list of potential topics for 1228 Grand Tribunal

In my saga this is nearly 10 years off, but I expect various magi are starting to work on getting their topics to GT.

I have already introduced the 4th Ed plot of Edward the White trying to find a sponsor for his Tribunal of the Mediterranean plan.

However, my imagination is struggling. What other topics are magi promoting to be chosen to go to GT?
Once I have a decent number of potential topics, then come the contest of champions seeking to become delegates to GT.

PS my saga in StoneHenge, and there is the usual magi who would want Blackthorn censured, or worse. There must be other causes that are competing for the 3 attendees?

Every Tribunal can bring three issues. I expect that in 1228 someone, likely Normandy or Rome, will bring an issue of how foreign born mages are treated in Thebes given the number of magi who moved there with the 4th crusade.
We know there is a movement to create a Tribunal of Thuriginia, so that will likely be brought up, likely by someone looking for support for another motion and trading that support.
Stonehenge will likely bring up something regarding Hibernia trying to force them to live closer to the standards of the rest of the order.
The Greater Alps will likely bring some motion regarding members of Normandy stealing vis from their tribunal.
Normandy and Provencal will likely have some back and forth charges leveled regarding the activities of various magi during the Albigensian crusade.

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The Tribunals where the Cow and Calf clause on books is present may try to get this clause be recognized and enforced throughout the Order.

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Novgorod will probably bring the issue of Heorot to tribunal, as they should belong to the Novgorod Tribunal, not the Rhine. Generally the Rhine tries to absorb some of Novgorod at each Grand Tribunal but is shot down because nobody wants them getting more territory.

Novgorod will probably also be in disarray given the mongol invasion, seeking provisions to defend themselves/mundane interference. The complete destruction of the Khwarazmian Empire and subsequent rampages through Persia and Novgorod territories probably have Thebes and Levant nervous as well, and they can probably find allies in Iberia given that House Flambeau has been supportive of the Reconquest and would want to defend 'Christian' interests.

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In my game, the following issues were brought up at our first Grand Tribunal:

  • Following the continuous raiding by a group of Magi in the North Sea, the Stonehenge Tribunal has brought the issue to the Tribunal to determine which Tribunal these magi belong to. The Magi in question are petitioning for the formation of a new "North Sea Tribunal", and for whatever reason they have several powerful allies. This could change the vis rights of several covenants in different tribunals depending on how coastal and near sea vis sources are determined to belong to people. There are a lot of younger magi who support this, because it would allow them to build convenants without the intervention of older and more established magi. It could also redirect or disperse some of the attention of the border tribunals, potentially to the benefit of some politically savvy wizard (while also increasing the overall territory held by the order).

  • House Tremere is bringing forth the idea of creating a publicly supported research fund to encourage Magi to engage in productive research that is then released to the order. They have strong support from powerful members of House Bonisagus, who are going to engage in research anyway and would appreciate the compensation. Their initial proposal is a special group of Magi elected from each house who determine the current subject (or subjects) of research being publicly sponsored. They distribute funds in vis collected from each covenant in the order, who are expected to contribute an amount of vis proportional to the number of magi they have. House Tremere has generously offered to cover the entire costs of copying and binding the resulting research, then paying house Mercere to distribute it to every covenant in the order. This is naturally going to be quite controversial, since it involves subjecting wizards to taxation and creates a new central power structure for the order, but the benefits could be quite tempting. The prima of Tremere is throwing her full weight behind this, and may be willing to negotiate some compromises to push it through.

  • A papal legate has approached members of house Jerbiton about commissioning magic items. Rattled by the presence of Sahirs during the crusades, he is attempting to collect magical protection (and weaponry) aimed at destroying heathen sorcerers and protecting holy men (and possibly crusaders, if the time comes) from the magic of sahirs. This represents a very obvious conflict of the code, but can the order refuse to get involved in this messy political affair? Some members of house Jerbiton are pushing hard for this, since it would give them precedent to offer similar magical aid to the military of Constantinople against further invasion or siege.

In the next one coming up, I'm putting forward a few more order wide political issues. Namely, some legal reformists are pushing a more standardized list of punishment for Magi who violate the code. They're hoping to ban what they view as inhuman punishments, such as the killing of familiars or apprentices. They also hope to introduce some serious punitive measures that don't involve execution, such as imprisoning magi for some amount of time by turning them to stone or encouraging more rehabilitative service that helps the order as a whole.

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Why doesn't Jerbiton just quietly point the papal legate to a venditores? Certainly a Jerbiton could enchant something for his companion soldales who then gives it to the church as a gesture of goodwill as well.
Though it also raises the question of why the church is worried about Sahir when the divine auras and Magic resistance are so effective against them...

Potentially, there are the covenants in the Normandy and Rhine Tribunal trying to create the Lotharingian Tribunal. This is noted in the Normandy and Rhine Tribunal books.

In addition to the movement trying to push the formation of the Lotharingian one?

  • The Rhine book, and to a lesser extend the Normandy book, deals with the idea of creating a Lotharingian Tribunal. While the Rhine is led by people very much against this, the Normandy Tribunal seems to be more, as a whole, in favour of the Lotharingian Tribunal. So one of Normandy's three issues could well be bringing this up, and while they'd lose Flanders (a vis poor region overall), the Tytallus would be high fiving each other at having trolled the Rhine Bonisagus so hard.

-A Rome/Iberia issue of opening North Africa to colonisation by Magi, in the hope that this will lead to Vis flowing across the MEd into their coffers.

-Some important magi has been doing some cross-tribunal border mess, and their home -Tribunal is unable/unwilling to rein them in, so instead this has been brought to Grand-Tribunal, as they pushed a little too hard.

  • A group of Flambeau have been hunting down pagan mages all across Mythic Europe, and have killed over a dozen now. With their domus magna in the Rhine, house Merenita with support from ex Miscs in the Tribunal, have made a formal complaint about this.

  • The Covenant of Legnica was sacked, presumably by mundanes, but something does not add up. It seems that maybe there was some magic being used. Novgorod is so rattled and in disarray from the Mongols that they want someone from outside to come and investigate. Both the Polish and Russian factions are accusing each other.

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No, didn't look at Normandy and got the name wrong.
I have trouble believing the Normandy tribunal would use one of their three topics to give up land just to "get" the Rhine tribunal. On the other hand I could easilly see the Novgorod tribunal making a deal to introduce this as a topic in exchange for votes to protect itself from the Rhine tribunal's desire to expand into their territory and quite specifically with regards to Denmark and Scandinavia

I have a few used in a Stonehenge saga at one point, though how useful they are might depend on how well our version of Stonehenge meshes with your own saga.

Border War

Covenants in the north of the tribunal have been having serious trouble with raids from Loch Leglean. There are very few quesitores in LL, and they are active participants or turn a blind eye to the raiding due to links with the covenants involved. Because of this the affected covenants have no recourse to retreive stolen property except counter-raiding, and this has only drawn other LL magi into the dispute due to being mistakenly targeted. The covenants in question have tried appealing to Magvillus for some kind of special investigation into LL, but nothing has come of it so far (house Guernicus is spread thin). They want to present the issue to the grand tribunal and ask for mediation between the tribunals, and an external investigation or replacement of the LL quaesitores.

However, this issue only affects a few covenants - the raids never reach further south than the Humber and that means the majority of Stonehenge covenants are unaffected (in our saga the northern magi couldn't convince the rest of the tribunal about the importance of this to their great annoyance).

The Hibernian Problem

"English" magi in Hibernia (many from Stonehenge, some from further afield) who want to make the tribunal more like a conventional one are in conflict with the native Hibernian magi who want to preserve the unique traditions of the tribunal. Some magi in Stonehenge are very involved with this "project" or have very strong views on the matter and want to present it to the grand tribunal. However, they can't agree on what they want to propose! The different factions on this matter in Stonehenge (in our saga) are:

Major View - Gradual Reform: Led by the tribunal Tremere, this group wants to pursue a gradual reform within the Hibernian code. They see time as being on their side and want the grand tribunal to act to prevent any open conflict in Hibernia. They don't want the grand tribunal to overrule Hibernian tradition, because they think they can erode it over time anyway with less risk. Being led by Goliard of Blackthorn, some magi who would be members of this faction are put off by the association.

Major View - Harsh Reform: This group want the grand tribunal to overrule aspects of the Hibernian code they see as "problematic" or "unlawful". It has no single leader, but is popular among less informed magi. They have no plan for what comes after, only objections to existing Hibernian traditions.

Fringe View - War: This group, led by some of the more militant magi of the tribunal, wants the treaty of Cnoc Maol Réidh declared invalid and immediate "Join or Die" style aggressive action against the Coill Trí and any magi who defend them. Tantamount to declaring war on the native magi. In our saga some senior members of house Tremere covertly support this view (in opposition to their own house's official stance), and have been secretly fomenting conflict in Hibernia. Stonehenge magi naturally blame Blackthorn for this, despite their (in this case genuine) protestations of innocence.

Fringe View - Official Recognition: Some Stonehenge magi, led by Cad Gadu, have strong ties to Hibernia and approve of their unique traditions. They have been secretly working with Hibernian magi to present a case to the grand tribunal for adopting aspects of the Hibernian code across the Order of Hermes. In particular they want the grand tribunal to ratify the treaty of Cnoc Maol Réidh (and create precedent for similar agreements with hedge wizards in other tribunals possibly) and to approve the practice of "ambassadors" from the supernatural realms at tribunal. If they can get one of their own as Stonehenge representative then they will have a strong base of support - in our saga Loch Leglean, Hibernia itself, Ex Misc, Merenita, and Bjornaer were all in support, and others could be won over with the right arguments.

Major View - Who Cares? A faction of magi who think that Stonehenge should look to itself instead of meddling in other tribunals. They will object to the idea of using one of the Stonehenge proposals on a matter relating entirely to Hibernia.

Rune Wizards in the North

In our saga we drew a lot from the Hermes Portal version of Mann and the Isles, which includes living rune wizards. Discovery of rune magic being actively used in the region, even by just a handful of scattered practitioners, will send some (paranoid) magi into a panic over the "Order of Odin". Others may view this as little more than scaremongering and conspiracy theory. There will certainly be voices arguing it should be presented to the grand tribunal, however circumstantial the evidence. Other think it's nonsense. A third group believes the rune wizards exist, but don't want to report it for fear of the conflict it will bring to the tribunal.

Except for Mann itself the isles are in Loch Leglean and they may have their own views on the matter. Further the Partitio Manoviae which places the Isle of Mann outside of any tribunal (for now) makes the whole matter even more complicated. The matter gets yet more inflamed when war breaks out in the isles in the late 1220's leading to a Norwegian fleet being send to the isles (and potentially bringing non-hermetic norse wizards with it) under the command of Óspakr-Hákon.

Unknown to the tribunal at large a group of Verditius and Ex Miscellanea in Stonehenge and Loch Leglean are fully aware of the rune wizards and have been trying to recruit them to the Order in secret. If that is found out it will cause a huge stir - hermetic magi collaborating with the Order of Odin!

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If you are including ArM4 events, the situation at Pripet Maior and the situation at Thousand Caves seem like good, divisive issues.

Pripet Maior: Several of the Bjornaer magi have entered Final Twilight, leaving behind essentially kaiju monsters. To do something, or not?

Thousand Caves: I've invented Aura reassignment! (An oversimplification.) It only involves a group of mundanes and some Faerie power!

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Why would those go to the Grand Tribunal? They sound like much more local events.

Pripet is one of the major strongholds of house Bjornaer, and the Great Beasts are largely protected by the house. If Novogorod magi just roll in and start killing, there's likely to be tons of intertribunal wizards wars/marches. So basically it's the Novgorod leadership bringing it to Grand Tribunal to force House Bjornaer to 'do something about this, or we will!'. If Bjornaer does nothing or the GT declares it a Novgorod matter, then they have a free hand. If Bjornaer or GT negotiates a settlement, the problem gets solved on somebody else's dime. In either case, the Novgorod magi basically win by bringing it to GT first.

Thousand Caves raises a bunch of issues on mundane interference, the rights of House Bjornaer (b/c the resident Bjornaers at TC are initiating mundane people in Heartbeast) and the limits of Bonisagus research. Add in the fact that it's 1000 miles away makes Wizard's War a huge hassle and makes it hard for the people at TC to defend themselves at GT. I imagine the whole thing is intertwined with the Pripet issue, as most Bjornaers probably don't want mundanes getting heartbeasts or mucking about with faerie powers (Bjornaers are anti-faerie in that they spoil 'pure' magic auras).

Personally I agree that Novgorod could just march TC without too much issue. Rolling over Pripet Maior would probably piss off House Bjornaer too much to be worth it. I'd expect Novgorod to use TC as leverage (Bjornaer secrets are at risk) to get Pripet solved.

Personally I still don't see it- these are issues within the tribunal and it seems to me a waste of issues to be brought before a tribunal that is supposed to be about inter-tribunal issues. Bringing something before the tribunal is generally a request for action and any action requested will be something the tribunal can do on its own.

I have to ask, which ArM4 volume are these in? I have the whole set (I think) but have not read every volume in my ArM collection cover to cover. Neither rings a bell at the moment.

The Dragon and the Bear. Sorry, I should have said.

I just finished some of the "Ancient Magics" - and that path could remove the need to vis for many effects, and also some runic effects ignore Parma ! It is a perfect Machiavellian mix for ambitious power hungry Mages.

Are there issues of interest to a few magi, that they campaign for in the hope to get the other magi to become interested in ?

Well, there's a pair of reasons why.

One of them is that, at least, in my games selling magic items to powerful or influential enough people is, at the very least, suspect (if not a crime). Selling, or even just giving, the king of England a powerful magical crown isn't something you should really do- same for selling magical services to the pope, via a proxy.

Secondly, the Jerbiton wizards pushing this are doing it to establish legal precedent for this kind of behavior as part of an overall political strategy of slowly eroding restrictions on magi interfering with mundane affairs for the benefit of "Christendom" as a whole.

It's unlikely that they would face very serious repercussions for just proceeding, but this is an important stepping stone to literally using direct magic to, say, stop people from invading Constatinople (since they're kind of sore about that), as well as binding the Order and the Church closer together.

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Not a problem. That is indeed one of the books I've yet to read.