Forwell Government and Administration, How the Government Works

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The Governor:

Appointed via a public election by the people. The sole representative of the people's will. Once elected, the governor is appointed for life, or until he/she abdicates.

The Governor's office is considered the highest office in Forwell, and while the power of the Governor is supposed to be through the courts and the Town Guard, most will still obey the directions of the Governor outright simply out of fear of what will happen to them if they don't. Of course, the current governor is strange in that they have basically vanished after taking office and have not shown their face for a decade.

District Lords/Upper Council:

Appointed by the Governor, but they serve the post for life or until they retire or abdicate. They control the local administration of each region. And they also form the Upper Council. Traditionally, the Upper Council has the power to discharge members from the Governor's Cabinet. Because each Tax Collector works directly with a District Lord, the District Lord's also carry a lot of power as they can increase or decrease the ability of the town government to collect taxes. District Lords also have some control over how the Town Guard operates in their district.

Judges:

Like most entities of power in Forwell, the Town Justices are appointed by the Governor. There are usually only twelve of them, but occasionally there have been known to be more. Currently twelve is the number.

Judges server for 10 years, at which time the current Governor can either renew them, or appoint a new judge. Once a judge is appointed, they can only be removed by retirement, abdication, death, or by impeachment through a trial involving all the other judges. It is not easy to impeach a judge, and in all of Forwellian history, it has never actually occurred.

Judges are traditionally selected from among the best prosecutors and/or lawyers.

Among the dozen judges, there exists the "Judge Glave" who works for the Inquisition. The purpose of the Glave Judge is to serve as a justice in those cases where the defendant is convicted of using magic. In these cases a special prosecutor is also appointed, known as the "Glad Hammer." The Glad Hammer prosecutes all magic using offenders and the Judge Glave sentences them as necessary. Most defense lawyers defending one of these cases are usually known as "Rocks." And in the front of the Inquisitor's manual, it reads that the "Glave will see the Glad Hammer crush the Rocks of Evil on the Anvil of Justice."

Prosecutors:

Prosecutors are lawyers who have been asked to work for the Forwellian administration. They then give up their lucrative practices and start earning much less for the privilege of attempting to put away the guilty and ensure they are punished. In short, they are the attack lawyers for the Governor and the people of Forwell.

Most prosecutors come from either the starting legal ranks, or from those whom have served as defense lawyers for some time and have decided they wish to prosecute the guilty for their own altruistic reasons.

Prosecutors are often hated by the poorer elements of society, and bribed by the richer elements of society. Like judges, many of them are guilty of being corrupt.

The Inquisition:

Originally created by Governor Khol (three Governors ago), the Inquisition was intended to identify and destroy the worst of those who used magic from Forwell. However, the Inquisition became too powerful quite quickly. It was given the right to invade any home suspected of magic use or of harboring mages, or of harboring the materials used to perform magic. And it was given the right to bring in anyone necessary for special "interviews" in order to determine the whereabouts and extent of magical use in Forwell.

The Grand Inquisitor, a psychopath by the name of Shayn, took it upon himself to root out magic use at its highest level. Even the nobility of Forwell were not immune to this. And the only practicing mage that was allowed to function was the Governor's personal Stargazer. All other mages, alchemists, and enchanters were imprisoned, tortured, and eventually burned at the stake. It wasn't until the Inquisition made the mistake of torturing to death the cousin of the Governor that the Governor stepped in and began to take power away from the Inquisition.

Since that time, the Forwell Inquisition has been relatively quiet. Their budget has been cut, and they have changed their policy to the mere identification and tracking of those who use magic. The Governor has the option to license any actual enforcement work through the Town Guard. Even so, since the initial Inquisition the number of practicing mages has dropped to the point that almost no one in Forwell knew or used magic. However, recently a flood of magic using individuals has entered Forwell. Not only that but the town has been attacked by undead, and by the elemental entities of Hell. It does not take much to place the blame for such occurrences on the presence of magic use. These are, after all, magical creatures.

The Inquisition falls under the direct control of the Governor's cabinet. By nature, the Grand Inquisitor is typically a member of the Governor's cabinet, and reports directly to the Governor. The Grand High Inquisitor is appointed by the Governor, and appoints all others required in the Inquisition hierarchy. Once appointed to a cabinet position, only the Upper Council or the Governor may remove a Grand High Inquisitor.

Law Creation:
Laws are drafted and created by the Governor and his/her cabinet.

The Upper Council and the Lower Council may submit laws and/or request changes in laws to the Governor's cabinet.

Laws are submitted by the Governor to the Forwellian Court for approval or veto. A 75% majority is required by the Court to put a law into effect.

Crime and Punishment:

Law enforcement is performed by the Town Guard. The Town Guard does not sentence people, it merely places them in prison until a judge is ready to determine the guilt/innocence and punishment.

Judges determine if a trial by jury is necessary. Though in all cases, the accused is allowed to have a lawyer if they can afford it. If they can't afford a lawyer, then they'll have to defend themselves, which usually means their guilty of being poor and therefore guilty of whatever it is they are accused of. (Or so is often the case). Your chances of coming out of a trial well usually depend on getting a good lawyer (whom the judge likes) and/or paying a nice bribe to the right people.

Judges always determine the sentence for a crime. There are guidelines for this. Most are logical, and the usual sentence is hard labor, or civil service (usually cleaning up the streets). Hard labor consists of time on the chain gangs used to maintain roads outside the city, and maintain the great sandstone wall that surrounds Forwell. In some cases (such as repeated theft) a hand may be amputated. In cases of repeated rape, the offending member may be amputated. In cases of murder an execution may occur. Etc. A good judge has to be fair and logical in their sentencing, and the Admins and Mods will watch this to determine if the judge player is acting logically. If not, more guidelines will be imposed.

Budgets and Taxation:

District Administrators and Treasury Administrators communicate with each other to determine the budget for the town and the budget for the individual districts. There is some contention here.

Some districts are wealthier than others. The Middle District, the Merchant District, and the Arena District are all quite wealthy. All other districts are self-sufficient, but not wealthy. The poor district is the only district that requires more money than it generates.

The Government Administration requires the districts to pay taxes to support the building of roads, the maintenance of the city walls and sewers, and the upkeep of the militia and the city guard. Not to mention paying for the Governor's mansion, staff, cabinet, and everything else in the government administration. In order to make sure the government isn't being screwed out of money, the Governor employs tax collectors and spies. The spies spy on the tax collectors and the district lords. The tax collectors inspect the accounting records of the district lords to ensure the government is getting the correct amount of tax.

District lords caught cheating on their taxes are removed from their position (if possible). However, this all depends on how powerful the district lord is. Some district lords will have integrated themselves into the system so much that removing them will disrupt the system and end up costing the government more than it is worth. In such cases, assassination is often the best option.

Lords of the Districts
[i]Because the main setting has turned from Forwell to Cosvell these definitions are nearly null-in-void.[/i]

The Lords of the Districts run their respective districts. They have their own court and administration. For the most part they also have their estates within the district that they own. The notable exception to this is the Lord of Ivanhelm who has an estate in the Noble district as well as the Arena District. Lords are expected to extract taxes from people residing in their districts and to maintain control over their districts (as well as records on who resides there). They pass the tax revenue on to the Forwell administration through the Tax Collectors who are part of the Governor's Treasury Department. All the District Lords also form the Upper Council in the Forwell Administration. The Upper Council has the power to approve or discharge members of the Governor's cabinet. The upper council also chooses three candidates for Governor when the current governor dies or retires. Then there is a general popular election to determine which of the three candidates becomes the new governor. The Lower Council has the power to approve or disapprove of the candidates put forth by the Upper Council.

District Lords also have some control over how the city guard operates in their district. They can instruct the Captain of the Guard for their district on which crimes to focus on and which Forwellian laws should be enforced and which should be ignored. However, District Lords have no control over the Inquisition which reports only the Grand Inquisitor (and who reports to the Governor's Cabinet and the Governor only).

The term "Lord" is a title and can be either male or female. The following outlines the current Lords of the Districts:

Noble District:
Lord Elucia Kalanes (also referred to as the Lady Elucia).

Arena District (Ivanhelm):
Lord Viktor Serrif

Merchant District:
Lord Sethias Maranon

Poor District:
Lord Yelkshire (NPC)

Military District:
Open

Middle Housing District:
Lord Bertie Flagstaff (NPC)

Government District:
Open

West District:
Open (Lord Enforcer or "Crime Lord")

Temple District:
Open

Crime and Punishment Continued:

When a person is accused of a crime or suspected of a crime, the city guard is typically summoned to deal with them. The city guard typically takes all of the information they can get and provide it to scribes later who record it and keep it in the Magistrates office.

The Magistrates Office resides in the Government District and is where people are taken when they are suspected of a crime. There is a small prison there where temporary holding cells keep people for short periods of time. Each Judge takes a turn serving as a Magistrate, and therefore a different Magistrate is on duty each day. The Magistrate will hear the initial crime and determine if a trial is necessary. In many cases the Magistrate will simply judge then and there what the sentence will be. In all cases, once a Magistrate has seen a suspect, they are either released or moved to the main prison in the Military District to await trial or serve out their sentence. The cells in the Magistrates Office are only used for temporary holding.

When a suspect sees a Magistrate, they typically do so without a lawyer unless they can afford one. Forwell does not appoint a defense lawyer to a suspect unless a full trial jury is engaged. And most court appointed trial lawyers suck. The wealthy will always hire private lawyers who are good at what they do. The poor will suffer with the poorly trained defense lawyers that are appointed to them.