Overview

The Conclave may censor specific rituals, items, or materials that they believe represent a significant magical danger to the Empire. The Declaration of Interdiction informs the magistrates, and the citizens of the Empire, that a certain form of magic is now illegal. The magistrates ensure that everyone knows the Conclave's decision, and actively set about locating and dealing with the proscribed items. The exact effect of a Declaration of Interdiction varies depending on the kind of magic involved. Most commonly it makes a ritual illegal to perform, or a magic item illegal to own or create.

The Declaration of Alignment can indirectly act as a Declaration of Interdiction. While an eternal is declared an enemy of the Empire, it becomes illegal to perform rituals connected to that eternal, or to own magic items or substances created by that eternal or their heralds.

Over the last few years, the magistrates were sometimes instructed by the Conclave to secure items placed under interdiction rather than destroy them. The Constitutional Court has investigated this behaviour and ruled that it is not in keeping with the letter or spirit of interdiction. When something is illegal in the Empire, it is excised not stored for later use. As a consequence, the practice of storing interdicted items in the "Conclave Vaults" has been discontinued.

The Declaration of Interdiction is also used to rescind a previously placed interdiction, a practice sometimes referred to as a Declaration of License.

Without Mercy.jpg
Interdiction allows the Conclave to proscribe magical practices, rituals, items, and materials.

The Imperial Censor is empowered to raise a Declaration of Interdiction once each summit.

Necessary Details

  • The Declaration must explicitly name the specific ritual, item, material or magical practice to be interdicted

The specific ritual, item, material, or magical practice must be explicitly named in the Declaration. This is straightforward when a named ritual or magic item is involved, but may sometimes require interpretation by the magistrates, especially where a magical practice (such as the cultivation of vallorn) is involved. Where necessary, the magistrates may seek advice from an appropriate member of the Conclave to determine exactly what does, and does not, constitute a named practice if the Declaration is not specific.

Resolution

The effects of Interdiction vary depending on what is interdicted.

Ritual

  • An interdicted ritual is illegal for anyone in the Empire to cast
  • Magistrates will seek to destroy the ritual text of an interdicted ritual that is not part of Imperial Lore
  • Any ritual or arcane projection that effectively creates the same magical effect is covered by the interdiction
  • Interdiction covers all uses of a ritual - it is not possible to only interdict the use of a ritual for a specific purpose

The most common use of the Declaration of Interdiction is to proscribe the performance of ritual magic. The Declaration of Imperial lore specifies that a ritual be made available to every Imperial magician, and interdiction cannot remove a ritual from Imperial lore. When such a ritual is interdicted, it becomes illegal to perform that ritual. Ritual texts are not seized or destroyed, and it is not illegal to possess one, nor to use one to learn or teach the ritual. Only the performance is illegal.

A ritual that is not part of Imperial Lore is treated more severely. It is illegal to perform the ritual, as well as to learn or teach it. Ritual texts of that ritual will be seized and destroyed by the magistrates. It is never illegal to know a ritual, unless the magistrates determine that someone is clearly intending to perform the ritual or spread that knowledge in which case they may require the use of effects such as Infant Starts with a Blank Slate to remove their capability to do so.

Urizen Lore
Urizen lore is a relatively new concept, having been established only recently. As such it was not entirely clear whether rituals that are part of Urizen Lore should be treated as if they were part of Imperial Lore by the magistrates. Pending guidance from the Imperial Conclave on the matter, the magistrates would have to treat interdiction against rituals that are part of Urizen Lore as if they were non-Imperial in nature. This presented a problem as the ritual texts detailing those rituals are held in the Grand Library of Canterspire in Morrow, and attempts by the magistrates to enter the library and destroy any ritual texts held there would likely precipitate immediate conflict with the eternal Phaleron. The magistrates requested that the Imperial Conclave determine how they should treat rituals that are part of Urizen Lore but subject to interdiction.

During the Autumn Equinox 384YE, the Conclave provided that guidance. Henceforth, they would be treated as if they were part of Imperial lore: illegal to cast, but not to learn or teach. Ritual texts should not be seized or destroyed, whether from the Grand Library of Canterspire or elsewhere

it is important to note that it is the specific effect created by the ritual that is interdicted. Using an arcane projection to substantially duplicate a ritual that is subject to interdiction is considered the same as performing the illegal magic, as is using a ritual that has the same effect but a different name - for example, a Jarmish ritual that duplicates the effect of Clarity of the Master Strategist is covered by an interdiction of the ritual by its better-known Imperial name.

Interdiction by its nature covers all uses of a ritual. In the past the Conclave has passed specific interdictions to prevent the use of a ritual to do damage to the Imperial regio. Although these were not caught by the Constitutional Court at the time, they have published guidance that attempts to interdict the use of a ritual in specific way will not pass scrutiny by the Constitutional Court.

Magic Item or Material

  • It is illegal to own, make or bond an interdicted magic item
  • The magistrates will destroy the magical item or items where they can

When a magic item or material is interdicted, it becomes illegal to own, craft, or bond someone to that item. If the item in question is identified, it is destroyed by the magistrates as efficiently as possible. In the case of an item connected to an eternal under enmity, the magistrates may use rituals such as Hand of the Maker to determine if an item has been crafted by the entity or its known servants. It is not illegal to own an item that came from an eternal under enmity but was not explicitly made by them, unless it can be proved it somehow draws on their power (in the same way that a ritual might).

These same prohibitions apply to potions, drugs, consumable items such as vis and the like, in the event they are interdicted.

Responsibilities

  • Citizens are legally responsible for any interdicted items in their possession

It is the legal responsibility of ever Imperial citizen to promptly hand over items or ritual texts that have been interdicted so that they can be destroyed. Failure to do so can be prosecuted as with any other crime involving the knowing possession of illegal items.

License

  • The Declaration can be used to remove an existing interdiction

It is possible for the Conclave to rescind a previous Declaration of Interdiction. Commonly referred to as a Declaration of License, the Conclave instructs the magistrates that something previously interdicted is no longer proscribed. When the Declaration comes into effect, the magistrates will ensure Imperial citizens are aware, and it will no longer be illegal to perform the magic, own the magic item and so forth. However, the magistrates may still continue to investigate and prosecute crimes that took place while the item was illegal, at their discretion.

Scrutiny

  • A Declaration of Interdiction that exceeds the Constitutional remit of the Conclave will be struck down by the Constitutional Court

Because Interdiction has significant legal ramifications it is subject to the scrutiny of the Constitutional Court, just as the motions of the Imperial Senate that create new laws or legal titles are. Interdictions of a named ritual, magical item, potion or similar are usually straightforward and do not require any significant consideration by the Court. Attempts to interdict magical practices are examined more carefully by the Court to ensure that it does not violate the terms of the Imperial Constitution, either by over-reaching the powers of the Conclave or by violating the rights guaranteed to citizens. If the Court find that a Declaration of Interdiction is not compatible with the Constitution they will strike it down - at which point the Declaration is null and void.

A Declaration of Interdiction will only fail scrutiny if it exceeds the remit of the Conclave defined as matters of magic. Magical items and apothecaries potions are not considered to be the exclusive remit of the Conclave - but they are usually treated as a shared responsibility of the Senate and the Conclave. As a result the interdiction of a potion or magical item passes scrutiny. However trade in mundane items or the materials used to make potions or magical items is not covered - attempts to interdict herbs, magical materials, or mana crystals would fail, as would attempts to interdict common trade goods such as rare wines or exotic flowers (unless such items had clear magical properties).

Remorse

  • The Imperial Senate has declined to take up an opportunity to grant Conclave the power to remove a ritual from Imperial Lore

In recent times, people have queried if a ritual might be removed from Imperial lore. In theory there is no legal mechanism by which such a thing might be accomplished, but Harry Archer, an enterprising thresher from Mitwold recently proposed an option. The Imperial Conclave could interdict a ritual text - and they could give instruction for the thing they interdict to be destroyed. This declaration is usually applied to an item - or a small class of items - but Harry points out that in theory the Conclave might choose to interdict every single known copy of a ritual text - giving orders for them to be destroyed. If that were done - then the effect would be identical to if the ritual had never been added to lore.

While there is no fundamental constitutional bar to this approach, it is not consistent with the current law. While interdicted magic items or materials should be handed in promptly to the civil service this has not applied to apply to interdicted rituals that are part of Imperial Lore, which are simply illegal to perform. Magistrates advised that a change to the law (requiring the intervention of the Imperial Senate) would be required to create a new Conclave power to accomplish this. They warn that it would be expensive - they calculate it would cost 25 thrones per named ritual to seek out and destroy every copy of each of those ritual texts in the Empire. It has been impishly suggested that this power could be called a Declaration of Remorse.

Interdicted Items

The Conclave has interdicted the following as of the start of Winter Solstice 384YE. This table does not include magic that has been interdicted as a result of a Declaration of Alignment.

SubjectNatureDeclaration ByDate
Enchantments on the whole EmpireMagical PracticeCassandra i Periera i Erigo385YE Autumn
Enchanting armies to make them savage Magical PracticeAshborn Trosk385YE Autumn
Wind of Mundane Silence on the Imperial RegioMagical PracticeBacauda Netherwatch384YE Summer
The Certainty of DoubtRitual (Urizen Lore)Rafael Barossa di Tasssato384YE Summer
Almery of SilenceMagic ItemBacauda Netherwatch384YE Spring
Shackle of the UnvirtuousMagic ItemBrother Martin383YE Winter
Golden Hare Icon of Irra HarahMagic ItemIngar Ironbreaker383YE Autumn
The Celestial LibraryRitual (Imperial Lore)Skywise Gralka382YE Winter
Recipe of the Two-Bladed Knife (refers to Double-sided Blade)PotionIngar Ironbreaker382YE Autumn
Potion of Oakenshield (refers to Weakening Sun)PotionIngar Ironbreaker382YE Autumn
All items called the Hungry KeyMagic itemAbel382YE Autumn
Rivers Run RedRitual (Imperial Lore)Alcuin Shatterspire381YE Autumn
Mountain Remembers Its YouthRitual (Imperial Lore)Helios Bitter Chalice381YE Autumn
Vallorn seedsMagic Item ? ?  ?
Align the Celestial Net on the Imperial RegioMagical Practice?Historical

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information