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The members of House Guernicus (although often House Quaesitor due to the House's Quaesitores) serve as the official judges and investigators of the Order of Hermes, serving as a constant reminder to the members of the Order of their pledge to uphold the code of Hermes. Many magi consider them overly demanding and intrusive, but without the house's strict adherence to the code the order would have fallen apart long ago. They are viewed by some as little better than the church's inquisition, while others view them as selfless, impartial judges who live only to serve the Order. As with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Early History[]

When the Order of Hermes was being founded, the magi Guernicus was skeptical that it would last. In fact, he predicted that it would last only three score and ten years. In his experience, there was no way that magi could work together and allow themselves to be governed by the code. Weary of Guernicus' continued skepticism, the ever political Trianoma asked him what provisions the order would have to make to survive. Guernicus stated that the fledgling Order would need a magus whose sole responsibility would be to police the other wizards, to keep the peace, and to enforce the code. Trianoma suggested that Guernicus fill this role and he accepted.

Guernicus eagerly fulfilled his duties as judge and many in the order accused him of looking for disputes in order to prove his earlier prediction that the order could not survive. Ironically, it was thanks to his insistance on regulation and his fierce challenges that the formed a solid foundation upon which the Order could grow. The formation of the Peripheral Code would give the Order a firm, practical base of rules that has lasted ever since.

As the years progressed Guernicus’ apprentices shared their parens’ responsibilities. These magi began to be known collectively as the Quaesitores. As other houses began to complain about House Guernicus' unchallenged domination of the enforcement of the Code, Guernicus agreed to allow members from other houses to assume the title of Quaesitor. Traditionally at least one member of every House must be given the Quaesitor title. However, the current Primus of House Guernicus has the final say as to who is granted the title of Quaesitor and is careful to only grant the title to magi who are objective and nonpartisan. In fact, many of these Quaesitores rule even harsher against their own houses to ensure they are not viewed as being biased.

The Duresca Scrolls[]

In the 10th century in the covenant of Duresca in the Iberian Tribunal, documents were found that appeared to be written in the hand of Guernicus himself. They appeared to be correspondence between the Founder of the house and his filii that detailed a secret, long term agenda for House Guernicus to dominate the Order. These documents became known as the Duresca scrolls and they caused quite a stir within the Order of Hermes. Eventually, they were deemed fraudulent and were destroyed, but the damage was already done in the minds of those who had already been mistrustful of the Quaesitores.

Later in the 10th century, the quaesitoris avidly pursued the execution of the diabolic followers of Tytalus. With the execution of these criminals, which included the Primus of House Tytalus, attention was turned away from the Duresca Scrolls.

The Schism War[]

By the onset of the Schism War, House Guernicus was in complete dissarray. As skirmishes between House Diedne and House Tremere grew into outright battles, the Quaesitores were gradually losing control of the situation. There were many within the Quaesitori who thought that they should just let the two houses duke it out while they watched from the sidelines, protecting the rest of the Order. Guernicus Primus Antonius could not allow the complete breakdown in the rule of law to continue, however.

At a full Council of Magvillus, including the Diedne representative, it was decided that a Grand Tribunal would be held to resolve the crisis. The Primi from all of the Houses of the Order were required to attend except those from House Diedne and House Tremere. They would be represented at the Grand Tribunal by the Quaesitores of those two Houses, and they were given a chance to state the cases for their Sodales. Antonius had proclaimed the need for there to be a peaceful resolution to the situation, but when the Tribunal votes were counted it was decided that House Diedne would be renounced by the Order of Hermes.

After the last Díedne magus was hunted down and slain, the quaesitores had regained their position of power. They now had shown to what extremes they would go to maintain order, and they pointed out that they could have ended the war earlier if they had had more authority. Ever since the Schism War nearly destroyed the entire Order, the quaesitores have enjoyed greater power than ever before.

Traditionalists vs. Transitionalists[]

As the Order contrinued to grow, there were some quaesitores that argued the Order had outgrown the original provisions of the Code and the clarifications set down by the First Tribunal. In the 12th century, a well respected Quaesitor named Simprim began to openly advocate that the Hermetic Code be revised to give quaesitores even more power to enforce the Code of Hermes.

A rift began to spread within the quaesitori between those who embraced the changes proposed by Simprim, and those who clung to Guernicus' original intent, which was to preserve the freedoms of individual magi while ensuring that peace and order were maintained. Ongoing conflict between the Traditionalists and Transitionalists continued into the dawn of the 13th century, and with the appointment of Bilera as House Prima it appears as if the Transitionalists have gained the upper hand.

Notable Magi of House Guernicus[]

  • Guernicus, the Founder of the House.
  • Fenicil, researcher into ancient magical traditions.
  • Antonius, Primus of House Guenicus during the Schism War.
  • Simprim, founder of the Traditionalist Movement.

Magi of House Guernicus[]



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Ars Magica Houses of Hermes

Bjornaer · Bonisagus · Criamon · Díedne · Flambeau · Guernicus · Jerbiton · Mercere · Merinita · Tremere · Tytalus · Verditius · Ex Miscellanea