Protocols

The Protocols are ancient customs which all Tradition mages are expected to follow. Some are common courtesy, while others are taken very seriously. Those who break Protocol are first rebuked, then punished in various ways. This depends on the mood of the judges, and the power and status of the offender. Lesser offenses are dealt with within the offender's peer group. More serious offenses result in a Tribunal.

The Protocols and appropriate Hermetic punishments are listed below. Since Protocols are interpreted differently by each Tradition, punishment could vary.

  • Respect those of Greater Knowledge. This is common sense.
  • A Tutor's debt must be repaid. Hermetic colleges expect tuition after each semester. Students who miss payment are subject to suspension from classes until they do pay. If the student manages to leave a string of institutions in the lurch and is caught, she is Branded. The offender will never again receive training from any Tradition mage.
  • A mage's Word is his honor; break not a sworn Vow. Censure is the most common punishment. A mage with a long history of lying may be Branded.
  • The Will of an Oracle must always be obeyed. Few modern mages even beileve that Oracles exist. However, the Order's ancient legal texts advocate Censure for disloyal mages. Such passages present a paradox: Did Oracles once exist? And if so, should not a miffed Oracle be powerful enough to execute his own sentence, depending on whim?
  • Betray not your Cabal or Chantry. A serious offense during the Ascension War, betrayal warrants branding and/or permanent Ostracism.
  • Conspire not with enemies of Ascension. Those caught conspiring with the Technocracy, Marauders or other enemies (open to interpretation) are sentenced to Branding and permanent Ostracism. If the "enemy of Ascension" is a Nephandus, the punishment is increased to Gilgul and/or death.
  • Protect the Sleepers; they are ignorant of what they do. This, too, is custom. Those who endanger Sleepers are frowned upon by most mages.
  • Be subtle in your Arts, lest Sleepers know you for what you are. Called the "Rule of Shade," this informal Protocol was meant to protect magi from witch-hunters and zealots. While this rule carries no formal punishment, flashy mages are dangerous to associate with. Ostracism is common, and Branding is not unhead of.