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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1117 AD


Looking back at Petrus' preceding words in this journal I find myself agreeing, that while there are still dark days to follow and many threats to overcome, there is a real sense of optimism that we will soon cast off the early days of Spring and as a covenant stake our place in Summer. Perhaps it is the sense that we are taking on our problems rather than responding to the vagaries of fate, or the fact that the issues that concern us seem to be of a greater magnitude than in my early days at Severn Temple, but I have a confident feeling that we come to a position where we can make a difference, both within the surronding area and perhaps the tribunal as a whole. It is a feeling that I believe my sodales also share and I look forward to what the next few years will bring.

This year began with some small commotion within the tower. It seems that the loss of his magic that has plagued Ruaridh throughout the winter came to an end on the first morning of spring. I did not personally witness the events but heard that Ruaridh's sanctum and the stairwell were covered in a thick magical mist, the result of his daily attempts to spellcast going off simultaneously. A few Perdo Auram enchantments were sufficient to deal with this phenomenon and Ruaridh was a much relieved man when we convened the first council of 1117.

Council had few matters to discuss, the most important relating to our lost Rego source and any possible solutions to this problem. It is a matter long overdue and while there were not that many suggestions made it is something that we shall all cogitate on in future months. Edith will use some herbal preparations that she possesses to turn the water bitter, perhaps leavening some of the mundanes desire to use that particular source.

Lothar brought two matters up. First it seems that he will soon wish to begin the work that will bind the fae squirrel 'Sable' to him as a familiar. He wished to trade with Petrus for vim vis, our own supplies being perilously thin with the events at the last aegis, and seemed highly frustrated when Petrus reminded him of the personal nature of that substance, rendering it unsuitable for his needs. Secondly he suggested that it may be worth the covenant purchasing a pair of horses for the purposes of breeding. With his skills and arts it seems likely that this is a matter that Lothar may competently be able to deal with, and the price of horseflesh certainly makes it seem a worthwhile pursuit. It is a matter we shall look into.

Over the course of the season I shall be continuing work on a commisioned enchantment with Petrus investigating the Black Torc, Ruaridh studying from Rego vis, Lothar studying the Vim texts, Edith the Animal tome and Antonius performing his usual service abroad.

Very little happened during the next three months; Ruaridh travelled to Blackthorn at Serenia's request, Antonius was visited by Eloria and Lothar held another of his somewhat bizarre parties by the spring on the night of the equinox. Apart from this the season passed uneventfully.

Summer

There were a number of issues raised as we joined together for council. Petrus' investigations of the Torc had revealed that as we suspected it was a device used to ward against spirits, specifically against those up to the 7th magnitude. However, he also strongly suspected that there was some as yet unrevealed enchantment contained within, and coupled with the nature of it's creator I think it unlikely that any would yet be happy to utilise this device. Ruaridh announced that he would not be travelling to the meeting of House Guernicus, instead being left behind to oversee the tribunal in the absence of the more senior Quaesitorii, a signal honour. He also informed us that Blackthorn was in need of many mundane resources and would pay well for any magi that could help them at this time. Edith immediately declared that she would travel there this seaeson to grant what help she could.

Antonius brought back some news from his journeys. It seems that Sir Kenneth of Coleford is marrying the Baron of Monmouth's daughter which will mean a strong political alliance. Furthermore he is fortifying Coleford itself, hence the quarrying that had so disturbed the waters of Clearwell Hill. Indeed he has set up a village called Clearwell which is expanding into the forest. This is of great concern to us so we discussed possible options for quite some time. We think that our best option may be to try and think of some way of discrediting him among his supporters and allies but Antonius will have to investigate further. Lothar seemed to favour a more direct response but I shall relate his concerns shortly. Antonius also informed us that from his sources in Gloucester he had heard a tale that the Abbey Gatehouse, a priory in Wooton under Edge, was the scene of some dark deeds. It had been claimed that a monk there was caught summoning demons along with some other men. It was not clear what had happened to this man, but it is another matter we shall have to investigate. Finally Antonius completed a deal with the jew Isaac trading our text on Humanities for 1,250 pennies of silver.

I wrote that Lothar had favored a more direct response to the problems of Coleford and Clearwell. The reason that he gave us was that before he discovered the berries that are our source of Muto vis, he came upon a great stag that he claimed was the 'Spirit of the Wood'. This dying creature had aided him on the condition that he protect the forest in it's place. Lothar now believes he has been cursed by this creature as the expansion of the mundanes settlements continues on the western edge. To demonstrate his concerns he travelled into the wood, accompanied by Edith, Ruaridh and Antonius. He tripped over a root almost immediately after entering, claiming that this was proof that the forest had withdrawn it's aid to him. It seems that once more his desire to make pledges he has little understanding of has led him into difficulties, though with our desires all being so similar he will have our long term aid in attempts to remove these mundanes who so encroach on the magical sites that surround us.

Antonius announced that he would be travelling again over Summer while I continued my work, Ruaridh used his own vis for study, Petrus took the Imagonem work and Lothar returned to the Vim texts.

The day after midsummer Edith called a council meeting. She had been plagued the night before by an intense dream of such a nature that she felt it important we all be informed. She had seen the covenant enveloped by storm clouds with the moon bathed in blood and the sky filled with fire. We summoned Jacques who has some knowledge of these things and as we suspected he said that it was a bad omen, specifically related to famine, disease and a battle in which innocents would lose their lives. We agreed that we should spend further funds on building up our reserves; another famine is a thing that we would be well prepared for.

The only other event of note was of a personal nature, the strange magic that I possess once more beginning to manifest itself without my control. I spoke to Petrus again and it seems clear that I shall soon have to venture into the faerie regio to seek aid from Gofynwy. For the present I have had to lay rugs across the floor of my sanctum so that I am not in a position to affect the stone floor that I work upon.

Autumn

We were joined at the start of council by the Redcap Mathus who had arrived on the previous night. There was much news and I shall here relate the most important points. The alliance between the Kings of England and France has come to an end. Indeed the Emperor of Germany felt the need to threaten France after it invaded Normandy. Due to a shortage of men in England, while the fighting has continued on the continent, the harvest has failed and prices once more are reaching great levels with supplies so scarce. He had news relating to the stories we had already heard about the Abbey Gatehouse. The monk, named Tristram, had indeed been revealed as a diabolist along with two acolytes. All had been sentenced to death but Tristram escaped and is now loose in the area. Sir Kenneth's marriage to Catherine went ahead as planned and he now has a force of 14 men. The new Earl of Gloucester is holding a tournament in Spring.

Of hermetic news there was also plenty. An attempt has been made on Primus Llandoddwyn's life in Cad Gadu itself. An un-named assasin tried to stab him with a heavily enchanted blade though he was destroyed by Praeco Garius. Ruaridh is the Quaesitor assigned to the investigation. House Guernicus' meeting was much concerned with Ex Miscellanea's motion and has decided to support it, declaring consorting as an act to aid, conspire or provide information, though maintaining ignorance is still no defence in the law. Feremir has sadly passed in to final twilight but Serenia has declared he will not be replaced in the tribunal. There has been a wizards war between two Tytalans, Turbulus of Loch Legean and Venastes of Normandy. Despite being the younger Venastes was victoriuos but has now been accused of killing three consortes and damaging magical equipment by Scarfell covenant. In return he has charged that Blodwyn attempted to shelter Turbulus in the infirmary there. Again Ruaridh has been called to investigate.

After Mathus had left there was some discussion of the news that we had heard. Ruaridh informed us that the body of the would be assasin was present within the covenant walls and that it's ghost was roaming around. Edith's cat, with the aid of Lothar's magic, was able to inform us that it is generally following Ruaridh, but has also been investigating our Sancti. We asked Ruaridh to remove the body outside the covenant which he agreed to.

Another discussion concerned Lothar's problem with the Stag's curse. Edith will spend this season trying to extend the Forest's eastern boundary, and at the same time shutting off the northern approach to the covenant. Antonius is off to Blackthorn to give them his aid, while Petrus will be continuing his studies of the Imagonem books.

I shall be travelling to see Gofynwy and the council agreed to exchange a rook of my vis for the horse created by Gofannon. I have little idea whether this will be a suitable gift to take but I will not visit empty handed. Ruaridh and Lothar are to travel to Mynydd Merddin for another investigation of that magical site.

I have been told that little occurred while I was away in the regio save for the events that occurred in Mynydd Merddin which I shall relate as best as I am able after hearing them related. Apparently all went well initially, a camp being set up in the village and some preliminary scouting not revealing anything to be concerned about. Ruaridh and Lothar decided to look for some of the vis sites recorded in the report and set off with the grogs through the awakened forest. While travelling through this dense and dark wood they were lucky enough to be able to kill one of the deer. They pushed through to the far side and making their way through the mist to the higher level of the regio harvested some of the moss that contains the Intellego vis.

It was on their return through the wood that disaster struck. The great bear that we had read about seems to be a hugely powerful creature with the ability to disappear at will. As they struggled through the forest it launched a surprise attack, scattering everyone in an instant and killing one of the sergeants who had leaped in to defend Ruaridh. In the ensuing panic it attacked another grog who was saved from instant death only due to his hound defending it's master. Sadly this man later succumbed to his wounds. Ruaridh attacked the creature with lightning while invisible and managed to drive it off, though from his words I sense that this was a battle whose outcome was never certain in his own mind. Eventually the majority of the survivors managed to regroup and find their way back to the camp. I say the majority for one man, a grog by the name of Lars, did not return and could not be found.

The tribulations of the expedition were still not over however. The ancient celtic tribe that we had assumed long dead turned out not to be so however, and while the group were resting launched an attack. Ruaridh was injured by a spear blow, and Lothar sorely wounded, though in bear form he was able to win out the day and all were able to return to the covenant, nearly the entire season having passed while they were within the regio.

Winter


I returned from the farie regio a few days ago after the council meeting, so I can only briefly relate those discussions that I have heard about from Petrus. The events at Mynydd Merddin were to the fore. It has been suggested that an attempt to parley with the celtic folk be attempted, Lothar seemingly very keen that Antonius attempt this task. There have also been reports that strange shadows have been sighted wandering between Lydney and Blacknee. Antonius also received a visit from Qaesitor Linaris relating to the charges that have been laid against his mater concerning an alleged infraction of the Primary Code in her dealings with the fae.

Lothar is to spend the season extracting Vim vis, Petrus and Ruaridh are studying from the Intellego vis, Antonius the Imagonem vis and Edith the Herbam vis. I shall be performing my service and crafting figurines for the inhabitants of the covenant, to be used with the map I created for my house meeting.

I write this in a bitterly cold library as much to take my mind off the gnawings of hunger as for any other reason. Disaster has struck us once more and even though we expected it we have been sorely hurt. Only a few weeks into the winter came a great storm. Driving rain and tumultuous winds assailed the covenant and before sufficient response had been mustered our granary's roof was torn from it's moorings and the walls battered into submission. Nearly all of our stocks, those that had been purchased at such great expense in preparation, were lost in a moment. We immediately met and decided on a drastic plan of action. Severe rationing would be put into effect. Antonius set off for Hibernia in an attempt to buy more food and I visited every covenant in the tribunal on the same task. Nearly all were affected as badly as us, some worse, and my efforts yielded little success. Solis Castle promised us some fish which has recently arrived though several weeks too late for many, and Cad Gadu loaned us a spell which, with the use of our vis stocks, we have been able to magically create food.

Shortly after I returned to the covenant a virulent plague struck us also, and it took a combination of Ediths potions and later Ruaridh's spells made permanent with vis to ensure the magi's survival. I myself suffered for a number of weeks, and while not as badly afflicted as in the past, am still feeling weary from the pestilence. I hope Antonius returns soon.

It is almost Spring and we have survived but at great cost to the covenant. Fully ten people have succumbed to illness and starvation, including Jacques and Lledoc, and our walls now have barely enough men to cover them if we work them continually. Tragedy has also befallen Blacknee, who in addition to the effects of famine were attacked by brigands while there were no grogs to protect them. Many of the women and children were killed and the miners hearts hang heavy with their loss. There will be much rebuilding to do next year but we shall be equal to the task I am sure.
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