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You push your way through a pair of massive oak doors and find yourself standing in the Hall of Justice. This is where the ancient laws of the Camarilla, and more importantly, those of the Tremere, are administered and upheld. Directly across room from you is the Seat of Justice, flanked on either side by four chairs for the Tribunal. To your left and your right you see the observation galleries rising about 10 feet from the floor where the peers and curious onlookers can watch the proceedings. You notice, on the floor, in the very center of the Hall, a Starburst Pattern done in white and black marble directly beneath a skylight through which the night sky is clearly visible. Around the Starburst you see old scorch marks, and idly wonder how many saw their last on that spot.

~ Tremere Law and The Tribunal ~

Tremere do not go around with blind obedience to the oath and Code.  Some Tremere follow the code fanatically - though their interpretations sometimes differ from one another.  Others are pragmatic, and Obey the oath as far as is necessary so as to not get into trouble.  Some very few break the Oath at every turn, but they are very, very careful not to get caught.  Tremere at least pay lip service to following the Orders of their superiors.  Open defiance is not Tolerated.  However, in some cases, what your superior doesn't know won't hurt you.  You hope.

Tremere law is intricate, governing disputes between individual magi, chantries, Lords and even Pontifexes. The clan generally encourages Tremere to settle their own disagreements in a peaceable manner, but for those unable to find a compromise, the tribunal offers arbitration. A normal tribunal consists of twelve magi of Regent status or higher, though in time of emergency, as few as seven may constitute a legal body. Members of different regional tribunals are chosen by the ruling Councillor and are expected to represent a balance of the Tremere found within the territory where the dispute has occurred. Tribunals normally meet once per year to hear general cases. They are also called when disputes requiring prompt attention occur. The senior mage present assumes the role of Praeco, serving as the leader of the tribunal. He does not vote except to break ties.

Although the Oath of Tremere, sworn by all initiates coming into the clan, serves as the primary law of the Tremere and covers the basic responsibilities of a clan member, it is only one facet of clan law. Disputes falling outside the scope of the oath are decided by prior rulings found in the vast and often contradictory Peripheral Code: a collection of past rulings dating back centuries. From this complicated morass, the tribunals draw past precedents and interpret them in light of contemporary circumstances. Tribunals are free to make whatever ruling they see fit, always keeping in mind the future well-being of the clan. Although a Councillor has the power to overrule a tribunal decision, in practice, it is rarely done.

A complete, annotated copy of the code exists in 56 chantries throughout  the world.  The 7 Councilors and the 49 Pontifexes each have complete copies - a small "Law library".  Abridged copies (about 3 bookshelves worth) can be found in the libraries of most Regents.

There are two stages to Tremere Justice, Administrative Punishment and Tribunal. If someone is caught doing something wrong, their superior will make a decision about what their punishment will be.  Often times, that punishment is administrative, and that is where it ends.  This type of punishment includes things like reduction in circle, being forced to drink of the cup of the seven (bound one step closer to the clan), being told to lend your influences to another Tremere for a time, being given those tasks that no one else wants, etc.  Remember, the lower the rank of the offender, and the more trivial the crime, the less severe the punishment is.  Apprentices of the 1st may simply have their error explained to them, so that they won't repeat it - for a first offence.

The Tremere has two choices when presented with Administrative Punishment.  Accept the ruling, or appeal to a Tribunal.  If an appeal is made, the Tribunal first decides if they will hear the case. If they decide not to hear the case, the punishment stands.  If they decide to hear the case, the Tremere who is accused will have a chance to prove their innocence.

You heard that correctly.  "A chance to prove their innocence."  A Tremere Tribunal is not a modern court of law.  You have no 5th amendment rights.  You are not "innocent until proven guilty".  If you're sitting in front of a Tribunal, you're a condemned man with one last, desperate chance to prove your innocence - or that what you did technically broke the code, but was for the good of the clan, and worked, so your sentence shouldn't be too harsh.

Some offenses (especially capital ones, like teaching thaumaturgy or blood bonding a fellow Tremere) are so severe that administrative punishment is not an option, and a Tribunal will automatically be convened. Most Tremere wish to avoid Tribunals, since the punishment they hand down are usually much more severe than the punishment that a superior hands down.


Every Tremere swears the oath.  Don't worry if you can't memorize it OOC, but do please be familiar with it's main points:

  • You are Tremere - Now and forever, you are a Tremere until you die. You have sworn to be a part of this group, and to respect it's elders. You should expect deference from those lower on the totem pole than yourself, but you must obey those who are higher up.

  • Do not attack other Tremere - no direct physical or magical confrontations are allowed between Tremere, unless one has been ruled outlaw by a Tribunal.

  • Abide by the decisions of a tribunal - this is the approved method of resolving disputes.  Small disputes between apprentices can be settled by a Regent.

  • Do not endanger House and Clan - this should be a "duh" but often isn't.  Remember that this section also covers the fact that you are sworn to uphold the traditions.  The masquerade must be maintained, even if it runs counter to your interests.

  • Don't Scry on other Tremere - this is the most contested part of the oath, often observed in the breach rather than the practice.  Different Pontifexes have ruled differently about whether Auspex constitutes "scrying", so the Peripheral code on this one is a tangled mess.  This is the part of the oath which is most often broken.  Usually, the injured party gets some concession or favor from the person scrying. It rarely goes to Tribunal.  Regents and Lords are almost expected to scry on their underlings at times.

  • Teach Thaumaturgy only to those who swear the oath - in other words, only other Tremere.  If you break this one, expect to die in short order.  This part of the oath also includes wording saying that you must take care of those beneath you in the pyramid and treat them with respect.  A badly abused apprentice does have the right to appeal to a Tribunal.

  • Apprentices may be transferred by elders of the clan to suit them.

  • Further the knowledge of the clan - occult and otherwise.

 

~ Certamen ~

Ah, Certamen. Looking to remove someone perhaps? No, don't tell me, I don't want to know. It's better if I don't. Believe me. Well now, Certamen. Although not fatal for those up to the rank of Regent, it certainly becomes so for those of any higher rank. You see for those seeking to depose those of Regent or lesser rank, it is only required to incapacitate them, whereas for those of a higher rank, if they are not powerful enough to defend themselves, well, they shouldn't be holding that rank in the first place.

Now, the details for the arrangement of Certamen are simple and the reasons for them are lost in the past. I'm certain that if you asked someone of sufficient age, they might tell you. After all, it takes a lot of balls to approach one of them. But I digress. First of all, Certamen takes place in an bare room over the course of a single night and must be approved by a Magus of the next higher level. The two Magi, the challenger and the challenged, are given two hours to prepare any rituals they care to invoke, either for self preservation or to give them an edge. Once the two hours are up, they take their places. Each Magus stands in a circle three feet in diameter which are exactly fourteen feet apart. I never understood why, but believe me when I say EXACTLY fourteen feet. They may then use any means to incapacitate the other, thereby winning the duel.

Note that leaving your circle is tantamount to forfeiture. Whether the leaving is voluntary or forced, you lose. Some elders consider it bad form, cheating if you will, to force an opponent out of their circle. Something about not being secure enough in your power to incapacitate your opponent. I'm inclined to agree with this, for even though you win in the technical sense, you've shown a perceptible weakness and you can expect to be challenged yourself in the near future.

As a side note, watching apprentices and those of lower rank do battle, while nothing to smirk about, is nothing compared to watching the Elders fight it out. THAT is an experience in humility. While you and I may think ourselves powerful in the ways of Thaumaturgy, we are but mewling kittens when compared to our elders. You might want to consider that before you make any final decisions.

 

~ The Traditions ~

MASQUERADE

This is the big one.  The one no one should ever be caught breaking, or even getting close to breaking it. The Camarilla and Clan Tremere especially rely on secrecy to keep them safe from mortal hunters, from the dreaded Lupines, and in the case of the Tremere, those Hermetic Mages who still hunt them to this day.  Under no circumstances should a Tremere openly use magic in front of non-kindred witnesses, or leave evidence of their existence behind. The Tremere are all acutely aware that their clan lives and dies by the Camarilla. Without the Camarilla, the Tremere would not be able to face the combined onslaught that the Assamites and Tzimisce would launch against them, aided no doubt by the many others who have grudges and scores they wish to settle.

DOMAIN

Tremere tend to support whoever has domain.  The Prince should *always* be able to rely on the Tremere. "Of course we'll help you, your Majesty.  For a Minor boon, perhaps?" Tremere should NEVER attempt to Seize praxis.  If no other candidate is available, and the Tremere in question has the freely given support of most of the domain, then they will take up the burden.  Tremere do NOT need the distraction of being prince.  Primogen is bad enough.

PROGENY

Tremere are more fanatical about this one than most clans. You must get the permission of both the prince to sire, and the approval of the Clan on your specific choice in progeny.  Usually, only Regents or higher are considered "responsible" enough to sire, but in some cases, high ranking apprentices (A5-A7) are allowed the privilege.

ACCOUNTING

Watch those kids so they don't mess up.  Tremere watch their progeny very closely, and teach them as best they can.

HOSPITALITY

This one is important.  Present yourself to the prince so the scourge doesn't have an excuse to take you out.  It's not just your head on the block, it is the reputation of the clan.

DESTRUCTION

This one is actually followed pretty closely, if only to avoid falling to the beast.  Tremere do not act directly, or kill wantonly.  They might take the life of a kindred if it's absolutely necessary, but are unlikely to.  Even when dealing with rogues, there is a much more prestige in capturing the errant Magus and "Sending Him To Vienna" than in killing him outright. This also gets you out of having to explain to the Prince why you had to kill someone. Princes don't generally like the "Sending Him To Vienna" clause, but since you didn't kill him, there's nothing the Prince can do about it.

 

 

 

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