly break up fights they observe, and fine the aggressor. For armed assault the fine is usually 10 gp per offense, and the aggressors weapons are confiscated.
Assaulting an Officer: Anyone caught attacking an officer of the law is captured and held for trial.
Murder: The theft of life is a serious offense. Anyone caught for the crime is held for trial, with execution being a common punishment. This of course assumes the crime is reported, or that the Guard considers it worth their time to investigate. If a group of adventurers kills a gang of Daask enforcers in lower Dura it is doubtful the Guard will care, while the death of a city councilor will create a large investigation that can reach beyond the borders of Sharn. When considering punishment for Murder, self-defence is a strong mitigating factor.
Dueling: Dueling has a long tradition in Khorvaire, and is sometimes taken very seriously. However, the Galifar Code of Justice provides no exceptions for dueling. The Sharn Watch considers dueling to be armed assault with two guilty parties, and potentially murder if one of the actors in the duel dies.
Crimes of Deception
Forgery: For minor offences of forgery, a guard will confiscate the counterfeit goods and apply a fine with a value appropriate to the damage caused by the crime. Using forged identification papers carries a standard fee of 10 gp. With the person caught with the papers held until their identity can be acertained. More serious charges of forgery can result in the character being held for trial, with major fines or exile as possible punishments
Fraud: The punishment for fraud depends on the seriousness of the damage. Someone selling fake items for 5 cp a piece will propably be ignored, while someone selling fake “healing potions” for 500 gold each could easily face trial and a life of hard labor. Like most other crimes, the location also matters, where crimes commited in upper-class areas being punished more harshly than others.
Crimes of Property
Theft: For minor offences the stolen property must be returned to its owner, with the the thief paying the victim a sum equal to twice the value of the objects stolen. If the item cannot be returned, the fine is usually ten times the items value. If the thief is unable to pay, hard labor is a common punishment. Exile is a common punishment for repeat offenders.
Smuggling and Contraband Contraband goods are confiscated, and the smuggler forced to pay a fine equal to twice the value of the goods. Exile is a common punishment for repeat offenders.
Treasure Hunting: Under the Galifar Code of Justice, it is illegal to sell the relics of past civilzations for personal gain. Adventurers can aquire letters of marque from the Wharf Watch. A letter of marque lasts one year, and allows the adventurer to legally aquire any treasures he finds, provided he provides a record of the items he wishes to aquire.
Misuse of Magic
Spells that inflict lethal damage or permanently incapacitates another being is considered equal to armed assault. Careless use of fire magic within the confines of the city is punished especially harshly. Spells that inflict nonlethal damage, or temporarily incapacitate a target is treated as simple assault. Spells that tamper with the thoughts of another person is considered a form of fraud.
Laws pertaining to Upper Wards.
The wards of Upper Tavick’s Landing, Upper Central Plateau and Upper Northedge have additional laws that prevent undesirables from entering their districts.
The soldiers of House Deneith have equal authority with the Sharn City Watch within the confines of Upper Tavick’s Landing, Upper Central Plateau, and Upper Northedge. A full 1000 members of the Blademark are stationed in Sharn, paid for by taxes levied on the protected districts. Deneith warriors maintain checkpoints at all entrances to the districts, to ensure that visitors comply with the laws of the wards.
A character must obtain a license to carry a weapon within Upper Tavick’s Landing, Central and Northedge. This license can be obtained at various courthouses in Upper Sharn, and costs 5 gp. However the main purpose of the license to keep armed undesirables out of the district. The typical adventurer must make a Persuasion check to convince a functionary to provide him with a license. He must be a citizen of Sharn, or a member of a dragonmarked house, or a notable foreigner, and must provide a great deal of personal information, including a detailed description of the weapons he is licensed to carry. Any member of the Sharn City Watch or House Deneith can demand to see a license, and they will confiscate unauthorized weapons. A different license is required to cast spells within the districts; this costs 10 gp and requires the character to specify the spells he wishes to cast. Unauthorized spellcasting generally results in a fine of 50 gp times the level of the spell.
These districts also have a dress code. Inhabitants must dress “in a manner that upholds the solemn dignity of these proud wards,” and it is up the individual Watch officer or Deneith guard to interpret what this means. Generally, an adventurer is safe if his clothes cost at least 5 gp, but this laws provides an excellent excuse to harass undesirables. Armor is usually considered to be inappropriate unless the wearer is part of the Watch, House Deneith, or another branch of the city government or the crown. Anyone held to be in contempt of this law is escorted from the districts and ordered to stay away until rectifying the situation. Unruly conduct-fighting, shouting in the streets, and other forms of rude behavior-results in a fine of up to 5 gp and temporary expulsion from the wards (assuming that none of the other laws of the city were broken during the incident.)
In addition to these laws, the inhabitants of these wards are generally unfriendly toward anyone who is shity, supicious, or poor. Adventurers and foreigners are treated with great suspicion unless they have a lot of gold to spend or have ties to a dragonmarked house or similar organization.