Oath/Peripheral code question

Our saga takes place in the Rhine Tribunal.
The Players covenant has been in a small scale feud with neighbouring covenant. Our covenant is not Recognized by the other covenants of the tribunal. and therefor have no legal rights as a whole.
The Feud with our neighbour escalated resulting in the other covenant kidnaping the brother of one of the magi. the brother being a knight holding the land and castle where the characters are hoping to establish their covenant.
The Brother knight being missing the magi start scrying to find him.
With out them knowing they succed in penetrating the Aeigis of the heart at the covenant where he is being held.
The players afterwards cast a spell to comunicate with the knight to learn where he s held.
The "enemy" covenant are alarmed by the comunication and learn quite easily that magic has been used.
They try to get rid of the evidence by killing the knight.

Here is the case as a see it
The enemy covenant might have broken the following rules:
Endangering the order/mundane interference (as they have killed a knight/noble)
The allies of the order are my allies. (killing the brother/knight who is clearly frindly with the characters covenant)

The players might be guilty in:
Scrying (they cast several spells at the enemy covenant)

Tribunal is coming up and the case will be presented there.
The players are interested in settling, since they need the vote of the enemy covenant at the tribunal to be recognized. Futher the palyers have found a witness from the other covenant who can testify to the order to capture the knight and kill him was given by Remus Ex misc. a magus at the enemy covenant

As a storyteller im gonna run like this:
At the private hearing before the trial they will settle with the other covenant. Price being a vote for them. And a vis fine.
The fact that the players have been scrying is not going to weigh against them since they didnt know the knight was held at a covenant. (they could though have used forceless casting but they didnt)

Im upholding the oath and abiding by Peripheral code?
Are there any other good ideas to solve this. I feel im beeing to kind towards my players.

There is nothing wrong with being kind to your players. But wouldn't some dealings make the Tribunal more interesting for the PCs?

In my opinion, neither covenant has a clear case. Older covenants in the region wouldn't want to charge their fellow covenant with interfering with mundanes for kidnapping the noble associated with the players' covenant; by associated him with their covenant, the PCs have made him no-longer "mundane". They also wouldn't, on the other hand, want to punish the new covenant for scrying against a noble they didn't know was in a covenant - unless they ought to have known that.

The best recourse in this situation is for a compromise to be reached, and I'd imagine the Chief Quaesitor will push for one. But it shouldn't be one where one side pays the other; both sides should pay, since both are at risk and victory is uncertain. I'd suggest having the older covenant promise to vote or at least abstain on the matter of approving the new one, and the new one to pay a vis fine to the old one.

What I'm at a loss for is how to make all of this more interesting. If you have an idea for an adventure, tying it up to the negatiations would be an excellent idea. Perhaps have the Quaestor be corrupter, and "hint" that he'll pressure the older covenant into more amicable terms if the PCs will only do him this little favor... Or maybe they would be approached by a fellow covenant, a Gild, or an influential eremite or even faerie lord (Danu? The White Witch fighting Winter at the Harz Mountains, whatever she's called?). If you have some powerful mediating NPC or secret ally, this would also be a good time to bring him forward (or have him somehow influence events).

IMO the covenant here (your players are NOT a covenant yet) is in a much worse shape than your players. Thwey do have killed mundanes with no legal connections that but place them outside hermetic AND mundane retribution. Your friends have (at most) broken a hermetic clause, and that is suspect since they did NOT scry on the enemy covenant, but did scry instead on a mundane that accidentally was held by the other covenant. They learned where he was by talking (magically, sure) to the guy, not by exploring magically the surroundings of the mundane nor using his senses to get inside information or anything like that.

IMO your friemds can get quite a deal of support from their former enemies since they messed so badly this case. If instead of retribution they are willing to use this as a political tool and NOIT acuse them but instead buy their support in being recognized they can get quite a lot of clout here :slight_smile:

Still plenty of potential politics. The other covnenant does NOTY want them to succeed so might be willing to support them and at the same time sap their efforts somewhere else. Dangerous allies they will be :slight_smile: You can easily bring this up as a running adventure, where you have to gather supoport, control the other covenant's dealing s and (maybe) solve a minor mistery on your way to be recognized. bvesides helping with some "small favors" your patrons and/or quaesitor, that is :wink: I guess they will have plenty to do at tribunal. And that is dealing with a SINGLE tribunal issue, not the other 30-ish questions :wink:



The major issue is one of law and interpretation.

There is no rule against scrying, just a rule against scrying on another magi. It could be argued that they scryed the location of said Knight.

However kidnapping and killing Knights is clearly interfering with mundanes, no matter what the reason. Charges could be brought.

In retrospect smart players could agree to not mention anything about the incident if they agree to sponsor their covenant and say nothing about the scrying... they could try to get mor eout of the older covenant.

it depends on the political punch of the new magi, the older covenant, The older covenants enemies and the leanings of the tribunal as a whole.

A sympathetic but austere tribunal would harm both of them, a free for all may sell votes like comodities.


Interfering with mundanes is not against the code. It is interference with the mundane that brings ruin on other magi that is against the code.

So, killing knights in and of itself is not a problem (from the Code's perspective). It is only a problem if as a consequence of this, say, the knight's lord blames (and somehow exacts retribution) from other magi or the Order in general that there is a problem.

Of course, you could argue that killing knights is likely to bring ruin on other magi --- but unless it actually has that is not a very strong argument. It would like convicting someone for inventing a scrying spell because they are likely to use it to scry on other magi.

Or a friend of your players (a grog or companion) could go and tell the local bishop that the other magi murdered the noble.

Or he couldn't if the other covenant agreed to support you :wink:



Apparently I'm in a minority, but I still maintain that killing a covenant's - or intended-covenant's - per noble is not interfering with mundanes. It might be depriving the magi of their magical power, akin to attacking their vis stocks and resources - but not interfering with mundanes. Unless there are exceptional circumstances indeed, like said noble being the king's son or something like that.

Of course, this is a matter of interpretation and application of the Code, which is dependant on Tribunal politics as much as on the law itself.

I would agree that the knight, in this case, is a friend of the Order and not a mundane, as it is. Also, killing him, if it is proved that the knight's conflict was with the enemy covenant, is legal, unless there is mundane retaliation upon the enemy covenant or other covenants, which may be interpreted as Interfering with mundanes and endangering the order.

Killing the knight, as a companion of the PCs covenant, as it stands, is but a minor crime.

The fact the PCs covenant is not actually recognized in tribunal may, in this case, be used to their favour. If they are not a covenant, then the knight can't be their companion, and thus, unless the enemy covenant can prove the knight had been attacking/aggressive towards them, his killing would constitute Interfering with the Mundanes and potentially Endangering the Order, two High Crimes. Since consequences are not dire (as of yet) they may only be charged with some heavy fines - but these fines would be payed to the Tribunal, not the PCs covenant, which is not, legally, a covenant.

In my opinion, it is a lose-lose situation to the PCs, but they can get out of it in better or worse shape...

As far as I am aware to be a 'companion' a mundane must be a friend of the Order - which according to the HoH TL is a difficult case to make, especially when the ally is dead.

As for Interference with the Mundanes and Endangering the Order - The enemy covenant would only be guilty if the facts came out to the public, and if the players covenant leaked it to allow the facts out then they would also be endangering the Order. As others have said it's no crime to kill a mundane, just so long as you clear up your mess.

As for depriving a wizard of the magic - because the brother will now no longer be able to let them use his castle as a home - this does not seem to apply. Depriving them of an expected gain isn't a crime or to magi bidding over a book they both want to buy could prosecute each other.


Your players on the other hand might not have actually scryed the enemy magi, but they did without a doubt scry into their covenant grounds. The wording of the Oath there is not to scry on magi or their affairs. To avoid this HoH TL recommends scrying without penetration to avoid bypassing parma or aegis. The fact that your magi punched through another covenants aegis in their scrying is the clearest point against them.


Overall I would say that your solution of the other covenant being willing to let the situation slide in return for a minor vote is a good one. The enemy covenant know that any prosecution and vote could go any way and would give amunition to their own enemies. Much safer to settle out of court.

Unfortunately, that would be interfering with the mundane and bringing ruin on your sodales.

If the magi, or their agents, go around assisting mundane investigations and incriminiating a magus in mundane crimes, that is intefering with the mundane to bring ruin on your sodales. It doesn't matter whether the magus actually is guilty or not...the trick is to not get caught leaking this information to the mundane.

define ruin. Killing your firendly landlord menaing you may all be booted off your covenant is clearly 'ruin'. It's not deprevation of magical power, it's clear ruination (form a legal meaning).

As ruin also means loss. I can tell you that ruin is still used a lot in English Land law, which still has it's basis in medieval law. In medival law the term 'to bring to ruin' is also meaning to bring to loss. This doesn't actually mean absolute destruction and destitution, but lesser loss and Land law (which seems pertinant here) would term this inhibition of rights as ruination of rights.

I do think that this is a rule which is precisely as harsh as it sounds. This is there to enforce the secrecy of the OoH. Any action which brings the attention of greater powers on the order is bad news. The Quesitors would want to punish harshly to ensure that this is a clear deterent to any sort of overt interference with Mundanes.

There is a definate interference with Mundanes. Though the noble was related to a mage and he was giving shelter to covenant that they could thrive doesn't mean that he was not a noble and mundane.

allies and friends of the order are still mundane. The noble's vassels might raise questions. The noble's leige is going to wonder where his vassel is when it comes time to go to war or deliver taxes. This basically means the mundane authorities are going to investigate. Tampering with Nobility in blatant ways is going to get you nailed to the wall for interfering with mundanes. Even more so in Rhine with the Domus Magnus for three houses, two of which really wouldn't want mundanes asking questions.

Second, the land is now for the noble's heir or if there is none, for the lord's vassal to give out and thus cause the covenant to lose their home. This deprives them of labs, place for library, potentially vis sources. Do that to a mage is also heavily against the code.

Considering the traditions of hospitality and such in the Rhine Tribunal (see Guardians of the Forest). Meddling in someone's home like that would be very seriously looked upon by the tribunal.

Finally, the scrying could not realize that there was an aegis involved. They were scrying on someone they had right to scry upon. They would not have known they punched through an aegis until after they saw where the noble was and if they had been smart, they would have concocted an alternate explanation of how the noble was found so that their scrying would never have been discovered. Still, that is a minor infraction compared to the two major infractions by the other covenant.

Voting for acceptance at tribunal and a small vis fine should have the enemy covenant happy to be let off so easily. It could have been a lot worse including requiring the offending covenant to give all the now dispossessed mages hospitality and full use of their covenant resources until such time as the newly formed covenant found a new home plus a vis fine.

In my home saga, this interference with mundanes is issue though a lot less of one since it was durenmar that did it (They seized land belonging to a noble for the covenant with the noble hostile against the idea as it had one of his most productive villages.).