Stonehenge Tribunal


Mundane affairs

The land has only recently come out of civil war, with the victor being Henry III Plantagenet. However the King of England is only twelve years old – still a minor for a couple of years at least. As such, royal rule is currently in the hands of three men: Pandulf, a representative of the Pope, who is Henry’s feudal overlord as well as head of the church; Peter des Roches, the bishop of Winchester, richest see in the country; and Hubert de Burgh, who as justiciar is responsible for day-to-day administration.

Not surprisingly, in this state of affairs royal authority is very weak at the moment. Officials and nobles are proving reluctant to provide the regency with the money and land it needs to assert its supremacy. They squabble amongst themselves, even waging private wars, and there is little the central government can do about it. About the only thing going for the king is the fact that the Church is completely on his side (which is a pretty big deal admittedly).

Prince Llywelyn of Wales has control of a large portion of his country, refuses to accept royal judgements, and is engaged in constant low-level warfare with the Marcher barons on his borders.

The justiciar of Ireland, Geoffrey de Marsh, refuses to come to England and account for the revenues of his office. He may be trying to establish independent authority over the lordships of that isle.

King Alexander II of Scotland is pressing for a reconsideration of treaties between the two nations, and it is possible that if he is not satisfied he will try to take the three northern counties of England which were promised to him when he fought on the side of the king of France.

Speaking of France, Henry’s possessions there have already dwindled significantly from those of his father, and King Philip of France seems intent on conquering those that remain. Furthermore the same problems besetting the royal administration in England, i.e. lack of money and firm authority, are present on the continent.

Order of Hermes affairs

The tribunal’s territory encompasses basically all of what is now England and Wales.

The Domus Magna of House Ex Miscellanea is in this tribunal (Cad Gadu, in northern Wales), but it mostly keeps out of Order politics and most members of Ex Miscellanea don’t even know or care where their domus magna is.

Currently there are eight other active covenants beside Cad Gadu, of widely varying age and involvement in Order politics. The covenant and magi of Blackthorn (located in south Wales) used to dominate the tribunal, but their superiority has now diminished under rather relentless opposition from the covenant of Voluntas (founded by Norman magi, it also has a hostile relationship with Horsingas covenant of the Loch Leglean tribunal).

There have been three separate attempts by the Stonehenge Tribunal to establish a covenant on the Isle of Man in the last 350 years (it should be noted that the Isle is also claimed by Loch Leglean and Hibernian Tribunals). All have been destroyed within a year of being founded; in the last attempt, in 1160, after the covenant was levelled by a dragon, one magus was spared and allowed to return to the tribunal with the message “Don’t come back”.

Mundane authority is spreading in England and Wales, along with the increasing domestication of the land, resulting in (1) the necessity of covenants having to make some sort of accomodation with lay powers, while at the same time not breaking the Code of Hermes; and (2) the disappearance of magical resources, particularly of raw vis.

Stonehenge Tribunal

Ars Magica - Nigrasaxa Dr Rick Dagless