On Guards and Guard Duty,
With regards to all villages and environs in Temuair.
A description of the contents of this written work.
In this treatise, the Writer shall attempt to encapsulate the theory, ideology, and practice of being a Guard in Temuair, in such a manner as befits and aids all Guards in all areas within the Realm. This document is not meant to serve as a replacement or as a higher authority for existing Temuairian law, and it will not hold as evidence that favours, or as justification that excuses, any crime.
Reporting for Duty.
A summation of a Guards initial duties once he or she enters office.
Once an aisling takes the oath of office and receives his or her uniform, all will know that aisling as a Guard in office empowered with Guard- related duties and responsibilities. His or her name will be spoken by various Mundanes throughout Temuair should anyone ask for a list of Guards in office at that moment, and his or her name may also be posted on various Boards and Slates around the realm.
However, it behooves the new Guard to declare that he or she is ready to serve, and indeed it is a requirement by law (in Mileth) for each new Guard to report for duty. Therefore, the first action a new Guard should take is to report to the Justice Hall in Mileth or Rucesion, depending upon his or her citizenship, and to post a letter of introduction to the correct Justice Board.
The new Guard should state his or her name and qualifications, and if desired, a brief statement politely declaring his or her intentions while in office. It is also beneficial for other Guards and officials to know when a new Guard believes he or she is most likely to be available within the realm. Therefore, a new Guard should respectfully relay his or her schedule, if at all possible, out of a desire to be helpful to his or her comrades at arms within the justice system.
The new Guard should then turn to the Law Board or Slate proclaiming the laws that pertain to his or her area of jurisdiction. He or she should take detailed notes on the definition, procedures, and punishments outlined for each law, and he or she should immediately contact a Guard Captain with any questions. If the Guard Captain is not available, the new Guard may politely and respectfully approach a Demagogue or Burgess to ask his or her questions, because a new Guard should not go on duty or patrol without possessing a thorough understanding of the law he or she will enforce.
The Guard Uniform.
A discussion related to the identifying effects of a Guard, namely, the uniform.
When a Guard assumes office, whether it is for the first or fourth time, he or she receives a brand new green bliaut. These clothes are not noble garments, per se, as are bestowed upon other notable figures within the realm, nor are they merely a second change of clothing. The green bliaut is the Guard uniform and should be treated with great caution, care, and respect.
If an aisling is on duty or using his or her powers as a Guard, he or she should be in uniform. It is not permissible for an aisling to wear his or her uniform while hunting or while pursuing quests, it is not permissible for a Guard to loan out his or her uniform to another aisling who is not also a Guard. It is permitted, if not encouraged, for Guards to wear their uniforms at pledgings, weddings, and other formal occasions to honour the guests and attendants. However, it is not necessary, or even recommended, for a Guard to brandish any sort of weapon while exercising their powers of office. A Guard need not threaten or chasten another aisling with a sword, dagger, staff, secret, or any other type of weapon; he or she possesses all the power of the law which is ultimately superior to any type of object of force.
Additionally, it is expressly forbidden for a current or former Guard to sell his or her uniform to anyone, even another Guard who wishes to have a spare uniform in case of emergency. Similarly, a Guard may only give his or her uniform away to another Guard who is in office at that time. It is not acceptable to loan a Guard uniform to anyone who is not a Guard in office at that time, not for any reason or purpose. If a former Guard does not with to keep his or her bliaut and no Guard who is in office at that time wishes to have it, the Writer recommends he or she sacrifice it at the altar of the Gods in Temuair. (This is because the mundanes in Temuairian banks seem reluctant to take uniforms in their safekeeping.)
A rumination on the conduct and behaviour of the Guard while in office, both on and off duty.
It is a fact, and a reflection of the times in which we live, that a Guard is effectively on duty at any time he or she is within the realm of Temuair. Whether or not a Guard is in uniform, whether or not a Guard is within the jurisdiction of his or her citizenship, whether or not a Guard is carrying out the responsibilities of officehe or she is seen and known to be a Guard. For this reason, it best behooves a Guard to be mindful of his or her words and actions at all times. If this burden of example proves too restrictive or too onerous for an aisling to bear, then sadly he or she is not a good fit for the office of Guard.
A Guard (like any other elected official) should ideally present himself or herself to the realm as the best of what aislinghood purports to be. A Guard should always be polite, honest, and calm in tone and manner. A Guard should always treat other aislings, mundanes, and immigrants with courtesy. The motivation behind this way of thinking and acting should not be born of a desire to remain in office and to secure votes, but instead it should be a constant awareness of a Guards abilities to enforce the law.
Whatever a Guard does or says is precisely reflective of what that Guard will find acceptable in others. Therefore the Guard who swears, or mocks mundanes and new emigrants, or who gives preferential or indulgent treatment to a friend or family member, or treats other aislings rudely and unfairly, is emulating the type of behaviour others will expect he or she to tolerate. It is inconsistent with the spirit of Temuairian law, and with the very essence of being an aisling, to have one expectation for ones self and a second, entirely different expectation for others. It is also, largely, viewed as hypocritical by other aislings all around, so the Guard who is not mindful of his or her own conduct will earn a bad reputation and usually not remain long in office.
It is additionally most important for a Guard to mind his or her behaviour when on duty. It is also a reflection of the age in which we live that certain new immigrants (and even certain long-time residents) find deep satisfaction in harassing political officials. It is even an expectation of duty to assume that criminals and heretics will abuse and mistreat a Guard who punishes them, not to mention that criminals or heretics family, friends, and associates. But again, it is not correct or even acceptable for a Guard to descend to the same level and type of behaviour as criminals and heretics exhibit.
It is not acceptable for a Guard to scream, swear, or verbally abuse another aisling, not even if he or she is breaking the law. It is not acceptable for a Guard to strike another aisling, even if that aisling is striking a Guard. It is entirely possible, and greatly admirable, for a Guard to dispatch his or her duty in office with steady, grim, and determined patience, and it is well within a Guards duty to punish someone who threatens or harasses them or any other Guard according to the definition of the law. That is, a Guard need not respond in kind to criminal behaviour, but a Guard need not let such behaviour go unpunished if necessary, either.
Responsibilities to Other Officials.
A discussion of a Guards responsibilities to other Guards, to Demagogues, to Burgesses, and to Judges, from any and all parts of Temuair.
The primary rule that a Guard must uphold with regards to his or her comrades in politics is a simple one: a Guard must never make another officials job more difficult.
What does this mean? Citizenship, religion, personal involvement, and other forms of prejudice should never determine how, or if, a Guard comes to the assistance of another elected official. A Guard should always remember that in times of need or crisis, he or she may only have another elected official to turn to for assistance or support. Again, awareness of clout or widdling or removal should not be uppermost in a Guards mind when thinking of other officials, but instead, a Guard should seek to improve and preserve a true spirit of teamwork and cooperation.
It is imperative for a Guard to let another Guard handle his or her own criminal matters unless that other Guard is breaking or ignoring the law, or unless the other Guard asks for assistance. It is imperative for a Guard to respond politely and promptly to a request by any Demagogue, Burgess or Judge when the request involves a matter of law or justice. It is imperative for a Guard to uphold, and not to contradict or reverse, the verdict or punishment of another official (in Mileth, specifically, this action is expressly illegal). Even if a Guard is acting in concert with other officials to widdle or remove a corrupt official from office, it is imperative that a Guard exercise this sad duty with calmness and with sobriety. A Guard must always remember his or her place within the greater scheme of law and order within Temuair, and never assume or presume he or she is above it.
Responsibilities in the Courtroom.
A postulation on the responsibilities of the Guard within a Temuairian courtroom.
Should the need for instituting a trial system ever arise in Temuair, it will be essential for a Guard to place himself or herself at the complete disposal of other officials conducting the trial. It may be necessary for a Guard to act as a bailiff to gather all parties involved in the dispute, or to act as an escort to a criminal or witness, or to play the part of law enforcement within the courtroom itself. In any or all of these cases, or in any other situation where a Guard is required, the Guards of the realm should answer the call for assistance readily and willingly.
(More Lore pertaining to trials will be provided on a future day when Judges come into office and should trials become a necessity.)
Investigating Alleged Crimes.
A description of the proper and appropriate methods involved in a Guards investigation of an alleged crime.
The primary rule that a Guard must uphold with regards to investigating alleged crimes is also simple: a Guard must follow proper procedure and never inflame the situation at hand.
It is always in a Guards best interests to enter a situation with a cool head and a calm tone. If a Guard has been called in to investigate a situation, it is always fair to assume that tempers have flared and arguments have gone on, and that the aislings or immigrants involved might be genuinely enraged. A Guard must always remember that his or her first task is to determine the facts of a situation. The Guard should gather some or all of the following (depending upon the procedures recommended under each different law): statements from each party involved, memories ((screen shots)), and/or witness testimony. The Guard should politely but firmly discourage anyone involved in the case from making the situation worse, as some less discerning individuals may use the presence of a Guard to sling insults or new accusations. Finally, when the Guard is satisfied that he or she has the necessary understanding of the situation at hand, he or she can determine what, if any, punishment is appropriate.
It is never acceptable for a Guard to be confrontational or belligerent when investigating a crime. It does not matter if the aislings or immigrants involved treat Guards with contempt, the mere presence of a Guard at the scene of an alleged crime conveys the full measure of a Guards authority. Therefore, the Guard should remember that he or she is capable of handling any situation he or she might come across, no matter how chaotic events may get or how disrespectful others might become. If a Guard can bear these things in mind at all times, then he or she would never feel the need to treat others as they themselves might be treated.
Administering the Law.
A description of the proper and appropriate methods involved in a Guards administration of punishment for a crime.
With a few notable exceptions that may be noted by reading the Mileth and Rucesion law boards, the approved and required procedure for Guards handling an alleged crime is first to warn and then to banish. The number of warnings a Guard must give varies from law to law, but as a general rule of thumb no Guard can go wrong by giving three warnings.
The purpose of warning an alleged criminal is threefold: first, it gives the alleged criminal fair warning and alerts them to a Guards presence; second, it enables a Guard to determine if the aisling or immigrant is knowingly breaking the law, and third, it informs the Guard as to the aislings or immigrants state of mind. In situations of sexual abuse or harassment (in Mileth) a warning is not necessary if memories ((screen shots)) and/or witnesses are present so that the Guard can clearly determine a crime has taken place. But in all cases, a warning serves a clearly beneficial purpose: it is part of the established procedure that protects a Guard from accusations of improper investigation and arrest, and it gives the alleged criminal clear, fair warning to cease what they are doing.
It is entirely possible that someone may be breaking a law in complete ignorance of what they are doing; many immigrants, for example, come from a faraway land in the East where the legal code is very different. It is also true (greatly unfortunate, but still true) that many Mentors and Guides do not require their students to read the local Law Board as a part of their training regimen. Therefore ignorance, on its own, is neither a crime nor an excuse, but giving warnings is a fairly accurate way to determine if ignorance is involved. The act of warning also helps the Guard to determine if the alleged criminal is defensive or contrite. Forgiveness is always an option for any Guard to consider, but forgiveness is more likely to be effective if the alleged criminal is apologetic.
The advisable method of giving a warning involves plain, straightforward language and a calm tone. It is best upon first warning for a Guard to alert the alleged criminal to his or her presence, to state what particular crime he or she is accused or committing, and to ask the alleged criminal to stop or to explain themselves. If an alleged criminal becomes threatening or abusive, whether or not he or she stops doing what he or she is doing, the Guard may use his or her own judgment to determine if harassment is then taking place. (It is well worth mentioning here that a Guard might think twice before showing compassion for any aisling or immigrant who is abusive, threatening, or belligerent towards officials; a Guard who forgives and/or retreats from someone behaving in that manner will most likely only put another Guard at risk, which is completely unacceptable.)
If the first warning does not prevent the alleged criminal from continuing to commit a crime, a second and more pointed warning should be given. This second warning should bluntly tell the alleged criminal to stop what they are doing, and state banishment as the punishment for the crime the criminal is committing. If the second warning does not work, the Guard may choose to warn once more or proceed directly to banishment, depending upon his or her best judgment.
A description of the most helpful manner in which to post a report of banishment.
It is essential, if not required by law, for a Guard to report that they have banished a criminal. It is best if this report is filed as quickly as possible, and it should be posted to the proper Slate or Board per whatever directives exist in the Guards jurisdiction.
The most effective manner of posting a banishment is to write a brief, but complete, account of the situation including the names of any witnesses and the presence of any relevant memories ((screen shots)). The posting should be titled, simply, as "Banished <Criminal>" so that Demagogues, Burgesses, and Judges can easily find it.
A discussion of the benefits, drawbacks, and prohibitions involved in forgiving a banishment.
It should be noted immediately here that in Mileth, only the Guard who banished a criminal can forgive that banishment, bearing in mind certain exceptions and other details that can be read on the Mileth Law Board. That is, in Mileth, it is proper procedure for all Guards, Demagogues, Burgesses and Judges to tell a banished citizen that he or she must seek out the Guard who banished them in the first place, and that no other official can legally assist them.
With that in mind, it is important for all Guards to realize the gravity of what banishment means for criminals and for themselves. It greatly behooves a Guard to use banishment as a final, unfortunate, last resort when no other measure has been successful. Though at the same time, no Guard should hesitate to banish a truly unrepentant and stubbornly offensive criminal for whom there is no other justifiable punishment. A Guard who banishes a criminal should feel they have used their most powerful means of enforcing the law, for all the good and the negative involved, and he or she should not take the use of this power lightly.
Similarly, no Guard should entertain forgiving a banishment lightly, either. Indeed, if they themselves performed the banishment, then ideally there should have been no doubt or conflict about the rightness of the action in their minds at the time. If all Guards perceived the act of banishment in this light, with this sincerity and gravity, then forgiveness of banishment would become quite properly rare and infrequent. No Guard, then, would be easily persuaded to forgive a banishment, whether they performed it themselves or not.
A summary of the arguments and points of logic suggested within.
It is the opinion of the Writer that aislings who enter into the office of Guard should do so with full understanding and respect for what that office embodies: the first line of defense against lawlessness and chaos in the land of Temuair. It is the Writers hope that she has infused the reader with a small spark of pride, understanding, and honour for the men and women who wear the Guard uniform and hold the office itself in high respect.
Deoch 7, 9th Moon, 10th Sunday.