Family Laws

Paternal Authority

The city respects the role of the father to manage his family as he sees fit and shall limit its interests in such matters.

Inheritance

Upon the death or enslavement of a man, his assets and estate shall be transferred to his sons. If no such offspring can be found, the estate shall instead be transferred to the nearest living male relative by blood. If no such relative can be found, the assets shall instead be transferred to his companion at the time of death or enslavement. If no companion exists, then said assets shall instead be transferred to his daughters. Free women who die or are enslaved shall have their assets transferred to the nearest male relative. Protectors may not inherit from their protectorates. In the event that no male relative can be located, a woman’s assets and estate may be divided amongst her daughters. For both free men and women, if no daughters can be located, the High Council shall order the assets transferred to the city. The city shall make efforts to locate heirs of the decreased for a period of not less than four hands before such assets can be transferred to the city. If any free wishes his estate to be divided otherwise he may deposit an official will prepared and sealed by a Scribe and deposited at the Cylinder of Knowledge. Alternatively he may choose three witnesses to his will, who must be free citizens. Such witnesses are expected to come forth before a Prefect of the city upon the man’s death or enslavement and recite the will they witnessed as well as the date the will was made.

Companionship

Contract of Free Companionship

The city recognizes the institute of Free Companionship between one man and one woman only. Although travelers speak of some cities having sanctioned same gender companionships, they are not recognized in the city. Visitors to the city wishing their companions to enjoy the rights of companionship within the walls of the city may deposit proof of companionship with our Cylinder of Knowledge. Those visitors from regions where multiple companions are permitted may only deposit proof of one companionship. The father of the woman to be companioned, or one protector of record, must consent to the companionship for it be considered legal.

Rights of Companions

Free Companions are protected by law, but the authority of the man over his companion is recognized and upheld. A Free Companion may act as proxy for her male companion if he is unavailable, including sitting on the council and voting on his behalf. Written authorization must be obtained and be on record with the Cylinder of Knowledge for such authority to be transferred.

Bride Price

The Bride Price is paid by the man to the father or principle protector of record of the woman he is taking as his companion. Such amounts shall be mutually agreed by both parties. In the event that the female companion refuses to renew the companionship, the bride price will be repaid within two hands.

Renewal

Free Companionships must be renewed in the presence of a Prefect annually. The Prefect will sign a renewal form, a copy of which must be placed with the Cylinder of Knowledge. Failure to renew the companionship results in its dissolution.

Termination

The companionship terminates if either partner dies or is enslaved, or if the companionship is not renewed upon its anniversary. Companions who renew their pledges of companionship outside of the walls of the city should obtain an official certification of the ceremony by the local authority where the renewal takes place and have a copy deposited with the Cylinder of Knowledge for the city to recognize the continuation of the companionship. Companions may also petition the Administrator to dissolve their companionship if they can cite evidence of why said companionship should be dissolved.

Division of Assets

In the event that the companionship terminates, both companions are entitled to those assets and monies they brought into the companionship and those which they purchased for themselves. Additional assets and estates purchased during the companionship for which clear title is not discernable by law are the property of the man. If the companionship is terminated due to death or enslavement of the man, the estate of the man shall be transferred according to Salernian law on inheritance. In such cases where the death is that of the woman, the estate of the woman shall transfer to the man.

Children

Status

A child's status as slave or free is determined by the status of the mother at the time of birth. The children of slaves are themselves slaves and the property of the mother's owner. A child of a free woman is a free child, subject to the law of its father.

Protection

No child in the city be they free or slave, shall be subject to sexual practices by any person. Any man, slave or free, who engages with sex with a pre-pubescent shall be castrated and sold to Tahari traders for use as a eunuch. In the event that any man is charged with such an offense, a Physician shall be called to determine the age of the alleged child. In those cases where the alleged minor cannot be presented for inspection, public records may be consulted to determine the alleged minor's age.

Birth Out of Companionship

Children born to free women who have allowed their companionships to lapse by a failure to renew, and how have not pledged new companionships, shall be subject to their former companion demanding said child be presented to him that the child may be raised properly as his son or daughter.

Adoption

Free men of the city may petition the High Council to adopt an orphan or illegitimate child as their son or daughter. The High Council shall consider such requests and if granted, the child shall be henceforth considered the child of the adopter. Said child will be accepted into the caste of the father and shall be expected to practice said caste when the child reaches puberty. Said child may also share in the inheritance of the father and his companion upon their death or enslavement.

Disowning

Any free man may disown any child by publicly stating in the Council Chambers before the High Council of city. A further Certification of Disownership shall be filed with the Cylinder of Knowledge for public record. Upon disowning a son or daughter, said father relinquishes all rights and responsibilities to the former dependent. Disowned children remain member of their caste. Disowned children no longer may lay claim upon the estate of the father or mother upon the death or enslavement of the former parent. Disowned daughters become protectorates of the Administrator unless a protector of record is registered with the caste of scribes.

Changing Names

Any free person may petition the High Council to change their name from the one given to them by their father. Such petitions should be written down by a Scribe and presented before the council. If the High Council grants such a request a record will be made with the Cylinder of Knowledge. All properties and obligations will be carried forward to the new name.

Free Women

Rights

Free Women are those women of the city who have reached puberty and have sworn allegiance to the Home Stone in an official ceremony of citizenship. The Free Women are entitled to the protection of the Home Stone and the walls of the city. Free Women may own property and manage their businesses. Free Women may speak their minds on whatever topic they choose. Free Women are free to move about the public space of the cities without a male escort.

Access to Taverns and Brothels

Free Women may not enter a Tavern or Brother without a male escort, who shall be responsible for the woman's behavior while she present at said establishment. Free Women who become disruptive in Taverns or Brothers shall be removed by their escorts. Should they refuse to leave they may be forcibly ejected by the establishment's proprietor or Guardsmen. Further disruptions will be punished by stripping down to the veil and transportation back to her domicile in chains.

Obedience to Fathers, Companions, Protectors

Free women who are not companioned are expected to obey their father’s instruction. Those free women whose fathers have moved on to the cities of dust, or for whom their whereabouts is unknown, may petition another free man of the city to be their protector of record. Said protector, or protectors, may fulfill the role of father for the free woman, including being responsible for her behavior in public, setting her bride price and giving permission for her to companion. A free woman is not expected to adopt the caste of her protector if it differs from her own. A free woman may list multiple protectors, records of which should be deposited with the caste of Scribes. Those free women who refuse or are unable to obtain protection from a free man will be considered protectorates of the Administrator. In these cases the Administrator will fulfill the role of father or protector for the free woman where such permission is needed. In the event that the Administrator of the city is a woman, such roles of protection shall be borne by the highest ranking male member of the High Council. In the event that the entire council is comprised of women, such roles of protection shall be borne by the city's First Sword.

Assault

The striking a free woman by a man is a crime punishable by fines. Repeated offenses will lead to imprisonment. The striking a free woman by another free woman is punishable by a fine set forth by a Prefect of the City.

Attire

The city requires that free women cover themselves in public and not engage in nudity outside of their homes. The robes of concealment are not required by law, nor are veils, but the city does encourage modesty, with the covering or arms and shoulders, and a dress length down to mid calf. Women of High Caste should consider the pride of the city in their public selections and are encouraged to cover their entire bodies including a face veil. Women may not wear male attire at any time within the city walls. Wearing slave silk or ear rings is a crime punishable by enslavement. Public nudity is a crime punishable by a fine set by the Prefect. Repeated offenses may constitute behavior suitable for the collar.

Face Stripping

Within the city walls, a free woman shall not be forcibly face stripped without the order of a Prefect. Those found guilty of such a crime shall be subject to fines and imprisonment.

Submission

Within the city walls, a free woman may offer herself in submission to a man who then has the opportunity to accept said submission and collar the woman, making her a slave, or refuse. If the act submission is refused the free woman may continue to live as a free, enjoying all the rights and freedoms of the free woman. A free woman submitting herself before a free man grants the free man the ability to collar her without the order of a Prefect. The free man should obtain witnesses to the submission that he might rightfully obtain papers from the Cylinder of Knowledge proving his ownership. The right of submission is suspended once an arrest warrant is issued for a free woman. From the moment the arrest warrant bears an official seal, the named free woman shall only have the right of submission to a Prefect of the city. Any man who accepts the submission of a woman for whom an arrest warrant has been issued is subject to the charge of theft, since said woman, once enslaved may only be considered the property of the city. The Prefect may grant leniency in such cases if he believes that the man was unaware of the outstanding warrant.

Life Debt

Any free woman who's life is saved by a free man, who is not a relative of the free woman, by blood or companionship, may be claimed as a slave by said free man if he wishes her. Free men asserting such claims must present the woman and such evidence as exists pertaining to her rescue before a prefect of the city. If such evidence is found to support the claim the woman shall be sent for branding and collaring and papers issued to the free man confirming the woman as his property. Should the evidence be found not to support the claim of rescue the woman shall be released and escorted back to her domicile by Guardsmen.

Couching

The city does not recognize the couching laws of Ar or any other city. Arrest warrants issued for free women accused of couching in this or any other city shall be summarily burned by our Prefects. Arrest warrants issued for free women of other cities currently residing in this city shall be ignored, and such women afforded the protection of our city walls.

Collaring Offenses

Free women are expected to conduct themselves with a level of decorum in public, worthy of their position as free women. No woman of the city may be force collared within the city walls without the order of a Prefect. If any woman is accused of conduct befitting a collar, a complaint may be filed with the Praetor’s office. A Prefect will then dispatch Guardsmen to arrest the accused woman and will conduct a trial where witness testimony shall be required.

The following are collarable offenses as deemed by the High Council:

  • Public displays of lust.
  • Public speaking of clearly sexual preference or practices.
  • Vulgarity.
  • Wearing earrings in public.
  • Loitering in the Street of Brands.
  • Vagrancy.
  • Prostitution.
  • Dressing as a slave in public, except during Kajuralia.
  • Performing slave dance in public, except during Kajuralia.
  • Conducting a gesture of submission before a free man *
  • Being shown to have a brand mark but no manumission papers.
  • Theft (second-conviction).
  • Refusal or inability to pay debts.
  • Repeated public drunkenness or nudity.

* An overt act of submission may be refused by the man if he does not desire the burden of keeping the woman. Should this be the case the woman is still considered free.

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