Whilst not a greatly political herd, after the war with Mirroweld, the tribes have begun to see the value in political relationships. They mostly value their own involvement so they too can keep an eye on the tides of the world. Since the beginning of the Dark Age, they have begun to send out emissaries and spies to other herds, and are working on their political standings through trade agreements and official visits from leaders.
How to Become a Ruler
The chieftain and heads of each tribe do not have terms limits, or terms that remain unchallenged for any length of time. Instead, they can be challenged at any time or during the vote of confidence every 3 years.
“The Confidence” is a gathering of all tribes every 3 years where a large vote occurs for all leaders. Members of each tribe vote for their leader and all herd members must vote for the chieftain to remain in their position. Phae are also free to vote for anyone that has put themself forward for the position at this time.
To challenge a leadership position at any time, a Phae must declare their intentions to their tribe and be backed by two other tribe members. Then, the tribe will vote whether they wish to remain under their current leader, or accept the challenger. This holds true for the position of chieftain as well, but the whole herd will be required to vote.
Only phae who have passed their Proving may have their votes counted, as they are seen as mature enough and responsible enough to be able to have their voices heard and counted towards the future of the herd. Young fawns, and those who have not passed their Proving are viewed as still too naive and unwise to have their votes counted. (This is not to say, however, that the rest of the herd thinks of them as foolish– simply that they have not proven to the herd as a whole that they are capable of making mature, adult decisions like this.)
To read more on the requirements for these ranks, check out the Ranks & Leadership page.
- You must not inflict grievous harm onto others.
- Fawns and elders must be protected and never intentionally harmed.
- You must not covet a phae who is bound in marriage. Similarly, if you are bound in matrimony, you must not covet outside phae (unless your partner in wedlock agrees– marriages may consist of more than two phae, after all, but all parties involved must consent!)
- No one outside the tribes can learn of military, offensive, or defensive tactics that the herd follows.
- The land and nature must be treated with respect, or else face the wrath of Cephi.
- Only take from the land what is needed, never more or in excess or greed.
- Killing other living beings is done out of necessity too, and the endeavor must always remain respectful to life and its cycle.
- You must respect those that came before you and the way of life of the herd. You will not disrespect the deities or the ceremonies.
Vinelocke believes one of the biggest punishments to be severance from family and tribe. As a herd that values the familial and spiritual bonds they have with one another, being socially banished, isolated, or treated as if one never existed is the greatest suffering and pain a phae can be put through and thereby use it as a punishment accordingly.
Minor Crimes & Associated Punishment
- Stealing from another phae
- Forced to work in waste disposal for three seasons.
- Cheating on a spouse, resulting in a divorce
- Offending party not being allowed to remarry for 2 years and general shame from the rest of the herd.
- Causing minor harm unto a fawn or elder
- Forced to serve as a lackey for Blood, Horn, or Hoof to carry and clean their equipment with a temporary ban on communication outside of commands given for 4 seasons (no participation in breeding or ceremonies).
- Talking openly in disagreement with the herd’s spiritual beliefs (disrespecting any of the deities (minus Emnos, but be careful, they have ears and eyes everywhere,) disrespecting the ceremonies or traditions, etc.)
- Social isolation
- Reckless endangerment of another herd member that may or may not have resulted in injury
- Manual labor to serve other tribes.
- Accidental arson or excessive damage or harm to wildlife and flora.
- Manual labor to serve other tribes.
Major Crimes & Associated Punishment
- Grievous harm unto a fawn or elder
- Exile and the members of Vinelocke are forbidden to communicate with the exiled. Tribe tattoos are burnt off the skin with acid by an Inker.
- Murder of another phae
- Exile (forbidden communication) or execution by being locked in a cave with a predator. In the event of execution, tribe tattoos are burnt off the skin by means of acid.
- Giving up tribe military secrets to other herds that could endanger their safety.
- Execution by being locked in a cave with a predator. Tribe tattoos are burnt off the skin with acid by an Inker.
- Intentional destruction of sacred sites.
- Exile and the tribes are forbidden to communicate with the exiled. Tribe tattoos are burnt off the skin with acid by an Inker,
Means of Conviction
When a crime is committed within one of the five tribes, it is the duty of the head of said tribe to hold a trial with all Proven tribe members present. In the event that a crime occurred between two tribes (i.e., a phae from Horn attacked a phae from Hoof), the Chieftain, both tribe leaders, and their tribes will convene for a trial. In matters of treason, revealing military secrets, or destruction of sacred sites, all five tribes will convene for the trial and subsequent vote.
Trials in Vinelocke allow for the plaintiff to present their case, and for the defendant to present their side as well. Once the tribe leader(s) are satisfied with the amount of evidence presented, a vote is held. Like elections, every member of the tribe(s) who has passed their Proving is allowed a vote. The offending party and the plaintiff, along with any witnesses are barred from the vote. Once innocence or guilt is determined, another vote is cast for the appropriate punishment.
Means of Imprisonment
In the instances of exile, though they may not trust them very well, phae may occasionally be sent to Mirroweld if they don’t know enough to be a liability, most especially if they are young, or if these events were not done with intent for the outcomes to be so severe.
More frequently, though, a member of Hoof will monitor the offending phae for their sentence. Whether it is making sure they are doing their job, or accompanying them for sentences in other kingdoms, they must be guarded to ensure their sentence is carried out. For those in social exile, a young or aspiring Shadow will be assigned to keep an eye on them from a distance. This helps serve both the purpose of preparing new and upcoming Shadows for their life of secrecy, subterfuge, and reconnaissance, and also ensures that the exiled phae does not break the terms of their exile– or that, if they do, it is known, and any other offending phae may be brought to justice (in the case of communicating with an outcast wittingly).