The Drownings were a form of punishment for crimes used in the city of Letheras as well as a spectacle. The basic idea was that an accused criminal was weighed down with their fine, attached to a rope (for the later retrieval of the fine money) and forced to swim the Quillas Canal. The amount of weight attached to the criminal was proportional to the crime. Should that criminal emerge from the other side of the canal intact, they were free to go, though usually they drowned.
The canal was about one hundred paces wide. Those who failed to survive had their corpse dumped back into the river, which led to the saygin "Guilty as sludge".
Given the relative rarity of a successful crossing, the Drownings also became the subject of many wagers by the residents of the city.
Two notable exceptions were Ublala Pung (4300 docks in fines) and Shurq Elalle (200 docks in fines). Because of his Tarthenal heritage (having four lungs) Ublala was simply able to walk across on the bottom of the canal dragging his weights due to his sheer size and strength. Shurq did drown, but a curse prevented her from actually dying, so she emerged undead.
|Crime||Fine for men||Fine for women|
|Theft||500 docks||250 docks|
|Kidnapping||500 docks||250 docks|
|Failure to repay a debt||500 docks||250 docks|
|Damage to property||500 docks||250 docks|
|Murder||500 docks||250 docks|
|Embezzlement||300 docks||150 docks|
|Assault without cause||300 docks||150 docks|
|Cursing in public upon the names of the Empty Throne, the king or the queen||300 docks||150 docks|
|Loitering||100 docks||50 docks|
|Voiding in public||100 docks||50 docks|
|Disrespect||100 docks||50 docks|
Wagers were taken for not only actual Drownings, but also Risings, Flailings, Flounderings, and Vanishings.