Weregild

Weregild is a sum of money paid to the family of a murder victim by the perpetrator, and potentially, his kin. The amount is determined by the status of the victim and the circumstances of the killing, and the closeness of kin to the murderer.

For example, immediate relatives of a murderer are expected to split the full sum of the weregild among themselves. Cousins pay half the full amount for every degree of removal, out to fifth cousins (first cousins pay 1/2, second cousins pay 1/4, etc). Female relatives pay half of what male relatives pay.

Circumstances greatly affect the price of weregild, as well. Murder by trickery (such as by poison or ambush) double the weregild, while an honorable killing (such as both men dueling with like armament) would cost only the standard amount.

In the case that weregild was not paid, it is expected of the relatives of the victim to kill those who refuse to abide by the law. This killing does not garner weregild.

The base amount of a man’s weregild is based on their social status and given on the following chart; a woman’s is typically half to two-thirds that of a man’s.

Status Weregild
Slave None
Serf $40 – $80
Freeman $80 – $100
Landowner $100 – $250
Thane $800 – $1,000
Elderman $1,000 – $1,200
Nobleman $1,250 or more
King $7,500 or more

Weregild

Elyria Humabout