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Friday, November 17, 2017

A Trial of Grievance is one of the six Trials of Combat.

When disputes arise between individual warriors that neither they nor their immediate superiors can resolve, both warriors must petition to have their differences
heard by the Clan Council (or the Grand Council if the opponents are Bloodnamed or hold important rank). Until the council rules, the disputants are bound by Clan
law to avoid any unnecessary contact. This may be carried to the point of one transferring to another unit. If one takes aggressive action against the other before
the council rules, or if he disagrees with the council's decision, he or she has committed a breach of Clan law punishable by expulsion into a lesser caste or out
of Clan society entirely.

If the issue is not resolved by the council, the parties may then call for a Trial of Grievance. The rules governing the trial are many and strict. If the combatants
are MechWarriors or fighter pilots of different weight-class vehicles, the council must make the contest more even. Often, a vehicle type that is mid-way in size is
chosen, and the disputants have several weeks to become accustomed to their new vehicles.

The trial itself is judged by members of the council, who ensure that trial and combat etiquette is strictly heeded. A Circle of Equals is defined, anything from ten
meters in diameter for a hand-to-hand trial to more than 100 kilometers wide for an air duel. No one but the combatants may enter the Circle of Equals unless invited,
and leaving the Circle before the contest is ended is a shameful defeat. All trials are defined as to the death, but they usually end before either combatant is killed;
the definition is supposed to dissuade Trials of Grievance being declared unnecessarily. In addition should a Trial of Grievance occur too frequently, possibly affecting
a military unit's readiness, a Star Colonel or Khan may forbid any Trials of Grievance for a certain amount of time.

This system of decisions and regulations is designed to outlast the anger that sparked the trial, and that is usually the case. Some records indicate, however, that
sometimes the anger between two warriors, or two sets of warriors, outlasts even the Trial of Grievance, degenerating into what we would call a feud. The most notorious
and well-documented failure of the grievance trial system involved the Nicholas Pride sibko and the Blue Devil sibko of Clan Smoke Jaguar. The Blue Devil warriors maintained
a grudge for several generations, based on an imagined slight during a Smoke Jaguar Council ceremony.

More commonly than a formal Trial of Grievance is the informal version. These usually involve single low-ranking warriors over issues that are not considered important.
Immediately after the Batchall, the two engage in negotiations, which are themselves quick. The trial is immediately fought in an ad-hoc Circle of Equals simply drawn in
the dirt. This informal procedure is illegal in Clan law but not enforced, since to force all disputes to be formally resolved would cause too much of an administrative burden.

Category: Trial Pages