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Scribed by Petrus

Spring 1082 AD


I will continue to write the Vim books, Ruaridh will develop another spell, Jean will travel to the covenants of Blackthorn, Scarfell, Borri-Tor, and Solis Castle and Idris will study from some Herbam vis. Idris intends to exchange Corporem for Herbam vis with Scarfell, partially for his studies but it will also be a gesture of goodwill. Our scribe will copy up the Legend Lore books.

There is a famine in the region, caused no doubt by a combination of the Kings army and the bitter Winter. We have had to expend an extra 60d to purchase food, which has hammered out fiscal resources. We have urgently requested Oscytel to find some covenfolk who can sucessfully tend the gardens.

We have had a disturbing sighting of Radulfus. He has raized the village of Lydney and slaughtered all of the people therein. Idris, Ruaridh and many of the grogs went to investigate and saw what remained of the carnage. Idris scouted close to the village while the diabolic magus was still wrecking bloodshed. He witnessed, through his gifted sight, the spirit of some devil within the magus and observed him throwing fire and making mayhem. Ruaridh attempted to rescue a child trapped in one of the burning homes, but was forced to leave as the house collapsed around him - the child dying also. For fear that the local nobles will think that it was our doing, we had some of the men shoot welsh arrows into the bodies and cut some of the bodies with swords to make it appear as if there had been a bandit raid. The truth however continues to haunt us. We are not yet powerful enough to confront Radulfus - but we have sent word of his presence in the hope that others will assist us.

Jean's visit to the other covenants has been sucessful. He decided however not to visit Solis Castle lest they demand the Herbam vis from him as payment - which, although such an act would be lawfully questionable, was probably wise. It appears that we are the first covenant to have responded to Scarfell's plea, which should help us foster good relations with this other spring covenant. Jean describes Borri-Tor as immensly impressive and a worthy model for the development of our covenant. It appears that the Tremere there, Pontus, is concerned that Darius' politiking will destable the tribunal. Jean was aided on the road by a herb woman who healed him, she asked him to carry a message to her sister who lives nearby. He has also brought back a new grog, Gyrth, who had led Jean and his grogs to the healer. However, Gyrth is a shapechanger - a lycanthrope - and as such cannot be allowed to remain inside the covenant.

Pierre has sucessfully copied the Legend lore texts without causing them to be lost like the faerie lore books that Jean destroyed. With any luck our library will grow so that we are able to safely study the mundane texts without such destroying the knowledge therein.

Summer

I shall study the Rego books and prepare for my long journey to Durenmar next season. Ruaridh shall study some of the Imagonem vis, and Jean will study the new Vim books. Idris will perform his covenant service by investigating the Faerie regio and searching for the Auram vis. Ruaridh has offered to spend his first ten days accompanying Idris to examine the deeper regio. Pierre the scribe shall finish copying up the Legend lore books and begin on the Humanities texts.

Idris and Ruaridh had been away for nearly half of the season. Jean and I were outside preparing the mid-summer feast when the faerie that Jean met in the deeper regio appeared by our stockade. She easily breached the Aegis and urgently warned us that Idris and Ruaridh were about to bring some great harm to the fae, and that they were in great danger. Jean gathered a few men and entered the forest. It appears that Idris and Ruaridh had visited the Cave of Snakes and successfully recovered some Perdo vis. On their way out however, Idris heard a voice calling them, warning them that the way Eanfled (our faerie fox) was taking would get them lost. They made the unfortunate decision to trust these strange voices and follow them. They were led to a deeper glade (a deeper regio still?) where they found a standing stone with strange designs upon a small hillock. Idris recognised some of the designs to be of the 'Morrigan' a dark pagan goddess of death. They were accosted by a dark fae, whose black billowing robe had many of the small bright fae ensnared. She appeared angry at their presence and demanded that they deal with her in order to leave. She insisted that Idris carry a 'present' to 'Nynniaw' (apparently the fae lord of the forest). Perhaps using magics she convinced Idris to take the present; a small 'Y' shaped black twig.

Although they had spent only a short time in the glade, nearly half a season had passed before they came out. It was mid-summer's night and the night that Nynniaw came to collect offerings from the fae folk. Eanfled couldn't tell them where Nynniaw would appear, but knew of a strange stone faerie who crafts artifacts from the very rock. Idris and Ruaridh accompanied this fae to a hollow glade wherein they saw a great oak tree in the centre. After some time many other faerie folk began to appear; the tree-men or 'Bwbachod' and the bright faeries. The large faerie also arrived and requested that they show her (?) what they had brought for Nynniaw. Upon revealing the gift she shrunk back in horror and fled the glade [leaving the regio to fetch us].

However, the magic that this dark fae had cast upon Idris's mind made him determined to press on with the giving. Ruaridh waited until it was obvious that Idris would not turn back and left the glade. Nynniaw appeared, the tree transforming (?) to create a gateway through which Nynniaw came. Each of the faerie folk gave him a gift of silvery 'Y' shaped twigs, except for the stone fae, who gave him a sword he had manufactured.

Jean caught up with Idris in the glade and sent Eanfled to find him a gift to give to Nynniaw. Eanfled returned with a twiglet of silver birch which Jean gave away on his behalf. Then Idris handed the fae the dark gift. It appears that the gift was some kind of trap, as Nynniaw's presence changed from light to darkness. It appears that this dark fae had been trying to ensnare him for a long time (which for fae could be forever) and had succeeded. Fortunately, Jean had not given a gift, so Eanfled raced off to find another twig of silver birch. The faerie fox was lucky to find another, and Jean delivered the gift to Nynniaw before the lord fae disappeared. The second twig appeared to reverse the charm, and Nynniaw was returned to his former being. The magi then returned to the covenant safely. Later Idris was successful in discovering one of the faerie birds whose tail contained ten pawns of Auram.

With so much of the season wasted, Ruaridh opted to take the message to the Healer's sister and collect the Ignem vis. He returned not only with the vis but also the sister, another healer called Cyneswith. It appears that he found her being charged with witchcraft and driven from her home. We noted that it was an odd coincidence that Ruaridh should arrive just in time to save her; particularly as Cyneswith was already aware of where her sister lived (which was the message). It appears that Cyneswith is a skilled healer in her own right, and we have made her welcome here at the covenant.

Now I shall pass this chronicle over to Jean as I am leaving on the morrow for Blackthorn and then on to Durenmar. I take with me 25d for expenditure (although I hope that by travelling with my Pater I shall not have to spend much). I cannot help but feel that I have forgotten something, a natural enough feeling before such a long voyage I suppose, but I can't help feeling that it's important.

Scribed by Jean

Autumn


On the whole it seems that out first season with Petrus away has been a good one. Ruaridh and Idris both spent their time extracting vis from the aura, the former as a covenant service and the latter for his personal use. I was granted three pawns of Ignem vis to study and I believe I have learnt much.

Sylvester chose this period to visit us with news of the mine, and indeed we took the opportunity to see for ourselves how it was going. Apart from a hole in the ground and the peasants working away there was little to see, but both the forman and Sylvester seem very happy with progress and it seems as if we shall start earning within the schedule set. It is as well because after paying Sylvester what we owed him, our treasury seems somewhat depleted. Over dinner, Sylvester indicated that he was aware that we were more than we had revealed. It came as no real surprise for he seems an intelligent man and the only shock was that he named us alchemists rather than Magi. I must confess that I was tempted to correct him but in the end I decided that it would be best to bide my time. Needless to say, he was immediately looking for commercial value from his discovery (though I must say the idea of spending months turning lead to gold most certainly does not appeal), but was I mistaken when I thought I saw a great personal interest in longevity potions?

All seems well with the grogs. Oscytel is, I feel sure, happy with his new position as captain, and I believe finally beginning to delegate. I must ensure that he is made castellan soon, and that he is aware of my aid. Two of the grogs were involved in a fracas with Pierre, apparently over the woman Cyneswith. Needless to say, they were punished as a warning to the others, but perhaps an eye should be kept on Pierre. His work is very good, but the abbot was never that specific about why he did not fit in at the monastery. I hope that he is not a source of trouble. I look forward to winter and the New Year even more than twelve months ago.

Winter

Disaster! It is all I can do to keep my hand steady as I think of the past three months, particularly given my weakened state. I still find it hard to believe that we could have been so stupid. By 'we' I mean Petrus, Ruaridh and myself, for while Idris seems to be of very little use to the covenant (Petrus' assessment of his intellect seems ever more accurate), shares no blame for our mistake. How could he know that the only one of us able to cast Aegis of the Hearth is Petrus? Petrus who is across the sea with the other of his House.

What could we do? It was given to me to spend the season inventing my own version of the spell to protect the covenant in his absence, a matter which began promisingly but was later to collapse. Idris would continue his Latin studies, and Ruaridh his magical research. We would spend the rest of the season in hope, and bring the grogs inside on mid-winter's night. Idris spent some time performing pagan rites which he claimed would protect the covenant, hanging horseshoes and holly around the buildings to ward off the fae.

I have written that my efforts collapsed. The plague visited our covenant and I was one of those struck down. Even now I am not fully recovered and it seems that I was once very near death. For a great while I was in a fever and thus those events that I write of now are told as I have picked them up over the past few days.

As well a myself, several of the grogs and Cyneswith were struck down. All of them were tended in the infirmary as only one man with any knowledge of disease was able to stand. It seems for a great period of time Ruaridh worked tirelessly, casting holding spells on us all to halt the spread of the disease. Even this would have not been enough had not one of the grogs, Cadog, ridden into the mountains during the height of the winter cold to fetch Cyneswith's sister. Her powers were able to bring those who were ill back to health.

During the time when I was still unconscious, the fae hag who had attempted to take over the faerie regio through Idris decided to seek revenge for my part in foiling her plans. I have heard little detail of the night when she came, but what I do know is enough to fill me with dread at the thought of having no Aegis for at least another season. She came through Idris' petty defences with barely a pause and led our grogs a merry chase. On reaching me, she accelerated the spread of infection with her magic. Her depature was as easy as her entrance. I must sleep now and pray to the Lord God that spring brings better reward for our endeavours.
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