Case 2: The Case of the Unfortunate Apprentices

Just as I recall, and I could be wrong - the body of a Gifted individual trained in the Hermetic Arts contains vis equal to the magnitude of their highest Form score? This may have only applied in a previous edition, but I am pretty sure it is in their somewhere. I am afraid I don't have access to my books right now, being out, but I shall have a look later. Can anyone remember if this is correct, and if so where?

Euthanata does not deny the accusation. After a Twilight episode brought on during an experimental failure making her Longevity ritual, she agrees she requires Corpus vis from Gifted individuals for her Ritual. She insists she has done nothing wrong, but as has clearly been pointed out above the Oath requires her to train apprentices so they can swear the Oath! So who should be facing charges, and does any of this change anything? At the moment Lucius T seems to have demonstrated that taking Horatia for the purposes of teaching her Corpus, killing her prior to Gauntlet and then transferring her vis to her heart to ears is unlawful. Some might also argue it is in bad taste, and a minor breech of Hermetic etiquette?

The main problem with challenging Euthanata to Wizard's Wars is she is a Perdo Corpus maga of immense power, and has already slain several other Corpus magi all over Europe in justly declared Wizard's Wars. The reason for that is now apparent. She needed to harvest them. She seems resolutely cheerful about this, and makes jokes about it all, smiling serenely... (maybe I should stat her up as an NPC?)

cj x

It appears this interpretation of the Oath is clearly invalid -- or would you claim that every apprentice should eventually become a magus, even the incompetent and magically crippled ones? The gauntlet exists for a reason.

I would and do claim, soldales, that if a parens properly fulfills his obligations under the Code, no apprentice should ever be incompetent or magically crippled, except perhaps through accident.

I am aware of no such rule in any edition which I have played.

That has not been officially the case since at least 3rd edition. It may rather have been a House rule, or something discussed on the berklist.

The possible wiggling room here is what constitutes "valuable to him in his studies".

It is implied that it would help advance the Order's knowledge of magic, by assisting Bonisagus in the lab. As a Bonisagus I, for one, am deeply offended that this could ever be interpreted as "this apprentice is valuable to my research because I can rip his heart out to provide me with vis".

Furthermore, as I previously stated, Euthanata has also abused her privilege as a Bonisagus by falling into the practice of apprentice-snatching. She herself admitted that she is acquiring apprentices for the purpose of harvesting them for vis, killing them in the process. She has done this 5 times in the last 7 years, which is beyond what's considered acceptable by my august House.

I'm very confident about not having seen anything like this in 5th edition (though there are a few of books I don't have). I also do not recall anything like this in 4th or 3rd edition, but I may be wrong.

You may be conflating two things. The first is that supernaturalbeings* tend to have 1 pawn of vis / 5 points of Might. The second is that in many cases when you have to assess the "Might equivalent" of a magus (e.g. when a magus turns into a ghost) one tends to base it on the score of an appropriate Art, typically the highest (see e.g. RoP:M p.99, or Spiritual Dream Travel, TMRE pp.106-107).

Note that Wizard Wars need not be one-on-one. And if half the Tribunal decides to declare Wizard War on Euthanata simultaneously, and she can laugh it off, it's not as if expelling and trying to march her would make much difference, right?

Also, as has been pointed out, she can be challenged to certamen by any other magus of her House over the right to take the apprentice; who can in turn nominate any other magus to fight the duel in his stead. If she specializes in Perdo and Corpus, it's likely that her other scores are much lower; the challenger should then just avoid challenging in Perdo, and veto Corpus should she propose it.

Still, it happens. It's not common, but in every House some apprentices fail their gauntlet; others are lost before even before attempting it. The only requirement set to their masters is having basic competence in all the Arts, and offering a season of training to the apprentice every year. Or would you claim that every magus who had at least one failed apprentice should be cast out of the Order and slain?

It appears to me that Tyrion is justified in refusing to hand over his apprentice to Euthanata if Euthanata will not properly train her as an apprentice to take the Oath. And it appears, from Euthanata's smiles, that she has no intention of doing so. So I vote to find Tyrion not guilty under these exceptional circumstances - even while recognizing and acknowledging that this in no way impinges the rights of other Bonisagus magi to take apprentices, as long as they do indeed intend to take apprentices with the purpose of raising them as magi. I further ask the Tribunal to clarify that the rate of death, or the suffering, of apprentices under a magus is not relevant. I have heard of a few cruel Tytalus masters, whose harsh teachings kill most of their apprentices - but harden and mature the survivors. What matters here is that Euthanata does not have any intention of raising the apprentice to take the Oath - so she is not really taking an apprentice at all.

In regards to Tyrion's charge against Euthanata, I therefore also vote in favor, finding Euthanata guilty of a Low Crime of failing to live up to her obligations to her apprentices (since they are not magi, I figure this is a Low, not a High, crime). I would also join esteemed Mitis in demanding that she share her Corpus-harvesting discovery with the Order; failure to do so would be a High Crime.

The major issue here, however, is that Euthanata has become a danger to her sodales - at least those who master Corpus. Yet, the Code specifically declares that slaying members of the Order using Wizard War is alright. If I were a Corpus specialist, anywhere in Mythic Europe, I would strongly consider declared joint Wizard War on Euthanata - and convincing my non-Corpus-specialists friends to join me. Since I see Euthanata smirking at the thought, and as an Intellego specialist myself, I would remind her that raw power is highly over-rated; even a simple dagger, at the right time, can fell the strongest magus, and even the most martially capable magus cannot harm a target he cannot perceive.

Yairus, of House Criamon.

I would say that they must make the case that their apprentice's failure or incapacity is not the result of failure fulfill those requirements set out in the Code. The Code clearly states that it is obligation of any magus who trains an apprentice that such an apprentice be prepared to become a magus who will swear to the Code. Training an apprentice for any other purpose is a clear violation of the Code.

It is particularly heinous for a member of my own House Bonsagus to do so... for we are doubly obliged, firstly by the clause regarding the training of apprentices and secondly by our own unique obligations under the Code to further the knowledge of the Order and share our knowledge and wisdom with our sodales. I know of no greater or more enduring way to share that wisdom than through the training of apprentices, who can carry on expanding and sharing the knowledge of the Arts with generations of magi who follow us.

In this regard, I say that by wantonly sacrificing her apprentices for her own selfish knowledge, Euthanata has violated the very clause of the Code she seeks to exploit. I say this is a High Crime, my soldales and she should be so charged.

Salve sodalis, everyone. glare I realize I'm not, technically, a member of this Tribunal, but I've heard enough.

Hello, Euthanata. Remember me? I'm the first Maga whose surrogate daughter you murdered and rendered down for vis! Guess what? I was able to fix an arcane connection to you. Took me a while, and the penetration multiplier on what I managed to collect isn't exactly high, but oh well. See these other magi? They're the others you plundered, the ones you haven't gotten around to killing yet! See the other dozen magi with us? We've all learned a decently strong Wizard's Communion.

So just how good is your magic resistance? Because our lead caster came up with a nice CrVi(Me) spell that allows her to set the theme of the Twilight episode we're going to force on you. How do you feel about being at the mercy of the innocent apprentices - our children! - that you murdered?

If we're lucky, in a month or so you'll be stuck like that as your Final Twilight. If we're not? Well, when you come out we'll find you and stick you right back in until you stay there . . . forever.

And you lot. points to those members of Euthanata's Covenant who happen to be attending You were her sodalis, and you refused to join us when we tried to sound you out. So. Once we deal with her, we will deal with you.

This smirking, sanctimonious twisting of the Oath that we all took in good faith is exactly why my revered Founder argued for the institution of Wizards War, and you and your coven of would-be Diedne spit will be burned out like the cancerous rot that you've shown yourselves as!

Decide what you like. Vote as you will. When our War begins, justice will be done.

-Incandescentia of Flambeau

There is a difference in kind between attempting in good faith to train a Magus fit for our order and failing and, deliberately, cynically and murderously abusing the forms of apprenticeship for her own gain with no intent to fulfill the purpose of that institution.

By Apprentices p. 34f (granted, this is a lesser source, but not contested by others in this respect), independently of the Tribunal,

  • it is a low crime to purposefully include a single Deficiency when opening the Arts of an apprentice.
  • And it is a severe low crime to purposefully include two Deficiencies - punishable by having the apprentice removed from the culpable magus and given to a more competent one.
  • To purposefully include three or more Deficiencies is extremely irresponsible, punishable in addition by banishment from the Tribunal.

So I move that planning to render down an apprentice for Vis be considered a more heinous crime than including three or more Deficiencies in her Arts, but refrain from requesting a stronger punishment than for doing so:
that is, Euthanata be ordered to leave Horatia with Tyrone, and leave the Tribunal within a month, never to return until 35 years have expired.

If she acknowledged that she is harvesting vis, she just admitted to breaking the Oath and should be immediately Marched. But without that admission or other available evidence, it is a political question.

If there isn't evidence demonstrating what she's doing with apprentices (which I seem to recall something about magi in 3rd edition containing vis, but doesn't carry on in subsequent editions) I'm not sure that this case is legally resolvable. Certainly there is nothing within the Code that provides an alternative. Some problems cannot be resolved in the law, or their isn't a law available, yet, to solve them and new law must be made. Further, any peripheral code rulings preserving Tyrone's rights could be later declared null and void at Grand Tribunal, especially if Euthanata is politically connected and hasn't burned all of her bridges.

This is really a political problem and must be handled through politics, and/or Wizard's War. Working with other magi and maga Bonisagi to take over the apprenticeship instead of Euthanata and establish a contract of fosterage would what I would attempt to do. And also, continuing to work on House Bonisagus to reign in Euthanata, because her behavior will create a lasting problem for the House in the future, potentially on a scale equal to the Schism.

Is Euthanata ready to fulfill her duties to the Order and produce before the Tribunal a scholarly treatise on the studies she has led with those apprentices she has taken in the past, demonstrating specifically how useful they were ? Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of murdering one's apprentice, I would say she shouldn't be allowed to take another one until she has personally given the Tribunal satisfaction on that point. Given that she is the one petitioning the Tribunal, if there are documents to retrieve from the Durenmar library, she should be the one to bear that burden. If she can prove that she made a meaningful contribution to the Art, as decided by this Tribunal, then Tyrone should be fined and made to surrender his apprentice, if she hasn't passed her Apprentice's Gauntlet in the meantime.

Producing deficient magi is a crime unto said magi. The right for a maga to destroy her apprentice in any way she wants is well established, sad as it may be that their Gift be wasted so.

Hmm. Any sane parens would have an arcane connection to their apprentice. They might even make their apprentice fix it themselves. If that apprentice is murdered and rendered down to vis (urgh!), could the arcane connection carry over ? If that vis is then used in an invested item or a maga's longevity potion, do you have a connection to said item or maga ?

In light of Euthanata's admission of her intentions I retract my earlier opinion. The intent to train to completion is inherent in the very idea of taking an apprentice. Without that intent the act cannot be the taking of an apprentice but merely the removal of that person. Now removal of a person from the control of another Magus is not necessarily a crime in this tribunal (although attempting to improperly use the procedures of this tribunal to effect that removal is)however a Hermetic apprentice is recognised as a direct part of her mistress's magical power and so protected even in Normandy.

Euthanata is thus guilty of one count of attempting to deprive a Maga of this tribunal of her magical power and five counts depriving Magi of their magical power throughout the Order of Hertmes,all counts aggravated by (attempted) murder, deliberate provocation of lethal wizards war and abusing the oaths that bind us together and protect us all.
These high crimes have been admitted before us not with remorse but with a brazen smirk.

My sodales, it would shame this tribunal it left the full punishment of these acts to private individuals even if all of us here would be among them. No, that would not be enough. It mus be official, a precedent set, a message sent - our laws have meaning as well as form, we will protect ourselves from those who would undermine us and we will not be played for fools! deep breath, looks sternly round the chamber I move that Euthanata ex Bonisagus be marched forthwith.

I'll start posting in character too (signing in character messages as Ecelo ex Miscellanea)!

Sodales, while Euthanata's actions may be reprehensible, they are within the law. The Oath is clear: a follower of Bonisagus may claim another magus' apprentice should he find that apprentice useful in his studies, in any capacity. I would not see this sacred principle, to which I swore many years ago, violated -- for if not for Bonisagus, what would we be today? What will be of us all, should a rift open between our Tribunal and the House of the first Founder? I shall not cast my vote against Euthanata on this, though I would plead leniency in the judgement of Tyrone.

That said, Euthanata's actions are reprehensible; for the Gift is precious, and to prolong her existence she has squandered many Gifts, some of which may well have turned into more bountiful founts of knowledge than hers. So, should you sodales choose to declare a lawful War on her, I shall join you.

Ecelo ex Miscellanea

In judgement of Tyrone, I vote that for his refusal he be found guilty and fined 1 pawn of vis, of whatever variety he has most readily at hand. He should, however, not be required to surrender his apprentice until such time as the charges against Euthanata are settled and then only if she is acquitted of wrongdoing.

In the matter of Euthanata, I call upon my brothers and sisters of House Bonisagus to expel her from our House, for her actions are clearly an offense to august name of our great Founder. If this Tribunal sees fit to consider her actions a High Crime, I vote guilty.

By Apprentices p. 35, producing very (3 or more Arts) Deficient Magi "threatens the healthy longevity of the Order" and is severely punishable because of that. Even more so is Euthanata's admitted rendering of apprentices for Vis. And since she already performed this act threatening the Order several times, the current Tribunal is called to punish at least the attempt (and eventual further acts) under its own jurisdiction accordingly.

What I fail to see is on what basis you assume that not "producing" a magus at all should be strictly worse than "producing" a crippled magus. After all, in modern institutions of learning, it's usually regarded as acceptable to have a fraction of the students fail to graduate, but it's not regarded as acceptable to have a fraction of the students graduate without sufficient qualification. The same was the norm (of course, with all due exceptions) for medieval guilds.

A magus with 3 or more Deficiencies is a disgrace for the Order, someone who's likely to train his own apprentices horribly etc. A dead apprentice ... well, you can just go look for another.

My bloodthirsty sodales,

Killing Euthanata would rob the Order of one of its more knowledgeable members. So knowledgeable is she that my esteemed sodales pussyfoot and hedge their votes, shunning direct confrontation by fear of the power that comes with such knowledge of the Art. This knowledge must not be destroyed in a hotheaded fit of unreasoning anger ! Any decision we take must be for the betterment of our Order and a proof of our greater wisdom.

Unchristian as it may be, our Code leaves us the indisputable right to dispose of our apprentice in the manner we desire, including their destruction should we judge it necessary. Bonisagus himself could have slain Jovius rather than complete his apprenticeship, and no-one but God could have faulted him for it. Although some among us seem to be regretting it, we also did swear to Bonisagus freedom to take our apprentices for his benefit. We must live by our word. However, it is just to demand that Euthanata also live by hers and prove herself worthy of the deference we offered Bonisagus.

I move that Euthanata be compelled to prove to this Tribunal that she can gift our Order with knowledge of the Art commensurate with the Gifts she has consumed, thus fulfilling Bonisagus's promise to us.
I move that she not be allowed to take another apprentice nor leave the boundaries of this Tribunal until that time, on pain of being cast out of our Order.
I move that Bonisagi magi be henceforth required to formally present an accounting of their work by the time the apprentices they have been gifted with would be due to undertake their Gauntlet, regardless of the disposition of said apprentice.

Finally, I move that Tyrone be fined for his refusal to cede his apprentice to Euthanata's rightful request and be compelled to pay House Mercere to carry news of the full facts of this case and both his and Euthanata's conduct throughout the Order.