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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1128 AD


There were few matters for us to discuss as we met for the first council of spring. I had brought with me the sword that Gofynwy had crafted. Though heavier than a normal sword it is well balanced with a keen edge and my sodales seemed impressed with it. It could be broken down into 6 pawns of Terram vis if required though that would be a poor reward for his craftsmanship. Antonius also advised us that he had noticed Gareth, our Castellan, is beginning to feel the weight of the years and he will ascertain whether a future replacement has yet been identified.

I shall spend the season performing the service delayed from winter, for her service Edith will prepare antidotes to the poisons she created last year, Caelestis will study magic theory from 3 pawns of the Vim vis while Antonius will once more spend his service riding abroad, specifically in searching for the source of the rumours that Mathus reported.

The season passed peacefully with only one event perhaps worth mentioning. One evening Meredith came to me and reported that Idris was once more visiting the realm of the living and wished to speak with me. Though cautious I visited the shade and like several before me was granted a vision of the future, though spoken so cryptically that it is hard to deduce what he meant in addition to my natural reticence to give credence to his words. nevertheless there has proved some value in his warnings in the past so I recounted his utterances to my sodales. He believes that we are once more to be attacked by those he claims were his enemies, a reference I suppose to his claim of a schism in the forces of the un-named house. He believes Meredith will have some importance to the covenants chances of survival though he would not, or could not, say how. Thereafter he returned to his ramblings about the land and I retired from his presence. Council decided that it might be prudent to make some preparation for such an attack and so we will ask Petrus to copy some wards and other protection spells from the library at Blackthorn over the next winter.

Summer

It was still cold when the council once more convened to discuss our business. Edith informed us that she had managed to prepare 2 doses of the antidote to her poison. Antonius then told us what he had learned over the course of spring. There are not as many rumours about us as he had feared, though they seem most prevalent in the two cities of Bath and Wells. The talk is of a group of wizards somewhere between Monmouth, Chepstow and Gloucester who are not human, lay curses on mortal folk and support the Welsh in times of war. Antonius believes that these rumours have been deliberately started and while they have not taken hold within the Dean he is concerned as to what might happen if the nobles hereabouts, perhaps in Bristol, should hear of them.

Antonius had also received some other interesting information. There is a copse near a village called Snigs End, a few miles to the Northwest of Gloucester, where three times there have been sightings of a group of 12 individuals, followed later by one other, convening on the night of the new moon. This ties in with some of Antonius' previous discoveries and he intends to venture forth this season to see if he can learn any more on this matter.

We also discussed the fact that whilst Petrus is casting our 9th magnitude Aegis over the time he is staying here, when he leaves none remain that can do so. We have a 5th magnitude version that Caelestis will have to learn as a service before the winter of 1129, and we hope that when Petrus copies spells for us he might be able to find a copy of 6th or 7th magnitude that we might use instead.

The season passed without event, I studying from the Muto texts, Edith from the Imagonem and Caelestis from the Corporem.

Autumn

Antonius once more had matters to report to council concerning the discoveries of his investigations. He visited the copse near Snigs end, and from above was able to discern the ruins of a chapel or priory. Using his knowledge of the occult, the depth of shadows, the varieties of fungus present and suchlike, he was able to deduce that even during the day an infernal aura of the 3rd magnitude lay about it. Not wishing to risk entering such a damned place at night until his preparations were greatly advanced he went to Hereford to examine the records there. These revealed that there had indeed been a chapel on this site, but they stretched back only a hundred years with all previous having gone missing. This was a matter of some vexation to those monks whose responsibility they were. Antonius managed to find an old priest who was able to relate some of the story to him. It seems that the senior priest of this chapel had entered into a dark pact with the Devil and in the service of this evil burned it to the ground along with the other ministers and a number of pilgrims there present. The priest was a Norman by the name of Guyere, we believe the very same as the diabolist who now confounds us. A new chapel was built on the other side of the river, and by locating the keystone Antonius was able to date its founding as 1025, so it seems our enemy is indeed many years old. Antonius will study the records at Blackthorn and perhaps speak with some of the elder magi such as Yania and Du Clerc when he resumes his investigation; it seems we may now be on the way to learning something that might one day aid us in our struggle with the fells and their infernal masters.

For the season I shall be travelling to Scarfell to have Blodwyn heal the damage to Cyrgig's shoulder. Antonius quickly suggested that he arrange my transport as it seems I may have overpaid the last boatman I hired. He himself is taking 3 pawns of Imagonem to study from, Edith is using the book of that same art and Caelestis studies the Corporem texts.

Early in the season the covenant was visited by the Maga Orlania in response to a missive Antonius had sent requesting further details on the rumours they had been victim of. It seems that a hedge wizard had been stealing from one of their vis sites and in retaliation Orlania destroyed his laboratory. He then fled to the Earl of Northumbria where he managed to gain the trust of that noble's wife. Under her influence he launched an attack on Solis Castle which they broke by arranging assault on one of his own holdings. The hedge wizard fled from the Earl's court and Orlania now seeks him hence her personal visit. After the establishment that neither case was likely related she departed somewhat sorrowfully.

Midway through the season a calamitous event befell the village of Blackney. The Pybaw attacked the settlement at night, bringing down the defensive palisade and as the guards shepherded the villagers into the safety of the mines one man was killed and his body taken by the beast. Antonius and Caelestis investigated the matter, although this might have proven a mistake also as the countenance of our Bonisagus disturbed the villagers greatly. The creature seemed wary of the fires that the men lit and we supposed that maybe a bright light could be used to dazzle the creature. After some discussion Antonius agreed to spend a couple of nights there in case the creature returned.

The next night the creature did indeed return, but it was not the blood of those who reside in Blackney it sought but rather the covenant itself was the subject of it's attentions. The fearsome beast was able to breach our 9th magnitude aegis and even while I resided at Scarfell I felt it's entry, immediately departing for my home. The events of the night were long over by the time I returned however. The guard on the wall that it came over was killed by the beast, his blood completely drained from his body as we had seen before. Antonius returned from the village and with Edith prepared to use the Cockatrice blood, which the Ex Miscellanean had fashioned into a rough paste, against the creature. Caelestis himself was searching the grounds of the covenant and was surprised by the creature, forgetting that it can move between the mundane and magical realms at ease. Once again he was able to escape from his foe and the beast was not located again, though it wreaked it's mischief in the stable killing both the horses within.

I must confess to being gravely concerned at this matter, not only for the threat to ourselves, but for the fact that the creatures sighting indicates that Gofynwy's attack must have gone awry and I do not know if he lives or is dead. When the fairer weather of spring comes I am resolved to enter the faerie regio and see what I might find out.

Winter

The council was taken up predominantly with talk of the Pybaw and though we had no new idea how this threat might be overcome, if the creature should return we will call upon our alliance with Blackthorn to aid our defence. I believe Caisus would be glad of the chance to try and do battle with such a foe. I shall spend the season extracting vis as my service, Antonius is studying from 3 pawns of the Rego vis, Edith is creating some potions for herself (though once more she will not reveal what she creates) and Caelestis is learning 'Veil of Invisibility'. As the Bonisagus has not carried out a service this year he shall perform two over the course of 1129. Petrus was happy to go to Blackthorn to scribe a number of spells for us. In truth it has been pleasant having our sodalis back even for such a short time, and he is as willing to serve the covenant now as when he was a member.

It feels strange writing now at the end of the winter for there have been no events worthy of recording since the second week of the season. Yet what a fortnight that was, bringing events that will surely have serious ramifications in the future and leading me to believe that the instability within this tribunal could yet spread throughout the order bringing with it days as dark as any we have yet known.

It was a matter of more local import that first surfaced however, just a few moments after I had scribed the details of the council meeting. The faerie knight Tegid Foel paid a visit, returning as promised with the deeds to a landholding within the faerie regio, and also suzerainty over the servants that reside there. They can apparently be somewhat surly and his advice was to treat them with some force. When asked where this holding was he offered to lead me to it if we would provide a guide that he might find a noble lady to take as his bride. I stalled him on this matter saying that I would consider whether such a deal would be possible, although I suspect I shall have to seek another way to locate this holding. Over the feast we provided for him we were able to find out something of the events within the regio in recent times. It seems that Gofynwy did indeed press an attack against the Ruadan, at the very least losing an arm while battling with the serpent within the Cave of Snakes. However she was distracted and somehow lost control of the Pybaw which then turned upon her, and though she escaped many of her forces were slain as the creature ran amok. Tegid Foel believes that Erechwydd will likely now be able to win the war and he awaits her permission to hunt the creature himself though he is aware of the difficulty of tracking the beast. He also told us that the creature can hide in tiny spaces by making itself much smaller, though it must be full size to attack. It is indeed afraid of bright light, and is a cowardly creature although now it has the taste for human blood I suspect that it will once more return to harass us.

Three days later we received Mathus and his news. King Edward has once more spent the year campaigning in Normandy due to his nephew the Count of Flanders striving against him. They met in battle where the Count was sorely injured, and he sought refuge in a nearby monastery where it is reported he took vows and became a monk. Five days later he succumbed to his wounds however. There are still tales of a hunt in relation to the Abbot of Peterborough, although he has returned to Poitiers where he continues to claim tithe from the Abbey. A Templar from the Holy Land spent the year touring England and drumming up funds to repel an attack against Jerusalem. However, after he had departed word came from the Levant that that no such attack was expected and it seems that it may have been no more than a scam. Locally, Coleford has recovered something of his losses and is once more rumoured to be looking to increase his landholding. There is some suspicion against him however, as he has recovered his lost wealth surprisingly quickly. The Baron of Monmouth is said to be courting the Earl's favour that he may war against Chepstow.

News from within the order was that McGraine has been consolidating his position within Loch Legean. He has sworn oaths with Malcolm and paid weregeld to him. Jordael has been sighted in the city of Oxford, where he managed to escape from Casitus, and Holy Isle has declared any caught aiding him will be charged alongside him.They have raised their reward to three rooks of vis.

There were also letters for Caelestis from both Durenmar and Antioch covenants which our sodalis was happy to read to council. Durenmar has confirmed that he is indeed a full member of the order but also stated that no magus from the Levant tribunal was present at the house meeting. Antioch's reply was scribed by Mahmood of Jerbiton who informed us that Coniectus and Caelestis (then an apprentice still) left the covenant in 1117 and did not return. They later discovered that Coniectus had entered final twilight. Of course Caelestis was most perturbed by this, for it seems apparent to us all that his pater has staged his own demise. When pressed as to what reasons he might have had Caelestis informed us that Coniectus was not his first master, the first who took him as an apprentice, one of House Flambeau, having been slain by diabolists when he was yet a young boy. Petrus was invited to join the council on this matter and many theories were put forward. Coniectus was a master of Mentem and it would be an easy task for him to change his memories. Antonius insisted that the one result from the rather strange memory of their meeting was that Caelestis would not return to the Levant, being content to await delivery of the texts that he so desired. It was agreed that we could devise complex conspiracy theories until the end of time and that Caelestis' best option would be to report the matter to the Quaesitori that they could further investigate it. He agreed that this was the course of action he would follow but beforehand persuaded Petrus to cast 'Sense the Lingering Magic' upon him. Coniectus' sigil of a ring of blue fire was found upon him in, though it appeared to be some form of non-hermetic effect.

Caelestis met with Serenia and formally asked that his pater be investigated for a breach of the primary code. Serenia cast some magics herself and it was revealed that Caelestis' own sigil, a gift from Coniectus, was enchanted. Caelestis called a council to discuss this matter but Edith did not attend. Antonius went to her sanctum to ensure that she had heard there was a council in session but discovered an untouched bowl of food outside her door and no response from within. A search was made of the covenant and she was nowhere to be found. As no one could recall seeing her since the first day of winter there was some concern as to her wellbeing and it was decided under the charter that we would enter her sanctum. Once we were within it was apparent that she had departed Severn temple, for there was not a single sign of habitation save for the unused laboratory equipment.

A week passed with no sign of our sodalis before Caelestis called another council. In an effort to discover what enchantments had been placed within his sigil he had visited Holy Isle and requested that Quaesitor Dionysus investigate it for him. Dionysus informed him that while it was his duty to assent to such a request he would have to wait until his other duties permitted, a period that could obviously be some time. He requested some vis that he could pay another magus to undertake some investigation, but after being reminded that such magical resources could be put to far greater uses decided he would pursue the matter himself and abandon his spell learning for the season.

Later that same day, Antonius informed us that having decided to check our treasury he had discovered that a number of our magical items, potions, poisons and vis supplies were missing. We immediately suspected that our departed sodalis was responsible and decided that we would report the matter to Serenia the next day, asking her to look into a possible breach of the peripheral code for such an action would be clearly in breach of our charter. Antonius took the task upon himself, but after he left I decided that I too would like to hear what the Quaesitor had to say so followed after him.

While we were away Dionysus and Darius arrived at the covenant. They had come to bring charge against Edith with consorting with members of the Un-named house. Caelestis was asked to accompany Dionysus while he investigated her sanctum and then the infirmary, with Darius leaving to do some investigation of his own. Caelestis protested strongly that Darius should not be exploring the covenant unaccompanied but Dionysus was highly resistant to his arguments, and eventually our sodalis was forced to defy him and ask two grogs to escort him in his searches. Nevertheless Darius had some considerable time left to his own devices, with only his wolf familiar to bear witness to his activities. Returning from Blackthorn Antonius and I met the two Tremere as they were about to depart. We were of course shocked to hear of their allegations but in truth I must say something did not ring entirely true. As they left I went to my sanctum to find Cyrgig asleep on the floor. Waking him he seemed somewhat vague as to what he was doing there, and acted in a manner most unusual for one normally so consistent. Whilst I could find no evidence of it, I am sure that my sanctum was entered and I suspect Darius to have been the trespasser.

Serenia arrived and was surprised to hear of the charges being levelled against Edith. She cast 'Eyes of the Past' in the treasury, where she was able to confirm that it had indeed been the Ex-Miscellanean who had raided our supplies. We informed her that if Edith was found innocent of Dionysus' charge we would seek to press our own. While she was there Caelestis seemed to accuse the magi of Holy Isle of falsifying charges in an attempt to take into custody any Ex-Miscellanean who might seem to have some political influence with the house. Serenia must have heard this remark but she seemed content to let it pass without comment. In truth, while it is not so long ago that I would have found such an idea preposterous, I now find myself wondering if those I had placed my trust in may be sinking to the levels of those they would seek to bring to justice. There are events occurring that are above my understanding but which we may all be in danger of getting trapped within. I also find myself wondering what truly occurred in the Wizards War declared against Ruaridh, and deep down perhaps there is a spark of hope within me that my sodalis was not truly killed, but instead lies in hiding somewhere unwilling to be used as a pawn in this dangerous game.
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