The Tribunals of the Order of Hermes

          When the Order of Hermes was established, the founders called their collective body the Tribunal and elected to meet whenever necessary to make decisions and resolve differences. The Tribunal was assumed to be a court of last resort, called upon only rarely. However, as the Order grew explosively in its first years, administrative matters came up more and more frequently, and it was quickly decided to establish regional tribunals to handle routine matters, with the Great Tribunal meeting only thrice per century. The exact number, size, and jurisdictions of the tribunals are, of course, the source of much politicking, and tribunal boundaries are often a subject of dispute.

          The Rhine Tribunal roughly corresponds to the kingdom of the East Franks, though they also control northern Provence, Flanders, and other territories which were once part of Lotharingia. The German lands are where the Order began, and many of the oldest covenants are here, making Rhenish tribunal politics somewhat static and conservative.

          The Tribunal of the West roughly corresponds to the kingdom of the West Franks, plus southern Provence and Iberia. The West is a volatile polity in which many covenants distrust the others and wish to break away and form smaller tribunals. The most active such movement is in Iberia, where many Moorish sorcerers from Córdoba have recently joined the Order, making the peninsula one of the few places where the Order has gained members outside Christendom.

          The Roman Tribunal covers the Italian peninsula. Roman magi are noted for their distinctive urban character, unlike those of other regions who typically live in rural areas to avoid contact with mundane society. This lends Roman magi a notable sophisticated and cosmopolitan air which is admired by some and resented by others.

          The Stonehenge Tribunal is the newest tribunal in the order, covering the British Isles and Brittany. The tribunal is controlled almost completely by House Diedne, even though they compose only a third of the membership and are geographically limited to Ireland, Wales, and Caledonia. However, they invariably vote as a block, while the other houses, who dominate England and Brittany, remain divided among themselves.

          The Tribunal of Thebes was one of the first two tribunals created and has remained intact since. It covers the territory of the Byzantine Empire plus the very few Hermetic magi living among the Slavs and Arabs. Possibly because this regions contains the lands where the ancient Hermetic traditions were first developed centuries ago, the majority of the magi in the east have yet to join the Order of Hermes, remaining fragmented in numerous secret sects and societies. Many of these groups are deceptively powerful, and the local Hermetics must tread warily in their attempts to bring other magi into the Hermetic fold.


More Information on the Magical World of A.D. 875:
History of the Order
Hermetic Houses
Hermetic Tribunals
Hermetic Philosophy
Culture and the Oath
Magic Outside the Order
The Order in Caledonia

Return to the Index of Background Files

Caledonia: A Light in the North