The Queen's Justice

Divinity is all-seeing, yet justice is blind.
  Though Divine Queen Asfiya is considered to be on the level of demigods as a vessel for the upper heavens themselves, she is still only one individual and cannot have her time wasted by being forced to attend to every minor concern that arises in Shiar. Like her mother before her, she instead delegates power to hand-chosen individuals - the Angels for enforcing her laws, for instance, and the Justices for judging those who fail to adhere to those laws.   The Queen's Justices preside over courtrooms throughout the entirety of Shiar, and their role is to interpret the Divine Queen's will and determine sentences for sinners nationwide that stand as extensions of said will. They are paragons of law and justice, presiding above their courtrooms with all the authority and presence of the Queen herself.   Indeed, every courtroom is constructed with some sort of mirror or scrying orb that is directly connected to the Queen's own instruments of observation; at any time, Her gaze could be watching from behind the Justices. To the people, this is both a comfort - as the Justices know not to tread out of line when She may be watching - and a threat, as the Queen's personal intervention could result in a punishment far heavier than what the Justice may have individually chosen.

Career

Qualifications

Inner Hall of the Sinner's Scales by Hanhula (via Midjourney)

Those who wish to represent the Queen's own Justice must be well-experienced in legal affairs. Typically, this requires them to have attended one of many universities in Shiar and to have apprenticed somewhere within the legal profession - whether that be court scribe, receptionist, or similar.   The career path typically does not lead directly to becoming one of the Queen's Justices, but instead leads an individual into politics and law. Strong diplomatic skills are needed, along with a clean criminal record and a pattern of reliability and success over the years.
  Many bureaucrats make the transition from handling domestic affairs (such as contract negotiation and trade routes) to handling legal situations out of a sense of duty; oftentimes, these are the same people who will serve as Justices in their home towns or other areas they have worked with in the past. The Queen seems to like selecting individuals who have proven themselves worthy in the eyes of a local population, thus ensuring that their authority - as an extension of Her own - will be respected. The citizenry, too, appreciate this; the familiar is far more comforting than the unknown.

Operations

Tools

The whips, the scales, the scrolls, the gavels... A Justice is to be feared, and not by their words alone.
— Shiari citizen
  Every one of the Queen's Justices is not simply a judge alone. They are trained well in divine magic and granted the services of the country's many arcane spellcasters, and possess a number of special artifacts for divining situations and enforcing the truth. Their courtrooms are heavily enchanted with wards against external forces being able to scry in and wards against lies, though it is impossible to build defences against those who would bend the truth or have magical defences of their own.   Additionally, the Justices are equipped with a special gavel. The exact enchantments on it vary, but the gavel is particularly used to enforce their command over a courtroom - usually forcing the audience into silence, or amplifying their own voice to be heard beyond the building's walls. These are also set up to enable quick rescue from dangerous situations, should someone try to attack a courtroom, and to provide the Justice in question with some amount of divine protection against attack.

Workplace

The Queen's Justices work at the varying courtrooms across Shiar. Though the most prestigious postings are within the four cardinal cities of Shiar (Masdarat, Tijadahn, Alharis, and Tijadahn), Justices are nevertheless equally required in the country's smaller settlements.   It is not uncommon for local Justices to have grown up in the area and trained at one of the cardinal cities; equally, the Justices presiding over the cardinal cities have usually served many years in similar roles in smaller cities before the Divine Queen will promote them.   If there are questions or concerns about a Justice's decisions and/or conduct, the investigation will always take place at the centre of Shiari justice: The Sinner's Scales in the capital of Masdarat, the only Court over which Divine Queen Asfiya will occasionally preside in person.

Dangers & Hazards

After all, who wouldn't want to take out one of the Bitch's lapdogs?
— Shiari criminal, on trial
  Though it's rare for them to succeed, there are a number of criminal groups hiding around Shiar that seek to kill, maim, or otherwise destroy the institution of the Queen's Justices - and to eventually take down the Divine Queen herself. Naturally, these groups are considered highly heretical and treasonous, but they avoid detection nonetheless - often recruiting members that have been stung by the intensity of some sentences, or that were sentenced incorrectly.   These threats usually materialise in smaller courtrooms away from the large cities, as past attacks and murders of Justices in even Masdarat have forced Justices in the cardinal cities to maintain a strict guard rotation and separate residences. Smaller towns and villages have none of these benefits and often few guards; to combat the risk, many Justices are now trained as paladins, inquisitors, clerics, and/or warpriests before being assigned to these locales.
Alternative Names
the Judges, the Queen's Bootlickers
Type
Legal
Demand
Staple role
Legality
Directly appointed by Divine Queen Asfiya of Shiar; practices only in this area
Related Locations
Used By
In these most dark of times, we rely on justice to guide us.   To deliver us from the temptation of evil, and spare us the terrible punishment that sweeps across this land...   Please, is there naught you can do? We have not sinned!
— Shiari plea to a Queen's Justice for food and guidance during Gaia's Lament prior to the Divine Queen's intervention

Comments

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3 Aug, 2022 05:55

Oh my goodness, this is beautifully written -- and though most of it is exclusively "telling" not showing -- it's perfectly in place. I was never bored, always intrigued. Loved it. One of my favorite articles of the SC for this prompt!   Well done =)

JAIME BUCKLEY
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