Wizard War

Quite interesting. Why did one PC delcare Wizard War on the other after the first was dead?

Well, I didn't really ask...but I can guess...

  1. He killed one of his sodales..
  2. He tore up he tower. If we were going to use the tower over, WE had to clean it up... :blush:
  3. He attacked her originally for the purpose of taking her Vis....

Would you want him as a neighbor?

(plus, she isn't dead....no witnesses... :wink: )

I want to ask interesting questions too... :frowning:

lol :laughing:

Two things make we wonder:

There is an interesting issue in the fact that he attacked while they were performing their covenants Aegis. This strikes an interestin case in the sense that while the two magi involved in the Wizard's War have mutual forfeit immunity - but this doesn't go for the other magi of your covenant. Although the magus might attack the maga unrestricted in her very home - the potential of disrupting the Aegis might be seen as an attack on the other magi of her covenant thus he forfeits his immunity toward them as it might be seen to rob them of their magical power and even threatening their lives. In other words if this played the way you told he might have just given them a carte blanche to kill him - at that time and place that is. In retrospect they might have been able to strike a case against him at tribunal.

Then again I guess that anyone with a resident Tytalus don't have to use such options anyhow.... lol

You do mean a week into the War right? Or did the Tytalus itch so much he couldn't wait the month? :wink:

Lovely :exclamation: Ramifications = Roleplay :exclamation:

I feel the same way about it. They could have killed him there and then.

Another excuse to help in a wizards war other than 'he broken our aegis'. The fellow mages in the covenant who attacked the invading mage are safe depending on how much they have been told. If their fellow who was killed in the battle had not informed them about the forthcoming wizards war, then an invading mage attacking to kill their sodales would seem unjustified and thus it was permissable for them to intervene. In this case they have the best legal position the less they know. Any call by the attacker that he was prosecuting a legal wizards war could probably be ignored with the excuse that you weren't sure if you believed him. Without seeing the paperwork and knowing that such an attack was legal you erred on the side of caution by defending your sodales, as your covenant charter demanded.

Well, since the Quaesitor was sitting at the table when it was delivered, nobody could claim ignorance.. :cry:

...Not really. She wasn't casting the spell, only participating in the Ritual..I guess that would depend on how much someone is involved when not actually casting...<shrug???>.. As long as no collateral damage...

Nah, a week into the war..


Well, the Quaesitor threw him across the room for screwing up his work...

Ahm ... that would require an enormous amount of goodwill towards the 'erring' magi at Tribunal. The Code of Hermes has no provision excusing ignorance, or valueing intentions over results.
So if a magus has killed another without being able to prove the killed one's forfeit immunity, he better prepare for the worst.

Kind regards,


I agree with you - but also makes me wonder if there is any practice, e.g. in various tribunal rulings on to what degree declaration of Wizard's War should be made public? By the Redcaps? By the magi involved to their covenant? Disregarding claiming ignorance - as opposed to to real ignorance - it must have happened that magi unbeknownst have become involved in a Wizard's War.

Ignorance aside I still think they might make a case on the basis of the attack taking place during the Aegis. As Urien I dont know for sure how important the participation of the individual magi is - but my gutt feeling is that the timing is severe enough to warrant a slaying of the attacker.

I'm laughing a bit at myself :laughing: - naturally it would be roleplay. Self-evidently! What I meant to say was that rammifications equals amble opportunity for interesting plots and scenes.

ouch.... :open_mouth:
Never good to get yourself on the wrong side of the local "Sheriff". I reckon there will come a time when he might be sorry... On the other hand as a Tytalus he might find a challenge in having irrated the Quaesitor - it makes soo many things the more challenging!

You've made me wonder, too what would a Quaesitor or Tribunal would do if someone stepped into a Wizard's War.

If someone breaks the code in front of you, what are your rights? What are your responsibilities? The Oath begs you to kill them if they break it.

If a Magus attacks another Magus right in front of you, what are you expected to do if all other things are equal (that is, you don't know of a Wizard War or any March declared). Or you see someone spying on someone else with magic... or not training their apprentice. What would the "average" member of the order do? I know that's a pretty sweeping statement, but relevant.

What can or would a Quaesitor do in one of these situations?

It is the right of any magus to "enforce" the Code. A singular magus more or less has the same rights as a quaesitor to inquire and sanction crimes. This includes using force or scrying (investigative immunity is granted all magi). The only exception is that a quaesitor can demand the active cooporation of other magi - and in general the quaesitors have a standing and greater security that makes it less likely that they'll be addressed with force or that they'll be charged in the aftermath with having breaked the Code in their inquiry.

Concerning the legal responsibility I don't think thay have any legal obligation to intercede - even if the Oath begs their reaction - since the Code is based on "negative" law. Meaning that it is full of things that is not allowed, and very few things that you "must" do if any at all. This doesn't exclude a possible sense of moral responsibility - and I'm quite certain that within any tribunal there are bound to be groups that will mock and stigmatise an magus inactive in face of danger for whimping out.

Well - quite interesting. I guess that there isn't a jerk motion but that it depends on several factors. Some could be: your relation to the target; your relation to the transgressor; severity of the crime (e.g. in the middle of slaying another magus vs. not giving proper training; or Low vs. High crimes); difference in percieved power/advantage; potential personal gain, potential loss... I guess that the "average" member - though actually having the same rights within the Code as the Quaesitor - would act somewhat more "defensive" than the average Quaesitor since he could expect greater suspicion than a Quaesitor. On the other hand not having the same pull as a Quaesitor, and thus having lesser expectation of winning a potential legal conflict, might be inclided to matters into ones one hand at once - and then hoping for succeed in representing the incident sufficiently favorably to ensure that he wouldn't be sanctioned if at all.

Probably his actions would be influenced by the same parameters as above but with more confidence in his own pull - in making a case a tribunal or to defend ones actions if an aftermath ensues. Or if too much of a challenge, to use his pull to involve other magi or run for the nearest hoplite...

(or wickedly strike a deal with the perp :smiling_imp: )

AFAICS from the only rulings I know, ArM5 p.14 and HoH:TL p.47f, there is no duty to inform third parties of a Wizard's War. So, unless the local Tribunal has ruled differently about that matter, the maga above could set up her more gullible sodales to be Marched by not informing them.
I would expect, however, that for most covenants either charters or covenant decisions address this issue and explicitly oblige sodales to timely inform each other of their Wizard's Wars, or similar events of great common interest.

I agree that here a quick SG ruling on the importance of non-casting participants at the Aegis ritual is in order. If it is vital for the Aegis that all are undisturbed, then HoH:TL p.47 applies: "If a combatant endangers the property or lives of other magi, they forfeit thier immunity with respect to those magi."
But then the question arises, whether the attacking magus has ever experienced the casting of an Aegis ritual. If yes, why would he set himself up to be attacked by an entire covenant?

Kind regards,


If a magus, Quaesitor or not, cannot conclusively evaluate a situation involving other Hermetic magi killing each other, he should keep out - unless he feels sufficiently powerful to bring the situation under control without doing any permanent damage to a magus or his property. AFAICS, any magus with OoH Lore or CoH at 1 or better will know this.

Kind regards,


Part of my comment on the ignorance factor is that many covenants would also have a requirement that its members help defend the covenant in general and other members against outside attack. If you know nothing about the situation and some mage you personally don't know comes in slinging ignem spells at your friend, I know you might be in trouble for killing him afterwards. But it is a better excuse than none. If you are bound by your covenants charter to defend, and the attacker is so busy casting that he doesn't say anything, then I suppose that you should start by demanding the attacker stop, and if he doesn't then challenge him to certamen. If the attacker ignores such a challenge and is about to kill your friend then intervention would probably be forgiven in tribunal. "I did everything I could to prevent what I thought was a crime being committed, but he left me with no alternative." Ignorance is not an all encompasing defence, but you would get sympathy from other wizards who would have acted in the same way themselves. This is as I had understood that each covenant that has its own charter, as long as you sign up to it then that charter is legally binding in hermetic law, and breaches of its clauses would be upheld by tribunal.

Another issue that would increase the effectiveness of the ignorance plea is if the member of the covenant seeing his friend attacked is new to the region and does not recognize the attacker as a hermetic mage. If you think that the attacker is not part of the order, as he does not respond to challenges to certamen, then that excuse might help. Speaking of which does being in a wizards war remove the need to respond to a challenge of certamen?

You surely can set up a charter stating, that all signataries feel bound to it like to Hermetic law - provided you make sure that this charter does nowhere contradict Hermetic law, that is. A Quaesitor should be able to help with that.

Here a Quaesitor would remind the magi that any such provision - especially if held by signataries like Hermetic law - must explicitly exclude protection of sodales from Wizard's March, and from "justly executed and formally declared" Wizards' War. The Quaesitor would probably also stress that such a provision would squarely settle the responsibility to distinguish cases upon the shoulders of the signataries, and encourage them to set up procedures to fulfill these reponsibilities.

Yes, in very big trouble. Still, you should trust your friend in that she kept you informed on vital issues, should you?
So, yes, this is the stuff stories of loyalty and betrayal are made of, which can ruin a bona-fide magus (played, say, by Robert Mitchum) for good if his sodalis maga (played by Barbara Stanwyck) turns out to be a user in a life-or-death situation, setting him up as a stooge to hide behind and then leaving him to the Quaesitores.

:slight_smile: I am still imagining this scene with Mitchum as the protective magus, Stanwyck as the screaming maga in distress and Edward G. Robinson as the 'unchivalrous' attacker.
No, that wouldn't work, Mitchum would have to do time - ahm, rather loose his familiar and be banished from the tribunal for two decades - and afterwards come back to the covenant in search of retribution, only to be again ensnared by Stanwyck.
The essential point here is, that Robinson does not forfeit his immunity from Mitchum while attacking Stanwyck. If he is not attacking Mitchum or Mitchum's property, Mitchum has no right to to attack Robinson - no matter whether Robinson attacks Stanwyck or not, and no matter whether Robinson cares for his demands and challenges.
By attacking Robinson to kill, Mitchum is prepared to stake his life onto the bet, that Robinson has already forfeited his immunity by committing some heinous crime against the Order. (Mitchum being Mitchum, of course he does so. :slight_smile:)

That's a good point, but it doesn't carry far enough.
So lets assume Mitchum somehow manages to formally challenge Robinson in the midst of his rush towards Stanwyck to a Certamen about Robinson's right to pursue Stanwyck.
First, Robinson need not accept the challenge to Certamen. But this means conceding defeat about the issue.
So if he brushes away the challenge and proceeds, Mitchum could - very un-Mitchum - report him to the Quaesitores and accuse him at the next Tribunal. But he must not kill a Hermetic magus for refusing his challenge to Certamen.

Kind regards,


You are probably right on all counts. The issue comes down to whether you are prepared to be prosecuted for your own crime of killing a wizard regardless of whether said wizard was breaking the laws at all himself. For many of us, if the other alternative is the certain death of a trusted and beloved ally, the answer is yes, make your choice and pay the cost.

The differences in the issue that help fudge the issue when it comes to paying the cost at tribunal is what crimes you can heap on the attackers head. If you know nothing of the challenge, then ignorance is a slight boost to your case. If you are a paranoid demon hunter yourself and can swear you thought the mage was kicking off with some nasty infernal magic then a better case etc.

However another point to your views on ignorance is that most mages will stay out of a fight to the death between to magi, no matter how much they care, on the basis that although they don't know about it, it is probably legal. They can only take revenge themselves at the end of the next month after they have set up their own legal war.

How would a wizard who has just seen a friend murdered like this be able to confirm that it was a legal wizards war other than asking a quaesitor to investigate?


I would have used Fred MacMurray in the Robert Michum role, but still a great post none the less.

Ooh, and maybe an apprentice played by Peter Lorre.

  1. In this particular case, EVERYONE knew exactly what was happening. There wasn't any guess work on anyones part. Everyone was there when the first party took the issue up with the Quaesitor. Everyone was there when the Declaration arrived. In THIS case, nobody could claim ignorance.
    The situation you are describing is more of a broad idea of what could happen...

  2. IMO attacking a PARTICIPANT of Aegis of the Hearth is not endangering anyone else...
    Simply put: If the CASTER is attacked there isn't any Aegis. That endangers everyone. Attacking a participant means that PERSON isn't included in the ritual for that year. This means that the excluded person would have to carry a tolken for the year... Assuming they survive the attack of course...

Not really speculation on what could happen, more planning for taking care of business.

I can see the issue of Wizards Wars done with the victims friends in ignorance occuring. Especially as it is something I would likely do. Turn up, kill your enemy, plant the wizards war declaration in their lab. Say it was all legal. Do a couple of quick spells to alter your own memory and befuddle any investigation. It's so much easier to kill someone who hasn't had a chance to prepare.

If all the other members of the covenant wouldn't dare get involved for fear that it was legal, then my incentive to cheat has improved a whole lot.

Great cunning - but problematic reasoning because even though the involved magi don't have to announce the War to others there still have to be a Redcap, the one who delivered the declaration, as a legal witness. Would you then either bribe the Redcap or simply slay a Redcap and pose him as the delivered of said declaration...? Too many variables to screw up your plan, sp you have to be ruthless and putting a lot on stake.

The redcap, according to my understanding and previous posts, is an optional extra as it were. In the house of hermes - true lineages it says that they will deliver the scroll for a fee and later testify to the legality of the war, and guarenteeing to get it delivered at exactly the right time. Everyone accepts mail from the redcaps, wheras if some b@$#@%d that you absolutely hate turns up at your home at a new moon wanting to give you a scroll, you can make yourself unavailable. The passage on wizards war does not at all say that a redcap is required to deliver the declaration.

So if a redcap is not required and as previous discussions on this thread showed that a quaesitor being informed before would only be a house rule, that most people involved in this discussion would not bother with. Then any mage who can plant a declaration after the killing and alter his own memory on the off chance that the quaesitors will investigate before the next tribunal is safe.

Another point for if everything is being down legally is that the war starts only if the scroll is delivered, and a mage who believes he is in danger of having a war declared against him can refuse to accept any messages, regardless of who delivers them. Telling someone you have a scroll for them does not count. I suppose if the target were to make any reply along the lines of 'maybe later' or 'just leave it on the table' you as the deliverer can justify that he is aware of it and has instructed me in its handling, therefore he has accepted responsibility for it. But if he just turns and walks away silently after hearing the words that he has a message, it cannot count as receiving it. If you then leave it somewhere in the covenant in the hopes that he will read it or that a servant will pass it on to the him can either throw off your timing, in that it is less than a full moon after delivery, or if not read at all, makes it completely undeclared, both of which cases makes the issue not a properly carried out wizards war, and therefore not forfeit of immunity.

And if as a covenant (to go back to my previous theme) you know there was an attempt to deliver a declaration, and you also know that the delivery failed, then if the wizard who sent the message turns up prepared to commit violence, then he is active in commiting the crime of attempting to murder a fellow mage in violation of the code and has forfeited his immunity as a result, and is thus fair game to all fellow members of order.

Rule of the game is thus, never accept any messages directed to yourself, but have your chief servant say he will receive the mail. But make sure he does not claim to do so on your authority, if the deliverer refuses to hand it over, it could have been important and personal, but it could also have been the wizards war declaration. Yes such a scheme has strong drawbacks, but it will help keep you from being killed, as most wizards who know that their declaration was not recieved will not then go ahead with their war. As long as your enemy is not as big a cheat as me :slight_smile:

In Uriens scenario I'm the tytalus mentioned.
When the declaration showed up via redcap we were all present as well as a quasitor that was in town for a bit.
When the attack came the quasitor was still in residence otherwise, code be dammed, the offender is getting smote fer attacking my soldalis.

Technically the returned wizards war was fer depriving the covenant of magical power/knowledge (he took a very nice book that belonged to the covenant from her lab). But if he hadn't done that a reason as simple as his smell offends me would have been used

But back to the original attack... even though the quasitor was in residence I interpreted the code as "If I don’t attack him, I haven’t broken the code". However this doesn't prevent me from doing a few counter spells when possible to help out. Is this a valid line of reasoning?
(technically I was trying rego vim on his pillum of fires so they would hit me and I could then freely participate :stuck_out_tongue: )