Scrying on Wizards and Your Saga

This is something that cropped up in another thread or two, but since they weren't on this topic I thought I'd move it here.

What - in your saga - constitutes magical scrying that can be reasonably raised with a Quaesitor or brought before Tribunal as a breach of the Code?

Does it have to be Intellego spells, or are there other cases?

Here's a few items for thought beyond Intellego spells:

  • Magus is standing around invisible. Another magus walks by, deep in conversation.
  • Magus is in someone else's laboratory, invisible, rooting through their lab notes. (note that there is nothing in the Code that says being in someone else's sanctum is a violation of said Code)
  • Magus is shapeshifted into an unusual form (a cushion), on a chair in the same pub as a Redcap, overhearing his conversations (possibly with the aid of Muto spells to grant the cushion the ability to hear).
  • Magus is shapeshifted into a cushion that gets carried into the councilroom of another covenant, where he overhears their council meeting.
  • Magus casts a CreoMentem spell to make all nearby unusually chatty about their secrets. Another magus gets caught in the spell.
  • Magus casts Eyes of the Cat to make out fine details of what another magus is up to in the dead of night near their own covenant.

Which of these would class as breaches of the Code in your saga?

In my two sagas (one as GM, one as player), all of these circumstances would classify as magical scrying. Basically, anything even remotely magical (shapeshifting, invisibility, Intellego magics, etc) is magical scrying, whether it be accidental or not. "Accident" is not a valid defence in my saga, as everyone would be using it.

I tend to have hardliners and political conservatives in my sagas who have the most say, so that might "taint" the tribunal rulings.

In my Saga, every single case you listed constitutes magical scrying.

HoH-TL p.52 (the Guernicus section) specifically states that all uses of magic to spy, not just Intelligo spells, is concerned. Thus all your examples constitute magical scrying.

I can't remember the source, but one of the books has a long discussion about "forceless casting" with zero penetration to sidestep the restriction. One might reasonably extrapolate from this that magics which do not need to penetrate are allowed. Otherwise the magus who casts Eyes of the Cat on himself to find his slippers will be in violation if he happens to notice another magus in the dark by accident.

Magi want to be protected from scrying but they also want to use useful intellego spells without facing constant prosecution.

[]Magus is standing around invisible. Another magus walks by, deep in conversation.
Scrying
[
]Magus is in someone else's laboratory, invisible, rooting through their lab notes. (note that there is nothing in the Code that says being in someone else's sanctum is a violation of said Code)
Scrying
[]Magus is shapeshifted into an unusual form (a cushion), on a chair in the same pub as a Redcap, overhearing his conversations (possibly with the aid of Muto spells to grant the cushion the ability to hear).
Scrying
[
]Magus is shapeshifted into a cushion that gets carried into the councilroom of another covenant, where he overhears their council meeting.
Scrying, but may be given a lesser fine if the tribunal feels lenient and comprehensive.
[]Magus casts a CreoMentem spell to make all nearby unusually chatty about their secrets. Another magus gets caught in the spell.
Scrying, as this requires Penetration
[
]Magus casts Eyes of the Cat to make out fine details of what another magus is up to in the dead of night near their own covenant.[/list]
The other magus covenant? Scrying. His own covenant? Scrying too, but he may get away with it, depending on the tribunal

All of them could be prosecuted as breaches.

This case:
Magus is in someone else's laboratory, invisible, rooting through their lab notes. (note that there is nothing in the Code that says being in someone else's sanctum is a violation of said Code)
If the magi had not been using magic to do it, it would be "ok-ish".

I have a scenario that I would be curious about, consider a mage is into changing what they look like Mu/Co. Say they simply take the form of another and live their life doing this over and over.

They walk pass other mages, not at all denying who they are simply not bothering to show they are a mage, is this a breach?

So if you like turning yourself into different body shapes, or like being able to see very well or hear well (using magic), or simply like being in the form of a animal, then you are in breach if someone happens to walk pass who is a magi?

Then to add, if you are a magus with Shapeshifter ability and take the form of a sparrow that is around other magi, is this a crime?

Perhaps there should be a push in regards to the Code to de-criminalize the use of "spying magics" if the victim has no expectation of keeping their privacy. If a mage is in the commons and is simply buying fruit, and a paranoid and secretive mage walks pass invisible, then perhaps upon detection (which in and of itself could be a scrying offense) the incident should be over-looked for no other reason that the victim is clearly not being harmed.

Someone needs to take it to tribunal, though, and push for a conviction. The tribunal may be years away, giving tempers time to cool (or heat up, if Stuff Happens repeatedly.).

Also if a Magus who is Shapeshifting (or a Bjornaer) is in altered form and a Magus comes by and casts a spell to see what the animal/creature is doing, while technically scrying, they both thus might be considered scrying.

For me they could all be prosecuted as breaches of the prohibition on Scrying.

However, ultimately breaches of the Code have to be acknowledged as such by a vote at the Tribunal.
So:
a) the magus you "scryed" on has to notice.
b) the magus you "scryed" on has to care enough to mount a prosecution --- settling "out of court" by paying a vis fine is a good option to compensate for "accidents" --- if a magus is a friend, and trusts you, he might not care at all.
c) the relevant parties have to survive until and be present for the next Tribunal meeting.
d) the facts of the case has to be proven sufficiently for the majority of magi at Tribunal to vote against you --- if you are politically connected they may have reasons to overlook your indiscretion.

Also, remember that it is possible for magi to trust one another and overlook minor discretions. Due to Parma magi are not affected by the social penalties of each other's Gift.

According to HoH: True Lineages, intent matters, and if scrying is unintentional, the penalty is limited to damages. Unlike mundane courts, the Order of Hermes has means to determine intent. Yes, determining intent by magic is scrying. If you are stating that you had not intended to scry on someone and then refuse to undergo Frosty Breath Of The Spoken Lie to back up your statement, you have no one to blame but yourself if you are not believed.

As for the situation where a spy is rifling through another magus sanctum, if magic was used in any way to allow this to occur, (for instance, traveling to the sanctum, making the guards fall asleep, learning when the guards were going to fall asleep) then magic has been used help learn another magus secrets. if someone tried to justify searching someones sanctum by saying magic was not involved, there had better not be any magic at all, or even the slightest inconviencing of the magus spied upon, or I would expect the tribunal to come down on the perpertrator like a ton of bricks for trying to exploit a loophole in a magus right to privicy.