Oathbreaking, The Five Oaths, and Replacing Officers

Becoming a galloglach involves swearing five oaths:

The First Oath is to the Réig — to hold your loyalty to the Réig above all other loyalties, to heed their command above that of any other, and to uphold this oath likewise to their successor.

The Second Oath is to the Shaper — the great god that empowered the first Réig to forge the Five Realms into one. To honour the Shaper and to oppose the Gwyllt, the pernicious beings that long to corrupt the Shaper’s children.

The Third Oath is to The Five Realms — to defend the realms against external threats and against false rulers who would threaten the unity of the realms under the Réig.

The Fourth Oath is to your fellow gallóglaigh — to strive and succeed together, or to fail and fall together; to put aside your quarrels when duty calls and fight as one.

The Fifth Oath is to yourself – to conduct yourself with honour and courage, to strive always for advancement and improvement, to make yourself the best that you can become.

When a galloglach swears these oaths they are blessed by the Shaper with increased vigour and supernaturally accelerated skill advancement. These blessings are contingent on keeping the oaths and can be revoked if a galloglach breaks them. Unlike the penalties for breaking the Oath of Peace, where the Shaper has been known to intervene directly and sometimes instantly, punishment breaking one of the Gallogaigh’s five oaths only happens once they have been declared an oathbreaker by their band or the Reig.

How to accuse someone of breaking an oath

If someone believes that a member of a galloglaigh band has broken one of their oaths, they should approach the band’s Thane providing; the name and rank of the accused, what oath(s) they are accused of breaking, and a short account of the action (or circumstances surrounding the inaction) which the accuser believes constitutes oathbreaking. 

In theory anyone can submit an accusation, but the Thane may dismiss accusations brought by civilians without further inquiry if they believe them to be spurious or malicious. In practice, barring exceptional circumstances, a Thane will hear accusations from other members of their band, officers of another band, employers of the band and the Tiarnai. 

Most accusations of oathbreaking tend to be brought by other members of the same band; people outside of the band very often take issue with the band as a whole rather than attributing a bad experience to an individual, and bandmates have a strong incentive to ensure that bandmates who are disloyal or tarnish the band’s reputation are dealt with.

OOC: If your character wishes to accuse another PC of oathbreaking you need to approach the Thane with the following information:

Info that is needed:

The name and rank of the accused.

What Oath(s) they are accused of breaking.

What action(s) they took that broke an oath.

If you’re not able to speak to the Thane before the end of the event, you may submit this information by email to info@fiveoaths.com to be addressed at the next event

The Process

The process for determining if a galloglach has broken one of their oaths is both highly formalised and very brief, having been developed to deal with highly charged disputes between siblings in arms, often in environments which demand faster decision making than an ordinary judgement between civilians.

The Thane will call their band together and either the accuser will list the allegations and supporting evidence themselves or the Thane will do so for them, but whoever states the case will have a maximum of 2 minutes to do so. 

The accused will also have a maximum of two minutes allotted to them to respond to the accusations and refute them or justify their actions. They are permitted to appoint someone to speak for them in their stead. If the band has Peacesworn members they tend to be a common choice for this role, both because of  their experience in dealing with judgements, and because galloglaigh facing that kind of accusation feel that demonstrating that a Peacesworn is willing to speak for them looks good. 

Each officer then has an opportunity to speak their mind but may speak for no more than 60s each. They may nominate a person to speak on their behalf. Abstaining from speaking is acceptable.

Interrupting any of these people as they give their statements is strictly forbidden. Each party only has one opportunity to speak. 

OOC: The trial will take place during a free period to avoid clashing with encounters. Everyone involved has the opportunity to ask someone to speak for them as we recognise that this kind of public speaking is not fun game for everyone. 

Decision Time

The decision is decided by Vote between three judges, in a similar manner to Judgements.
The Accused and the Accuser each choose a Judge, the third Judge is the Thane or the Highest ranking Galloglaigh in camp if the Thane is absent and will be unable to attend for the remainder of the mission. They debate for no more than 5 minutes before deciding guilt, innocence or abstaining from the Vote.

Punishment

If a Gallóglaigh is found to have broken their Oaths, they immediately lose several of the gifts the Shaper has blessed them with as Gallóglaigh: they extra vigour they gained for swearing their oaths, as well as the supernaturally quick advancement of their skills and talents. (OOC, their maximum vigour is reduced by 5, and they are unable to spend XP), however despite this they remain Gallóglaigh.

There may be additional punishments administered by the Thane if deemed necessary by the judges, most commonly the stripping of any Band Officer position they hold, and in some cases an Indelible Mark or Punishment Ritual.

The duration of punishment is until they accomplish a goal assigned by the Thane at which point they can be forgiven and regain their lost vigour and skill advancement.. 

If a Gallóglach is found guilty of breaking their oaths again while they are already under this punishment, they will be formally expelled from the Gallóglaigh.

How to replace an Officer

Go get the thane, tell them you want to replace an officer, as you believe you could do a better job.

This can be done in person, or in between games via an email to info@fiveoaths.com.

The Process for replacing an officer bears some similarity to the process for accusing a Gallóglaigh of Oathbreaking, however it does not necessarily rely on any suspicion of wrongdoing, and the process can only be undertaken by a member of the same band. 

If a Gallóglaigh feels that they should replace an existent officer as they could do a better job themselves, they must go to the thane and tell them: the name and rank of the Officer who is being called into question; why they believe that they would make a better officer than the current officer; any examples of the current officer having failed in their duties.

OOC: If your character wishes to replace a current officer you need to approach the Thane with the following information:

  • The name and rank of the Officer who is being called into question.
  • Why you believe that you would make a better officer than the incumbent officer.
  • Any examples of the incumbent having failed in their duty.

If you’re not able to speak to the Thane before the end of the event, you may submit this information by email to info@fiveoaths.com to be addressed at the next event

The Process

There is then a trial during a free period where the Thane gets everyone together and announces the political challenge publicly.

The Challenger then makes their case publicly, they are limited to speaking for no more than 2 minutes.

The incumbent is able to respond to the challenge for their position and to justify their capability, they may speak for no more than 2 minutes.

Each current officer then has an opportunity to speak their mind but may speak for no more than 60s each. They may nominate a person to speak on their behalf. Abstaining from speaking is acceptable.

There should be no back and forth with the speeches, this is not a debate, the parties are making their case directly to the Thane

Decision Time

The decision is decided by the Thane, the Thane takes some time to mull over the points raised and when they have come to a decision will announce it publicly. 

This is not a vote, the decision lies solely with the Thane. 

Punishment

Punishment is not the standard for an officer who is replaced, instead it is only allocated if there has been a significant shirking of duty. Being replaced as an officer is not a shame or a punishment, it is a reallocation of responsibilities.

Should an Officer lose their position to another Galloglaigh, it does not mean that officer has failed, it only means that the Thane believes another will perform those duties more ably.