Ferelden legal system

Fereldan law is relatively unregulated compared to that of older nations, and is expected on an individual level to be supplemented by one’s martial prowess. Indeed, most petty crimes like theft are overlooked by the city guard in Denerim, whose main concern is protecting their posts. Consequently, the common Fereldan should not expect much help fending off criminal activity unless murder or major property damage has occurred. Slavery is illegal in Ferelden, but criminals still practice it in secret.

There are no laws regulating personal behavior such as bearing arms, drinking, gambling and prostitution. Similarly, local prejudices and violence against non-human residents—notably alienage elves—often go unpunished. In part this is pragmatism, as Ferelden king’s law states that killing a human in defense of an elf is a crime.

This is not to say that Ferelden is lawless; quite the opposite. The king’s seneschal personally appoints arbiters—judges—called “blackhallers” to hear disputes. Blackhallers adjudicate cases from the black granite senschal’s hall in Denerim—hence the name—and in the countryside, sheriffs appointed by the local bann patrol and keep track of upcoming cases for the blackhallers to hear.

Given the blackhallers’ busy schedules, trials can take some time to occur. A suspect may surrender an item of great value to the local sheriff and be released “on his bond” until the time of the trial rather than waiting in a dungeon. This property will be returned if the suspect returns to be judged. Otherwise, the property is retained by the sheriff and the suspect has the charge of fleeing justice added to their criminal record.

As long-term imprisonment is frowned upon in general in Ferelden, punishment is often quick and violent. Common methods include public humiliation, whipping, disfigurement, fines and even executions.

There’s no firm rule that dictates who rules the household. Fereldans are willful and their families tend to be managed by whoever can. Usually, the oldest child inherits the majority of the property regardless of gender, but there are some cases where a younger brother or sister is named the heir simply because he or she seems more capable

Ferelden legal system

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