House Guernicus Question

I was reading through HoH: True Lineages today, and finally got around to reading the bit on Guernicus. It was fine as far as it went, and then I came upon the Rituals of Fenicil. My jaw promptly hit the floor, teeth flying in every direction with the force of impact.

So I read it again and lost a few more teeth. Ritual sacrifice within the Order of Hermes? Surely not, yet there it was. And in the House that is charged with enforcing the Code. So I opened my core rulebook to page 14, scanned down the left hand column, and came upon the following:

Interfering with Mundanes

I read the words under that header and rapidly decided that sacrificing nobles could do nothing but Interfere with Mundanes, if not Endanger the Order, for surely if word of this got out (and word has ways of getting out), it would not only bring the mundane powers against the Order, but the Church as well.

So my question is this: What the heck?

Or, to clarify: How did this get in there?

The answer is basically that the ritual exists, may have been used once in the Order's history, and is definitely NOT common knowledge (or indeed knowledge beyond a very small group of Guernicus magi).

How did it get into the book? Well, there was a spate of "human sacrifice" themes going through the first few books of ArM5, which have been seriously scaled back now (according to David Chart, the ArM line editor).

Ah, I also believe the Ritual in question used a Mage as the mundanes were involved.


I recall the spate of human sacrifice stuff as well, and am glad to see it at least diminished if not gone, as it strikes me as incredibly non-Code. A practice for secret perhaps, but one that would get the offender Marched should it become public.

Why is everybody so surprised ?
The Order was on the verge of losing the War. It´s not like this is common knowledge, and discovering this Stuff would make every Group of young (or other )Magi Anathema for House Guernicus.
Think of it as a Act of desperation !

Yes the Sacrifice was a captive Diedne.

Agreed. It also shows that in desperate times people don't always hold to the letter or spirit of the law. It's a murky past and I enjoy that fact.

And who knows what was in the Duresca Scrolls ...

  1. Diedne were not non-Order at the time
  2. It wasn't a captive - it was a Diedne Quaesitor given safe conduct...


Wasn't the house renouced rather than just the subject of a wizard war? They are non- order once they've been renounced.

Are you saying that in times of politically engineered "war" those in power may act in ways that flagrantly violate the laws that they are charged with upholidng, and, indeed, pursue objectives that are anathema to the interests of those they supposedly represent?!


Yeah, I am at least. It's the "You can't handle the truth" senario. Sometimes individuals, groups, or entire governments engage in actions that are inconsistent or a violation of their ways of conduct. Shades of grey or the corruption of the good, however you look at it- it's reasonable to at least allow for the possiblity. Perhaps in a more mythic game it would be inappropriate to allow for men in authority to break the laws they live by, but in a game that allows for judges to paid off and special interest groups to engage in black ops such spells should exist at least in theory.

Oh sorry, but if he was held against his will, he was a captive.
And it was a War.

So true.........

I always find it hard to distinguish the two.

Are you worrying about my Ability to percieve sarcasm ?


Sorry, that wasn't sarcasm. I guess I just got Hermetic Politics confused with... something else. Carry on.