Rise and Fall of Arela
Juris Macto – “Justice of the Fist” – is the equivalent to a duel to the death.
While the time, place, and fighting method can vary wildly, there are several rules that apply to any juris macto:
Challengers choose the time and place for duel. The person challenged chooses how the fight will happen – typically by steel and power.
The person challenged may choose a champion to fight in their place. The challenger may not.
The Master of Arms informs everyone of the combat rules, inspects the weapons (for poisons if they are not allowed), and allows the participants the opportunity to explain why they’re fighting and one last chance to back down from the fight. Barring this, the participants then take ten paces away from the Master of Arms as he or she counts. The Master of Arms then signals and combat begins.
In Arela, Juris Macto is not a common practice in many of the great cities. The custom originated in the distant past on Mareata, and was widely used by the first settlers of Arela as a way of settling disputes before the royal families of the great cities had established their power base and brought about a more formal rule of law. It is most often used as a threat from wealthy or noble individuals against their peers or nobility of lower stature, as they can typically afford great champions to fight in their stead.
The practice is outlawed in Ceres, and by extension all citizens of Ceres are forbidden to participate in Juris Macto when visiting any other lands. It is seen as backwards and old-fashioned in Kharlin, but still practiced to some degree in Troy and Partha.
Battles do not always have to end in death, but if a challenge is accepted the challenger’s only way out is to offer himself to the challenger in slavery or forfeiture of title and inheritance. The challenger can not every back out unless he offers the same. For these reasons, despite it not being expressly forbidden in Shivar and Kharlin as well as being legal in Parth and Troy it is still an extremely rare occurrence.