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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1094 AD


Spring heralds a restoration of the countryside’s life after the barren months of winter and it has also brought new life to our covenant with hopefully the resolution of one of our problems and great insight into another. It was decided at the council meeting that for his service Ruaridh should make the journey into Gloucester and investigate what he could about the dark cult that is operating there. Varsavia was to go into the faerie regio again and Idris agreed to accompany her there before heading further into Wales to speak further with the Druid he is studying his beliefs with. Petrus would continue his studies with Vim vis and I from the Rego tomes.

I shall write first of the events in the faerie regio. Varsavia, Ruaridh and Idris, along with Eanfled and a few grogs travelled to the bowl where the trees had formerly beaten our expedition off. Whether it was due to the better preparation, or to the events that followed, this time entry was much easier. The guardian was present as before, but this time a truly remarkable thing happened. From the stories I have heard it was as if the creature paid homage to Idris, and was glad to meet his every request. Indeed he was allowed to pick the flower without hindrance, and this time their leaving was not challenged in any way. Eanfled then led them to Llyn-y-fan, and she gladly accepted the Amaranth. As she had promised Ruaridh, she offerered him the reward of a kiss. This Ruaridh declined, understandably with the irritations the fay have caused him, and instead Idris took the prize, which seems to have had no discernable effect. Here in the covenant the grogs that had been transformed into animals were restored to human form.

We believe that the response Idris had while in the wood may have something to do with the religion that he practices, venerating the earth as it does, but if this is so it raises further questions for the future. Nevertheless, it seems that Idris’ talents and studies may prove more useful to the covenant than any had previously imagined.

I shall now write of the second matter. Ruaridh travelled incognito to Gloucester, accompanied by Rinwald and Cair. They were following up the leads we had discovered this last year. Things did not start favourably at all. There is a man of arms, Bryghtwold, who was also investigating the strange diabolical goings on, and due to some confusion he attacked Ruaridh. Cair and Rinwald both fled the scene, and Ruaridh was lucky not to be killed on the spot. However, his facility with magic, even in the domain, was sufficient to enable him to escape the situation, though at the expense of the rumours about our covenant once more being raised. The man Bryghtwold followed these stories and came here to Severn Temple. Ruaridh was furious and I fear that a noble man may have been slain, but fortunately I was able to convince both men that they shared the same undertaking and a peace was formed between them. Cair and Rinwald were not so fortunate and Ruaridh had them both banished from the covenant. Their fear was perhaps understandable but it has to be made clear to the grogs that the safety of the magi must at all times be paramount.

Shortly afterwards Ruaridh and Brygthwold, along with a company of grogs, returned to Gloucester to follow up a report of a meeting place of the diabolists. Setting an ambush they killed a number of the cultists, and while the leader of the group there, one Edward, a merchant of Gloucester, managed to escape (with the aid of magic as we later discovered), a disciple of his was captured. This demonic creature, a strange insect like man, was interrogated by Petrus with the aid of the wand and the torc. These items disturbed it a lot, particularly the wand, to which it recoiled and suffered great agonies when subjected to its touch against its flesh. The creature was indeed a follower of the Devil, and thus one must always be cautious of lies, but the information it gave under Petrus’ somewhat enthusiastic torture seems to have the ring of truth about it.

It seems its master Edward, a very well off man, is one of 9 masters of the cult, subject to a high master, charged to recruit fells, or disciples, and carry out the dark ones work, for which they are well rewarded. Edward himself has a robe, created in hell itself, that can render the wearer invisible, or transport them instantly away to facilitate escape. The other masters were revealed to us as: Mark, a blacksmith, who had been killed by the high master for some transgression Blakewood, a minor noble at court John, the new reeves clerk Master Devon, owner of the ship "The Bristol Lark" Richard of Frampton, a merchant Francis of Stent priory, a lay clerk Henry of Lakewood, a minor noble of Bristol William of Avon, a merchant

The high master is of course Guyere, who himself has a demonic servant, Baku, and a foul black sword with several fell powers. While it is a formidable enemy we face, we now have knowledge of them, and thus can better prepare ourselves for the battle between us that must surely come.

There was a third bright spot to the season, and that is the birth of a daughter, Blodwyn, to Idris. She does not have the gift but I hope she will be of some small comfort to Idris until his son can be restored to him.

Summer


I write this not yet halfway through the summer, on the eve of our departure to Blackthorn and the tribunal. With the start of the season came the council and some small points of good news. Petrus feels sure that he is getting closer to the great breakthrough in the study of magical fields that he has been working so hard for. He himself has been at Blackthorn with his pater all season and will remain there until the end. Secondly, Varsavia announced that she had spent the rest of spring writing her knowledge of the faeries, to replace the book destroyed by the diabolist Jean. She has proved an asset to the covenant, and after a short discussion it was unanimously decided to invite her to join us. She will let us know her descision at the end of summer. I have started the process of extracting Vim vis for the season, with Idris studying the perdo tomes and Ruaridh working on another spell to add to what must already be a formidable arsenal.

In addition we gained a further 5 new grogs. We had to send 7 welshmen off as part of a force sent to war when it was rumoured King Robert of England had broken the pact and attacked Shrewsbury. They soon returned however, when it was revealed it was the action of a rogue Earl who was swiftly dealt with.

It has taken some time for the events of my first tribunal, as a fully fledged magus, to fully settle in. The biggest news is that Stonehenge Tribunal has a new Praeco. Nostrius had suffered further twilights and thus decided to step down. Indeed he was so frail that Tyrenia had to take on his duties for the tribunal. It was announced that an election would be held between four candidates; Xeros, Urien, my pater Corlear and Garius who had returned to the tribunal still angry at Darius. Corlear soon ruled himself out as he has made further developments in his attempt to create a magic shield the like of which the world has never seen before. I feel he would have made a most just Praeco, but understand the importance of this project that he has dedicated so much of his life to. With his withdrawal the fourth candidacy was taken by the qaesitor Feremir. Thus begun the most intense politicking and intrigue I have ever witnessed between magi. I wonder, given the obvious feuding and power games, how much importance should be given to the platforms that the four stood on, but for the sake of completeness I shall list the most important points.

Xeros proposed that the order served to promote our knowledge of the arts, and that it was to this end that our efforts should be directed. He spoke of building a great library and centre of learning, that Stonehenge would become a focal point for the pursuance of magic as an end in itself. His words made a great deal of sense, but there was the feeling that maybe he did not have the political talent to unite an often divided tribunal.

Feremir stood on a practical platform of Praeco as ultimate arbiter of the magi in the land, between both themselves and the mundanes. He was concerned with upholding the spirit of the code of Hermes as well as its letter. All in all, a most impressive candidate I felt.

Urien, who had earlier been confirmed Primus of house Ex Miscellanea for life, seemed to have but one argument for his election, that no one of his house had been elected before, and that as it was the largest in the tribunal it was time they did.

Garius was determined that whoever should be Praeco should be a strong leader. Like Feremir he emphasised the spirit of the code, and he too was determined that house Ex Miscellanea should be acknowledged much more than before. He also preached a strong message of enmity to the church, which left me concerned that if he should win there will be a war between us and them one day.

For four days, around the other business of the tribunal, the arguments and persuasions continued, only coming to an end with the casting of the vote. I chose to back Feremir, and Petrus obviously supported his pater Xeros. Both Ruaridh and Idris came down for Garius, who was duly elected with 16 votes against 15 for Feremir, 14 for Xeros and 13 for Urien. That evening he was enstated as Praeco and immediately made Cad Gadu domus magnus. Urien then announced that he had decided to move to Cad Gadu himself. We shall see what further descisions come.

There was also a vote to see who from the tribunal would join Urien (as primus of his house) at the Grand Tribunal in 1097. Jordael and Tyrania were victorious. Archimagi can also attend and I heard a rumour that Darius would be trying to claim Lexor’s right.

Of course the usual business of the tribunal carried on over the four days. Each covenant was granted the right to raise two points and I shall list these hereunder.

Blackthorn, while Nostrius was still Praeco, announced a tithe of vis, 10 pawns per covenant and 3 for each magus outside, to be paid within 1 year. They also issued a reminder that we must resist involvement in the affairs of the mundanes, with Cornelius of Jerbiton having aided the English and another wizard the welsh.

Cad Gadu invited Urien to join them, which as I have said he later agreed to. Garius wished to know if he could still fight Darius and was informed he could not.

Solis Castle annonced that Yania was returning and that they had two vacancies for magi. They also wished clarification on the differences between evil spirits as identified in pagan beliefs, and infernal entities. A discussion on the subject was tabled to take place later in the course of the tribunal.

Borri-Tor asked Tyrenia to rule on their allegations that Solis Castle had harvested their vis sites, with evidence provided that Gruber had mistakenly done so. Solis Castle were fined two rooks of vis. Du Clerc asked for a discussion on permitted levels of contact with the mundanes and this too was arranged for later in the course of the tribunal.

Morstow presented a vision from house Criamon speaking of robed figures and a great dragon laying waste to the order. Archimagus Cassitus, the head of the new Holy isle covenant declared this as a sign of the dangers of the un-named house. They also offered a vis exchange.

Lear Valley offered a half rook of vis for any who would undertake a seasons scribing for them. They also stated that beasts in the forest had reported strangers about, spying on the order.

Blywyddn thanked us for helping kill Myrniddorn and welcomed back Garius. They also announced two vacancies, with Orlania declaring she was looking for a new covenant. Holy Isle rejected her application.

Scarfell thanked those, including us, who had aided, with vis, their struggle against the disease which they have now been free of for a year. Blodwyn has now moved there.

We used our time to request any help that could be provided in enabling us to create a magical wall around Severn Temple. I also advertised that I was now taking commissions for magical items. I intend to start by charging half as much vis again as the item requires. This seems very little but I am desperate for any and all forms for my own work.

Holy Isle, which is to be dedicated at the Grand Tribunal, announced that the purpose of this was to allow, initially on a voluntary basis, a representative to each covenant to ascertain if there is any trace of the un-named house in the area. Nostrius then decreed that all covenants must co-operate even before the dedication. After the dedication there is likely to be a tithe of 2 pawns of vis per magus. I believe my companions were somewhat concerned about these announcements given the past troubles with Darius.

Carrion Moor, the newest covenant in the tribunal, took the opportunity to introduce themselves and hoped for good relations with all other covenants. They are a joint venture between Blackthorn and Cad Gadu, and my pater has provided a large sum to help establish them.

Finally, the non-aligned magi were allowed to raise one point. They expressed concern that Holy Isle’s investigation not be used as a means to further oppress those whose path is somewhat different to the mainstream of the order.

As I have already written, there were two discussions held on the last day of the tribunal. Ruaridh and Idris attended the one on mundane relationships. I am informed that it was little more than a long list of precedents to attempt to clarify things. It must have made an impression on Idris however, as he later went to see Tyrania and informed her of his involvement on behalf of the Welsh in the recent wars. She will visit us later in the year.

We all attended the second meeting, particularly as Idris often mentions evil spirits and it is important that the covenant is not mistakenly led into dealings which could further harm us. Yania chaired the meeting and made reference to Jean de Caen’s case and the relationship between the Morrigan and the demon that he served. Idris was questioned at length about his faith and was interrupted numerous time by Cassitus. This enraged Petrus and he mounted a most impressive defence of Idris. While he may not always share his views (indeed who in the covenant does) he is always loyal to his sodalis. Le Mark and Sylvania also spoke, and while Cassitus again railed about pagans and their relationship to the un-named house, particularly demanding that all druids be brought to his attention, Tyrania ruled that the Morrigan and similar spirits were not demonic in nature.

I see that I have written at length about this tribunal, but I do not believe that the full magnitude of events here has yet been revealed. Nevertheless I must retire now, and my last action is to record that Varsavia has agreed to join the covenant, though she is to spend some time at Cad Gadu first.

Autumn

A restful season of study with little else occurring. I took the opportunity to study from the rego books, my knowledge still being lacking for what I intend to create for the house meeting. Ruaridh studied the Auram texts with Petrus and Idris studying from Vim vis and Animal vis respectively.

Jolyon of Lear Valley has requested the plans of the covenant as he believes he can create a wall for us. Bryghtwold returned to Gloucester in search of more information about the diabolists there. However all seems quiet and those individuals we have identified all seem to have left the city for the moment. Thurstan travelled to Stone and was able to report that there are still men at the house.

The only other event I feel needs mentioning is that Tyrania visited us as promised. She asked a number of questions and investigated this journal. She will not be judging Idris’ actions herself, as it is to be a matter for the next tribunal, but she intends to suggest a fine of 30 pawns of vis. Idris did not help his cause entirely with some intemperate remarks about Cassitus, but it seems he is likely to avoid anything too serious as punishment.

Winter

The end of the year has seen a problem we hoped had come to an end resurface. At midwinter the aegis was broken as the Cors attacked once again. Our procedures for dealing with this kind of attack are much enhanced in efficiency now, but Pybba, who was stationed on the tower, was taken and then dropped, and shattered his pelvic bone on the frosty ground. He has now been retired from active service, seeming quite content to spend the majority of his time in the tavern.

During this season I enchanted the tower bell with ‘Snap of Awakening’ so that it’s ringing will summon all to alertness in the event of attack. Petrus extracted Vim for the covenant, while Idris scribed Herbam for us. Once again Ruaridh spent his time on the creation of spells. He probably knows more than the rest of us combined now. It was also decided to convert the guest room into a laboratory for Varsavia, and as we are going to have a new wall built we will extend the perimeter and build a guest house in the grounds.
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