The Chronicles of Erdon
Archon Common Law
The Common Law in Archlond refers to the body of local laws ordained by local kings, lords, and magistrates. As such, the provisions of the law readily change between countries and localities, even if only in minor details.
Such laws typically and broadly prohibit commonly recognized crimes including (but not limited to) murder, theft, rape, adultery, immorality, trespassing, lying, cursing, swindling, and cheating.
Other parts of the Common Law regulate things such as commerce, use of land, sport (e.g. hunting & fishing), guild interests, use of magic, possession of weapons, use of substances (e.g. alchemical, pharmaceutical); even art and music. Harlotry, gambling, and other vices (even alcohol in some places) are often prohibited outright, but if not, such activities are at least regulated quite heavily.
The majority of Common Law, however, is the code enacted to elaborate upon the King’s Law. More than one city has enumerated virtually every conceivable act of immorality in order to outlaw it.
Punishment is proscribed or prescribed on an individual or case basis, and ranges from fines or forced labor to death and torture; there is no absolute limit on punishment, but it is generally administered in ‘equal and opposite’ proportion to the crime, erring on the side of austerity, and thus is limited only by the depravity of the subjects.
Prison is not so often a sentence as an insurance for prosecution. When it is used as punishment, it is usually because there is no other viable and just alternative (e.g. a poor crippled thief, or a murderer who can’t be killed).