Law-House Building / Landmark in Nys | World Anvil


Rzwak (ʐvak)

The rzwak, where crime becomes justice.
— A common urban saying
The Law-House, or Rzwak in modern southern Nojgraszian, is a building present in Remnava and Medźina, as well as other towns in the Dark Lands.   In theory, it is the place of justice where judges sentence criminals for their crimes. In practice, it is the place where citizens get dragged to when they commit a crime out of desperation.   The Rzwake host a large dungeon underneath them where sentenced criminals are sent. People whisper about the horrible things that happen inside it. Most prisoners do not make out of it alive, and those who do remain broken in the deepest parts of their being.   The Rzwake ill reputation made people prefer selling themselves as slaves to the Salt Trading Company rather than being processed and imprisoned there.  

Purpose / Function

The law-house serves the double purpose of sentencing and imprisoning criminals. To perform these two tasks, the building is divided into two parts, one above and one below ground, the courthouse and the dungeon respectively.   There are no law enforcers of police in the Dark Lands cities. The closest thing is bounty hunters, who track and seize people to bring them back when they flee. These criminals are people with overwhelming debts, unskilled thieves or political opponents of some prominent person.   In any case, they get dragged to the courthouse immediately. Here a judge unenthusiastically listens to the defendant and the prosecutor, plus any witness present. It is paramount for whoever wants to speak to be present when the trial begins since there is only one session.   There exist no double-checking facts, no lawyers, rights, or looking for evidence. The story is told, and the defendant is found guilty, with very rare exceptions.   The criminal is now sent to the underground dungeon, the rzwak, where they must serve their jail time.   Nobody knows for sure what happens here, except that the living conditions must be poor since so few carry out their sentence until the end. Survivors have marks on their skin, broken bones, sometimes no eyes or limbs missing. People whisper about the tortures perpetrated inside the rzwak.   Some people say tortures are part of the sentence, others claim the matter is vastly exaggerated. The latter state other prisoners inflict the wounds to gain supremacy in the dungeon. Whether they are trying to convince themselves or believe what they say is hard to tell.  
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Cover image: Nys Logo by Fabrizio Fioretti


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