The Hermetic Wild West
The Atlantic Coast Tribunal
The Atlantic Coast Tribunal covers all the continental United States and Canada. It has become somewhat large and unwieldy, and there is an active movement by Canadian covenants to split off and form their own Tribunal, but the strife surrounding the Civil War has made such talk unpopular for the moment.
In order to effectively administrate a body so large, the Atlantic Coast Tribunal has adopted a number of customs into their Peripheral Code including the formation of lesser bodies and councils with binding legal authority.
Tribunal meetings occur once every seven years, with the most recent Tribunal meeting having taken place in the Spring of 1868. By act of Tribunal, however, annual Hermetic Caucus meetings take place in all years not holding a Tribunal, having all the formalities and with all the binding legal power of a full Tribunal, saving only that an official Tribunal gathering must ratify all decisions made in the six Caucus gatherings preceding it. Emergency Tribunals may be called in place of a Caucus, but this is typically rare, and done only in circumstances where decisions need final binding authority. The most recent Emergency Tribunal was called in the Spring of 1866 to deal with the aftermath of the Civil War.
In practice, it is rare for a Tribunal to overturn the decisions made in Caucus. This results, in effect, to having a Tribunal meeting every year.
As Hermetic Magi become more socially integrated into the modern age, certain traditional methods of dispute resolution, such as certamen and the Wizard’s War, have been unofficially and socially discouraged, mostly by the members of House Guernicus and the Magi Trianomae. The Tribunal has created the Courts of Hermetic Justice to rule on disputes with the same binding legal authority as certamen. In practice, nearly anything may be decided by one of the Hermetic Courts, each of which are presided over by a panel of three quaesitoris under the supervision of the Tribunal’s Presiding Quaesitor, who by custom resides in The High Court of Hermetic Justice in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Courts of Hermetic Justice have the power to determine guilt and punishment for all crimes, Hermetic and mundane. The Courts of Hermetic Justice are recognized by the Congress of the United States as the proper venue for the prosecution of Hermetic Crimes as well as United States law, recognizing that Hermetic Courts have a better chance of preventing magical manipulation of court proceedings.
The Courts may impose any sentence they wish, but the Wizard’s March is granted an automatic stay, subject to review by the next Caucus or Tribunal meeting.
With the rise of rapid long-distance communication and mail delivery, the Redcaps of House Mercere have engaged in a constant state of reinvention to remain relevant. They have diversified into newspapers, library custodianship, and other areas of benefit to a more socially integrated Order, often acting as ambassadors or negotiators on behalf of their Gifted (and socially disadvantaged) comrades. Hermetic notaries, process servers, editorial writers, vis bankers, and other such professions are all dominated by non-Gifted Redcaps.