I'm putting together a PbP saga that will follow a group of magi who are convicted of high crimes and imprisoned in a penitentiary covenant.
The Code of Hermes requires some rewriting to permit justice-by-incarceration rather than justice-by-marching. I want to create a convincing backstory for the change to the Code and figure out some of the subtler nuances that add detail to the prison culture. Please share your suggestions.
In terms of legal changes, here's what I have so far :
The Ferrum Carcer Amendment of 1227
“My good parens Solon,
It is as you feared. The Grand Tribunal adjourned last evening after the most eventful and tumultuous proceedings in two centuries. Fueled by fear and superstition the tribunal enacted much of the Transitionalist agenda, including some bizarre proposals from their lunatic fringe which passed as amendments in the wee hours of the morning.
Our ‘beloved’ new primus Acheron acted as Presiding Quaesitor while the wretched Bonisagi Primus Murion sat like a spider in her web, spinning intrigues. Acheron demonstrated his vaunted prowess in Muto, for as if by magic, all solid precedents melted into air, rules twisted like snakes, minor scuffles swelled into behemoths, and high crimes became veritable sacraments.
Two broad changes to the Code of Hermes stand out for particular mention, the expansion of Quaesitorial privileges during investigations and the Ferrum Carcer Amendment. Acheron and Murion must believe that the only way to uphold the Code is by breaking it. What else could explain the new guidelines for Quaesitorial investigation? Quaesitors may now use mentem magics during interrogation, search sancta with a warrant from the inner council of Magvillus, and scry with impunity. We shall offer a poor example to the rest of the order behaving more like the dominion’s High Inquisitors than law-abiding magi.
The Ferrum Carcer Amendment was the strangest outcome of the tribunal. I do not believe that Acheron and Murion truly desired it. It began as a modest proposal put forth by a cunning Tytalus to demonstrate the absurdity of the Transitionalists innovations. But it caught the imagination of the gathered magi, and in a daft, simplistic way expressed the Order’s fear that too much authority had been given to the Quaesitors. In sum, the amendment decrees that rehabilitation rather than retribution must be the goal of hermetic punishment.
To accomplish this goal, House Guernicus will construct a Hermetic prison to house the most diabolical and corrupt oath breakers in the Order. Instead of losing their lives entire, convicts will be sentenced to a term of years during which they are subject to the ravages of age without magical aid. Outlaws will be housed within a supposedly ‘escape-proof’ facility where they pose no danger to their sodales or any others in Europa. Should a convict escape, they will be subject to forfeit immunity, fair game for any in the Order to slay, torture or enslave as they wish.
If only you could have attended. Your wise counsel and respected voice might have swayed a few crucial votes that our coalition needed. Alas, in your absence our allies were disheartened and fell to petty bickering. Curses upon they who brought this twilight upon you Solon! I shall not rest till your assassins stand before the bar of justice. There was a time when the Code of Hermes set such a bar; no more. The villains will find no tender mercy from my blade or my Arts, all sharpened by your tutelage.
This I swear to you with blood and vis.
Fallon fillia Solon ex Guernicus “