I have a situation in my saga where a PC Tremere magus defined his background and flaws to include a pater who was Marched and is gone. (in fact, it's a vampirism story, but let's not get into specifics.
The question is, what happens to a Tremere's sigil when his Pater is dead/marched/final twilight/disappeared for good, and his filius somehow manages to avoid suffering the same fate. If the "grand-pater" still holds the sigil, then it's no big deal.
If the Pater himself was sigil-holder, then what are the options?
A-The filius inherits automatically of his sigil, by virtue of surviving his pater.
This doesn't sound too likely to me.
B-Filius cannot be allowed to escape the situation, he is automatically thrown out. Doesn't sound likely either to me.
C-Sigil reverts to "Grand-Pater" if still alive. If not, then Coeris re-assigns the sigil to another senior Tremere living in the same Tribunal as the filius. OR it just goes to the Primus by default...
Any other major options? What would you rule in your Saga? Was this covered in any published material? Would you make a difference depending on what the fate of the Pater was?
I agree. A is the most likely answer. No one has a right to his sigil except himself and his pater (or grandpater if he holds the pater's sigil, but it has been established that this is is not the case). It cheepens the whole Lineage aspect if it can be simply reassigned.
Interesting... I had not seen it that way.
Another subquestion then: how important is the physical sigil itself?
If the pater disappears with all owned sigils, is the filius allowed to craft a new one after some point?
If the pater is marched and flees with sigils, he disappears and none can confirm his death... is the filius forced to a long quest to retrieve his sigil, or can he just craft a new one?
So, if you can win your sigil by the death of your pater, not just by besting him in Certamen, wouldn't that system become very "dangerous" for sigil-holding Tremeres?
For #2 ( pater marched) the filius gets his sigil. That one is in the HoH:TL.
For#1 I would bet they wait for a amount of time and if he does not show up then he gets the Sigil. I think there is an example of this in the book where a pater went into twilight and after several years, a tribunal awarded the filius the sigil. Then the pater came back from twilight and contested the award. So you had a pater that did not recognize that his filius.
We had a similar issue, the Pater was murdered under questionable circumstances and held the sigils of a number of apprentices.
The apprentices gathered and certamen'd one another for the sigils while attempting to investigate the murder(?) and sabotage one another in the downtime. This allowed the possibility of a filius winning more than just their own sigil and really put some investment into the brawls.
It made for a very fun game, and it's a heck of a lot more interesting than "he just inherits it." Especially if the filii didn't know about one another.
I would note that any Tremere magus whose parens holds his sigil can assert control of his sigil at any point, by Hermetic law. Every magus has one vote at Tribunal, represented by their voting sigil, and all magi are bound by the Oath to respect the use of that vote (sigil).
Granted, a Tremere magus carrying out such an act would suffer the consequences of bucking an ingrained tradition in the House. However, there are exactly two things House Tremere can do: Eject him from the House; or have individual magi declare a Wizard's War for his arrogance.
The practice of one's parens holding one's sigil is entirely voluntary. House Tremere cannot enforce it except through social pressure; not even Certamen works. (Serf's parma, but after the Sundering, a Grand Tribunal ruling made it so Certamen cannot be used to force a magus to give up a right under the Oath or Code, or to violate the Oath or Code.)