“I am the end all, be all.
There will be no trials – I will decide the fate of the punished, which includes, but is not limited to exile, execution or a forced stay with the police.
I can take or search what I please, to prevent secrets from hurting society.
There is no limit of punishment for anyone found speaking poorly of me.
Only those pure of blood are citizens and only they may vote on matters I pass.
Citizens are prohibited from having weapons. The police will protect you sufficiently.
Any individual convicted by me may lose citizenship and become property of The Trading Union – whose authority is second to mine. Those pure of blood can appeal to me.
Everyone will be taxed at least half their worth, I will deem what is appropriate to take in the winter season.
Determine payment for education and healthcare between yourselves – I recommend the headmaster or doctor admitting those who can provide a good or service.
Drink or sex as you please, no age limit from me. Pay for it if you like.
Do not venture outside after sunset.
Anything previously unmentioned is up to my discretion.
-Ramodeon Rayon, First King of Elodine”
Regent Aga Dez completed reading the original laws set by former King Rayon at the formation of the country. He set down the paper and addressed the crowd again.
“So we are in agreement of the following additions to Elodine’s Laws of the Land:
- All citizens can vote – there was never a contradicting law from the original document but Sarkard would like to make sure it’s clear women are included.
- Exile is no longer a valid option for punishment due to the colonies being founded
- Official marriage can be procured through a Trading Union certificate to which the TU will be expanding to provide as of the first of next year.
- Lilypad purchasing regulations, no punishment for intoxication, only for actions
- Prostitution remains unregulated – although we would like to look into protecting our sex workers in the future.
- Succession is as follows: Primogeniture, with women not excluded. Adopted and “bastard” children can inherit in the case of no natural born children.
- Council creation: A council of three individuals will be elected. They will be chosen by a vote of citizens and serve for life. They are elected to locally or remotely govern a settlement: North, Central, or South. The council will answer to the King but in matters of the King’s absence, the council can place a vote instead.
“Beyond the agreed upon above, we have the matters of citizenship, trials, punishment from said trials, and the proposed decrease of taxes to discuss in a moment.
“On the backburner we have:
- Methods to protect individuals participating in sexwork – an expansion of Amendment 5
- The education and medicine industries not being run through headmaster/doctor discretion but rather potentially being paid for by the Crown of Trading Union.
- Introduction of Shan and Shanling currencies.
- The age of consent
- Trading Union reform and the potential abolishment of “rentals” and replacing, let’s face it, slavery, with a more productive set of duties for the TU
- Illegal search and seizure abolishment, the aforementioned needing to be approved by the Crown or Council
“Is everyone in agreement with what we have marked for sure, and anything we will bring up at a further meeting? Any nays? If not we will move on to the debatable topics.”
None of the advisors spoke.
“Wonderful,” Aga Dez continued, “Now we have to decide if hybrids are to be considered citizens, what constitutes a fair trial and a subsequent fair punishment, and if we are to decrease taxes for the poor.” Here comes the tough part, though Aga Dez. “I’m opening the floor, who would like to begin?”
“I will,” stood up Sarkard DeLure, one of the favorites to become a councilman. “I vehemently disapprove with every fiber in my being of giving those dirty Unnaturals the right to belong to this great empire. Letting them vote? Would we let our pets vote next?”
“Well ideally yes, they will vote in the future,” rebuked Age Dez, “considering you consider your rental, Rella, to be a pet of the family.”
“The two are not mutually exclusive!” Sarkard said sharply.
Another advisor stood, “Why do you not promote equality within our beautiful city of Ikalga, Sarkard?”
“It is a slippery slope to have Unnaturals and our rentals voting – not all of them will even be able to read the ballots! Much like how we must keep our family lines strong, the citizenship should be kept strong, able to lead the weak when they need it,” Sarkard sat.
Aga Dez replied, “The only difference between Rella and yourself, sir, is that you were born to different parents in different walks of life. Putting aside the fact that we shouldn’t have slaves at all… if you worked for a family day in and day out, would you not want a say in how that family can treat you? How about a say in the company that owns you? I imagine you would want a vote then…”
Sarkard scoffed as Giskant Job stood, another likely soon-to-be councilman. “I agree with Sarkard.”
The regent waited for him to continue. When he didn’t, sitting down without another word, Aga Dez barely contained an eyeroll, “Okay then… anyone else have preliminary words?”
An advisor near the back stood and spoke, “I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but I believe it would be wise to skip over the toughest topic for now and let it stew in everyone’s minds for while; we can return to it later.”
“Fair enough,” Aga Dez said. “A fair trial with a jury of one’s peers, all in favor raise your hand.”
The vote was close, almost split halfway – too close to pass in a preliminary vote.
Sarkard stood again, “I am opposed to this as well. Imagine the funds the Crown would have to provide to create these juries! Where would the trials and sentencing take place?”
The advisor who had promoted equality before stood up once again but before he could begin, Aga Dez asked him to state his name.
“Maxirobe Mintum,” the man bowed slightly, “Lord Sarkard, you must not prevent the citizens of this city from having fairness because you are afraid of your pocketbook hurting. You are on this board because you are a strong man with decent ideals. Let’s use those.”
“I will concede to a fair trial with jury if we continue to utilize the Crown, Council or the Trading Union for sentencing,” Sarkard said after a brief moment of consideration.
The room fell silent.
Aga Dez replied, “I wouldn’t hate that.” The King told me that was of lowest priority among the issues up in the air. I will concede that to revisit it in a few years, he thought to himself. “All hands in favor of Sarkard’s proposal?”
It passed easily.
“Now what do you all have to say about decreasing taxes?” the Regent continued to lead the discussion.
Sarkard began to stand up-
“Let me guess you oppose!” shouted an unidentified voice from the back.
“In fact I do! Why tax us noblemen more? We are the ones who keep this economy pumping!”
Another anonymous voice spoke, “Sarkard, we have heard enough of you and Giskant’s “trickle down” policy. You don’t even spend the money you have, you cheap-”
“Woah, woah,” Aga Dez held up his hand, “Now as much as I agree with you in the back, we need to keep this civilized…”
“Oh for Rayon’s sake, Aga, please give it a rest. I don’t even know why you are leading this meeting, where is the King anyway, you plump little bastard?” Sarkard crossed his arms.
“Sarkard! We may establish a council one day and you may very well be on it, but as of now you are just one of many advisors,” Aga Dez gestured to the 30 advisors in the room, “I am the Regent in the absence of King Acetate, who is off making sure you future councilmen have a North Settlement to govern, so you will sit your ass down and listen.” He paused for dramatic effect. “Good. Now we will end this meeting right here and now. We decrease the lower class taxes by a fourth. The poor are still taxed but it isn’t enough to get you purebloods in a huff. Change it when you’re on the council. Hands for approval?”
At least two-thirds of the hands shot up.
“Wonderful, wonderful,” Aga Dez smiled, “now the last matter – citizenship. I will accept nothing less than full citizenship with complete voting rights for hybrids. You can continue calling them Unnaturals and vehemently oppose this in your own home all you like, but this society will not be one to discriminate based on whether you can change into a fucking animal during the day versus at night. Again, try and oppose it when you’ve got some power Mr. DeLure… All in favor?”
Two-thirds of the hands went up again.
“How swell. You all are dismissed.” Aga Dez spoke as he stepped off his box in front of the podium and left the building; beginning his walk to the pastry shop. Twirling his mustache with one hand and lightly patting his belly with the other, he thought, And that, Sarkard, is why the King named me Regent…