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Scribed by Petrus

Spring 1091 AD


The rain has turned much of the compound into mud, and walking is quite treacherous. Fortunately up here in the library I must suffer little, but pity the poor grogs who must stumble around in the mire to carry out their duties. We Magi have duties to the covenant also, but thankfully they do not require many of us to slop about in the rain like mules. Idris is making his way back from his morning visit to the spring, he does not seem to mind the mud that much. From the library window I can see Turold talking to our new blacksmith and casting an expert eye upon the fitting of the smithy. He has decided to spend his free time this year learning what he can from our smith, to improve his own skills. Our meeting this morning was quite long, but our activities for this season were decided quickly enough. I shall extract Vim Vis for myself this season and next. I must make ready for the preparation of my potion this Winter. Idris is packing up his things to go on an trek into Wales. The Welsh may be stirring in preparation for an uprising, and forewarned is forearmed. Ruaridh is attempting to invent a Muto Mentem spell, while Turold is reading up on the Perdo books.

The bulk of our meeting regarded the recent visit by Vaesic's assistant. It appears that the old reeve, Baldwin, is dead, and Vaesic is his successor. However, there is apparently a problem with our lease of the land, again. It appears that there is no record of our contract with Baldwin, and the land now belongs to the Church. We have decided that we will pay over the rest of the money for the land in a lump sum, and if the Archbishop gives us any cause for grief, that we shall declare who we are and leave it to their wisdom not to meddle in our affairs. I must confess I lose patience with these mundanes. Perhaps it was a mistake to ever pretend that we were not wizards, these men of ignorance seem constantly to press our attention. We hear that Oswald, the Archbishop, has accepted our terms. But we have had to pay 200d in tax to further the King's campaign in Normandy.

Summer

This season we have called upon Turold to begin the first of two items that he will make for the covenant as service. He is to make a tabbard which will deflect the blow from a sword or axe, an item that will protect our Castellan. Ruaridh is to attempt the invention of a Warding spell against spirits. Idris will be away from our covenant again, looking for a pagan priest to perform fertility rites over his vulgar relationship. This sort of thing never happens at Blackthorn.

It appears that the Scots have invaded from the North and rumours hold that Robert and William, having settled their differences, come with a huge fleet to repulse King Malcolm. The Welsh, meanwhile, are stirring for battle, which Idris believes will be soon. Later in the season we receive a demand from Gloucester to send one in five of our men to fortify Monmouth, or send 35d in the place of each man. It appears that the Earl has moved all of his men to counter a move from the Welsh to the North. The King loses many ships at sea, but succeeds in stalling Malcolm's advance with land levies. The Welsh take Shewsbury and march upon Hereford. In a surprise move the Welsh also storm the castles of Monmouth, Chepstow and Goodrich. We find out from Thurstan afterwards that the Welsh seemed content to besiege the castles while their main force moved upon Gloucester. At Mid-summer John, one of Ruaridh's spies still sheltering in the covenant after the assault by diabolists, is transformed into a stoat. We must do something about these fae. Lest we end up with a menagerie for an honour guard. To make matters worse several of our Welsh grogs deserted to join the uprising.

Autumn

Though we are in the middle of a war, the Welsh seem unwilling to harass us. Perhaps due to Idris's good name among the peasant folk. I shall write up some of my spells as covenant service, while Turold will complete another item, this time a sword which cracks open metal armour. Ruaridh will study three pawns of Muto vis and Idris will study the Vim book.

Much of this tale was not related to us until much later. The war continued with a feint from the Welsh. By marching north they appeared to be attempting to aid their comrades at Hereford. However, it was a trick to lure out the Norman army from Gloucester. Thinking he had found the rearguard of the Welsh levies, Earl Robert committed his army to attack, hoping to catch the Welsh unawares. However, the Welsh longbowmen were in wait just within the tree line, and as the Normans (mainly Saxon levies in fact) approached they were cut down in droves. The battle was hard fought, but the Earl was defeated. Now the Welsh turned their attention to their true aim; Gloucester itself. Not wishing for an extended siege at Gloucester, and thereby risk Hereford breaking through their siege and relieve the Earl, the Welsh press the attack. After a few days a section of the castle wall is brought down, and the troops move in. Archbishop Oswald leads a rally to break the Welsh at the walls, and he is cut down in the fray. Once the wall is down the Welsh charge on mass. The Earl is seen fighting amongst the men on horseback, and for a moment the battle is in sway as the Welsh are broken by a charge of the Earl's elite Housecarls. In that moment a longbow arrow strikes out from the Welsh battle line. The Earl is struck and he is carried back to the keep. Without their leader to rally them the Normans are driven back. Gloucester fell and many of the bodies of the vanquished Norman knights were hung upon the Castle walls as trophies. How murderous the mundanes can be. With the coming of Winter there will at least be a pause in the hostilities.

Winter

Ruaridh will study from Muto vis, while Idris furthers his experiments with Corporem. Turold has kindly agreed to aid me in the production of my Longevity potion. Next year I will return the favour and lend him a season of my aid. It was revealed to us at council something of the extent of Idris' involvement in the conflict. After prompting by Ruaridh, Idris reveals that it was in fact he that fired the fateful arrow that slew the Earl. This will cause few problems amongst the Welsh, but would certainly bring the wrath of the Normans if they catch wind of it. Let us hope that these Welsh victories will last long enough for the rumours of the involvement of a Welsh war wizard from the Dean to subside.

Stassius pushed through to reach us with news. We heard that in the Autumn, William, the King of England, had been slain in battle against the Scots. He left no heir, so his brother Duke Robert took command of the Armies and pushed the Scots back. He was later crowned at Westminster and became the new King of England and Normandy. He swears upon his coronation to make the Welsh pay in blood for their treachery and decrees that, come the beginning, of spring that each Lord who is loyal to the crown should send 500d and levies. A report from Blywyddan reveals that they too saw the Red Dragon flying shortly before the rebellion. Tyriania reminded all magi in the tribunal that they are to avoid involvement in the conflicts of the mundanes, and promises that the Quaesitor will take a dim view of any magus who openly involves themselves. Tho' the comments were undoubtedly directed mainly towards the Jerbiton, we wonder now whether any retribution will come for Idris' role in the conflict. Finally the mine has finally become dry. Throughout this year we have stockpiled as much as we can, so with luck we can survive another year or so without a fresh source of money. Other than the war it has actually been a quiet year for us. Let us hope that it remains peaceful in the future. We are yet to count the cost of Idris' actions. Last but not least; my Longevity potion was a resounding success. I have no doubt that Turold's assistance was invaluable in this; with luck I shall not have to concern myself with old age until I am considerably over a century old.
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