The Clare ruling Council has commissioned a task force to investigate the recent strange happenings. Well, technically it’s the second time they’ve done this, a previous attempt branching out of the watch and militia ended poorly and the Council won’t talk about it. In any case, the council has decided to open up recruitment to the new task force to more diverse individuals, and has put out an open call for those with appropriate skills. As such, agents can be from Clare, or from foreign nations, and can have a diverse range of backgrounds, approaches and personal goals.
The overall objective of the task force is to represent the interests of Clare in this time of trouble, particularly tackling new phenomena. Supposedly all members are here to cooperate to further the interests of Clare, though they may (and probably will) disagree on how to pursue, and even what are, the “interests of Clare”.
Specific goals may be given to the task force by representatives of the ruling council. Agents in good standing (which they are by default) are provided with some Ducatto each week to spend as they see fit. This income may increase or decrease depending on the Council's current opinion of the task force or (more rarely) individual agent.
The Council can discipline individuals if they are presented with conclusive evidence that they’re working against the interests of Clare. Task force agents are responsible to law enforcement for their actions towards each other, but have license to abuse other citizens without legal repercussions, though it can cause severe social and political repercussions. Otherwise agents are expected to form whatever organisational structure they consider appropriate (or none), as long as they get the job done. Rumours abound as to what could have caused the council to grant such power to such a group with so little oversight.
The venue for interactives has heavy doors designed to contain research mishaps. As such it takes 5 seconds of roleplay with one hand to open it and leave. Due to the locking mechanism, it’s impossible to remove an animate character from the interactive venue forcibly, they must agree to leave unless fully dead. This means if someone becomes incapacitated or terminal in the interactive, they can't be dragged out and hidden.
While the task force is in the jurisdiction of Clare law, due to the unusual nature of its operation, the council has decided to give agents wide latitude to carry out their duties. Agents are not permitted to carry out crimes against other council agents, however they are permitted to otherwise act as they see fit while performing their duties (so both in interactives and out on linears). Obviously, abusing this license will cause negative consequences for the individual and task force as a whole. If an individual consistently causes problems or does something egregiously heinous they may be censured by the Council, and they may have their license restricted (in which case if they do it again they can be charged) or completely revoked (which doesn’t allow them to be charged retroactively, but which would allow immediate reprisals by other agents without legal restriction).
Crimes are mostly as you’d expect: Murder (defined as causing someone terminal injuries), assault, theft, etc. You can consent to crimes upon you (for example Assault in order to have a consensual duel), though if things go wrong the onus is on the perpetrator to show they had permission (expect a hard time convincing a magistrate someone consented to their own murder).
Should an agent commit a crime against another agent, or an outsider commits a crime, a Magistrate can be summoned to adjudicate on the case, who will hear the evidence and then render judgement. Magistrates use a balance of probabilities to determine guilt, but the level of the sentence will be reduced if there is significant doubt. Magistrates are stringently vetted for their dedication to the law, and are widely held to be incorruptible (Witnesses on the other hand…).
Agents are expected to handle internal security among themselves, and clemency will likely be given if assault occurs and the victim is then promptly healed, and some justification for the assault is given. If any property changed hands during the assault, this will need much greater justification. Injuries short of death caused by magical or alchemical mishaps will likely not be penalised. Magistrates will normally only attend to investigate a crime if summoned. Summoning a Magistrate can be done by anyone without needing special contacts. Note that due to the operation of the uptime venue doors, it’s impossible to remove a terminal or incapacitated character forcibly, so a resilient victim can always summon a magistrate for crimes against them, even “murder”. Should someone be incapacitated or restrained and unable to leave, yelling for a Magistrate for several minutes is also likely to attract someone's attention eventually and get one summoned.
Penalties are one of fines, bonded service, maiming, execution. Imprisonment is not used, since bonded service is preferred; if the bonded service is consistently performed inadequately, execution will follow. Execution is defined as causing terminal injuries. The law hasn’t yet caught up to the idea that terminal people might somehow survive.