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The Lex Magica is the judicial code of Atlantis, preserved by the Diamond Orders. In addition to the "conventional" morality of Wisdom each mage adopts over short or long, the Lex Magica regulates the day-to-day affairs of Consilii.
There are many laws by which the Awakened govern the practice of magic. For the most part, one mage does not dare to tell another how he should perform his Art, but when magic endangers others (or the political goals of a powerful mage or cabal), the practitioner might come under the eye of the law. Centuries of jurisprudence determine the customs by which a judge or ruling body, such as a cabal's leadership or the Consilium itself, can impose punishments upon a mage for the malpractice. The only general law that all mages must conform to is the law of secrecy. It is a serious offense to speak of true magic to the unenlightened or to openly practice it before their eyes. While the latter brings its own punishment -- the lash of a Paradox -- the former also has its consequences. The Quiescence curses everything it touches, dampening the spark of the Supernal. To speak of magic to Sleepers is to risk tainting it, making it banal through their disbelief. This is an extremely subtle process, one that mages became aware of over the course of many years. Some believe that certain magical powers that can be claimed only by modern archmages were once in the reach of masters or even adepts. As the secrets of the Arcana are revealed to the unworthy, they become increasingly unattainable by even the Awakened. There are many theories about why this is so, but they are unimportant. It is simply an ironclad law by which all mages must live.
The Consilium expects each cabal to police its own membership and levy punishments for those who reveal magical secrets. Truly grand betrayals might bring the judgment of a Consilium, especially if other mages or cabals are directly harmed by the offense. Am excessively vulgar display of spellcraft might anger a rival cabal, especially if it was performed in their territory, and they might lobby the Consilium for justice. The degree of punishment depends on the offense.
Examples for offenses handled by the Lex MagicaEdit
- Casting vulgar magic witnessed by more than one Sleeper: A mild reprimand, accompanied by a form of penance, such as a night of watch duty or reorganizing the sanctum library.
- Casting vulgar magic witnessed by one or more Sleepers who then tell other Sleepers about the incident: A severe reprimand, with more extreme penance, perhaps including making good on one of the cabal's debts.
- Casting vulgar magic that leaves behind enduring evidence of magic, even if Sleeper Disbelief eventually destroys such evidence: The Consilium council might be convened (if someone files an official complaint) to decide the punishment, which might include a term of incarceration if the mage shows no remorse or regard for consequences.
- Speaking about the Mysteries within earshot of Sleepers: A mild reprimand, as above.
- Teaching uninitiated Sleepers about the Mysteries: A severe reprimand. This does not include intentionally diverting Sleepers from the truth, such as the Guardians of the Veils' fake cults and covens, used to baffle Sleeper attempts to discover the truth.
- Publishing secrets that Sleepers might read, including dissemination on the Internet: A Consilium might convene to decide the punishment. (Articles written in Atlantean do not count. It is considered a "safe" language, impossible for Sleepers to read.)