[Hermetic Law - Normandy Tribunal] Rule on this case...

Ok... my saga is set in the Normandy tribunal.

The two parties of this case:

Conventio Viae Umbra - PCs
Ferrator Panvictus: Terram Knight
Javier Striga: Bjornaer Agent, seeking the artifact below so as to influence the future of House Tytalus.

4 Grogs
1 Giant-Blooded Viking

Covenant Atsingani - NPC rivals

Etienne Tytali: Imaginem Master and Noble Hater

18 or so brabacon bandits/mercenaries, not grogs of Atsingani per se, but 'friends of friends' looking to make a bit of money.


I adapted Sub Rosa's The Dying Drake storyline so as to make it more integrated into my story. A dragon wants to die, and has decided to do so in a secluded evil shrine, to better dissuade visitors.

Now, besides a dragon sitting in a fallen evil shrine, the dragon is sitting in a fallen Diedne covenant, dating back to the Schism War. The dragon has a magical item from this covenant that the player mages want.

Other mages also want this item - namely Etienne's covenant and have attempted to attack the relatively small dragon and kill it. This Did Not Go Well For Them, and many bandits were lost.

Etienne has the jump on the Viae Umbra mages, and gets to the area first. His assault on the drake in its lair wastes many lives. Etienne pulls back to rethink things. He sends word to get more bandits to him, and leaves a messenger at a local inn to direct these new arrivals.

The new bandits are told via message to hide on the main forest path and accost folk to keep Etienne free to figure out a new strategy.

The PC mages and their grogs walk into such an ambush, and in the brief fight that ends in a rout for the bandits, arrows hit the grog's captain and severely wound him, while a new grog recruit take a medium wound. The mages escort the two grogs back to the nearest village and have them taken care of while they return to the forest.

The mages continue, finding a 'forest hermit' they had been directed to that might aid them in finding the lost covenant. This gent is an ex-crusader cursed for his sins. He leads them to the fallen covenant, but on the way they meet an old leper woman, weeping over the grave of her dead son.

This is actually, Etienne, disguised via Imaginem. The grave has nothing in it.

The old woman describes the horrible creature's attack on her poor son, and asks that if they should slay the beast, they bring her back one of its teeth to bury with her son.

The mages, not afire with righteousness, find the covenant, assault the dragon, and it Goes Very Badly For Them.

Bloodied, they retreat. The dragon accosts them after speaking briefly to the accursed crusader who refused to die in the dragon's lair (death prophecy). Information is exchanged, and the dragon notes that it rarely slays lepers, and certainly has not slain one lately. They learn from the drake of a forest pool, sacred to the Boar King, that might be able to heal them.

They do manage to heal themselves, though the pool is a potent source of magical power and both wounded mages accrue warping.

The dragon refused to give up the Diedne artifact, saying that it was a soothing influence that he desired to keep with him until he passed. They could take it after he died.

Empty-handed, the group turns back to the forest path.

Here they find the leper woman, who asks of the drake, and if it is dead. They reply to the negative, and fed up, Etienne notes in his truevoice that that is not the answer he had hoped for. The mages, suspicious, begin casting protective magics. Suddenly, a group of bandits appears from nowhere, surrounding the party and demanding they surrender and be ransomed.

In truth this is an illusion. There is only one real bandit on the ground, whom the viking cuts the hand off of in one fell swing before the bandit can even move. Three archers, seen in the previous rout, are in trees, and when the 'leper woman' runs off during the hub-bub, they ask to surrender, and then likewise run away. The mages quickly realize the bandit circle is an illusion.

The mages bind the wound of the now one-handed beggar, and keep him for questioning, and make the long trip back home to speak to the covenant's quaesitor.

And so they attempt to figure out what parts of the Code have been broken.

A note: No mage was harmed in the first attack, though 2 grogs were. Etienne the rival wizard was not present, and was many miles off.

In the second attack, likewise, no mages were harmed, and in fact only illusions were present after Etienne ran off. No wounds were suffered by anyone.

On what grounds can the PCs attempt to prosecute Etienne?

SINCE the episode, Atsingani has tried to have the dragon claimed as a vis source, to dissuade people poking around the covenant.

Any questions about the incident I will be happy to answer and please note I'm using the Normandy Tribunal in all of its disfunctional glory.


He has ordered the attack on the mages in attempt to kill them (the original ambush) thus violating code for not slaying fellow mages outside wizard war. The best that you can probably get is that he loses the dragon as vis source to you though since only a couple of grogs actually got hurt. If a mage was wounded, he potentially could have been marched.

Is banditry an attempt to kill? I should have been more explicit in my use of the word 'accost'.

Also, if Etienne claims ignorance of the first attack, and that the message to the bandits was not from him, how would a Quaesitor proceed?

I think unless grogs are part of your "magical power" you are in for a void case: he did not violate the code IMO. And that makes for a much more interesting antagonist, in fact :slight_smile: One that knows how to piss you without breaking the code.

Atsigani is in a losing position for the vis source, though. The Dragon made an agreement with your dudes, not atsigani, and he failed miserably to do anything with it. So I would press my own claim to this vis source, and the Boar king glade as well after a couple of years using it (if you can, so you can claim that you have been recurrently using it :slight_smile:



A living dragon being registered as a vis source? Impossible, I would say. Claiming a vis source includes taking a red cap there and showing how to harvest the vis. Well, might get you rid of this Tytalus: Tell the dragon to spare the red cap when that clown tries to extract vis from him! This might actually be fun watching :smiling_imp:
If Atsigani is able to secure the SITE for whatever reason (by placing some vis there and then taking it when the red cap is present claiming this vis reapperas once a year),do not worry! This just hinders you from taking the vis that appears there every now and then (when Atsigani puts it there). It does not forbid you to walk by and have a chat and a cup of tea (not arrived in europe by that time?) with a dying dragon.

Yeah, the first attack can be claimed if it can be proven bandits were acting on Etienne's specific orders. If it can't be proven he had the authority and used it to order the attack, then yeah, no crime.

You can contest the two vis sources though and have good case even if you can't prove he caused the attack on you. Since he only used illusions in the attack where he was physically present, there is no charge you can make for that. You can't be punished for tricking your sodalis.

Right. This is a flaw in Etienne's thinking that I left in so that the Quaesitor lawyer PC can punch holes into Etienne's legal plans.

Right now the Q PC is talking wizard's march, but I think the case he has is tenuous.


2 pawns of vis as public chastise if the tribunal is specially harsh. Your quaesitor player is gonna lose a lot of public face if he tries to push this onwards....


It's more cause for a Wizard's War than Tribunal Prosecution.

It ~could~ be argued that, ~if~ E. learned anything of "their affairs" while disguised as the woman, that is "scrying on their affairs by using magic" - quite clearly so - but it doesn't sound like that was his goal, nor what was achieved. This is an instance of "damage done" - if he attempted to learn nothing, and in fact learned nothing, then no law was broken.

However, as we all know, sometimes "harassment charges" are ample to achieve a goal - here, to distract E from the dragon.

If the PC's could find E on neutral ground, they could challenge him to Certamen - he might just run away (the wise move), but it would add to their prestige and political support, and detract from his, should a case eventually come to Tribunal. It all adds up, or should.

Btw- E could claim the shrine as his Sanctum, which would be interesting on several levels. Other magi could not enter, nor certainly attack the dragon, which would by default become under his protection, and once it dies his possession. It's a questionable tactic, but (besides abandoning his current sanctum), I'm not sure it has a flaw that can be used against him. (But I'd bet someone else will see one, that's the way it always works.)

(Edit - maybe some challenge about Diedne magic, at least as a delaying tactic?)

Claiming a hostile dragon's liar as ones sanctum? Clever move! But a pain in the *** when WW is announced. Where do you want to hide E.? :smiling_imp: In your sanctum? :smiling_imp: Or under the protection of someone else? You, a Tytalus? Fleeing you opponents' challenge? :smiling_imp:

I have been in 2 WW in my life. The last place on Mythic Earth where you would find me in those cases would be in my sanctum. In fact in one of those occasions I did cast a Moon duration Creo ignem effect that caused +30 damage per round into everything inside my santum (it was stone, so no structural danger) with high penetration. it is the first place you will be attacked, so it is better if you are not there. No biggie there. It is much worse due to the fact that you cannot have a hideout for your not-so-legal stuff, more than as a hideout for you. And the fact that if someone enters your lab you cannot attack them at all.



Out of curiousity - I tried to find info on how a vis source is registered, but my guesses as to the location of such info did not pay off.

Where might I find such knowledge, O Sage!


Well IIRC, it was in HoH: TL in the Mercere section. I do not have my books with me but will check asap and post again.

Having finally caught up on Lion and the Lily, a living dragon vis source would belong to the tribunal and example of one of those challenge vis sources (I will look up the term when I get home) that anyone can get if they can meet the challenge to collect it. No individual could claim it for themselves (this is mine and you can't touch it) by the rules of the Perthean compact.

Well looked up at HoH: TL. It states on p83 left colum:

The paragraph does not tell much more.
However, p 87 amends (highlighed by me):

So I think this implies, that registering a vis source includes to show how to harvest the vis. I may be wrong and it only includes what is stated in the first paragraph about location and annual yield.

I'd think they have good cause for a scrying charge - he did use magic to observe them (by disguising himself and then talking to them).

Offcourse, it would probably give no more than a single pawn of vis as a fine, but it is a nice slap on the wrist... Offcourse, this does require that they have some supporters in the tribunal, or at least some who dislikes E.

Both timeS he was seen, however, he was approached initially, rather than he seeking out the player mages. Of course, he assumed they'd stumble onto him and placed himself on that path, but nominally he was hunting for the dragon and the artifact in its possession.

So, is it just forbidden to be near another mage while under an imaginem effect regardless of who initiates contact? How then would many agencies and mundane fronts for Hermetic affairs survive the whims of fate that might have a disguised mage in the company of his mundane contacts when another mage happens by?

Okay now that I have my lion and Lily in hand, I can give a fuller answer.

The tribunal will declare the dragon a Luctatio ("Contest"). Any covenant or mage may attempt to harvest the vis if they want to take the risks involved. No covenant could be established near enough to claim it as Seisin without tribunal permission.

If they find out about the magic item, the tribunal would also then declare the magic item as belonging to the tribunal that it would become prize for the tourney once recovered. (thus you can win it for 7 years at a time)