The Laws of Stormwind include a collection of documents that outlines the rights and legal defenses of the Kingdom of Stormwind's subjects, the actions deemed criminal in the realm, and other various decrees made by the House of Wrynn. Many units of the Stormwind Army are held to enforce the king's law within their respective provinces of the realm.
Note: This is an OOC document produced as part of the Purple Monday project, borrowed for the purpose of enhancing Stormwind City's role-playing on Moon Guard US. All credit should be given to the Purple Monday group of the Earthen Ring EU server. Credit is also due to the keepers of Moon Guard wiki, who preserved the documents here. Everything presented is only a proposition.
Original Out of Character IntroductionEdit
"Some time ago, some role-players of Stormwind felt that the current order of justice was inadequate, and that its faults could be mended. Seeking to reform the magistrates system, their project quickly expanded towards the mission of providing a clearer, more interesting and more solid conception of process and law. Operation Purple Monday was born.
These documents are the result; they represent a grand proposal to the guards and government of Earthen Ring's most populous human city, and to the players that deal with them. Everything we write is to be regarded as a suggestion of dubious worth which should be examined and considered.
If you think that we've wasted our time, and that such codes and guidelines and complicated structures are not of use to anyone – or, worse, if you believe them to be harmful to RP – we can't but disagree with you. Because by giving guards and citizens common codes and structures to observe, break, or ignore, they give all of those players a common ground, on which RP can be built. And RP always needs a common ground, which is why we run into problems when you think that vampires don't exist and I think that I'm perfectly within my loreful rights to try and bite you in the neck. We'll return to this theme.
Here follow the documents that make up the Purple Paper, and cover each area we wish to address... "
Technically entitled some laws of Stormwind, this document is a partial list of the city's criminal statutes. It was left incomplete so that new laws made OOC could, if necessary, be claimed to have already existed IC. Each offence is named and given conditions that must be satisfied for its commission, but no punishments are mentioned. Most offences are 'common law', i.e. of indeterminate origins, but some are listed under specific sections (such as the Cathedral By-Laws or as products of particular acts of law (like the recently-passed Riot Act). A set of four legal defences was also included.
Despite perpetual controversy over the question of whether Guards should prosecute (or persecute) warlocks and users of the Fel, the document included a set of laws (the Witchcraft Act) that specifically outlawed their magics. The writers took the stance that such laws were entirely justified by lore, and that people who did not consent to be bound by the laws did not actually need to play with them. Furthermore, the laws were not intended (as in real life) to be unfailingly enforced, but instead to be a resource that guards could use to create RP as the situation demanded.
In Stormwind Law, Legal Defence refers to the four principal defences that can be pled by a defendant in a Stormwind criminal court. Upon a certain charge he will be allowed to respond with a request that they be taken into consideration. Each, however, carries its own standards of proof and circumstance.
Originally entitled Courts and Trials, this document lays out proposals for the structure of legal power in Stormwind - from His Majesty down through the Lord Magistrate - as well as different types of court and trial (adversarial and inquisitorial). It also outlines possible future ideas for juries, appeals and even civil trials, including a list of provisional civil offences.
Subtitled A Prisoner's Progress, this document follows an imaginary defendant from arrest to sentencing, detailing at every step of the way what legal processes they should undergo. In addition to distinguishing different types of of offence (by severity) and giving formal rules for arrest and charge (eg Habeas Corpus time of one hour), it proposed an official order for arresting, charging, and bailing - the latter being something rarely done before, and never by policy.
By introducing bail and by properly defining the nature of an arrest, a charge, and a conviction, the authors hoped to diminish the feeling among criminals that any contact with the Guard was automatically deadly, and thus give them less incentive to resist with deadly force when merely asked to give a witness statement.
Otherwise called Discipline and Punish, this was a list of proposed punishments ranging from mere warnings to various types of execution. The document's title recalls Michel Foucault's historical study of the same name, and takes up (albeit superficially) that book's thesis that quick, public and extreme violence - not secure custody - was the key mode of state punishment before the modern era. The Purple Monday authors argued that the most common in-game sentences - prison and fines - were both ineffective. The former involved criminals simply sitting around, so that they soon got bored and endeavoured to escape, even if it was necessary to power-emote. The latter relied on something intangible - imaginary money - and therefore was never a serious threat to anyone.
Based on these concerns, and on historical 'lore', it was proposed that punishments should be mini RP events which are harsh, but quickly over. Punishments of this type included public flogging, amputation, branding, and the stocks. Being public, these would invite participatory RP (as well as ambient city 'flavour'), or, being a permanent disfigurement, would allow people to integrate the punishment into their own character's story. In short the idea was A) to bring punishments more in line with known history, and B) to make them fun enough that criminals would want, OOC, to participate in them.
Since people in-game are continually claiming rights that there is no evidence they have, this document was intended to act not as an officially acknowledged or publically known IC 'bill of rights' but rather a rough guide to the way that commoners and nobles are treated by the law.
Rights were applied according to a mixture of loreful plausibility (eg, lack of free speech) and interesting RP (double jeopardy), and because there are particular rights that are often assumed by individual players, the writers took the step not only of specifying what rights all citizens had and what extra rights were possessed by nobles, but also specifying which rights did not exist.
Duels being one of the oldest methods of alternative dispute resolution, Purple Monday also included a guide to securing unofficial justice outside of the legal system. Since so many characters end up fighting each other, it was reasoned they should do so in a commonly-accepted and formal manner; furthermore, duelling is so prevalent throughout history, and has so often taken precedent over mere brawling, that it was argued to be not only plausible but immensely atmospheric and evocative of an old-fashioned fantasy world. As well as listing duelling rules and conventions, the authors described three different kind of duels - by sword, by gun and by magic - as well as compiling examples of strange or interesting duels from real-world history.