The Laws and Institutions of Gran March:
The Laws and Institutions of Gran March were established by the original Commandant of the March when the March was turned over to the governance of the Knights of the Watch. Theses "Laws & Instititutions," form the constitution of the March and were drafted by the Knights with their Code and Philosophy at the forefront of their minds. The Goodness and Righteousness of the Knights of the March is nowhere more evident in the Daily life of the March, than in the Laws.
The credit (and the occasional blame) for the Laws and the Institutions of the March are commonly credited to the Knights of the Watch, and they hold a revered place
The following is a draft of the Laws of Gran March
In the earliest days of the establishment of the March, it was apparent that the Knights of the March would soon control a vast region. Their initial rule was marked by campaigns they considered "Just," against the infidels, the Flan and the other scattered peoples who had lived under Vecna's rule.
These Knights determined that by virtue of their knighthood, they were all the law demanded. Each was unto themselves a judge and jury, and they termed themselves Justicars when they took up the role of meting out justice.
However, as we know, these knights were later disbanded, due to their excesses. They were replaced by the Knights of the Watch, a good and noble order, headed by he wrote the following general laws, which are upheld even today in the March, though the government itself has change. Of all the boons brought to Gran March by the Knights of the Watch, these laws are generally the most respected.
The March Shall be governed by the Commandant.
The Commandant shall rule at the bequest of the Council of Knights and the Peerage of Nobles.
The Electors shall cast their Rods at the Feet of the prospective Commandant.
One must be present in order that the Rods be Cast at his Feet, excepting only the Duke of Dorlain.
The Commandant shall serve at the pleasure of the Knights and Nobles.
Either the Council of Knights or the Peerage of Nobles may call for the Rods to be Cast.
The Council of Advisors may request of either that the Rods be Cast once per year.
Should the Council of Advisors request the Casting of the Rods for five consecutive years, then the Rods must be Cast.
Should the previous Commandant be alive, he shall Cast a Rod for his successor as Commandant.
The Council of Knights shall have 11 Members.
The Knights shall determine the first 10 Members.
The Commandant of the March shall be the 11th Member
Each Member shall Cast one Rod.
If the previous Commandant is deceased, the Knights shall have 10 Rods.
Should a Council member not be present, his Rod shall not be Cast.
The Peerage of Nobles shall consist of the 10 Barons and the Duke of Dorlain should he so choose.
Each shall Cast a Rod.
Should a Baron be dead, his heir shall Cast even should the heir be without Majority.
Should a Baron be absent, their Rod shall not be Cast.
Should the Duke of Dorlain choose, he may designate another to Cast his Rod.
The Rods cannot be Cast without a Crier first being sent to Dorglast Castle, attending first the Barraks in Marlbridge and Blackpike.
The Commandant shall maintain the March and it's Institutions.
The Institutions shall be the Watch, The Nobility, The Guilds, The Army, The Temples, and The Commons.
Unto each institution shall be granted rights to govern their members and within their demenses.
The Concil of Knights shall Consist of 12 representatives determined by the Knights.
A Council of Advisors shall assist the Commandant in the Governance of the Institutions.
These Advisors shall Consist of One Representative from each Institution.
Each Institution shall choose their own Representative to the Council of Advisors.
The Commons representatives shall choose from among the Mayors of those Townships and Cities Chartered to Petitioners.
Should any Institution be unable to decide upon their Advisor the Commandant shall Choose.
Members of the
Only Petitioners shall have standing to seek Charters of Towns, Guilds, Temples, and Schools.
Only Petitioners may own lands within the March.
Exceptions to this may be granted by the Commandant for purposes of Foreign Embassies.
Petitioners shall have appeal from the Justice of any Institution to the Institution of their birth and Station.
Petitioners are assumed to be all Nobles, the Knights of the Watch, Temples and their Clergy, Chartered Guilds and their members.
All Commoners who meet the following requirments are considered petitioners.
All those who serve in the Army and honorably complete their service are considered Petitioners.
All Wives of petitioners are considered Petitioners.
All Daughters of Petitioners are considered Petitioners.
In regards to Crime.
The Penalty of Death is reserved for the Commander of the March. All others, be they Order, Temple, Lord or Magistrate must bow before this, excepting only the Marshall General of the Army of the March during times of War. All other judgements shall be reserved for the Order, the Temple, the Lords or the Magistrates. Should any of these determine that Death is a penalty appropriate, this shall be brought before the Commander of the March.
Each Institution shall have the authority and right to administer justice within its demenses and on those under its authorities. Non Petitioners have only appeal to the appropriate Baron.
Petitioners may request the transfer of their Trial to the Institution of their station or birth.
The Commandant should and shall raise and maintain an Army. This Army shall be under the command of a Marshall General, appointed by the Commandant, selected on merit.
The Army shall work in the defense of the March, and the Marshall General at the direction of the Commandant.
Service in the Army is Mandatory to all with fifteen years of age.
All males regardless of race, must serve in the Army of the March, begining at the age of 15 and until such time as the Commander determines such service complete.
All females have the right to serve in the Army, but have no obligation to serve in the Army.
All those who serve in the Army must be prepared to serve again for a period of fifteen years in the event of war, and for twenty five in the event of invasion.
Excepted from this are those pledged or seeking to pledge to the Knights of the Watch or to a Temple.
Those of Noble blood are excepted, so long as they are active in the defense of their demenses.
Other groups may be exempted by treaty or order of the Commandant.
THE LORDS LAW
The Nobility shall not be tried by the Laws of the Common.
A Lord is exempt from Military Service provided he serves in the defense of his lands, his Barony, and the March. Any Noble judged to lack in this regard shall be striped of their status as a Petitioner and Escorted to the closest Border of the March. This commitment is for life and cannot be waived or refused.
The commitment for the defense of the Demense, the Barony and the March extend to all members of a Lord or Lady's Family.
THE LAW OF THE WATCH
The Watch shall be governed by the Seven and the Twelve within the bounds of the March.
The Watch shall govern itself and its members and shall be subject to no other law unless the superior of the offender shall determine that such is appropriate. Should the Watcher commit offense under other Institution, they may be held until the Watch can arrainge to take possesion of the offender.
The Watch shall be required to pay no tax nor tithe.
The Watch and its Demenses are immune the Law of the Tempe, The Law Martial, The Lords Law, Guild Law or the Law Common.
The Watch may act as Justicar, only at such time as a Magistrate of appropriate jurisdiction is more that three days travel.
Within the March, the Knights shall abide at the direction and succor of the Commandant.
The Watch shall abide the laws of the domain in which they dwell or inhabit.
Should the March violate the Lords Law, Temple Law, Martial Law, Guild Law and the Magistrate protest, they should abide until their superior may be summoned.
All Roads are under the Jurisdiction of the Army. The Army of the March shall maintain, patrol, and enforce justice on all Roadways
The Army must provide a road to all Chartered Townships
The Army shall provide for the Defense of Chartered Townships above that of Non Chartered Townships.
The Army Shall Regulate the Militia, its number and size, in each Township,
The Army Shall
Each Temple Shall regulate its own affairs, and that of its Clergy.
Each Temple shall be responsible to the March for the Conduct of its Clergy.
Each Temple may relinquish its members to the jursidictions of the other institutions.
Each Guild must obtain a Charter, to be approved by their Mayor, their Baron and the Commandant.
Each Charter must designate the home of the Guild and each Chapter House.
Each Chapter must be approved by the Temple of Zilchus or the Mayor if in a Chartered Township.
If a Chapter is not within a Chartered Township, then the Chapter must obtain approval of the Baron.
Each Guild must obtain the renewel of their Charter every five years from the Temple of Zilchus.
Should a Guild fail to obtain renewel, the Charter shall be reviewed by their Mayor or their Baron as appropriate.
Should the Mayor or the Baron refuse to renew the Guilds status, the renewal shall be reviewed by the Commandant.
Should the Commandant refuse to renew the Guilds status, the Guild is disolved and all of its holdings and chattel shall be given to the poor, the disbursment to be administered by the Church of Pholtus.
The Common Law
The Common Law shall be enforced by the Magistrate of each Charter.
All Commons who are Petitioners have standing before any Institution which claims jurisdiction over them.
The Commons shall not be tried by the Laws of the Nobility unless they commit offense on the Demenses of a Noble. Even at such times, if they are a Petitioner, they may appeal to the Commandant. If they are not a Petitioner, they may appeal to the Knights of the Watch.
Posted: 03-26-2005 01:23 pm
The Project II
The Project will have several sections:
Section 1: Flora, Fauna, Geology, Geography, Meterology, Hydrology (yes we will discuss the rivers), Natural Disasters, Unusual Astronomical occurances. Complete with fantastic maps by the Commandants Cartographer Yabusama
Section 2: Population: Who lives here, Who lives where, Institutions, Religions, Churches, Guilds, Trades, Power Centers, Military Institutions, Knighthoods, Thieves Guilds, Foreign Officials and Refugees; Societal Trends and changes in the Nation. Complete with high quality maps and illustrations
Section 3: Politics and Whos Who. Who is trying to gain advantage over who and why, and to what end. This is to be detailed section that allows the new DM to play out a political campaign, with high roleplaying levels.
Section 4 Adventure Arc... a self contained story arc from 1st to 25th level, allowing the characters to travel throughout the divers land that is Gran March. Including some classic adventures and ending with a harrowing trip to the Isles of Woe!
Section 5: A Foreign Affair... how the Gran March sees and is seen by the rest of the Flaness.
Section 6: A Trip through Canon... Citiations and Bibliogrpahy of all sources related to Gran March, how they affect the project. Last, and possibly the most important is where the project diverges from, oversteps and just ignores what has come before.
Section 7: A D20 Guide... what has and has not been used in the GM project from other producers, where we think you should consider using some D20 material and why.
Posted: 03-09-2005 03:53 pm
Well about a year ago, Ivor and I started discussing a Gazzatter for Gran March. Actually it started as the creation of a Campaign Arc that would allow new DMs ready access to the WoGH, without having to read all the Canon. Though I think that the stories are better in GH, there is no doubt that the info available, particularly in 3rd ed., is more accessible for such settings as Kalamar, Eberron, Freeport, Midnight, Forgotten Realms and Redhurst, among others. This is disturbing, and no real effort has been made to change it. I think that anyone who begins gaming in GH, and goes on to DM will be fond of Tenser, Otiluke, Vecna (well maybe not), Zagyg and the crowd. Not to mention the TOEE, Tsojacnth, White Plume and the Ghost Tower, but it seems unlikely that some one is going to convert them and read them all in order to understand why this is such a cool setting.
Rather, they are going to get the Kalamar or FR core book, and go on about their business.
So, we have been refining what we are trying to offer in the Gran March Gazzateer. And it is to be a source book for an underserved section of the Flaness, possibly the Greyest area of the Flaness, in many senses.
I am hoping to provide a setting that encompasess many types of games, giving the new DM a large amount of Flexibility, without limiting their options. We want a political, wilderness, extra planar and dungeon crawl adventure available to the DM. Through the Campaign/Story Arc that Ivor is working on, I think you will find that this has been accomplished in a fine manner.
However, we want to do more than just create the story arc. Several years ago, when I first started looking at CF! I was reading a Dungeon or Dragon article that mentioned Waterdeep (imagine that) and it discussed the Architecture common to Waterdeep. Not in detail, but sufficient to give a notion of what the place looks like. Then, last year, there was a description of the gutter system used on homes in Waterdeep. Just an aside in the article, and silly, but it made the look of the average WD home crystal clear in my mind.
I started thinking, what do homes in GH look like? What do the helms of the various armies look like? What does any thing look like? I know the Horned Society, Iuz, SB, Slavers, Bandit Kingdoms, but what does any of it look like. Searching CF! I came up basically empty.
CSLords works touch on some of this, but nothing like the detail that other settings have.
I/We realize that the Gran March Gazateer is just another Fan Work; and yet we dont want it to be. There is a hole in the Canon of GH, and I hope that this is the first step at filling it. I know this, I dont think anyone working on it will let it see the light of day until it is the best that it can be.
I hope it turns out as well as I think it is. The people invovled so far are truly turning out some of the best work I have seen in a while. They may not work for WoTC, but they should. Now, if only I would stop adding to their tasks.
Posted: 03-09-2005 03:50 pm