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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1095 AD


A new year, and a new member of our covenant. Varsavia arrived at the beginning of spring, bringing with her a gift of 5 pawns of Terram vis and her companion, an archer named Myrvin. He bears an enchanted bow and it is already obvious that there will be some friendly rivalry between him and our own champion bowmen. Yet she brings more than these things. She brings a sense that we are moving away from the springtime of this covenant and heading towards summer. Indeed her arrival heralded another 3 months of healthy development for Severn Temple. Varsavia, of course, immediately set about the task of establishing her laboratory, while myself, Petrus and Ruaridh all made use of the library, studying Mentem, Aquam and Rego.

To Idris fell the task of travelling first to Blywyddn to exchange vis with Orlania, and then on to Lear Valley to deliver the requested plans that our new wall may be created. Sadly Orlania had already left, but it was possible to make a one off trade with the covenant’s remaining inhabitants. His journey was otherwise uneventful though this is little surprise as it seems as if he is constantly roaming the country.

While Idris was away a delegation from the welsh came to ask his aid to rid Bryn Mawr of a Wyrm. Ruaridh and Varsavia accepted the task as it seemed likely to provide substantial reward. Taking with them a sizeable contingent of the grogs they travelled to it’s lair, where after a fierce battle, during which many of the grogs distinguished themselves, they slew the creature. One grog was lost, another severely wounded and two horses slain but the covenant gained 1000 pennies, 5 pawns of Auram vis and further reputation around the country.

The mine also yielded 200 pennies worth of profit and, even after the construction of our new guest house, our finances are looking quite healthy. The guest house itself will provide a greater level of comfort and privacy to our guests, as well as separating them from our own private areas.

During the period there was one disturbing event. One night the stars seemed to fall from the sky, and Varsavia informed us that the faerie season was changing from summer to autumn. The first sign of this has been sightings of Cors in the lower level of the regio, meaning increased care when we collect the Imagonem and if we try for the Auram. I hope this will not continue to reopen our troubles with the denizens of that place.

Summer

Save for one item, another season has passed comfortably for us all. Varsavia continues working on her lab, while Idris studied the Terram books, a most worthwhile pursuit. Again myself, Petrus and Ruaridh seemed to have the same idea, this season choosing to study from vis, in Imagonem, Vim and Creo respectively.

As I have stated one thing threatened to disrupt our harmony. We were visited by Cassitus and Dionysus as part of their investigation into the activities of the un-named house. They stayed for a fair time and it was apparent that it was primarily the activities of Idris that interested them. The old woman Deanne was brought to the covenant, and interrogated for several hours before being found innocent of all wrong doing. I myself fully understand the need for such measures in defence of the order but I must admit to finding the proceedings a little distasteful. Shortly after midsummer the two left but not before warning us that they believe there is a druid in the area, a man they very much needed to speak to. The description we received was very much like the priest of Anu that Idris knows, and after they left we were able to ascertain this was the case. Petrus immediately informed Idris that he must bring this man in for questioning, a stance that I supported for the reason I have shown above. Idris would have none of it, and argued vehemently that it was persecution. The exchange grew quite heated and it was Ruaridh who, for once, turned out to be the moderating influence. The compromise reached was that when Idris next sees the druid he will ask him to allow himself to be questioned. If not, Idris is to ask the questions himself and we will all decide what to do. Idris accepted this and I think the matter will be resolved in a manner that befits our position.

Autumn


It is hard to sit here and write what I now must, for it is as if the act of writing confers truth upon an event, and the news I am recording hangs heavier on my heart than any before. It is still early in the season, though the chill has begun, and residing within our walls for a second night is the redcap Stassius. It was he who brought the tidings that I had believed impossible, and though I do not blame the messenger, I would that he had not arrived. Corlear is gone, killed in his laboratory while working on the shield that caused him to renounce any hope of ever being Praeco. I look at those words and still find it hard to believe that they can be right though in my soul I know they are. The man who took me from a life that was intolerable , instructed me in the most beautiful of the spheres of study is dead. All that I am he made, and on this night I feel lonelier than ever before. My sodales are as kind as you could possibly wish, but I can take no comfort from them. He has left me the notes for the shield, as well as the shell that it will be created about. His faith, that I may one day be able to follow in his footsteps, is as strong in death as it was in life. I shall miss him so very much.

Autumn has now ended, and I can look back and see the grief which began this most disturbing of seasons with a clearer eye. I shall write no more of Corlear’s death save that Pendarran, his old consortis has come to the covenant and joined my service. It is the future we must look to, and it holds many fears.

At the autumn equinox a strange dreamlike state came upon me, and the covenant disappeared from view. Idris was present, as were several of the older grogs and there was the sound of chanting by the spring. As we approached we could see a great fire surrounded by hooded figures. One bore a staff with a rams head on it. He approached a headstone with grooves in front of it and there was a young soldier, clad in strange armour who was shouting in latin. The lead figure raised a stone mallet and smote the soldier with it, killing him with the one blow. Then a mist arose from the ground and I was returned to my own pallet. The next day Idris revealed he had shared my experience, and the grogs with us also. Idris believes it was a vision of the past brought on by Morrigan’s holy night. He thinks that the spirits have awoken and demand a sacrifice. It is Petrus’ interpretation that scares the most however. He believes we may have passed through a regio, far from impossible in an aura as strong as ours. He tried to locate one though without success, and intends to try again at the next equinox. If he is right, could it be that the covenant itself is dangerous to us. If so then we may have some difficult times ahead.

It remains for me to write of the other news that Stassius brought us during his stay here. Sylvania confirmed the changing of the faerie season. The truce between England and Wales looks solid, though among themselves the English seem less neighbourly. The country did however pay tithe to the pope for the first time in many years. Stassius stayed for two full days this time so it seems that we are increasing in station.

Scribed by Ruaridh

Winter


As my breath turns to ice in the freezing Winter air, I keep reminding myself that recording the history of the covenant is supposed to be a privilege rather than a chore. After all, should those who follow us ever wish to know about the formative years of the covenant, it will be my words that they turn to. With this in mind, I will try to keep this record as factual, direct and unbiased as I can. Besides, the sooner I finish the damned thing, the sooner I can retreat to the warmth of my sanctum.

The season began with a somewhat heated debate in council about whether we should increase the strength of the aegis that protects the covenant. I would have thought that the benefits of doing so would have been clear to all given the frequency with which our existing aegis had been breached in recent years. Varsavia, however, expressed the concern that a more powerful aegis might have a deleterious effect on the nearby faerie regio. Idris concurred, and argued that the fae might even regard it as some sort of challenge. I said that these arguments all seemed highly speculative, and that a better aegis was needed to protect ourselves against more than just the fae. In the end, we agreed that Petrus would obtain a copy of a seventh magnitude aegis when he travels to Durenmar next year.

Close to Midwinter, our aegis was breached once again. Idris and several of the grogs had seen what appeared to be a black, eight fingered hand stretching out through the air to touch the covenant. We reasoned that this was the work of Ruadan, the dark faerie sorceress, but we were perplexed as to why she would act against us now given that the previous few years had been peaceful and quiet. Varsavia and Eanfled discovered that the wine we had put aside for the Midwinter festival had somehow been tainted. Although we were unsure of the nature of the enchantment, it was clearly not benign, and we lost little time in throwing the wine away.

Bryghtwold attended the festival of Saint Beresford in Gloucester. I know little about this saint, but he must have been an unusual sort given that men dress as women and women as men when they honour him. Still, to each his own. In the dead of night, Bryghtwold was attacked by the serving wench he had earlier bedded. As he staggered back, bleeding from a gaping chest wound, he saw the women assume a twisted, demonic form. How he drove the creature off I do not know, though he muttered something about 'beds' and 'improvised weapons'. He was rescued by a local jew, Simon, who tended his injuries. However, the wound in his chest seemed so deep that it would probably never heal properly. With this in mind, and with Bryghtwold's agreement, I used the faerie artifact gifted to us by Llyn-y-fan on him. The wound vanished, and Bryghtwold returned to health with great speed. The only noticeable side effect was that his hair became longer and thicker, rather like the mane of a lion. The silver hair (presumably Llyn-y-fan's) that powered the device was used up by the faerie magic; perhaps it will be possible to obtain more at some point in the future.

And another year passes....
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