Regarding the noble orders three classes of nobility exist in Yesyanola:
- the ancient nobility descended from the landlords of Malkian estates
- the so called new nobility descended from warriors who grabbed territory in the reconquista of Yesyan from the Ishmalis.
- The nobility of the noble orders appointed by the king with life titles.
These classes are not mutually exclusive. The descent of an ancient house may have gain a new nobility title through marriage and if a member of a noble order we rewarded with a life title.
The nobility is firmly entrenched over the lower classes but the King is the true head of the ship of state and is his favour which determines whether a person rises or declines in status. For instance a bright peasant can find their way via a church school into the Church or Bureaucracy (or both) and sail very high up the ranks of society. For the less intellectual the Army and Navy offer more perilous opportunities for advancement.
The middle classes have guilds and corporations but these are only organised on a city or town basis. They have to rely on local nobles for patronage, are licensed by the King and watched by the Inquisition in case they become a forum for dissent. The Peasantry are dissatisfied but revolt is uncommon due to the sophistication of the Yesyan security system.
Both the King and Church maintain inquisitions. The white uniformed Royal Inquisition guards against all treachery and organised crime. They have networks of informers in all major cities and throughout the institutions of the Yesyan state. The red clad Pontiffal Inquisition watches against religious heresy and co-operates closely with the Royal Inquisition. Both freely use local officials and military in their operations of which torture and forced confessions are an integral part. Inquisition cases are brought before Royal or Church High Tribunals which exist outside the normal legal system, only hear prosecution evidence and the only right of appeal is directly to the King. Such Tribunals consist of three masked judges, themselves veteran Inquisitors.
The Church, Army, Navy, the Nobility, the Royal Bureaucracy, Cities and Districts all maintain separate law courts. Trials are held in the Court of the highest rank that has an interest in the case (as plaintiff, defender or accuser.) For example an Army Sergeant accusing a peasant of theft could have it heard in a military court. If he was accusing a Bishop it could (at the Bishop’s decision) be heard in a Church court. A Yesyan Court consists of:
- A Judge (who presides, determines guilt and casts sentence.) A Judge can determine guilt as soon as the accused is named if they desire. Judges are appointed by Local Governors
- A Royal Secretary who transcribes the case and records precedence.
- An escort (local troops or volunteers.)
Law enforcement is sporadic. Military or sailors may patrol the towns they are garrisoned in but only at the whim of their commanders. Some larger towns and cities maintain Town Guards and/or concerned citizens for Vigilant Volunteers who patrol the markets. In the event of a crime the onus is often on the victim or his/her family to bring the perpetrator to justice. Often and particularly for the poor they resort for tit for tat crimes and the age old vendetta blood feuds.