Mechanus: Plane of Law

The Legistlators
(a burg - Right to Rule - and a sect - the Legistlate)

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Right to Rule
(by Belarius)

CHARACTER: The Guvners are backwards! they say we're all governed by laws, but it ain't the case. In fact, laws are things created by people, not things that create people. the Modrons understand this, all their law comes form an overlord. So is it with us. We create and follow the laws, and those who can create more laws are less restricted by laws. IT's tough for a berk to understand, but you'll get it eventually. Oh, and by the way, welcome to the Swarm. You own me 2 coppers for my time. Why? Because it's the law!

RULER: The official ruler of Right To Rule is called the Lawmaker, a position currently held by Hijarr Liefinder (Planar / male tiefling / M16 / Legislate / LN). The longest office holder in Right to Rule's recorded history, Hijarr has shown incredible competence in his 85 years of reign, as well as unshakable drive. His will, which is strong even in his old age, is the one thing that keeps him in power.

BEHIND THE THRONE: Because anyone can rule this burg in time (see below), nothing is quite certain. The families of Distinction all have a shot at holding the seat of Lawmaker, but seven families are nearly tied as best bets. They are named Goaldcut, Tiebbynd, Laexicon, Ilnott, Yrontil, Klorskip, and Oarder. Their occupations (and the areas over which they hold authority) are the minting of currency, the contractual legal system, the collection of knowledge, medicine and public health, zoning in the city, entertainment, and trading, respectively. All save Laexicon (a Guvner family) are loyal to the Legislate.

DESCRIPTION: Right To Rule is considered an aberration in Mechanus, and slips into Acheron or Arcadia at least once a century, though it always comes back to Mechanus in the end. Set on a large circular cog, the city is arranged much like a nautilus shell, with five districts. The largest coils around 2/3 of the cog's perimeter, and the next four, which get progressively small, coil around the shaft at the centre of the gear. The city is very large, and is home to over 50,000 people.

The largest district is called Unity. In Unity, the zoning laws (perhaps the single most important aspect of Right To Rule, for reason that quickly become clear) are very strict. All houses must be of exactly the same size and shape, and all streets must run at regular intervals and be parallel to one another. It is quite literally impossible to tell one part of Unity from any other. The city runs all the way up to the edge of the gear, with no space wasted. People here have little identity and little will, and form the backbone of the city's working class. Unity is often called Simplicity by it's inhabitants, who value the simple, predictable nature of their lives. Because they lack any real identity and acts as one, detractors call Unity the Swarm.

Lying inside a wall which separates the other sections form Unity (and each other), is the second district, called Conformity. Here, the houses are as rigidly organises as they were in Unity, but are a bit larger. However, the district is divided into a number of section, called blocks which have streets running at different angles from other blocks. Also, there is moderate variation in buildings in different blocks. Those inhabiting each block tend to have a similar outlook, but two separate blocks can have very different ideas. those who insult the secular nature of Conformity call it Cliques, but the natives prefer calling it Community.

In the next, smaller section is Cooperation, where the basic zoning laws being to break down. There are only vaguely defined streets, and buildings vary wildly in shape and size (though most are larger than those in Conformity). Opinions are as varied as architecture, and the district is a teeming morass of constantly shifting small interest groups, made up of like-minded individuals. The most habitable of the districts, those who enjoy the lifestyle of Cooperation call it Creativity, but those who crave more (or less)power usually call it Mishmash.

The fourth district, made of the the noble houses, is called Distinction. Here, no laws really apply to each noble manor, which exists separately from all others. Each manor houses a family of very similar people, who are in fierce competition with the other noble houses for power. This is an area of intrigue and politics, with little alliance outside of one's own house. The nobles enjoy their relative freedom, and call their district Freedom as a result. Many others call is Separation, because they find the noble houses to conflicting.

Finally, the fifth and smallest district, called Individuality, holds the palace of the Lawmaker. Here, the Lawmaker and his family, who seem like near-clones of their patron in mindset, run the rest of Right to Rule. Many look up to the impartial district and call it Independence, the truest measure of freedom. Others, who prefer the feeling of community granted by other people, call it Solitude.

The dark of all this is simple: your rank in society and thus the location of your home int he city is determined entirely by your capacity to make laws. The Swarm has no real power, though the entire city relies on it's sheer population for its military and its labour. When a person becomes trusted enough by the multitudes of Simplicity, he wakes up to find himself in a block of Conformity which matches his mindset. From there, he must gain the right to represent his peers well enough to speak for them all, and thus make laws on their behalf, allowing him to pass into Cooperation. The noble houses of Distinction are all tightly allied groups of very similar law-makers who hold power over all but other noble houses and Individuality. The Lawmaker rules over all as the ultimate representative. It is possible to regress backwards in this process, as a person looses the trust of those below him. The tower must have a base to stand on, if you will.

Thus: each district, collectively, can impose general law on all districts below it. The Lawmaker makes general laws that affect all districts but his own. The noble houses are the high authorities for the various necessary functions of the burg (other, less powerful noble houses focus on military matters, law enforcement, etc. Interestingly, agriculture is never a noble house's major faculty, because a native of the burg requires no food while on that cog). The Mishmash acts ad the middle men to Cliques, and they to the Swarm. Thus, though focused more on the individual, the city is still primarily one of Law.

The major export of Right To Rule is the Legislate. A sect that dominates Right To Rule, it has not caught on elsewhere (mainly because of the Guvner monopoly on Sigil and the homebound nature of the sect), but its presence is well known. Historically, the factol of the Legislate has always been Right To Rule's Lawmaker.

Overall, Right To Rule's nature is determined by the district you are in. In Simplicity, one can get easily lost, but any major service you require isn't far away. In Conformity, life is a struggle of who is the major clique. Cooperation sports a lively, active intellectual climate, since all the residents know well that, if they let themselves become stupid, sloppy, or disrespected they risk sliding back into Cliques. Separation is almost vindictively lawful, with more emotions than any other district. Solitude has the aura of peace coming from absolute power that makes it relaxing, but the Lawmaker can never rest, as he must maintain his position vigorously or fall in station.

Interestingly, all newcomers must live in Unity. this is not a law, but a fact. No matter what precautions are taken, the person will shortly find themselves in a small building in Simplicity. You have to work for power in Right to Rule.

MILITIA: Most of Right To Rule's army is composed of Swarm minutemen. Because invaders are only really a problem when the city shifts to another plane (at which point, the military noble house often leaps to Lawmaker). These minutemen are lead by elite infantry from Conformity, supplemented by crack surgical strike teams from Cooperation, and led by generals from Distinction.

Breaking the laws of Right To Rule are dangerous, but not nearly as much as in the rest of Mechanus. Since the locals usually follow the rules anyway, there is little need for patrols of policemen. Outsiders who are caught breaking rules are given three chances. First, they are given a warning. Then, they are incurred an incredible fine (usually more than a body has) and forced to work as members of the Swarm or a slated period of time (effectively erasing all power a local had). The third offence is death or, under special circumstances, exile. Severe crimes, including murder, arson, treason, and magically charming a person to affect the laws all result in either death or exile.

SERVICES: Right To Rule has a number of services. First off, as a large city, any number of specialty services are offered to those who work to find them (Cooperation is almost always their location). Right To Rule is known for two things more than most burgs, however: The Legislate and magic.

The Legislate fills every corner of the burg, and is almost a requirement for rising in the city's districts. For each rank achieved in the sect, the sector must return to Right To Rule to register. Thus, as the greatest base of power in the Legislate, Right To Rule is often synonymous with the sect.

As for magic, the Laexicon family has risen remarkably to the rank of noble house, largely on the basis of it's magical resources. A family of magi, the House has provided and continues to provide law-based magic to the city and to interested parties. While the vast majority of Necromancy and some Enchantment magic is outlawed, most everything else is not, and Laexicon both buys and sells magic relating to law in some manner.

LOCAL NEWS: The Legislate has recently made a powerful (if surprising) ally: the Fated. Though the two are very different, both feel that the strong (though what is strength varies between the groups) get what they want and hold what they can. This has disturbed the Guvners, who regularly find themselves against the Fated by alliance (the Hardheads do NOT like the Fated). The presence of a potentially chaotic presence on Mechanus is also disturbing to them.

Perhaps the cause or perhaps the result, the Laexicon family is becoming far more active in its field than it had been in the past. With Hijarr slowly succumbing to age, the city is ripe for a power struggle, and Laexicon is as likely a winner as any other noble house. But a Guvner Lawmaker spells problems for the Legislate. After all, does that make the Guvners the leaders of the Legislate? Or, because of the different allegiance, will the position of Lawmaker fall to a noble house, and if so which one? These vexing problems, compounded by the inexperience to current population (which is mostly human and was not alive when Hiljarr became Lawmaker) in these matters, is causing paranoia to ripple through the town. While the Laexicon family still holds the will of the people, other Guvners are being persecuted as spies, and at least three were exiled in the last week. Laexicon has petitioned Tiebbynd to try to outlaw this type of behaviour, but they are resisting because of the faction/sect conflict. One thing is certain: the children of Right To Rule will live in interesting times.

The Legislate
The Ruled, Fickle Judges
SECT PHILOSOPHY: People make laws, and we are people. We make laws. Belief is power, and no law is truly fixed, even the ridiculous Great Axioms of the Guvners. If enough people believe it, the law changes.

We are law-makers. We respect the law as a general concept, if it's just, but unjust laws are simply to be thought out of existence. We control the multiverse, we conscious beings. It is the purpose of the Legislate to be the driving force in the establishment of laws that span all societies. If those laws become corrupt, they can eliminated with a thought. Thus do we offer power, for good or ill.

Yes, both. He who makes the laws can make himself immune to the laws. Why find a loophole when you can negate a law completely? The greatest power is not knowing how to get around the rules, but to get rid of them! Thus a body could do the greatest good to other beings, granting them with boons. A body could perform the vilest of evils, but the good will always cancel them out, so that's not a risk.

We already can affect laws, make laws, and interpret laws. Join us, make yourself powerful, and make us powerful. United, we will bring all law to its knees and remake it in a just frame!

Oh, yes there is a price. Your superiors know more than you, right? And they speak for more people. Thus, they are better examples of law than you are. So you have to do what they say. But not to worry! Our laws, set down by the Lawmaker himself, forbids the abuse of power in this way.

Relax. Soon you'll be sculpting the laws like clay.

PRIMARY PLANE OF INFLUENCE: Mechanus - there are the laws the most obvious (at least to the natives), the thus best studies. Not to mention the Sect's hometown is Right To Rule, planted squarely in the cogs of the Clockwork Universe.

ALLIES AND ENEMIES: The Signers see eye to eye with the Legislates, Both agree that that the universe is a realm of the mind, and that is can be shaped. The difference, of course, is that the Signers believe it all comes from a single person, while the Legislate believe it comes from the collective of humanity. The Order of Planes-Militant and the Guardians agree in reshaping the multiverse in a better image. Recently, the Fated, who share the belief that the strong make the multiverse work the way they want, have thrown their lot in with the Legislate. It is said that, as an act of goodwill, a number of Legislate record-keepers work in the Hall of Records.

Sigil's lawful triad (the Harmonium, the Mercykillers, and the Guvners) all find themselves against the Legislate. All three don't appreciate the concept that law is mutable and should be changed with time. The Mercykillers and Guvners are particularly firm on this point. The Harmonium more are worried by the Order of Planes-Militant and the Fated allying themselves with the Legislate. The Anarchists, who see law as something to be destroyed and not changed, the Free league, who hate any kind of high-ups, and the Xaositects, who don t believe in law at all, are all opposed to the Legislate. The Bleak Cabal, who opposes any kind of meaning, invented or not, is false, does not trust the Legislate either.

ELIGIBILITY: All races and classes are allowed (after alignment considerations), but a Legislate cannot be chaotic. A basic requirement is a belief in the existence of law and it's relative importance. Further, a Wisdom of 8 is considered the minimum required, to understand the implications of law.

BENEFITS: Benefits, as with the factions, range over rank. Namers get a +1 to all die rolls directly connected with the orders of a superior. Factotums can use Know Customs (ToM) once per day, able to intuit the laws of any area instantly. At factor level, a Legislate can actually alter natural laws once per day, capable of adjusting any one die roll by as much as +3 to -3. Only a single roll can be adjusted this way. Examples include (but are not limited to)in a single reaction check, a single attack, or a single proficiency check.

The factol (who has always been the Lawmaker of Right To Rule) can, once per hour, create or negate any one law for a round. This incredibly powerful will-based power requires a full-round of concentration, and can have to permanent effects. Examples include: willing that a damaged bridge is strong enough to allow a person to cross willing any person invulnerable to physical damage for that round willing into existence, for that single round, an object of any kind. The laws of the multiverse can only be changed within a mile of the factol, and he must have line or sight. This power makes the factol remarkably powerful, and no Legislate factol has ever been assassinated (not for lack of trying). In addition to the above powers, all Legislates can give orders to Legislates of lower rank, when they have the permission of those of a high rank. For this purpose, the Lawmaker's house counts as factol, granting factors permission to use sect members for various projects.

RESTRICTIONS: If given permission by a high-up, any Legislate of lower rank must follow the orders of a Legislate of higher rank. By an innate power possessed by all sect members those ordered always know if their superior has permission to. Sect membership takes precedence over other activities. Further, to rise in rank, sect members must return to Right To Rule and register, a process that takes over a month.

Related Topics

A Mechanical Mentality

Being a survey of the factions and sects that dwell and thrive between the cogs and gears.
 Copyright 1998 by Jon Winter and credited authors,
gearwork by Belarius, gear spirit by Jeremiah Golden

Consult the Mimir Again