Case 8: The Case of the Voting Fraud

Case 8: The Case of the Voting Fraud

It all began with a rather mundane case. Two rival covenants, Blackthorn and Voluntas, both laying claim to a well that produces a considerable quantity of Corpus vis in it's blood red waters. Both were able to show they have harvested from it in the past. Both have laid claim to it over the decades, and neither until recently had made any attempt to register it with the Tribunal. Now however, both covenants filed cases claiming ownership of the resource. Still, a contested vis source is not that interesting!

Unfortunately the Stonehenge Tribunal is split right down the middle numerically between the supporters of the two covenants. Finally the Praeco was forced to rule by a deadlocked vote, and chose to grant the vis source to Voluntas, for reasons not entirely clear. Immediately however Blackthorn launched a new case, claiming the vote in the former case was invalid, because two of the voting sigils used were for magi who were dead or in Twilight. Cadmon of York has not been seen for thirty years, and is believed to have entered Final Twilight - but he had left his voting sigil with a free vote to a young maga of Voluntas. Secondly Morius of Ungulus has not been seen for three years, since he set off to attempt to defeat a dragon in it's lair. Blackthorn demand that Voluntas prove these magi are still alive, and that Cadmon's Twilight is not Final...

Voluntas then launch a counter suit - the claim that Sylvanus and Hanneke of Ex Misc are actually fictitious magi, and while they are registered with the Tribunal and their sigils have been used at three separate Tribunals by a Tremere of Blackthorn, no record of them exists at Cad Gadu, and house Ex Miscellanea is unable to vouch for their existence. Neither has ever been seen at Tribunal, and no evidence they even exist can be found there.

At this point thing become tense to the point where magical violence seems to be imminent - and all for 8 pawns of Corpus vis a year. What do you do?

cj x

Ecelo ex Miscellanea, an itinerant Seeker that arrived late at the Tribunal, coughs and says: "I probably missed some crucial detail, but isn't it the custom of our Order that, for issues that are seriously in doubt and where both contestants have comparable claims to some privilege (and this really seems one such issue), the result should be decided by Certamen?"

"It certainly is Eccelino" replies Stercus the Mad, an eremite magus of House Ex Miscellanea. "I counselled thus..."

The Queasitors look sheepish, and then the presiding Quaesitor steps forward and states "We attempted to suggest such a course at the Private Hearing before the case was brought to Tribunal, but neither party was willing to consent. Why we know not. We warned them they were wasting valuable time on a trivial case -- a case which has now produced two more cases, and taken up even more time!"

cj x

I do what any sane member of the Stonehenge tribunal does... not show up. :smiley:

Yes, that is traditional! :slight_smile: I have not dated any of the cases - they could be historical, or contemporary -- but Stonehenge has a long history of not being quorate :slight_smile:

cj x

In my saga's it's actually a political tactic to avoid conflicts like this one and to minimize the domination of powerful houses like Blackthorn and Voluntas... just don't show up, refuse to legitimize the conflict and so prevent either Blackthorn or Voluntas from pushing their agendas into the local Peripheral Code.

Clearly these complaints from both sides are actually quite serious issues. If there are magi fraudulently using sigils of either dead/final twilighted or fictitious magi, then the tribunal as a whole needs to investigate to learn the truth.

Tenebrous of Brunnaburgh moves that the tribunal elect a trust worthy magus to harvest the vis and hang onto it until the verdicts on the complaints be made at which point the vis will go to whichever side has the majority of votes (or be reviewed if both sides are still deadlocked).

In the meantime, the Primus of Ex Misc must either vouchsafe the existence of these two magi or have them struck from the rolls and Investigators should be sent to inquire on the the two missing Magi.

The Primus of Ex Misc speaks "I am afraid that I can neither conform nor deny the existence of the supposed members of my House. While it has long been my belief that a formal Census of the members of my House should be conducted, so I might more efficiently organise them, these plans have met with consistent refusal from said members. I therefore move a motion that all members of House Ex Miscellanea should register their membership within the next seven years with myself at Cad Gadu, or be declared orbus."

There is an immediate outcry from the Ex Misc present

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Marcus ex Guernicus asks "Who were the masters of these two Magi? Who witnessed their oaths?" He looks round at the more senior Quaesitors of Stonehenge.

"As for the votes of real but missing Magi, there is the precedent of the Rhine Tribunal and it's practices. I don't think that is the way we should go but I do not believe we have a general rule in our Peripheral Code for presumption of death - each previous one has required a vote, usually requested by the heirs."

Marcus' question is met by an immediate response. Both the Ex Miscellanea magi were sworn in at a Tribunal at Blackthorn 70 years ago according to the older quaesitors. Their sigils have been used to vote there ever after, and were gifted as free proxies to Lyassa of Tremere, resident at that covenant. The quaesitorial records are in order it seems, and they remain members in good standing. A few of the older magi note that yes, they can remember the pair, who were rather quiet and unobtrusive - indeed Golias of Blackthorn goes as far as to say they were positively reclusive. Their parentes are listed as Sylvia and Rusticus of Ex Misc, respectively, but no one can remember anything about them...

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Ecelo ex Miscellanea frowns, visibly annoyed.

"I strongly oppose declaring orbi all magi ex Miscellanea not registered at Cad Gadu within seven years. While it's certainly within the powers of our Primus, I think it's an extremely unwise move that will have very, very serious repercussions if not retracted."

"That said, I would note that if any trickery has taken place concerning the votes of other magi, this constitutes a clear violation of the Oath, and in particular of the clause about having one vote at Tribunal -- and thus, as a High Crime, is punishable by Marching. It would be an extreme punishment, of course, but I'm sure the Quaesitores are as annoyed as I am by this turn of events."

He sighs and shrugs.
"Finally, if neither Voluntas nor Blackthorn want to claim the vis source by Certamen, it seems to me that they are simply waiving their rights to it. Any magus would then be able to claim it. I propose it be registered as a Tribunal source, to enrich the Tribunal coffers and aid magi in need."

"Well it seems all four Magi in question are real and none are proven dead or in final twilight so the previous vote was valid per the rules at that time. Voluntas have the red well by the Praeco's casting vote.
"I don't think a repeat of this is desirable. I intend to put forward a motion that we suspend the vote of a Magus who has not been witnessed alive and active for a suitable period - I'm thinking three tribunals - until such time as they are back with us or confirmed gone. That will be for next Tribunal obviously."

"I agree with both Ecelo and Marcus in regards to what should be done: A limit should be placed on the proxy voting rights for those not witnessed to be alive and active for sometime and that since neither Blackthorn or Voluntas are willing to take the legal steps to clear the harvest rights, said harvest rights should be forfited to the Trinbunal propper.

I am disgusted with how they would wast our time and apalled that some would even think to use forgery to claim a victory at a Tribunal vote. Honestly, if they are so petty it is a wonder that they have not been subjected to Wizard's War already. Or for that matter why they simply haven't done that already. Regardless, this dispute should never have seen the light of day here.

I would appreciate it if we could move on to actual matters, but if we are to inact this judgment then let us go on with it."

-Helpax of Tytalus

Magus Liator of Verditius speaks.

Back.tracking cases can have quite negative consequences, so since the accusation of fraud was not made until AFTER the vote had been decided, I would say it counts as valid. However, I would like to ask our senior Mercere members if they have notice of the ExMiscellaneas that supposedly support Blackthorn or Voluntas party members.

The Guernici in the room will correct me if I am wrong, since my ailing memory is not what it used to be, but I recall that fter each tribunal a sigil must be returned to the original member and an account on how it has been used. If such return has not been performed in 10 tribunals as stated in previous expositions of the case, it might be deemed too long a period to consider using the sigil for further votes. 3 tribunals since last notices from the mercere were received seems more than enough of a period. Don't my sodales agree?

But for the case, I would vote the tie valid, and our worthy praeco's vote to be binding to both parties.

Liator sits down

Korvin ex Mercere stands.

It is not the habit of the Redcaps to track Magi. They would have delivered the notice of the Tribunal to Covenant that the Magi are registered with. We can ask the local Recaps if they remember them but I feel that would prove nothing.

Korvin sits.

I did not mean to iumply that our worthy Redcaps are not doing their job, but maybe they will know if the covenant where those magi were registered still counts them in their roster? Since the Magi of Mercere tend to have a lot more information than many of us I was deferring to their great lore in case they were able to shed some light on this issue.

Redcaps would have no official record of who was residing in a Covenant. At best, we could ask the Redcap who delivered to that Covenant if they remember ever delivering to these magi.

My old memory might be faulty, but since Redcaps deliver notices to magi beyond their notice to assist to tribunal, they tend to have an active census of who lives where in order to be able to cope with this other demand.


Certainly doing business with the Redcaps is an indication that one is alive and active and I would expect them to speak up rather than let a voting sigil be wrongly suspended. I'd expect that from the rest of us too.

None of the Redcaps present can recall ever delivering mail to the alleged magi. Oddly, even the oldest can not recall their parens either.

cj x