Crime, Punishment, Death and Symbolism in Tarimite Lands
Anyone arrested for a crime has their hair cropped to the scalp, a custom from the era of the Conniptin Empire. Long hair is seen as a sign of virility, power, honesty, authority, etc; wigs are in fashion for the nobility that might not be able to grow their hair long enough. Short hair means that one has been arrested recently. There are a few general exceptions:
- The Tarimite Clergy trim their hair as a sign of humility and supplication.
- Some nobility, especially those with an active role in the military, keep their hair short and practical to maintain
- Rebellious youths who wish to cultivate a dangerous appearance will cut their hair as well.
- Career criminals and other outcasts of society sometimes keep their heads shaved as a display of dominance.
The Conniptin Empire utilized capital punishment on a broad scale to maintain public order. The Tarimite Kingdoms and Domains which followed have a great tenet of redemption in their culture: there are far fewer capital crimes, and murderers are not automatically executed: they are given a tattoo near their left eye of the Cross of Tarim, and generally sent for penitent labor in a gold or silver mine. Some of these condemned can be found in the retinues of Tarimite priests, bishops and cardinals, owing their lives to the clergy for their sentence of hard labor being deferred.
The sign of the Spade was first utilized as a symbol of death by the Conniptins, being the point of a stylized spear denoting death in battle, as well as the head of the shovel used to dig the grave. The Spade is still erected over graves on occasion, but the rise of the Tarimites replaced the official, accepted symbol of the grave with the Cross of Tarim. A school of magical study, Antithemancy, is concerned with death and what lies beyond and uses the sign of the Spade in its symbology.