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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1127 AD


Once more it falls to me to record the history of Severn Temple within this journal, and whilst I shall refrain from a lengthy preamble to the events that have befallen us this season I must record the mood that overcame me as I entered the first council since the death of my sodalis Ruaridh. I was oft infuriated with him as a man, his single mindedness and frequent desire to act without reference to those who could perhaps have given him aid and advice often proving exasperating, but the covenant feels somehow emptier without him. Perhaps it is because he was the last of the magi that refounded Severn Temple; it feels like the passing of a chapter in our history. He will be sorely missed for the strength he gave us, but perhaps more so for the continuity he represented and for the moments when his innate free spirit raised the hopes of us all.I believe that I was not the only one of the magi of this place who felt such emotion for it seemed a strangely subdued council, none of us wishing to mention the name of our fallen comrade.

Antonius made first report, informing us that whilst he had been sharpening his eyes by the playing of some game with the grogs, he had chanced to discover the buried foundations of what may be the original temple by the eastern gate. He had also detected some traces of gold in this place and we discussed the possibility of excavating the area. It was noted that it was in this location that the cursed coin that caused so much trouble in the Autumn of 1111AD was found and so it was decided that if any dig is to be made it shall be performed under the supervision of a magus.

He then gave us some further news of the mundanes. It seems that Richard, the new Baron of Chepstow, is greatly flattered by gifts. We discussed what might be appropriate for us to give this noble and struck upon a fine hunting horn, for Antonius further told us that Richard was a keen pursuer of that sport.

The final matter of discussion for the council concerned the boy Meredith. With the death of Ruaridh it was decided that it would be best for the moment if he resided with myself and a decision about his position would be made in the future when he is older. I am sure that he will one day prove a valuable member of the order and I shall give him some instruction in the duties and responsibilities that will one day be his.

Of our pursuits for the season, I shall be completing the item for my house meeting, Edith (who continues to remain in a black mood since the death of Pywackit) will study from the Perdo texts, Caelestis will be moving into the laboratory that belonged to Ruaridh and Antonius shall ride abroad on behalf of the covenant.

The season passed relatively uneventfully with one major event that must be noted. Antonius returned midway through his travels and called for a council. It seems that Kenneth of Coleford once more seeks to wage war against Gerald of Lydney, taking advantage of the fact that Chepstow is but newly settled in the region and may not offer full support to his knight. Furthermore the Baron of Monmouth, Coleford's lord, has curried favour with Chepstow by gifting him a most fine hunting horse. As Lydney is perhaps our strongest asset amongst the mundanes we were resolved to aid him, but we feared that if we sent men to battle on his behalf it may lead us into great political trouble should our support be identified. After much discussion a plan was formed. A hunt was being held out of Coleford and Chepstow had been invited. We decided to lame his new horse and by using magic seek to lay the blame squarely at Kenneth of Coleford's door. Antonius started several rumours in the local region to the effect that Coleford was jealous of the gift that Monmouth had bestowed upon Chepstow, and when these were firmly established took a post as a kitchen hand to assist in preparations for the hunt. At the appointed time he entered the stables in the guise of Coleford. It seems that there was some mishap while he was attempting to lame the horse and in the ensuing commotion one of the guards was struck by the creature and slain. Nevertheless Antonius made good his escape and blame fell where we had intended, Chepstow threatening death should Coleford cross him again, and Monmouth returning immediately to his own court, no doubt embarrassed by his underlings actions.

Antonius went on in the season to meet Gerald of Lydney's nephew and heir, a young man by the name of Martin. It seems that this knight is clever and strong minded, and Antonius sought to gain some measure of future support from him by asking him to present to Chepstow the horn that we had enquired for quite a princely sum.

Of other events during the spring, Petrus once more visited the covenant and made request that he be allowed to reside here until the summer of 1129, using Severn temple as a base to continue his political activities across the tribunal. We were glad to agree to this and he generously offered to grant one seasons service in each year as a token of thanks for our hospitality (and I think also in fondness for his own time here). He was allocated the spare laboratory that Caelestis has recently vacated.

Shortly before the end of the season I departed for Verdi, although I took the opportunity to show council the item that I had created before I left. It is a bird, crafted entirely from stone that when an arcane connection to an individual is placed within it's beak, it will fly to that person within as great a distance as four score by ten miles, carrying an attached message if so desired. It utilises several techniques of which I am quite proud and I believe my sodales were impressed with both the appearance and effect of the item. I hope that it proves as popular within my house for it has been a long four years in the preparation.

Summer

I write this early in Autumn as I have only just returned from my travels across the continent. I have spoken at some length with my sodales about the events that occurred whilst I was away and I believe I have sufficient understanding that I cam impart a fair accounting of them for this record.

Over the course of the season Edith, having exhausted the limits of our texts, utilised 3 pawns of Perdo vis to extend her knowledge of that art. Caelestis took up the aforementioned texts and Antonius, having purchased a horse and recruited a new stable lad, took the time to learn to ride, in order to greater facilitate his travels around the Dean.

It was a peaceful season for the covenant, the only notable events to recount being those than occurred at the emergency tribunal. There had been a fear that not enough magi would attend to grant a quorate meeting but this fear proved to be unfounded, Antonius informing me that slightly over two thirds of those eligible to attend did so. Serenia opened the tribunal, the primary business of which was to elect a new Praeco. As before three candidates were placed before the gathered magi, these being Dionysus, Darius and Eloria. Dionysus made his presentation first, once more emphasising the need for order and firm rule, that the threat of the un-named house could be vanquished and a new age of stability begun. Darius' address followed much the same theme, although he expressed his belief that with his other duties Dionysus would be unable to devote the necessary time to the role of Praeco. Eloria spoke last and begun by praising Jordael's deeds in his time in the position, while castigating him should the charges laid against him prove to be true. She spoke of the division between the two power blocs within Stonehenge and the need for a Praeco who was seen to be impartial and thus better able to foster a spirit of co-operation between all magi. She emphasised that she had both the time and the desire to fulfil the duties that the position would require.

When the vote came about half of those magi present abstained but winning the majority of the votes cast, including those of my sodales at Severn Temple, was Eloria. Darius did not receive a single vote of support.

Eloria then made her opening address continuing the themes she had spoken of before. She announced that whilst she would for the time being maintain her residence at Blywyddan, Blackthorn would be reinstated as Prime covenant. She also moved for a change in the rules of when a tribunal is deemed quorate. As long as sufficient notice was given she stated that she could not understand why one group or another should be able to render the political process worthless by refusing to attend tribunal. For regular meetings of the tribunal the need for a specified number of attendees would be removed. In the event that an emergency tribunal would be necessary one years notice should be given and one third of the magi of Stonehenge would be required to attending order that it be deemed quorate. This motion was passed on both counts and notice was duly given that the next tribunal would be held in the summer of 1129.

Whilst my sodales were at the tribunal they made a provisional deal with Carrion Moor to sell our remaining water damaged works in Creo, Aquam and Ignem in exchange for 17 pawns of vis.

Of my own summer, the journey to Verdi was relatively easy save for an unpleasant encounter with some form of evil spirit in the foothills of Provence. The grog that was accompanying my party, one Owen, was possessed by this creature and whilst it would perhaps have been safer to press on leaving him to his fate, with the aid of Meredith I was able to enter into a deep regio to free him from this dark fate. The boy seems to know more of the arts than I had realised and I surmise Ruaridh must have taught him well in their short time together.

At my house meeting many fine creations were displayed, the winner deservedly being Hal'Axra of Antioch covenant with a pen that could scribe from any language into any other. My own effort was adjudged to be the 11th finest on display and attracted some interest from several parties. In the end I was able to sell it to Primus Porthenos for a full queen of vis and the gift of a pair of enchanted bracers that he himself had crafted when he was but my own age. This is a signal honour, particularly as he is believed to be close to final twilight. The bracers seem to grant the wearer both courage and strength, and I look forward to undertaking their further investigation when time grants me such an opportunity.

One further item of note occurred whilst I was at Verdi. Caelestis had informed me that Hal'Axra would be bringing a number of texts that my sodalis' pater Coniectus had arranged to deliver. When I spoke to Hal'Axra however, he informed me that Coniectus had passed into final twilight a full decade beforehand and he was unaware of Caelestis' request; a most puzzling conundrum and one that will certainly merit some further investigation.

Autumn

The council at the beginning of Autumn was started with a discussion centring on the mystery surrounding Caelestis' pater. He restated that he had spoken with Coniectus at the meeting of House Bonisagus in 1122 and suggested that Hal'Axra must have been mistaken. Petrus was invited to join us in this conversation but was unable to shed any further light, being unable to recall if Coniectus was present at the gathering. It was decided that letters would be sent with some urgency both to Durenmar and Antioch covenants, to see whether either could provide a resolution to this puzzle.

There followed a short discussion about appropriate levels of recompense a magi should make to the covenant where he had been gifted, or made exchange for, an enchanted item. It was agreed that a hard ruling on such matters was impossible and that each occasion would require an individual decision. I do however believe that there may be a need for some consideration with regards to certain parts of our charter where magical resources are concerned, and I for one shall certainly give it my consideration over the next few seasons.

Of our activities, Caelestis continues to study from the Perdo texts, Antonius journeys to Monmouth to investigate further the political situation, I am learning the spell 'Veil of Invisibility' and for her service Edith will create a slow acting poison in case we should ever have need to recourse to such an item.

Midway through the season the weather turned early, with a heavy snowfall and a bitter, icy fog. Shortly thereafter one of our patrols came across a skirmish a little way to the south of the covenant. On the one side was Tegid Foel, aided by some of Erechwydd's servants and a strange stone like figure. Lined up against them was a force of those creatures the Ruadan holds fealty over, Corrs, Wolves and Giant Spiders. On espying our men, Tegid Foel told them to cover his retreat and made for the covenant. When he arrived the guard on the gate fetched Caelestis, and my sodalis rather rashly granted sanctuary to the faerie knight. Caelestis then went to see how the battle fared, but whilst flying down the hill was assailed by one of the Corrs. Fortunately for him he was able to strike it with a summoned bolt of lightning enabling him to flee to the safety of the covenant once more. The grog patrol also managed to successfully battle their way back, but the Ruadan's forces soon began to mass around our walls. A Corr approached from the forest, bearing a white flag of parley, and I ventured out to see what it wanted. We were given an ultimatum, told that while there was no desire to wage war against us, an attack would certainly be launched if we continued to provide shelter to their enemy. We were granted until midnight to turn out Tegid Foel or face the consequences of our actions.

A council was hastily called where we discussed this dangerous situation. Edith was furious with Caelestis but I had counselled her that this was not the best time to apportion blame for our predicament, and she agreed that she would not press charge until Antonius had returned from his travels. Notwithstanding this the meeting proved quite heated, our fear being that it seemed all to easy that we would incur the greater enmity of at least one of the Unseelie courts. It occurred to me that it might be possible to persuade Tegid Foel to leave without demanding that he do so by pointing out how important it was for him to report the situation to his mistress. To provide further incentive I granted him a gift of Gofannon's horse that he had seemed so keen to wager for. This seemed to please him and he announced that in return I would receive the deed to a holding that lay in the gift of Erechwydd. Thus equipped he rode forth from the temple gate and shortly thereafter the siege was lifted.

The tax demand this year was for the sum of 250 pennies.

Winter

The winter meeting of council began with Edith pressing charge against Caelestis for placing the covenant in danger by granting Tegid Foel sanctuary without first consulting his sodales. A most acrimonious exchange followed with Caelestis at first accepting no fault, though after much reference to past events with which he should have been familiar after reading this journal perhaps his position changed somewhat. He did not seem greatly remorseful however and, after council voted that I be compensated a rook of Terram for my horse, he was fined a rook of vis himself.

Antonius told us something of his trip and it seems that he has learned more of our mundanes that will serve him well in his future dealings. His willingness to spend his own time on behalf of the covenant in this manner is truly praiseworthy, and the efforts he has made have greatly strengthened our position, a fact for which he has perhaps not been fully recognised.

Edith had managed to produce 3 doses of a poison that would take effect a full day and night after being ingested. She will spend this season learning a spell (though she was not forthcoming on what spell it might be), Caelestis will extract vis for the covenant, I shall enchant a device that we may once more harvest the Ignem source we possess and Antonius will use 3 pawns of Imagonem vis to study from. Petrus is also performing a service for the covenant over winter and will enchant a device of the 7th magnitude to protect the wearer against magic.

A few days into the season, with the snows having abated somewhat, I received a visit for Gofynwy requesting that I make my payment for his tuition in the art of the stonesmith. The council granted me permission to defer my service until the spring and also allowed the faerie to reside within Severn Temple until my work was complete, after I had provided assurances that he was not presently involved in the war between the various factions of the fae. It seems that my sodales were curious as to the precise nature of Gofynwy's visit and took it upon themselves to quiz him on the matter. Though it was a matter between myself and Gofynwy they discovered that I was to make him an item of protection that the mind affecting magics of the Ruadan would not effect him, in part because it seemed likely that at some stage control of the Pybaw would have to be wrestled from her. My sodales expressed their concern to me quite firmly, at one point seeming close to an accusation that I may be in breach of the peripheral code though Antonius was able to provide no precedent for such a charge. To ease their minds I agreed to speak to Sylvania, whose knowledge of such matters it was granted would be far greater than any of ours. She was able to satisfy me that I was not acting against any of the rules of our order, and was also able to give me a greater understanding of the nature of my relationship with Gofynwy, with which knowledge I resolved to labour night and day that the item I crafted be just recompense for the teaching he had given me. Gofynwy himself, while spending some time aiding me, also laboured hard in the creation of a stone broadsword as thanks to the covenant for our hospitality.

Later in the season the Redcap Mathus visited, bearing the years news. Of matters mundane we were told that the King had returned from his campaigns and spent the year residing at Windsor. The Bishop of Gloucester has appointed Michael of Cirencester as his Episcopal aide, apparently a position of some power. There is increased banditry near Chepstow with the new Baron being more interested in hunting than enforcing his authority. The new Abbot of Peterborough's appointment in spring was heralded by reports of the sights and sounds of a strange hunt across the country. He has a reputation for greed and impiety and some say the abbey is bound to fall under the leadership of such a man.

Of hermetic news, Mathus informed us that Solis Castle had been attacked by the Earl of Northumbria after a hedge wizard started a number of rumours against them. Mathus also said he had heard some rumours aimed at ourselves and Antonius was somewhat concerned about this. Dionysus has detained three members of House Ex Miscellanea, Yavid, Lotho and Llandolwyn, and they are being questioned on matters relating to the un-named house. McGraine has demanded their immediate release but as yet there has been no response from Holy Isle. Jordael is still missing and now believed to be attempting to leave the tribunal. A reward of 2 rooks of vis has been offered for help leading to his capture; it seems that Holy Isle suspects that Stonehenge's diligence in aiding them with their investigations is in need of some greater incentive. We were also sent message that Carrion Moor had agreed formally to the proposed exchange of vis for books, subject to us providing delivery of the texts.
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