[LMB] Executions

Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Sun Dec 12 13:25:57 GMT 2021

On Sat, Dec 11, 2021 at 10:41 PM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> From: Karen Hunt <huntkc at gmail.com>
> Quartering ? for desertion in heat of battle.
>       The Warrior's Apprentice ch 9, Diplomatic Immunity ch 5
> Public exposure and starvation ? for treason committed by a Vor.
>       Shards of Honor ch 5,  The Warrior's Apprentice ch 9
> Beheading ? for dueling and for armsman disobeying a liege-lord in combat.
>       Barrayar ch 8,  The Warrior's Apprentice ch 5
> Hanging ? for various offenses, including impersonating a military officer.
>       The Vor Game ch 13, Mirror Dance ch 11
> Unstated means of execution ? for impersonating an Imperial Auditor and for
> attempting to bribe an Imperial Auditor.
>       Memory ch 16, A Civil Campaign ch 12
> Unstated means of execution ? for attempting to assassinate one's Count or
> Count's heir
>       Mountains of Mourning
> Gwynne: Thank you!  You know everything - you're a great resource.
> I'd guess that Gregor has quietly stopped quartering, it's a bit too
> Bloody Centuries
> for a modern Nexus-facing Barryar. Maybe just a simple firing squad?

Quartering was still the official punishment at the time of Diplomatic
Immunity, so he didn't do it right away...

Do all Vor get the posts for treason? I thought it was just Counts and
> their Heirs?
> (Or is it that only Counts and their Heirs face the CoC for trial, instead
> of normal
> courts? I know that Richars mentioned that.)

Not sure. Vorlopoulous's Law only applied to Counts and Heirs, so the
instances of that being the reason don't help.
Miles contemplated that punishment at the end of The Warrior's Apprentice,
but he's an Heir and he expected it to be that law.

> I'm going to guess that beheading has been (I was going to say axed,
> but...) abolished,
> on the same grounds as quartering - a bit too bloody for modern tastes.

It hadn't been abolished at the start of The Warrior's Apprentice, but I
could see it happening afterwards.

Hanging, yes, maybe, I can see them still using that.

Miles was pretty worried that this was going to be his fate during The Vor
Game ("thereby hangs me" etc)

> Apparently firing squad hasn't been mentioned, but I can see that
> happening - and
> being Barrayar they probably offered the offended parties, or their
> surviving
> relatives, a spot in the line.
> In Mountains of Mourning, when Pym is sent with Miles:
> "One of the liveried men will be your bodyguard. And — if the story checks
> — the executioner."
> So executions are done on the spot - and I'd guess by a one-man firing
> squad, I think that's
> more likely than hanging.

And thus indeed we see that various simpler murder cases are handled more
easily: firing squad of sorts.

Maybe each Count sets their own ground rules? Or would it be expected that
> all
> Districts follow similar rules for something so important?

I bet it's a mix. Imperial rules for a bunch of stuff, and local rules for
anything that the Districts are allowed to handle.
Not sure how mixed. I recall Ivan and Tej learning that the "no
Cetagandans" rule was abolished, likely as a result of Rene Vorbretten
becoming count.

"And the Cetagandan element has undergone recent revision of precedent
here, so that won’t count either." (Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, ch 12)

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