Law and Punishment
When the laws of the land are posted at all, they are posted in Black Speech, so that almost no one apart from literate servants of the Shadow know what they say. From the street-level, what laws there are easily seem entirely arbitrary.
For all intents and purposes, this is the entirety of the law: The Shadow can take everything away from you at any time, unless you serve it and are wealthy and/or valuable, in which case, you will be given something of lesser value in return.
There are four groups enforcing law in Baden’s Bluff. The Orcs do so sporadically and violently, and are only deployed in slums where collateral damage is acceptable.
Human guardsmen are the majority of law-enforcement in the city – many of them are only moderately trained. Their effectiveness is primarily due to the fact that few of the criminals they deal with are armed with more than knives, and the populace is easily cowed after generations of crushing occupation.
Hobgoblins are the elite enforcers in the city – large, powerful and highly disciplined. They are primarily charged with guarding the wall and maintaining security, watching for overland contraband and any trying to enter the city under false pretense.
More specifically, there are three main crimes which top the list. Here they are, in descending order of severity:
Use of magic of any kind
This restriction is severe enough that even using herbs that Orcs associate with Elves is punishable. The order of Legates keep their Astirax companions for the sole purpose of hunting down channelers and any repositories of magical power and snuffing them out, forcibly. Because of this, for the few channelers who survive, it is very difficult to find instruction. The only normal punishment for channeling is death, though rumors exist that even worse fates might befall those who dare call upon magic.
Literacy in any language
Every day, more lore of the ages before the Last Age is lost. The only exception to the law against literacy is for those who work directly with the Shadow, who need to be literate in order to perform their duties. Otherwise, even owning written texts is illegal, and punishable by enslavement or death.
Owning military weapons and armor
In a few rare cases, weapons such as small bows, slings and axes are allowable for loyal servants of the Shadow who use them to hunt, chop wood, and so on. There is no way, outside of Izrador’s military, for things like swords or shields or armor to be legal, however. Heavy bows, heavy crossbows, warhammers and so on are also illegal. The punishment for carrying military contraband is enslavement or death.
It is important to note that punishment is not limited to the one who commits a crime. That person’s family, friends, and anyone thought to be conspiring with them can similarly be punished.
The only legal recourse anyone has is to approach a local Legate and plead their case. How this turns out is entirely dependent on the Legate in question, but mercy is not something valued by Izrador’s servants.