Revision as of 21:02, 30 March 2023 by Joncreek (talk | contribs) (update to reflect current militia organisation)
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Officers of the law include:

  • The imperial militia; these are almost always Player Characters, but may also be Non-Player Characters
  • Civil service magistrates, presiding over the militia and the courts; these are always Non-Player Characters
  • Civil service legislators and administrators, primarily supporting the Imperial Senate; these are always Non-Player Characters.

In Empire players will have the opportunity to be deputised into the imperial militia during the course of play. The militia are all drawn from the player base and they are responsible for investigating crime and maintaining law and order. If you wish to apply to join the militia you should approach a magistrate during time-in. If the militia are currently recruiting they will hold interviews in order to select the very best candidates. No advantage will be gained from including in your character’s background that they have been involved in imperial law enforcement in their past.


Magistrates can be recognised by their white robes bearing the militia lantern motif.

Magistrates are those members of the civil service who are empowered to uphold the law by:

  • investigating crimes;
  • deputising citizens into the imperial militia;
  • dismissing charges for which there appears to be no case to answer;
  • setting bond conditions (if any) for accused who are arrested but not immediately tried;
  • trying the accused and setting punishments for the guilty;
  • attending to judicial matters referred to them by the Senate or Synod; and
  • adjudicating civil cases .

Magistrates additionally have the powers which are granted to a deputised member of the militia. The reality is that a large portion of the work entailed in running the justice system is carried out by citizens who are deputised into the imperial militia.

When time permits most magistrates will be happy to answer specific legal queries relating to a citizen’s circumstances.

Civil servants (including magistrates) may be asked questions which relate to IC or OOC game functions. Civil servants are obliged to maintain strict confidentiality about such private discussions so that players may feel free to ask any questions without fear that they will be subject to legal scrutiny.

The Imperial Militia

Anvil militia can be recognised by their white sashes bearing the militia lantern motif. While some militia in other regions have also adopted this, it is not yet standard throughout the Empire (and may never be, given the objections of the Freeborn).

It is a constitutional obligation for a citizen who has been deputised into the militia to carry out their responsibilities. In practice it would only be in exceptional circumstances that a magistrate would suborn a citizen into the militia involuntarily. A magistrate may deputise a citizen into the militia either temporarily or until such time as they relieve them of their duties. Citizens deputised into the militia are expected to follow the lawful orders of magistrates.

All serving members of the militia have the following general powers and obligations:

  • to take reasonable steps to prevent crime and maintain public order;
  • to apprehend those suspected of crime(s) in progress and to bring them before a magistrate;
  • to report any crimes which require investigating to a magistrate.

Magistrates will also appoint members of the militia to investigate specific crimes (a case). While appointed to investigate a case a member of the militia is both duty-bound and empowered to:

  • take reasonable steps to gather evidence in furtherance of their investigation (for example, the questioning of witnesses, performing necessary searches and the seizing of evidence);
  • arrest suspects and to bring them before the investigating magistrate;
  • to produce at trial those witnesses who are called on to provide testimony;
  • to produce any other relevant evidence at trial;
  • to ensure that security is maintained at the trial, to support the magistrate's authority and to carry out such other court functions as the magistrate deems appropriate;
  • to convey to and carry out punishments where applicable (specialists are sometimes deputised to the militia for executions).

Ranks of militia


Anyone who is deputised into the militia will become a deputy. This is a temporary rank – in most cases the deputy will go on to become a Constable.


Militia deputies who have volunteered for service will be promoted to Constable once their initial training and probation period is satisfactorily completed (this should be by the end of the event). They will play a key role in investigating crimes.

Warrant Officers

Members of the militia who distinguish themselves may be given an imperial warrant by a magistrate. This warrant signifies their seniority.

Warrant officers have the following additional powers:

  • to deputise citizens into the imperial militia;
  • to begin investigations into new crimes under their own authority; and
  • to oversee pre-trial cases in progress.

They must still liaise as appropriate with magistrates, but are given more latitude in how they attend to their duties.

Senior Militia Roles

There are a number of senior roles available in the militia. These are:

  • Militia Captain
  • Head of Constabulary
  • Head of Intelligence

These roles are always appointed at the summer solstice and last for one year. Role holders may not have an Imperial Title or any other one senior milita role. A role holder may resign at any time. If a role needs to be reappointed part way through the year then the appointment will still run until the summer solstice.


The timing of the elections will be announced by the Magistrates during the Friday militia meeting and will be held at one of the other militia meetings at the Summer Solstice (based on operational convenience). The election will be chaired by a magistrate and any warrant officer may stand for any of the senior positions. Each warrant officer and each magistrate present shall have one vote. Whichever candidate gets the most votes is appointed. In the event of a tie the chair decides.


The militia is led by a Captain, who is only subordinate to magistrates. The Captain should be an excellent role model and is expected to work to improve the reputation of the militia with the public, organise militia recruitment and have general oversight of the militia.

Head of Constabulary

The Head of Constabulary has oversight of militia cases and responsibility for ensuring they progress in a satisfactory manner. They are expected to liaise with warrant officers, magistrates and others so that cases progress and remedial action can be taken if not.

Head of Intelligence

The Head of Intelligence is responsible for cultivation of informants and contacts, and general gathering of relevant intelligence. They must sort the useful intelligence from the noise, and then share valuable information appropriately with the militia and magistrates.

Rewards for exemplary service

Historically members of the Anvil militia were usually only paid reasonable expenses, with occasional other rewards at the discretion of the investigating magistrate. However a new rewards system for militia who distinguish themselves has recently been introduced. This is currently in trial but broadly works as follows:

  • the magistrates will provide a fund each summit from which to make awards payments (currently expected to be five thrones)
  • members of the militia can be nominated for an award for their actions by any other militia or magistrate. Other citizens may also commend militia by speaking to a warrant officer or magistrate and this may also lead to a nomination
  • at the Sunday militia meeting the magistrates will both recognise and reward those militia who have taken actions which can be held up as an excellent example of militia behaviour. The fund will be shared equally between all those recognised by the magistrates at that summit.


Graceful handling of a difficult situation e.g. de-escalating a violent mob or preventing a diplomatic incident (Courage)

Being focused and alert e.g. locating an important suspect from eye witness reports or preventing a serious security breach at trial (Vigilance)

Hard work, especially if it’s of an unflashy nature, but it needs doing (Prosperity)

Protecting fellow citizens from crime or danger- e.g. preventing a crime in progress or serving with distinction during a dangerous militia operation (Loyalty)

Incisive investigative work e.g. extracting key evidence from a suspect at interview, or running a successful and legal militia operation (Wisdom)

Discipline and Corruption

Members of the militia who are caught neglecting their duties or abusing their powers will have to account for themselves to a magistrate. Minor infringements will be dealt with informally but more serious failings will lead to dismissal and/or criminal charges. However, militia members who use their position for corrupt ends or to pervert the course of justice will be dealt with severely.


If a Synod priest is on consecrated ground, they have the power to grant sanctuary to any Imperial citizen who asks for it. Once granted sanctuary, the recipient has an hour, after which the militia may arrest them. The recipient is expected to remain in the vicinity of the priest who has granted them sanctuary. Sanctuary cannot be offered to barbarians or foreigners.


It is a crime under the imperial constitution to incarcerate a citizen, even if they are accused, or convicted of crimes. Some argue that this has its basis in religious belief, since to incarcerate the body, thus forcing it into a state of inaction, stagnates the soul. It is better for the wrongdoer to suffer their punishment and rejoin society to perform a useful function. If it is justified by the crime, or if the convict is too dangerous to be given their freedom, then death is the best alternative. In life, the soul develops, in death the soul is given another opportunity through the medium of reincarnation.

Note that while this approach does not prevent a citizen from being arrested and held in lawful custody, it is illegal for them to be incarcerated and left to languish on their own.

As a consequence of this approach the Empire allows the majority of citizens who are accused of crimes to carry on with their lives if there is a need for a delay before their trial can take place. During the pre-trial process of criminal trials the accused may be required to swear an oath that they will present themselves for their trial.

If the accused absconds and is recaptured a reward will usually be paid by the investigating magistrate. The state also occasionally auctions off assets which are forfeited as a result of fines.

Any citizen (including a member of the militia) may claim the reward for recapturing a criminal for whom a reward has been posted.

Further Reading

  • You can gain a more detailed overview of Imperial law here.
  • You can learn more about how trials are conducted here.
  • You can learn more about civil trials and claims against fellow citizens here.
  • You can review the list of current criminal offences here.