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Alt: Letter Home

Post by Mhuirnin on Fri May 09, 2008 12:17 am

Chieftaness Perih Vashai,

May the winds that carry my words to you be pleasant. Shikaree S, a Huntress who heeds the call of the land, greets you.

I have taken up residence in Bastok, as you have asked. They have accepted me into the Mythril Musketeers and assigned me to watch and learn their ways. I have learned very much in my time here, but nothing of value.

Their system of laws has two parts, the Constitution and the lesser laws. Both are documents written by elders, but both may be changed if there is agreement in their "senit." I will talk more of their senit later. The Constitution is a "short" document. I say "short" because the Bastokans seem to have no idea what short means. It is by far the shorter writing, but it would be hard to read it all at once. Their other laws, which I do not know if they have a proper name for, seems to fill entire shelves of print. One thing I have noticed of Bastok is that they seem to have a strange reverence for words put to paper. They keep enough of it around to easily crush a Galka. They are almost like Tarutaru this way.

The Constitution is the great law upon which all the lesser "interpret". The lesser laws interpret themselves enough to fill many pages of other books. To interpret a law seems to mean to write out all possible ways to enforce it, but it does not stop there. Interpretation also seems to mean whether or not a law should be enforced. For an example Bastok has laws about how and with who you may mate, but think they are too embarrassing to enforce. I assume they also fill the books of law with whether or not the books of law should be listened to, but I have not gotten that far yet. I am still reading the very thick Mythril Musketeer manual.

Like there are greater and smaller laws, there are greater and smaller crimes. Smaller crimes seem to be opinion and not law. A Musketeer explained to me that to enforce law upon a lesser crime is up to the Musketeer. They may not enforce it if they do not think it was enough of a crime or was not done in a cri in a way deserving punishment. Also whether or not a Musketeer enforces law depends on if they are 'on duty' or 'off duty'. They have too many Musketeers here, more than they need. They put them on and off duty to
I forget the explanation the Musketeer gave. She seemed to think it was a good thing. If a Musketeer is off duty, they will not enforce minor laws, but if they see a greater law being broken, they will return to duty to enforce it. Law enforcement seems to change by the time of day here.

They also have something called a 'statchut of limitations' which allows criminals to go free if they evade capture long enough. They say it is to protect innocence because they claim they cannot prove guilt until the one fleeing is caught. I do not understand their thinking and could not get an answer about why they could not prove the criminal's guilt first to avoid the statchut. It seemed to upset the Musketeer I talked to about it, but she said it would be difficult to change because of the senit.

I will talk of the senit now. They are a group of elders who sit in a small room and take turns to argue over things that have already been decided by the president. They do not meet often and each meeting ends when they run out of time on a limit they have assigned to themselves. Everyone talks as if they have power to decide things, but I have seen them do nothing but disagree and make meaningless resolutions. They fear outsiders but allow their greed to outweigh their fear if they think Bastok will benefit. I understand why the Musketeers think it would be difficult to make them change laws.

I must pay a fine now that I have received for 'littering', the casting aside of unwanted things. Do not worry, it is a minor law and the Musketeer who fined me does not think it should have been enforced. If that sentence confuses you, then you are beginning to understand Bastokan law as I am.

Shikaree S
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Mhuirnin

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