What if the Diedne were proven innocent ?

So the covenant find the tomb of and old Guernicus and discover an extensive documentation about the Diedne.
In short, The Quaesitor discovered that the Tremere and Tyalus forged some of the proofs used against the Diedne.
They also find a letter written by him where he explains that this news would probably destroy the order and that he'd hope one day it would be strong enough to learn the truth.

The covenant decide to make 12 copies of the documents and send them to all 12 Primi.

The Question is : What would happen from there ?


I think the canon timeline around what happened with the Duresca scrolls is likely to happen: The document(s) are found, copies of the document(s) are shared, House Guernicus will research this newly discovered proof (could be read as ‘House Guernicus will “research” this newly discovered proof’), House Guernicus refutes the claims in the document(s) (declared to be forgeries, the work of a deluded magus, etc.), they attempt to suppress the document(s).

If you are unaware, the Duresca scrolls were (I believe) created for the 3rd ed. Iberian Tribunal book and were some documents found at an, I believe, ruined covenant that implicated a Guernicus plot to take over the Order and were an interesting intra-Order conspiracy theory where the truth was never defined. My search in the Forum brought up some possibly interesting topics and it seems the new Iberia book from Ars’ Spanish publisher will have the Duresca scrolls as a plot thread again. I need to get cracking on my Spanish studies.


I'm intrigued by this, as I suspect it depends, fundamentally, on how you conceptualise "the Order".

See what happens when we rephrase the question:

  1. "What happens if it turns out that an organisation you happen to be part of is shown to have started a war on a phoney pretext hundreds of years before you were born?"
  2. "What happens if a founding myth of an organisation that you are deeply committed to is shown to be false?"

Answers would be:

  1. You shrug. If you're cynical you say "sure, I kind of expect people in power to do vile things" and if you are idealistic you say "oh, how awful"... but either way, you brush it off and move on.
  2. You ignore it. Rationalise it away. Deny it. Probably get angry and demonise the person who revealed the truth. Listen to anyone who justifies your desire to avoid a truth that conflicts with your beliefs.

The thing is that with the lifespans of magi it is more like finding these things out about something that happened 40 or maybe 60 years ago. Still a lot of 1 and 2, but there would be a fair number of people to whom it would matter.

Not a lot.

What would happen if the Americans finally joined the International Criminal Court and incinerating Nagasaki was found to be a war crime? It's not like everyone is going to go "Hey, I suppose we'd better reset to positions and let them all try it again with ground troops." People might apologise...but that's it.

There's a slim chance they might come back from somewhere in Faerie. In one of my games, they fled to South American and the Conquistador Aztec thing was a Flambeau v Diedne rematch. Some people might begin to look at their magical techniques openly again.

The world moves on. In 1220, the Schism is about 200 years ago. If we found a document saying the the American government had deliberately blown up the USS Maine, they wouldn't hand Puerto Rico back to Spain.


You, the SG, should definitely launch a PbP and recruit twelve experienced players to play the twelve primi, and then see what happens.


There is good case for «not a lot», but I am afraid Timothy's analysis focuses a bit too much on the Order versus Diedne, and not enough on the House on House tensions within the Order. Not to speak of the internal politics of Guernicus in particular.

It depends on a lot of what the politics look like in the saga. For instance, if Tremere is generally distrusted, such evidence would aggravate the situation, but they have nothing to lose. If they have recovered from past conflicts, new evidence may be a real problem. Likewise, Guernicus could be in for a massive loss of confidence. Transitionalists could take the opportunity to delegate more power and be more open about procedures. Traditionalists would probably try to hush it up.

The Duresca scrolls is a good example, but the situation changes the more time passes since the atrocities. In that case Guernicus had enough trust to cover it up. If somebody finds it opportune to challenge them, and if it is possible to make a crack in their public image, that may not be possible, and we could see a serious debate over law and order in the Order. Maybe not likely, but plausible as a story.

It also depends on whether the Diedne tradition still survives. Canon seems mildly contradictory on this point. Diedne was erradicated, yet there is a virtue with an attached dark secret. They could be few or they could be many, or none at all. If a few of them comes out immediately following the announcement of new evidence, the Order would have to deal with them. And whichever course of action they choose, it is no longer just a bygone.

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Not to distract the thread too much, but the US should just join with a reservation that events prior to joining aren't covered by the court, and voilà.

This is a fair point. If the lack of guilt of House Diedne is established at tribunal, for example, you could use that as a hook to reintroduce hidden Diedne in the order. Of course, some may choose to remain hidden - after all, they've been left alone since the Schism, and none are the wiser, so much the better.

There is a good chance as others have said, it all blows over, however, if you want it as a story hook, personalities matter.

It only take a few high profile people to get angry for stuff to get serious. I don't have the relevant book to hand, however, if I recall correctly the Schism War ended with a big epic spell by some Guernicus magi, based on some scrolls that the founder had put aside to be used in dire emergencies. I think blood magic was involved.

All it takes is a few Guernicus magi to start demanding apologies and reparations. These forgeries make a mockery of them and everything they and their founder held dear when they were used to justify destroying Diedne.

The surviving Diedne reveal themselves to Guernicus, saying they will help if Tremere and Tytalus don't pay up. Power up the Diedne with a bit of non-hermetic curses which are more powerful than they should be due to being wronged for centuries, you've got a potent starting point.

Tremere and Tytalus are generally seen as the least trusted in the order. We all know Tremere want one united order with Tremere as leader, and the sundering was just a set back. Tytalus's desire for conflict just annoys everyone.

Tremere know Tytalus won't tolerate saying sorry and paying reparations. If Guernicus and Diedne are smart they demand reparations Tytalus and Tremere won't accept, however, they have a secret agreement that after Tremere help in destroying Tytalus, they'll tone the reparations down as thanks for all their help in taking down Tytalus. Tremere will do near anything to avoid the whole order hunting them down.

You can also have Guernicus and Diedne getting everyone on board to bring down Tremere.

They could get the whole order to go after Tremere and Tytalus. While it is trickier going after 2 houses at once, I can't see Tremere and Tytalus helping each other.

There's a bunch of story options such a potent trigger event can kick off.

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True. I don't think it was the end, the beginning of the end at best, and the irony was that Guernicus used human sacrifice to defeat the Diedne just because they practised human sacrifice. This is probably not common knowledge even in House Guernicus, and it may be that nobody alive has ever known.


I also think that it would make much more noise than harm to the order as the Tremere ans Tytalus hous would, at best, only get a symbolic slap on the wrist.

I also wonder what would happen to the surviving Diedne.
Imagine a group of them going to the next Grand tribunal and asking there house to be recreated and accepted in the order.

I guess that some Tytalus and Tremere would probably go on a secret war to make sure they don't survive but surely some other would try to protect them like some Flambeau with a keen sense of Justice (even for some heathen) or some Bonisagi trying to uncover the secrets to a better spontaneous magic.

I don't think the stereotypes are obvious in this case. Tremere is generally law-abiding and a handful of Diedne is no real threat. OTOH Tremere risk loosing face, and may need to bury old secrets. Or maybe they are held in such contempt that they have no face to lose. I don't know.

I think the major point is that the Schism was a shock, and it ended with the «never again» attitude that we know from WW2. There are magi alive in 1220 who may have heard first-hand accounts from their parens, so this in not just ancient history.

If the conflict resurfaces, with real Diedne making their own case, ancient conflicts are bound to resurface. Ex Misc was a long-standing rival and enemy of Diedne. Bjornar and I think Merinita were friends and allies. The typical Jerbiton and Bonisagus (Trinanoma in particular) may just be shocked by the atrocities. Tremere and Guernicus may have old secrets to bury, and Flambeau and Tytalus could pick any side just for sports. The seekers will be curious about Diedne magic. It is in nobody's interest to let this slide into open conflict, and everybody knows that.

I think there are only two options. Either a few hoplites declare Wizard's War and slay the few Diedne before the tribunal has time to think about it, or the tribunal welcomes the Diedne and accommodate them one way or another. A thirteenth house is the easiest, I think, but it depends on how much the magi believe in unlucky numbers.

What was done, while deemed necessary, was so heinous I like to think Guernicus would have a group of 2 or 3 magi who hold the terrible knowledge of what was done (and the scrolls), and must pass the knowledge and scrolls on before twilight or death to the next generation of truth keepers.

Canon? No, however, I don't believe it's contradicted anywhere.

Why do they want to keep the records and not just destroy them and try to forget?

I think that thisnis a reqlly interesting saga premise. It can go in multiple directions.

I don't think that a spring covenant made of secret diedne would be the best bet, but having the saga be somewhere close to the fulcrum would give great opportunities.

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That's an interesting philosophical question.

I'm a white male in Australia (while lower-middle class, that still puts me better off than probably 80% of the world). I have a level of safety and comfort that is enviable to large parts of the world.

Due to my position of comfort, while I can do near nothing to alleviate the suffering in the world, I feel I have a moral obligation to at least pay attention and bear witness.

Would at least some of the Guernicus involved feel the need to bear witness, especially as they did the unspeakable act. I think it likely.

Probably still someone at Magvillus studies the Mercurian Rituals and whether one was ever used and its efficacy would be an important thing to know. I definitely think there would be an oral tradition handed down between the keepers of the Mercurian Rituals.

IIRC, the Schism War erupted after an extended period of tension, and was triggered by a public insult from the primus of Diedne to the primus of Tremere, precipitating a house on house Wizard's War, that other houses soon joined.

What in these records contradicts that?

(As an aside, I'd like to see an alternate scenario where an account of the pre-War Diedne show them to be much worse than the public record and their late apologists claim.)

As I understand the open reason for the Schism were the claims that Diedne (allegedly) used human sacrifices, and the "secret" real reason was that House Diedne was pagan, large and powerful, all of which were a thorn on the side of the other houses. What triggered the war is a minor detail.

To my knowledge the "evilness of Diedne sacrifices" was never confirmed as true in canon. Documents with evidence that these claims were false (or at least, that the evidence presented at the time was forged) put the whole thing under another light.

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