Knights of the Thorn
The Lex Roxana is the legal code of Syrak originally set down by Saint Roxana the Law Giver, a boon companion of Sol Helios. The original text is supplemented with dozens of volumes of commentaries by learned scholars and magistrates. Due to the Saint’s relationship with Sol Helios it is regarded as a sacred text by the church and the Order of the Thorn. All Knights of the Thorn are expected to be familiar with the legal code and to be able to interpret its teachings wisely. Where the local populace are unable to arrest someone, Knights of the Thorn are also expected to bring those accused of a crime to justice.
The Lex Roxana details the law of the land, which everyone within the borders of the kingdom is subject to. Feudal lords are responsible for administering the law within the borders of their manor. Priests are subject to the law, but are entitled to be tried by their superior within the priesthood rather than the local lord. Free towns are expected to enforce the law within their walls, and their charters all include the agreement that will be fined if they do not do so properly. Within the borders of the kingdom foreigners are subject to the same law of the land as everyone else, as exercised by the local feudal lord, but these lords must consider the consequences of arresting foreign dignitaries and merchants and act wisely.
Trials are usually presided over by the local feudal lord or, in their absence, their steward. Particularly serious or complex cases are dealt with by a High Court composed of Knights of the Thorn based in the City of Syrak. In all trials, the accused are entitled to have someone speak on their behalf, as is the accuser. Many knights and priests serve the Kingdom in the role of advocate.
Treason, heresy, murder, necromancy and rape are capital crimes. Punishment is execution (by beheading for nobles or hanging for commoners) or more commonly exile. Exile is typically permanent, but may be for a fixed period of time or conditional upon the completion of a quest. It may also include branding with a magical mark.
Adultery, arson, assault, blasphemy, rioting and theft are crimes that damage the person, property or offend against Sol Helios. Punishments vary according to the severity of the crime, but commonly include branding with a magical mark indicating the crime and/or restitution to the victim (this may be a fine, a period of service or a quest). In extreme circumstances they may be punished by exile.
Cowardice, deserting your liege or vassal in battle, failing to obey your liege and failing to honour your responsibilities to your vassal are crimes that threaten the structure of society. Typical punishments include loss of rank and confiscation of property but may also include branding with a magical mark indicating the crime and/or restitution to the victim (this may be a fine, a period of service or a quest).
Boasting, brawling, breaking a promise, disturbing the peace and wanton behaviour are crimes against society. They are mostly punished through public shaming (being placed in the stocks) so that everyone knows your crime, but may also include being branded with a temporary magical mark.