The Drownings were a form of criminal punishment used in the city of Letheras as well as a public spectacle. The basic idea was that an accused criminal was weighed down with their fine in coins, attached to a rope (for the later retrieval of the coins), and forced to swim the Quillas Canal. The amount of weight attached to the criminal was proportional to the crime, although additional weight could be added if a prisoner looked especially capable. Should that criminal emerge from the other side of the canal intact, they were free to go, though usually they drowned. Crowds watched and wagered on the spectacle from the Low Walk along the canal and the tiers above.
The canal was about one hundred paces wide. Those who failed to survive had their corpse dumped back into the river, which led to the saying "Guilty as sludge".
|Crime||Fine for men||Fine for women|
|Theft||500 docks||250 docks|
|Kidnapping||500 docks||250 docks|
|Failure to repay a debt||500 docks||250 docks|
|Damage to property||500 docks||250 docks|
|Murder||500 docks||250 docks|
|Embezzlement||300 docks||150 docks|
|Assault without cause||300 docks||150 docks|
|Cursing in public upon the names of the Empty Throne, the king or the queen||300 docks||150 docks|
|Loitering||100 docks||50 docks|
|Voiding in public||100 docks||50 docks|
|Disrespect||100 docks||50 docks|
Wagers were taken for not only actual Drownings, but also Strokes, Risings, Flailings, Flounderings, and Vanishings.
Two notable exceptions were Ublala Pung (4300 docks in fines) and Shurq Elalle (200 docks in fines). Because of his Tarthenal heritage (having four lungs) Ublala was simply able to walk across on the bottom of the canal dragging his weights due to his sheer size and strength. Shurq did drown, but a curse prevented her from actually dying, so she emerged undead.
Crimson Guard commander, K'azz D'Avore, endured a similar ordeal at the hands of the Letherii. The Guard's storm-ravaged ship made landfall on the Letherii-controlled Isle of Pillars to make repairs and find provisions. They were confronted by Luthal Canar, who charged them with trespassing and demanded their ship in recompense. K'azz offered instead to undergo the Letherii custom of 'payment by trial' to erase their debt. Luthal agreed, and K'azz was weighted with stones and dropped into the lagoon. The Letherii was enraged when K'azz survived the usually fatal test by walking underwater to shore. The Crimson Guard commander offered to forgo the usual reward of one hundred Peaks.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.149/150
- ↑ Midnight Tides Chapter 2, US SFBC p.75
- ↑ Midnight Tides Chapter 4, US SFBC p.127
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.126
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.127
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.197
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.125-126
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chaoter 4, US SFBC p.126-128
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Chaoter 4, US SFBC p.137-138
- ↑ Assail (novel), Chapter 4, US HC p.126-135