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Magistrate

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"The law required that we take action! The crimes of House Torald could not go unpunished. Of course we had justification to intervene. The Lex Calixis, vol 65c is clear on the matter. Chapter 2076, subsection 776, paragraph 876, widely recognized as the 'Warptime disjunction clause' clearly excuses the apparent lack of evidence and probable cause for action against the accused House. Should this court find the aforementioned action against House Torald unlawful and thereby strip all findings from the accumulated evidence, this court would be setting a dangerous precedent, which could have disastrous repercussions for Arbites actions throughout the whole of the Calixis Sector. I trust this Honourable Court, in its infinite justice and wisdom will make the right decision. Your Lordships."

–Gevlan Hesk, Magistrate

To enforce every mandate within the Lex Imperialis is a nearly impossible task; even the truncated Lex Calixis is a daunting endeavor. These codices of law are so enormous and erudite that few individuals can claim to know all of their secrets or loopholes. Even the Judges of the Arbites must regularly confer with archive-savants and librarium cogitation engines in order to make their rulings. Working for the Enforcers or powerful Nobles during the all-too-rare trials, the legal experts, known to the people of Hive Sebelis as Magistrates, make up a group of rare legal minds. These steadfast scholars spend decades poring over the Lex Calixis, learning its every nuance and interpretation. Magistrates of each Calixian sub-sector are tasked with mastering not only the greater Lex Calixis, but also their own planet's specific laws as well. As such, the Magistrates stationed on the Calixis Sector’s central world may aid Nobles and Governors across the Sector. They are the undisputed experts of Sector law.

Simply knowing the Lex Calixis is not all that the Magistrates are tasked with by their lords. Every world in the Calixis Sector is governed by its own set of laws. As long as the Imperial tithe flows, and they do not fall into heresy, these worlds are left to their own devices. These local traditions and practices may have been enshrined into planetary law for hundreds of years. Nobles (and Inquisitors) often need this information, so that they may interact with the world in an official capacity without raising eyebrows or resorting to more aggressive tactics. Many a Magistrate, calmly at study within massive libraries have found themselves rounded up to accompany a cell of Acolytes, a Rogue Trader, or a Noble to some far off world that they have only studied in dusty tomes.

As well, it is the purview of the Magistrates to assert the legal rightness of the actions of their lords. Whether it is to give legal resistance for Arbites action before they are taken or, post hoc, to legitimize hostile movements long under way, it is up to the Magistrates to make sure that their masters are always within the edicts of the Lex Calixis. To this end it is the duty of the Magistrates to know the ways in which the Lex Calixis is lacking—to know the loopholes within the law which might be stretched to allow necessary, but otherwise illegitimate, action. This directive is particularly useful for Inquisitors whose investigations have brought them into conflict with the Adeptus Arbites. Though Inquisitors are officially above Imperial law, most Judges and Precinct Marshals bristle at the self-righteous actions of Inquisitors who skirt it. A Magistrate capable of interpreting Imperial legal texts in such a way as to avoid conflict with local Precincts is a valuable asset, one most Inquisitors would be glad to have among their cadre of Acolytes. Unfortunately, there are those who view such treatment of the law as the gravest of sins. These zealots of Imperial law see those who would use the letter of the Lex Calixis for their own ends as little more than clever criminals who deserve nothing but the most severe punishment; that they be made an example for those who would pervert the spirit of the law. Combined with the occasional distrust felt for overly scholarly members of the Arbites, Magistrates are not a popular lot in the Calixis Sector. Nevertheless, the expertise of the Magistrates is necessary for many, and they are therefore mostly tolerated by their peers. Due to this tolerant distrust and disdain, it is not uncommon for those wishing to join the ranks of the Magistrates to undergo their education on Scintilla, privately tutored by other Magistrates. Indeed, many Magistrates are foreign adepts assigned to the Calixis Sector as a post of service. This is little comfort to the more sceptical members of the Adeptus Arbites, who see the goings on of the Magistrates within the Calixis Sector as being meddled with by outsiders.

A great many Magistrates are master orators as well, not only versed in the law, but capable of swaying stalwart Judges and uncompromising Arbitrators with their legal rhetoric. This is yet another skill for which they are valued and distrusted. With a keen mind and a powerful force of personality, a Magistrate can be either a righteous agent of the Imperium or a canny scofflaw, flaunting the edicts they so rigorously claim to love. For this reason they must work hard to earn the trust of their peers, a task which can take decades, if not centuries. Despite this distrust, Magistrates are present throughout the halls of power, and by their actions Imperial criminals are brought swiftly and securely to justice, for few within the Calixis Sector, can boast so comprehensive a knowledge of Imperial law as a Magistrate. This is ultimately the only test which a Magistrate must undergo to prove their allegiance, and it is by this measure that their loyalty will be decided, not popular opinion.

Alternate Career RankEdit

When an Adept wishes to journey into the legal libraries, they normally need only make their intentions known to their superiors. Unfortunately for such Adepts in the Calixis Sector, the stigma against such scholarly pursuits makes for a difficult road in the journey to legal expertise and oration. Many of those wishing to become Magistrates find that tutelage by other Magistrates on Scintilla is the only option. Such Magistrates follow a more traditional legal course and are often viewed as soft and compromising by the Calixian Arbites, a questionable allowance in the mighty halls of justice. Those Magistrates who receive their education often see the law a hard and concrete tool with which to crush criminality and lawlessness, not as a malleable and living thing.

Required Careers: Adept

Alternate Rank: Rank 7 or higher (7,000 XP)

Requirements: Literacy Skill and either Common Lore (Administratum) or Scholastic Lore (Judgement) Skill

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