The laws of Brevoy are an uncomfortable mixture of Rostland and Issian traditions, with the scions of House Rogarvia picking and choosing as they went. Issia, long a den of cutthroats and pirates, had few laws beyond the ones one might find now in the River Kingdoms. Even outright thievery was unlikely to be punished unless it could be made profitable for the agents of law enforcement. Rostland, on the other hand, with its prickly sense of honor, had established not strong laws but strong law enforcers. Local lords had immense power within their domains, a tradition which also likely bled into the absolute power that the River Kings enjoy within their own borders.
Modern Brevoy has few laws and less justice. Brevoyan lords are expected to “keep the peace” and are given a tremendous amount of leeway in their manner of keeping it. Certain actions are generally acknowledged as breaches of the peace:
Each of these items (with the exception of rebellion) can be mitigated by the status of the accused. If a nobleman murders a peasant, he may face a fine or even house arrest for a period. It is unlikely he will face any further punishment. Going the other direction, a peasant who even assaults a noble is likely to face the gallows.
Pit and Gallows
“Pit and Gallows” refers to the right of a landed lord to execute people. More justice-oriented lords will focus on executing people who are threats to public safety or the King’s peace; however, with so few written laws, very little protects a lord’s subjects from his wrath. Baron Ivan Garess, in 4511, executed a farmer’s second son because his Taldan visitor had never seen someone hung from a gallows tree.
The more enlightened of Brevoy’s nobility (principally Rostlanders, though a few scions of House Surtova have shown signs) have attempted to create a codified system of laws to establish justice throughout the realm. Such efforts have borrowed from Taldor, Cheliax, Ustalav, and even more recent cases, such as Andoran. None have been successful to date – the Brevoyan lords like their near absolute autonomy and King (or Regent, depending on your geographic location) Surtova is not yet so interested in antagonizing his fellow lords that he would take steps to try and reign in their authority.