Case 2: The Case of the Unfortunate Apprentices

OK, Day 2. It has been requested that I make a different thread for each case to allow comments not to get mixed up. Mods, if you would prefer each days case in one thread feel free to merge them...

The Case of the Unfortunate Apprentices

The case is brought by Euthanata, an elderly and Twilight addled maga of House Bonisagus. She argues that her desire to take Horatia, apprentice of Tyrone of Jerbiton, an apprentice with 13 seasons of training has been unlawfully denied by Tyrone. Tyrone argues that Horatia is her apprentice, but yes, as a Bonisagi Euthanata has the right to claim her apprentice. However, Euthanata, originally from Thebes, has according to Tyrone claimed 5 apprentices in the last seven years, all apprentices of excellent corpus specialists, and every one has died before taking their Gauntlet. It is against the custom of House Bonisagus to allow so many apprentices to be claimed, and furthermore Tyrone argues that each of the former apprentices has been found dead, with their heart missing. Euthanata admits to having taken several apprentices from different Tribunals, but states that their deaths prevent her from ever getting an apprentice to Gauntlet - her won was the first victim of this run of bad luck, and claims the hearts missing thing is just slander. Yes she is a Perdo Corpus maga, and her magical training is dangerous, but Horatia will be quite safe, and the Code is the Code. he asks the Tribunal to rule Tyrone must surrender Horatia.

The case was brought in the Normandy Tribunal.

OK, over to you!

cj x

There was a similar case brought up in the Rome tribunal in AD1172 -- a Bonisagus maga who had claimed, and lost the lives of, eight apprentices in seven years. The tribunal acquitted her, saying it was her right to do so; but asked the Primus of Bonisagus to censure her behaviour. The Primus of Bonisagus refused, and next year the maga claimed another apprentice. She received seven declarations of Wizard War soon after, and was (lawfully) slain (HoH:TL, p.54).

I guess this is pretty much the same case. Euthanatha of Bonisagus can certainly claim the apprentice. Of course, Tyrone of Jerbiton or any other magus who does not like it can declare a Wizard War on Euthanata. If a lot of magi don't like her, nothing stops them from banding together and declaring the Wizard War at the same time, so as to make their numbers count.

A magus with an excellent knowledge of precedent! Presumably the precedent is only binding in the Roman Tribunal however, and Euthanata never goes there. This is probably why! So hand over Horatia, and what penalty for Tyrone? And what is Euthanata up to, not that it is anyone's business?

cj x

From my understanding, it's not a Tribunal-specific addition to the Peripheral Code. Every magus who is not a follower of Bonisagus, upon taking the Oath, swears to concede to followers of Bonisagus the right to take his apprentice(s).

As for the penalties of not doing so, Euthanata simply requests the handing over of the apprentice; she does not claim to have been damaged so far by Tyrone's refusal. Since no damages have been requested, no damages should be awarded to Euthanata. On the other hand, the Tribunal may certainly fine Tyrone for violation of the Code. I'm not sure how long ago Euthanata requested the apprentice, but I suggest that for every season that the apprentice has been withheld, Tyrone should offer one season of service of her next apprentice to assist the Tribunal's quaesitores in their duties.

However! The right of the magi of Bonisagus to take apprentices is the reciprocation of their duty to share their discoveries. Now, a worrisome trend has appeared in the last century, whereby many magi of Bonisagus simply send the fruits of their research to Durenmar, and refer any sodales to that fabled centre of learning. Now, Durenmar does not allow copying of its texts, or even consultation in situ, unless a price is paid -- in the form of other books being contributed to their library, unless the would be student is a follower of Bonisagus; so that a magus who cannot, or will not contribute, will lose access to the research of his Bonisagus sodales. Durenmar claims that they are not withholding access, they are simply requesting payment. In the same spirit, one may argue that, in exchange for an apprentice, a magus should be able to request whatever payment he thinks is fair to the requesting Bonisagus. Let me be clear in this regard: the magus losing the apprentice should be allowed to set the compensation at his complete discretion, whether it's a pawn of vis or a dozen queens, just like Durenmar sets at their discretion the cost of accessing the knowledge that should rightfully belong to the Order.

I would ask that the Tribunal adopt this resolution, starting with the case at hand, until Durenmar explicitly allows any text in its library not currently in use, to be copied by any requesting magus or his servants, without compensation; and that if a text is so heavily requested that it's been in use for two consecutive seasons, that on the third season any interested magus who volunteers (or volunteers the services of a mundane servant) should be allowed to make an additional copy of the text so that it is accessible to all.

Incidentally, this is whole 30 cases thing is awesome. Thank you cj23!

And in this case the case is not being brought against Euthanata at all but against Tyrone. The Rome case suggests that Euthanata has the law on her side and that the Primus of Bonisagus would back her but it is not binding. The mass wizard wars were legally distinct from the tribunal ruling and the court must make it plain that Euthanata's death at the hands of every wizard in the room one month after her execising her right to Horatia is in no wise an official denial of that right. There will be a sign up sheet passed around at the conclusion of this session, please indicate dietary requirements for the after war feast.

As for Tyrone, did he, as Jerbiton sometimes do, also sign a mundane apprenticeship contract wrt Horatia? That would place him in loco parentis with the obligation to act in accordance with his own judgement of her safety. It is clearly not unreasonable for him to fear for her safety if he surrenders her to Euthanata and, given this conflict of obligations he did right to hold until this tribunal could render judgement. If there was no such contract then Tyrone has no such excuse for delay and he is fined one pawn of any type of vis for his obstruction.

Or, given it's Normandy, they settle the whole thing with a joust.

I would grant Euthanata's request and have Tyrone hand over the apprentice. Although he had ground for fearing for the safety his apprentice, this does not deliver him from his duty to follow tradition and fail to honor his Oath of Hermes ("I concede the right of Bonisagus to take from me any apprentice he may find helpful in his studies."). I would further fine him one pawn of vis for this Low Crime.

I would further call for charging Euthanata with the Low Crime of abusing her privilege as a Bonisagus by taking too many apprentices and failing to protect them. She has already deprived the Order of five potential magi. If found guilty, I would have her stripped of her apprentice, barred from exercising that privilege again for a period of 35 years (one Tribunal period for every apprentice lost), and fine 10 panws of vis to be paid to the Tribunal. Furthermore, her confiscated apprentice Horatia shall be remanded to the care of Tyrone of Jerbiton.

This one is likely to rapidly move to an out-of-Tribunal resolution. Wizards War / Certamen exist as a release-valve to people trying to game the system. If a public Wizards War example is made of Euthanata, it will serve as a reminder to the rest of House Bonisagus not to abuse their Code-given right.

Because of the precedent case, and the fact that it wasn't that long ago, chances are good that there is a group of magi who take umbrage at the kind of behavior Euthanata is engaging in and will decide to do something about it.

This might also be resolved by Certamen. If an elderly Bonisagus magus who is friendly with or sympathetic to Tyrone's plight also made a claim, settling the dispute between him and Euthanata would be entirely legitimate. Tyrone still loses his apprentice, but by the same token Euthanata doesn't get her either.

The elderly Bonisagus magus in question may simply claim and hold Horatia until more investigation into the fates of the other apprentices is concluded, then gift Horatia to whomever he feels should have her.

This looks like a very clean way to resolve the issue of Horatia.

Tyrone has many arguments to convince his sodales to follow it:

  • It should contribute to the fame of the Tribunal as level-headed, practical and just.
  • It avoids bloodshed and strife in the Tribunal.
  • It drives Euthanata out of the Tribunal for good (and on to other pastures/charnel houses).
  • It sets a solid precedent against further poaching of apprentices for guinea pigs, hence helps the Tribunal to avoid such issues in the future, and keep the next Euthanata out from the start.

And sometimes Jerbitons are pretty persuasive and politically minded, and might pull it off indeed.


Normandy? :smiley:
Actually, I'd see it passing for the opposite reason. Denying a Bonisagus an apprentice is a very, very clear violation of the Oath, and the Normandy magi would love to see if they can get away with it, cackling with glee at the uproar it would cause in the rest of the Order.

Again, this a serious point against it in Normandy :smiley:

Incidentally, if you read the original post, Tyrone is a she, even though noliar started calling her "him", and somehow everyone followed suit.

Since the peripheral code is always tribunal specific (though sometimes tribunals refer to eachother's peripheral codes), yes, yes it is.

Tellus, you are misunderstanding.
I'm saying that this is not PeripheralCode* -- it's the Oath! Just read it.
And because it's the Oath, rather than Peripheral Code, it's not Tribunal specific.
It applies to every single magus of the Order.
And not just because of some ruling -- but because that's what every magus swears this.

(Incidentally, there are a bunch of rulings made by the Grand Tribunal that are not Tribunal specific. But I really don't want to get into that).

Tyrone claims to have a hand of one of Euthanata's previous apprentices, and their spirit wishes to testify. Can a ghost give testimony against a maga?

cj x

Sorry I caused the issue with my response. As I intended it I was making two claims --

  1. The Oath is clearly universal, and binding, include the clause under consideration :slight_smile:
  2. The interpretation of the Oath here shown as set by the Tribunal of Rome is a Peripheral Code ruling and not binding on other Tribunals.

We do know for example that "interfering with mundanes" is interpreted legally differently in different Tribunals

cj x

Sorry I caused the issue with my response. As I intended it I was making two claims --

  1. The Oath is clearly universal, and binding, include the clause under consideration :slight_smile:
  2. The interpretation of the Oath here shown as set by the Tribunal of Rome is a Peripheral Code ruling and not binding on other Tribunals.

We do know for example that "interfering with mundanes" is interpreted legally differently in different Tribunals

cj x

I would point out that even if Euthanata cruelly tortured and slew every single one of her previous apprentices, she'd be entirely within her right to do so. We might disapprove (and Wizard War is always an option), but apprentices are the property of their master, who's the sole arbiter of their fate. With one, single, crucial caveat: the master must train the apprentice adequately. EDIT: this is not part of the Oath, but it's an early Grand Tribunal ruling.

If Tyrone claims that Euthanata has not been giving her apprentices adequate training, whether because she has insufficient knowledge of the Arts, or because she failed in her duty to teach her apprentices at least a single season/year, then -- and only then -- the handing over of the apprentice may be put in question. If Tyrone is raising this issue, I would consider fair to interrogate the spirit (with the due precautions against lying -- for the spirit would be understandably biased against Euthanata); but only on whether Euthanata provided adequate training.

Tyrone responds in disgust "she harvests them for Corpus vis!"

Tyrone asks the Tribunal a question - does teaching an apprentice very well indeed, but only in the Art of Corpus, count as failing to teach them properly?

cj x

Ahem, the Oath clearly supports this action with the words: "I will train apprentice who will swear to this Code..."

It appears that Euthanata has failed to fulfill her obligations, as maga and parens, to fully train her apprentices and have them swear to the Code.

-Mitis Pacator, filius Lucius, magus Bonisagus.

If true, then under the Code, she must reveal not only the act but also the methodology, since she is obliged to share her knowledge and wisdom with the Order and I know of no such method that would allow her to do so. Clearly, she has made a breakthrough that must be shared, which would allow us all to do this. Is that what you want, Tyrone? - Mitis

I know of no clause in the Code that forbids training an apprentice as a specialist. - Mitis

I think there's a fundamental difference. "Interfering with mundanes" is vague -- there is quite some room for interpretation. Similarly, you could argue that the proscription against "dealing with demons" may or may not include the proscription of actively fighting against them. But if the Oath says "I concede to Bonisagus the right to take my apprentice if he should find my apprentice valuable to him in his studies" there's not much wiggling.

Of course, any local Tribunal could come up with any wild interpretation of the Oath, however implausible. It could, for example, claim that summoning and binding and commanding demons is perfectly lawful, as long as a magus does not agree to anything in return ("deal", after all, implies some mutual agreement). It could also rule that "molesting the faeries" includes acceptance of the Divine, so that any magus not actively fighting against the Divine should be expelled and Marched. But the issue would then be raised at the next Grand Tribunal, which could then decide that the local Tribunal has violated the Code, and dole out appropriate punishment.

This is a serious issue. Does a Tribunal want to antagonize House Bonisagus, thanks to which the Order's power has grown to what it is now -- and who's helping it grow every year -- only to impose on them some subjective standards of how an apprentice should be trained? What's next? Shall it be a crime to "treat an apprentice cruelly", as all of house Tytalus does? I really think that the Oath is crystal clear on this. A magus of Bonisagus has the right to claim apprentices, and use them as he sees fit, even if it means boiling them in a cauldron to extract vis. Any party who feels wronged has the right to declare Wizard War. And any other follower of Bonisagus who would claim the apprentice has the right to contest Euthanata in certamen for the right; and can in fact nominate a champion to duel in his stead.