[Rise and Fall] The Praeco and the Question of Age

Spoilers for Rise and Fall for those wishing to avoid them may be found herein!

In any case, to the point.

In my game, the covenant has just completed the first leg of Rise and Fall, rescuing Severin and discerning the whereabouts of his familiar and his staff. I'm running in the Normandy Tribunal, and the Tytalus Primacy question has been a major issue in the tail end of our first 'season' of the saga. At present, House Tytalus is risking having their House marched at the next Grand Tribunal (a year from this current session) for intransigence after repeatedly refusing to come to terms on the issue of who speaks for their House and perpetrating various schemes to sidestep the issue.

Severin has now come across upon the scene, freed from Arcadia after what seemed to him to be 8 months, but to the rest of the world, he has been gone since the Schism War.

(As an aside, it was somewhat amusing, as the covenant has recently angered House Tytalus, giving up a potent Diedne artifact to the Tribunal that was tasked to the PC mages as a job by one of the Primacy contenders, ala the Lion and the Lily story seeds. Returning home, the grogs reported that a man had hurled huts from the local serfs into the windows of the covenant's main tower, wrecking part of the lab of the Lady Pellegrina, and ruining her recently acquired Spotless Virtue. The grogs also noted that the man, obviously a mage, had yelled "Death to House Diedne!" as he did so. Pellegrina became alarmed, as she secretly was initiated into the mysteries of House Diedne by a local faerie. She assumed the Tytalus primacy candidates had found out her secret, and this was their initial attack against her, and the covenant. It took a while to untangle this, but the shock and alarm were exciting to see played out, especially as two new player magi had joined the group, and were worried about the company they now seemed to be keeping. Anyhow, back to the main issue...)

The covenant's Quaesitor, Helios Excelcis, believes in his heart that Severin has only experienced 8 months, and thus the issue of Severin being eldest mage in the Tribunal, and thus Praeco, is not to be pursued.

However, Severin being Praeco, and a Tytalus of the Hippian school more prone to useful social involvement than the somewhat juvenile antics of the Tytalean mages of the Normandy Tribunal, would possibly solve a problem with the current disarray the House is in.

He notes that mages in Twilight, even those gone for seven years or more, are not considered to have 'skipped years' in their aging. Helios is likely going to aid in ruling against Severin being a possible candidate for Praeco based on age, even though aiding him would be potentially beneficial to House Tytalus and the Order in general.

That said, what other angles might this be spun into, what other possible arguments might be proposed for purposes of Severin's candidacy for Praeco?
What might you do, were you in Helios' shoes? How would the Order measure age, in a world with regios, Twilight, and who knows what other means to adjust the flow of time for a person?


He not being a jerk is quite a good thing. As you said, there is a danger for the HOUSE to be marched (read: Schism War v2). That is a MASSIVE conflict, and one that will see a lot of magi die. Even if you are a juvenile moron like most tytalians seem to be portrayed you tend to prefer to recoil in front of such a prospect. Better to behave a little bit and not risk having a hole torn in your chest, since that ends the fun permanently.

Severin should be contacting tytalus magi from the tribunal to check if they would support the move. He should also be contacting other magi from the tribunal that are worried about the current direction of events towards war, so he can get their support for being praeco. AND he should be talking to the current praeco and head quaesitors. They might allow him to be Praeco for just this tribunal to solve this whole mess.Then he can refuse to act as praeco in future tribunals kindly offering the job to the current holder of the office. You are searching to solve this big stuff here, so middle ground is what you aim for since nobody has the whole truth with him.

Or you can march house tytalus except those of the hippian faction. THat can be fun as well :smiling_imp: War torn saga in that case.

The rise and fall story ius cool, and we have based the start of our current saga in it. If you pnly play the story it is quite straightforward (and bashy) but the potential to twists in the saga is really good :slight_smile: Remember to give him some faerie help once he has made the statememnt of what he intends clear!!!



Helios comes from which House? How old is he?

If he is a Guernicus, and not yet an archmagus, I would hope that he has the sense to realize that this is a Big Issue and that he probably lacks the personal clout to offer a meaningful ruling that other magi will rally around. The clever thing to do would be to bring in a few other Quaesitors that he respects, including older and more powerful magi, and let this august and presitigious group issue a unified ruling. This is clever because he increases his association with these magi who now owe him one, rather than putting himself out there as lone target. The most likely outcome is that they would rule in favor of Severin: Severin is legally in the right since the criterion is age rather than good use of time, Severin solves a problem for them, and Severin's legitimacy will stem in part from their ruling.

Of course, House Tytalus is not likely to recognize the legitimacy of a Quaesitorial ruling, since they don't recognize the legitimacy of much of anything....



Salve, Sodales...

Helios is of House Guernicus. He's a relatively young mage, 12 years or so past his Gauntlet but with a good reputation. His parens is the actual Praeco of the Tribunal, Oculus Magnus, eldest Quaesitor in Normandy. In concert with Proctor, Presiding Quaesitor at most regional Tribunals, they try and steer the Tribunal through the rough waters it often hits and avoid repeating the terrible lesson of the Schism War, which they impress upon on of their apprentices and peers. Oculus is fairly rigorous about recusing himself from cases he may seem to have an interest in. Oculus is fairly well connected, and tends to look out for filii when he can if they are upstanding members of the Order.

ALSO: Helios decided to cast an spontaneous Intellego Corpus on Severin, with Severin's permission, trying to gauge his age. At the time, I was a bit unsure WHAT such a spell would key in on - but such a spell might make the controversy moot if it was accepted as the means to not a mage's age. Would it not the apparent age a mage's body is, and ignore 'lived' age? Would it not when the body was born? Could all of these things be noted by the spell or similar spells?

Thanks for all of your replies so far. The way this story ties into the current issue of the Tytalus Primacy that the PC covenant has been sucked into, and the storylines they've already fleshed out themselves is really nice.


Oh, and as an addition, Helios was a student in the University of Paris prior to being apprenticed. Though relatively young by Hermetic ideals, he is exceptionally learned in artes liberales, theology, law, and philosophiae of the day, and an initiate member of the Mystical Fraternity of Samos. He became a wizard about 6 years prior to the majority of his covenant mates.

He generally does bring in the higher ups for issues he has come across that are out of his depth, but they generally ask his counsel - both out of respect for his first hand knowledge, and for story purposes to give the PCs some input into the unfolding events. As of now, Helios has recommended that Severin keep quiet and lay low as he goes about recovering his familiar and talisman, lest the two contenders for the Primacy turn against him as a new and potentially larger political threat.


I like the note of time well spent opposing the idea of age mentioned above.


It also occurs to me, another possible argument in favor of calendar age: a number of mages of note, among them Tytalus himself, as well as Quendalon, et. al. have passed beyond the knowledge of the Order. If they were to return, would it be right to discount their missing years? etc. etc.

The Quaesitor is concerned about the precedent this ruling might set, noting that manipulative magi might head to regios with unusual time flow so that they might usurp the title of Praeco. I'm unsure how much of a threat that is, given the passage of time outside potentially making your reasons for undergoing such a thing moot as alliances shift, conditions change, and the world mundane and magical changes while you're spending a few seasons in a strange faerie forest.


The praeco is defined as the magus that is the oldest in the tribunal. I always assumed that meant oldest in hermetic age. If they have developed themselves into a total powerhouse or have spent a hundred years frolicking in the meadows and are no better than when they left apprenticeship is irrelevant here. Severin must be registered as a really old magus somewhere (the merceres are good at this) and this will show that he is older than most magi around*. And when it comes to praeco-ship, that is what matters.

It is not like Serverin was trying to cheat on purpose. I can see some magi that do try to cheat here being frowned on in a pair of centuries' time, but for severin? No way. He can refuse to stand as the praeco, but he has the right to claim it. He can make a few enemies if he dioesn't do that well, though, so be careful here. Careful manoeuvering and reaching compromises is what he is after. He doesn't want to appear like an elephant in a porcelain store and break havoc claiming the praeco position, but to be supported by as many people as possible when taking it. Having the agreement of the current praeco to solve a MAJOR ORDER OF HERMES CONFLICT (yes, I just yelled) would be a sound move on the side of the current praeco AND severin.

What you described above has the potential of leaving the Schism war as a joke, so I think people wiulol be moving carefully when facing it AND searching for easy solutions if available. One of them just poped in front of them, so there you go.

Or you can nuke Mythic Europe with Tytalians on the lose, and see what happens. That is a REALLY different saga, but a cool one none the less.

Or plan C you can murder Severin because he might want to claim the praeco position. A lot of people would like that. And a new story unfolds.... :wink:


*Everybody except Caitlin from Cun Clach, if memory serves me well

Indeed, Xavi. Lots of options, and so I want the players to play a part in deciding these things, either in character or as proxies for covenants in the Sub Rosa "Tribunals article" vein.

And indeed, the prospect of an entire House being marched has a lot of people worried and walking on eggshells. Tytalus magi membership has shrunk somewhat, and the lack of leadership in the House has done little to move people away from the precipice. Still, a fair number of the ideological zealots see this as a real test of the House/magus and aren't budging. Dealing with Tytalus in it's current state as reflected by the leadership and those under it, is problematic.

Interesting opportunities arisen thanks to Rise and Fall...


I would tend to support Severin's as Praeco as his hermetic age is the oldest in the tribunal and the Praeco's powers are limited. There is also of course for magi who are too badly put out by him assuming the airs of an elder magus without the power and experience to back it up , Wizards war which makes other magi abusing this precedent even less likely

As an aside:

I love it when players make great connections you did not see in a story, positing them as true, and you as a SG like the idea so much you secretly adopted it as true.

Case in point: Our game currently has in the background the issue of the missing Oil of Anointment necessary for the crowning of the French king. The English King has designs upon the crown, and a lot of other factors have caused France to have erupted into a war between Prince Louis, who crowned himself without the oil, and Henry III of England, who is finally on the English Throne proper, with no regents acting for him. The Pope has managed to intercede and get both contenders back into their corners, so to speak, but the truce is fragile and skirmishing and grandstanding are still common.

After hearing the story of Cruciator, and noting from a great Faerie Lore roll that many old stories and songs of tragedy befalling Kings may have been due to Cruciator prior to the Divine Protection of Christian Kings spreading across the land, a player noted that Cruciator may in fact be responsible for Prince Louis' problems since he does not have the Divine Protection associated with the Kingship at present.