From the Mayor’s Desk:
Some worthless peon had the bright idea that tourists need a concise break down of New Gotham’s laws. I was volunteered for the job. (Hooray for me.) After I examined the ten pound tome, it occurred to me that I’d save money on ink by pointing out a few key differences between New Gotham and the real world. Please keep in mind, this is not a complete listing of New Gotham’s laws, but I’m a busy woman, so this will have to do for now.
Humans are considered food by most of the population.
Showing more skin than necessary might tickle someone’s appetite.
Prostitution is a career path.
A “registered” prostitute is a protected employee of this city and will not be abused by anyone. Likewise, there is no such thing as a “pimp” in New Gotham. (Not legally, anyways.) There are registered “merchants” in New Gotham, and like any business owner they must have a business license and an active permit to sell their “wares.”
Murder is a relative concept.
There is no legal repercussion for murder in New Gotham. There is a thing as “legal vengeance.” And yes, entire families have died because of “blood feuds.” When in doubt, think of “Romeo and Juliet.” Poor idiots.
Mating isn’t always a choice.
Especially for those of us who are more “beast” than “man.” There are some monster cultures that acknowledge “rape” as a crime, and there are other monster cultures who will publicly stone anyone even accused of rape. (Nope. No proof needed.)
Legal agreements and verbal pacts are binding.
Reneging on either can be grounds for extreme legal action. If the dispute reaches Machiavelli Court, the two parties will be asked to present their case to the Council. And nothing makes the Council happier than making an example out of a “dishonorable” monster.
Labor laws are flexible.
Creatures without representation in the Council are not allowed to be considered a New Gotham “Faction.” Therefore, they have no Bill of Rights. This leaves many of them open to all kinds of nefarious business dealings.
Slavery exists within several different monster cultures.
It is not a practice that is recognized or formally acknowledged by the Council or any other city officials. It is unregulated beyond the social constraints and limits within practicing cultures/societies. Humans are rarely enslaved.
Bestiality is an irrelevant concept.
There are laws against “animal abuse” but not “bestiality.” Whenever any bestiality charges are brought before the Council, most of the members want to know a bunch of irrelevant things like, “Why? And, really? A goat? You’re…sure?”
Necrophilia is also an irrelevant concept.
Please note that monsters are not permitted to desecrate burial grounds. That is an absolute no-no. You will not get away with it. The Brothers Grimm will find you.
Adultery matters to some cultures, but not all.
The women you see wearing “Scarlet Letters” stitched to their clothing are part of a culture/society where it DOES matter. A lot. Do not throw food or trash at them. That practice is reserved for MALE and married New Gotham residents only.
Scientific experimentation has few limitations.
You’ll find that New Gotham has many inquisitive minds that are always open to test-subjects, and/or limb and organ donations.
Religious freedom is tolerated without question,
and this includes rituals involving human/animal/creature sacrifice. You will find such practices are not widespread. Why? Why is this practice not widespread? Because in New Gotham…
Vengeance is a legally supported course of action
as long as the injured party can prove the response to the original transgression was justified. Some citizens seek the Council’s blessing beforehand, but it certainly isn’t required. The law is that after you “balance” the beam of justice, you must declare your crime to City Council within a fortnight. In the event you can’t get an audience with the Council, you’re free to tell the Mortician. He likes to keep an accurate record of “who” killed “what” and when.
If the wrong creature sees you littering,
it will be the end of your ungrateful life.
Theft (of any kind) will get you killed.
This really isn’t a problem for humans. Most humans tend to have a sensible sense of survival when they enter this city. This notice is really for all the fey reading this guide. Do not steal here. New Gotham as a whole will not tolerate it. Slaves, possessions, wives, children, cookies–don’t steal it. Especially don’t steal it and run off into The Veil. Fools, the monsters know where you live. They will more than likely come looking to reclaim what has been lost. (And frankly, we’ve had enough changelings to last us a lifetime.)
Arranged marriage is an entirely suitable and legally binding practice.
Betrothal-at-birth also occurs on a semi-regular basis for those of the Clan and Court factions. You’ll find that most monster societies have severe mating and breeding regulations. This is due (in part) to the fact that monsters are nearing extinction as a whole.
Don’t leave your children unattended.
They will be fed an espresso bean, given a puppy or devoured with afternoon tea.
Gender and species are not relevant for marriage purposes.
Any consenting creature may marry another consenting creature in New Gotham and be recognized as regular legal marriage. You’ll find the carrying theme here in New Gotham is that we really don’t really care about other people’s little problems unless they’re encroaching on our little problems.
There is no age of sexual consent.
Sexual maturity is determined by a creature’s culture. And the practices are widespread and different for every creature. (Yes, teen pregnancy happens here–it happens everywhere. It is treated differently depending on who’s in trouble.) You’ll find that most monsters pay little mind to children beyond eating them for breakfast and stealing firstborns for nefarious schemes.
There is no appropriate drinking age.
This is somewhat of a Catch-22 in New Gotham. There is NO appropriate drinking age for monsters. There is an appropriate drinking age for humans in SOME establishments. Not all. This has a lot to do with what kind of liquor is served. If the mundane liquor is imported from outside of New Gotham, there will be a drinking age (21 and over). This is due to the American Government’s strange request that while New Gotham is serving liquor on its soil, the regulation still persist for its people. We’re not sure why they don’t want their people drunk. It’s not like being sober would solve being stupid.
You’d think they would’ve picked something else to put their foot down about. Like all the murder, rape, senior-citizen abuse, their laughable healthcare system–nope, they’re more worried about the liquor licenses, drinking ages, and tax revenue our city brings.
There is no appropriate driving age,
but creatures are required to meet a certain height and weight requirements. Yes, we realized that this law totally bars some creatures like pixies and squirrel-shifters from driving. Neither of which I would trust behind a wheel. So, there it is.
Taxes, taxes, taxes—pay them.
You’ll find that everything in New Gotham is taxed. I’m pretty sure that in the grand economical scheme of things, I’m being taxed for the chair I’m sitting in and the pen with which I write.
The tax rules existing between New Gotham and the American government allow for New Gotham to govern itself (with the exception of a few boons like the “drinking appropriate age” for humans.)
In other words, pay your goddamn taxes. If you don’t, the Nottingham will put you on his “Naughty List.” And believe me when I say the IRS pales in comparison to that heathen.
Don’t scream. No one is listening.
There is no United States federal or state police presence in New Gotham. We get the occasional monster or bounty hunter, but that’s about it. New Gotham have a private police force. The NGPD is comprised of a mixture of monsters and humans, led by the enigmatic and handsome Sheriff Pendragon.
If the NGPD have a reason to find you and they succeed (which they nearly always do), you will be arrested and tried by Machiavelli Court. There is a possibility that you will be sentenced to Striker Asylum, Aesop Prison, or death by various creative (and/or gruesome) means. We are mythical creatures. There is no such thing as the falsely accused. (We make very sure of it.)
Thank you for reading.
Enjoy your stay in New Gotham.