Arn-thrass and the Arn-kler Building / Landmark in Wayfarers Universe | World Anvil
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Arn-thrass and the Arn-kler

The concept of a "Justice System" is somewhat strange in szassar culture. Their civilisation has grown up around the concept of a free, fair, egalitarian society, and as such there is very little criminality in a sense that we would recognise. However, interpersonal conflict is a phenomenon that can arise. The szassar method of addressing this is to bring aggrieved parties together in a building called an Arn-thrass (archaic: Cooling Place).   When a new szassar city or settlement is established, once food storage, production and materials storage infrastructure established, an arn-thrass is considered one of the most important structures for a build list. Arn-thrassar are constructed on the ground, which is unusual for szassar buildings, which are largely constructed in trees. The cultural tradition behind this is sourced in the concept that on the ground, all szassar are less agile. Despite the ableism of the idea, the concept was that all szassar in an arn-thrass are as equal as can be within the boundaries of that environment. There are no walls in arn-thrassar in temperate and tropical climates - furthering the concept of them being a space one comes to where one is completely vulnerable. In sub-temperate and polar climates, arn-thrass are glass-walled, so as to provide the illusion of such vulnerability.   There are three key figures that oversee the conduct of an arn-kler (archaic: cooling conversation):
  • The settlement's Kzenthar (archaic: Spear - a title for a szass whose societal role is to perform a reality check on the role in conversations, and in doing so, to point out fallacies in people's logic and push them towards a more constructive way of thinking).
  • The settlement's Jatherin (archaic: Shield - a title for a szass whose societal role is to affirm the passions of individuals and advocate for every person to achieve the best possible outcomes).
  • The settlement's Fseerk (archaic: Blade - a title for a szass whose societal role is to gather a learned perspective on issues and be a trusted and authoritative advisor on any given issue).
  The arn-thrass has three seating stumps for the officiators over the arn-kler at the edges of a circular ring. The seating of the officiants at the outside of the ring is symbolic of the expectation that they be dispassionate.   Seating stumps for the szassar at the centre of the conflict are placed in the centre of this ring. There is additional seating placed between the officiators and the mediants for other parties who have some level of interest in the conflict - the distance to the inhabitants is generally representative of the degree of interest/immediacy of the duty of care they have for one of the mediants. For example, if the conflict is between two szassar who are members of the same clan-group, then the conflict is considered to have been a failure of the clan-group to some degree, and they will sit closest to the mediants. Likewise, if the dispute is between members of the same professional or project group, delegates of that group will sit closest to the centre of the room.   Prior to an arn-kler, the three officiants will interview each participant in the arn-kler to get a sense of the issue at the heart of the dispute:
  • The Fseerk will focus on surfacing the facts of the issue, and will then speak to profession-group, clan-group and/or project-group delegates to remove as much subjectivity from their analysis.
  • The Jatherin will try to understand the needs and wants of the individuals in conflict, and seek to understand how it is that their needs and wants have become mutually exclusive. They will also seek to understand how it is that those wants and needs have been established, through understanding the attitudes and teachings of the other people and groups who have influenced the social and cultural development of the mediants.
  • The Kzenthar will focus on identifying the issues with the representations from each side. They will look for holes in logic, issues with cultural understanding, failures of process and so forth.
  The conduct of the arn-kler is as follows:
  1. During the arn-kler, the officiants will each present the cases of all sides of the dispute. Their role is expected to be unbiased and pragmatic, focused on the respective responsibilities of each role. At the close of initial presentation, the Jatherin builds a speaking order from those who nominate an interest in making a statement.
  2. The mediants are the first to be given an opportunity to respond.
  3. Other parties in the room get to present further testimony and perspective once they are done, starting from those at the centre of the room and moving back out as needed to the ring of the officiants themselves.
  4. The Jatherin will then summarise the motivating factors for all parties, the Kzenthar will point out any problematic elements of any statements made.
  5. Finally, the Fseerk will provide a final summation of all points made and provide findings that are considered factual.
  It's important to understand that the "findings" of the Fseerk are not supposed to be considered a finding in support of any given "side" of a dispute. Their findings are simply considered the final word on what it's appropriate for members of szass society within their jurisdiction to believe about the dispute concerned. If the mediation is successful and the sharing of perspectives results in a resolution of the dispute, then the arn-kler is considered to be a success and a celebratory meal is shared. If the mediation is unsuccessful, it becomes the responsibility of all concerned to act upon the findings of the Fseerk, and find a way to ensure that the disputing parties are disengaged.

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