So, my character interpreted the hermetic code in a somewhat liberal way and now the French Tribunal wants to headclunk him for it. While it hasn't happened IC yet, I figured it was inevitable, and the storyguide has stated it will happen soon enough.
What I did was hire several covenfolk laborers, out of pocket, and equip them with a toolset that aids in the freezing and transporting of big blocks of ice. While it's technicaly on loan to them, it's an item that I could legally gift to a mundane as my One Item a Year. Between that item and some good old fashioned manual labor, they are able to produce a significant amount of crushed ice per season.
Acting through an intermediary (a covenant millita member, and a translator), I struck a verbal deal with some Venetian, French, and English trade guilds to sell this ice. My workers could produce it for less then it cost to store up to summer, so they bought a good amount, and I made a few silver.
And now it seems someone went and complained.
While I don't know the exact charges yet, their likely to be one or all of the following three. I need to know if these can be made to stick, or if there's a way out of them.
Charge 1) By striking a deal with a mundane that contractually obligated me to do something for him that involves magic, I am violating the stricture against being a court wizard. This is punishable by being Marched, or more precisely, death.
My Proposed Defense: "This charge is absolutely ludicrous, and can be dismissed on any number of three clear reasons. First, I have neither promised nor given anything that is the fruit of my labors. What I'm selling is the result of the sweat off my employees backs, not a product of my lab, my magic, or my skills. Second, as our informal agreement concerns only the items my employees produce, there is no way I could possibly be called to do something that could remotely constitute "Court Wizardry." Finally, as the agreement is strictly verbal, informal, and subject to immediate renegotiation at any time, I would not be obligated to so much as lift a finger if he demanded it."
Charge 2) The ice is produced by magic, and therefore constitutes a magic item. This is a clear and flagrant violation on the one magic item limit. Furthermore, (my charachter) again violated the code by selling it directly instead of through an intermediary.
My Proposed Defense: "I should preface this by admitting some fault. While I did work through an intermediary -- my shield grog as well as my translator -- I should have remained a more discreet distance away so as to avoid any accusations like the second. I'm one of those Magi who doesn't trust a subordinate unless their looking over his shoulder.
That said, this charge is demonstrably false. Over covenant employed magical tools to clear the roads that our loggers use. Our wine comes from magic-warped trees. Our grogs, Warped to a Pattern, arguably count as magic, and so any products or goods derived from their warping-granted abilities would be magic. In covenants with aura's stronger then our own, such is often the case. And even in covenants in weak aura's, if the covenant is particularly old or the magi within particularly generous, it is not unheard of for there to be a grog or three with a magical item to aid their labors. Are all of these goods also magic? Is this tribunal prepared to declare every export of my covenant, as well as the exports of the majority of covenants throughout France a violation of the code?
The clause against excessive magic items sale is there for many very good reasons, but this is not my wizard's craft I'm selling. This is mundane business, pure and simple. To outlaw this would be to make Magi's item a year their only source of income -- or to chain them to their covenants as they have no other way of acquiring silver. Yes, magic items are involved in production, but that does not make the goods magic any more then this grog being warped makes him a Magical Creature."
Charge 3) Interference with mundanes.
My Proposed Defense: "I cannot prove that I have not interfered at all, that is impossible. Whenever any Magi interacts with mundanes in any way, they interfere to a limited extent -- on that charge, we are all guilty. By our mere presence, we alter their world. We could argue for hours -- weeks -- about the exact meaning of the word and it's place in the code, but all I would learn is your personal interpretations of the Oath. I see no reason to waste the time of everyone here by playing that tired game.
However, I can prove that what I do is no worse then many established, legal forms of Magi-Mundane interaction. It is the sale of a mundane good through equally mundane distributors, something at least half the covenants here and perhaps a fourth of the Magi engage in. An unusual mundane good, to be sure, but a mundane good nonetheless. It has not brought ruin, or even minor inconvenience, upon the other covenants of this Tribunal, and I find it unlikely Ice will be the downfall of French civilization."
So, suggestions? Do I have a chance here or am I screwed?