Proposed By-Laws

Suggestions welcome. Approved Laws will be edited together in a finished document.

Salary and Wages
Members shall recieve a base salary of 3 pawns Form vis and 5£ annually.
A voluntary season of dedicated service in a year earns an additional 3 pawns & 5£ as a wage.
A season of duty in an office in a year earns an additional 3 pawns & 5£ as a wage, plus 10£ expenses
Lab Upkeep is deducted from payments at the rate of one-tenth a pount per point of upkeep. One pawn of vis counts as 10£ silver for upkeep

Just need to clarify a few things. Do we receive the annual salary even if we don't dedicate a season to covenant service? Are officers required to dedicate a season each year to their office? Do officers then gain the base annual salary and the seasonal salary?

Other by-law ideas...

Officers are elected by the council, requiring a simple majority.
Officers have the authority to make and execute decisions within their designated fields, but are expected to report these decisions at each council meeting.
In the event that insufficient candidates are available for one or more offices, the Pontifex shall assign the responsibilities to another officer or to him/herself.
Officers need not be magi if the council feels a mundane can fulfill the obligations of the office.
Officers other than the Pontifex serve for seven years.

Pontifex - Leader of the covenant. Presides over all covenant council meetings. Must approve all inter-covenant agreements.
Artificer - Responsible for cataloging and maintaining the covenant's supply of enchanted items. Submits orders for lab supplies to the steward/autocrat.
Spokesperson - Serves as primary point of contact for Hermetic and mundane interactions.
Librarian - Responsible for cataloging and maintaining the covenant's library.
Marshall - Provides Hermetic leadership and support for the covenant's turb.
Warder - Coordinates and maintains the covenant's physical and magical defenses.
Vis Steward - Responsible for harvesting vis and managing the covenant's vis supplies.
Hermetic Factor - Responsible for coordinating all Order-related covenant trade.
Mundane Factor - Responsible for coordinating all mundane covenant trade and managing the covenant's monetary wealth.
Inquisitor - Oversees investigation of all criminal activity affecting the covenant, both supernatural and mundane.
Captain - Serves as leader of the covenant's turb. Responsible for all mundane combat training.
Autocrat/Steward - see Covenants (can't find it at the moment)

Council Meetings
Council meetings are held at least once per season, as scheduled by the Pontifex.
All magi of Master/Mistress rank are voting members of the covenant council.
Meetings of the covenant council are not considered official unless more than half the Masters and the Pontifex are present.
All motions require a majority vote of the Masters present for approval. The Pontifex does not vote except in case of a tie.
Masters known to be in Twilight are not counted against the covenant roster for the purposes of meeting quorum or passing motions.
The Pontifex may appoint a proxy to serve in the event that he or she is unavoidably detained, whether in Twilight or otherwise.
Mundane officers may participate in council meetings and may be permitted (by the Pontifex) to vote as Masters on issues related to their areas of expertise.

Internal Disputes
Disputes among members of the covenant, regardless of rank, shall be heard and decided upon by the covenant council. Masters involved in such disputes are not permitted to vote on the matter and are not counted against the covenant's roster for determining quorum. Disputants may appeal the council's decision to the Pontifex, but his/her decision is final. Disputes which directly involve the Pontifex are resolved by the council as above, with no appeal permitted. Disputants may also choose to settle the matter via Certamen at any time.

Ratification of By-Laws
These By-Laws must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the covenant council. Any revisions to these By-Laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the covenant council.

Covenant members are required to inform the Pontifex promptly when they provide Aegis tokens to visiting magi or other supernatural entities.
Hospitality will be extended to any Knight of Seneca in good standing upon request.

EDIT: Per Marko's comments re: pontifex and mudane officers

The base is what you get automatically. Duty seasons and volunteer seasons are each extra. But I set it up so you can only get each bonus once. Or I meant to anyway, I should reword that.

I like the list of suggested offices. But the Captain should normally be a mundane and not an officer. In times past, the council allowed the Captain and Autocrat a seat at meetings and an ex-officio vote on matters pertaining to their area. The Factor duties would likewise normally be a mundane, the Steward (or Autocrat).

One issue...

The Autocrat cannot step down or be removed from office by the council. Theoretically, they could run away or get marched for a high crime. But impeachment is not an option. Why? These by-laws only have authority because the Pontifex says so. And they can dissolve them at any time. In theory. That has never happened though. It is in the best interest of the pontifex to keep everyone happy or they will sit alone in a covenant by themselves.

[strike]I'll update my original post, separating magical and mundane offices and fixing the pontifex issue.[/strike]

Scratch that. I remembered the reason I listed Captain under the list of officers - it could theoretically be performed by a magus. I'll clarify that only Masters get to vote on the council, not necessarily officers, with the exceptions you mentioned.

I really like many of these ideas. Do not take my comments as criticism, just bouncing it back and forth for consideration. And I am glad someone is taking initiative :smiley:

I would prefer a mandatory annual meeting, seasonal meetings optional but traditional
Why no vote for the Pontifex? Why do they have to be present if there is a quorum of masters?

That was better than the old way, when Antonio told people to fistfight over it or shut up :laughing:
Don't like the Pontifex bit. What if there is more than one? There can be up to three (though there never has been more than two). And what if they are a dick and just invalidate the by-laws? We still have this old ancient charter to deal with...

Like these, but I think informing of tokens should be given to the Warder officer maybe...

Leave it up for now. This is a discussion thread :smiley:
Unless I am too late (I see we are online at the same time). No worries, I quoted it all :slight_smile:

I need more discussion and ideas.
The whole Pontifex & old Charter thing. It is a possible option that we could (as a group) decide to write a new charter and officiallt pick a Tribunal. I myself prefer Iberia if we had to choose.
But there is the missing founder hook. What if Antonio or Rodrigo do return one day?

First, sorry for not responding sooner. This was apparently a ghost response for me.

No problem. I write technical and procedural documents for a living, so I (almost) enjoy this kind of thing. I've also found that throwing some kind of draft together is usually necessary for a decent discussion.

Annual meetings were my initial idea, but I found a sidebar in Covenants that said they're usually done seasonally. I'm good either way. The pontifex things were an attempt at balancing power. She or an appointed proxy must be present to make any council meeting official, but she doesn't get directly involved in decisions. I now see that I was ignoring two important factors - we can have multiple pontifices and a pontifex can scrap these by-laws when the mood strikes her.

If there are multiple pontifices, this actually gets easier. If one pontifex is involved in the dispute, the loser can appeal to another pontifex. As for a pontifex being a dick and tearing up the by-laws, nothing we write in the by-laws can stop that, so we might as well ignore it.

Good point, though I think the pontifex should also be informed.

One big reason not to. Morale. Carmen needs you guys here.
It is kinda like the Queen of England. Technically, Parliament exists by her will. But in reality, the Queen is a figurehead.

All the more reason to limit her voting power. We afford her respect as the head of the covenant, she tacitly acknowledges that the council actually controls the covenant.

What about an Ex-Officio vote that can only counts in case of a Tie?

Sorry I'm a bit late to this party.

I don't want to get too wrapped around the axle worrying about the pontifex and would prefer to keep it simple. I don't really want more than one pontifex. That seems un-medieval to me and would confuse procedural matters.

Why on earth would we bother to write by-laws if the pontifex has the power to throw them out? Might was well have the pontifex write them in the first place. I would prefer instead the pontifex not to have that power, and changes to the by-laws require ratification by 2/3 of the magi or similar. I could see establishing a procedure to suspend the by-laws in an emergency, but as a player I don't want to bother with that for simplicity and to avoid creating an invitation to abuse said emergency powers.

I'd suggest, if the Pontifex is not present or is involved in a dispute, her powers devolve to the Warden (because he has responsibility for the peace and safety of the covenant).

I like the idea of Warden, and agree on keeping it simple. In practice. The history behind it can be as complicated as a Byzantine contract. But in play and practice, we should keep it simple.
I had originally concieved of a history of a covcenant that was much like Doisettep (from old editions), but had evolved in practice into a more democratic system. It works out much like the English monarchy in a way. The crown can (in theory) dissolve parliament again and again, but cannot choose who constitutes the new parliament. Likewise, the Pontifex can throw out the by-laws, but cannot make the new ones. The council cannot depose the Pontifex, but if that magus just so happens to get, well, Marched or some such, well then they loose membership automatically.
The Christian Church had multiple pontifici. Seven I think. Now they are just down to two; one in Rome and one the East for the Orthodox church. Doisettep had more than one I think. There has been two in the past at Andorra. However, we might want to establish that henceforth there can be only one.

I just had a new idea. The Pontifex has no power over the by-laws. They don't apply to him/her. The old-old charter I keep mentioning had established three ranks of members; Journeyman, Master, and Pontifex. There were also three councils; the General Council which included veryone, the Master's council excluded Journeymen and included a pontifix in the role that any other member has (not necessarilly presiding or having any special recognition); and the Pontifici (if ever more that one) would hold private meetings.
This old-old charter, I never wrote it. Deliberately so. I wanna keep it vague so we can shape things the way we need to. Meaning that we can "go back in time" and retroactively write pieces of the thing as they apply to what we are doing now.

Here are some ideas I was tinkering with. Let me know what you guys think :smiley:

Resolutions of the Ruling Council of Andorra Covenant
Ratified year of our Lord 1230
Oath of Covenant
(first part spoken by the new member magus)
.....I, (name), do hereby promise and swear my loyalty and support to the Covenant of Andorra. I pledge my life and my sacred fortune to the fate of this covenant, come prosperity or tribulation. Throughout the many years of my life, throughout my travels and adventures, I shall never betray the magi of this covenant nor give aid to their enemies. I shall take my dutiful place in this council, and shall abide by the rulings and decisions made thereby.
(second part spoken by all members in unison)
.....Henceforth we are as of one blood, together to grow hale and strong!

Resolutions of Govenance
Ranks and Membership
A member of this covenant must also be a member of the Order of Hermes, for if one is ever renounced by the Order they shall also be cast out of this covenant.
This council recognizes that the Charter provides for three ranks of membership; Sacerdos (Journeyman), Flamen (Master), and Pontifex (Patriarch). These ranks shall be interpreted and applied as follows.

  • Journeyman: A Journeyman is any magus who has not yet sworn the Covenant Oath and been raised to Master; yet is granted residence, privilige, and protection. These benefits are extended to guests and provisional members at the request of two or more member magi who advocate as hosts and or sponsors. But if the majority of the ruling council so decides, provisional or guest status can be revoked. An accepted Journeyman is allowed to speak in General Council, but they are not allowed a vote nor are they privy to private meetings of the Ruling Council.
  • Master: A Master is a full member of this covenant, sworn to the covenant Oath, sharing in responsability and reward, and holding a seat on the Ruling Council. Any magus of the Order, sponsored by a Master, may petition for full membership and rank as a Master of this covenant. Acceptance requires a unanimous vote of approval by a Ruling Council of Masters. As a full and accepted member, a Master (or Mistress) has a guarentee of residence and rights of resources. They shall be given a lab and sanctum and a financial stipend to pay for their needs, as well as an annual vis salary for their use. A Master has open access to the library and other common facilities of this covenant, may call upon communal resources as needed such as our laborers and soldiers, as well as any other privileges of an equal member of this covenant.
    A Master holds a seat on the Ruling Council of this covenant, having an equal vote amongst their peers, and right to speak upon the rules and laws under which we operate. A Master may also be appointed as an Officer (Bishop) by a vote of their peers.
  • Patriarch: A Patriarch (or Matriarch) is the title of honor given to a Pontifex, who holds ancient rights and duties afforded to them by the Charter of Andorra. The distinction is granted to the eldest members who have been members the longest.

Is there a set number of Patriarchs, or is there however many that the council feels like having? (You've been here how long? Meh, you're a Patriarch. Knock yourself out.")

That is something I am still considering. By default, the title of "Pontifex" goes to the magus who has been a member the longest. The line of Pntifici has never been interrupted before now. In past times, a Pontifex would elevate the next eldest to the rank, and there has been as many as three but rarely more than one or two.
I am open to suggestions and ideas.