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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1118 AD


The discussion at the first concilium of the year was somewhat subdued, the losses of winter weighing heavily on our minds. It was apparent that one of the major tasks of spring would be the recruitment of more men, and a new steward, with Antonius once again happy to agree to perform such a search as his seasons service. Little else was discussed save our activities for the period; I was to extract vis as a service, Ruaridh took 3 pawns of the Intellego vis, Lothar was developing a new spell, with Petrus and Edith studying the Imagonem and animal books respectively.

It was on the next full moon when a visit was paid to Antonius and achallenge of wizards war issued to him. The challenger was one Albertus, a tytalan well versed in Ignem and like Antonius filius to Mara. We decided to lend him the Wand of the Moon so that he could fly to Lac du Nord in order to try and persuade his Mater to call off her filius. He was gone but a few days, returning with the news that everything seemed alright but that he intended to hide in the regio at Mynydd Merddin for the duration of the challenge. While there he would try and make contact with the tribe who had been so aggressive on our previous visit.

Antonius needn't have left, as it was not long afterwards that Albertus came to the covenant with the news that he would not be pressing his challenge. Nevertheless his journey proved to be informative, though at the cost of our most precious magic item. While being used by the grogs to cast Wizards Sidestep one of them, Clovis, managed to somehow break the wand by dropping it against the rocky ground. He apparently claimed that the item 'bit' him, but Antonius feels this was just a rather feeble attempt to avoid punishment. However the mystery as to what happened to the grog Lars was solved, when he arrived with a group of the tribesmen. He told Antonius that he had been there for four years and was now well respected by the chief of the tribe. There was some discussion about our access to the site and there will be more in the future I am sure. Fortunately it does look like an agreement can be forged.

When Antonius felt it was time to leave, lacking the Wand of the Moon, he was forced to try and lead the men through the exit between the stones. This proved to be a very difficult task and an uncomfortable night was spent in a camp that quickly flooded due to prolonged rain. When they finally managed to leave it appears Clovis left to scout up ahead and has not returned since. Faced with Antonius' reports of this man it doesn't seem desirable to locate him and we shall leave him to his own life.

I am now about to travel to the faerie regio to receive tuition from Gofynwy in the matter of my new art. Antonius has kindly agreed to continue recording this journal until I return.

Scribed by Antonius

Summer


So it is my turn to tell the story of this covenant a little earlier than planned. I believe though that a break from set routine can often prove to be healthy but anyway on with the tale. The season started with a council meeting where I told of what had happened to me in the regio. Any satisfaction with the solid progress that I had been able to make with the ancient Celtic tribe was offset by the loss of the wand. It was decided by decree of council that in future grogs should not be allowed to use any magical items unless permitted to do so by council. Turold stated that he will be journeying to Gofynnwy to learn the craft of the stone smith for in all probability the rest of the year which is why it is I not he who is writing these words.

Later in the season some of our grogs out on a far patrol came across the body of a deer with it's heart cut out. The body was brought back to the covenant though that was done with the intent eating venison that night rather than because they suspected there might be anything sinister in it's death. Luckily however the cut to its chest was noticed and we were able to examine the beast. After much examination we were able to determine that it had been shot with a dart tipped with a herbal poison of some sort which caused its blood to become too thick to flow. Then its heart was cut out by what looked like a very old woman. Could this be the Deanne that the renounced magus Idris met with? If so, although she was cleared of involvement with the UnNamed House, it is possible that she may be in league with the Infernal and thus we shall keep a sharp eye out for her and any further signs of renewed activity.

The only other happening of note during the rest of summer was that Lothar reported having had a further dream about the stag and its vengeance for his inaction over the growing settlement at Clearwater. He wanted us to deal with this village and grew angry and frustrated when we pointed out that we were bound by our Oath not to interfere with the mundanes. We agreed that if a suitably discrete method of restricting the growth of the settlement could be found then we would certainly consider it seriously.

I was able to gather some news from the wider world beyond our covenant walls. It seems that there has been some fighting in Normandy, not I think full war as yet though the situation is confused and the news is still sketchy. More locally I heard that Sir Kenneth of Colford continues to try and expand and develop his holdings by building a road which runs North from to Mitcheldean. The road passes within a mile and a half of the Northernmost part of the faerie regio and surely when completed will pose a significant threat to the continued integrity of the aura there. More alarmingly still there was much talk of Sir Kenneth trying to take Lydney by force. If successful he would own land on either side of us, and it would only be a matter of time before he would seek to link the two.

Autumn

The season opened as usual with a council meeting. The main issue of debate was what to do about the situation with Sir Kenneth and the impending attack on Lydney. We decided that with the potential threat to the magical aura here, and thus the covenant, that a Lydney owned by Sir Kenneth would pose that direct action had to be taken. We debated for a long time, anxious that any course of action should not violate the strictures of the code. In the end it was decided that I should venture forth to Lydney to offer what men at arms we could spare in its defence. We would set watch from the woods about Colford for Kenneth's force setting out and then send our men down to Lydney. One of the men sent down to Lydney was to be given an arrow temporarily enchanted so as to strike true into Sir Kenneth when he came near and then Lothar would cause his horse to rear as if startled, thus throwing him. With luck such an event would at least injure him enough to force him to call off the attack. Ruaridh and Lothar would wait, concealed in the tree line overlooking the probable battlefield; ready to use their magics when the opportunity arose. Also Ruaridh might be able to set a fire in Clearwater to try and force Sir Kenneth to send some of his forces back to fight it.

So with the plans decided I journeyed down to Lydney to speak with Sir Gerald and offer him our aid. The mood there was grim, the spectre of battle hanging over the village, doubtless the atmosphere not helped by the infernal taint that still lies about the place. Sir Gerald was surprised but pleased to see me. I offered the help of eight men which was all that we could spare but would still be of significance. When asked what we wanted in return for this help I replied that we were just helping a good neighbour and all we desired in return was good will. He was clearly a little suspicious at this but accepted our offer nevertheless and invited Lucien and I to enjoy his hospitality for the night. That night as I stood looking out across the village from the quarters that we had been given I saw what seemed to be the shadow-form of a child moving across the village. Soon after the steward burst into the room telling us to close the shutters as it was dangerous to leave them open at night. When pressed he would say little else but it was clear from his demeanour that evil still walks openly at night here.

Not long after we learnt that Colford was marching on Lydney so we set our plan in motion. Sir Kenneth did not immediately attack the village as we had expected but instead set up camp outside of bow range, waiting for the right moment. Realising that his enchantment on the arrow would have failed with the setting of the sun, the next day Ruaridh flew off to Clearwater where he contrived to set a fire such that the whole village would catch. Lothar travelled to Chepstow to try and inform them of what was happening at Lydney but with his foreign accent and abrasive manner no one would listen to him. When he tried to hijack the ferry and cross the river he was, somewhat unsurprisingly, shot at by guards on the far bank. Sorely wounded he dived into the river to try and escape and were it not for Lyn-y-fan's gift he would probably have drowned.

Ruaridh was successful in his fire-raising and on seeing the column of smoke rising from across the forest Sir Kenneth sent his archers and half of his men at arms home to fight the fire. Sir Gerald seeing his chance sallied forth and a fierce fight ensued. The two knights fought each other as the battle raged about them. Sir Gerald, though older, proved to the stronger of the two and wounded Sir Kenneth sorely. Colford's forces were routed and he lost at least 7 men at arms, a heavy blow to his expansionist ambitions.

We convened a council meeting to discuss the events at Lydney. All seemed to have gone well save for Lothar's unfortunate escapade. Lothar became very irate as we talked about what had happened to him, blaming the events solely on Ruaridh, claiming somewhat bizarrely that Ruaridh had ordered him to go to Chepstow. As before he refused to accept any blame for what had happened and finally lost patience completely and challenged Ruaridh to a certamen. The contest, fought in Creo Vim did not last long as Ruaridh bested him easily, thus ending any further argument.

The rest of the season passed largely uneventfully, save for a brief visit from Maga Isabella of House Flambeau, whose earlier application to join here the council had rejected. It seems she has been accepted to the council of Blackthorn and she sought directions there, with which I was happy to assist her. I was told by Isabella that another Maga is to join Blackthorn, one Dialectica, just recently having passed her gauntlet.

Mathus of House Mercere brought news from far abroad. The King is fighting hard and enjoying no little success in Anjou and Flanders though he has lost some castles through treachery and he must fight onto maintain his continental holdings. There is a new Pope, Galasius. Closer to home it appears that rumours of devilry in Lydney have reached as far as Hereford and there may be an investigation by the Archbishop's aide unless a Rector is appointed soon. It has been announced that DuClerc is to take over Lamarck's role as the Tribunal's emissary to the church and it was restated that Magi are not to give the church any reason to overturn the Archbishop's previous decision that the Order is not the enemy of the church.

A further council meeting was called by Lothar in which he wished to raise three matters. He wished to state that he had lost a rook of animal vis and a potion of invisibility in the unfortunate incident at Chepstow. He also asked for the council to provide the vis to have his leg, which had been injured by an arrow in said incident, healed at the infirmary at Scafell. The council was happy to agree to this request and there was no censure forthcoming for the loss of resources. However it was the third and final matter which was of great concern. Magnus filius Loris of House Bjornaer has declared Wizard's War against Lothar. The Magus from Narwold covenant has claimed insult from Lothar's defection to House Merinita. The war had been sanctioned by Quaesitor Ponrius though Ruaridh believed that as a previous declaration had been made concerning the same topic it might be possible to get it annulled. Ruaridh went as far as calling together a meeting of all the Stonehenge Quaesitori but his efforts were in vain. So Lothar had his leg healed using the faerie healing wand and left for the faerie regio where he had been successful in evading the last Wizard's War declared against him.

Soon after the moon had risen Magnus entered the covenant by stealth and set about smashing Lothar's sanctum. From an exclamation of triumph heard whilst he was inside it seems probable that he was able to find an arcane connection to Lothar for he left straight away for the faerie regio. By the time the moon had risen again and the War was officially over there was no sign of either Lothar or Magnus.

Winter

As we gathered for the winter meeting there was still no sign of Lothar. Edith agreed to go into the faerie woods and search for some sign of what could have befallen Lothar when she was due to journey there to inform Turold, who was still studying with Gofynnwy, that the year had almost passed. The trackers accompanying her found tracks of a boar, Magnus' heartbeast, and a bear outside the Eversummer glade, the very heart of the regio. There had clearly been some skirmish outside before Lothar had fled into the glade, pursued by Magnus. Eanfled disappeared into the glade ahead of her but when she was finally able to gain access there was no sign of either him or Lothar. There were tracks of a boar leading out of the regio but none of a bear.

The glade was to her dismay no longer in Summer but turning swiftly through autumn into Winter. As best we can ascertain the death of a mortal in the glade, Lothar, has turned it to Winter. As the glade contains the gateway to Arcadia and whosoever controls the gate rules the regio then the entire regio will change from Seelie to Unseelie. Who knows what consequences this could have for us in the years to come? The implications of this sorry incident clearly go beyond the loss of a magus. Gofynnwy on hearing the news was deeply troubled and said that he for one will leave as will in all probability most if not all of the Seelie folk.

A few weeks later we heard officially from Mathus that Lothar had indeed been killed by Magnus. The rest of the year passed without further incident but who knows what further winters will bring now that the regio is ruled by the powers of Winter not Summer? So ends my short spell in recording the history of our covenant and I return it to Magus Turold. May he have better news than I to write here!
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