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Imperial Visa

The official mode of identification in the Aelyrian Empire.

Imperial Visa

Contents


[top]Abstract

The visa is the single ubiquitous document of Aelyria. Issued to all citizens at the time of birth, the simple piece of paper is proof that the bearer possesses all the legal rights afforded under the Articles of Imperium. Its most common usage is during legal and financial transactions to establish the identities and roles of the parties.
Further Reading: A Guide to Starting Packages

[top]The Visa

Though the contents of the visa have become standardized over the rule of many emperors, the form of the visa varies wildly depending on the wealth and prosperity of the location of issue. Most visas are written on parchment for its prevalence and toughness. Families may supply different material for the visa at personal cost. Tradesmen and merchants often choose paper and some nobles choose vellum or silk. There is at least one record of a visa written on tanned human skin.

While each visa starts life quite similarly, their size, shape, and purpose will often evolve during the life of their owner. Some choose to bind the visa with additional pieces of parchment or paper to create small books for stamps of residency, financial details, and the names of close families. The importance of the document also leads many to protect their documents with covers of leather or oilskin.

Below is a sample document containing the basic contents of a visa. Some clerks may add additional information about heritage or appearance according to the local traditions.

 
Visa
Jae-050418-7812*
Name: Lady Cymbeline of the County of Bourbage
Race: Human
Date of Birth: 4th of Optia, Era XVIII PF
Place of Birth: The city of Jaedaxia in the Republic of Northumbria.

Distinguishing Features: Blond hair, blue eyes.
Motherís Name (at Birth): Lady Maria Dupont
Fatherís Name (at Birth): Lord Richard of the County of Bourbage

Issued by:
Alexander Kybenko, Assistant Aedile
 

* = Many, but not all large cities attempt to issue visas with consistent unique numbers or combinations of numbers & letters to guard against forgers.

An aedile will stamp the document with the city seal and the date of issue. Many citizens choose to re-visit an aedile when moving their place of permanent residence. This is often accomplished by entering the names and abodes of the new inhabitants in the local records and simply re-stamping the visa. In many cities and towns, this often requires fees or character witnesses from the new community.
Further Reading: City Government

[top]Getting a Visa

The methods of getting a visa will vary depending on the status of the individual.
Citizens: Many parents in Aelyria bring their child to the aedileís office shortly after birth to apply for a visa though it is not unheard of for some to wait cycles, months, or even eras. If the parents of a child are both recorded as inhabitants of their town or city, it simply becomes a matter of presenting their visas for verification. Those away from home often must bring friends and witnesses to support the validity of their claims to citizenship.

Barbarians: Barbarians can receive citizenship and receive a visa by presenting themselves to an aedile, renouncing their previous affiliations, and taking an oath of citizenship. However, the clerks often note that the new citizen is a barbarian when they issue a visa. Certain locations may also impose (sometimes onerous) requirements such as visa taxes upon newly sworn citizens.

Replacement: Citizens who lose their visas must return to their last recorded place of residence to receive a new document. These unfortunate persons will often bring friends and relatives to attest to their citizenship.

[top]Common Uses

While a universally important document, the everyday interactions between a visa and its owner vary wildly across Aelyria. The areas traditionally under the control of the Crown such as Centripax are generally more inclined towards its use in everyday transactions than more cultural divergent provinces like Arakmat. Its use can also vary greatly depending on class. A sustenance farmer may only produce his visa during the yearly trips to the nearest town or trading post for supplies while a merchant or a tradesman will use the visa on a regular basis for legal purposes.
Further Reading: A Primer to Geography
Visas are commonly used as supporting documents to a deceased citizenís will. The executor of an estate will often seek to have a will certified before an appropriate official such as a local magistrate. Parties wishing to dispute the will are invited to voice their objection and negotiate with the executor. Once the magistrate is satisfied, he will reclaim the deceased citizenís visa and declare the will certified. Future challenges to the will become much more difficult as judges and arbiters largely will consider the matter finished.
Further Reading: Death in Aelyria
The families of the deceased are, of course, able to execute a will without certification. However, this is often frowned upon as it often involves the requests of the deceased. Executing a will without certification can lead to extensive litigation.

[top]Forgery

Visas are the most commonly forged document across Aelyria. While most cities host one or two unscrupulous individuals with the skills and seals to create a passable fake visa, the cities of Vortex and Imperia are infamous for producing visas of all shapes and sizes often of better quality than the original document.

However, it is more difficult to procure a forgery with records in an aedileís office. The simplest way is to steal another personís visa and alter the document to fit the new owner. Larger-scale and deeper-pocketed operations also rely on corrupt clerks to alter the local documents though this will provide only recent entries.

Forging or bearing a forged visa are considered serious crimes though sanctions and punishments vary from place to place. Some cities with little patience for such matters will turn the perpetrators over to representatives of the Crown for a quick execution. Others will prosecute the perpetrators locally for forgery. The punishment is often severe ranging from amputation of extremities (often the fingers or hands) to execution.

[top]Credits

Credit goes to GM Khaine for headings in the sample visa. Various chat oldies for going down memory lane for tidbits about the visa. Written by Hsin.


Contributors: Nimh, Charybdis
Created by Charybdis, July 31, 2014 at 05:26 PM
Last edited by Nimh, October 24, 2016 at 07:25 PM
0 Comments, 1,269 Views
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