The system of justice varies throughout the human nations of Leng, and is surely not applicable to any degree outside of Leng. Laws are set down by whatever the local governance is, and are enforcable throughout the land. The information on this page refers to Vingaard; details may vary in other lands. The enforcers of these laws are the guard and the military of the land; they keep the peace and ensure that laws are not broken, though they are far less capable of preventing crime than any modern police force. Those who break the law and cause disruptions will be rounded up and taken to the local jailhouse by the guard; resisting the guard means death by their hands. Each man is entitled to a trial, although in the case of a simple theft or murder when they were witnessed doing it, there is little point in pleading anything but guilty, as pleading guilty may lead to a more favourable sentence. If a man is not witnessed or arrested at the scene of a crime - for example, if he is accused of wrongdoing by another - then he will be charged to appear at trial but will not be arrested or imprisoned. Not turning up to the trial or fleeing town is considered to be an admission of guilt.

The trial will be presided over by a judge; in large towns and cities, this is an elected official; in smaller towns or villages, this may often simply be the mayor. There is also a jury of 12 upstanding citizens selected from the townspeople, usually the same to each town, who are minor elected officials in their own right. They are usually selected by the mayor or elected by the people. During the trial, the accused may plead either guilty or innocent; those who plead guilty are looked upon more favourably than those who plead innocent and are found to be guilty. If the accused pleads innocent, they may make their own case and provide witnesses and evidence that they are innocent, and the court will hear their crimes. Any other citizen who was involved may present witnesses and evidence, particularly when one citizen is prosecuting another in a civil suit. Once all the facts have been presented, the jury will consider and decide upon a verdict of either innnocent or guilty. Once this verdict is reached, the judge in presence will decide upon a sentence or proclaim them free to go.


For commoners, the penalty for crime can vary. The nature of the punishment tends to reflect the nature of the crime. For threatening an official, disobeying lawful orders from an officer of the Crown, assaulting another citizen, or public disorderliness, various forms of pain or humiliation are applied: public whipping, beating, the stocks, hard labor, and so on. For stealing, causing grievous bodily harm, attacking an officer of the Crown, and similar crimes, the punishments become more severe: mutilation (removal of an ear, finger, nose, sometimes even a hand) for stealing, or heavy fines for destruction of property are common punishments. In some provinces, torture is employed.

The penalty for bribery, banditry, killing in a fight (reasonable self-defense is considered), and similarly grievous crimes is exile from society for a period of no less than 6 months and no more than 10 years. Exiles are informed that they have a certain amount of time to leave the country, after which they are considered outlaws. Outlaws can be killed by anyone without any legal consequences. If they are apprehended by the agents of the law, they will be executed summarily and without trial. They have no legal rights of any kind, and it is illegal to harbor them or offer them assistance for any citizen of Vingaard. Finally, there are the most heinous crimes: cold-blooded murder, treason, attacking a noble, conspiracy, heresy, necromancy, and so on. The penalty for these crimes is death.

The laws are different for those of high birth - even mere landless aristocrats. How different they are depends on how influential your family is, but even minor nobles can get away with crimes that would normally warrant a fine or the loss of a limb. This is not to say that they are without consequences; especially for minor nobles, being arrested like a common criminal is extremely harmful to reputation. For landless aristocrats, it's the kind of thing that, if repeated, can plunge their family out of the aristocracy and into the upper class, to no more status than that of a wealthy merchant. An aristocrat who repeats this kind of behavior may also find themselves challenged to a duel by those who feel their actions are a stain on the honor of Vingaard.

The nobility is not entirely above the law, however. For serious crimes, justice is still served. Those of highborn blood may demand a trial in the King's Court. They have the right to be heard by the king or other ruling figure directly rather than by a judge and panel of juries. Members of any of the three knightly orders of Vingaard may also demand a trial by combat against the local lord's champion. While they are awaiting trial, the defendant must be accorded the dignity and privilege that their station deserves; nobles do not rot in jail cells with the common rabble.