Tribunals and vis sources contest

Hi sodales!

A little question about vis sources and contests by a powerful covenant.

Our covenant is a small one with 3 sources, one of them being a big intellego source (a "gift"... poisonned gift!).
One of the source is an ignem vis source owned by the big covenant in the area, but by contract, this covenant give that ignem source to us for 10 vim / year.

And there are the news: the big covenant of the tribunal contest ALL our vis sources and ASK that in addition to the 10vim/year for the ignem source, we give him 30 pawns intellego/year.

The intellego source produce max 40 pawns per year... and this is not a sure thing (it depends of the collect whose take 1 season for 10 pawns, average)

I had say to the other members of the covenant that the "renegociation" of the contract was a tribunal problem, but this is not a satisfactory solution, because the big covenant has so many allies that he "IS" the tribunal ruler. And even if we succeeded in tribunal, the big covenant could declare wizard's war without any problem (they are +- 50 where we are 7).
So my sodales tell me: "we'll negociate"... and i kept my mouth shut because my magus came 7 years ago from another tribunal and allthough the big covenant is majoritly from my house, i'm not very happy from being here ^^ :stuck_out_tongue:.

(I, the player, don't see HOW we could negociate in those conditions... but this remark had no impact on the alpha SG.)

The SG tells me that the big covenant doesn't contest ALL the vis source in the tribunal, but only our's. He says that the reason was in Guernicus part of the HOHTL.
But except for the "depryving magical power", i couldn't find nothing.

So, i'm here, asking to you, pro of the rules and having good ideas (do i think), some advices!


A source with 40 pawns/year and a covenant of 50 magi? Not any saga like what I've ever seen...

Anyway, you've got a more politically powerful covenant. You usually tithe them 10 pawns of Ignem/year, but they now want all your vis. And the SG says the reason can be found in True Lineages.

o If your covenant had committed, or were about to commit a crime against the Code, you could be viewed as having lost all your rights. A stretch to then use that in Tribunal (as opposed to just blast you), but possible.

o If they were somewhere between insane and really stupid (read: "If your SG were..."), they could argue that because your Covenant is taking their vis, you are Depriving them of Magical Power, and so breaking the Code - and the fact that they agreed to it doesn't matter. Insanity, but one possible (and badly flawed) reading.

o The Peripheral Code is unspecified - the SG may claim there is some obscure case that is relevant. This would have to be found IC w/ Code of Hermes ability.

Altho' outnumbered by this Covenant, does this Covenant outnumber the entire Tribunal? Maybe, with quick Diplomacy, you can convince everyone it's time to break their monopoly. And/or petition other Quaesitores, from neighboring Tribunals, that this is "wrong" and action should be taken.

Find their enemies - anyone that big has to have some - and use them.

In our saga, we have multiplied the number of magi by 10. (I don't know exactly why: ASG's decision ^^)

The big covenant is the most powerful of our tribunal and with it. I forget that this is Doissetep... and our SG play it as a band of badasses...

Except Doissetep there is Castra Solis but not much involved in tribunal politic and Bellaquin (which is IOS an ally from Doissetep).
After these 3 bigs, these are 6 little covenants, our's being the biggest.
The 5 other little are:

  • a "vassal" of doissetep => they DON't like us.
  • a "not interested in politic" covenant in a regio
  • 3 other little covenants

Doissetep has once declared a wizard's war against all of us because we had lost our magister in a twilight and were unaware of the contract he has concluded with them... they did that to be allright with the code when they should have come to harvest the ignem source. But we solved this case (the ignem source was undercave, under the control of a dragon with which we negociate...).


  • we have an aquam source nobody harvest because it is in a regio from which the key to go out was in a secret place known only by the magister, and since magister return, nobody does think about it (and me, as the BSG who introduced this source can't meddle...)
  • we have the intellego source we harvested 1 times but haven't had opportunity to harvest more.
  • we have the ignem source in the caves: nobody has gone there since the dragon has left ... we are thinking he may have placed traps to kill us (he was there against his will [our magister, being young, captured him with a columbae troop of allieds to do him his familiar....])
  • finally, we have a terram source in a faerie regio from which we receive +- 15 pawsn each years.
  • we had a secret source in the essence of pagan goddesses, but i don't know if it still produce vis...

I, the player, don't understand how Doissetep could be stopped: they can do whatever they want:

  • they are (with their allies) 60% or + of the voting magi in the tribunal
  • they have 2x (or more!) the power of fire of all the non allied covenants
  • they allready have +- 20 (i don't know exactly how much, but a lot!) vis source in the tribunal

-> i suggested bring the case before tribunal, others players said: "it's useless, tribunal = doissetep", i said "then bring it on the next Grand Tribunal (in1254 in our saga (we are in 1229)), they said "until that, we are lost, and the grand tribunal doesn't care about this kind of reclamation".

Then, as a player, i said: but what is the point of being an Order if the strength power is all who matters (because, I see the Order has a way to break this natural law!!) and they say that the order is just political structure, but the Order is still "the best rules, the weak kneels".
So, like i said to my ASG: let's move away from these fools of doissetep, but the other players don't want to go to novgorod.

So my SG said "okay, the reason Doissetep contest YOUR source and NOT all the OTHERS covenants, is in the guernicus book.
But i don't know why:

  • we aren't depriving their magical power, since the intellego source was before owned by a spanish covenant (flambeau like power) and that wasn't (i think?) problematic and they have many vis sources
  • i thought maybe there was a case stating that 1 covenant can't deprive a whole tribunal covenants from their source vis... but can do it with 1 covenant (and, sadly for us, Doissetep don't like us!)

We are going to negociate this next session, but i'm uncertain of the result :frowning:

I hear Novgorod is beautiful this time of century - the Mongols will be in full bloom soon!

Your SG should allow Code of Hermes rolls to figure out what the problem is.

If not, then go ask a professional - as a Quaesitore. "Hey! It's in your book! What's the deal?" But do it before the negotiation.

(Otoh, your magi don't seem to be keeping very close tabs on their vis sources!)

Let us know how it goes, and good luck!

I, necromant magus, would love to be in Novgorod :smiley:.

I'll do a report after the session.

First thing:
Were your sources registered with house Mercere?
If your sources (and the deals you made) were registered, you can take this to Grand Tribunal. House Mercere will back you on this. If push comes to shove, all those nice Redcaps that normally don't vote, WILL.

You need to look at the agreement documentation (You do have some?). It could possibly say somewhere in there that after X number of years you turn over the sources etc

Hire an Advocate: Now

Yeah, this. (I didn't emphasize it enough above)

There are Quaesitores that specialize in litigation and cases like this - find a good one, hire them (and do it secretly, if possible). If the vis is important to you, this is not a good opportunity for amateurs to see how lucky they are.

source book of this good point?

the vis source "have been registered" (and are officialy ours) except the ignem one who belong to doissetep but the contract is (do i think) also registered.

Want to play big, eh? :smiling_imp:

Then doissetep is basically pressuring the tribunal to change the law by sheer brute force. If they can go after that it can send a bad message around: do whatever you want: the code does not matter anymore. The quaesitores should be extremely concerned about such Mafia tactics. Starting a campaign of rumors about ow the Schism war was preceeded by such tactics and blatant disregarding of the law can be a good idea.

Also, try to tell people "now it is just us, but who knows who will be next. I heard that Muto source that you have in the swamp is quite impressive....". If people do not understand the danfger I would applaud doissetep here: all the resources in the tribunal will be theirs in 21 years (3 tribunals) at most. They can laugh heavily at their old enemies and old allies from a position of total dominance.

And hire your advocate. And a strong (archmage status, accomplished) certamen champion. And try to align the tremeres weith you. Block voting and voting with the feet is something tremeres can do fairly easily: suddenly and 2 months before the tribunal there are 200 new residing tremeres in a covenant near you that oppose the doissetep move. Surprise!

50 magi is a lot of magi as well. You can search for the dirty stuff in the council of doissetep, see the internal bickering and try to break the block voting of the covenant by promising rewards (access to youer liberary, for example) to only some of their members if they vote in your favor here. Internal politics will be a mess in doissetep for sure: 50 magi is more magi than I have had in a whole tribunal in some sagas, so it can go supernova quite easily if you apply the right pressure. Divide and conquer.