The Code of Hermes, sometimes also called the Hermetic Code, is the ancient oath of allegiance that everyone who joins the Order of Hermes must swear. Penned by Bonisagus in 787, it has stood virtually unchanged since that time up and until 2002.
While tutorship within the Order can begin even earlier, a fully Awakened mage is obliged to recite the Code in front of a Quaesitor and another member of their chosen House after mastering the Third Degree.
While the words of the Code are sacred and inviolable, beginning with Guernicus, the individual interpretations and rulings are held within the Peripheral Corrigenda. This peripheral Corrigenda is quite extensive, covering mutiple volumes that detail what constitutes a breach of the Code, how offenders are to be punished and how and if clarifictations are needed. This has grown even more extensive with the formation of the Traditions and in what relationship the Code of Hermes and the laws and protocols of the Nine Traditions stand. Sometimes, the entries even contradict each other.
House Quaesitor is considered to be the expert of the Order's legal system and receive extensive schooling about the Code and its peripheral Corrigenda. Once, breaches of the Code were summarily handled though execution, but in the recent centuries, other ways have been found.
The Code of Hermes
|“|| I swear everlasting loyalty to the Order and its members. The Order's enemies and friends are my enemies and friends, and I shall not spurn a friend nor succor an enemy.
I shall not through action or inaction endanger the Order, nor consort with devils or undead, nor anger the fae.
I shall not deprive any Order mage of magickal power nor through action or inaction attempt to bring harm to an Order mage, except in justly declared and open certamen.
I shall not spy by any means or manners upon another Order's mages private works, nor read an Order mage's mind, nor invade or observe another Order mage's sanctum, save to guard against a clear, direct, forceful and imminent threat to the safety of the Order.
If called before a Tribunal, I shall abide by its verdicts. If called to sit on a Tribunal, I shall vote wisely, respect the vote of others, and support the Tribunal's verdicts.
Upon reaching the fifth degree or higher, I shall train apprentices and instruct them in this Code. I bear the entire responsibility for my apprentices and shall duly admonish, restrain, discipline, or arrest an apprentice who endangers the Order, and shall yield same apprentice to the Order's lawfully appointed agent or Tribunal.
I solemnly swear to uphold this sacred Code of Hermes, and venture any risk or sacrifice to protect it. Should I breach it, may all mages of the Order rise as one united and hunt me down and destroy me forevermore
I solemnly swear to vigourosly and actively pursue the Enemies of Ascension and to unmake their works in this world and all others.
|— The Code of Hermes|
- , p.27
- , p.44-46