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Scribed by Antonius

Spring 1130 AD


So with the dawn of this new decade I feel that we have regained the strength that we had lost with the death of Ruaridh and the disappearance of Edith. Our council now numbers five again and in maga Audacia we have a martial vigour which even Ruaridh could not have hoped to match. This point was reinforced at our meeting when Audacia decided to develop a Perdo Animal spell to break the Pybaw’s legs.

I set off for Lindisfarne to continue my researches into the history of Guyere for at the very least if I can get a birth date for him then Caelestis can put his divinatory skills to good use. I know not exactly what but I have a feeling that there is something of great significance in Guyere’s past that he does not want us to know. Why else would he go to such lengths to destroy church records of his former life as a priest? All this was so long ago that no mundane would ever even think of connecting him to this murderous priest and yet he risked incurring the wrath of the church by destroying a sizeable proportion of their church records in Hereford. Yet whilst I could speculate on this at great length here is not the place for that so I shall proceed before this becomes more of a philosophical treatise than a historical record. At the great monastery of Lindisfarne I was able to search through their quite magnificent collection of church records and histories under the disguise of a lay clerk. I was unfortunately unable to find anything specifically referring to Guyere or Sniggs End but I did learn that it had been the fashion in the Anjeux diocese in Normandy around the beginning of the eleventh century to send priests to serve in England. I shall have to journey to Normandy to see if I can track down any records of priests sent for if I can then it should lead me back to Guyere’s place of origin and with luck, a record of his birth.

Summer

I returned from my investigations in the North to find that all had not gone well whilst I was away. Meredith had had a troubling dream in which he saw Jordael in a large city or town being pursued by two serpents. From talking to him Turold was able to ascertain that this place was most probably Bristol and feeling that Jordael’s life was in grave danger he set out at once with Meredith to rescue Jordael. Tragically Audacia was out of the covenant at the time, visiting her pater Caisus at Blackthorn and Turold felt that he could not spare the time to ask her to accompany him so immediate was the threat to Jordael. From the images that he saw in his dream Meredith was able to guide Turold to one of the poorest quarters of Bristol to a room where Jordael was staying. Troublingly once he was there, Meredith with his sight noticed a cat-like creature lurking in a corner of the room. From his description and what little I have read on the subject, I think that this was a Sekerhoph, a daemon set to follow and watch someone who has been marked. After quickly apprising Jordael of the situation the three of them made haste for the city gate. Bristol though is a dangerous place and the Fells hold sway there and so they were ambushed in a dark, winding narrow street before they had even managed to leave the poor quarter. A crystal dart which Turold sent at one of the assailants glanced harmlessly off a mail vest that the man wore under his clothes and before he could cast another spell Turold had his belly slashed open with a single vicious stroke.

Jordael was able to best the men with magic but was then left with a badly wounded man and no means of getting him out quickly or healing him properly. He got Turold to an inn where he tried his best to heal him but the wound was too severe for the spells that he knew and there was a poison at work in Turold which he could stall but not cure. Turold’s life was in the balance for several days apparently but eventually when he regained consciousness briefly Jordael was able to leave to fetch help at Severn Temple. Blodwyn was brought from Scafell and was able to heal Turold but only with great difficulty. The poison was very resistant to Creo Corporem magicks and she had to use a ritual to purge it from his system. This leads to the alarming possibility that the poison was designed with a magus in mind as the victim. What exactly are the Fells planning? The blades that were used was unusual for a native of Bristol to be carrying as it is very much of a style common to Italy. As for Turold, sadly even Blodwyn’s skills were insufficient to wholly heal the wound and he will bear some infirmity for the rest of his days.

Two weeks after Midsummer Mathus arrived bringing news of the Grand Tribunal though in keeping with tradition he first informed the council of mundane events. Canterbury has been consecrated and DuClerc had more news on the synod’s debate on the nature of magi and magic. There was some discussion about whether there was some relation to the magi who brought gifts to the new-born Christ and some loud voices against magi but thankfully the Archbishop dismissed such talk. Mathus then moved on to the rulings of the Grand Tribunal, would Wizard’s March be called on Ex-Miscellania? Would the Order face a second Schism?

Primus Magreine did not appear at the Grand Tribunal and so was held to be in contempt and a Wizard’s March was called against him. No new Primus will be elected until all magi of the house have been investigated by the Quaesitori, each of whom shall have two hoplites. Any magi who refuse to submit to such an investigation will be expelled from the Order and any who have not been investigated within 10 years will be automatically cast out. What will Edith do now I wonder? Of other events, Prima Tytalus disappeared on the fourth day of proceedings and was discovered to have entered final twilight at the age of 157 years by Primus Bjornaer. This means that Praeco Eloria is now also Prima Tytalus and one of her first orders as Prima was that Blackthorn will now be the Domus Magnus of my house. On the motions that Stonehenge brought the Grand Tribunal ruled that tribunals are determined by geography and thus Scafell cannot secede and also that Narwold must join Stonehenge. This ruling had clear implications for the second motion concerning vis raiding across tribunal borders and Normandy were ordered to pay Stonehenge four queens of vis and Loch Leglean to pay two and a half queens.

Autumn

Audacia and I travelled to Sniggs End to investigate that place more thoroughly and try and ascertain its nature. Having looked about and cast magicks there Audacia was of the opinion that it was an infernal aura of only the first magnitude and after reconsideration I am relieved to share her opinion and admit to being mistaken in my earlier assessment. Later in the season as I was passing through some of the villages outlying Bristol I was attacked in my room by an invisible assailant. I had been attempting to establish as series of contacts and spies surrounding that city so we might get a clearer idea of the comings and goings from that city. I was not injured in the attack though I did feel my parma challenged, I think my attacker was surprised to find me awake and once I too had rendered myself invisible he fled. I was forced to leave swiftly afterwards also for the innkeeper, who I had been cultivating as an informant, has been murdered, presumably by the same person or possibly creature who tried to assault me. Curiously the only weapon that was used against me was an improvised one, a wooden candlestick, suggesting that the means of ingress might involve some sort of shapeshifting perhaps or maybe a spirit? Both door to the room and the shutters were well secured and I am certain that there was no one within before. The remainder of the season was largely uneventful though towards the end of it Turold reported that he believed he had been successful in fixing the Ruadan’s wand.

Winter

Thanks to Audacia we were able to maintain an aegis of the ninth magnitude which it was felt was of great importance given the threat that the likes of the Pybaw and the Fells still pose. Serenia arrived shortly after our council meeting in her formal role as Quaesitor as it seems that accusation has been made about the activities of my spy network by Prima Praeco Eloria. I refuted most strongly an allegation of misconduct and declined to allow Quaesitor Serenia to interrogate any of my contacts on the grounds that it would compromise my network as I am perfectly within my rights to do so. Indeed when challenged Serenia was unable to say how I had broken any aspect of the peripheral code and it seems that there is little or no evidence other than what Eloria herself has said. I fear that despite her demanding roles as Praeco and Prima, Eloria is still not above playing games with me. There was other news from Blackthorn as Eloria called a vote as to whether it was appropriate Blackthorn as the new Domus Magnus of House Tytalus to remain allied with Severn Temple. The alliance still stands strong though as there was just one vote against it continuing.

After some initial difficulties in conquering his fears about coming even close to Sniggs End I was able to persuade Caelestis to get a fix of the place and make a divination about when it would be used next by the coven that we believe meets there. He has predicted that there will be a meeting at the first new moon after midwinter so we shall be there then to see what we can learn.

At the midwinter itself the Ruadan arrived to talk with Turold about the wand. Audacia accompanied him and held the wand herself lest Turold be in some way enspelled for we know how tricky an opponent the Ruadan can be. A fortunate precaution as it turned out for Turold’s bargaining with her did not go well. Once she had established that he had fixed the wand and that he was not going to hand it over without her promising to use it to destroy the Pybaw and not raise one like it again, the Ruadan, who clearly did not want to agree to do this, used magic to alter Turold’s mind. Audacia realised this and told the Ruadan in no uncertain terms that this was not acceptable and she would not get the wand that way. Angered the Ruadan then set her shadow to attack Audacia but it merely flailed harmlessly at her, unable to penetrate her parma. This did however bring Audacia’s patience to an end and she swiftly killed two of the nearby Corrs with Perdo magicks before turning on the Ruadan herself. She broke the Ruadan’s arm with magic and then grabbed her and ripped off her mask. Holding this she then proceeded to bargain somewhat forcefully, restating that the only way the she would get the wand back as if she agreed to Turold’s conditions. Cowed and shocked the Ruadan accepted the terms and taking the wand departed hurriedly with Audacia keeping her mask as a guarantor of good faith. If only I could use her in some of my negotiations with the local nobles!

Eight days after these events at the new moon, myself, Audacia and Ospectus flew to Sniggs End to watch for the meeting of the coven that Caelestis had foretold. We saw thirteen riders arrive at the bottom of the small wooded hill and set to wait for their departure, hoping to follow them back to see from whence they came. The weather though conspired against us as a fog rose from the river that quickly grew so thick that I could see nothing about me. Indeed the darkness was very nearly absolute and I was forced me to return to the covenant, wondering if the fog was merely an unhappy meteorological coincidence or whether it had some more sinister origins. Fortunately Audacia and Ospectus fared better, Ospectus was able to follow the last man to leave, who we had taken to be the leader of the coven. The man rode to Mitcheldean and retired to the priest’s house there so it is I think a safe assumption that this is Silas, who we already know to be one of the masters. Audacia followed a group of three, who after seemingly getting lost in the mist themselves journeyed Southeast before splitting up with one going to Ashleworth and two heading to Gloucester. Caelestis says that the next meeting will be at the first new moon after the Spring Equinox so we will I think try again then. If the pattern continues then I hope we will eventually be able to track down the identities and homes of all members of this coven.

A fortnight later there was a strange green fire which lit up the night sky. Could this be some ill portent? Caelestis certainly thinks so and I am inclined to agree. I journeyed to Bristol to ensure that our famine provisions were still in place, taking great care there, using a new magical disguise and leaving the city before nightfall. On my third day of dealings there however in broad daylight I felt my parma resist an attack upon it. I left the city as quickly as I could, flying invisibly out over the city walls back to the safety of our aegis. My parma was tested again as I flew home and shortly after I landed within the grounds of the covenant I felt the aegis resist an assault though the attack was not pressed. I learnt later that Idris’s shade who watches over this place had apparently shot and banished the spirit that had followed me here. At least now we know how they have found me and what we need to look for, as if they are using spirits as opposed to demons then we may be able to detect them using magic. Encouragingly as well both my parma and the aegis have been able to withstand these spirits. One other upshot of this though was that the position of Bledwyn, our erstwhile spiritmaster, was discussed at council. Although I had previously argued that he could be more use alive than dead I now believe that he poses a serious threat to us should the Fells ever get to him. As we have found no real use for him so far it seem to be prudent to have him executed. Audacia is happy to perform this unpleasant task though she did raise the possibility that being what he is he might have a persistent and possibly powerful shade so we will wait and consider how to get around that one though surely a Christian burial will solve the problem?

So as this eventful season draws to a close so does my sojourn as chronicler of this covenant and I hand over my duties to my learned Bonisagus sodalis, Caelestis.
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