A Magician's Tale
The Tribunal of the Greater Alps
They talk of virtue, and civility and so on, but that’s not really why there is peace in the Alps, its because the peace allows them to be more eccentric than war would.
-Jacinta filia Romana
The Greater Alps tribunal is, by many measures, the most successful of the regional Tribunals. Its covenants are peaceful, powerful and prosperous. They are also eccentric, arrogant and prideful.
We are Romans
The Tribunal considers itself the inheritors of Roman culture with the Magi cast in the role of Roman nobles. From the the Vagrancy laws shaped by the traditions of the Roman Senate to the Togas required on formal occasions, the dream of lost Rome is woven through the fabric of the Tribunal.
Well of course we export our troublemakers to other tribunals. That’s what other tribunals are for!
- Archmage Pietro
In order to be considered a legal resident of the tribunal a Magus must be a member of a Covenant. Each covenant must be able to pledge 10 pawns of vis to each accepted member. This Vis must come from a permanent Vis source belonging to the covenant. This source must be formally notarised and assessed by a Quaesitor. Failure to meet the requirements to be a legal resident makes you guilty of ‘vagrancy’, a Low crime under Tribunal law.
This also restricts the formation of new covenants since to be recognised a new covenant would have to be able to provide 10 pawns of vis per magus after expenses from unclaimed vis sources.
‘Farming’ of Vis from the aura is not recognised as an acceptable means of supporting a member(and is generally considered gauche).
Because of the limits on population, Covenants try and fill ‘chairs’ with the most powerful, useful and interesting magi they can find. This means newly gauntleted apprentices are very rarely given a space; instead they are sent out to other Tribunals, to be ‘invited back’ in a few decades’ time should they have turned into someone worth talking to.
Motherhouses and Chapterhouses
Due to prolonged peace and harsh geography many of the covenants are decentralised with a network of Chapterhouses beholden to a central ‘Motherhouse’. In other Tribunals these Chapterhouses would swiftly become covenants of their own, but in the Greater Alps the political pressure keeps them united, though some covenants are more factious than others internally.
Laying down the law
In the wider Order, the Greater Alps Tribunal is known for the strictness and thoroughness with which it enforces the Code of Hermes. Its main concern is the maintenance of the Hermetic peace. The two notable ‘regional’ additions of the Peripheral Code are the Vagrancy laws (see above) and ‘Ostracisim’, a custom it shares with the Thebes Tribunal. These are aimed at sending trouble elsewhere. Exile is also a common punishment for low crimes.
The Ancient Roman right of parents to discipline their children lies heavy across the Tribunal. No Magus has EVER been Marched for murdering his Filius. There is no alteration of the Code but no mortal judgement has ever been given and no case has ever been appealed to the Grand Tribunal. A Parens removing a disobedient child to protect the family from disgrace and in rarer cases Filii protecting their Parens from the shame, ignominy and degradation of being marched by ‘taking care of the matter’ are considered to be ‘family business’ and ignored unless the participants give the Tribunal no other choice.