The Custom

No formal law exists above the kingdoms of Solevon. However, the continent itself has a shared history and a collection of informal taboos and mores that are sometimes collectively referred to as the Custom. This includes “laws” covering the inheritance of property, diplomatic marriage, the tradition of leaving diplomatic envoys and clergy unharmed in war, as well as more amorphous provisions. The Custom generally forbids the practice of slavery, though it allows convicts to be impressed into servitude for life in salt mines and warships and binds peasants to the land they work.

The privilege of nobles over the common-born is perhaps the oldest aspect of the Custom; only nobles may directly petition their superiors, and a peasant’s fate is entirely the prerogative and responsibility of their lord. The right of a lord to collect land rent is part of the Custom, as is the limit on how much it might be (ten percent of every harvest, in produce or in coin).

The Custom is not enforced in general by any body or organization, though individual aspects of it are frequently adopted as mandates by free orders, and even the mighty and powerful will find others united in opposition to them should they be in violation of Custom. In the aftermath of the Crofters’ War, it was the Custom cited as an authority declaring the Decree of Free Access void, along with the practice of flat rents imposed by many of the Coiner Princes.

The Custom

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