Selling unsuitable apprentices

In HoH: True Lineages, in the Chapter on House Tremere, there is a line about the typical Tremere apprentice that says...

...Apprentices with physical disabilities, or who are Tainted with Evil, would not be selected for training, but those who developed these flaws after they were accepted might not be sold to other Houses...
Now, nowhere else that I've found does it comment about selling apprentices to other Houses, not as a rare exception nor a practice, certainly not in that book for House Tremere nor afaik for the Order in general.

Yet, iirc apprentices are personal property, so there's certainly nothing in the Code that prohibits this.

So I'm curious - is that something that got edited out of the final version (and perhaps is not fully developed here?), or is there some other canon source that addresses this practice? Could there in theory actually be some "grey market" for pre-trained apprentices, if some mage wanted to go there?

I can just see it now, appearing in your local hermetic newspaper :wink: : "Legless apprentice for sale after lab accident. Appears to be descended from the fae, arts opened, and understands basic magic theory, quite precocious. Availabe for 25 pawns of vis, comes with a free tractatus on teaching."

I think redcaps sell Gifted children all the time, personally. I don't know that its canonical, but I believe it makes a lot of sense for the redcaps to find these kids and then sell them on. It lets players avoid the "hunting the apprentice" story if they want to, althoguh that is dodging an important hook dor character development during the mastery stage of the magus's life.

Oh, I agree - it makes a lot of sense, and on several levels given both current 5th ed canon and the general unwritten assumptions of the Peripheral Code.

The only hiccup could be the "interfering with mundanes" question, since the act would not be for one's own apprentice, but only to sell to another for mere personal gain, hardly "magical power". Especially if the practice took on a large scale, and was less discriminate about a perfect Gift than anything that might pass. But even then, the Order seems to overlook such if the overall effect is beneficial to the cause, or at least does more good than harm.

Could be where some of the folk tales of creepy child snatchers comes from, of the boogie man! Be good little girls and boys, or a big bad redcap will stuff you in a sack on night, and you'll never be heard from again! :open_mouth:

They don't even have to be an apprentice to be considered part of your 'magical power'. For example a verditius would likely take issue with someone who killed a forge companion. Or a covenant with a resident learned magician as a retainer would likely see them in much the same way. Anything someone can do that contributes to your magic is part of your magical power, and if they are not Magi, they are property... so could be bought and sold legally under the code. Alchemist, Apprentice, they are all the same: Not Magi.

Forge companions are not "magical power" or property...


I suppose we will disagree then. But what would you contend they would be, under the Code of Hermes?

Mystery Cults actually makes a point of the fact that they are not protected as "magical power" under the Code, nor considered mundanes, and have no legal status under the Code.

So, in essence, it comes down to how good an orator you are at Tribunal.

Among the ancient Greeks? Black Faced Hermes did this. 8)

I went back to reread this, and the forge-companion virtue, and rethink this a little bit. You are right that the text does specifically except them from protection under the code in both places, but it doesn't mention them in the context of the magical power of their master. My general take on these writeups is that they are making it clear that such people are not Magi under the Code, but are not Mundanes under the Code either. i.e. they are part of the 'magical world' etc etc, but do not have full Mage standing. I don't see this as excepting them from the usual view of such retainers/people as being the property of the Magus in question. As for seeking compensation for potential damages?

I would say this should be rather heavily dependent on the tribunal, but, you could argue the case. I would compare them to some other non-mage lab assistant. ( Which raises an interesting prospect of what happens if you teach your forge-companion's magical theory so they can better help you? Lab-assistants are nothing new? ) No, they aren't protected like a Mage under the code, but you should hardly expect no reaction to killing one. A case for reparations being brought up at tribunal would be one of the various IC responses I could foresee.

It seems like the Verditius are written however as being specifically culturally accustomed to their retainers etc. being 'fair game' in their in-House vendettas. This is reasonable, however... it begs the question would that 'fair game' attitude be extended to non-Verditius outside of such a vendetta among their House-mates? Given the disparity in response to such similar possible actions I would say that would not be a reasonable assumption, so would favor a 'in-House' tradition for vendettas and a more grave type of response towards outsidders messing with their retinues.

Different Tribunals have different types of rules about different types of violence/theft/raiding and what is acceptable or not. This feels like a murky case-by-case scenario heavily dependent on how many friends you have.

Yes, I agree that it is a murky issue, and it probably depends quite a bit on what kind of political power you could bring to the Tribunal. I did think there was a reference to them somewhere in the chapter in the context of magical power of the master, but I'm not entirely sure; I will look for it and post a page number if I find it.

I found it on page 116. In the first column, second paragraph, "...the Peripheral Code holds that killing forge-companions and venditores is not 'depriving a magus of his magical power' nor 'interfering with mundanes.'" (Mystery Cults, p. 116) However, this was in the section on vendettas, and I think you are absolutely right that the House would not be nearly as tolerant of magi from other Houses attacking their forge-companions and would seek to argue their case in whatever way they can.