The Wager of Battle

Down in Yongardy they do things differently. They respect the law.

Every day there is a queue outside the courts to get a seat to see the latest up and coming barrister defend his case with three feet of steel. The people follow the careers of their favourite solicitors, watch all their cases, collect their portraits and sneak into the court after hours to dab the patches of blood on white handkerchiefs. All the better to be closer to their hero.

In Yongardy they love the law.


Guild law 

Guild law involves the formation, dissolution, and all other legal aspects of the administration of guilds. 
The typical guild lawyer (aka Barristers) will be sporting the latest in puffy jacket and pantaloons, accompanied by a fine blade with ornamental hilt, all of which will be the best their money can buy. This conspicuous expenditure serves to advertise the fact that they have had a long and therefore successful career, long enough to earn their money and possess a mind to spend it before their lives come to an end on the blade of another barrister. 

Guild law is the most profitable and one of the most dangerous (see common law) specialities of the lawyers of Yongardy. The various guilds and their bickering provide ample opportunity for the guild lawyer to earn his fortune.
A guild duel will usually be to first blood for most things (though still very often fatal) with death being reserved for only the most important cases.

A staple exhibition, always guaranteed good ticket sales.
Guild law in motion


Common law 

Common law focuses on behaviours that are sanctioned under criminal codes and defined as illegal, such as assault, rape, murder, theft etc.

Each common lawyer (aka solicitor) wields a thick duelling knife while holding a knotted rope that his opponent is similarly gripping. Their court cases are characterful and bloody, with the solicitors pulling and slashing and spinning. The loser is the first to let go of the rope, alive or dead.

Criminal lawyers are often characterised as being as bad as the clients they represent, going so far as to establish firms in the roughest parts of town and rubbing shoulders with those they may one day defend or send to the dock.

They take pride in the many scars they sport on their faces and arms, you often find in the markets wearing sleeveless garments to attract clients.

The court is often packed out. Though it's considered uncouth to watch such a bloodbath you will often find disguised well-to-do citizen skulking at the back.


Tort Law 

Tort law deals with intentional or unintentional wrongdoing that affects individuals. Cases involve quack chiurgeons/wisewomen/astrologers, accidental harm, shoddy workmanship, wrongful death, or workplace injury.

A tort lawyer (aka Plodds) defends his case with a thick plodd leather sjambok, leather breeches and a loose white shirt. The breeches are to protect their nethers while the shirt is to better illustrate the horrific injuries this weapon inflicts by tearing and showing off the blood.

Tort Lawyers are easily spotted due to their terribly scared and welted skin that has the appearance of thick serpents trapped and crawling beneath their skin. Tort cases are performed until surrender, however some Tort lawyers are so inured to pain that cases are settled out of court once each party is made aware of which lawyer each party has retained. A particularly senior and leathery tort lawyer is enough to settle even the most heinous case. When they do make it to court they are always popular amongst those who come to court for the blood.


Family Law

Family law focuses on legal relations between individuals in the context of the family. Lawyers in this field specialize in child welfare, adoption and divorce.

Family Lawyers look a lot like Tort lawyers, similarly bare chested and leather breeched, however they tend towards muscle and baldness. Only a very green or confident family lawyer would keep a head of hair in a free-for-all brawl. Fights are greased up and bare fisted but otherwise free-for-all and continue until one lawyer is forced from the arena. Often it’s merely a formality for the winner to drag his unconscious opponent out and declare the case closed.

Cases are bloody and long, and thus popular with the crowd who always pack out the court. Ticket sales alone ensure the lawyers make a comfortable income, even if they aren't the most often used.

Tort lawyers are known for being a close knit group who often exchange case notes with their prospective opponent. Their size belies their distinct sense of justice, and one often finds cases of blatant child mistreatment settled by one lawyer walking out of the ring before a blow is thrown. Consequentially, these cases rarely make it to court.


Kings Law 

Treason, poaching, destruction of public property, banditry and all other crimes against the state.

Two venerable royals discuss kings law
Kings lawyers (aka Royals) enter court with great swords and plate armour, leading to very long and mostly non-fatal fights. Kings court therefore rarely brings significant crowds unless a particularly popular bandit has decided to defend himself, which is not unheard of.

All the best kings lawyers are prosecutors working on permanent retainer for the state, leaving only the newest or disgraced to fight for the defence. As can be surmised, the defender rarely wins a case.

Because of the prohibitive set-up costs (plate armour and plate armour repairs are expensive) and relative comfort afforded, lawyers from other areas often "retire" to practise kings law when they are past their prime. As a result there is a preponderance of old skilled royals, some of whom are occasionally disillusioned or bored enough to stand up to the prosecution merely to cause some trouble in their dotage.


Estate Law

Estate law involves land or construction ownership, development, tenant rights, or landlord disputes. 

Estate lawyers (aka Doormen) argue with huge hammers and shields, unwieldy for practical combat outside the court room. The shields can be as large as the lawyer, so large that it is more a mobile barrier that is shuffled toward the opponent where the doormen then swing the massive mauls out from behind, hoping to shatter their peer's blockade or head. The fight continues until one of them is incapacitated or their shield is shattered.

Lawyers in this field often work on retainer for the city or wealthy landowners, used mostly as a deterrent to rowdy tenants. Because of the low cost (anyone can buy a sledgehammer and an old bit of wood) and risk involved in estate law you often find people representing themselves. Doormen are considered to be the lowest field of law by other practitioners, who consider it unskilled and dull.

Because of the rarity of death or injury and the plodding pace of a case, it doesn't have many dedicated fans, usually only drawing and significant crowds when an individual defending themselves has a large extended family.


I want to see my lawyer!

Need legal aid in a hurry? Have the authorities confiscated your baleful artefacts you just stole from the local temple of doom? Well grab a d30 and roll three times, I've got your defence all sorted out:

Roll D30 He/she's known for... And... But...

1 ...outwitting their opponents and pleasing the crowd desperate for work ... is a hopeless drunk
2 ...their great discretion quite young for a lawyer ..a complete misanthrope
3 ...being eager to please too old for this shit … a total bigot (choose specific bigotry)
4 ...their efficient combat style, tiring out their opponent ...being hard-boiled ...suffers panic attacks before appearing at court
5 ...never losing a case ...being an ascetic. All they need is a sharp blade and a client … bribes his opponents to take the fall. Is otherwise a terrible lawyer and will certainly lose when someone refuses.
6 … being obsessed with beauty. Their weapon is a work of art ...champions an experimental discourse style that hasn't caught on yet the spoiled scion of a fancy law school
7 ...owning a famous weapon ...comes from a foreign land … is very lazy
8 ...always being well dressed proud ...demented in some way
9 … being handsome, and rightly proud of it. Not a single scar! ...being very aggressive in court of practise
10 …being loyal to their client, un-bribable …entirely unambitious and content with their lot an excessive womaniser/man eater
11 .. their reputation as being forceful in court, pressing their opponent remorselessly ...very conservative court style. They might not be popular with the spectators, but they get the job done …callous. Their opponent is just a lump of meat and their cause is irrelevant if they get paid.
12 … being a well respected instructor in a famous law school … highly religious. Their career may conflict with this, but it's all they know in debt to a criminal outfit
13 … being articulate and well spoken ...a solitary law practitioner, refusing to join a firm brutal. They always inflict as much pain as possible. The fans love it.
14 ...being charitable with their earnings, and well liked because of it ...emotionally involved easily fatalistic. They didn't expect to live this long
15 ...being knowledgeable, and not only about their speciality retiring after this case …cheats at court. Razorblades in the sleeves, needles under the tongue. It's shocking they haven’t been disbarred
16 ...being worldly, has studied law abroad and brought back strange discourse ...practises multiple fields ...shockingly naive
17 ...being an old hand, well known and liked on the court circuit … has a liberal political stance really too old for this shit
18 ...their love of culture, often invited to the best tea rooms because of it ...supports a young family ...endlessly argumentative
19 … their kindness, does the least damage to their opponent possible without risking the case and always spares their lives if possible a member of a famous law school melancholic for the good old days
20 ...being passionate about their work. The crowd loves them … is terribly scared (if a plodd or solicitor, then extra-specially disfigured) ...a compulsive liar
21 good client advice ...has progressive views on human rights/race/women/men/non-fatal law … is greedy. Easily bribed
22 … their clean living (if a contradicting trait is rolled, “clean living” is just a façade) fiercely patriotic … very abrasive
23 …their huge muscles. Built like an ox and knows how to use it … very absent minded. Often has to send their secretary to get their back-up sword ...operates out of a shady neighbourhood
24 … being patient in court, waiting for their opponent to over extend themselves ...likes a drink ...has inflated opinion their own skill. Often gets them into cases out of their league and will eventually get them killed
25 … their energetic defence ...does this job because of a death in the family drug addled
26 … their high birth ...politically motivated ...has a gambling problem
27 … their witty remarks to the crowd, making them a fan favourite ...has connections ...has a morbid fascination with death
28 …a sentimental streak ...this is their first case an outright criminal off the court (racketeer, hired assassin, mercenary etc.)
29 ...always being optimistic, no matter who they are against always straight to business … is obsessive over an unrelated hobby. So much so it affects their work
30 … being a shrewd negotiator ...quiet. It's hard to tell if they're shy, nervous or just don't like you ...has a history of taking falls

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