Tribunal Borders

As I mentioned in another thread, the covenant in our campaign is in an area between Rhine Tribunal and Greater Alps. Greater Alps thinks they should act as a chapter house of The Covenant of the Icy North, or face their wrath. They have been given a huge list of duties, and are taxed in vis each year. In addition, the magi received support from all the Rhine Covenants to make their covenant official, but they would have to perform a favour for each, some of them were downright nasty, especially the one they have to do for Dankmar (involving the magus Virilis of Durenmar).
So now they're in a bit of a pickle.

I'm not the Storyguide for covenant affairs in this campaign. But I'm still not sure if the player covenant falls within the Rhine Tribunal or the Greater Alps Tribunal. If you look at the map of the Rhine Tribunal, either in the book or on this website, find Rhinefalls (#66). A bit south from this, where the Rhine suddenly turns west, lies the covenant, on the south bank of the river. It's in an old abondoned underground temple of Mithras from Roman times.

So is this in the Rhine Tribunal or Greater Alps Tribunal. :open_mouth:


(Atlas Rhine Tribunal, free .pdf download: ... al_Map.pdf )

(Like near the town of Aarau?)

Sounds like you're pretty well within the bounds of modern day Switzerland, but that's not completely relevant. Nor, for that matter, is there an actual surveyed/negotiated border for most of any two Tribunals, where you can say "In this field we're in X Tribunal, but if you were to locate over in that field you'd be in Y tribunal." Or even counties, in some cases.

A lot of it has to do with politics, with who can talk louder, and a lot has to do with who you want to be associated with, whether your feel your ties are stronger in one direction than another. If you're truly on the border, then, to a large extent, your decision can define the Tribunal, not the other way around. (So, to that extent, they should be courting you, not threatening.)

However, if a Tribunal thinks they can be large, then they can try to bully the other Tribunal, hoping the other will back down, or just lose if it comes to a question of a Quaesitores, or a Grand Tribunal. (Of course, that is within reason - you can't gerrymander standard, accepted boundaries to suit your preferences, the Q's will step in and slap you sober, and that will be the end of it.

I'd say that the fact that many Rhine covenants assisted in your founding (and assuming no TotGA covenants did), that would be strong argument for your inclusion therein.

But, if you are on an undefined border (as most borders are), then it's a toss up, or at least there's room to see it both ways, depending who you're asking.

(This is all without re-reading any source books, so it's possible I'm omitting a key passage in one or another. I'm sure others will chime in here, so we'll see what other input we get.)

The covenant is on the south bank of the Rhine where it runs on the south edge of the Black Forest.

Problem is that the site of the covenant is the former chapter house of Icy North. It has been abandoned for many years, but a strong magical aura (8 in the main temple hall) has become active again. This aura will fall one point each year if a Mithran ritual is not performed. But with a magical aura of 8, this place is coveted by both tribunals.

What sort of conflicts could this create? How far would one Tribunal go to own this aura?


All the way?

The history of the site is a strike against you, and a strong one, but not definitive, not in a "case closed" sense.

If it's been a while, things change.

Otoh, if the river itself is the default boundary (one of the few natural boundaries that is difficult to contest), then that may be definitive.

Time to get friendly with the Quaesitores, on a level that is beyond local politics.

sounds like a job for queasitiors to me; of course it would be hard to settle at tribunal, what with the point of debate being which tribunal you fall in.

One small point though, when this covenant/chapter house was founded, it was presumably recorded with house Mercere as beibng in one or t'other tribunal; that should surely hold some gravitas.

There is, of course, nothing particularly preventing any other covenant or tribunal for that matter from bullying those who are weak and strugglin on the borders.

... Its not that we want to take over the whole world, only that small part which touches my own borders; and so on, and so on.

...except that in Hermetic politics, you get more votes at Grand Tribunal if you have a -small- tribunal. Big tribunals weaken their residents, in comparison to big tribunals. That's why, for example, the Lotharingians want their own tribunal, and Transylvania has never expanded its borders. Small borders are a good idea.

A Grand tribunal weren't 3 dudes gfrom every tribunal carrying (between them) most votes from the residents?

Then, as long as you have tribunal backing, it is better to have 200 dudes in your tribunal than 12.... right? :confused:

Maybe I am confusing ArM5 rules with ho9w it worked in previous editions