Vis Source Rights and Expiration

One of our players is running a quaesitor, and wrestling with A) the lack of peripheral code precedents for Provencal and B) the scattered nature of general rulings.

A case the quaesitor is working on: Many years ago, Magus Abe from the Covenant of Albi (some names are for illustration purposes only) discovered a water spring vis source a few days away. He confirmed that it was a recurring source and duly registered it with his regular Redcap. A few years later the covenant was crushed in the Albigensian Crusade. Abe survived and escaped, and after a period of "independence," became one of the magi of Ostal des Exiles. A few years after this, he returned to the spring to harvest it, and discovered that it had been harvested. He checked with St. Cyprian's Mercer House and discovered that the only vis source in that general area was registered to Magus Filipe of Foix Covenant (also a few days away from his covenant). Annoyed, Abe asserted that he had registered with Merx the Redcap, and was informed that Merx vanished in the general confusion of the Crusade, was presumed dead, and that they are very sorry to say that there was no registration of that vis source under Abe's name.

Abe then has a little flame war by post with various people; and approaches the new quaesitor, Domitiana, with a complaint and case. Domitiana investigates and discovers (with very little difficulty) that the records of vis sources are generally registered to covenants, but sometimes independent magi. The records relating to Albi had been archived, as it was well known to have been forcibly dissolved.

(At this point my mage, Enrico, perks up and asks, "The registration is not in a centralized roll?" in an outraged tone, and the SG of the minor plot waves his hands mysteriously and asserts that "They've always done it this way." We'll just have to fix that.)

This case is pending, but my understanding is that Q. Domitiana will advise the principles that as Abe had not re-registered the source, and so Magus Felipe was within his rights to claim the site for Foix Covenant.

However, it brings up a point; at what point are the property and possession rights of a covenant severed? If they had known they were dissolving the covenant might have sold or given the access rights to the source, but with a sudden destruction, when do claim rights end?

I have been poking around in Tribunal books for guidance (Q. Domitiana's player being down sick), although vis source customs tend to be very local and the precedent from another Tribunal would be of murky value at best, but have not found anything on this except in Normandy, where the rules are so idiosyncratic as to be inapplicable.

It sounds a bit like a 'follow your gut' scenario, and I can well imagine it being varied from tribunal to tribunal.

Personally I'd probably go with the same number I use for declaring an absent magus/covenant as defunct: seven consecutive tribunals (>40 years). But your saga / tribunal will most definitely vary. :smiley:

I agree with Kid Gloves in it is a follow your gut story.

IIRC, The Greater Alps tribunal would harvest vis from destroyed/dissolved covenants and then distribute it or have it claimed by other near by Covenants/Charter Houses. It was done through the Tribunal and a new Charter House/Covenant could be formed and the sources be given to them.

Transylvania tends to collect and redistribute the vis. But it is unique because of the way it's Oppidums can form and dissolve.

Normandy keeps careful lists of the vis sources and hands out ones not within a day's journey of an active Covenant at their Tribunals meetings.

Yes, it probably tends to be circumstantial. In Provencal, covenants tend to pop up and vanish like mushrooms, and for a variety of reasons. A covenant whose membership has been nearly obliterated may not be able to press their claim; if there's only one member left, the covenant is dead. If there's two left, though, they might be able to press a claim.

In this case, it occurred to me this morning, there are two survivors, the other survivor having also joined Ostal des Exiles. They might be able to claim that they are ceding their vis source rights to Ostal.

I don't know that this would hold water, though. It might. Albi never formally dissolved. When the two members joined another covenant they effectively abandon the former covenant - but the new covenant, Ostal des Exiles, is announcing its formation at this very Tribunal of 1221. If the order of things work out, the two survivors might cede all of the former covenant's vis sources to the new one.

Depends upon the Oaths of covenant, too. These are legally binding documents and some covenants have specific language forbidding being involved in another covenant.
I can see someone (probably a Tytalus) being contrary about this issue and just throwing it out to make life difficult, but it can be used to advantage depending upon the language of the covenants.

If the language isn't spelled out, I'd ask for some kind of roll to determine whether it is spelled out, and a high roll would determine the fate of things. For example, the new covenant doesn't allow new covenant members if they are a member of another covenant, the covenant's charter in the old covenant requires renunciation of some sort, so the old covenant still exists has members who haven't renounced membership or otherwise been expelled, can cede all of its vis sources to whomever it wishes, and then dissolve.

Or something.