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Scribed by Ruaridh

Spring 1124 AD

Following the successful binding of her familiar, Edith attended the meeting of Severn Temple’s council for the first time in a year. There was a striking physical change about her, for her eyes were now a strange translucent green, split with a deep black line, much like those of a cat. I wonder whether the process has wrought as great a change on her personality as it has on her appearance. After providing Edith with an overview of recent events, we moved on to the issue of what to do about the Pybaw. Edith volunteered to spend the season searching the forest for signs of its presence, and Turold agreed to venture into the faerie regio to discuss the situation with Gofynwy, the faerie smith who was currently dwelling in the realm of the King of the Mountain, Gofannon.

Several weeks into the season, Turold returned with news that his expedition had not gone well. He had apparently ventured into the Welsh mountains without properly preparing for the terrain or the elements, and the result was a near disaster. Having left without a proper Welsh speaker or guide, the party were attacked by a group of ravenous wolves in a deep forest. Two grogs were slain by the beasts, and Turold and Cyrgig were lucky to escape with their lives. Having replaced the grogs and their foodstocks, Turold and Cyrgig made a second attempt to reach the peak of the mountain where they believed the regio boundary to be. Unfortunately, Cyrgig suffered a bad fall during the ascent, breaking the bones in one of his legs. Turold was therefore forced to fly back to Severn Temple to seek my aid. I accompanied him back to the mountain, and I managed to treat Cyrgig’s injury so that he could walk again. As I bid the party farewell, I could not help but notice that the two new grogs he had drafted in to replace their fallen comrades looked less than pleased with the prospect of scaling the rest of the peak. Indeed, they returned alone a few weeks later with the news that Turold and Cyrgig had apparently disappeared, most probably through a regio boundary, leaving them shivering on the exposed mountainside without proper supplies.

Summer

Edith brought us news of her travels around the Dean. Now sharing something of her familiar’s ability to see spirits, she had noticed several such creatures in the south of the forest. She also encountered the powerful spirit that protects the faerie crown in the magical regio between the Dell and the source of our Muto vis. Further north, near Huntley Hill, she spied a large crack high up on a cliff that seemed like a possible lair for the spider. She discovered the body of a wolf with two puncture marks in its neck a few hundred paces from the cave, which lends further credence to her claim. Even if we have located the lair of the beast, we are at something of a loss when it comes to dealing with it. The cave is inaccessible to those who cannot fly, and I for one do not relish the thought of entering such a place if the occupant is at home.

Antonius also had news for us, though it concerned the events in mundane circles. There was some talk of nobles that I did not entirely follow, but I did pick up that the Knight of Red Morley rumoured to be in financial difficulties despite the funds we believe that he has received from the diabolists in Gloucester. His wife is also rumoured to have several lovers, a fact that Antonius thinks may be of use to us in the future.

Later in the season, Antonius accompanied the occultist Bledwyn into Gloucester to retrieve his belongings. While they were searching his house, Bledwyn claimed that he sensed a spirit watching him, which he surmised had been sent by the diabolists. Using whatever arcane art he possesses, he apparently took control of the spirit and bound it to his will. After the party returned to the covenant, Bledwyn bade the spirit stay just outside the aegis as he feared that the magical boundary would interfere with his control. I must say that I have grave misgivings about this fellow, and I am not convinced that it is our best interests to allow him to remain here. Antonius says that he does not appear to have lied to us, but he has yet to use any scrying spells to verify this as Bledwyn claims he has enchantments that would detect this.

At midsummer, I travelled north to Blackthorn for the meeting with Primus Guernicus and the other Quaesitori. I shall not record the details of the discussions that took place, but suffice it to say that my authority as a Quaesitor was confirmed, albeit with a warning not to become involved in political machinations again. The investigation into the attempt to assassinate Primus Llanoddwyn will now be taken over by Quaesitori better suited to pursuing the matter.

Autumn

Turold returned just before the council meeting, and he recounted the details of his journey into the heart of Gofannon’s kingdom. He successfully located Gofynwy, who confirmed that the creature dwelling in the woods was almost certainly the Pybaw., which he described as a mixture of spider and wolf. Gofynwy said that he believed that the Pybaw, having gorged on so much mortal blood, was now a most fearsome creature, and its power probably now exceeded that of the Ruadan herself. Turold then returned to the covenant with this chilling news. He also brought with him the archer Ranulf, who had been carried off by Gofannon several years earlier, but the man fled his company once back in mortal lands. Antonius and I tracked him down several weeks later, and, in return for a few hundred pennies, we retrieved the gift of three golden coins, containing a goodly quantity of Terram vis, that he had been given by Gofannon for his services.

Kaelestes made a presentation to the council about his ideas for the forthcoming magical forum. There was merit in his idea of exploring how Hermetic and non-Hermetic magic can work together for the benefit of both, but I fear that he still has some way to go to finalise his plans. The discussion degenerated at one point into an argument over why the tides of the sea go in and out. I found my self in agreement with Turold, who proposed that the weight of the sun and moon pushed the water about when they sank into the sea, as the other solutions seemed so ludicrous. Indeed, I do not which of the two other proposals (that it was the ‘God of the Sea breathing in and out’ or ‘the world being round’) was more ridiculous! The discussion ended with agreement that Kaelestes would write to members of each of the Houses in the Tribunal to request their ideas for the forum.

Edith made the suggestion that we test Bledwyn’s claim that he could detect attempts to scry on him. We duly did so, and, lo and behold, he could not. With the aid of magic, Antonius questioned him thoroughly, and we learned that he had been lying to us. He was indeed fleeing the diabolists, but it was the fact that he had been invited to join their number, as a Master no less, and refused rather than a unsuccessful business deal that had earned him their wrath. He knew much more about the diabolists than he had revealed to us, including the names of several of their members and the fact that a powerful infernal creature dwelt in the caves beneath Gloucester castle. Edith reported that the spirit he claimed to have bound outside the covenant was no longer there, and Bledwyn was forced to admit that it might have returned to its true masters in Gloucester. I could scarcely believe that, despite Bledwyn’s obvious duplicity, the council agreed to let him remain in the covenant! I argued that this was an extremely dangerous course of action and it would be far safer to end his life, but I was outvoted by those who wished to use Bledwyn’s knowledge to strike at the diabolists. I fear we may come to rue this decision in the future.

Mathus arrived a little later with news of events elsewhere in the kingdom. The activities of moneyers and a shortage of grain meant that a penny could be used to buy only a twelfth as much grain as it had in previous years. A new King had taken the throne in Scotland, and a new Pope had been elected by the cardinals. In Leicester, bloody assizes had resulted in over forty men hanged and six blinded and castrated.

The most shocking news of all concerned Llanoddwyn, who had agreed to stand down from his position as Primus of House ex Miscellanea following discussions with Primus Guernicus! I cannot for the life of my fathom why he would do this, but it must have something to do with recent political events. A new Primus will be elected at the meeting of the House next year. I am not looking forward to this at all. Elsewhere in the Order, Primus Merinita has written to Primus Bjornaer to request that the two Houses work together to resolve their differences. No response has been received yet. Before he left, we asked Mathus to deliver a message announcing that we would welcome applications from any Merinitans who wished to join the covenant.

Winter


Early in the season, I travelled to Blackthorn to speak with Serenea. I had received a letter from Primus McGraine, in which he complained that Darius of Holy Isle had suggested that he declare Wizard’s War on Jordael, his likely rival for the position of Primus. We both agreed that, although no law had been broken, Darius’ actions reflected badly on the dedicated covenant, which was supposed to remain aloof from politics. Serenea agreed to convey this information to Dionysus. I fail to see how the Tremere can complain about the Ex Miscellaneans getting involved in politics when they make suggestions like this. A Wizard’s War between two Praeci might also have terrible implications for the two Tribunals.

A few days later, I received a message from Llanoddwyn. He requested that I meet him in a regio deep in Wales. Intrigued, I travelled there, and he explained that Primus Flambeau had declared Wizard’s War on him. He had decided to step down to avoid the Primi of two Houses fighting, which might lead to a full-blown schism. Although his reasons for doing so are sensible, I still regard it as a terrible shame that, once again, the Latin Houses have got their way by removing an unpalatable Ex Miscellanean. Given the likely complications over the succession, I decided to spend the rest of the season investigating the House’s history at Cad Gadu to see if I could ascertain the best way to resolve the coming problem.

While I was away, one of the grogs was attacked by a shadowy spirit in Blackney. Antonius and Bledwyn investigated the matter, and Bledwyn managed to locate and capture the spirit. He learnt that it had bee summoned by the diabolists in Gloucester and sent to spy on us. Using the ritual Eyes of the Past, Antonius saw an image of the man who bound it here. He resembled Francis of Stent Priory, who we suspect to be one of the Masters of the Gloucester coven. Knowing from the spirit that Francis intended to Blackney return in three nights time, we sent a man to watch out for him, equipping him with a potion imbued with the Leap of Homecoming so that he could bring news to us quickly. However, the man did not return on the appointed night, so we assume that Francis did not turn up.
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