Hedge mages and joining the order

Another question. I want to be sure I got this.

Meet hedge mage. Hedge mage swears the oath. Hedge mage learns Parma. Conga rats, hedge mage is now Ex Misc and part of the order. Pretty much that?

I know that some other magus think less of Ex Misc, but it really is that simple?

Pretty much, yes.
Some members of the Order think that there really ought to be a Quaesitor witnessing the swearing of the oath for it to be valid, but there is no consensus about that.

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HoH:TL p.53 says, that the Hedge mage needs to be offered membership and then swear the Oath. Some formality is needed to bestow the voting sigil upon her and likely register the sigil and her in the Tribunal.

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Yup, that's it.
Please remember that sworn oaths are serious business in setting, even if modern politicians and whatnot routinely ignore theirs.

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Membership must be formally offered. This is not something most Magi will do for a hedge mage since they are in effect sponsoring them for membership into the Order. Bringing in a poor hedge mage dilutes the strength of the Order and reflects badly on the one who brought them in.

The swearing of the Oath is a formal event, normally conducted with a member of the house the hedge mage is joining. In current times, the Lineage of Pralix is pretty much "the group" that goes out and finds interesting hedge mages/hedge magic traditions to bring into the Order. They are just better at it, plus will tend to have spells that let them do things such as determine if the hedge mage actually has the Gift.

Accidentally bringing in a hedge mage without the Gift would greatly affect the one who brought them ins reputation. They would be the subject of much snickering and laughter.

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What if there is no Tribunal though? In this saga, Loch Leglan has gone dark after the Schism War. The 3 magae in this saga have come from Stonehenge to set up a covenant, but there are none known active otherwise. I believe you need 12 magi and 4 covenants to have a quorum at Tribunal.

12 magi and 4 covenants is the absolute minimum for a tribunal. Less than that and you don't have a tribunal.
In your example the magi and the covenant they set up would belong to Stonehenge by default.

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Then a few sodales as witnesses - best also a Quaesitor in good standing keeping the records - will do.
Requiring a full Tribunal meeting for this would be in the Peripheral Code of a specific Tribunal.

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It used to be that simple, back in the day, when the founders conquered the world. However, there are three issues which may or may pose some challenges in a more mature Order.

  1. The new member needs to join a house, or be charged with house vagrancy. It is said in canon that some tribunals just assume that the magus has joined Ex Misc and ignore the issue, but I think the normal approach is that you need a sponsor to introduce you to the house. It is a house call to what extent this causes trouble in a given tribunal.
  2. The new member needs to join a tribunal, or be charged with vagrancy. What that takes depends entirely on the tribunal.
  3. Formal witnessing of the Oath, as someone has mentioned, may or may not apply. Canon is quite unclear. The Swearing of the Oath and bestowing the Sigil after gauntlet is described rather differently in the context of different houses and different tribunals. Again, it is a house call.

This has actually come up twice, briefly, in our saga, in Hibernia, and our assumptions has been that a sponsor is needed in some house that would accept the new member, usually Ex Misc. A Flambeau cannot recruit a new member and place them in Ex Misc ... Of course, Flambeau also accepts new members, but only those of a compatible mindset.

Which is why in modern times, the Lineage of Pralix is the only group pretty much bringing hedge mages in outside of outlier cases. Does it happen that those not of the Lineage sometimes bring in a hedge mage? Of course it does, there are always exceptional or unique circumstances which might require it.

Find a hedge mage who has a power that is critical in some way to a goal? There a hedge mage who can provide something important to the Covenant or Tribunal? Doing research on integrating things into Hermetic magic theory and a hedge mage has any ability that if integrated will increase the power of all Magi who learn it? Discovered a "hedge mage" who is actually closer in power to a member of the Order or even a founder? If they are at all compatible with your House, snatch them up. If they are not, look for someone in a compatible House (most likely Ex Misc) to do it.

Granted all those are at the edge of possibility. Most cases that do not involve the Lineage will be some hedge mage who did something good for the [Magus, Magi, Covenant, Tribunal], they are Gifted, and one of those people decides to sponsor them/find a sponsor for them. You still need a compatible House, but depending on who they helped they can easily have enough support to overcome political roadblocks.

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