Consentual Scrying?

In an attempt to better co-ordinate grogs and their own efforts against something big, bad, and infernal, they had one low level member of the covenant scrying and co-coordinating their efforts. All four survivors magi knew this was going to happen, it was planned, and they had no problem with it. The guy who was to blame for the big, bad, infernal thing in the first place is dead (as the Order wanted) but his former covenant-mates (who are innocent if really unpleasant) know about the scrying and were caught in the scrying cross-fire, so to speak. One for an extended period of time, because nobody knew who he was, having never seen him before, he appeared unGifted, and wasn't doing anything magical. So, if you were the tribunal...

And Merry Ex Misc, guys.

Congratulation, you just broke the Code of Hermes... tell 'em what they've won.

Seriously, if the other magi wish to press a case, they have grounds. Your magi might claim extenuating circumstances, but the Order can be pretty unforgiving about scrying. One could easily, and rightly, make the arguement that you should have found a way to accomplish your goals without violating the Code. The question is not "are you guilty" the question is "how serious is your punishment going to be" and that comes down to politics.

What exactly are the circumstances?. You mention that some of the magi “knew this was going to happen” and “had no problem with it” – does this include the one who appeared unGifted?

True Lineages says that most defenses before a Tribunal come down to debates over whether the victim has forfeited their immunity under the Code in some way. If you know something is going to happen and have no problem with it, haven’t you basically forfeited immunity? If that’s what’s going on, I’d say there’s a reasonable defense there.

On the other hand, if they were scrying (with permission) on one group of magi and ended up accidentally scrying on someone else, then the magi who gave permission have probably forfeited immunity and as such have no case, but the magus who was accidentally scried upon has a very good case indeed.

It was a wizards' march. The PCs had no problem scrying on each other (probably because they put this plan together in two seconds), and I know the Code doesn't cover the guy they were targeting or his henchgrogs.

But then there were his three associates. Two were under his control and have shaky excuses at best, but the third (the one the PCs codenamed "grandpa" and didn't reolize WAS a magi) was a hermit who literally hadn't come out of his lab in years, and only appeared because his covenant was under attack. He's very upset about the heavy damage to the covenant (the Flambeau was exuberant) and he's a grumpy at being interupted, but not actually eeevil. But, no, he had no idea he was being scryed on, that one of the covenant had made a deal with the devil, or anything. No one even knew if he was still alive or if not.

Several things are happening here.

One is politics - if the Tribunal wants to screw you, they will. And by "Tribunal" I mean any mage/guild/covenant/House/junta with the juice to do it. Then the truth and the facts don't matter so much, only your allies and enemies, and Intrigue score.

The other is that, at some level, the "no scrying" is not an absolute. There has to be some "intent" considered. A mage hear's a bump in the night, scry's where the sound came from, and scry's out a passing mage - oops. Wasn't intentional, wasn't meant to spy - probably no harm if no foul.

Here, it was quite intentional, if with good reason. If a March, and the March was universally known, then any mage who was hanging out with the target was equally guilty for not marching - and we have to ask why they were not joining in.

But as for the last one, the one caught in the cross fire, the Code was broken - they scried on him, intentionally and continually, and he was not the object of the March.

It's like a cop breaking the law in arresting a bad guy - now, for better or worse, both are guilty, the worse evil does not excuse the lesser.

It sounds to me like your magi were marching one specific victim in a covenant, and that had to have been agreed at a tribunal. At the tribunal did they provide you with a list of magi of the covenant? Did you ask?

If you knew there were 'innocent' magi in the covenant, or didn't check, but were scrying where they were likely to move around then there is no defence unless the quaesitores back you up for being their enforcers.

More worrying to me is the 'depriving magi of his ...' . You say that one of your group got exuberant and heavily damaged their covenant. That also opens him, at least, up for charges and paying for all the damage in vis.

If a wizard was MARCHED and his covenant is still sheltering him and aiding him in defense, the whole convenant is likely to basically be considered to have forfeited their protection. "the enemy of the order is my enemy" and such. As such, all scrying will probably be forgiven.

That said, scrying can get you in a lot of trouble if you get even one innocent. Of course the innocent has to be aware that it is scrying that pinged parma and not some other sort of spell in the heat of battle. I can see two covanants marched (one for actively sheltering enemies of the order) and the other for scrying and all that vis becomes open to the rest of the tribunal.

It depends on the circumstances. Tribunal voting a magi as outcast and to be marched or a quaesitore declaring him outcast without a tribunal are the two possible ways before a march can happen. Then a posse gather and begin the hunt (which should include the parens). However it takes time for the redcaps to disperse within the tribunal minutes, word of mouth etc. to inform those who were not at the tribunal.

Think about it from the point of view of if you were playing the magi of the covenant attacked. Imagine this as a game session:
One players has his magi away at the tribunal, the rest of the magi relax at home. Several unknown magi turn up at the door declaring that one of the magi still at home (who is known to be somewhat dodgy) has been renounced and they are marching him.

Do you as a player stand back and watch your sodales die? Technically there is no evidence required to be shown that they are part of a legal hunt, and greedy magi from other tribunals often join hunts for profit so the fact that you don't recognize them doesn't mean they aren't on the level, even though they could be impostors with knowledge of the Orders law form a book on Hermetic Law. Hesitating or trying to give your sodales time to escape doesn't make you an enemy of the order, only formally being declared outcast can do that. Attacking one of the hunters forfeits your immunity to the hunters, but you have to strike first.

Even if the magi of a covenant have been properly informed of a march by the redcaps and they know a hunt is coming, they might be too afraid of the outcast to be able to throw him out of their covenant. Take the 3rd edition adventure Twelfth Night where an offending magi has conned the players into joining his covenant so that he can steal their life essence and has murdered a guerinicus, but the players cannot attack him because he is completely immune to all attacks and magic. Maybe the covenant members want a hunt to succeed. An all out attack on the covenant that shelters the offender is overkill. Killing the covenfolk who guard the gate, blasting walls isn't fair on the covenant the rest of whom are innocent and members of the Order in good standing. They have the right not to be scryed upon and the right not to be attacked without provocation and the right that their covenant not be damaged in ways that sets back their studies and power.

Covenant buildings, furniture and fixtures as well as covenfolk are properties of a covenant, not an outcast magi. The covenant as a whole cannot be punished because one of it's members is renounced.

Just tossing in more details...

The PCs were asked to participate in the march in the place of the Bad Guy's parens, who has acted as a mentor to them and is in poor shape Twilight-wise. Ironically, they really wanted to go to improve their reputations after getting in trouble early on with a flour-to-spice scheme! :laughing:

They heard about it through a redcap, who was bringing the news to the elderly mentor. While only the one was specifically marched, the entire covenant was a problem, because two of the magi were possessed, and while innocent would still have to be killed if they couldn't be captured and exorcised. At least one other member of the covenant had been killed by the Bad Guy, and then there were the two I left up in the wind--one had either been knocked off or had left, and the other was just a lab-hermet. He had no idea ANY of this was going on. They had been told who was supposed to live in that covenant with a bit of information about each, and they hadn't accounted for those last two, aside from "hasn't been seen in a long while."