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By endorsing an act of magic, the Imperial Conclave declares it to be in the interests of the Empire.


The Imperial Constitution expects that the Conclave "shall ensure the fit and proper use of magic in the service of the Empire". The Declarations of Interdiction and Sorcery are often used for this purpose, but there is an additional tool - the Declaration of Endorsement. With this Declaration the Conclave is able to formally approve of a specific act of magic that they consider to be in the service of the Empire. While it will not insulate those involved in that act from criticism, or the powers of the others houses of state, it specifically instructs the magistrates that the act is carried out in service of the Empire.

The Declaration is most often employed to endorse a ritual that the Conclave believes benefits the Empire but which will have significant side-effects that might otherwise be cause for prosecution by the magistrates. It can also be used to approve a bargain made with an eternal or similar magical being, provided the entity is not under Declaration of Enmity at the time the bargain was made.

There are significant limitations on the Declaration of Endorsement. It cannot be used to undermine the Conclave itself. It is not possible to use endorsement to declare that the use of an interdicted ritual is acceptable, nor that a specific interaction with an eternal under enmity is allowed. In both cases, the prior declarations take precedence. Most importantly of all, endorsement cannot be used to take away the rights of Imperial citizens enshrined in the Constitution.

Necessary Details

  • A Declaration endorsing a magical ritual must explicitly state the specific ritual and one or more targets for it
  • A Declaration endorsing a pact with an eternal must name the eternal and define the pact
  • The endorsed act must have taken place at the previous summit, or take place at the current summit

The Declaration should include a phrase such as "The Conclave endorses...." or "The Conclave supports...." The exact magical act to be undertaken must be named - it must be absolutely clear what the endorsement involves. For example, if the Conclave supports the use of Icy Maw Devours the Spark of Essence on Madruga to combat a dangerous situation where mana sites are becoming unstable, the ritual, and the target territory must all be named in the Declaration of Endorsement.

If the act is a pact with an eternal, then the eternal must be named and sufficient detail provided to definitively identify the pact. The safest way to do this is to be explicit about what the Empire is agreeing to provide and what the eternal will do in return. If an individual makes the pact and it includes criminal acts that are not explicit stated in the wording of the Declaration, then grounds for prosecution would exist.

Conclave should take great care to ensure they understand the consequences of an act of magic before endorsing it. If the magician raising the Declaration has lied about what actions they plan to take, (what ritual they are going to cast or the details of their pact with an eternal) then the Endorsement is not valid and will not protect anyone from prosecution. However, the magistrates cannot investigate an act of magic simply because a magician misled Conclave about the possible consequences of the endorsed action. If a magician undertook the specific action that Conclave explicitly endorsed, then they are protected from prosecution no matter what anyone claimed would happen as a result.

The required timing for an effective endorsement are strictly defined - it can only be passed in either the same season the magic is taking place, or in the season immediately following. The magistrates are not obliged to follow the dictates of a Declaration that is passed earlier or later than this.


  • If the Endorsement passes scrutiny then the magistrates will not prosecute any citizen who undertakes the act
  • Endorsements will not prevent the civil unrest which some acts of magic can provoke
  • Endorsements do not protect those involved from prosecution for religious crimes

If the Declaration of Endorsement passes, then it instructs the Magistrates not to prosecute the named act of magic. The endorsed act is considered to be a fit and proper use of magic and thus prosecution cannot be in the best interests of the Empire. Those who carry out the act are legally protected and while militia may investigate to ensure everything is in order, those involved cannot be prosecuted or sued for an endorsed act unless the Declaration is struck down by the Constitutional Court.

The Declaration does nothing to protect magicians from the censure of the Imperial Synod, criticism by the Imperial Senate, or the actions of individuals. A coven that performs a powerful curse that ruins livelihoods will not be prosecuted by the magistrates, but may end up excommunicated, or cursed by threshers, for example.

The Declaration will also do nothing to prevent or suppress any civil unrest that an act of magic may trigger. If large numbers of lives are lost as a result of a ritual or other act of magic, those affected may be very unhappy at that outcome. Such anger will not be reduced by an endorsement, it will simply redirect the ire towards the magicians of the Conclave (since they publicly approved the act).

A Declaration of Endorsement does not preclude prosecution for religious crimes. If one or more of those involved are condemned by judgement of the Synod, then a magistrate will investigate the actions to see if there are grounds for prosecution on that basis. The constitutional role of the Synod to "ensure the virtuous behaviour of the Empire" takes precedence.

If a Declaration of Endorsement is rejected by the Conclave, and the magical act takes place anyway, the Magistrates will view that refusal to accept the decision of the Conclave as a compounding factor when handing down their verdict following any ensuing investigation.


  • A Declaration of Endorsement that violates the constitution will be struck down by the Constitutional Court
  • Declarations will fail scrutiny if they needlessly and directly harm Imperial citizens or they undermine the separation of powers between the Imperial Houses
  • An Endorsement that fails scrutiny has no standing and provides no legal protection from prosecution by magistrates
  • Grandmasters may obtain advice in advance from the Chief Magistrate or the Office of the Speaker of the Senate on the wording of a Declaration of Endorsement

Because Endorsement 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. Every endorsement is examined 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 Endorsement is not compatible with the Constitution they will strike it down - at which point the Declaration is null and void.

At the latest, the Court will deliver their verdict by the start of the next summit, but where practical, they will try to render their decision as quickly as possible, to ensure that citizens are not left in any doubt on whether an Endorsement is valid.

A Declaration of Endorsement will fail scrutiny if it represents an over-reach of the powers of the Conclave. The Constitution limits the purview of the Conclave to matters of magic - in practice this is interpreted to mean pacts made with eternals and their agents as well as rituals performed and spells cast. Actions involving magical items, apothecaries potions, or that take advantage of hearth magic, are not considered to be the exclusive remit of the Conclave. That means that an endorsement primarily concerned with such matters will usually fail scrutiny. Trade with foreign nations is likewise excluded, unless the exchange primarily involves ritual magic.

Situations where an Endorsement subverts the agencies of state or thwarts the explicit powers of another house will usually fail scrutiny. For example, an endorsement that explicitly endorsed an act of magic that the Civil Service had publicly identified would be treated as a declaration of war by another nation would fail. Only the Imperial Senate has the right to declare war, so it would be illegal for the Conclave to endorse an act of magic that they knew would trigger a war, in the same way that it is illegal for an Imperial general to order their army to attack a foreign power. Any endorsement of a ritual or pacts involving counterfeiting would likewise fail as the Constitution reserves such matters for the Mint.

A Declaration of Endorsement will fail scrutiny is if it clearly violates the right to dignity, freedom, and prosperity granted to citizens under the Constitution. A ritual that the Conclave judged benefited the Empire but which caused widespread property damage would be fine - but a ritual that allowed a magician to use a ritual to steal the property of another citizen would not. The Conclave could endorse a pact with an eternal even if the consequences were so painful that lives were lost in the collateral damage, but endorsing a pact to murder a citizen and deliver their heart to Irra Harah would fail. Pacts with eternals that lead to acts of slavery in Imperial lands would also fail. The Conclave could not endorse a ritual that resulted in the death of a specific person, nor one that resulted in the deaths of a specific group of people, e.g. the Sand Fishers in Holberg, but could endorse a ritual that resulted in widespread death in Holberg.

In practice such decisions are rarely clear cut - but the essential test is on the core intent of the action. Such considerations are an essential part of the legal framework of the Empire. Imperial citizens die all the time because of orders issued by Imperial generals, but those orders are still legal and constitutional, provided the murder of citizens was not the primary purpose of the order. In situations where magic causes death or property damage, the Court will scrutinize the act to see if that was the primary intention of the magic (which would be illegal) or whether such repercussions were incidental, the regrettable consequences of an act of magic which clearly had other goals as the primary intention (which would usually be fine if endorsed by the Conclave).

What scrutiny does not determine is if an endorsed act of magic is beneficial to the Empire. That judgement is reserved for the Conclave. If the Conclave endorses an act of magic then the act cannot be treasonous, since by definition it is considered to be in the best interests of the Empire. Likewise an act of magic that may also benefit a proscribed organisation, such as the Vyig or the Hand of Dumon, is always legal if approved by the Conclave with a Declaration of Endorsement.


  • Grandmasters may obtain advice on endorsements from the Chief Magistrate, the Prefect of the Conclave, or the office of the Speaker of the Senate
  • The advice may indicate when an endorsement is unlikely to be needed

Grandmasters who are intent on submitting a Declaration of Endorsement are well advised to speak to the Chief Magistrate in advance to obtain advice on how the court may rule. Such advice can also be accessed through the office of the Prefect of the Conclave or the Speaker for the Senate. The purpose of this advice is to give players an opportunity to talk to those characters best able to help them find the best wording for their declaration and to minimise the chances that it will be amended or ruled unconstitutional after it has passed the Conclave. It is perfectly fine to request advice from the Court before the summit begins. The Court will examine any provisional Declarations of Endorsement sent to us at between events and provide the best advice available.

Advice provided by the Constitutional Court should be considered guidance and is not definitive. Scrutiny cannot be completed until after the summit is concluded, when the Court have the time to discuss a Declaration at length and consider every possible ramification. It may not be possible to give definitive advice on a declaration during the summit.

In some situations, the Chief Magistrate or the Court will advise that no Endorsement is needed. An Endorsement for an act of magic may still happen - since it demonstrates the act has the support of the Conclave, but it is legally irrelevant if the act of magic does not entail any possibility of the law being broken.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information