Zeribian law code Tradition / Ritual in Salan | World Anvil
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Zeribian law code

This article describes the main Zeribian laws and punisments executed. The Zeribians are not one united entity, and all of the city states have different laws and the exact punisments are usually determined in the trial. The general lines of this article are however usually accepted by all Zeribian communities. Zeribians tend to follow their own law code even if they live in a foreign state that has different laws, which often causes conflicts with the local authorities.  

Purity law

An important part of the Zeribian legal system is the purity law The purity law is enforced by the Censors. Breaking the purity law is usually not a crime, but doing so lowers the person's social status. The higher classes are unwilling to interact with unclean people, and they can't participate in all things in the society. For example, handling uncooked red meat is though to be impure. Therefore the nobles won't do it, and buchers are considered impure, but it's not a crime to prepare meat. Sometimes, depending on the law of the city in question, the Censors also have the righ to punish people who don't follow the purity code required by their caste.    

Caste system

The Zeribian people are divided into social categories or castes. The castes are mostly profession-based, and dictate what requirements and rights the person has. The highest classes have the most rights, but are also required to follow the ritual purity law more strictly. The castes are usually heredeitary and permanent, but some movement happens especially in the lower classes.   These are the Zeribian classes from highest to the lowest:
Artsisans and traders
-traders and people who produce quality items and products
-common workers
-some servants of the nobles
Servants, slaves and impure professions
-such as butchers   The artisans do work that the nobles in principle could do, while the low classes do things that are prohibited from the nobles.  

Common punishments

  • fines
  • corporeal punisments (beating, burning, mutilation...)
  • forced labour
  • execution
  • vengeance (eye for an eye)
  • exilement
  If someone can no longer be considered a trusted member of the society, he shall be exiled, and the tip of his ear cut off, so that everyone knows this person is not to be trusted.

Imprisonment is almost never practiced. A noble can be subjected to house arrest by the House.

Punisments can also involve other people than the offender himself. For example, if a freeman pushes a pregnant mother and the baby dies, the man's child can be killed as a punisment.   A Zeribian noble usually never cuts their hair. Shaving is used as a humiliating punisment (usually by the member's own family).  

The importance of social class

  In Zeribian law every crime is treated based on the crime and the social class of both the offender and offended. Especially the method of execution varies based on the offender's social class. The nobles are usually executed painlessly and in secret, to not cause any more shame to their house, while commoners often receive public, overly painful executions to serve as an example. E.g. the ones who have offended nobles, can be killed by impalement and left on the stake to be eaten by the birds.

Commoner > Commoner/State
The offended commoner can raise a lawsuit against the offender. The crime is investigated by the state. Common punisments are fines + corporeal punisment.

  Commoner > noble
A commoner who offends a noble, is punished by the noble and his house. Common punisments include fines and beatings. The beatings can be conducted by the noble on the spot without legal proceedings. A commoner who severly offends a noble, must be killed. Capital punisments must be sentenced by the state through a trial, unless the commoner threatens the life of the noble. The lawsuit can be initiated either by the noble himself, or his house. A house can initiate a lawsuit even if the noble himself didn't feel offended (this is common in cases where a noble knowingly gets involved in an improper sexual relationship with a commoner.)
Noble > Commoner / State
A noble who commits a crime agains the state or a commoner is usually fined by the state and further punished by their own House. Common punisments by the House are corporeal punisments and house arrest.

Noble > Noble
If a noble commits a crime against another noble of another house, he shall be punished by the offended house. If the house doesn't deliver the offender to be punished, the houses can negociate for another payment method, or any member of the offending house can be subjected to vengeance. If a House keeps offending another houses, they can be banished from nobility.
Slaves are treated as property. The owner can usually punish his slaves in any manner he sees necessary. In unnecessarily cruel cases a freeman can raise a lawsuit against the owner. Treating slaves unnecessarily badly is considered shameful. If a slave commits a crime against another freeman, the owner can be deemed responsible. The punisment is usually fine and corporeal punisment to the slave.

List of crimes

  Raising a false lawsuit
Knowingly accusing someone of commiting a crime they didn't commit is a crime. Raising false accusations against a noble (especially by a commoner) is a severe crime.

Breaking ritual purity
Purposefully tainting a ritually pure person or an object, for example by lying about your purity status can be a crime.  

Marriage law

Zeribian marriage can be best understood as a business agreement between the fathers of the bride and the groom. Especially noble marriages are always arranged by the parents, and it's pretty common for the spouses to never have met before the marriage. the bride almost always moves to the husband's house. In commoner marriages the marriage usually happens withing the same town, and the individual prefrences of the young couples have more weight in the matter. A man can have multiple patners, and all partners can have concubines of lower class.
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When married, the woman belongs to his husbands family in most everyday matters. If the woman is mistreated, his fathers family can how ever bring the matter to the court.

A divorce is treated like a broken business contract. A divorce can usually only be iniated by the heads of the family. If a man is the head of his own family, he can initiate his own divorce. Usually the partner initiating the divorce has to pay a significant sum to the violated partner, or provide another comparable marriage as a compensation. Divorce can also be taken without the need to compensate if the marriage contract has been violated.

Men can have multiple partners, and it's common in the upper classes. The partners can be either women or šyrzir. He has to initiate the marriages fairly. The new wife has to be presented to the earlier wife and her family, and the wife can leave the marriage if she doesn't accept the new marriage. The second marriage can also not lead to the mistreatment of the first wife, who always has special rights. All paters can keep concubines from lower casts, that don't threaten the legal marriage.

In divorce the children belong to the father's family. When a new child is born, the father of the family decides if he wants to keep the child or abandon it. The father can deside to abandon babies, that he suspects are not his. The abandoned babies are sometimes adopted by the wifes relatives. A man can decide to keep any illegitimate children (born from concubines) if he so chooses. The woman might be able to keep them if the husband allowes it. For both genders keeping illegitimate children is shameful, and the children don't have the same rights as true children. An illegitimate child can get full rights if the father's family approves it, but it cannot be done to nullify the status of a current first born son.
Related Ethnicities
by pixabay
Ximret the Impaled, a commoner who was sentenced to death by impalement after trying to seduce a nobleman. He was later deified, and is worshipped as a saint.


Not much is known about the history of Zeribian laws because they have never been written down. It can however be assumed, that the law system has worked in a similar manner as the tribal law systems of Natives of the Eastern Islands. They usually have one tribe leader who handles all matters of law. Punishments are usually payment in goods, corporeal punisment, or exiling.


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