IFAQ: Treaties and Laws

My new book Exploring Eberron is available now on the DM’s Guild. You can find a FAQ about it here. I am currently working on a longer article about the Nobility of Khorvaire, but as time permits I like to answer interesting short questions from my Patreon supporters, so here’s one from Asmuz:

What’s the relationship between the Treaty of Thronehold and the laws of the Thronehold nations? Why is it called out that Darguun’s practices are against the Treaty of Thronehold, while Karrnath having the brutal Code of Kaius isn’t an issue?

The Treaty of Thronehold serves the following major purposes.

  • It ensures a state of peace between all signatories, and that no Thronehold nation will initiate an attack against any other signatory nation.
  • It includes the provision that while traveling within a Thronehold nation, any citizen of a Thronehold nation will have the same rights and protection under the law as a citizen of that nation.
  • It includes a number of lesser provisions banning the production or use of certain types of magical weapons and war rituals. It’s this section that bans the production of warforged and grants freedom to all warforged, who are to be considered citizens of the Thronehold nations whose citizens originally purchased them.
  • It defines the recognized borders and dealt with variations reparations and concessions, which, for example, confirmed Thaliost as a territory of Thrane.
  • It recognizes the rights of the Dragonmarked Houses to operate within all Thronehold nations, maintaining the established principles of the Korth Edicts. This also establishes that members of Dragonmarked Houses receive the same legal protections as Thronehold citizens. (This is why, notably, the Treaty can dictate things like “No building warforged.“)

This was a TREATY, not a CONSTITUTION. The Thronehold nations aren’t united kingdoms. They are NOT bound by the same laws—they are simply bound to treat all citizens of Thronehold nations with the same rights as their own people, and to obey the bans specifically laid out in the Treaty. A nation couldn’t, for example, make a law saying “We can sell warforged” without violating the Treaty.

Now, there’s a second thing that enters play, and that’s the Galifar Code of Justice. The Five Nations were all once united as Galifar, and remember, the Last War was fought because each wanted to reunite Galifar under their rule. Thus, it’s not surprising that they maintained the common laws, because maintaining those laws was evidence of their preservation of the ideals of Galifar. However, some of the Five Nations MODIFIED those laws. The original 3.5 ECS makes these observations…

  • Aundair. “Aundair adheres to the Galifar Code of Justice, an intricate system of laws and regulations that once helped maintain order throughout the united kingdom.”
  • Breland. “Breland makes use of the Galifar Code of Justice, and law enforcers can be found in every thorp, village, and city.”
  • Karrnath. “While the Galifar Code of Justice provides the basis for civil rights in Karrnath, the Code of Kaius that developed from it is more rigid and less forgiving. Indeed, the nation has labored under martial law since the earliest days of the Last War.”
  • Thrane. “As long as you do no obvious evil, you won’t find trouble in Thrane. However, Thrane’s laws tend to be more stringent than the Code of Galifar, and punishments more brutal.”

Sharn: City of Towers has an section that deals with law in Sharn—which, as noted above, is the Galifar Code of Justice. Here’s an important detail, with highlighting…

The mark of the outlaw is recognized in all of the Five Nations, and any nation that respects the Galifar Code of Justice looks suspiciously on exiled outlaws. As a result, outlaws usually congregate in Darguun, Droaam, the Shadow Marches, Xen’drik, the Lhazaar Principalities, and Q’barra—nations that either ignore the Galifar Code or that believe a convict can overcome a criminal past.

Sharn: City of towers, page 134

So: The Treaty of Thronehold does not require its signatory nations to make use of the Galifar Code of Justice. What I suggest here is that what it DOES require is for all citizens of Thronehold nations to be protected by local law. So as a Thrane in Darguun you are entitled to the same protection as one of the Ghaal’dar—even if that may not include all the protections you’re used to. The only nations that use the Galifar Code are the Five Nations and New Galifar in Q’barra (the mention of Q’barra in the quote above is referring to Hope). The other nations have their own systems of justice: Zilargo is far more restrictive than any of the Five Nations, while the Shadow Marches and Darguun are less structured. In the Lhazaar Principalities, princes have the right to set the laws of their domains. GENERALLY these agree on common, basic principles, but they are all unique.

So to get back to the basic question… Why are Darguun’s practices an issue when the Code of Kaius isn’t an issue? They aren’t an issue under the Treaty. Darguun isn’t REQUIRED to abide by the Galifar Code of Justice, and the proof of this is that it doesn’t. The issue is that Darguun was accepted as a Thronehold nation because of the desire for peace. Prince Oargev is very eager to have its status revoked, to have the region recognized as Cyre, and to get support to drive the Ghaal’dar from the region. Haruuc KNOWS that other nations consider their laws to be barbaric, and specifically, the practice of slavery to be an atrocity. It’s not that he HAS to change these traditions, it’s that he WANTS to change these traditions because he wants to maintain the support of the other Thronehold nations. But it’s an important point that there’s no “Army of Thronehold” that enforces these terms; the consequence of violating the Treaty is that the other nations may choose to expel you and then you’d lose the rights described above, IE, any nation could attack you and your citizens wouldn’t be protected by local laws.

Since I haven’t said this for a while, keep in mind that everything in this blog reflects how *I* do things in my campaign. I’ve quoted books that I’ve worked on, but it’s entirely possible I’ve contradicted something in Forge of War. This is how I see the Treaty, but as always, it’s up to you to decide how you use it in your game.

In Sharn: City of Towers the law seems to favour execution or monetary fines as punishment for crimes. Is this a quirk of Sharn (not a lot of prison space) or representative of the general pattern of the Galifar Code of Justice?
It’s a reflection of the Galifar Code, but it’s not quite as simple as “Fines or execution.” Pages 132-134 of Sharn: City of Towers also mentions hard labor, branding, mystical punishment, and exile. The main point is that EXTENDED INCARCERATION is very rare under the Galifar Code. You are expected to pay for your crime, with either money or labor. If you are deemed a threat you are forced to LEAVE the community (through exile) and may be forced to bear the ongoing burden of your crime through a brand. But Galifar doesn’t rely on lengthy incarceration, whether as a tool for punishment or redemption. Page 134 of S:CoT specifically states that “executions are rare.” But this is what makes Dreadhold so significant; there AREN’T a lot of major prisons designed for indefinite stays.

Was there an established system of international law/treaty making or was Thronehold something of a Peace of Westphalia sort of affair? Have nations made separate treaties with each other in addition to Thronehold or is everyone sort of waiting to see if it works?

Good questions. Consider the following points. Up until around a century ago, there was basically ONE NATION in Khorvaire (with a few minor side territories like Lhazaar). The war was being fought to restore that nation; the question was who would rule it. The Treaty of Thronehold is not a perfect solution and no one is happy with it. It’s not a carefully planned out utopian foundation for international law and relations; it’s a desperate tourniquet applied because people are terrified of the Mourning. It doesn’t settle the grievances that set the Last War in motion. It leaves in place nations like the Eldeen Reaches, Darguun, and Valenar that are STRONGLY contested by chunks of the population. The point is that people are terrified that if the war continued there could be a second Mourning. People believed that they HAD to stop the war at any cost, and the Treaty of Thronehold was the fastest solution they could find. But it’s not supposed to be perfect. There ARE elements of it that don’t make sense or that don’t go far enough. There is no body like the United Nations, no global peacekeeping force, and while they’ve established an international tribunal at Thronehold that’s very much an experiment that they are still figuring out. Looking to the signatory nations, the Eldeen Reaches and Talenta Plains are barely nations; Darguun and Valenar are contested by Cyre, though they were accepted because there is no more Cyre. But again, this isn’t a perfect system and there are many ways in which it has yet to be tested, because it’s only been in place for two years. So to me, some of these questions are questions that should come up IN A CAMPAIGN — as leaders TRY to strengthen the international community, as cases come up that test the concept of international law, and so on. This isn’t an ancient system that’s been perfected; it is very much a living thing that is still being put to the test.

An interesting aspect to consider is that when the Last War began, it was being fought by five nations that shared a common foundation of laws and that were ultimately seeking to renunite their nations, merely arguing over who would be in charge. The Treaty of Thronehold represents the death of that dream, not only accepting that Galifar will not be restored, but acknowledging nations that do NOT share the common laws or traditions of Galifar. The Five Nations were at least cousins; Valenar, Darguun, and the Eldeen Reaches all come from entirely different families with little in common. People believed they HAD to make a solution as quickly as possible, because in light of the Mourning, it was literally about preventing an apocalypse. But no one is entirely HAPPY with the Treaty of Thronehold.

Thanks to my Patreon supporters for keeping this site going, and to all of you who’ve been reading Exploring Eberron, I hope you’re enjoying it!

78 thoughts on “IFAQ: Treaties and Laws

  1. Is Dreadhold the only independent penitentiary aligned with the Treaty of Thronehold? Ghallanda has been called out as being able to house criminals and dissidents in their enclaves, and Deneith can fetch people with their Sentinel Marshals- but can the Marshals also detain or are they supposed to turn over their quarries for local incarceration?

    • The idea of putting the REALLY bad guys that can’t be trusted to places like Dreadhold or the Citadel in the Inescapable Prison of Daanvi instead that is introduced in Exploring Eberron is pretty amusing.

      Medani’s Tower of Inquisition in Wroat is also called out as a place for incarceration and interrogation in Dragonmarked, but seems more niche than Dreadhold and is in one of the actual Five Nations proper.

      • The idea of putting the REALLY bad guys that can’t be trusted to places like Dreadhold or the Citadel in the Inescapable Prison of Daanvi instead that is introduced in Exploring Eberron is pretty amusing.

        With that said The Inescapable Prison isn’t a business like Dreadhold. Mortal authorities can’t condemn someone to the Inescapable Prison, so they’d have to somehow run afoul of the highest powers.

        • Damn, so we’re talking more like someone on the scale of Emperor Cul’sir or the like? It sounds like you found a way to sneak in your 4E version of Baator as a layer of Daanvi without upsetting people…

        • I mean, I feel like it might be pretty easy to get someone to unknowingly break some law on Daanvi once you get them there. Now getting them that specific punishment, that might be tricky.

  2. I’m a little confused by the Shadow Marches and how it legally fits into Khorvaire (to a similar degree Droaam, but less so Mournland and Demon Wastes…for reasons). If I recall correctly, Breland claimed both of those land areas pre-war (Droaam and Marches). So does Breland still consider that territory as its own? Droaam is explained a little more clearly, in that it has been taken over by rebel monster forces, but the Shadow Marches are a little less clear. Especially, when you consider that the Marches have a very power Dragonmark house as the essential power structure, and they are there because it has resources aplenty. They aren’t a recognized Thronehold nation, but they are clearly marked “independently” on most maps and have a strong and potentially powerful presence holding it together. And if no one is claiming them, even a token gesture, (e.g. Breland being vocal about how it is still their land and they are dealing with renegades) doesn’t that make them de-facto independent nations? If not, what are they losing?

    • The “Shadow Marches” is the name of the REGION, not a COUNTRY. The Marches have no army, no single leader, and didn’t send a delegation to Thronehold. Once upon a time Breland claimed the Marches, but this was purely in the sense of “Breland stretches to the water!” — they never sought to secure the region, to exploit its resources, to bring the Galifar Code of Justice to its inhabitants. Modern maps are more REALISTIC and take into account the fact that the people who have lived in the region have never accepted Brelish rule and that Breland does not now nor has ever wielded influence in the region… unlike Droaam, which has seen Brelish settlers. But at the same time, the Marches have never sought to be acknowledged as a nation by the other people of Khorvaire.

      The rise of Tharashk is changing the status of the Shadow Marches. They are the most powerful force in the region — but they still don’t have the fealty of the tribes or clans. An interesting aspect is that it’s precisely because it’s NOT a nation that Tharashk effectively wields a degree of influence that flies in the face of the restrictions of the Korth Edicts. They can’t own land in the Five Nations, but who’s going to dispute their holdings in the Shadow Marches?

      • Thanks! That makes sense. This was a timely article for my campaign and that really helped fill in some gaps. Now back to ExE….so good!

      • So does this mean that people of the Shadow Marches don’t get the protection of citizens within the Thronehold nations? Are there exceptions for members or people in the employ of House Tharashk (or for that matter, any people associated with any House from outside the Thronehold Nations, such as people from Stormreach)? Are there laws that extend such protections or other protections for travelers that maybe have gone through the appropriate paperwork?

        • So does this mean that people of the Shadow Marches don’t get the protection of citizens within the Thronehold nations?
          Yes, legally that’s the case. It’s not like they are wearing big signs that say “I AM FROM THE SHADOW MARCHES” so it’s not quite the same as Droaamites, but legally, they are not citizens of a Thronehold nation and aren’t protected by its laws. I’ve clarified the last point on the treaty in the article to make clear that members of Dragonmarked houses DO receive protection as if they are citizens under the terms of the Treaty, so members of House Tharashk are protected.

          The Treaty of Thronehold has no provisions to protect random travelers that aren’t part of any house or recognized nation. There are ways to BECOME a citizen of a nation, so yeah: if you want the same protections as an Aundairian, Marcher, swear fealty to the crown of Aundair.

          • Thanks! So, the treaty doesn’t have protections for travelers, do the individual nations have any laws that given any sort of legal protections to visitors?

          • Still, I think is strange no nation legally have Shadow Marches. It would be against “Nature abhors a vacuum“ that sometimes is use in geopolitics. I really would imagine that in the Treaty of Thronehold we would have two claims. One of Breland for it, one of other nations trying give this to Eldeen Reaches (using argument of continuum lands) to weakened Breland. But none have Shadow Marches would be a lot strange.

          • But after read some others answer yours, maybe is just that no one could agree about who is the owner of Shadow Marches and is a topic for future discussions. I could see a scenario where no one agreed with Breland having a land without a real continuum (as Droaam is not exactly a safe claim) and Breland refuse it to anyone else. And as Shadow Marches is not a place so wanted, just was establish some future commission to discuss further this.

          • Certainly. The Shadow Marches were once on the map as a part of Breland, and to the degree that anyone claims the land, it’s Breland. But Breland has never ENFORCED that claim. The people of the region don’t consider themselves Brelish. Breland hasn’t established roads or schools there. If you’re in Zarash’ak, the local justiciar will not enforce the Galifar Code of Justice. And the rest of the world KNOWS that. So there may be a map somewhere that shows it as Breland, but the reason the SIVIS map shows it as the Shadow Marches is because for all practical purposes it is a separate region.

            It’s the same principle that Aundair THEORETICALLY claims the Demon Wastes, but they have absolutely no influence over it and everyone knows it, so the cartographers call it “The Demon Wastes,” not “Aundair.”

          • So theoretically, could a bunch of Cannith excoriates legally set up and operate a Creation Forge in the Marches, since they’re neither part of a Thronehold nation nor a dragonmarked house?

          • So theoretically, could a bunch of Cannith excoriates legally set up and operate a Creation Forge in the Marches, since they’re neither part of a Thronehold nation nor a dragonmarked house?

            It depends how you define “legally.” Part of the point of the Treaty of Thronehold was to ban the use of certain forms of war magic and creation of weapons of war, both to help maintain the peace and because of the fear that overuse of war magic may have caused the Mourning. So the ban on warforged wasn’t simply targeting House Cannith, it was a blanket statement that warforged could not be created or owned.

            With this in mind, there’s no LAW that could, for example, stop excoriates from making a creation forge in Droaam, because neither Droaam nor those excoriates are bound by the treaty. That doesn’t make it LEGAL, it means they are operating outside the law. It would be just like a rogue state in our world producing nuclear weapons. The other countries can’t take such a nation to COURT. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll just throw up their hands and say “Oh well, nothing we can do.” So your excoriates COULD do this, but there’s any number of forces that would likely target them. First and foremost I’d expect the TWELVE to take action — likely using Thuranni and Cannith agents — as the excoriates are threatening both the reputation of the houses AND undercutting them. Second, I’d expect the Five Nations to take action, either individually (Royal Eyes, Dark Lanterns) or even forming a Thronehold force that takes agents from multiple agencies to deal with the situation. Of course, the secondary possibility is that one of those nations would try to work WITH the excoriates. But what they WOULDN’T do is just say “Oh, it’s out of our jurisdiction, never mind.”

            So could they do it, “legally”? Sure. But that doesn’t mean it would end well for them.

  3. If I may, and taking advantage of your awesome encouragement to come up with one’s own Eberron narratives, I have a small disagreement concerning the idea that breach of the treaty would expose citizens of the responsible State to expulsion and loss of rights or protection “by local laws”. This is based on a reciprocity conception which is at odds with criteria present in our world -indeed, rights of individuals and private parties, in addition to duties related to common interests, are often beyond a reciprocity criterion. Thus, based on erga omnes and other considerations, reprisals against civilians are forbidden, and likewise individual and private rights and correlative obligations of States are hence not based, or conditioned on, the national State of the former honoring its own obligations. Instead, breaches of prohibitions of the use of force may expose the offender to individual or collective self-defense; other breaches may lead to countermeasures or retorsion measures (not honoring certain duties towards the responsible party, or unfriendly measures); arbitration requests; and the prosecution of responsible agents before the Tribunal of Thronehold.

      • Haha, sorry! My bad indeed. What I mean is that the breach of an international treaty by a state does not lead to consequences imposed on its citizens. That would be a wrongful act in itself. This is because the treaty’s provisions protect inter-state rights, and individuals’ rights are beyond reciprocal relations. This is why, for instance, killing or punishing civilians who are nationals of a responsible state is forbidden, and so is holding civilians in concentration camps or expelling them -for those reasons. A breach will, however, expose the responsible nation to others not honoring their duties towards them -or worse, attacking it in self-defense if the breach is related to major uses of force. This can leas to interesting tension and roleplaying opportunities in Eberron in light of possible reactions if PCs are in leadership positions. I would say that Eberron allows such legal and political adventure conundrums

    • Erga omnes was not officially recognized by international law until 1970. Eberron has a much more modern feel than most D&D settings but it has never (to my knowledge) been depicted as THAT modern. It’s usually implied to be on par with our industrial revolution or the era of the pulps (30’s/40s) at most, using magic instead of (or as) technology. Having said that, there’s no reason to assume it has to develop in the same way our world did. Ideas can easily show up earlier or later. All this is to simply say that it’s really up to the individual DM/GM. I love the thought and detail you put into your posts, by the way. Always insightful. I’m new to Patreon and this is the first time I’ve made a comment.

      • Actually, some wartime regulations resemble IHL and ICRC considerations per Keith himself. And they are considered to embody the concept of erga omnes even before the name came up. So I stand by my ideas -and love the discussion 🙂

        • The Tribunal of Thronehold’s existence points towards something similar -the oldest precendent, aside from Nuremberg, is the attempt to prosecute the Kaiser. Sorry all for rambling, but I absolutely love this and think Eberron is cool for allowing these discussions

        • It’s definitely an interesting point. Part of the point of IHL/ICRC points is because the initial combatants WERE ONE NATION, working from a common frame of law (the Code of Galifar) and because they all believed that the end goal was RESTORING GALIFAR. The Treaty of Thronehold represents the death of that dream, along with the need to compromise with nations that DON’T have a common framework of law. Breland and Karrnath, for their differences, are still built on a common foundation. Breland and Valenar are not, and have VERY different ideas about law — which makes the establishment of a common framework between them quite complicated.

          People are TRYING to figure this out, as shown by the Tribunal of Thronehold. But it is DEFINITELY a work in progress, IMO. Here’s what I just added to the end of the article.

          Good questions. Consider the following points. Up until around a century ago, there was basically ONE NATION in Khorvaire (with a few minor side territories like Lhazaar). The war was being fought to restore that nation; the question was who would rule it. The Treaty of Thronehold is not a perfect solution and no one is happy with it. It’s not a carefully planned out utopian foundation for international law and relations; it’s a desperate tourniquet applied because people are terrified of the Mourning. It doesn’t settle the grievances that set the Last War in motion. It leaves in place nations like the Eldeen Reaches, Darguun, and Valenar that are STRONGLY contested by chunks of the population. The point is that people are terrified that if the war continued there could be a second Mourning. People believed that they HAD to stop the war at any cost, and the Treaty of Thronehold was the fastest solution they could find. But it’s not supposed to be perfect. There ARE elements of it that don’t make sense or that don’t go far enough. There is no body like the United Nations, not global peacekeeping force, and while they’ve established an international tribunal at Thronehold that’s very much an experiment that they are still figuring out. Looking to the signatory nations, the Eldeen Reaches and Talenta Plains are barely nations; Darguun and Valenar are contested by Cyre, though they were excepted because there is no more Cyre. But again, this isn’t a perfect system and there are many ways in which it has yet to be tested, because it’s only been in place for two years. So to me, some of these questions are questions that should come up IN A CAMPAIGN — as leaders TRY to strengthen the international community. as cases come up that test the concept of international law, and so on. This isn’t an ancient system that’s been perfected; it is very much a living thing that is still being put to the test.

          I think this is a fantastic discussion and I’m very interested in all the insights people have. But from my perspective, the point is that ultimately this is NEW and it’s something that’s been forced together out of desperation and fear of the Mourning; it is not a finally tuned system that everyone is entirely happy with. Testing it and discovering problems with it should BE part of the story.

          • Eberron has so many nods to real-world history, WWI to WWII to the cold war… But I think it’s fascinating that the Treaty of Thronehold is something wholly, completely new. As far as I lnow, there has not been a continent-wide 5-way civil war. There is no parallel. Our World Wars started with multiple nations all with different foundations, and even though lines were redrawn, they still knew how to draw up a treaty for nations with those kinds of relationships.

            The nations of Khorvaire have no idea what they’re doing, because even the concept of a “nation-state” is radically new. Everyone is confused and blundering through.

          • You raise excellent points. There have been treaties throughout history in which nation states were not consolidated though -in fact, in political terms many question whether it is appropriate to call states nations, given the homogeneous aspects they suggest which fail to take into account multicultural aspects. The treaty of thronehold is sui generis indeed, so departing from our assumptions and experiences is a valid option! You are fully right. But similar experiences in our past could also make it valid to consider something similar may be considered there -even faster than here. And international relations are not only governed by treaties. De facto independent relations shape them. In fact, the rejection of sovereign claims by the other warring and seceding powers -Eldeen reaches, etc- is a way of forming custom. As to their having different non-centralized power systems, that is no obstacle: Third World Approaches (a school of thought of international law) says that Western models of governance are not the only possibilities of international law-based actors, and that states are often a product of colonialism and asymmetric relations

      • I agree, Steven: the Treaty of Thronehold is a step TOWARD erga omnes, but in my Eberron they aren’t there yet. Many of the member nations are still in some form of feudalism. Some — like the Eldeen Reaches and the Talenta Plains — barely have recognizable governments. Others, like Karrnath, are effectively still under martial law. They aren’t yet at a level to have a deeply developed concept of the international community, and they don’t have a well-established international tribunal in part because the entire system has only been in place for TWO YEARS. I think this is the direction they want to move toward, but I don’t believe they are that sophisticated. But I definitely appreciate your insight and expertise, Nicolás!

        • Oh man, I hate it when the creator proves one wrong 😉 But I’m quite stubborn, and while officially per canon I’m wrong, in my Eberron, these aspects are beyond reciprocity though. In our world they predate the United Nations itself, and the post war period may have speeded up common interests’ rationales. Thanks Keith and Steven, and every one else for the discussion. Oh, and one more thing: Dragonmarked houses have legal accountability too! 🙂 https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule140

          • I’m not trying to prove you wrong, Nicolás — I very much appreciate your insights and your vision of Eberron is a nicer place than mine! I’m just saying that in MY campaign they’re still working on reaching that point.

          • If it helps, in S:CoT at p. 126 it states:

            “Breland adheres to the Galifar Code of Justice. Currently, the protection of the law is extended to all citizens of the 12 nations recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold and all members of the dragonmarked houses. This notably excludes Droaam and the Shadow Marches, although Marchers
            or Droaamites in the employ of House Tharashk are protected. As a result, creatures from Droaam are not protected by the law unless they are working for House Tharashk. All beings are expected to abide by the laws of the city, so while there is
            technically no legal penalty for killing a Droaamite gnoll, the gnoll is held accountable if he murders a Brelish citizen.”

            So by canon, civil and human(oid) rights under the Code of Galifar attach to citizenship in a Thronehold nation, not to one’s status as a humanoid or sentient creature. If a nation ceased to be a Thronehold nation by virtue of its breach of the Treaty, that nation’s citizens would lose the protection of the Code of Galifar.

            I would also point out that the High Walls district in Sharn was, until two years ago, essentially an internment camp for foreign civilians. And that is in Breland, which is the closest thing the Five Nations has to a constitutional monarchy, and the only one with anything resembling democracy. I doubt a theocracy and three feudal monarchies did any better.

            I expect until the end of the Last War (again, only two years ago) pretty much every nation ran internment camps for civilians from enemy states, just like most of the major powers did in WW2. And probably took away their property, just like they did in those states.

            So by canon, “reprisals” against foreign nationals because of the actions of their states are not only a thing of the very recent past, but are contemplated by the language of the Treaty itself.

          • You make good points Beoric, so thanks for the discussion! That said, I think they don’t contradict my ideas. This is because the system in question described in the Sharn sourcebook is akin or similar to what existed in our inter-war period during the 20th century -curiously coincident with the Last War probably not being the last one and Thronehold possibly being more of an inter-war period. This system we had with the League of Nations, in terms of individual rights, was based on an idea of the principle of nationalities. It sought to protect minorities linked to the participant States. Human rights as an international concept would come later thanks to the works of bright Jewish and other scholars, including Lauterpacht, and others. The nationality-based system, similar to Eberron’s, was to some a factor leading to future conflict. In my Lawyers of Eberron book I have an adventure based on this: what if Aundair ends up saying that it will protect “co-nationals” from Thaliost, formally under Thrane sovereignty? European conflicts had this. But even so, in the Danzig case the Permanent Court of International Justice -which no longer exists- said that international law could directly grant rights to individuals -even if not today’s human rights, but still beyond reciprocity.
            This leads to my ongoing discussion on international law: Eberron has it! Per canon, Secrets of Stormreach talks of a Sivis expert on international law. Moreover, in our world, when the Holy Roman empire ended and we had the Peace of Westphalia (many treaties, not composed of only one, actually), many people assume that the empire ended. But no: it persisted for a couple more years, but components were granted sovereign powers. This can be seen in philosopher Leibiz’s texts. If the war was fought to restore galifar, it implies that it no longer existed. And de facto, as with the holy Roman empire, we have independent powers. In fact, Galifar unified formerly separate political bodies, and nationalist sentiments -of domination perhaps- endured.
            This is the best post and discussion in the comments ever. I did my PhD on the international protection from non-state abuses, and we have lots of non-state actors in Eberron. In fact, the Dragonmarked houses are big players -and we are discussing whether to subject corporations to human rights responsibilities in our world before the United Nations nowadays, which is a very contentious topic… but I’ll shut up now 🙂

          • As a follow-up to my previous comment: international law also flows from customs (practices with the belief of their being binding), which were certainly formed by the practices of the warring nations during the war and later relations; and general principles, based on common legal principles to them, both of which can be quasi-instantaneously formed -e.g. the space law emerging quickly with the space race during the cold war, and we have a cold war that speeds up things in Eberron. Hence, 2 years since the treaty, plus previous interactions, do not have to hinder a robust international legal system. And it is not necessarily leading to a nice world: look at our own. States may opt to disregard it while claiming upholding it; and conflicts sadly persist. Just in case: I want to make it clear that I may be wrong, of course, and that I enjoy this conversation a lot and perhaps we are all right considering different alternative visions valid in different games -the most likely scenario. One thing I don’t like about texts is that tones are sometimes misinterpreted. But this is an awesome interaction! And I second that Keith should write another post on the tribunals of the nations 🙂

          • I for one am looking forward to imagining Karrnath, Darrgun, and Valenar establishing precedent for not following all of the precepts of the Treaty of Thronehold by claiming to be persistent objectors.

          • Me too, most likely they will -but regarding future customary norms. Persistent objection does not relieve states from being bound by treaties they are parties to, nor by already establIshed custom. Only for custom during their emergent phase

          • You make a great game opportunity Rpg point: as in life, they’ll claim to
            Honor it while disregarding or coming up with weird interpretations of the treaty!

  4. In Sharn: City of Towers (and I believe Rising from the Last War) the law seems to favour execution or monetary fines as punishment for crimes. Is this a quirk of Sharn (not a lot of prison space) or representative of the general pattern of the Galifar Code of Justice?

    If the latter a case could be made for the brutal Code of Kaius being seen as fairer as it introduces middle steps (cutting off a hand) between the two. A “law-abiding” Karrn has little to fear but the laws are a significant deterrent that can’t be navigated around with gold

    • My understanding of history is that long term prison sentences for crimes being a standard punishment is actually a fairly recent concept. Historically prison was primarily to keep someone till their trial, for a relatively short stay, or for non-criminal acts (debitors prison that actually work during the day, or holding PoWs for ransom/trade). Remember that you kind of have to feed prisoners every day among other maintence requirements. We’re used to the food surplus of the industral and agricultural revolutions, but before that spending food (even low quality food) every day for years to feed someone who doesn’t work would be very wasteful concept. Pre-industrial prisons would only be practical if the prisoners were more of an indentured servant to the state (sterotypes being digging ditches, building roads, and mines, though mines are so easy to sabotage they need to be reserved for relatively light sentences) and the prison was simply to keep them between work days.

    • In Sharn: City of Towers (and I believe Rising from the Last War) the law seems to favour execution or monetary fines as punishment for crimes.
      It’s not quite as simple as “Fines or execution.” Pages 132-134 of S:CoT also mentions hard labor, branding, mystical punishment, and exile. The main point is that EXTENDED INCARCERATION is very rare under the Galifar Code. The point is that you are expected to pay for your crime, with either money or labor. If you are deemed a threat you are forced to LEAVE the community (through exile) and may be forced to bear the ongoing burden of your crime through a brand. But they don’t believe in lengthy incarceration, whether as a tool for punishment or redemption. Page 134 of S:CoT specifically states that “executions are rare.” But this is what makes Dreadhold so significant; there AREN’T a lot of major prisons designed for indefinite stays.

      • On some level I knew about the history Nanashi talks about but I suppose I approached it from the wrong end.

        Good to see Breland’s vaunted love of law isn’t as weirdly hypocritical as all that, though I intend to still have Karrns point out the ridiculousness of it all (even though it’s apparently much much better!)

        Thanks to both you and to Nanashi!

  5. Thanks Keith, amazing answer.

    I just have one last doubt about law that occur with this article. Do you see Galifar, and it more direct heirs (Aundair, Karrnath, Cyre, Thrane, Breland and New Galifar), under a system of Civil Law or Common Law? Of course, there is no pure system, but I saw in the books things that could be use to argue for one or another. If I would bet, I would say that Galifar was Common Law, but Karrnath and Thrane after Code of Kaius and Silver Flames assume government of Thrane both become mostly Civil Law, of course in their own ways.

  6. Are patents, trademarks and copyright protected by international law in Eberron? I can see Cannith, Thuranni, and Phiarlan wanting to protect them.

    • Sivis too. I suspect that this would be handled at either the level of the House appropriate to the IP in question, or by the Twelve, as opposed to a nation.

      • Yes, I suspect this is connected to the positive (for the house) aspects of the Korth Edicts. Which raises an interesting question with “named” spells. Does Bigby get a copper piece every time Cannith creates a scroll of one of those spells? It’s not just Bibgy’s Hand, it’s Bigby’s Hand™.

          • If you belive DDO (easily among the sketchiest official sources for Eberron info), the Gatekeepers are actually pretty good at opening portals to Oerth. That’s an amusing contrast to how the same game had linking Eberron and Toril needing Lloth and an overlord working together.

    • The Houses were granted “special status” monopolies in Galifar. In my Eberron, the most reliable intellectual property protection they’ve reached is trade secrets. With spells like Geas, Modify Memory, and Restoration probably available to all the houses and most governments, and various other magical tools of lower levels, the status quo seems to be very much “might makes right”. I suppose that there are all sorts of written and understood customs among the Houses that have grown for the past 1000 years to enforce reciprocal rights. Noone in their right mind is going to claim Ghallanda approval if they don’t have it, when to do so means that your deliveries don’t show up, your entertainers don’t keep engagements, transport doesn’t come to your door anymore, security forgets to lock up, etc.

      The first challenges to intellectual property status may be copyright challenges for non-House produced material. Why would Breland care about the presses that replicate the Korranberg Chronicle in Sharn?

      Do Deneith or Medani offer teams of IP investigators or lawyers?

  7. Are there any political factions within the nations that seek to exit from the treaty of thronehold like a form of Brexit. Nationalist or fascistic factions in Breland who want to stop immigrants and refugees from Cyre. Karnatthi who want the right to own Warforged again, Dhakaani who see the treaty as a surrender or Thranes who believe that say blood of vol followers should be imprisoned exiled or worse. Perhaps even a Drooamite faction who wants all non monstrous races executed. Very interested in running games that deal with intolerance, nationalism and bigotry.

    • Also interested in these questions, but I do want to note that Droaam and the Dhakaani aren’t part of or represented by the Treaty of Thronehold. So there aren’t Dhakaani that see it as surrendering, because they aren’t submitted to it in the first place. Likewise, Droaam could absolutely do that if they choose to, because they aren’t included in the treaty or what the treaty dictates.

    • Certainly. We’ve called out that Karrnath is on the verge of civil war because of the warlords who don’t support Kaius’s pursuit of peace; that Aurala has martial aspirations. The Pure Flame would like to see all nations converted to the faith. Prince Oargev wants the goblins driven out of Darguun. The Valenar are constantly antagonizing other nations. And so on, and so on.

      But the important thing to remember is WHY THE TREATY EXISTS: The Mourning. The ONLY thing maintaining the peace is the fact that people believe that if they start fighting again, their entire nation could be destroyed in a day. Until people resolve the mystery of the Mourning — and either harness its power or prove that it will not happen again — the treaty is likely to hold.

  8. What is the basis behind the treaty of Thronehold? Did the individual leaders swear a personal oath that was written down for ease of reference? Did they somehow swear “for the nation”?

    Is there some external divine party assumed to enforce it or punish an offender in addition to the loss of treaty rights/protections? Or does it just rest on the honor of the ruler/nation?

    Was there an established system of international law/treaty making or was Thronehold something of a Peace of Westphalia sort of affair? Have nations made separate treaties with each other in addition to Thronehold or is everyone sort of waiting to see if it works?

    Thanks for taking the time to keep producing interesting and thought provoking content like this!

    • There’s an old web article on WotC’s website that suggests a plot hook of stealing the treaty to fix a typo that made it so one of the nations doesn’t exist. That would suggest there is a definitive physical treaty.

    • What is the basis behind the treaty of Thronehold? Did the individual leaders swear a personal oath that was written down for ease of reference? Did they somehow swear “for the nation”?
      Yes, I think that’s the idea: they swore “for the nation.”

      Is there some external divine party assumed to enforce it or punish an offender in addition to the loss of treaty rights/protections? Or does it just rest on the honor of the ruler/nation?
      The nations involved don’t share a common religious tradition, so no, I don’t see a divine party being invoked.

      Was there an established system of international law/treaty making or was Thronehold something of a Peace of Westphalia sort of affair? Have nations made separate treaties with each other in addition to Thronehold or is everyone sort of waiting to see if it works?
      This ties to the other question about erga omnes. No, I don’t think there was a strong established system of international law. Consider that a century earlier, the entire continent WAS one kingdom (well, with Lhazaar and Zilargo added in, but with a very stable established relationship). It’s certainly the case that the Five Nations established individual treaties and arrangements during the war, but this is DEFINITELY something that they are making up as they go. The Treaty of Thronehold is VERY much an experiment, and many of its signatories are quite unstable as nations go (Eldeen and Talenta are barely nations; Valenar and Darguun are territory seized from Cyre and strongly contested by the Cyran survivors). It’s only been four years since the Mourning and two years since the Treaty, and it was signed more out of desperation than because it’s seen as a perfect solution. I’m going to add a further note about this to the end of the article.

      • Thank you so much for the detailed reply! Its so great to be able to talk with and get feedback from you.

        Regarding:
        “The nations involved don’t share a common religious tradition, so no, I don’t see a divine party being invoked.”

        So what is the guarantor, to the treaty of Thronehold and other agreements? Is there no tradition to swear by things in the five nations? Or is it just sort of a background thing, something like Dol Arrah just makes it his business to go after oathbreakers without having to be specifically invoke at the swearing so Vassals don’t worry about that sort of thing?

        (Sorry, don’t know how to bold)

        • I think the idea is that there is no guarantor, but if someone violates the treaty, they’d likely lose the protections and provisions provided to them in the treaty.

        • So what is the guarantor, to the treaty of Thronehold and other agreements? Is there no tradition to swear by things in the five nations?
          VASSALS will swear by Aureon, and the Sovereign Host was the dominant faith of the Five Nations. So if it was just an agreement between the Five Nations, they might invoke Aureon. But then you add Thrane, the Eldeen, the Talenta, the Valenar — all of who have different traditions and don’t care about Aureon (and remember, this is Eberron, so it’s not like Aureon ever physically appears to do something). The driving force of the Treaty isn’t that some divine power will strike down those who break it; it’s that if your nation is removed from the Treaty your citizens will have no protection when traveling in foreign lands and your nation is a valid target for attacks from other nations.

          An important point is that we already have an example of a nation that IS breaking the Treaty: Valenar has engaged in minor raids into other nations. They just haven’t pushed anyone to a breaking point where they’re willing to retaliate. So the practical issue isn’t divine punishment, it’s diplomatic consequences.

  9. #IME There is an organization that does deal specifically with the Treaty of Thronehold and those who break it. Heck, my whole campaign is centered around the party starting up an old forge in Droaam and breaking the Treaty. The Regents of Thronehold are paladins that uphold the Treaty and will assist nations in removing existential threats. I have a huge interest in the Treaty and how it plays out in game. I feel like it is something that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention for most of the shelf life of Eberron but over the past year a lot of great information has come out about it. I am grateful for that because it’s made it more clear how it should be addressed in game.

    With that being said, with more information about Droaam now available thanks to ExE it makes me wonder how close the Daughters are to having a new Treaty drafted or the current one amended. There is no way they stay on the outskirts for too much longer. Given how organized they have become, to not recognize them would be (in my eyes) a huge threat to all the nations on its borders.

    Is there a place in Droaam within Khorvaire? Probably. Will it happen, though? I see it as a possibility and something we are exploring heavily in my game. Darguun is kind of showing how this could be accomplished, but if they lose their ground to New Cyre and Prince Oargev how far back would that set the Daughters and Droaam? That kind of makes me wonder if those two countries would be allies with shared interests. One to be accepted among the nations, and the other to preserve that acceptance.

    Great article, really made me think. Thanks!

  10. Ok, I know that this question is mine and I already did one here, but I discover about your book “Crime & Punishment” and besides I still read little, I already have a question. I will understand if you not answer or use this in a future IFAQ, but I will send here anyway.

    So, the first part that I look was about jury. I saw you know about differences about modern and medieval jury. I use in my tables the both approaches, because sometimes the two can make a good story.

    So, my question is: How would you use jury in Eberron, more as medieval jury or modern jury? It is possible this be a area of work, maybe profissional juries are something that House Tharashk license? Or in the jobs of Inquisitive Agencies do you see this among other things?

    I could see a table of a party of profissional juries hahaahahaha.

    • Crime and Punishment did suggest a traveling justice and their entourage as the basis for a group of adventurers. Just saying.

      This is what Sharn: City of Towers (page 132) says about trial by jury.
      Under the Galifar Code of Justice, the courts of Sharn presume innocence, and allow for a trial by jury. Jury members are selected from among the citizens of the ward and serve for a week at a time, earning 1 sp/day for their services. A Brelish jury is comprised of nine people, and the majority rules; a unanimous verdict is not required.
      During the course of a trial, witnesses are called to stand upon an eye of Aureon and recount the events surrounding a crime. The barristers for both parties present their claims and appeal to the jury, which makes the final decision. The magistrate then sets a punishment in accordance with the Galifar Code of Justice.
      When a witness testifies, he is asked to remove all rings or jewelry, along with anything else that could provide magical protection against zone of truth. The magistrate is advised by a perceptor, a low-level magewright equipped with a pendant of mystic warning (see page 170); the perceptor monitors the court for any use of magic, warning the magistrate if anyone attempts to use magic to disrupt the proceedings.

      So that’s the canon description of a Brelish jury. Other nations will be very different — from the martial justice of Kaius to the DRAMATICALLY different approach to justice in, say Darguun. A full exploration of the courts and laws of each nation would need to be a major article, not an IFAQ (this topic is already longer than a standard IFAQ, but it was interesting).

      • I will recommend together with a new try of Karrnath Beyond Blood of Vol so. It would be amazing a full article about all courts and laws of each nations would be amazing, besides I don’t have sure if this will have appeal as have for me. Well, we will discover.

        Thanks, Keith! And discover about Crime & Punishment was amazing. I’m fell in love with this book.

  11. Two questions about the Treaty: (1) As I recall, Droamm/the Daughters were not even invited to the negotiations, at the insistence of Breland. True? I remember that one of your novels describes a delegation of diplomats going to Droamm to entertain a proposal from the Daughters to admit Draomm to the Treaty.
    (2) Did Oargev represent the Cyre survivors at the negotiations/ I can imagine the representatives of Darguun and Valenar sneering at the :throneless prince” and saying “If our nations were still part of Cyre, we would have died in the Mourning just like your kin!”

    • As I recall, Droamm/the Daughters were not even invited to the negotiations, at the insistence of Breland. True? I remember that one of your novels describes a delegation of diplomats going to Droamm to entertain a proposal from the Daughters to admit Draomm to the Treaty.

      That’s correct. It’s worth noting that Aundair sought to have the Eldeen Reaches excluded, Karrnath likely questioned the validity of the Mror Holds, and Cyre certainly argued against Darguun and Valenar (though see the next question for how that worked out).

      Did Oargev represent the Cyre survivors at the negotiations?
      He attempted to. However, according to Five Nations (which I didn’t write, but it’s the canon source)…
      A second injustice heaped upon the survivors of Cyre occurred during the Thronehold negotiations. Though the Day of Mourning was crucial in getting the Five Nations together to end the Last War, no Cyran representation was permitted. “Cyre no longer exists,” Queen Aurala argued. “The refugees have no voice in these proceedings,” High King Vadallia of Valenar agreed. And so Cyre did not participate in the accords that redefined the continent and ended the Last War.

  12. Separate crime and punishment topic: Dreadhold! Under the Treaty, who has the authority to send prisoners to Dreadhold? Courts of the Five Nations? Any Treaty signatory nation? The Dragonmarked houses? Others? Can they do so on their own authority, or must the Tribunal sign off on any imprisonment? I’m guessing that there is not a list of specific crimes for which one may be sent to Dreadhold, or there wouldn’t be any anonymous prisoners there (like You-Know_Who), but generally speaking, since execution is not considered cruel and unusual, what kind of crimes (or what kind of prisoners) merit imprisonment in Dreadhold? Categories that come to mind might include: Politically powerful criminals whose execution would make them martyrs to a cause. Beings capable of unleashing a death curse of tremendous power (think War of the Mark) Maybe there are even immortals, less powerful than daelkyr or major fiends, but still beings for whom imprisonment is a mor permanent solution than death. Are all sentences to Dreadhold life sentences? If not, are released prisoners perhaps geased to not reveal details of their confinement? Are there known escapes or breakouts from Dreadhold, or is this something that’s waiting for an intrepid band of PCs to accomplish for the first time?

    • There’s a Dragon article in issue 344 on Dreadhold that answers at least a few of your questions.

      Since 900 it has been privately run. “Any legitimate authority” can send someone to Dreadhold post Galifar. Lhazaarians are explicitly included. Dragonmarked houses have authority over members. It presents Valenar and Sarlona as rumored inclusions.

      The first prisoner detailed is one they feared making a maytr. One of the prisoners is the Speaker of the [b]Shadow in the[/b] Flame (who is actually stronger than Jaela when in Flamekeep!), kept alive but stoned because killing him would cause a new one to be born. Another is a lich.

      Imprisonment is set by whoever pays for keeping them there, and can last as long as the money to keep them there flows (wonder what’s been released since Cyre is no longer able to pay…). There’s also a few voluntary inmate that have been stoned till the Last War is over (Warden thinks it may be paused) or a cure for their condition is found.

      I see no mention of their record being perfect or not. The prisoners that have some particularlly special defenses obvious to them are 1: Almost all Lifers and 2: Often kept in sensory depravation, not to mention any organization that thought it could bust in would have the resources to remove a geas anyways.

    • As Nanashi has said, most of these questions are addressed in the canon Dragon article I wrote about Dreadhold. Dreadhold sentences are not life sentences. They can be for a set period of time, and they’ll also be released if CLIENTS STOP PAYING FOR THEIR INCARCERATION. Here’s a relevant quote from a previous article…

      The key thing to bear in mind is that Dreadhold isn’t directly tied to ANYONE’S legal system. Dreadhold is a for-profit operation run by a business, House Kundarak. Consider prisoner Deep Fourteen, who some believe to be the true Kaius III. He was never convicted of any crime. Almost no one in the world knows that he exists. He was sent to Dreadhold by the King of Karrnath, who is paying for his incarceration. With that said, does this mean ANYONE can send someone to Dreadhold? Probably not. I expect that Kundarak has a certain criteria they apply before they accept prisoners from you, likely defined by your legal status and your wealth. The short form is that they take prisoners sent to them by the courts of the Five Nations… but they probably also take prisoners sent to them by the Aurum or patriarchs of Dragonmarked Houses. It’s not Kundarak’s job to determine guilt or innocence; it’s their job to imprison the people they are paid to imprison, for as long as they are paid to do so. A potentially interesting point would be to have Dreadhold release a host of dangerous criminals or political dissidents (some who may have been preserved in the Stone Ward for centuries) that were imprisoned by United Galifar or Cyre, because none of the Thronehold nations want to keep paying for their imprisonment.

      And no, I don’t think former prisoners are geased to keep quiet about their imprisonment; I think Dreadhold is confident in its security, and it’s not like prisoners can perceive all the magical systems in use. Also, many of the worst prisoners — such as Melysse Miron — are petrified for the duration of their confinement, so it’s not like they have any information to share. And yes, the article notes that there ARE immortals in the deep wards, as well as examples of the other types of prisoners you suggest.

      I’m sure there are legends of escapes from Dreadhold, but they’re apocryphal and few people believe them. It’s up to player characters to make history.

      • Thanks, Keith! Can powers outside the Thronehold signatories send prisoners to Dreadhold? The Daughters? The Coin Lords of Stormreach? The Sahugin? The Inspired? The Sibling Kings? The Chamber? It seems *unlikely* that any of them would, but if there was a prisoner who had to be kep alive in utter secrecy, could they? Would Dreahold accept prisoners sent by ecclesiastical authorities? Perhaps it’s easier to ask: is there anyone with deep enough pockets whom they would NOT accept prisoners from?

        • They will evaluate each prisoner on a case by case basis, but among other things, all of those groups described are legitimate authorities within their own regions. Dreadhold is a purpose of House Kundarak. It doesn’t matter to THEM whether or not Droaam is recognized by the treaty of Thronehold; if they are questioned they can say that they recognized the authority of the Daughters to pass sentence and chose to enforce it.

          But again: Dreadhold isn’t bound by the Treaty or by the Galifar Code of Justice, but they’ll still evaluate cases and may choose to reject it. If the Daughters of Sora Kell want to imprison Rhesh Turakbar in Dreadhold, there’s no question that Kundarak would take him. If they wanted to imprison a rogue Templar who’d been captured after a bloody “crusade” in Droaam, I think Kundarak would take them; the Templar committed an act of aggression and Kundarak isn’t biased between Thrane and Droaam. However, if the Daughters snuck into Wroat and kidnapped Boranel, and wanted him imprisoned In Dreadhold just because they don’t like him, I think Kundarak would reject it.

          This raises the question of Prisoner Deep Fourteen. SOMEONE in Kundarak reviewed the case and accepted it, also choosing to authorize the methods that conceal the prisoner’s identity and limit their communication. They either decided that Kaius had the authority to order the imprisonment or simply that the payment was sufficient to assuage their doubts. But you can’t just have someone imprisoned in Dreadhold without ANYONE knowing who they are or your grounds for imprisoning them.

          The outlier on your list is the Chamber. It’s unlikely that’s they’d submit their request under the imprint of the Chamber, and if they TRULY wanted someone imprisoned with maximum security, Argonnessen can do better that Dreadhold. With that said, if a dragon showed up and said “I am a lord of Argonnessen and here are my grounds for imposing this sentence” and their gold was good, sure, they’d consider the case.

          • One more Dreadhold question (for now): You say that at least one member of House Kundarak has to know who a prisoner is in order to evaluate the case. Once the evaluation is done, are any records of identity kept? Dwarves are long-lived, but not immoral. If the dwarf who evaluated Prisoner Deep Fourteen dies, would anyone at Dreadhold know who it is? I’m guessing yes, but that the secrecy of Dreadhold records is like the secrecy of Swiss bank (or House Kundarak bank!) records: something clients depend on, so the House is exceedingly strict in doing so. (Thanks for your patience, Keith!)

          • Dwarves are long-lived, but not immoral.
            Interesting typo…

            If the dwarf who evaluated Prisoner Deep Fourteen dies, would anyone at Dreadhold know who it is?
            There’s no question that records are kept. The question is whether those records conclusively state the identity of the prisoner. I think it’s possible that a record might provide a physical description, the name of the person who holds the contract, a stated reason and the terms. It would certainly be UNUSUAL not to provide full details on the prisoner, but the whole situation IS unusual and Kaius is surely paying for discretion. Essentially, STANDARD PROTOCOL would had the identity recorded, but if Kaius convinced someone with enough power in the house, those standard protocols could easily be ignored.

            I can definitely envision the scene where the adventurers deal with the Sivis clerk to acquire the records and the clerk checks the files and says “Ah, yes. Here we are. Prisoner Deep Fourteen. Incarcerated by contract with Kaius ir’Wynaran III of Karrnath. Name… why, this is most irregular! There’s no name given, just a description!”

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