Mystara: The Journey...
Black Seal Warrant
No official condemnation is more uniquely Minrothaddan than the Black Seal Warrant, named so for the black wax of its official seal. The warrant is a death decree issued as punishment for the most censured of crimes, such as assassination or treason. The warrant must be recommended by the court and endorsed by the ruling guildmaster. A criminal need not stand trial in person to receive the Black Seal as his punishment, but can be tried in absentia.
Once the warrant is signed, a gold piece value is set upon the condemned criminal as a bounty. This unusual sentence is the Minrothad Guilds’s way of saying, “No matter where you are, we will eventually find you and execute you.” It also is a license for unsavory individuals, perhaps from less than legal organizations, to travel abroad or hire foreigners to execute the criminal with impunity regardless of where he is found.
This warrant is so far-reaching because of the vital trade connections of the Minrothad Guilds. A country that offers refuge to a Black Seal-condemned criminal soon finds that guild ships will carry no goods to or from that country. If this measure proves inadequate, the guild puts similar pressures on the allies of the recalcitrant country, until it becomes more economical—and politically expedient—to give up the condemned criminal. The fugitive finds that there is a price on his head and most people know it. He can trust no one and few will shelter him.
The warrant is posted publicly in the Minrothad Isles, displayed on all guild trading vessels, and distributed in foreign ports by Minrothad agents.