go over: tribalism; economy/money; law; government structure, brief history

The time period we're talking about is the 1400s-1500s (as the defined on Ibalas, not on Earth). There are only a few monarchies and one [dying] empire. The current popular form of government is what we might call a krytocracy: a government run by judges.

Ibalan government isn't much like any current Earth government; it's closest to ancient Israel, interestingly enough, before the time of Saul.

Good lawyers, after a certain period of time and an election by other lawyers (and all elderly people) (!), can choose to become judges. Judges and lawyers often have specialties and serve in particular kinds of cases. Judges are paid quite a lot; lawyers are not paid very much. This is the basic system. In Scaidhe there are High Lawyers and High Judges; there is a group called the Patrol, which is a bunch of lawyers who also serve as police; there is the Discussion Court, where you can hire various numbers of lawyers to file a “suit” against an existing law or the lack of one, thus proposing a bill. If the Patrol catches someone committing a crime/find someone who they suspect has committed a crime, that person will be brought to a local courthouse and likely questioned. People who are witnesses, or likely witness, will also be brought. If it seems quite clear that the person is not guilty, or will not be a useful witness, they will be released; if there is ambiguity or if they would likely be a good witness, they will be told a scheduled court date at which they should show up. If the person is deemed to be dangerous, they are held in a Patrol out-building, much like a prison. However, people are not sentenced to this prison; there are no prisons of that particular kind, for keeping people who are definitely prisoners; rather, it is a waiting-pen. During the actual trial, a Patrol lawyer will explain what happened, and how they inferred that this person was a criminal. Patrol lawyers are much like specialized witnesses, really. An ordinary impartial lawyer will help the person with presenting their case, will ask questions of Patrol member and the suspect, and then present a final statement a lot like this: “X is suspected of Xing, which is illegal under X law. Patrol Member Y, as a representative of the Law and the State, states that blahblahblah happened, insert evidence for Y's position. X states that blahblahblah happened, insert evidence for X's position and/or justification for X's actions. Witness Z's information, which was reliable in these ways/unreliable in these ways, further seemed to confirm/deny the case of X/Y in these ways. Okay, that's basically what happened in this trial. Think about it, Judge.”