Covenant charter discussion

Hello there!

Time to sign the charter of the covenant :slight_smile: Since it is our own charter I open this thread to discuss alterations to the charter of the covenant listed in the Triamore book (p.34-35).

There are actually 3 charters here.

  1. The Imperial charter
  2. The Oath of Hermes.
  3. The charter of triamore (covenant)

This will be glossed over since we do not have all the details, but it is the one that says we are an imperial immediacy and the magi have the status of knights (without actually being knights)

A note from an insert in triamore about it simperial charter
The Lord of Bois de Haillot

The manor of Bois de Haillot must, by charter, be held by a nobleman; the elected leader of the covenant serves this role. The current leader is Daria, who is known as Lady Daria LaGris of Bois de Haillot to the temporal world. This does not make Daria a titled noblewoman — rather, she enjoys a status equivalent to a knight: an unlanded gentle whose status is not hereditary.

Bois de Haillot’s unusual charter allows the holder to choose his or her successor “from among the Knights and Ladies abiding in that place, which owe fealty to no other Lord.” In effect, this allows the covenant to choose its own leaders from among its magi, all of whom are considered to be knights in her service. For more details on this charter and the management of Bois de Haillot, see Chapter 4.

A legacy thing. it includes all the weird stuff and quirks in the original Oath. Nobody knows who bonisagus is, but you agree to give him your apprentice anyway if he asks. Important to get Parma Magica (but you need to be Gifted).

This is the charter of the covenant. Modifications over what it says in the Triamore Book are welcome.

As listed in page 28-29 of the book you are joining on a probationary basis (all rights and obligations except the right to vote at council), so besides the fact that you are not Hermetic Magi, everything should apply if nobody voices concern.

Frère Sulpice did voice concerns here: a deletion and a changed word to make the Triamore charter digestible to Christian signataries, and the introduction of a way of sígning it, which makes the signataries' allegiances transparent.

There is also still the role playing element of Frère Sulpice talking the charter and his handling of it over with Pahalia, which I leave to @Xavi.

Ok, after reviewing then original charter, it does not fit the new order by a large margin. Even less the PC. So here comes a rough covenant charter outline. Comments welcome.

The Caster must be a member in good standing. What that means might vary by tradition.
If dealing with demons, expelled. Immediate

No interference with mundanes if it brings ruin on Sodales of Triamore or members of the Order of Hermes.
This is a repetition of the code of hermes. It is here for those traditions that do not swear it.

In case of conflict, a member of Triamore must put his allegiance to Triamore above his allegiance to other institutions and individuals.

Resources. All mundane covenant resources are available to all members. In case of concern the council can limit this. All members will have lodging and the necessary space to perform their magical studies and activities. If 3 members want the same and cannot find a solution they will bring their discrepancies to the council and will abide by the ruling of the council to solve their conflict. Expenditure of 1 pound or above must be approved by council.

Hospitality. Itinerant Casters will be given access to lodging and can be given space to study. Access to the library as per standard fee determined by the Council. In case of conflict they will need to defend the covenant.

Vis. Half pawns found by members need to be surrendered to the covenant. At the end of the year the council decide how the reserves of Vis in the covenant are alloted to the Casters.

Vis sources discovered while being a member of Triamore need to be registered for the covenant.

Service to the covenant.

  • Activities. 1 season of service to the covenant every year. The other 3 are free time.
  • Defence of covenant. Obligation. All magi must come to defend the covenant and its holdings if called to do so. Members will do as ordered by the Council.

Voting rights. Princeps 4 votes. The other members of the OoH 3 votes. Non OoH members, 2 vote. Probationary members 0 votes. All decisions of the council are binding to the members of Triamore.

Not abiding by the rules of this charter can suppose a need for atonement decided by the Council or can mean being expelled from Triamore as decided by the Council.

New members. Examined by the council. There can be a probationary period with all the rights and obligetion as except the voting at the Council.

Expulsion. Immediate lose of all rights and obligations.

This is in itself contradictory and unclear.

The first part - that derived from the Code of Hermes - is fine. It uses the deliberate ambiguity in the Code of Hermes, just what a 'mundane' is.

The second part removes the ambiguity of 'mundanes', as it just puts the charter above all other institutions and individuals.
Thus it puts Triamore above the Order of Hermes, and also the covenant charter above the Code of Hermes. So Triamore cannot have members who have sworn the Oath of Hermes, which clearly is not intended.
But it also puts loyalty to Triamore above loyalty to the Church and the Emperor - thereby just begging for a crusade against Triamore and its members, if a copy of this charter ever gets known. This is also not intended.

To avoid these serious problems, I recommend to make use of the ambiguity of the term 'mundanes' also in the charter, while we wish to accommodate members who did not swear the Oath of Hermes. Who would that be?

Note further, that already the weaker Reconstructed Order of Hermes cannot just throw its weight around among its members, as the old Order did before the catastrophe. Neither can Triamore.

More detailed comments later.

I really do not see your contradiction. Basically it says that if you are sworn to triamore and say the church, the spirit of the Ardennes or the duke of brabant the oath of Triamore is above the one they have put on you.

I am sure the charters of the others have exactly the same cause. And you have a dstory hook and decisions to be made by the character because of that.

If Triamore has a conflict with the Emperor, good luck to Triamore in any case. It is basically a charter of "you serve me loyally and I give you stuff (including a place to call home) in return. You break that trust and we say good bye to each other. In case if conflict I expect you to serve me". Quite a basic principle really...

This begs for a crusade from the Church. Better don't! That's the reason, why the Oath of Hermes addresses just 'meddling with mundanes'!

A major covenant of the olden days before the Schism War might have had. It is gone now! A hidden coven might still have - and hence know why it is hiding. But Triamore is out in the open, and cannot have a charter putting itself above Church and King! It wouldn't have made it into 1218!

That's the spirit! Now make that charter so! And don't touch the rights of the Order of Hermes, the King and the Church in it!

EDIT: I am quite sure, that Daria understands these issues very well: latest, after visiting the Emperor's court. She also will have set up a working charter and kept out allegiances to the King and the Church.

I still do not see why sayuing "I want you to be loyal to me and not the other lords" enters in conflict with the church. And certainly a crusade is a long shot from there.

In any case, any alternatives for the content?

Neither Order nor Church nor King are "the other lords".

The Order of Hermes found a clever way not to challenge the authority of the local Church or King, while still protecting its members from other members, whose interference with Church or King might threaten them.

It is not very deep - and avoids words like allegiance and loyalty. Just take the Oath of Hermes as an example - oe assume in the charter that everybody swore it already.

Just take Triamore p.34f from "We, the magi of Triamore, ..." to "and the Tribunal of the Rhine". There make the following changes:
(1) Get date and place in the first paragraph right, but keep "under the auspices of the Holy Roman emperor" and the reference to the competent Tribunal. The reference to the competent Tribunal need also replace all the others spread in the text and mentioning the Tribunal of the Rhine or Rhine Tribunal.
(2) Strike out "above all matters" in the second paragraph. The Order of Hermes is no longer capable to challenge Church or King in a subclause of a covenant charter.
(3) Replace "nor fealty to any other Covenant or other body" by "nor fealty to any other Covenant or similar body".
(4) Add after "given under our hand," also "swearing to uphold the charter above",.
(5) Do away with The Oath of the Covenant and its sundry references to House, blood, honor and enemies. The signature to the covenant should suffice, unless a signatary wishes to give a short speech confirming his oath as well.

This proposal has not yet removed the requirement, that every signatary has sworn the Oath of Hermes. Doing so would require major changes to all the text and the obligations signataries enter, and likely introduce three quarters of the Oath through the charter again. Does somebody wish that?

The original charter assumes what you said, that everybody is a member of the OoH. But reading it it enters in conflict with Sulpice belonging to the Church and Sophie not being Gifted. And yannis is also a fringe case since his loyalty is first to Arduinna by a long shot. So, if we have to modify it anyway so you all can swear it we'd better do it now.

All oaths of fealty are in a cascade. (in a theoretical setting) You swear to the baron, that swears to the count, that swears to the duke (or dukes) who swears to the king. The fact that the count says that you should follow him does not mean that you will go against the king. it is the count's problem to make sure he still follows the chain of command here or his underlings muight say that he is breaking his own oath and so so are they. Same case here. Bois de haillot is an imperial immediacy. As such it wants its subjects to be loyal to Triamore, but Triamore as a whole is loyal to the Emperor.

Sulpice belonging to the Church or Sophie not having the Gift tmk don't prevent them from belonging to the Order.


So far Triamore did not enter vassalage, as that could become "interfering with the affairs of mundanes". Do you wish to change that? I wouldn't have noticed until now!

No. I meant that Triamore is a vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor. it asks for its vassals to be loyal to Triamore (who in turn is a vassal of the HRE). Since some of you can have conflicting interests, it tries to place itself in a position of preeminence over the others. or that was my idea.

No typo here? I didn't know before. Then the Oath of Hermes will customarily consider vassalage as not interfering with the affairs of mundanes in our saga!

In that case, the law of the HRE and its development will anyway supersede any rules of the covenant charter concerning other allegiances. From 1220 on (see Confoederation cum principibus ecclesiaticis), any excommunication by the Church would automatically and within 6 weeks lead to the Imperial Ban (Reichsacht). "The effect of the ban on a city or other Estate was that it lost its Imperial immediacy and in the future would have a second overlord in addition to the emperor."

The charter of vassalage is curious in that it does not place ANY obligations on Triamore or its lords regarding the HRE (no asking for money or support in wartime, for example), but it still an imperial immediacy. That means that if we act against the interests of the emperor too blatantly (say, Triamore fields men against him in battle) he might decide that the charter becomes null. The Emperor is still the landlord even if we have a privileged situation. This has been the case with Triamore since the 4rth edition book. It is not a gift from the Emperor, but the magi hold the castle under an imperial charter that places no demands on them.

Being excommunicated would be bad for any covenant, regardless of what political structure the have. And the XIII century is rife with crossed excomunciations, so no biggie here, really. Mos tof the time half the world would accuse a noble of this and the other half defend him for the same reasons he has been accused. In any case it has never been a matter of concern of Triamore more than it has been for most nobles out there.

What you submitted above might be or not be true in the saga. I have been digging a lot about mundane conflits because they are FUN stuff to dig, but we will deviate form history right away. It might be a plot thing, or it might not. legal documents are not what I am researching in any case.

My first point is another: if Triamore is a vassal of the Emperor, the law of the HRE applies to Triamore and to all its contracts like the covenant charter. A member of Triamore then can not sign away his/her right to follow the King, Emperor or Church over Triamore in the covenant charter of Triamore.

In other words, the covenant charter holds only within the context of the law of the HRE, and in that context all its phrases assume a different meaning: many, like the references to Tribunals or the Code of Hermes, do not make any sense any more. The signataries of the charter then would become vassals or ministeriales - Daria's 'knights' - by the full meaning of the term in the law of the HRE as well.

And this was different before? I do not see it... I might be dense today but I truly think not is the same tha tit used to be, except that I am trying to get rid of the OoH parts because they do not apply, but keeping intact how the relationship of the covenant to the HRE used to be.

You give up the autonomy of the magi of Triamore as members of the Order of Hermes with its own laws.
Instead of the Code of Hermes you introduce - say - the Sachsenspiegel. That is big! But it might not be important for your saga, with neither Quaesitores nor peripheral Code around any longer, and "interference with the affairs of mundanes" not preventing integration into the feudal system anyway. So you reduce the Oath and Code of Hermes to obsolete stuff of another time, which happens to give you the Parma Magica.

For me, it would make everything far simpler: a mendicant friar must not become a ministerialis. So all Frère Sulpice can apply for is a post as a chaplain for room, board, books and resources for study.

The more we discuss the more I regret having the OoH disappear.

I might actually change the setting to revive the OoH, just in a less house-.centric environment. And just add that the Order encompasses somehting like a fifth of the magic practitioners, so most magic users are not bound by that code (nor are protected by Parma). Triamore might be seen as an odd place because they offer access to resources to non-members of the Order, something frowned by other covenants. Because my idea of giving the characters more agency seems more problematic than the opposite.

Until briefly I thought, that there was a Reconstructed Order of Hermes - and even have its members in Paris in Sulpice's background still.
Honorine is verrry keen - yep, Driven (Major) - to preserve, what is left of it.
So I'd rather wish to keep it in the internal organisation of Triamore also.

This last proposal of mine fits with the new visible, but weaker Order of Hermes from here. Any comments?