Where do you find a wilderness where the Hermetic Oath is easy to ignore?

I am currently playing with various ideas, and one of them is that of a "rich" NPC mage who wants to play/experiment with big flashy and/or dubious magics.

He would probably want to be in some wilderness far from the Magi and Mundanes of Mythic Europe.
I am actually wondering if he needs to go outside the Tribunal borders - say deep in the Eurasian steppes, or Western Africa. Where would you suggest?

I am assuming this Mage would be "rich" enough to have a custom Mercurian Portal to allow him easy access to Hermetic supplies and contacts. And thus interact with my troupe.

There are many deserted places around 1220. The inner Arabian peninsula perhaps? It could be interesting in a saga.

Locations would be most of African (by cannon it can not be settled until ~1230), large swaths of the Novgorod Tribunal, and of course anywhere outside of the actual settled Tribunals.

However getting a custom Mercere portal is not likely by cannon in areas that could potentially be dangerous. They don't just give a portal away, since they do not want to allow someone to study the portal and make their own. So when they setup a custom one, they have it controlled by someone of their house who can prevent people from studying it and destroy it before it is captured.

However, if he knows a spell such as Leap of Homecoming, he can rapidly travel to any location he has an arcane connection to. For a single person traveling, this is actually better than a Mercere Portal. No crazy expensive enchanted items, having to deal with house Mercere, and actual freedom of use from anywhere to almost anywhere (almost because you need an arcane connection to the target).


Thanks, I had overlooked that.

There is central iceland. The cosat is well populated and under the control of the dominion, but the inner part is mostly inaccessible to mundane means,


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What with the Aurora and volcanoes, quite a few big flashy magics could happen and nobody think it too strange.
However, there was a 4th Ed book that says the guardian spirits of Iceland are likely to prevent our Mage's landing, if I recall correctly.

True, but I assumed that such powerful creatures would be present in whatever wilderness you found.

When I said the middle of the Eurasian steppes, I was not planning it be far enough to encounter the Mongolian Death Worm

Is it fair to say that every wilderness is inhabited by powerful creatures?

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Shai hulud intensifies

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Much of Novgorod 'Tribunal' would probably qualify.
When there's a thousand miles to the nearest covenant, isn't that plenty?

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Go to Norway.
Head into the mountains.
Pick up an arcane connection.
Return whenever you feel like it with a teleport spell.

You might anger some trolls or giants, but then again it might be just what you ate looking for.


They are made of candy, whack that piñata as hard as you can.

A Mercere portal because he is «rich» is unlikely, as others have said, but a forgotten pre-Schism portal is plausible enough to justify the story.

Most of the suggestions seems to be outside tribunal borders. Africa certainly is. Norway and Iceland technically belong to Novgorod, but since the Order has no presence, it is outside for all practical purposes. The borders are probably fuzzy in the Levant as well.

Loch Leglean and Novgorod, by the out of date canon. have so few covenants, that a suitable location can be found ... really just depending on how many Hermetic magi you want there in your saga.

Hibernia offers some opportunity for lawlessness, but probably not enough for your villain.

There might be some opportunity too, to hide in the war zone of the Albigensian Crusade or the Reconquista, but I reckon that's going to be uncertain.

As others have said, there are plenty of sparsely populated places, where you can go under the radar for some time, but I don't believe you can do so indefinitely. IIUC your villain is going to push the limits to the extreme ...


I must admit, when I first started this thread of idle speculation, I was thinking of 1000 Caves covenant in Novgorod, and how they seem to be getting away with dodgy activities due to distance and lack of visitors.

Essentially, from a very simplistic legal perspective - If no-one (in the Order of Hermes) knows you are wrong-doing, then you can get away with it.

However, going off on a tangent - I came across this article on the jurisdiction issues of Yellowstone national park. Now I am not an expert on the Hermetic Code, but correct me if I am wrong, you can't legally march a wizard unless you get a tribunal (minimum of 10 wizards from at least 4 Covenants) to agree to it.
And there is at least 1 example of a ruling that one geographical Tribunal cannot impose rulings on another jurisdiction (A Stonehenge mage wanted a quorum Tribunal, so ended up going to Normandy).

So wouldn't that mean a mage could break the Oath all sorts of ways if he was definitely outside the borders of any geographical boundaries of any Tribunal, and not have any risk of facing any judgement from any Tribunal, except the Grand Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the entire Order of Hermes? And due to the limited number of issues allowed to be raised at the Grand Tribunal, it might happen that none of the delegates would raise the issue.

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The problem there is the "definitely". If that mage disturbs magi in another Tribunal sufficiently, it might well unilaterally and for this specific case extend its border and take care of him. They will simply argue, that that mage swore the Oath of Hermes and is now breaking it. So they now hold him to it.

Otherwise, "no plaintiff, no judge" holds all over the Order of Hermes - within and without Tribunal borders.

Would the border change be retroactive?
I mean, it is my understanding that the Hermetic Code evolves in a reactive, not proscriptive manner.

The Oath of Hermes knows Tribunals, but not borders of Tribunals. The latter were established in the 9th century to avoid conflicts between substantial geographical groups of magi - not to protect solitary culprits from remote neighbours.

Tmk geographical boundaries between Tribunal are generally verrry loosely defined, and tend to change with the foundations of new covenants. Borders of a Tribunal to spaces not claimed by other groups of magi might not be outlined at all.

That is not a bad argument, but now I am wondering if other Covenants/Tribunals would be happy with a precedent that allows border changes as a matter of convenience.

Thinking it through, the specific case would be no lasting border change. The area the culprit mage inhabits would not be part of any Tribunal. So the prosecuting magi can still form a Tribunal according to the Oath of Hermes - as they do not violate the rights of other Tribunals defined previously, and no Peripheral Code exists in that area.

Kinda. And it's a lot less advantageous than it first looks. At the risk of coming too close to real world politics, I'm repeatedly surprised at how many people believe they'd be better off without society around them. They seem to me to understand that, just as there's no law to protect your victims from you, there's no law to protect you from others either.

In this case, that would mean that your villain could victimize others, and no tribunal could punish him for it, that also means others can target him, and no tribunal could protect him from anyone else, eg. the PC.
Which is great for RPGs and stories, but it is likely to be the downfall of your villain.