Lex Magica and Charter of Ponce, Puerto Rico

Here follows the Lex Magica for the city of Ponce, Puerto; known as the La Perla del Sur Consilium

Governance

I.    An Awakened resident of Ponce shall be Acknowledged upon swearing an oath to protect the city and Consilium and of Ponce.

II.    The city of Ponce is served by a Hierarch and a council of five Pathmasters.

A.    Each Pathmaster is selected by Acknowledged members of the Path, in whatever manner they deem best. Once selected, a Pathmaster maintains an indefinite term of office, until such time as he is removed by the Acknowledged mages of the Path in question.

1.    Pathmasters are responsible for the Awakened followers of their Path in Ponce, and may impose due justice on followers of the Path, up to and including Major Penance without consulting the Hierarch or other Pathmasters. Any such decisions should be entered in the Consilium records.

2.    The Pathmaster is expected to either mentor the newly-Awakened of the Path, or to find an appropriate Mentor for the newly-Awakened.

3.    The Pathmaster is expected to monitor events in the city connected with his Path, or assign the task to another qualified Mage.

B.   The Hierarch is elected by all Acknowledged mages in the city, and may not also hold the title of Pathmaster. Once selected, the Hierarch maintains an indefinite term of office.

1.    The decisions of the Hierarch may be overturned by a vote of 4/5 of the Pathmasters. In all other cases, any reference to “assembled Pathmasters” references any situation where at least three Pathmasters are present.

2.    The Hierarch may call upon the skills of any Acknowledged mage in the city for the purposes of city defense. Due recompense must be offered.

3.    The Hierarch may be removed by a Vote of No Confidence, requiring the vote of at least 2/3 of the Acknowledged mages in the city, or the unanimous consent of the Pathmasters.

C.    The Hierarch may select a Provost, which must be announced to the Consilium. The Provost shall fulfill the duties of the Hierarch in the Hierarch’s absence.

D.    The Hierarch may select a Sentinel, which must be agreed upon by the Pathmasters, and announced to the Consilium. The Sentinel is responsible to upholding the Lex Magica in Ponce, as well as defending the Consilium and its members.

E.    In time of War, the Hierarch may select a Warleader, who may or may not also be the Sentinel. The Warleader is responsible for the active defence of Ponce, as well as coordinating the offensive capabilities of the city.

F.    The Lex Magica may be amended by 3/4 vote of the Acknowledged Mages in Ponce.

1.    All alterations must be submitted in writing prior to the vote.

2.    All proposed alterations are kept on file by the Archivist, regardless of outcome.

G.    The Lesser Offices shall be filled by appointment, as agreed upon by the Hierarch and Pathmasters.

H.    The Hierarch or assembled Pathmasters may declare an Acknowledged mage’s oath to the city null and void, and rescind the mage’s membership in the Consilium. This declaration does not constitute a violation of a mystically binding oath.

III.    The selection process of Pathmasters and/or Hierarch must not be tampered with. To do so invalidates the selection process, and opens the offending mage to official sanction, up to and including a Major Penance.

IV.    The Hierarch shall not interfere with the workings of a Path or Order, unless those workings pose a significant danger to the Consilium.

Lesser Offices

I.    Herald:  The Herald shall function as the voice of the Consilium, as well as serving as the primary point of contact for formal communications between La Perla del Sur Consilium and non-resident Awakened.

II.    Archivist:  The Archivist is charged with maintaining the records of the Consilium.

A.    The Archivist records all favors exchanged between Acknowledged members of the Consilium, as well as between the Acknowledged and accepted, unAcknowledged residents of Ponce.

1.    The Awakened may choose not to register favors exchanged with the Archivist; however, un-recorded favors are not enforceable by the Consilium.

B.    The Archivist records all formal accusations and punishments against any resident of the city.

C.    The Archivist maintains the Lex Magica, and records all formal requests for alterations to it, whether or not the request was successful.

D.    The Archivist maintains a list of active Cabals in the city.

E.    Resident Awakened are required to declare their Path to the Hierarch, the Archivist, and the appropriate Pathmaster. Awakened are encouraged, but not required, to declare an allegiance to an Order and/or Cabal.

F.     All Acknowledged Mages in Ponce may request access to the Archives. In time of War, the Hierarch or assembled Pathmasters may limit access to the Archives. The Archivist may never be denied access to the archives.

III.    Hearthkeeper:  The Hearthkeeper serves as the spiritual and emotional compass for the Consilium, and is tasked with seeing to the well-being of the Consilium’s members.

A.    The Hearthkeeper’s task is to function as confessor, therapist, advocate, and “house mother” for any resident of the city, Acknowledged or not.

B.    The Hearthkeeper shall keep confidence, unless doing so would endanger the Consilium as a whole.

IV.    Warder: The Warder is charged with maintaining the magical defenses of the city.

A.    The Warden’s primary responsibility is the commonly-held Sanctum and its satellite facilities.

B.    The Warden may request reasonable aid from any Acknowledged mage of the cityfor the purpose of maintaining the Wards.

The Precepts

I.    Secrecy: The Awakened must not reveal the existence of magic to the Sleepers. This Precept must be maintained above all else.

II.    Recognition: The Awakened of Ponce are Acknowledged by swearing allegiance to the Consilium.

A.    An unsworn mage may reside in the city, or pass through its boundaries. The unsworn mage must make his presence known to the Conslium, in the form of the Hierarch and/or the appropriate Pathmaster.

B.    The unAcknowledged mage may be asked to swear or to leave the city at any time.

C.    The unAcknowledged mage is still held accountable to the Lex Magica of Ponce.

D.    The unAcknowledged mage may be extended some privileges accorded to sworn members of the Consilium, however an unsworn mage has no formal voice in the Consilium, and privileges may be revoked at any time.

III.    Protectorate:  A Sanctum known to the Awakened is to be protected; however, control of that Sanctum remains with the Awakened who have valid claim to it.

A.    It is an offense against the Precept of Protectorate to probe at the defenses of a Sanctum without the consent of the owner.

B.    It is an offense against the Precept of Protectorate to draw Sleeper attention to a Sanctum without the consent of the owner.

IV.    Hubris: Acts of Hubris shall be avoided.

A.    Paradox: Paradox must be avoided if at all possible.

1.    When unavoidable, Paradox must be mitigated to the best of the Mage’s ability, include channeling the backlash through the violating Mage’s body.

2.    Vulgar Magic may be used in situations of extreme need, though this need is subject to review by the Hierarch and/or assembled Pathmasters.

3.    It is acceptable to work Vulgar Magic within the confines of a Demesne, or similar Paradox-limiting situation.

B.    Dealing with Demons/Abyss: It is unacceptable to knowingly deal with demons, agents of the Abyss, Tremere Liches, Scelesti, etc.

C.    Sleeper Law: The Awakened are not above Sleeper Law, and are expected to comply with it. However, the Precepts must be honored above Sleeper Law, and limited violations of Sleeper Law may be accepted, especially in service to the Precept of Secrecy.

1.    Violations of Sleeper Law will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the violating Mage may be handed over to Sleeper authorities. if this occurs, the Mage is expected to comply with any lawful Sleeper punishment, regardless of the Mage’s ability to avoid Sleeper punishment.

D.    Crimes Against Sleepers: Awakened crimes against Sleepers are considered more heinous than a similar crime against another of the Awakened, due to the Sleeper’s limited ability to defend themselves against Awakened actions.

1.    Injury to Sleepers, or modification of Sleeper emotional state or memory must be avoided, except in service to the Precept of Secrecy.

2.    Alterations done under the Precept of Secrecy must be kept as limited and non-invasive as possible.

E.    Sleepwalkers vs. Sleepers: Sleepwalkers are not Sleepers, and do not automatically fall under the Precept of Secrecy.

1.    A Sleepwalker who is not currently aware of the Awakened is not considered part of the Awakened community.

2.    Crimes against Sleepwalkers are considered equal to crimes against Sleepers, unless the Sleepwalker is an accepted part of the Awakened community.

3.    Crimes against a Sleepwalker who is an accepted part of the Awakened community will be considered equal to a similar crime against the Awakened.

V.    War: When a dispute is resolved, it stays resolved.

A.    The Precept of Secrecy must be maintained, even in war.

B.    Innocent Sleepers are not valid targets in a war between the Awakened.

C.    Conflict between Awakened must be settled without violence, if at all possible.

D.    The Precept of War applies to Acknowledged Awakened and unAcknowledged Mages accepted by the city. Various levels of War may be agreed on between aggrieved parties, as witnessed by either the Hierarch or at least three uninvolved Pathmasters.

1.    Street Warfare: War will not violate the sanctity of the rivals’ Sanctum

2.    Spiritual Warfare: War will take place in the Shadow Realm, to minimize its impact on Sleepers.

3.    Sanctum Warfare: The warring parties announce that they will target the Sanctums of their rivals, and that the Precept of Protectorate does not apply for purposes of the conflict.

4.    Shadow Warfare: The War will target other forms of supernatural creatures, and the warring parties take full responsibility for their actions.

5.    The Duel Arcane: Each disputing party agrees to send one champion to settle the matter in formalized single combat. See Section F.

E.    War against enemies of the Consilium, most often Seers of the Throne and Banishers does not fall under the Precept of War, but is still beholden to the Precept of Secrecy.

F.    The Duel Arcane

1.    Is to be fought one-on-one, in a prepared place, witnessed by at least three of the Awakened.

2.    Dueling to the death is forbidden unless with consent of the Hierarch or the assembled Pathmasters.

3.    The Duel Arcane may be fought by champions, rather than by the challenger/challenged if the assembled witnesses agree that the competition would be otherwise unbalanced. This is most often due to the disparate degrees of experience of the combatants.

4.    Consequences of the Duel Arcane must be made public before the Duel begins.

5.    Consequences of the Duel Arcane are to be put into effect immediately upon completion of the Duel, unless both parties agree otherwise.

6.    The Hierarch may stop a Duel at any point, and the Duel will stand unresolved. This may be overruled by the assembled Pathmasters.

7.    All Duels, and their results, will be noted in the Consilium records.

8.    The La Perla del Sur Consilium will not recognize Duels Arcane used to force the actions of Consilium officers concerning their Consilium duties. This does not include the choosing of a Pathmaster through Duel Arcane but must otherwise comply with the Lex Magica.

VI.    Liberty: All Acknowledged Awakened of Ponce shall be free of magical coercion and imprisonment.

A.    Temporary restraint, stripping of magical ability, or imprisonment to prevent a Mage from harming himself or others is acceptable if the Mage is clearly not in full possession of his faculties.

B.    Temporary restraint, stripping of magical ability, or imprisonment to prevent a Mage from harming himself or others is acceptable if the Mage is in danger of violating the Precept of Secrecy.

C.    The Precept of Liberty is waived with regard to lawful Judgments handed down by the Hierarch and/or assembled Pathmasters.

VII.    Accountability While Traveling: If an Acknowledged Mage travels to another city where another Lex Magica is in effect, the Mage is expected to abide by the local Lex Magica, in addition to Ponce’s.

A.    Any situation where the Lex Magica of the two cities are in conflict, the local Lex Magica will take precedence, unless otherwise agreed.

B.    Acknowledged Mages may be held accountable under the Lex Magica of the Tapestry for actions taken outside Ponce at the discretion of the Hierarch and/or assembled Pathmasters.

The Great Rights

I.    Right of Crossing:  Awakened may freely pass through the boundaries of Ponce.

A.    A safe route through the city shall be clearly marked. Traveling this route keeps the traveler safe from retribution by the Acknowledged Awakened of the city, and is no guarantee of safety otherwise.

B.    If the Awakened in question does anything other than pass directly through, the mage is required to advise the Hierarch or a Pathmaster of his presence.

C.    In this instance, a safehouse and Hospitality may be made available.

II.    Right of Emeritus:  Those who have earned respect must be treated with respect and civility.

A.    Emeritus is circumstantial – someone who is due deference in one sphere of influence may not be due it in another.

B.    Emeritus does not require submission – only courtesy.

III.    Right of Hospitality:  Those who request hospitality must be granted it.

A.    A visiting Mage’s request for Hospitality is the responsiblity of that Mage’s Pathmaster, or their chosen surrogate.

B.    Hospitality extends for a minimum of 24 hours; and covers food, shelter, and medical attention as needed.

C.    Hospitality and Sanctuary go hand-in-hand. By accepting Hospitality, the visiting Mage acknowledges that he is bound by the Right of Sanctuary.

IV.    Right of Nemesis:  When vengeance is declared, let none stand in its way.

A.    Nemesis must be declared publicly, along with the reasons for it.

B.    The Hierarch and/or assembled Pathmasters may require that any pursuit of Nemesis be restricted to limited parts of the city, or be taken outside the city entirely.

C.    The Right of Nemesis may be temporarily suspended in time of War.

V.    Right of Sanctuary:  Protect your home, and let no action cause it harm.

A.    Any place which falls under the Precept of Protectorate, as well as any place declared a “Place of Importance” by the Hierarch or Pathmasters falls under the Right of Sanctuary.

B.    Guests and unAcknowledged Awakened are expected to obey the Right of Sanctuary, but must be made aware of any place where the Right is in effect.

C.    Sanction for violating the Right of Sanctuary will be commensurate with the damage done.

D.    The Right of Sanctuary also covers the use of communal resources.

1.    Any Acknowledged Mage may make reasonable use of renewable communal resources and facilities. This includes, but is not limited to: libraries, work space, and communally-held technology.

2.    Any Acknowledged mage may make reasonable use on non-renewable (or difficult to renew) communal resources and facilities, but must make reasonable restitution for the consumed items. This includes, but is not limited to: tass, ritual components, raw materials for the creation of Enhanced or Imbued items.

3.    “Communal resources” does not include the personal equipment or supplies of individual Awakened or cabals.

4.    The Hierarch and/or Sentinel have the usage of any resource, communal or otherwise, in time of War; however restitution must be made for the consumption of personal resources.

E.    Sanctum Guardians and Staff of all kinds fall under the Right of Sanctuary; however, they may not be required to leave the areas of their service, even in time of War.

F.    The Right of Sanctuary is considered to have been violated if any of the following occur:

1.    Two thirds of the Acknowledged Mages involved deem Sanctuary to have been violated.

2.    The Hierarch and/or Pathmasters decree that the Right of Sanctuary has been violated. This may only be done with regard to resources associated with the Consilium as a whole.

Lesser Analogues and Addenda

Shall be added as required.

Judgments

I.    Acknowledge Mages may choose to settle conflicts among themselves, without formal intervention by the Pathmasters or the Hierarch. Acknowledged Mages may mutually agree upon Judgments involving the Payment of Debt and Minor Penance only. While considering an informal Judgment, this must still be entered in the archives.

II.    A Pathmaster may enter a Judgment against an Acknowledged Mage of the same Path, up to and including a Major Penance.

III.    Judgments of Severe Reprimand or greater require the approval of the Hierarch and/or assembled Pathmasters.

The Tetragrammaton

The Awakened of La Perla del Sur Consilium acknowledge the Tetragrammaton, with the following clarifications.

I.    Minor Reprimand

A.    This is little more than formally stating that what the mage did was wrong. This formally expresses to other mages in the city that the Consilium considers the act a transgression.

II.    Major Reprimand

A.    The Consilium instructs other Masters to limit their assistance to the mage.

B.    The Hierarch may warn other cabals or mages against helping the criminal.

III.    Payment of Debt

A.    The mage must pay a debt, usually in the form of a favor, act or deed.

B.    Cabals and Orders trade favors, as do Masters.

C.    If the mage belongs to a society – such as a Cabal or Order – she must pay on a debt that her society owes another.

IV.    Minor Penance

A.    The mage must atone for her act by performing a service for the city’s mages. This may be something as simple as re-organizing the contents of a library, standing guard with agents of the Adamantine Arrow or serving as a lone watchman for a few nights.

V.    Major Penance

A.    The mage must perform a risky or dangerous act for the benefit of the city’s mages. This could involve scouting an area known for supernatural activity, undertaking a spiritual journey or retrieving a powerful artifact.

B.    Note that this punishment may be considered a hint that the mage has potential, to be trusted with such an important mission.

VI.    Severe Reprimand

A.    The Consilium states bluntly that no one (not even initiates) may aid or assist the offending mage, clarifying the duration of the reprimand.

B.    Offering assistance merits the same punishement, “tarring” the collaborator “with the same brush.”

C.    The mage is then either instructed to mediate in seclusion or abstain from practicing magic.

D.    Failure to comply leads to incarceration.

E.    This may or may not be waived in circumstances of life-and-death.

F.    The Hierarch or at least three Pathmasters must agree to the punishment of a Severe Reprimand, and/or anything of greater severity.

VII.    Incarceration

A.    The mage is magically confined, surrounded by powerful wards that cripple his magical power.

B.    He must mediate on his actions. In many cases, this is done because the mage is dangerous enough that he has risked exposing or seriously weakening the city’s mages, and the Consilium needs time to recover while repairing the damage that’s been done.

VIII.    Banishment

A.    This is rarely effective, but sometimes used as an alternative to Incarceration.

B.    The mage is given orders to leave the city, soemtimes for a specific period of time. If she returns during that time, she faces Incarceration or worse.

C.    The stigma can include further details of where the mage must go or what she must do before she returns.

IX.    Spiritual Scourging (Confinement or Banishment)

A.    A Master of Death can steal an Awakened soul. When carrying out a sentence of spiritual confinement, the Master of Death binds a mage’s soul in a protected place for the duration of the punishment before restoring it to its owner.

B.    When performing a rite of spiritual banishment, the master sends the soul far away. This may involve hurling it into the Shadow Realm or instructing a Sentinel to carry it to another city. Spiritual banishment often results in a quest, as the mage must either chase down the soul herself or find allies who can do so for her.

C.    This punishment may only be passed down by the Hierarch, with the consent of at least 2/3 of the Pathmasters. The reasons for the punishment must be recorded in the Consilium’s archives, as well as made public to the Awakened of the Consilium and surrounding areas.

D.    The Death Master who performs this rite must be thoroughly convinced that the crime is worth such a dire punishment, since he’s making a sacrifice to perform it: performing this rite is acknowledged as an act of Hubris.

1.    In addition, the Death Master is held responsibility for the incarcerated soul, unless this duty is formally handed off to another.

2.    The Death Master is required to use all possible care to insure the safety of a banished soul.

X.    Spiritual Oblivion

A.    The mage’s very soul is destroyed, rendering him incapable of performing magic.

B.    Sentencing a mage in this fashion – and actually performing the spiritual execution – is understood to be an act of Hubris for all the mages involved.

C.    This punishement may only be handed down by the Hierarch with the unanimous consent of the Pathmasters, and must be made part of Consilium record, as well as publicized to the Awakened community at large.

D.    Death:  Death may be an acceptable alternative to Spiritual Oblivion at the discretion of the Hierarch and the unanimous consent of the Pathmasters.

1.    Death may also be judged necessary in addition to Spiritual Oblivion, and may be considered an act of mercy.

2.    Death in lieu of, or in addition to, Spiritual Oblivion is acknowledged as an act of Hubris.