The Framework of the Associated Baronies of Western Suditerre establishes the set of laws known as the Rights and Powers. Hence forth referred to simply as the Framework.
The Framework is an article of federation between the 11 Major Barons and the 108 Minor Barons that signed the original agreement. Duplicate copies were produced and signed for the 11 Major Barons, to be kept in each of the Major Baronies. The Framework brought to an end a time of warring states and has established a lasting peace, a pax association.
The Framework divides essential governance into three major branches: Administrative, Judicial, & Legislative. These three branches have a system of checks & balances to keep the system stable and the baronies at peace.
The Administrative Branch of the Association is led by Hereditary Baronies. Each Barony is led by a Baron from the family that once ruled the individual baronies before they joined the Association. Those same families remain in control but their power is limited by the Framework. While limited by the Framework they also gain the protection of permit rule over their territories without constant fear of war between the major baronies.
The role of the Barons is to administer the laws fairly and regulate the Baronies. These Baron Orders are known as regulatory law.
Currently Duane Terrance Grey of Grey. The Association is not a monarchy but they have found benefit in having a leader amongst the associated Barons. The High Baron takes the lead role in dealing with both foreign and domestic policy of the Association. The Capital of the Association is seated with the High Baron which means that it moves with the title. This High Baron is elected by all of the Barons of the Association, from the 11 Baron Generals, with a simple majority of votes to win. The title is granted for life, until abdication, or dispossession by the Supreme Court of the Association, SCOTA.
The Head Baron has several critical roles within the Association that range from leading the armed forces to more ceremonial duties. The Baron Generals have similar roles within their own domain. Those roles include:
Head of the Association:This role is defined by the ceremonial position that the High Baron serves. The High Baron and his family serve as a model for the citizens of the Association. This also requires the Head Baron to perform ceremonial duties with dignity.
Chief Executive: The CEO of the Association is responsible for countless administrative appointments and tasks. This is the bureaucracy of the Association.
Commander-in-Chief: The ultimate leader of all armed forces within the Association. All of the Baron Generals report directly to the Head Baron in times of war. They may lead their Barons but they all answer to the Commander-in-Chief.
Head of the Barony: Similar to the role of Head of the Association but specific to the High Generals Barony. The Head Baron has the difficult task of balancing the needs of maintaining his Barony and the Association.
Chief Diplomat: Sending and receiving Ambassadors, setting foreign policy, negotiating treaties and trade deals.
Legislative Leader: The Head Baron can and does make formal requests of the Congress. While unable to create the law directly the Head Baron address the full Congress at least annually, though more often is common. The Head Baron also has the ability to enact Baron Orders that have the force of law but can be nullified by a law passed through Congress, overruled by the Supreme Court, or withdrawn by the High Baron or any future High Baron.
Head of the Economy: In this role, the Head Baron addresses concerns of the economy, the production of goods, the prices of those good, the coining and value of the currency, and balance of trade within the Association.
Requires: Acknowledged, Courtly, Dominant, Esteemed, Feared, Greater Nobility, Influential, Known, Landed, Leader, Noble, Regal, and Respected.
The Baron of one of the Major Baronies. The Association has 11 Major Baronies, these are Grey, Smith, Wesson, Hogan, Schaefer, Zane, Remington, Winchester, Thompson, Wister, & Brand.
Barons are the head of the Executive Branch of the individual Baronies. Each plays a role similar to the Head Baron of the Association but scaled down to the level of the individual Barony.
Requires: Acknowledged, Courtly, Dominant, Esteemed, Feared, Greater Nobility, Influential, Known, Landed, Leader, Noble, and Respected.Bonuses: Elite, and Famous.
Leader of one of the Association's Baronies, these are not elected officials. Barons are most often former Gunslingers. The Association has some 108 minor Baronies.
Barons are the head of the Executive Branch of the individual Baronies. Each plays a role similar to the Head Baron of the Association but scaled down to the level of the individual Barony.
Requires: Acknowledged, Courtly, Dominant, Esteemed, Feared, Influential, Known, Landed, Leader, Noble, and Respected.Bonus: Elite, and Famous.
High Baron Son:
John Duane Grey, the first son of the High Baron, additional sons of the High Baron are titled Baron Son.Bonuses: Acknowledged, Cherished, Famous, Greater Nobility, Known, Noble, Regal.
Any son of any Baron of the Association. The title is often pronounced as one word, Baronson.Bonuses: Acknowledged, Known, and Noble.
The Treasury is a sub-branch of the Administrative Branch of Government. Though the Treasury acts dependently and independently of all three branches. The rules that govern banking and currency within the Association are called regulatory law, as fitting the role the Treasury plays within the Administrative Branch.
The basic functions of the Treasury include:
- Producing all currency for the Association
- Collecting taxes, duties and money paid to and due to the Association
- Managing the finances of the Association
- Supervising banks
- Advising on fiscal policy
- Enforcing regulatory finance law
- Setting and maintaining the standards for weights and measures of currency
The Treasury is overseen directly by a committee appointed by the Baron Generals and the High Baron. This creates an 11 member board of directors. These Directors are appointed to 5 year terms, though they can be recalled by the Barons, or dismissed in a ruling by the Supreme Court. Additionally they are limited to two terms. The Board of Directors is led by the High Baron's appointee known as the Director General. The Director General's role is to chair committee meetings, otherwise his voice and vote on the committee are equal to all other members.
One function of the Treasury is to set the weights and standards for the currency of the Associaition.
When dealing with a case between two minor Barons, the case will most likely be heard by the Court of a Major Barony that is nearest the two minor. In cases between two Major Baronies or Baron Generals the case is heard before the court of the High Baron. In cases that involve the High Baron, the case is heard before a "Supreme" Court of Justices made up of the Chief Justices of all of the 11 Major Baronies.
The Judicial Branch is seen as the interrupters of the law. With the authority of Judicial Review granted them in the Framework the Justices have the ability to create legal precedent through Case Law. Case Law is the body of decisions established by the courts' rulings on earlier trails.
The Supreme Court of the Association
Comprised of the Chief Justice from each of the major baronies, 11 in total.
Jurisdiction: Rule on cases involving the High Baron. In order to remove the High Baron the Supreme Court of the Association must cast a unanimous vote of dispossession. The cost of the Supreme Court is displaced amongst all of the Major Baronies but it can be focused onto the Barony that is at fault, as decided by the Court. Their decisions impact all of the Association. They also hold the power of judicial review of any law enacted by the Congress of the Association.
Major Barony Courts: Each of the major baronies has a court led by a Chief Justice, appointed by the Baron from the elected Justices. Each Baron establishes the number of Justices in the barony, though always an odd number, and those Justices are elected by the people of the barony. The position of Justice is a life-long appointment, unless abdicated.
Minor Barony Courts: Most often the courts in the minor baronies are led by a single Justice, elected by the people of that Barony. It is possible for a minor barony to have more than one Justice, though it is rare and usually does not exceed three because of the cost.Towns or Villages: Large towns will likely have a single elected Justice. Smaller towns and villages are unlikely to have a Justice, they rely on the Gunslingers to keep the peace and act as mediators.
Title and role appointed by the Baron to a Justice of the Barony's Court, the appointing Baron has the ability to recall and reappoint a Chief Justice. Otherwise they can serve for life or until they abdicate in both their Barony and the SCOTA. The ability to recall the Chief Justice is an example of the authority of the Baron. This ability does not remove the title Justice, only the title Chief Justice.
Requires: Disciplined, Elite, Honest, Knowledgeable, Respected, Titled, Trustworthy, WiseBonuses: Esteemed, Famous, Influential
Local leader that lived their life as a Gunslinger. The title of Justice suggests significant wisdom and thoughtful application of the law. After living the life of a Gunslinger, the Justices tend to settle into towns that need their experience and wisdom. Throughout the Association the role of Justice is an Elected position, served for life or until abdicated, in minor baronies there would only be one Justice, in the smaller towns and villages there may or may not be a Justice. In the Major Baronies there are often several Justices, from these elected Justices the Baron will appoint one to act as Chief Justice.
Requires: Disciplined, Honest, Knighted, Knowledgeable, Leader, Titled, TrustworthyBonuses: Elected, Respected, Wise
The Statutory Laws of the Association are created and enacted by the two houses of the Association. The House of Commons and The House of Lords together make up the Congress of the Association, COTA, and hold assembly in the High Barony. The Congress is in session throughout the year as the need arises. A number of actions can call the COTA into session. The High Baron can call the COTA into session and make requests for them to take action on specific items. A simple majority of the Baron Generals can call the COTA into session and make requests as a group. A super majority of Barons from minor baronies can call for the COTA to come into session. The COTA can call themselves into session. The Supreme Court can call the COTA into session following the ruling of a case.
The House of Commons create laws but do not have the power to enact those laws. After creating a law, they vote for the law to be enacted by the House of Lords. A simple majority will pass the law forward to the House of Lords. The House of Lords has the power to enact laws for the Association but not to create the laws. (They can not write or rewrite the Laws.) To enact a law it must be signed by a simple majority of the representatives of the House of Lords and the High Baron. The High Baron can veto the law by refusing to sign. The House of Lords can overrule the High Baron with a super majority, 16 of the 22 representatives' signatures.
Any laws passed by the House of Commons that are not enacted by the House of Lords can be sent back with recommendations to the House of Commons for review and change and then resubmitted, by a majority vote, to the House of Lords for reconsideration. In this way the House of Lords have the ability to influence the wording and meaning of the laws though they do not write or create the laws. The House of Commons is not required to rewrite or reword the laws that they passed to meet the demands of the House of Lords, they can simply ignore the recommendations knowing the laws did not pass the House of Lords.
The Statutory Laws enacted by the COTA apply to all people and land of the Association including the Barons and High Baron. These laws cannot strip the powers of the Barons or High Barons, or the rights of the people of each Barony. The COTA and the laws they enact are limited by the Framework, the set of documents that bind the Associated Baronies together.
The House of Lords is made up of two officials from each Major Barony appointed by the Baron Generals and the High Baron. They receive 4 year terms that can be reappointed upto 5 consecutive terms.
Members of the House of Lords are appointed by the Baron, they gain the title Baronet and most own land or be granted land within the Barony. They are to be addressed as Lord or Lady followed by their proper name.
Requires: Acknowledged, Esquire, Honest, Respected, and LandedBonus: Appointed, Known, Titled
The House of Commons is made up of two officials from each barony, Major & Minor, for a total of 238 seats. One official is elected by the people of the barony, elections every 4 years with a maximum of 5 consecutive terms. The second official is appointed by the Baron of each barony and receive 4 year terms that can be reappointed upto 5 consecutive terms.
Members of the House of Commons are either elected by their Barony or appointed by the Baron, they gain the title Esquire. They are addressed by their proper name followed by Esquire.
Requires: Honest and RespectedBonus: Acknowledged, Known, Titled, & Appointed or Elected
|☥“||I, Takanka Iyotanka, wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle||”☥|
——Chief Sitting Bull, Dakota Territory
These are the enforcers of law and justice in the baronies of the Association. They are the bringers of order and death. Years of difficult and specialised training culminate in a sacred ceremony where they are first given the guns of their ancestors. These pistols are their badges of office, as well as their tools of choice.
Gunslingers aren't gun-knights; they're gun-paladins.
Kit cost: 14
Training time: At least seven years as a charge, though an extraordinary gunslinger can earn their guns in less than two
Features and bonuses:
Kit cost: 7
Apprentice Law: Associated Baronies
Errand: A young student just beginning the training to become a Gunslinger. Their training begins in a major Barony of the Association, in a Barony other than their own. This training outside of ones hometown helps create a stronger bond with the Association as a whole instead of a single Barony.
Put simply, a duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules. Duels are not inherently lethal though they are very dangerous to those individuals foolish enough to be involved and those bystanders that are near enough to be injured.
Duels are fought not so much to kill the opponent as to gain "satisfaction", that is, to restore one's honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it, and as such the tradition of dueling is generally reserved for members of Baron Households; however, it extends to those of the upper classes generally. On rare occasions, duels amongst even the poorest members of society occurs. Duels between drastically differently levels of society is culturally frowned upon.
Offense, Challenge, & Satisfaction:
Within the Association a Duel is a very specific legal action taken by two willing principal participants that can be considered social equals. Breaking any of the legal protocols required for a duel can lead to charges being brought against the principals. A duel generally finds its roots in an offense, perceived or genuine, of one individual (offended) by another (offender). The offended individual challenges the offending individual in writing. *Note the idea of delivering a challenge by assaulting the offender with a slap a cross the face with hand or glove does not meet the legal requirements of a duel in the Association. It is far more likely to lead to an immediate violent response that will not be condoned by the laws of the Association and it will leave both principal parties liable for their actions. The challenge, a legal document written in formal language, must detail the, real or imagined, grievances and a demand for satisfaction from the offender. Within the challenge the offended and offending individuals must be identified and are known as the "Principals". By issuing a challenge for a duel, the challenger acknowledges that the offending party is their social equal. The challenge must be delivered within one week of the offense, if a challenge is not or cannot be delivered within one week's time no duel can legally proceed. Usually the challenge is delivered to the offender by the offended's chosen "Second".
When a challenge is received the challenged party may chose to accept or refuse the challenge. Their are several reasons why a challenge may be refused, the first and most common is that the perceived slight or offense was false or frivolous. In this case a letter of refusal and apology may be enough to bring satisfaction in accordance with the law. In the case of a genuine offense, a refusal may be perceived as cowardice and an individual that often gives offense and refuses the challenges generated by said offense will gain a reputation of cowadice. In addition a refusal letter is a legal document and the challenger may bring the challenged to court if they are not satisfied with the apology given within the letter of refusal. Once in court a Judge will hear the case and determine the outcome of the case, including but not limited to fines and imprisonment.
When a challenge is accepted both Principals chose, if they have not done so already, a trusted representative to act as their second. Being chosen as a Second by either Principal can be an honor and can be very dangerous. The Second serve a vital role, they make all of the arrangements between the Principals and the principal parties should have no direct dealings with one another until the matter is resolved. Seconds are also required to persuade their principal to find a safer alternative to resolve the grievance. This could involve back and forth correspondence about a mutually agreeable lesser course of action, such as a formal apology for the alleged offense. After all of this, if the principal parties are determined to proceed with a duel additional arrangements must be met.
In accordance with the law the challenged party has the right to set the terms of the duel, if the challenger is unwilling or unable to meet the terms set by the challenged party than their grievance is considered frivolous and their challenge must be withdrawn by their second. The terms and conditions of the duel must be agreed upon by both principals. These terms and conditions include but are not limited to: time, location, weapon, and lethality. Often duels are set to terms such as first blood, or in the case of firearms, a single shot. Again it is the role of the second to persuade the principals to agree on terms for the duel that would limit the chance of a fatal outcome.
In addition to the terms of the duel the second must also arrange for at least one physician to attend to the principals and a "Master of Arms" to proceed over the duel. The Master of Arms ensures that the agreed upon terms are upheld and that the weapons for the duel are of equal quality. The Master of Arms can stop a duel at any time if they feel that the duel has gone beyond the terms or the principals have broken the terms of the agreement. The Master of Arms is often a Gunslinger but can also be a Justice, a General, or a Baron as long as they are agreed upon by both principals.
The location of the duel is one of the terms of the duel and it must be secured in advance of the duel. A good duel location should give no advantage to either principal. A good location should also limit the risk of injury to bystanders based on the chosen weapons. For example, an indoor location might be suitable for a duel that is limited to short swords but is unlikely a good choice for a duel with pistols.
Additional arrangements for the duel that must be seen to by the seconds includes determining who should be formally invited to act as witnesses to the duel, the dress code of the duel, and whether refreshments will be provided. Any cost of the arrangements for the duel must be provided by the principals and is also part of the agreement.
According to the law, a duel must occur within one month of the challenge. If the agreement cannot be reached for the duel to occur within one month than the duel cannot proceed, though the offended party may still seek legal action by the courts for their grievance.
At the time and place of the duel only five individuals may be within the field of honor of the duel. These individuals are the principals, their seconds, and the master of arms. At least one physician must be present to be able to provide medical assistants but at the time of the duel they must be outside of the immediate area of danger. Additional witnesses can be present according to the agreement and other bystanders may be near but every effort should be made to keep them back at a safe distance.
Each second will keep on their person throughout the duel a white flag, or other such device, that will indicate that the duel should be ended. The duel will be initiated by the Master of Arms who will first make a final request to each principal to reconsider the duel for a more peaceful alternative. If both principals are determine to proceed the Master of Arms will start the duel according to the agreement; counting paces, dropping a red handkerchief, waving a flag, et cetera.
In some cases an individual may find that they have caused grievance without intent or malice but through ignorance. Confronted with a challenge from a social equal and unable to publicly apologize without losing face. In this situation where the offense is legitimate and a public apology is undesirable, the offender accepts the challenge and offers terms that will satisfy the challenger but allow them to save face and be assured that they will be unlikely to die in the duel. In these cases the terms will include limited, non-lethal combat and for the second to "throw in the towel" within a set amount of time.