How far north does the Novgorod Tribunal reach?

On Project Redcap it states that Iceland and the Scandinavian countries are within the Novgorod Tribunal. But the actual map of Mythic Europe on page 201 of the core book stops just a few miles into the southern borders of Norway and Sweden, and I can find no indication anywhere of how far north the Novgorod tribunal stretches. In fact, according to that map, none of the Scandinavian countries are within any tribunal. Is there a way to reconcile the two descriptions? Does Novgorod cover Scandinavia (like Redcap states)? Or doesn't it (like the core book indicates)? Or did it for some time, and has since withdrawn? Or did they retcon it after the core book was published?

Also, as far as I can tell, at least in 5th edition, there are no actual covenants in Norway or Sweden. So if Novgorod does in fact cover Scandinavia, then how far north does it extend? Is Novgorod's "stewardship" of Norway/Sweden entirely symbolic? If so, is that basically Novgorod saying, "We have no interest in the area, but we'll be damned if anyone else gets to take it away from us!" ? Or did they genuinely have an interest in that area, but were unable to justify the continuous cold/hot war with the various enemies in the region?

I'm familiar with Robbie's Mantra ("Do what works for your saga"), but I'd still like to know what the canon rulings are before I overturn any of them, and there are still many books I haven't finished reading.

The Novgorod tribunal book was published for fourth edition, so it is automatically no longer canon. I don't think it had any scandanavian covenants in it, but I don't have the Ultima Thule book which might add something.

In fifth edition, there's a Bjornaer covenant named Sinus Wodinus on the south east of coast of Norway, which is assumed to belong to Novgorod (in so much as anyone knows about it, which is basically Crintera) - see page 19 of Guardians of the Forest. Meanwhile Oculus Septentrionalis of the Rhine tribunal is meant to be expanding into Scandinavia, but isn't putting much effort into it. There's also a covenant in Zealand (Denmark) which is in the lands of the Novgorod tribunal, but intending to join the Rhine tribunal (and the Rhine tribunal is quite happy to "steal" the territory). (Guardians of the Forest page 90).

So, basically, it is Novgorod, but not very firmly, and some of the Rhine magi are interested as well.

Novgorod Tribunal reaches as far north as its member covenants. Tribunal membership is partially geographic, but partly subscriptive.

If there are covenants in Scandanavia, they might be expected to be members of Novgorod, but actually apply to Rhine, or simply organize their own,* or even exist outside the traditional Tribunal system.

*How this is done is not clear, as there's no obvious way to apply to the Grand Tribunal for recognition.

So what would happen if a group of young magi built a covenant in Norway, but didn't want to join either tribunal? Would someone try to force them to join? If so, how?

The most obvious reason I can think of to pressure a covenant to commit to your tribunal is that others in the region have joined, or that some have joined one tribunal, and others have joined another. You in the middle should join too.

I don't see much benefit to the tribunal to expand, though. Competitiveness? Desire to find and destroy the Order of Odin?

I'd tend to think that Scandinavian covenants are fairly obviously going to be their own tribunal, and the main reason to be part of another is to have a basis to start from.

On the other hand, I've always liked the idea that each neighboring tribunal sends a colony covenant (one from Novgorod, Rhine, and Loch Leglean, and possibly Stonehenge), to provide a start, and once a few more take root, they can form a tribunal. Should only take fifty to a hundred years.

First of all the exactly reach of each tribunal is not defined by borders but by covenants. Wherever a tribunal's covenants claimed areas cover is the area of the covenant. So they can change through time if for example two neighbor covenants from different tribunals win and loose vis sources.

Vis and magic auras are obvious and sufficient reasons, I think.

Forming a new tribunal should be extremely hard. The minimum requisite ruled by Grand Tribunal are that there must be at least 4 covenants with 12 magi. Then you should go to the Grand Tribunal and ask to get your new tribunal status. But even to go there is hard, as only the primi of each houses and three representatives from already existing covenants are given invitations to attend. Expect all kind of opposition from neighboring tribunals, which will probably want all these vis sources for them. Far away tribunals may be interested. Tribunals with internal secessionist covenants will also strongly oppose. Think that since the hermetic conquest of the British Islands after Dav'nalleous defeat, only one new tribunal had ben recognized, Novgorod, and it was stablished right after the Schism War, when nobody was looking, so to speak, and with the strong opposition of the Rhine Tribunal.

As for how an existing tribunal may pressure what it may see as a rogue covenant not behaving, also consider that existing covenants are organized and powerful, and have a lot of magi. You could expect a lot of simultaneous Wizards' Wars to claim what you discovered or obtained.

There was a topic some months ago discussing a bit in depth about that, as its name suggested, Creating a New Tribunal, and also in Through the Aegis there is mentioned that the Northern Seas covenant's founder is trying to set up a new tribunal over the northern seas, and some plans on how to do so in the long term.

Would someone try to force them to join? Maybe, if they are concerned that the new covenant is a risk to The Code, by interfering with mortals or molesting fae. Some might try to make them join out of principle, worried that there would be anarchy if the current Tribunal system fails.

How do you do this? The most legitimate methods would be:
Send a quaesitor to investigate them. Hermetic magi everywhere should be under The Code, and if you don't belong to a specific Tribunal all you can do is complain to Magvillus if you feel you're being unfairly singled out.
Bring a vote at a Tribunal that could claim ownership of the covenant, and attempt to fine them or censure them. If the vote passes (and it may well do, as the unaligned covenant probably has few friends in the wider world), then there is a finding against them and people can try and enforce that. If the unaligned covenant wants to complain or appeal, they will probably need to choose a Tribunal to belong to in order to have a recognised authority back them up.

Less legitimate:
Bully the covenant by playing fast and loose with the rules of wizard's war. Look at the peripheral code for nearby Tribunals, find which one is the most abusable to your ends, then harass them within the limits of that code. If the unaligned covenant gets upset, they have to find a Tribunal to appeal to and be bound by their rules. If they're so tough or inaccessible they laugh off your attempts the harass them, then well done - they are too much trouble for people to deal with.

The practical limit is how difficult travelling there and how time and resource-heavy interfering with them would be. A remote covenant in Scandinavia is probably going to be too much trouble unless they're an obvious hazard or it's known that they are harbouring fugitives from other Tribunals.

Taking this to the extreme - if you built a covenant in a magical cave deep beneath the earth or on the sea floor, who is going to bother begging house Tremere for the loan of a special vehicle or an archmagus to cast the spells to get you there?

This does bring up a whole lot of questions about inter-tribunal politics as well. Mages fleeing marches by going to a new Tribunal (with a new name?) What happens when magi following the 4th crusade set up a tribunal in Thebes territory and declare themselves part of the Normandy tribunal? Does Thebes take it to the grand tribunal, or attack the outlier covenant? A series of wizard wars? Or is the covenant recognized as being a Normandy covenant and subject to its rules? Why did the Normandy tribunal not expand into everyone else's territory when Norman invaders grabbed huge chunks of Italy a couple of centuries ago? If the tribunals are defined by the allegiance of covenants why do they "happen" to follow the geopolitical boundaries of mundanes?

I think it would end of being a Tribunal on Tribunal conflict, just like if a covenant was on the boarder of two Tribunals. I think those all go to Grand Tribunal.

Barring Player Character level shenanigans Grand Tribunal would probably vote in favor of the geographically sensible tribunal just to maintain status quo.

Note as well that Vagrancy (which includes not having a residential tribunal, or residing in a tribunal without meeting its residency requirements as well as not having a House) is technically a Hermetic crime (HoH: TL pg 49).

so does that make the metoikos of the Theban tribunal vagrants subject to a march? And again, what happens if a covenant declares itself a member of a different tribunal? Since covenant membership defines the tribunal rather than the tribunal defining membership with geographic borders...
there is also a virtue in covenants for having a covenant outside of a tribunal, but if that means the entire covenant are vagrants subject to march that seems more of a hook than a virtue...
also if you are outside of a tribunal, where would someone bring charges of vagrancy?

I think the Metoikoi are a recognised (sub-) status within Thebes, even if not full members. On the other hand, magi who were actively causing problems and not acting in line with the expectations for Metoikoi are probably vulnerable to charges of vagrancy.

I think the reaction to a covenant defining itself as a member of another tribunal would depend on whether the new tribunal accepted them as members as far as the Vagrancy charges go (although there could be a fair amount of other politics on related matters).

What's the Covenants boon you're referring to? All of the boons I can see relate to mundane authority rather than Hermetic. Tribunal Border is a Major External Relations hook.

HoH:TL pg 49 says that "anyone can bring a vagrancy case". It doesn't specify a location, but presumably anywhere sensible?

In Covenants, Tribunal Border (outside any Tribunal, or in the disputed borderland between two Tribunals) is a major Hook.

Being outside mundane authority is the Ungoverned minor boon (the area has no rules, you only have to deal with minor nobles with many rivals) or Autocephalous major boon (you are in an area with no overlord). Autocephalous also mentions a covenant with the Isolated Boon need not take Autocephalous. Checking the book, there is no Isolated boon - I think they must mean the Seclusion minor Site boon.

For our hypothetical Norwegians, unless they're in a major town the population density is sufficiently low I think the Seclusion Boon applies.

Grand Tribunal at Durenmar: "Novgorod, you govern the northern lands. Those Scandanavian territories are yours now. Guard them well."
Novgorod, staring across the Baltic Sea: "Thanks, no... we're good."



So, a bunch of autonomous covenants who want to create the Scandinavian/Viking/Daneland/North/Whatever Tribunal have no way of doing this on their own. But getting the Rhine Tribunal to sponsor this for you might be possible, lest the covenants become part of the Novgorod Tribunal...



I think this is a classic demonstration of how much law depends on either enforcement (penalties for breaking it) or custom (nobody breaks it, because of habit etc), to be real.

In practice, I imagine covenants setting up a new tribunal would have their members agree to be bound by the decisions of the new tribunal. The new tribunal would then petition the Grand Tribunal for recognition.

The way i see it, and how I like things to work out, is that 12 magi in 4 covenants in a new territory (like the unclaimed lands of Scandinavia) can decide to claim to be a new Tribunal. They can’t send a representative toGrand Tribunal before they are recognised by them. But they can send word to Grand Tribunal of their forming, and unless seriously disputed they should be recognised. So they can participate in the next gathering.

However in theory they could all be accused of vagrancy and told to join an existing tribunal within a year or be marched.
Which is what you should probably assume that the closest tribunal will be pushing for. The fact is the rules are that only the Grand Tribunal can designate a new Tribunal, and only an existing member can petition for this to happen. Now in theory something could happen like the Normandy tribunal raising vote to split the tribunal of Thebes to allow some of it's people to have a valid political structure after teh 4th crusade, or Rome could simply have "colony" covenants on the western shores. Or of course real world politics might actually be completely irrelevant. Similarly if you try and start a new covenant in Egypt it is likely the Levant and Rome will both want a piece of the action...

Where in raw is the precedent for Vagrancy?
I’ve heard of an orbis but not vagrancy.
Also consider that threat might work against one magus, but 12 magi start to become a decent force, especially if a tribunal gives them a year notice of a march.

HoH:TL p49, big sidebar discusses this. It applies both to not having a house, and not having a Tribunal membership. The actual time limit is "until next Tribunal" ie seven years if its meeting Tribunal residency requirements (main text on p49), one year for being expelled from a house/resigning membership.