The high priests of The White Ziggurat serve as administrators and political leaders for the entire valley, convening in councils to decide matters of state. High ranking military officers hold similar positions of authority and leadership, but remain subservient in all matters to the White Ziggurat. Local officiates are sometimes chosen by their communities, but the theocracy has taken to assigning priests and military officers to these positions.
Law and Order
Most transgressions against person or property are considered to be criminal acts. This includes theft, assault, murder, fraud, and so forth. Consideration is given to issues of self defense and mutually agreed upon duels. Weapons and armor must be surrendered to the authorities if the command is given, but may otherwise be worn by anyone except known criminals, who are often branded or otherwise marked.
Heresy is considered among them most severe of crimes. This includes the open worship of any god other than Ashun, consorting with demons or the undead, or anything else which the White Ziggurat deems unacceptable in the eyes of Ashun.
Justice is usually swift. Trials for minor infractions may be carried out by local law enforcement, while more severe crimes are usually handled by high ranking priests or military officers. It is the right of any citizen of Agaran to ask to plead his case before the high council of priests at the White Ziggurat, but the justice dispensed there is often so merciless that few ever ask for such an audience.
Petty crimes are often punished by fines paid to the government, restitution to the inured or offended party, floggings, or time spent at forced labor. Prisons do exist, but they are mainly for the purposes of temporarily storing those awaiting trial or transportation to labor camps.
Repeat offenders and more dangerous criminals are judged more severely. They are given a criminal brand so that all may know of their wrongdoings, and are often given life sentences of hard labor. Execution, public or otherwise, is the usual sentence for heinous offenses such as arson, murder, treason, and heresy.
Militias and Garrisons
Most settlements have some form of local defense force. In smaller towns and villages there will usually be a militia on hand to deal with raiders, dangerous beasts, and whatever criminal activity may occur. Smaller militias of this sort usually consist of poorly trained volunteers. These militias are occasionally led by more competent warriors, such as local citizens who have served time in the army, but it is more common for such forces to be led by the same community leaders who govern political, social, and economic matters. Such men are rarely better equipped to handle dangerous situations than the volunteers they are leading, making most local militias a poor match against a serious threat.
Cities and larger towns can support larger and more permanently installed militias made up of more skilled fighting men, with regular and organized patrols and watch duties. If the settlement is large enough, or close enough to the borders of the valley, they may have a military garrison in place of or in addition to a local militia.
The Army of Agaran
The army of Agaran is growing rapidly in size and capability. Their focus is on defending the borders, and to this end they have been building strongholds, bolstering their ranks, and sending scouting parties to explore new lands.