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The Oath of Covenant of Severn Temple

I hereby affirm that as a member of the Order of Hermes I enter into this covenant of my own free will and accept that I shall be bound by the stipulations of the Charter of Severn Temple. In a spirit of fraternity with my sodales I shall seek to act for the benefit of this covenant and those who make their home here. I will abide by the decisions made at council, offering my wisdom and counsel while listening to the wisdom and counsel of my peers. As I practice my art I shall be mindful of the consequences of my actions and seek to avoid drawing this covenant into danger or ill repute. Where malevolent forces seek to threaten this covenant I shall give such aid as I am able in its defence and shall not shirk from my duties and responsibilities. May I prosper as this covenant prospers and may my sodales be reckoned to me as dear as my own life.

The Charter of Severn Temple

This charter, ratified by the magi of Severn Temple, sets out the principles by which the covenant shall be governed. No element of this charter may be altered save by a unanimous vote at a formal session of the council of Severn Temple at which all current members are in attendance.

Membership

Membership of the council of Severn Temple may be granted to any magus or maga in good standing within the Order of Hermes who does not hold membership of another covenant. A prospective member shall be invited to set their case before a formal session of the council of Severn Temple, at which all current members must be in attendance. Those members must affirm with a unanimous vote that the prospective magus or maga be offered a place upon the council, whereupon they shall swear the Oath of Covenant and be acknowledged as a member of the Council of Severn Temple.

Should a member of the council wish to give up membership of this covenant then they must renounce their Oath of Covenant at a formal session of the council of Severn Temple. Upon this act they shall be relieved of all duties and rights set out in this charter. A magus or maga who so departs has no claim upon any of the resources owned by the covenant.

Governance of the covenant

Important decisions in the life of the covenant shall be made by the council of Severn Temple at which all members of the covenant may attend and cast their vote. Save where otherwise specified all voting motions shall be passed by a simple majority of the votes cast by those in attendance (or by proxy where the magus’ sigil has been loaned to another member of the council for that purpose). In the event of a tied vote the Princeps (or member of the council acting in that position should they not be present) may exercise a second casting vote to break the deadlock.

The council shall elect one of their number to the position of Princeps. All members of the covenant who wish to be considered for the position shall declare their candidature at a formal session of council and must then be seconded by another member in order for their candidature to be carried forward to a vote. The magus or maga who then receives the greatest number of votes shall be elected to the position.

In the event that no member of the council receives a second nomination then lots shall be drawn between those who have put themselves forward to determine who shall receive the title. In the event that no majority is achieved during a vote then the magus or maga with the fewest votes will be excluded and a further round of voting undertaken. In the event that all candidates receive the same number of votes then lots shall be drawn between them to determine who is elected to the position.

The Princeps shall serve a term of 12 years from election whereupon a new election shall be held. There shall be no limit to the number of terms that a member of the council may serve as Princeps. Should the Princeps wish to relinquish the position they must declare this fact at a formal session of council and a new election shall immediately be held.

The Princeps is tasked with leading the council of Severn Temple and ensuring that its rulings are enacted. The specific rights and duties of the Princeps shall be:
  • Keeping order at sessions of the council, and to that end they may call a member of the council to silence should they speak out of turn or fail to respect their sodales;
  • To permit an individual who is not a member of the council to attend and speak, although not to cast a vote;
  • To rule on whether an Amicus or Familiar of a member of the council may be permitted to act as their proxy if they are unable to attend and so wish it;
  • Guiding the agenda of the meeting by determining the order of discussion, specifying the wording of any motion presented for vote and determining when that vote shall take place;
  • Annual determination of the vis and financial reserves of the covenant that shall be made available for disbursement to members of the council;
  • Nomination of a deputy;
  • Breaking tied votes through the use of a discretionary casting vote.

The Princeps shall nominate a deputy from among the members of the council and where the Princeps is unable to attend a meeting of the council then his or her rights and duties shall be passed, for that meeting alone, to that deputy. The Princeps may change their nominated deputy at any time.

Formal session of council

Upon the first day of each of the four seasons of the year a formal session of the council of Severn Temple shall be held. No rules of quoracy are required for the decisions of the council to be legitimate. At this meeting sufficient time shall be granted to discuss matters affecting the covenant and plans for the coming season may be determined including the allocation of resources. Furthermore, a number of decisions shall be reserved for a formal session of the council:
  • Determination that a member of the council’s activities shall be considered a service to the covenant;
  • The annual determination of reward
  • A change in the status of a vis source (from contested to uncontested and vice versa);
  • Permission to harvest a contested vis source in personal time;
  • Permission to remove any book of art, spell or mundane lore from the covenant library;
  • Permission to make a copy for personal use of any book of art, spell or mundane lore held within the covenant library;
  • Assignation of an office;
  • Decisions upon membership of the covenant;
  • A motion of censure against a member of the council;
  • Any motion to create a covenant dedication;
  • Any motion to change the status of a formal relationship with another covenant or organisation.

Additionally, at the formal session of council that occurs on the first day of Spring, reward for services undertaken on behalf of the covenant shall be determined and any financial stipend granted.

Informal session of council

Any member of the council may also call for an informal session of council to take place. Such a council should be called only to discuss matters of an urgent nature affecting the covenant and to reach decisions on how to respond. Again, no rules of quoracy shall apply but all magi present within the covenant, or at a known location within easy reach of the covenant, must be invited to attend for any decision arising from the council to be considered legitimate. Furthermore, the decisions of an informal session shall be reviewed at the next formal session of council.

Offices of the covenant

Save for the appointment of the Princeps and their deputy no office shall be required under this charter. However, the council may determine that they wish to appoint members to an office to more easily manage the affairs of the covenant. Such an office shall have its rights and responsibilities clearly set out in writing before a motion to implement it shall be taken.

Covenant Resources

Resources of the covenant are held in common by the council of Severn Temple and their use and distribution guided by this charter. It is the responsibility of all members of the covenant to maintain and defend the resources of the covenant.

The covenant lays claim to any currently unclaimed source of renewable vis that shall be discovered by members or servants of the covenant. The magi discovering such a source may claim the first harvest save for a single pawn of vis that shall be deposited with the tribunal for registration. A renewable vis source shall be determined to be either contested or uncontested, in accordance with the difficulty or danger attached to harvesting it, at a formal session of council. The vis harvested from either shall belong to the covenant save that a motion is passed at a formal session of council that a member or members of the council are granted permission to harvest a contested vis source for their own benefit.

The covenant lays claim to any vis that is traded for on behalf of, or gifted to, the covenant. The covenant also lays claim to any vis extracted from the magical aura as a service to the covenant. Members of the council shall be granted vis in accordance with services rendered to the covenant at the formal session of council that takes place on the first day of spring. The Princeps will determine the reserve of vis that shall be held by the covenant to allow for its future needs and the remainder shall be divided into a number of equal portions determined by the number of services to the covenant rendered over the previous year. Any remaining vis that cannot be so allocated shall be returned to the covenant reserves. For each service rendered the magus or maga will receive one portion.

The covenant lays claim to any book of art, spell or mundane lore, that is traded for, gifted to or commissioned by the covenant, including such scribed by members of the council as a service to the covenant. Members of the council shall be permitted to freely study from such works on the condition that they do not remove them from the library. Permission to remove a work from the library, or to make a copy of a work for personal use, must be granted by a successful motion at a formal session of council.

The covenant lays claim to any magical item that is traded for, gifted to or commissioned by the covenant, including such crafted by members of the council as a service to the covenant. A member of council may petition at either a formal or informal session of council for the use of an item, specifying how long they wish to hold the item for. An item so loaned must be returned at the agreed time.

The Princeps may determine that a magical item held within the covenant stores is surplus to the needs of the covenant. Such an item shall be allocated a notional vis value and may be allocated within the annual disbursement of vis.

The covenant lays claim to all monies generated using the resources of the covenant, gifted to the covenant or obtained by a member of the council as a service to the covenant. At the formal session of council that takes place on the first day of spring the Princeps will determine the reserve of monies that shall be held by the covenant to allow for its future needs and the remainder shall be divided equally between those members of council who wish to receive a stipend.

The covenant lays claim to the buildings, defences and chattels of the covenant. The covenant also lays claim to all inhabitants of the covenant save those specifically identified as the property of an individual magus or those who have been invited as guests of the covenant. A member of the council may declare any individual who has free access to their sanctum as their property. A specific animal purchased or discovered by a magus shall also be counted as their property so long as Covenant resources were not spent on the purchase. A member of the council may petition at a session of formal or informal council for the support of the covenants grogs and other servants as required.

Rights of the Members of the Council of Severn Temple

All members of the council shall be entitled to the rights of the covenant. These rights include:

  • The personal freedom to study the art of magic and use their craft within the covenant;
  • The use of a laboratory provisioned with basic equipment and personal quarters – all or part of which may be declared inviolate as a Sanctum;
  • Access to covenant resources as set out earlier in this charter;
  • The provision of sufficient victuals for good health;
  • The right to come and go as they please about and beyond the covenant;
  • The right to grant entry to the covenant to any individual they are prepared to accept responsibility, extending to permitting supernatural beings to enter the Aegis of the Hearth save those known or suspected as infernal, unless a vote of council stipulates that the individual shall not be granted entry to the covenant.

Responsibilities of the Members of the Council of Severn Temple

All members of the council shall obey the code of the Order of Hermes as set down in the Oath of Hermes and the peripheral code. Where a magus or maga is convicted of a breach by tribunal or at a meeting of their House then the council shall consider whether additional censure is appropriate.

All members of the council of Severn Temple shall share responsibility for its defence in times of need. Magi shall also consider the wellbeing of the covenant and their sodales when pursuing their art and personal ambitions, and not place either in danger through reckless disregard.

Each member of the council shall commit to undertaking a minimum of one service to the covenant in a given year, and thus ensuring the continuing success of the covenant. In circumstances where a member of the council is unable to fulfil this requirement the matter shall be raised at a formal session of council to determine whether the service may be deferred, excused or whether the maga or magus should be censured. These services shall generally be reckoned to require a season of effort save where the council votes to count a shorter action as a worthy service, such as where great personal risk is involved. Services to the wider order may also be considered as providing a service to the covenant and each shall be considered on its merit. All services must be agreed at a formal session of council for this duty to be considered as discharged and to be considered for reward as set out earlier in this charter.

Each member of the council shall also be expected to assist with simple tasks of low personal risk and short duration over the course of the year, such as the harvesting of uncontested vis sources. These shall also be agreed at council.

Censure of the Members of the Council of Severn Temple

In most cases where a member of the council’s actions fall short of the standard that might be expected, the council should seek to remedy this through discussion and guidance. In cases where harm has befallen the covenant or a member of the council, the council may pass a motion requiring that the guilty party make amends for his or her error.

However, should a member of the council seriously or repeatedly contravene the principles set out in the charter, or fail to abide by a legitimate vote of the council, then they may be censured by the passing of a motion at a formal session of council. A period of censure shall last seven years and places the censured magus or maga on notice that their place upon the council is in jeopardy if they do not mend their ways.

If a second motion of censure is passed while a magus or maga is already undergoing a period of censure then a motion of explusion may be invoked.

A motion of expulsion requires a unanimous vote of all members of the council save the one so charged and shall take place at the first formal session of council where all members are present (save the one under the censure if they choose not to attend). Should this motion be passed, the magus or maga so expelled will be deemed to have lost their membership of the council and they must immediately depart the covenant, taking only their personal possessions.

Should the motion of expulsion not be passed, the term of censure will be set at seven years from the date of the passing of the second motion of censure.

Should a member of the council be renounced from the Order of Hermes it will be deemed that they have been expelled with no vote of the council of Severn Temple necessary.

First Amendment

Severn Temple makes no claim on vis sites formerly belonging to Narwold covenant that are rediscovered by members of the Council.
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