Monday, December 8, 2008


The law in the Empire is a mass of ancient customs, Imperial decrees, canon law, cherished privileges and arcane precedents, but most of all it is a tight web of overlapping jurisdictions. Sorting out this tangle and arguing a successful legal case is a worthy challenge for the most cunning educated minds in Europe. Where once the practice of formal law was confined to Churchmen and secular judgments were the provenance of Feudal lords, now university trained legal experts ply their profession before appointed magistrates. However, most judgments in a noble's demesne are still subject to that nobles fiat. But the overlapping levels of control in the Empire, the relevance of much church law and the recourse to disputation in the great law and theological schools provide ready grounds for appeal.

Skills: Lore, Perception, Persuasion, Statecraft, Theology

Secret Masteries:

Precedent (Persuasion (Influence) Mastery) Masterful argument and knowledge of arcane legal history (combined with a little creativity) can convince the magistrate that the Advocate's client should have all charges dropped and be released, though often with a recommendation that they quit the locality. Grants +2 PDL to attempt to sway the court to release the client. There is always a danger the local lord with exercise their privileges and intervene and the often illiterate nobles are less open to convoluted defenses and mistrust cunning words.

Appeal (Persuasion (Influence) Grand Mastery) Through no fault of the Advocate, a case may go against them. While that would be the end of the matter for a lawyer with little prestige or knowledge of the system, a skilled and famous Advocate can prevail upon any court to have the matter heard at a superior jurisdiction. That might be the Church courts, the Imperial court, the disputations in the Universities of Europe, or if necessary there is always appeal to the Pope in Rome! The process could be endless and it creates more time and opportunity to discover new evidence, influence the correct people or if the case is otherwise hopeless it can at least be dragged out in the hope that a new Emperor or Pope may pardon the defendant.

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