Yassa

The customs and laws of the Caravan

  1. There will be Magistrates of the Challenge appointed to see that the Yassa is observed.
  2. All people of the Yassa are to be respected and no preference shown to any of them.
  3. The people will be divided into troops and headed by commanders, to serve to raise the army in a short time and to form the units of commands.
    1. Any who would desire to lead men in battle must submit to the Oath of the Altan Ordu.
  4. When a campaign begins, each warrior will receive provisions and arms. The warrior must keep them in good order and have them inspected by their commander or commander’s successors before a battle, even to the needle and thread.
  5. The Great Hunt will be respected:
    1. The Rite of single combat, ending in death or baring-the-throat.
    2. Any hunters allowing through negligence prey to escape will be punished.
    3. It is permitted to eat the blood and entrails-though this was forbidden before now.
    4. The flesh of the fallen, even your own, shall be consumed as a sign of respect, or else fed to the fire.
  6. No subject of the Yassa may take another as a slave.
    1. Any who would attempt to enslave even a single member of the Yassa shall be put to death.
    2. Those who oppose the Altan Ordu by force of arms must be given the choice to submit to the Yassa or die.
      1. Only those of the Glaistig clans may oppose us without facing the choice of the Yassa.
    3. Those who submit or bow before the Altan Ordu without offering violent opposition may choose the Yassa or not, of their own accord.
    4. Those who deny the Yassa may be taken as slaves by those of the Yassa.
  7. Marriages are only recognized when officially witnessed by a blacksmith. A priest or shaman may be present, but may not speak or interfere.
    1. Marriage between first and second degrees of kinship is forbidden.
    2. A man or woman may keep multiple spouses only if the two spouses be siblings of each other, or when the subsequent spouse shares no race with any current partner of the union, and then only with the consent of all members of the union.
    3. A marriage union, once formed, may not be severed by any party of that union, save by the consent of all members of the union, as well as the originally presiding blacksmith, as witnessed by a Magistrate of the Challenge.
    4. It is forbidden to trade in spouses.
    5. It is forbidden to take a spouse or mate who is not of the Yassa, including those that are slaves.
    6. Children born outside of an official union are to be considered as legitimate, and receive their equal share of the heritage. All inheritance shall be distributed according to the disposition of it made by a presiding Magistrate of the Challenge, with consideration for unequal distribution made only of properly offered challenge. with no consideration of the age, birth order, or gender of the child.
  8. It is forbidden to bathe or wash garments in running water during thunder.
    1. It is forbidden to wash clothing until completely worn out.
    2. It is forbidden to dry clothing in the sun.
  9. Minors must not be killed in war. All adults must join in the battle.
  10. Murder will be punished by paying a blood price.
  11. The freedom of the individual to choose their religion and practice the religion of their choice shall not be impeded. The lives of any found to be forcing the practice of their religion on another shall be immediately forfeit.
    1. It is forbidden to show preference to a sect, or to put emphasis on a word.
    2. Where the strictures of a religious sect are contrary to the laws of the Yassa, the Yassa shall have precedence.
  12. Follow the Unwritten Law of the Spirits:
    1. A man who breaks his oath to the khan will be executed in the wilderness.
    2. It is forbidden to step over a fire or place a knife in it.
    3. It is wise to hide when there is thunder and lightning.
    4. If you see a cackle when starting a journey, do not kill it.
    5. Do not kill snakes.
    6. When you sell a beast, keep his halter.
    7. It is bad luck to sell beast milk.
    8. It is death to step on the threshold of a khan’s yurt.
    9. Do not touch the bow or arrows of another man.
    10. Never punish a person with a beastwhip.
    11. Never bring a beastwhip into the yurt of another man.
    12. Do not spit food on the ground.
    13. If food falls on the ground, do not pick it up. Eat it where it lays.
    14. Strangers must not touch children on the head.
    15. When a man dies in his yurt, it must be purified before anyone can live there.
    16. Greet each other courteously so that you will know who follows the Yassa.
    17. The proper greating is “Ta ürjüülekh ve?” (Do you Breed?). This is done with a special gesture, called zolgoh. This gesture is done by the two persons greeting each other grasping each other on the forearm, just in front of the elbow. The younger person will grasp the forearms of his elder from below, symbolizing that the young will always support their elders. If two people are the same age the right hand will support the left forearm of the person being greeted while the person being greeted will support the greeter’s left forearm with his right hand.

The Oath of the Altan Ordu

As remembered and enforced by Khutulun.

To lead the armies of the Golden Horde to victory over their foes.
To let no city or army stand in our way.
Cities shall be sacked.
Armies shall be crushed.
Their beasts taken.
Any that stand in opposition to the Golden Horde must be given the choice: join or die.
Those that join shall be given a place and full honors.
And we shall carry forth the vision tolerance, unity, and empire.
And call to Jalin Khan through acts of boldness, random chance, and the unexpected.

Yassa

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