Legal Systems

In general, region and society has their own legal system. Things get complicated however when multiple societies share an area — whether they interact directly or not. As there are multiple sentient races, each tends to have originally had it’s own legal system. However, as humans became the dominant force in an area, they tended to impose their own legal system, ignoring those of the other races. (Take a good look at gypsy/jewish legal systems at the end of the middle ages, and how they were subsumed for similar effects.) In the most part, this has been accepted, if not always liked. Most humans don’t realize that it has happened.


The legal system obviously varies by country, but the country the story is set in should be considered to be roughly-Edwardian England. There is a two-house parliamentary system, as well as a king, who is largely ceremonial. However, the king still has major influence with the nobility, and the nobility run the more powerful of the houses of parliament. (Though attempt to use that power will likely get them into trouble. See the [[http://en.][Parliament Act of 1911]].)

Also notable is that the concept of a ‘person’ has been divided into several parts: * Full Person: Fully sentient, and fully free-willed. Is assumed to be acting on their own unless otherwise specified. Has all the rights and responsibilities of a person under the law. In general, male humans are the only ‘group’ which are assumed to fall into this category by society at large. However, women are technically included, as are beings of most known sentient races. (Which is a circular definition: A sentient race is one made up of Full Persons. Full Persons are members of a sentient race.)

  • Slave Person: Fully sentient, but their will is under the control of another. Demons, ‘bound’ sprites, etc. are in this group, as are some familiars and high-end magical constructs. These cannot own anything on their own, and may or may not be held accountable for their actions, depending on the circumstances. Note that in most cases it is technically a crime to hold someone in this state if they could be a Full Person. They can also be treated as property, and gifted, sold, etc. Notable to the below: They cannot enter into contracts, either on their own behalf or on behalf of their owners. (Demons are a special case: They are considered to be Full Persons at their initial summoning, but Slave Persons if they agree to terms that allow them to stay in this world. Basically, it is assumed any competent summoner will bind the will of a summoned demon before they let it loose.)

  • Free Construct: Has full free-will, but only limited sentience. Most magical races (those which are not considered sentient) are in this group. Alone, they can be considered responsible for their actions, if not fully aware of them. If they are the property of someone, they are treated much like a dog or a horse: Their owner is expected to keep them well-trained, but if they break training that isn’t expected to reflect on their owner. However, if they are not property, they can enter treaties and contracts for themselves or their group.

  • Slave Construct: Limited sentience, limited free-will. Most familiars and magical constructs are in this group. They can act an operate independently, but not truly on their own. In general they can be considered to have full power of attorney for their owners, and are acting on their behalf. As such, they can enter contracts and negotiations if they are intelligent enough, and will be expected to abide by those terms. However, any penalties will be laid to their owners.

  • Animal: No sentience, full free-will. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, etc. Can be kept and trained as property, in which case their owner will be liable if their training isn’t adequate, but can also be free and ‘wild’. Contracts are expected to be meaningless to such a group.

  • Artifact: Full sentience, no free-will. Magic mirrors and other specialized magical constructs. Are property, but may have some rights to acceptable working conditions. Their owner will be liable for any actions they take, but may not be liable for the form those actions take. (Example: Magical gate guardian kills someone by slowly pulverizing them. The owner will be liable for the death, but not the torture — unless they specifically ordered it.)


The Sidhe are under a much older system. While they do have an elaborate justice system full of bureaucracy and rules, the king and queen are absolute rulers. They have the rights to change the rules at any time, or to override them as they please. Any case can be pleaded directly to the royal court — even those that have already been heard in the standard court system.


The Nymph system assumes that the rules exist from outside any particular agency. In general, you own what you own, and you are expected to keep your word. Disputes are handled by a communal group, with a ‘judge’ being the nymph who was chosen as the judge beforehand. (Either at the time of the agreement, or at the birth of the nymph being judged.) The judge will hear arguments from anyone who wishes to speak, and then the final decision is made based on the ‘known laws’ and precedent.

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