Dancing 'Twixt Dusk & Dawn
Law and Order
Doskvol’s law and order is presided over by six institutions:
- The Lord Governor oversees Imperial interests in Doskvol, enforces edicts from the Immortal Emperor, commands the Imperial Military garrison and war ships in the city, and breaks ties when needed on City Council measures. The Lord Governor is appointed by the Emperor.
- The City Council consists of six members of the nobility who draft and approve legislation, city ordinances, and public works; determine the disbursement of the city treasury; and issue taxation orders. Council seats are traditional, appointed by vote of the sitting council when a member dies or retires.
- The Ministry of Preservation manages the provisions for the Imperium, ensuring that food and supplies are transported where they’re needed across the electro-rail lines and within the cities. They also oversee the Sparkwrights who design and maintain the lightning barriers. They are appointed by the Emperor.
- The Magistrates issue warrants, prosecute trials, assess evidence, and pronounce judgments (there are no juries). Magistrates are appointed by the City Council.
- The City Watch (aka “Bluecoats”) patrol the streets, “encourage compliance with the law”, capture offenders, and operate Ironhook Prison. Watch-guards are hired by the Commander of the Watch, who is appointed by the City Council.
- The Inspectors (aka “Constables”) investigate crimes and present evidence for warrants and trials. Inspectors are appointed by the Lord Governor of the city. Inspectors are often foreigners, with no close ties within Doskvol.
Under this system, a citizen can expect to receive justice commensurate with their social status and wealth. The Inspectors are famously incorruptible and hold themselves apart from Doskvol’s sprawling network of bribery, but the other institutions are bought and paid for by the powers-that-be and rarely (if ever) bite the hand that feeds them. If you’re captured by the Bluecoats or brought before a magistrate, it’s the depth of your pockets and the breadth of your political connections that will almost always decide the case, not the application of jurisprudence.
The Bluecoats are under general orders to enforce the law, but in practical terms, they serve the needs of the richest and most influential groups and harass the poorest and least powerful—essentially operating as another street gang extorting the underclasses.
It’s often said that everyone is guilty in Doskvol, so make sure you get rich before you get caught.