Quaerentes in Extremis
The Oath of Covenant of Quaerentes in Extremis
Being the charter of the Covenant of Quaerentes in Extremis in the 1220 Year of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I pledge my lifelong support and loyalty to the Covenant of Quaerentes in Extremis, and declare that the trials and fortunes of this covenant are now my own.
Just as I am pledged to the Oath of Hermes, so do I pledge the covenant to the Order of Hermes and the authority of the Tribunal of Loch Leglean. I swear to uphold and protect this covenant regardless of the personal price. Over all the years of my life and throughout my studies and travels, I will neither betray the covenant nor give aid to its enemies. In times of need, I will aid the covenant in whatever way I am able, and I will devote myself to its service if the need is clear. I will abide by the decisions of the ruling council of this covenant, and I will treat these decisions as if they were my own. I will treat my fellows with respect and fairness, and I will not attempt to harm them in any way. Their blood is my blood. Where the ovenant stands, there do I stand; how the covenant grows, so do I grow; should the covenant fall, then do I fall. This I so swear, upon the honor of my house and its Founder.
Given under our hand,
Feargus the Damhadh-duidsan Ex Miscelanea
Marcus of Tremere
Pelleas of Merinita
The covenant allows for two types of membership of its council. The status of Probationary Member of the Council may be extended to any magus in good standing of the Order of Hermes, who owes no allegiance nor fealty to any other covenant, and is admitted upon the unanimous approval of the current Council of Members. Provisional members assume the basic and provisional rights detailed by this charter and the duties therein attached. The status of provisional member shall last a period of seven seasons, unless abridged through censure or canceled through expulsion. Applicants to Covenant membership shall be sponsored and vouched for by a member in good standing to the Covenant.
Upon a meeting of the Council, the applicant shall be granted probationary membership by simple majority in an open vote. All probationary memberships shall be subject to an open vote at the Tribunal. Upon unanimous approval by the full members of the Covenant, a probationary members shall be granted full membership in the Covenant. Membership shall take effect at dawn when the new member participates in the casting of the Aegis of the Hearth.
The status of Full Member of the Council shall grant the same privileges and subject to the same obligations, regardless of antecedence. Full members of the Covenant are required to participate in the casting of the Aegis of the Hearth. If an exisiting member is unable for some reason to participate in this casting, he shall counted as a probationary member until the next renewal of the Aegis of the Hearth. All Full Members shall be allowed to participate in the Covenant Council. They will be required to give such participation unless their duties to the Covenant at the time prevent it.
The status of Full Member of the Council is extended upon vote of the Council or the completion of the duties and obligations of a probationary member, unless testimony is brought against him that proves him unfit to swear the Oath of Covenant in good conscience; in which case all rights of membership will be withdrawn. Should elevation to the role of full member take place, then all rights and duties of probationary membership are shed, to be replaced with the assumption of the basic and full rights detailed by this charter, and the duties therein attached. Full membership persists, unless abridged through censure or canceled through expulsion.
Should a magus ever come to desire release from this covenant, he must renounce his Oath of Covenant in the presence of at least two members of the council, and shall thereby be relieved of all duties and rights, and may not call upon such rights furthermore.
Governance of this Covenant
The members of this covenant are governed by the Council of Members, which shall consist of all probationary and full members of the covenant, however, only Full Members of the Council may actually vote in Council. This Council shall not declare action except on behalf of the entire membership of the covenant; no action may be demanded of individuals by council agreement. Conversely, the rulings of the council cannot be overturned by an individual.
In matters of governance and temporal concern, the Covenant shall be ruled by the Primus. Upon the Primus shall fall the responsibility for the welfare of the Covenant. The Primus shall be selected by election among the Covenant Council. The Primus shall be elected or re-confirmed following Tribunal. The election of the Primus shall be the first order of business at the annual council meeting following Tribunal, and shall take effect at dawn when the newly elected Primus participates in the casting of the Aegis of the Hearth. The Primus shall be a Mage and a member in good standing of the Order of Hermes, his House, and the Covenant. He hall serve until replacement by a vote of the Council, loss of membership, final Twilight, or death. Each Primus serves for a period of seven years, commencing one year following Tribunal. The duties of the Primus are: to attend regular meetings of the council; to keep order at meetings; to break tied votess with a discretionary casting vote; to determine the yearly surplus of provision and store; and to act as a spokesman for the Council of Members.
The Primus shall represent and speak for the Covenant when dealing with the Order. The Primus shall cast the tie-breaking vote in case of deadlock, as described later in this Charter. The Primus shall be responsible for wielding power and making decisions for the entire Covenant in case of emergency, until it is reasonable and feasible to call for a Council. If he must absent himself from the Covenant or will otherwise be unable, for a period of time, to attend his duties as Primus, the Primus shall appoint another member of the Covenant to temporarily assume these duties. In recognition of his service to the
Covenant, the Primus shall be allowed the first picks in books available in the Library.
All Full Members of the Council shall be allowed to participate in the Covenant Council. They will be required to give such participation unless their duties to the Covenant at the time prevent it. Any member of the covenant shall have the right and duty to convene the Council of Members for consideration of matters justly grave, and all members shall be charged with attendance and diligence in the proceedings. Should it not be possible to convene the full Council of Members, any quorum consisting of more than half of its current members is considered valid; else the discharge of the council’s duty must be delayed until such time as the full council may be convened.
The Covenant Council shall meet at least once a year, on the first day of the full moon following the first of the year. The Council meeting shall run from dusk to dawn, at which point the renewal of the Aegis of the Hearth shall take place, concluding the meeting. Additional meetings of the Council can be convened by the Primus or by agreement of a majority of the Council members for consideration of matters justly grave, and all members shall be charged with attendance and diligence in the proceedings. Should it not be possible to convene the full Council of Members, any quorum consisting of more than half of its current members is considered valid; else the discharge of the council’s duty must be delayed until such time as the full council may be convened. The Primus shall preside over the meetings of the Covenant Council.
All votes cast in Council shall be cast simultaneously by dropping a black or white marble into a basket, unless otherwise specified in this charter or unless a Council member calls for a different method of voting and the Council unanimously agrees. “Open vote” shall mean a voiced vote. The Primus shall determine the order in which the votes are cast. “Secret vote” shall mean a vote cast in writing by secret ballot. The ballots shall be read aloud by the Primus. When the Council is deadlocked on a vote, the Primus shall cast the tie-breaking vote. The Council is considered deadlocked when an issue has been put to the vote three times and the vote remains tied. All issues shall be passed by a majority vote of the members there present; excepting that the unanimous opinion of the Council of Members is required for issues involving changes to the charter; expulsion of a member; and acceptance of a new probationary member. The Covenant charter can be amended by unanimous consent at Tribunals.
Additional offices shall include the following:
Master of the Laboratories. The Master of the Laboratories shall be an Mage. He shall be responsible for maintaining the Covenant’s supply of Vis, and for ensuring that all laboratories of the Covenant are adequately stocked. The Master of Laboratories shall be elected by Council vote and shall serve until replacement by a vote of the Council, loss of membership, final Twilight, or death. The Master of the Laboratories shall receive first pick of the available laboratories and magical resources of the Covenant.
Librarian. The Librarian may be Mage or Mundane. He shall be responsible for overseeing, improving, and expanding the Libraries of the Covenant, both magical and mundane. He shall attend the meetings of the Council both in order to report on the status of the Library and to inscribe the minutes of the meeting. If the Librarian is Mortal, he shall have a voice but no vote in the Council. The Librarian shall serve until replacement by a vote of the Council, retirement if he be Mortal, loss of membership or final Twilight if he be Mage, or death.
Castellan. The Castellan may be Mage or Mundane. The Castellan shall act as treasurer of the Covenant and be responsible for ensuring that the Covenant is properly financed, stocked, and appointed, and that sufficient reserves exist to deal with emergencies. The Castellan shall attend the meetings of the Council in order to report on the status of the finances and the mundane resources of the Covenant. If the Castellan is Mortal, he shall have a voice but no vote in the Council. The Castellan shall serve until replacement by a vote of the Council, retirement if he be Mortal, loss of membership or final Twilight if he be Immortal, or death.
Captain of the Grogs. The Captain of the Grogs may be Mage or Mundane. He shall be responsible for the mundane defences of the Covenant, and for the leadership of the mundane defenders and men-at-armes. The Captain of the Grogs shall attend the meetings of the Council in order to report on the status of the defences. If he is Mortal, he shall have a voice but no vote in the Council. The Captain of the Grogs shall serve until replacement by a vote of the Council, retirement, or death.
Resources Owned by this Covenant
Resources of this covenant are held in common by the Council of Members, and it is the responsibility of this council to maintain and defend them.
This covenant lays claim to all the vis originating from undisputed and unclaimed sources discovered by members of the council; save for the first harvest of a new vis source, which belongs to the finder or finders. This covenant also lays claim to any vis gifted to the Council of Members as a whole. In all other situations, undisputed and unclaimed vis belongs to the finder or finders.
This covenant lays claim to all books obtained by members of the council while acting at the behest of the council, and all books scribed by members of the council where payment was received for this scribing from the covenant’s resources. This covenant also lays claim to any texts gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.
This council lays claim to all magical items obtained by members of the council while acting at the behest of the council; and all magical items made by members of the council where payment was received for this manufacture from the covenant’s resources. This covenant also lays claim to any magical items gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.
This council lays claim to all monies generated using the resources of the covenant. This council also lays claim to all monies obtained by members of the council while acting at the behest of the council. This covenant also lays claim to any monies gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.
This council lays claim to the buildings, defenses, chattels, and inhabitants of the covenant. This council also lays claim to any such buildings, defenses, chattels, and inhabitants gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.
Surplus resources of the covenant will be determined at the annual Winter meeting of the Council of Members. Resources necessary for the continued existence of the covenant and the protection of its members’ rights are accounted for first; this includes payment for seasons of work performed on behalf of the covenant, and a stipend of vis for the casting of the Aegis of the Hearth. Contributions to all debts owed to the covenant are decided by the Primus, and set aside. The remaining resources are deemed surplus, and shall be allocated to the settlement of requests from each member of the covenant.
Rights of the Members of this Covenant
Each and every member of this covenant and their protected guests shall be entitled to the basic rights of the covenant; to whit, full and unrestricted access to the protection and support of Quaerentes in Extremis within the boundaries of the covenant by all the rights and benefits accorded by the Code of Hermes, the benefit of a sanctum which shall remain inviolate and the supply of materials thereof, access to the library of the covenant, and victuals appropriate to the status of a magus. These basic rights shall not be abridged except by expulsion from the Council of Members.
In furtherance and additional to the basic rights, a full member of the covenant shall be entitled to the full rights of the covenant; to whit, the right to presence and a vote in the Council of Members, which he shall exercise dutifully with due prudence. Further, full and unrestricted access to the services and skills of the servants and covenfolk. Further, an equal right to all surplus provision and store necessary to conduct his studies, or the travel demanded by those studies; such rights to include (but be not limited to) vis, monies, and diverse magical and mundane resources claimed by the covenant. Where a conflict is evident between members of the council over the allotment of surplus resource, distribution is drawn by ballot; excepting that priority claims that have been advanced and agreed by the Primus are taken into consideration prior to the ballot. These rights shall not be abridged except by decision of the council under conditions of grave concern.
In furtherance and additional to the basic rights of a member of this covenant, a probationary member of the covenant is entitled the probationary rights of the covenant; to whit, a fractional share of those rights and duties offered to a full member of the covenant, such share being equal to half that offered to full members. Further, a probationary member of the covenant who remains true to his Oath of Covenant has the right to remain at the covenant for a total of seven seasons following the conferral of this status. Further, a probationary member of the covenant has the right to be considered for full membership of this covenant after serving a total of seven seasons as a probationary member. These rights shall not be abridged except by decision of the council under conditions of grave concern.
Responsibilities of the Members of this Covenant
Members of this covenant are obligated to obey the Oath of Hermes and the Peripheral Code, as demanded by the Oath of Covenant; failure on this account will not be tolerated by the Council of Members, and the covenant reserves the right to censure those members who are convicted in just Tribunal of an offense against the Order of Hermes.
The responsibility of the members of this covenant towards its lasting success is dependent on service to the covenant. The Council of Members will declare the duties that need to be performed at the regular meetings of the covenant. Such duties include (but are not limited to) the safeguarding and harvesting of the covenant’s claimed vis sources, the safeguarding and harvesting of the covenant’s income, the wellbeing and discipline of the covenant’s employees, the maintenance of the covenant’s resources, the increase of the covenant’s resources, and the maintenance of good relations with the covenant’s allies. Duties that will not entail more than a week of service at low personal risk will be assigned by the council to its members, with no more than one being assigned to each member in each season. Such assigned duties attract no recompense or advantage to the member who discharges them, but cannot be refused without reasonable extenuation.
Duties which will entail a higher investment of time or personal risk will be offered up for service by the covenant. These services will attract a remuneration which shall be commensurate with the time, risk, and potential benefit to the covenant. This remuneration is decided by the Primus, but maintains a minimum payment which shall be, for a single season of work at low risk with a low gain, two pawns of vis, of the flavor most prevalent in the stores at the time. The Primus may increase the remuneration to increase the attractiveness of a particular urgent task, for the Council of Members is not empowered to force a member to accept one of these duties unless failure to perform it would be in breach of this covenant, in which case the threat of censure may be employed. All payments will be made in the next Winter meeting of the Council. If there is more than one claimant for the service, and each claimant refuses to share the duty, then the Primus will assign the duty by ballot. If there is insufficient vis to meet the demands of the council, the Primus may withhold payment for one or more years. Covenant work may be declared such retroactively.
Each probationary member of the covenant is obligated to perform no fewer than one of the tasks under remuneration currently outlined by the Council of Members during his period of probation. For this mandatory service, no payment need be offered by the Council of Members.
Censure of the Members of this Covenant
If a member should contravene the decisions of the council, by vote or by charter, then the member may be censured or expelled by a vote of the Council of Members. Censure requires the passing of a motion at a meeting of the Council of Members. The censure of a full member revokes the rights of that status, returning him to probationary status; whereupon he assumes all the duties and rights of that status. Censure must not prejudice the application of a probationary member to the position of full member of the covenant. The censure of a probationary member shall abridge the rights of the member to reain a probationary member of the covenant.
Expulsion is enacted by a unanimous vote of the remaining Council of Members. Expulsion is the only means through which a member of the covenant shall lose his basic rights; and requires that the former member ceases to draw upon those basic rights subsequent to the first full moon after expulsion was enacted. Should a magus be cast out from the Order, it is the duty and obligation of this covenant that he shall also and without delay be expelled from this covenant.
The Seal of Office
This charter was approved by Whitburh Frithowebba, Quaesitor in good standing, in the 1221 Year of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.