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Scribed by Petrus

Spring 1080 AD


Jean, Ruaridh and I attended the Stonehenge Tribunal and were accepted as members of the noble Order of Hermes. Ruaridh caused a stir when he declined to follow in the tradition of his mater, Yania, and join house Jerbiton. Fortunately, Lexor, the Primus of House Ex-Miscellanea, was willing to accept him as a member of his house, but I fear that relations with Yania may have been strained. In addition Darius appears to be displeased with Jean, although the precise reason for this disharmony eludes a rational mind. Once the Oath was sworn we were invited to reside at the old winter covenant of Severn Temple. Decisions pertaining to this covenant included: A vote to make outlaw the magus Radulfus, passed; a vote to allow Solis Castle to place a magus of their choosing in the covenant, over- turned; and a decision to allow us to change the name of the covenant if we so desired.

We met with Oscytel, the grog sergeant sent by Blackthorn covenant to prepare the site for our arrival. He seems a surly fellow, but efficient enough to lead the grogs for now. The covenant is primitive, but the laboratories are well preserved (even if they are confusing to us). We attempted entry to the laboratory at the top of the tower, which we found had been previously occupied by Radulfus the outlaw, but Jean was unwilling to enter as there was a watching ward in the ante-chamber. The library has many books on the subjects of Mentem, Corporem and Rego, but all the others are missing or stolen. The mundane section of the library is badly water damaged, and their fragility leaves us with a dilemma as to their best use.

There are some 15 grogs currently, the second sergeant is called Aelfric. Five of the grogs were original to this site, and they are an odd lot. It appears that the magical aura here, which is at the sixth magnitude, has perhaps affected them over the years. No doubt the longer we remain the more we too shall be affected, but it causes few concerns for the present. We have collected vis from two sites this season. 5 pawns of Creo were obtained at the natural spring which lies within the remains of the ancient temple. The site becomes active when the moon reaches it’s zenith on the spring equinox. Also, 5 pawns of Imagonem has been harvested from a nearby faerie regio. The regio contains a sprite or imp that fires diminuative faerie arrows, that can cause mild ill effects if they pierce the skin. A second magnitude Rego Herbam spell appeared to keep the missiles at bay.

Summer

We elected to perform a second season of covenant service, as there is so much to be done here. Ruaridh travelled in this season some twenty miles north and west into Wales to investigate a vis site. He found the location, a deep narrow cave filled with noxious gas that hampered the grogs that went with him. Ruaridh was capable enough to retrieve some 6 pawns of ignem - in the form of condensed globules of once molten rock. We have also discovered that St Briavel’s day falls upon the 2nd day of the month July, and at the dawn of this day Rego vis may be extracted from a nearby well; 4 pawns were collected.

Oscytel brought back a new grog to the covenant, an old but experienced veteran called Oswulf. Jean managed to contact a merchant called Sylvester, who resides in Gloucester. This merchant, it seems, may be willing to make some small investment in any promising mining concern. Ruaridh has managed to locate just the spot, perhaps, an area of our hill some two miles south that appears to contain a number of iron deposits. I have spent the last season extracting Vim vis from the surrounding aura. Working in such an unfamiliar laboratory is difficult, but I managed to extract some 8 pawns of Vim.

One of our patrols encounted a party of Normans within the north of the forest, one of whom was in fact the Earl, Robert. A grog was careless enough to get spotted, and his life appears to be owed to the intervention of a Saxon who accompanied them. We feel that this Saxon may be worth approaching at some stage, as he is perhaps of a more reasonable humour than many of the Normans so far encountered. On mid-summer’s night we were visited by two faeries, whose glowing and biting managed to create quite a disturbance. One of the grogs, a boy called Eanfled, has had one of his ears permanently transformed to that of a fox as a result of a bite.

Autumn

At last we can begin to reap from our investment here and begin some serious study. My Sodalibus were generous enough to spare me three of the pawns of Vim that I extracted last season. Jean will take the Rego book and Ruaridh will study Mentem. We have made up the guest room, and in good time for Sylvester’s visit. Much of the negotiations have been conducted by Jean and Ruaridh, and we have struck a potential agreement: This covenant will carry one part in four of the initial investment; which amounts to 25d per year for the first three years. Upon this we shall receive one half of all profits obtained by the mine; Sylvester estimates that the mine will bring our coffers 200d per year after the third. This arrangement brings us no small relief, our monies shall run dry at the end of 1084, and this at least will mean we can pay and feed the grogs.

Our attempt to revive the gardens within this covenant has yielded little, it appears we must seek further advice before we can successfully grow our own food. Jean travelled to Gloucester to meet with Sylvester and the noble assistant to the Reeve of Dean, Vaesic. It appears Vaesic was the very Saxon noble who rescued our grog from certain hanging last season. The deal went without difficulty, as it appears that Radulfus bought this land, and license for a small-holding, from a Saxon Ealdorman back in 1021. This deed allows us to develop the south of the hill, but alas we cannot locate the papers. Vaesic appears to accept Jean’s word on this matter, but finding the deeds would certainly be helpful. We have harvested 4 pawns of Herbam vis from the Vervain that grows near to the riuned temple.

Winter

I shall spend this season studying from the Rego book. Jean will read Corporem and Ruaridh has been granted the Mentem book for a second season. It has been suggested at council that we consider sponsoring an apprentice blacksmith, in view of their cost to hire. We have also performed the Aegis of the Hearth. It is a mere fifth magnitude, and only contains the main buiding and the tower, but it should keep those mid-summer faeries away next year. Ruaridh and Jean have explored deeper into the faerie regio and find that it extends to another level. Jean and the grog Wulfstan were menaced by a beast with green eyes, but were lead to the cave of snakes by a weird tree-man. Jean explored the cave and found the pool mentioned in the archives, and managed to locate a single pawn of Perdo vis. They were approached, though the motivation was unclear, by a tall humanoid faerie with gossimer wings (resembling a larger version of the fae that played mischief within our covenant last mid-summer). The faerie accused him of stealing, but eventually allowed him to keep the vis. Jean was asked his name, and the faerie was attracted to the word ‘filius’. It told him that she (?) was a represenative of the Tuatha de Danaan, which we believe to mean ‘Children of the Mother Godess’ in the Celtic tongue. Jean intends to discover more about these fae, perhaps risking a look at the fragile tomes that exist in our library. Council has allowed Jean to keep the pawn of Perdo he obtained from the pool.

We decided to hold a feast at mid-winter to help the morale of the grogs and provide some distraction from the bitter cold. The feast went well, but out by the stockade two of the grogs; Eanfled and Leofric, were discovered missing from their posts. Investigations by Ruaridh and myself provided few clues, save that a magical force, probably belonging to an entity of some kind, had recently passed through the area.

Some four days after mid-winter, Leofric returned, claiming that he had been abducted by faeries with the youngster Eanfled. They had been left inside the faerie regio and had attempted to find their way home, but they became separated at the Regio boundary and only Leofric returned. The older grog was at death’s door with the cold by the time he got back. We hold little hope of recovering Eanfled alive. We have ended the year with a modest saving of 68d, which must cover for our expenditure in food until Solis Castle deliver the new year’s monies. It turns out that we have two spells in our library; The Beast Remade and Supress the Wizard’s Handiwork, both at 5th magnitude. However, I have still been unable to locate the deeds for this hill, I believe that they are not in the library. By our Arts we have survived our first year and despite difficulties our covenant appears to prosper!
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