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Oltux72

Police, justice and correctional system of Elantris

16 posts in this topic

I think we should explore this also, because it poses even more unique challenges than the economy.

First of all, will there be crime? Yes, we'd kidding ourselves if we assumed otherwise. They may be demigods, but they are not saints. Nor do they grow up without scarcity. Sure, no sane person would break into a house to steal food or money, but there is still conflict. And not everybody in Elantris can be an Elantrian. At a minimum there must be children. (Or parents - a fascinating topic of its own)

  • unique objects, like original paintings can still be stolen
  • personal dislikes
  • sex crimes

But will there be a police force? This is not obvious. Ancient Rome had none. They had a force of watchmen against fire and stuff, but no police force. Actually I doubt that there is a genuine police force, as there is a core issue for law enforcement among Elantrians. How do you arrest an Elantrian? Short of personal supervision 24/7 this looks pretty much impossible to me.

A court system, however, looks totally doable by aonic means. They even have one that makes the guilty feel pain.

But then comes the core issue. What do you do after that? How do you jail an Elantrian? What else would you do? Fine them - that works, but is probably inadequate for more serious stuff. And what if they have no money? You can go to systems like public shunning. But at some point, what if they just don't give a rust? The Shaod can take anybody, hence you will get some pretty hardened criminals eventually.
You could execute them. But that is a bit excessive. Now that leads me to an ugly conclusion: corporal punishment. There is a whipping post somewhere in Elantris. Yes, I know, but what is the alternative?

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:50 AM, Oltux72 said:

I think we should explore this also, because it poses even more unique challenges than the economy.

First of all, will there be crime? Yes, we'd kidding ourselves if we assumed otherwise. They may be demigods, but they are not saints. Nor do they grow up without scarcity. Sure, no sane person would break into a house to steal food or money, but there is still conflict. And not everybody in Elantris can be an Elantrian. At a minimum there must be children. (Or parents - a fascinating topic of its own)

  • unique objects, like original paintings can still be stolen
  • personal dislikes
  • sex crimes

But will there be a police force? This is not obvious. Ancient Rome had none. They had a force of watchmen against fire and stuff, but no police force. Actually I doubt that there is a genuine police force, as there is a core issue for law enforcement among Elantrians. How do you arrest an Elantrian? Short of personal supervision 24/7 this looks pretty much impossible to me.

A court system, however, looks totally doable by aonic means. They even have one that makes the guilty feel pain.

But then comes the core issue. What do you do after that? How do you jail an Elantrian? What else would you do? Fine them - that works, but is probably inadequate for more serious stuff. And what if they have no money? You can go to systems like public shunning. But at some point, what if they just don't give a rust? The Shaod can take anybody, hence you will get some pretty hardened criminals eventually.
You could execute them. But that is a bit excessive. Now that leads me to an ugly conclusion: corporal punishment. There is a whipping post somewhere in Elantris. Yes, I know, but what is the alternative?

I think you might be right. There was no mention of a police force existing or having existed.

Elantrians seem to have been the absolute monarchs in Arelon, as seen by the near-total collapse of their kingdom post-Reod. No judiciary court system or indeed nobility existed prior to the Reod. All judgements were brought up to the Elantrians.

But it does somehow seem that the Elantrians were more benevolent than not, with merchants and with the Shu Korath faith, though those were probably politically motivated. The benevolence could be an effect of Devotion having implemented some method for the Shaod. Though the Ire seem counter to this example, as do multiple mentions of the Shaod being random.

I don't think the Elantrians would agree to a whipping post being put up in their city. Too much humiliation involved, not only is that painful, it's also not politically advisable as it runs counter to projecting their power, 'godhood' and aura of benevolence.

Edited by Honorless
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14 minutes ago, Honorless said:

I think you might be right. There was no mention of a police force existing or having existed.

There was a highway police outside Elantris. I think tjis pattern will hold.

14 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Elantrians seem to have been the absolute monarchs in Arelon, as seen by the near-total collapse of their kingdom post-Reod.

But not inside. I think Elantris have an internal and external system totally decoupled. And probably two justice systems inside Elantris. The idea of equality before the law is just anachronistic.

14 minutes ago, Honorless said:

But it does somehow seem that the Elantrians were more benevolent than not, with merchants and with the Shu Korath faith, though those were probably politically motivated.

Not really, at least not fully. A life of crime just makes less sense in Elantris. The wealth of an Elantrian is to a large extent in his social capital and the Aons he knows. You cannot steal that. Also the output of an Aon depends, all things being equal, on its size. That is easy to change. Giving away a lot of the same stuff is cheap.
Yet even if their external benevolence extends to inside Elantris, there will still be conflict. Things like murdering your neighbor because he has an affair with your wife will happen and Elantris needs to deal with it.

14 minutes ago, Honorless said:

The benevolence could be an effect of Devotion having implemented some method for the Shaod. Though the Ire seem counter to this example, as do multiple mentions of the system being random.

I don't think the Elantrians would agree to a whipping post being put up in their city. Too much humiliation involved, not only is that painful, it's also not politically advisable as it runs counter to projecting their power, 'godhood' and aura of benevolence.

That is basically the point. Humiliation is the intended goal. How else do you punish an Elantrian? You cannot use the death penalty for lesser crime, like, if we stay in the example, a man just beating up his neighbor. You could declare them outlaw. That is a pretty bad idea. A band of outlaw Elantrians roaming Arelon is a nightmare. What else is there?

You may note that in countries on Earth things like fines and community service is used. That falls short. For fines you need to have money. For community service and even jail terms, you need to be able to keep people imprisoned. Long term imprisonment is impractical for Elantrians. So what do you do?

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25 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

There was a highway police outside Elantris. I think tjis pattern will hold.

But not inside. I think Elantris have an internal and external system totally decoupled. And probably two justice systems inside Elantris. The idea of equality before the law is just anachronistic.

Not really, at least not fully. A life of crime just makes less sense in Elantris. The wealth of an Elantrian is to a large extent in his social capital and the Aons he knows. You cannot steal that. Also the output of an Aon depends, all things being equal, on its size. That is easy to change. Giving away a lot of the same stuff is cheap.
Yet even if their external benevolence extends to inside Elantris, there will still be conflict. Things like murdering your neighbor because he has an affair with your wife will happen and Elantris needs to deal with it.

That is basically the point. Humiliation is the intended goal. How else do you punish an Elantrian? You cannot use the death penalty for lesser crime, like, if we stay in the example, a man just beating up his neighbor. You could declare them outlaw. That is a pretty bad idea. A band of outlaw Elantrians roaming Arelon is a nightmare. What else is there?

You may note that in countries on Earth things like fines and community service is used. That falls short. For fines you need to have money. For community service and even jail terms, you need to be able to keep people imprisoned. Long term imprisonment is impractical for Elantrians. So what do you do?

Those were just the guards established by Iadon, after the Reod, to contain those taken by the Shaod.

True, they would still need an internal system of justice. The novel is set post-Reod though, so unless book 2 delves into this deeper, anything would just be speculation.

Wait a minute... That's it! Banishment is the perfect punishment. Remember that Elantrians are boosted by the city of Elantris. The further away from that they are, the weaker they'd get. Banishing an Elantrian from Arelon could work as long as the accused doesn't have too much support from the other Elantrians, I think.

Edited by Honorless
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57 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Those were just the guards established by Iadon, after the Reod, to contain those taken by the Shaod.

They were also policing the highways.

57 minutes ago, Honorless said:

True, they would still need an internal system of justice. The novel is set post-Reod though, so unless book 2 delves into this deeper, anything would just be speculation.

Wait a minute... That's it! Banishment is the perfect punishment. Remember that Elantrians are boosted by the city of Elantris. The further away from that they are, the weaker they'd get. Banishing an Elantrian from Arelon could work as long as the accused doesn't have too much support from the other Elantrians, I think.

So, you send them where exactly? If it is close, they still are very powerful. If you send them far enough, they will end up in Derethi lands. Do you really want to send people who know a lot into an enemy empire?

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If Dilaf had a way of disrupting Raoden from channeling the Dor for his illusion, I'd bet there's a way to make a permanent Aon to disrupt any usage of the Dor in a specific area, like a jail cell. 

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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

They were also policing the highways.

So, you send them where exactly? If it is close, they still are very powerful. If you send them far enough, they will end up in Derethi lands. Do you really want to send people who know a lot into an enemy empire?

Not pointing out their function, only date of establishment, which I hope I'm remembering correctly but it's been a while since I last read Elantris

Maybe jail them within Arelon, but far away from the city of Elantris itself? There has to be some way

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14 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

If Dilaf had a way of disrupting Raoden from channeling the Dor for his illusion, I'd bet there's a way to make a permanent Aon to disrupt any usage of the Dor in a specific area, like a jail cell. 

If there is, it isn't mentioned. And research into this would have been dangerous. You'd develop a weapon specifically against yourself for the enemy.

10 hours ago, Honorless said:

Not pointing out their function, only date of establishment, which I hope I'm remembering correctly but it's been a while since I last read Elantris

He kept his position as a functionary of Elantris.

10 hours ago, Honorless said:

Maybe jail them within Arelon, but far away from the city of Elantris itself? There has to be some way

They can use Aon Daa even in Teod and they can teleport, albeit not very well. Making a prison that can hold them for long does not look practical in Arelon. And why does there have to be a way? Because you do not like the consequences?

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

He kept his position as a functionary of Elantris.

They can use Aon Daa even in Teod and they can teleport, albeit not very well. Making a prison that can hold them for long does not look practical in Arelon. And why does there have to be a way? Because you do not like the consequences?

Who's the "he" here? Who kept his position as a functionary? I was talking about the guards, who were put there by King Iadon to make sure the new Elantrians didn't escape, iirc

Raoden teleported from Elantris, we don't know whether he got back the same way. Those were multiple Aon Daa, fired simultaneously.

Plus, imprisonment should still be possible, don't forget 'Emperor's Soul', a prison for Elantrians could be made from 'Ralkalest'.

Of course I don't like the implications, how would a society like that function? You yourself raised this point. Even if things were like that before, with Raoden and Sarene, and all the previous Elantrians dead or off-world, things are bound to change in the coming sequels.

Edited by Honorless
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38 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Who's the "he" here? Who kept his position as a functionary? I was talking about the guards, who were put there by King Iadon to make sure the new Elantrians didn't escape, iirc

Eondel

38 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Raoden teleported from Elantris, we don't know whether he got back the same way. Those were multiple Aon Daa, fired simultaneously.

They got back sooner than a transfer by ship would explain.

38 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Plus, imprisonment should still be possible, don't forget 'Emperor's Soul', a prison for Elantrians could be made from 'Ralkalest'.

All indications are that it is unknown on Opelon. You would really make armor out of it, if it helped against Elantrians. And you could still melt it.

38 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Of course I don't like the implications, how would a society like that function? You yourself raised this point.

Differently from ours.

(Roshar)

Spoiler

Other worlds have a similar problem. Shardbearers are to an extent above the law.

38 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Even if things were like that before, with Raoden and Sarene, and all the previous Elantrians dead or off-world, things are bound to change in the coming sequels.

Yes, but the underlying causes will not change. Hence I proposed an alternative to prison: corporal punishment

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On 10/22/2019 at 7:12 PM, Oltux72 said:

Eondel

They got back sooner than a transfer by ship would explain.

All indications are that it is unknown on Opelon. You would really make armor out of it, if it helped against Elantrians. And you could still melt it.

Differently from ours.

(Roshar)

Other worlds have a similar problem. Shardbearers are to an extent above the law.

Yes, but the underlying causes will not change. Hence I proposed an alternative to prison: corporal punishment

RIP Eondel, Karata, Hrathen

We get an indication of how much time passed? Doesn't the scene cut straight to the funerals of Hrathen & co.?

I'm pretty sure that it would've been more or less the same case as with Shardbearers in Roshar. The law would side with them, since it was made by them. As for now, maybe an Aon does exist to facilitate imprisonment of an Elantrian? Aluminum's negative interaction with Investiture is a Cosmere constant, I think. Of course this is assuming that 'Ralkalest' does refer to aluminium. Elantrians shouldn't be able to change it in any manner, now all that is needed is a teleportation jammer against Aon Tia.

The political implications of a corporal form of punishment still remains though. Elantrians might be less god-like beings in the eyes of the Arelish now after the Reod but they are still rulers. Especially after the Reod and the Invasion, they're gonna need a united political front and retain public approval. Raoden's gonna have to find a more effective means of punishment than that, imo.

Edited by Honorless
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5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

If there is, it isn't mentioned. And research into this would have been dangerous. You'd develop a weapon specifically against yourself for the enemy.

He kept his position as a functionary of Elantris.

They can use Aon Daa even in Teod and they can teleport, albeit not very well. Making a prison that can hold them for long does not look practical in Arelon. And why does there have to be a way? Because you do not like the consequences?

All swords cut both ways. 

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1 hour ago, Harrycrapper said:

All swords cut both ways. 

Right. But if you are a mosquito fighting a bird, you should not develop DDT.

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I bet if you lock some aluminum gauntlets/gloves on an Elantrian's hands, you'd pretty effectifly cut them off from accessing the Dor.  This in and of itself could be a punishment, but combining this with other punishments could help with varrying degrees of crimes.

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On 10/23/2019 at 4:08 PM, wallyrocket said:

I bet if you lock some aluminum gauntlets/gloves on an Elantrian's hands, you'd pretty effectifly cut them off from accessing the Dor.  This in and of itself could be a punishment, but combining this with other punishments could help with varrying degrees of crimes.

Couldn't they still just draw the Aon's with their feet, or craft  Aon's out of wood or dust and make it work that way? Seriously what is up with Sel! It is practically impossible to imprison it's magic users. 

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1 hour ago, Dancer said:

Couldn't they still just draw the Aon's with their feet, or craft  Aon's out of wood or dust and make it work that way?

Aons per urination in the sand? Apparently Aons need some depth, so you cannot just write them. But there is just too much opportunity to make them.

1 hour ago, Dancer said:

 Seriously what is up with Sel! It is practically impossible to imprison it's magic users. 

They have no explicit external fuel.

(Scadrial)

Spoiler

When Vin was to be imprisoned this was possible by cutting her off from metals. Also they have Leechers.

(Roshar)

Spoiler

How would you imprison a Fused or the bearer of Yelig-Nar?

The other magic systems are not different in their powers but in their source of fuel. It is impossible to imprison somebody with a full set of magic powers. It is strictly speaking not true that other magic systems of the Cosmere allows this. The difference is that they open up a way to turn a mage into a muggle at least temporarily, usually just by taking away the fuel.
Anywhere where that possibility does not exist the problem arises. That is why we have a similar thread pertaining to Threnody.

 

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