Carta Ingens Valyriani
(Great Charter of Valyria)
(Invocatio, Intitulatio, Inscriptio, Salutatio)
Valen, by the Grace of God, King of Valyria, Duke of Valence, Count of Leonesse, Lord of Caerleon, to his dukes, counts, barons, mayors, sheriffs, gentlemenn, freeholders, servants, and to all loyal Valyrian liege subjects, greeting.
Arenga: (motive for issue)
Before the gods, we have been contemplating our royal soul and its future life, the sovereignty we shall bequeath to our heirs and in what state it might be received, and the regard in which fair Valyria might be held in the hearts of its subjects. Our rule has been bestowed upon us by Heaven as a gift from the ruler above. It is pleasing to profit for eternity by giving to the gods in this life, and to receive back blessings from they who are able to give in perpetuity, from whom patrimonies are granted and all changeable things are distributed. Let us therefore bestow in kind.
Promulgatio: (legal purpose)
We grant therefore for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honor of the gods, and the improvement and better ordering of our kingdom over others of the land of Angelica and which exist elsewhere. Let us define a government under our Crown that shall operate with sound temper, possessing attributes both flexible and firm in simultaneity, such that the assiduous subjects of Valyria shall not suffer for lack of voice even as they remain ready to give ear to our voice imperial.
Narratio: (exposition of circumstances)
Know that at the advice of our distinguished cousins Ilaria, Duchess of Ashira, Rhysith, Duke of the Haverlands, Hugo, Duke of Ki’Est, Reyna, Duchess of the Amberlands, Levi, Duke of Nareveth, Oriens, Duke of Wessex, Alluvial, Duchess of Prismatia, Nazrab, Duke of Calador, Steedsurge, Duke of An’ayr, Albrecht, Count of Ardenburg, Vladimir, Count of Strelvania, Dinadan, Count of Arbitres, Nienori, Countess of Veridimond, Kruger, Count of Krieg, St. Zachary, Bishop of Vigil, Niccolo, Count of Hibernia, Hawthorne, Count of Baile, Stryder, Count of Talax, Lanatus, Count of Citrullus, Sincard, Count of Sincard, Ælric, Count of Cambria, Azzerhoden, Count of Sylvae, Jaydn, Count of Launceston, Athan, Count of Andelar, Peppovich, Count of Hospingham, Zanth, Count of Sursuri, Bernardo, Count of the Silver Sun, Harbonnah, Count of Kubai, and other loyal subjects, we have granted to all free men of our realm, for us and our heirs forever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs:
Dispositio: (legal proclamations and grants)
On the Operation of Royal Government:
The Royal Cabinet
In the first place, we, in the exercise of our royal prerogative, shall appoint executive officials to a Royal Cabinet, the which shall be selected from among magnates, gentlemenn, and freemenn of the realm of Valyria, and which shall, together with us, constitute a body henceforth called “The Crown”. These appointees shall be known as the executors of the Crown and shall bear the power to administrate in their assigned capacities with royal authority. We shall name and appoint such executors as Royal Hand, Lord Chancellor, Lord Chamberlain, Lord Exchequer, Royal Scholar, Lord Constable, Lord Steward of Trade, Lord Diplomat, Lord Inquisitor, Lord of Heralds, Lord Justiciar, as our ancestors have done and as may suit our royal pleasure. We shall empower all to hire into their employ officers of the court of at least the freemann class to minister at their leisure, and to assay the aptitude of said officers, we shall impose standards of qualification thereby. We will not make men executors, constables, sheriffs, yeomen or other bailiffs of the royal court unless they are such as know the law of the realm and are minded to observe it rightly.
The Crown being the font of all power and law in the realm of Valyria, we grant that each executor shall be delegated a portion of our royal power to be wielded on behalf of us with the assistance of his commissioned royal officers. Each executor together with the ministers in his hire shall constitute a department of the Crown. These Crown Branches shall be designated such that the Lord Chancellor shall be the head of Chancery and other Law Courts, the Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Chambers, the Lord Extoller of the College of Arms, the Lord Warden of the Royal Forest, the Lord Justiciar of the King’s Bench, the Lord Constable of the Valyrian Army, and the Lord Exchequer of the Royal Treasury, as is appropriate.
Second, inasmuch as we should like to share our royal power and voice with our liegemenn, we shall establish a legislature for all of Valyria comprised of landholders of Valyria divided into two great Houses, which shall be termed the House of High Lords and the House Comitates.
The House of High Lords
The higher of these two houses shall be comprised of all landholders of ducal rank who shall hold land directly of the King and all landholders of comital rank who shall hold directly of those dukes, or else of us. This legislature shall be termed the House of High Lords and shall convene when summoned by an act of the Crown. This House of High Lords shall maintain the power to sponsor, ratify, and legislate any act or law. Drafts so approved by this assembly shall have the support and authority of the Great Seal of Valyria, therefore the selfsame as any decree, edict, or writ of the Crown itself.
The House Comitates
The lower of these houses shall be comprised of two elected representatives from every shire in Valyria, twenty and four for every duchy. These candidates for election in each county shall be drawn from landholders of baronial rank, from knights, from mayors, or from burgesses of freemann rank. This legislature may draft and pass legislation to the House of High Lords for ratification, thereupon to gain the backing of the Great Seal of Valyria and induction into law.
We shall maintain as our royal prerogative the power to overturn any act or law passed by the Parliament by means of our royal veto. When the lords of the Houses remain desirous of seeing their will enacted even after the imposition of our veto, they may overrule the Crown if they gain a majority approval of three fourths of both of their assemblies.
All legislation to be sponsored and brought to a vote in the Houses shall be submitted to a presiding officer who shall regulate the introduction of bills and acts in a measured and orderly manner. All bills brought to the House floor for approval shall have an expiring time limit imposed by the presiding officer, during which all votes must be cast or else forfeited. These presiding officers shall be either our royal person or our Lord Chancellor in the House of High Lords, or the Speaker of the House in the House of Comitates.
Most bills shall pass by means of a simple majority vote, but bills or acts whose subject matter shall center on taxation, war, or treaties shall require a supermajority of two thirds of all lords or ministers in attendance to pass each House. Finally, we grant that we shall acquiesce to the override of our royal veto or to a vote to make a change to this Great Charter if each House will approve by a majority vote of three fourths.
The Great Officers of Valyria and the Emblems of State
Third, it being fitting to assign distinction and preeminence among those we establish as our lieutenants, we declare and ordain that three of the aforesaid executors of the Royal Cabinet shall be constituted as Great Officers of Valyria. We do further command and authorize that these highest of our lieutenants may wield the power of our Crown with our Royal License and Authority through emblems such as the Privy Seal, the Great Seal of Valyria, and the Sword of State. In order of precedence and authority, and with respect to the above emblems, they are the Royal Hand, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Constable.
The Royal Hand
Chief among these Great Officers is the one we designate as our Hand, for we consign to him the care of our Privy Seal, the use of which affirms our royal endorsement on any correspondence, missive, writ or warrant and shall signify the command and direction of all of the Crown Branches, and moreover, of the ministers and officers of the royal court. Additionally, it is custom that no document, writ, or charter save those passed by Parliament or the Law Courts may pass under the Great Seal of Valyria unless authorized by a warrant from the Privy Seal.
The Lord Chancellor
Next we designate the Lord Chancellor, who, in addition to administering Chancery, all Law Courts, and the Royal Clerks, we name prolocutor of the House of High Lords. We hereby command and authorize the Lord Chancellor to be the keeper of the Great Seal of Valyria, which shall be affixed to all acts passed by Parliament in order that they become law. We further declare and ordain that all legal documents, writs, subpoenas, warrants and charters, whether legislative or judicial, must pass under the Great Seal by the fiat of the Lord Chancellor. We or our Hand may likewise send a warrant to Chancery for other decrees to be passed under the Great Seal when it suits our will and pleasure.
The Lord Constable
Lastly, it is our will to designate the Lord Constable as the officer to whom we entrust our power to enforce the right and peace. To the Lord Constable we hereby tender the care of our Sword of State, which he shall bear as our License of Authority and Command over all armies, militias, levies, conscripts, navies, warbands, and mercenaries of Valyria. It is also our custom that the Lord Constable should bear the Sword of State before us in triumphal procession and whensoever a successor king of our line is crowned.
Fourth, we shall observe the ancient custom of our forebears in calling a Curia Regis, the which shall be comprised of landholders of ducal, comital, baronial, and of knightly rank which we may feel inclined to welcome at our royal pleasure, the sum of whom shall attend our court and advise us in matters about which it should be our will and prudent assessment to hear counsel.
When we shall find it necessary, the Curia Regis shall serve as our general council of war, the assembly of which shall be comprised of the captains of the feudal array of Valyria, bannered and prepared for the march.
Our royal prerogative shall also be exercised in the appointment of an exclusive selection of advisors drawn from any class of Valyria who shall keep the company of our Crown in private, sharing the discretion of our ear as we profit in consultation with their particularly trusted wisdom.
Fifth, the sound administration of justice being indispensable to the proper governance of a realm, we ordain and declare that three executors shall be empowered to hear the pleas of our Crown. The Lord Justiciar shall be the chief of the Court of King’s Bench and the Lord Constable shall preside over the Court Martial, but the Lord Chancellor shall enjoy primacy in all legal matters, and may convey the ultimate jurisdiction of all cases and the charge of all clerks of the royal court.
Know that to our vassals in chief, our cousins the great dukes and counts of Valyria, we have entrusted the right of justice and magistracy within their own mesnes in all matters of law. To all subjects of our Crown in any domain, however, we offer the King’s justice according to the Common Law of Valyria, which may be appealed to through the agency of our royal sheriffs in the Court of King’s Bench. The Lord Justiciar has been empowered by us as the highest justice of this court.
The Court of Chancery we declare and ordain as the highest appeals court of Valyria, granting by our meer motion that it should have jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as fiduciary dispensations, disputations of land rights, estoppel, subrogation, marshalling, and all as may fall outside of the just application of Common Law and in so doing may impugn our Conscience.
The administration of martial law we appoint to our Lord Constable, who shall bear our authority to mete justice in all matters pertaining to the battlefield, the soldiery, and criminal acts committed by Valyrian subjects while marching under arms.
On the Rights of Free Men and Free Cities:
Sixth, it being in accord with the disposition of the trusty and well beloved former monarchs of our blood whom we most admire, we grant to all subjects of Valyria the following protections, rights and liberties.
The city of Caerleon shall be the seat of the new royal court. This city shall be a boroughs which shall enjoy all the ancient liberties and free customs enjoyed by the cities of Valyria, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports of Valyria shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs when they have been recognized by charters.
Subjects residing in all counties, duchies and baronies shall enjoy the rights of freemenn, franktenants or burgesses so long as they hold deed in title to a structure or a ship which stands within the land of Valyria, or else so long as they rent within a structure that is itself within a city or boroughs.
Right of Escape
A serf, villein or tenant bondsman who escapes to a chartered free city or boroughs and lives there in a residence for one Elyrian year and one day may be released from his bond of fealty and become a freemann.
Protection from Superfluous Taxation
We shall allow no one to levy a monetary aid directly from his free men.
Right of Liberty and Property
No freemann or gentlemann shall be executed, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed-nor will we go upon or send upon him, save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
If any freemann shall have disappeared for a period of four Elyrian years, his chattels shall be distributed through the hands of his near relatives and friends, by view of the royal sheriff, saving to any one the debts which the man owed him. In lands which have no royal sheriff, the responsibility for fair distribution shall fall to the mesne lord.
Protection from Unlawful Seizure
No yeoman, sheriff, clerk or other bailiff of ours shall take the goods or other chattels of anyone except he straightway give money for them, or can be allowed a respite in that regard by the will of the seller. Nor shall any sheriff nor bailiff of ours, nor any one else, take the horses or carts of any freemann for transport, unless by the will of that freemann. Neither shall we nor our bailiffs take another’s wood or resources for castles or for other private uses, unless by the will of him to whom the resource belongs.
Right of Commerce
All merchants who register with Chancery may safely and securely go out of Valyria, and come into Valyria, and delay and pass through Valyria, as well by land as by water, for the purpose of buying and selling, subject to the ancient and right customs-save in time of war, and if they are of the land at war against us. And if such be found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be held, without harm to their bodies and goods, until it shall be known to us or our royal court how the merchants of our land are to be treated who shall, at that time, be found in the land at war against us. And if ours shall be safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.
Right of Travel
Henceforth any person giving fealty to us as a royal subject may go out of our realm and return to it, safely and securely, by land and by water, except perhaps for a brief period in time of war, for the common good of the realm. But exiles and outlaws are excepted according to the Common Law; also people of a land at war against us, and the merchants, with regard to whom shall be done as we have said.
Right of Justice
For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a serf the implements of his serfdom, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of between three and seven reputable men of the neighbourhood of the accused who shall be chosen by the sheriff and called as a jury of assize.
No sheriff, on his own simple assertion, shall henceforth submit anyone to fine or amercement without producing faithful witnesses in evidence. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay right or justice.
On Feudal Customs and Prerogatives:
Seventh, feudal laws and privileges shall continue to exist as a standard throughout the realm of Valyria, with variations on this standard being specified clearly in the charters, writs, and letters patent issued to new vassals, and thereafter upheld upon review by the College of Arms and Law Courts, such as Chancery. We grant and recognize the following ancient customs and entitlements to our noble peers, as did our ancestors before us, and likewise claim the same customary privileges for our Crown.
Privileges of Valyrian Nobility
Noble Privilege of Indemnity
Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rent in payment of a debt or taxes from a feudal vassal so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge the debt. A debtor’s sureties or witnesses in fealty shall not be distrained upon so long as the debtor himself can discharge his debt. If, for lack of means, the debtor is unable to discharge his debt or taxes, his sureties shall be answerable for it. If they so desire, they may seize by force the debtor’s lands and rents until they have received satisfaction for the debt that they paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has settled his obligations to them.
Noble Privilege of Summons to Parliament
To obtain the general consent of the realm for the assessment of a conscripted military levy, an extra tax, an extra monetary aid or a `scutage’, which shall be a request beyond that outlined in individual fealty charters, we will cause the bishops, dukes, counts, and greater barons to be notified individually. We will cause a general summons to be issued, through the sheriffs and other officials, to come together in the Parliament. When a summons has been issued, the business appointed for the day shall go forward in accordance with the resolution of those present, even if not all those who were summoned have appeared.
Noble Privilege of Homage
No man shall be forced to perform more service for a knight’s fee, a baron’s fee, or other free holding of land than is due from it as detailed in his letters patent, charter of creation, or fief grant.
An investiture may not be withheld from an heir to a vassal so long as that heir is willing to do homage to the lord he would hold of.
Noble Privilege of Scutage
It shall be commonly outlined in most feudal charters that failure to appear for prescribed feudal military duties can be settled with a payment of a monetary sum called scutage, and that this scutage shall be owed and collected in a reasonable amount for every time a vassal does not supply the sworn military aid when requested.
Noble Privilege of Subinfeudation
A landholder who has received a fief of land from a suzerain lord may grant parts of the same fief to vassals of his own.
Noble Privilege of Muster
Neither any constable of any county, duchy or barony, nor the Lord Constable of Valyria shall force any knight to pay money for castleward or muster if he be willing to perform that ward in person with the specified men in service.
Noble Privilege of Right of Way
If, when travelling on a road of Valyria, a magnate and his retinue should come upon another lord of lesser rank, or else a freemann or a villein, the man of lesser rank must yield the road to the man of greater rank.
Noble Privilege of Trial by Peers
Magnates of ducal and comital rank shall not be amerced save through their peers in the House of High Lords, and only according to the measure of the offence.
Noble Privilege of Dueling
A subject of gentlemann or higher precedence shall have the right to engage in sanctioned duels without being subject to fines or criminal charges for assault, manslaughter, or murder, so long as the duel is carried out according to the proper and established protocols.
Noble Privilege of Manorialism
A landholder with tenants, renters, or bondsmen who have bound themselves in fealty may stipulate certain controls over his manor and his tenants, as outlined in a custumal, and may maintain a manorial court of law over the same. These stipulations may include rights of permission over the marriages of his bondsmen, the limitation of their travel from his manor, and the prevention of tenants from disposing of property without the landholder’s permission.
Noble Power of Accolade
Magnates of ducal or comital rank, prelates of episcopal rank, or magnates of baronial rank who are themselves knights have the power to create knights by the ancient Valyrian ceremony, as is appropriate.
Noble Privilege of Patrol
Landholders shall bear the right to police their holdings and neighboring badlands or wastelands of barbarians, hillmen, outlaws, renegades, nomads, and all such as hold neither sovereignty nor statehood in the eyes of the Crown or the College of Arms, but may not initiate aggression on recognized sovereign entities outside of Royal or Parliamentary declaration.
Noble Privilege of Squirage
Magnates of ducal, comital, or baronial rank, prelates of episcopal rank and knights of any order or fealty in Valyria have the right to select a single man or woman as a squire under their tutelage. This squire shall be counted as a gentlemann of Valyria by the College of Arms. Only one such squire may be chosen by a knight every fifteen Elyrian years, and only one may be in service to a given knight or lord at any time.
In the eighth place, we declare that in addition to our noble rights, we shall maintain the following traditional customs, rights, and privileges afforded to our Crown by our forebears and ancestors, for us and our heirs:
Royal Power to Summon, Adjourn, Prorogue and Dissolve Parliament
Parliament is called by the Crown, and its lords and ministers sit at our royal good pleasure. We maintain the power to postpone a sitting session of Parliament for any length, and also to call for an end to government and a new election of the House of Comitates at any time, which we shall most often command through our Lord Chancellor.
Royal Privilege of Assent
Any act, measure, law, or bill which shall be passed by Parliament must receive our Royal Assent, which shall be conferred by the fiat of the Lord Chancellor through the use of the Great Seal of Valyria. We reserve the right to direct our Lord Chancellor as a Great Officer of the Crown as may suit our Will and Conscience.
Royal Privilege of King’s Consent
Any law, measure, bill or act which shall come up for debate in either house of Parliament which affects the interest of our royal person, such as reforming royal prerogative or which might affect our private land holdings, must first receive our Consent to be debated or discussed.
Any outlaw or person engaged in any feud against either the Crown or against any magnate recognized by us may neither sit in the House of High Lords nor run as a candidate for election to the House Comitates.
Royal Privilege of Escheat
Lands taken and attainted from those convicted of high crimes shall be held by us, and then returned or distributed to other lords at our pleasure.
If, after a period of time has passed which shall have been outlined in the feudal charter between us and a vassal, no compensation has been made and an owed debt has not been discharged, the Crown reserves the right to attaint and seize feudal benefices by escheat, enforcing the disseisen through casus belli, if necessary.
Royal Privilege of Exile
Any serf, renting tenant or vagabond of any county may be distrained upon by the Crown and immediately exiled if such is found by the Crown to be in the interest of the realm at large.
Royal Privilege of Kingswood
We shall maintain our royal custom of afforesting certain woods as preserves suited to hunting according to our royal pleasure. The taking of venison or vert or wood from these royal forests shall be a crime against the Crown, and subject to our royal displeasure and mercy.
Royal Privilege of Patrol
We ordain and declare that any troops so designated as belonging to our royal house or bearing our royal livery may march through any Valyrian land without obstruction or sequestration. Concerning forests and warrens, and concerning foresters, rangers, and the Royal Warden, we shall maintain a royal patrol in each duchy, which in its duties seeks out raiders, brigands, outlaws, foreign soldiery, poachers, and thieves and shall eradicate them entirely.
Royal Privilege of Treasure
The jewels and valuables which come into the Royal Treasury through taxation, tribute, seizure, inheritance, or donation shall be spent or retained as suits our royal pleasure, subject to no external review, judgment, or entitlement.
Royal Privilege of Billeting
During wartime, should our royal troops or any troops of the Valyrian army require use of a structure, vehicle, ship, foodstuff, livestock or live conveyance, we may commandeer these goods or chattels in the necessary defense of the realm.
Royal Privilege of Treaty and Diplomacy
No landholder of any fee may initiate wars or aggression on realms which have been recognized by the Crown or the College of Heralds, save they immediately be called to do so out of self defense. Only the Crown and the Parliament have the right to declare formal war, undertake raids, or act in aggression.
Royal Power of Creation
We maintain the power to create any man or woman in the title of duke, count, baron, knight or gentlemann and to accept homage and fealty from the same, and to grant or not grant any fief as suits our royal pleasure and will.
Royal Privilege of Abeyance
If any landholder holding directly of our Crown shall disappear for four Elyrian years and leave his land unmanned without a will or an approved declaration of a successor, and we shall not find a suitable successor from among the said lord’s vassals, the land shall revert to the Crown in escheat at the end of four Elyrian years of the said holder’s disappearance, and we shall appoint a royal sheriff as bailiff over the said escheat. Similarly, if any freeholder shall vanish from his manor in the same manner, the mesne lord shall appoint a reeve or similar as bailiff over the fee.
If we have given the guardianship of any dispossessed or unmanned land to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or damage or mismanagement through incompetency, we will exact compensation from him and the land shall be entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same `fee’, who shall be answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and prudent men of the same `fee’, who shall be similarly answerable to us.
For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, he shall maintain the houses, farms, ponds, mills, mines and everything else pertaining to it from the revenues of the land itself. When a new lord is raised to the fief, this guardian shall restore the whole land to him, stocked with all the necessities required to draw maximum yield from the land.
Sanctio: (a threat should document be violated)
Those who, in reading our pronouncements, will give heed to these our statements, shall then have the friendship of us and of God, but those who go against them shall receive both revenge and enmity from us. And all those who break or refute our pronouncements, or cause others to break the words of this Great Charter, which is our gift to the world, whether they be of high or of low rank, let their souls be burdened with our sins, of which we hope to be purged through this matter.
Corroboratio: (means of validation)
Moreover all the subjects of our realm shall, as far as pertains to them, observe, with regard to their vassals, all which we have decreed and which shall, as far as pertains to us, be observed in our realm with regard to our own.
Wherefore we will and firmly decree that the subjects of our realm shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, duly and in peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, for themselves and their heirs from us and our heirs, in all matters and in all places, forever, as has been said. Moreover it has been sworn, on our part as well as on the part of the lords, that all these above mentioned provisions shall be observed with good faith and without evil intent. The witnesses being the above mentioned and many others.
Datatio: (time and place of signing)
Given by the hand of our Hand, Oriens Dei of Wessex, from the mouth of His Majesty, Valenus Rex in the Cathedral of St. Germain
26 October 2018
Apprecatio: (final sentence, a short prayer for realization)
We call on all subjects of the realm to pray for mercy and intercession, for the mild and merciful gods to forgive us for our misdeeds and sins, injuries and trespasses, and that they let the evils and the poverty that have once lain across the country disappear from it, and instead give us peace and prosperity.