While each hold has its own internal politics that tend to differ, almost everyone is on the same page for the most part. Jarls handle most of the ruling and important decisions in the holds, while their Thanes go out and do the legwork and present first-hand accounts, help make decisions, and do whatever a Jarl’s limited mobility due to other obligations might not let them do. Val-Tivar in each hold keep the militias in check, answer to the Jarl, and make the military decisions they think are the best. The only universal rank is Sage, and they spend most of their time going where they are most needed. There hasn’t been a need for more than one yet, but the idea has been talked about before.
How to Become a Ruler
Jarls must win the Jarl’s tournament, appointed primarily by the people, but also approved by the Sage and Val-Tivar of their hold via their challenges. The tournament is every five years, but if a Jarl dies or is found to be incompetent or unable to do their job, they may be removed and a special election held.
Thanes are either appointed to those who do not win the Jarl’s Tournament, those who the Jarl thinks might be most capable, or by the people themselves. There are many ways to be Thane, and these are the secondary, more hands-on leaders of the holds. They work as a team with the Jarl to ensure everything goes smoothly
Val-Tivar must be challenged for their position in order for it to change, as the most capable warrior is seen as the one who should lead. These challenges can only happen once every three years, and everyone involved must enter a seeded tournament (if the number is even) or a battle royale (if it is uneven) to see who gets to challenge the Val-Tivar for their rank.
Sages are appointed at a summit every four years in Wolfengard, voted on by every Sojourner, Heill, and Gentian in the land.
None of the leadership positions in Helmfirth have term limits, and all can be challenged fairly.
To read more on the requirements for these ranks, check out the Ranks & Leadership page.
- Do not obstruct another’s personal journey in any way, unless they themselves are breaking a law in doing so.
- Protect land and hold at all costs– whether this is furthering the lives of other phae by providing for them or physically defending it is irrelevant; everyone has their part to play.
- Celebrate and protect life: ensure that fawns are well cared for, whether they are yours or not, and hold the lives and journeys of your fellow phae as sacred as you hold your own.
- Protect your honor and the honor of those around you: You are free to brag, but do not disparage others in the process. Be sure that if you make accusations you have solid proof. Do not sully names without reason, else your own will be sullied in turn.
In Helmfirth, there is no greater crime than obstructing another’s personal journey. It is the highest, most unforgivable crime– and all others fall beneath it. Crime and punishment beyond this is generally fairly lenient– the public trial here is largely all the punishment needed to prevent a repeat offense. Larger, more serious crimes, however, must be met with equal punishment.
Minor Crimes & Associated Punishment
- Petty theft
- Manual labor or short imprisonment
- Insulting another’s personal journey
- Public berating/embarassment
- Injuring another phae unduly
- Manual labor or short imprisonment
- Shirking work
- Manual labor or public berating/embarassment
- Actively impeding another phae’s personal journey
- Destruction of public or private property
- Murder (without just cause– self defense is waived if found the cause)
- Abandoning or endangering fawns
- Abandoning station
- Loss of personal title
- Export to Mirroweld for imprisonment
- Length of manual labor
- Long imprisonment
Means of Conviction
Most crimes are dealt with via public trial, where any witness can testify for or against the accused. Usually judged by Thanes, or sometimes even the Jarl themself, these trials are generally short-lived, and the one residing over the case will make their judgment after everyone has presented evidence.
Means of Imprisonment
Imprisonment is usually held in a specific stable in the hold centers. Master users of magic are employed to prevent criminals from utilizing this to escape, if they are capable. Manual laborers are sent to fields, to work on ships or in the forge, or other physically demanding jobs. Phae sentenced to public humiliation are generally held in stocks for a few hours while passersby make fun of them and jeer at them. Even then, those are fleeting and any teasing is to be stopped once the phae in question is released.
For more serious crimes, higher-ranking military phae will escort them via ship to Mirroweld for serious crimes, and they will be stripped of their title. For a phae of Helmfirth, there is no greater shame than losing one’s title and being disgraced. Executions are incredibly rare, and done swiftly with magic so that there is no undue suffering.