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Scribed by Turold

Spring 1143 AD


Once more Madoc was the only member of the concilium absent when we met at the start of the new season. We began by discussing the events of the Saxon King's tomb. Antonius pointed out that this council had passed a stricture against any magi visiting the site without permission but given that this stricture was broken in error, and that we are all more powerful now it was agreed that it was of little consequence. What was more irritating was that a site so close to us had been looted by someone else and that we could do nothing about it. My feelings about this were not improved when after reference to the journal we saw that it was rumoured that the body within wore a crown recovered after a challenge with a faerie king. Two days later, after I had delivered item to Morfan I spoke with Gofynwy and I am convinced that this crown must have been the property of Gofannon. It has the appearance of a plain circlet of faerie silver with an exceptional cast, and I would certainly like to recover it.

I should continue with the council however. Antonius told us that he had spoken to Jordael about our proposed motion regarding Holy Isle and that magus was certainly in favour as long as we were very cautious about the manner in which we raised it. He also reported that he had found at Cad Gadu a scholar of Arabic and Jordael will speak to his council as to whether he can take an apprentice of ours so that we finally have an Arabic scribe of our own. He also discussed possible trades with that covenant for mundane texts and we will make terms at the tribunal.

Antonius had also heard reports that the Bristol Lark had been seen in Plymouth and might have travelled as far afield as Iberia. The final piece of news to come from our sodalis' wanderings was that Harnol has returned to the tribunal, and given that he is perhaps more knowledgeable about elementals than any other in Stonehenge he may be worth talking to about the creature found in the lost covenant. Audacia announced that she would be developing a spell to more utterly destroy stone in future and council decided that this could be taken as her service. Aelfwin said he would scribe spells for the covenant, with Antonius once more travelling abroad. Ruaridh again spent his time developing new spells.

During the middle of the season, as our spring once again turned to the production of Creo vis, the magi of Blackthorn attended for our usual discussion concerning the upcoming tribunal. At least some of the magi attended. Gyriania was away challenging for the title of Archimagus while Eloria apparently felt that as Praeco it was inappropriate for her to attend the meeting. It was agreed that for our first motion Antonius would talk about the fells and seek further aid in battling them. We explained our idea for our second motion and Serenia seemed to like it although it was suggested that we speak to Eloria about it before trying to raise it at the tribunal. Their motions will include one from Gyriania informing the tribunal that she needs to collect new arcane connections to the various covenants to make rapid transmission of news that much easier. The other is a proposal to start a tribunal library, something that all can use on a study for a season, write for a season basis. After some conversation we agreed that we would donate the contents of our visitors library to such a venture to help get it started. There was discussion about the trials. Caelestis has agreed that Dialectica will represent him and Audacia will be called as witness in the post mortem trial of Darius. She stated that she was not intending to attend the tribunal as she felt at least one magus must be available in the covenant, but Aelfwin said that he was happy to stay as his wife was expecting.

Whilst he was with us Antonius told us of his journeys so far during the season. He had travelled to Holy Isle and met the new Tremere Pontifex Ursula, saying that he had found her quite reserved. There is also a new flambeau at that covenant by the name of Xeres. Antonius had a frostier reception at Blywyddan where he was shot upon by the grogs before being told to leave the magi alone in no uncertain terms by Quaesitor Ponrius. Serenia seemed a little unhappy about this and I suspect that she will seek to have words with that magus at least.

I write now of two events that occurred towards the end of this season, both of tremendous magnitude, the one leading to the other albeit in a way that could not be forseen by any other. Gyriania, apparently successful in her challenge, came to the covenant seeking Ruaridh. The fallen magus Caelestis had escaped from his dungeon at Blackthorn and Ruaridh, as the only quaesitor in Stonehenge, was needed before an investigation could begin. Unfortunately he could not be found, even after Audacia broke into his sanctum claiming she was in fear for his life. I disagreed with this assessment of his wellbeing and did not believe scrying magics should be used but after checking the charter Antonius said that Audacia was within her rights to act unilaterally if she felt the need. The maga insisted that she felt that Ruaridh was in danger with the diabolist on the loose and so cast the inexorable search. Ruaridh was not found to be within the area of the Dean however, and believing that he was most likely attending upon the Morrigan she persuaded me to lead her and some grogs to the Ruadans hill. After showing her there I returned to the covenant to discover Ruaridh within. After quickly informing him of the situation he travelled to Blackthorn and I once more returned to the faerie regio to try and fetch Audacia.

Before I had reached the deeper level where the Morrigans hill lies I came upon the grogs that had accompanied Audacia, although of her there was no sign. The reason for her absence was soon apparent as they told me the story of what had happened when they entered the Ruadan's part of the forest. Shortly after they had passed through the regio boundary they had been beset by Giant Spiders and despite killing several of the creatures they were forced to flee further into that realm as more of the creatures and packs of wolves joined the affray. Forced to take refuge up a tree the Ruadan came to them, gloating at their predicament. At that Audacia cast her magicks against the fae sorceress and it must have been a fell enchantment for the Ruadan was slain in an instant. Audacia immediately realised the consequences of what she had done, and as the black shadows heralding the arrival of the Goddess of Vengeance encompassed the forest she urged the grogs to flee for their lives, prepared to meet the Morrigan alone. The grogs did indeed flee and managed to escape the regio, being led by Ferret who has some experience of that part of the forest. Informed of this tale, and believing that Audacia must be slain I saw no choice but to quickly return to Severn Temple where we made preparation in case the Morrigan's vengeance was not sated by that killing.

Leaving Antonius at the covenant I then travelled to Blackthorn to appraise Ruaridh of the ill news. In response he nominated me as hoplite in the matter of Caelestis' disappearance and before I even had a chance to ask what was happening we were meeting with Dialectica and Praeco Eloria. He stated that he had cast eyes of the past two times to witness the events of the afternoon and had witnessed Caelestis being freed by someone with the appearance of Eloria. Of course she denied any involvement and somewhat barbedly asked if he had tried to locate an arcane connection so that Caelestis could be pursued. Ruaridh immediately did so and using the maps that Blackthorn holds was able to establish that Caelestis was somewhere near Southampton. At this point I was relieved of my duties as hoplite and message was sent for Garius to attend. We returned to Severn Temple and then Ruaridh and Antonius (also made a hoplite) headed off towards the south coast. Shortly afterwards Garius arrived and after I had told him what was happening he too departed, with a strand of Ruaridh's hair that he had left to enable Garius to locate him.

The three of them came together as a group in Southampton and using their magicks traced Caelestis to a warehouse in the docks. Entering the building with much caution they eventually found the fallen magus dead, with his heart apparently crushed although there were no signs of any external physical assault nor magical attack. Removing the body they found a room in an inn and as sunset came the body disintegrated. After some discussion it is believed that the body must have been a construct, possibly hermetic magic concealed by the forces of diabolic influence.

Ruaridh and Antonius returned with this tale and we again turned our attention to the events within the fae regio. Ruaridh decided that he had to venture to the Morrigan's hill to discover what fate had befallen Audacia, and despite her never having signed the charter it was agreed that we would seek an arcane connection to her. We then sought out her familiar, the mangy cat named Cyrwin, and discovered for the first time that the creature held the power of speech. It said that if taken to the regio it would be able to find the maga and so once more my guidance through the regio was required, on this occasion accompanying only Ruaridh and the cat. This time I too entered the dark realm, as I did not wish to see Ruaridh lost upon the path another time. There he called for the Morrigan and she came. I was not close enough to hear their conversation but I saw Ruaridh seem to agree to something and then collapse as if dead at the Goddess' touch. But a few moments later he awoke and was shortly followed by Audacia accompanied by a young dark haired girl. We left that place where I was told of what had befallen. The Morrigan had not slain Audacia as I had feared, but instead trapped her in the otherworld. She would only be released if she replaced that which she had destroyed and believing that she was to become a creature like the Ruadan she refused. When Ruaridh came to her, transported by the Morrigan's touch, he was able to convince her that she should strike the bargain and that she did. The girl with her was the one that the Ruadan had stolen away but a few months ago, Bethwyn, and it seems that the bargain struck is that Audacia must train her as wizard whereupon the child shall decide of her own accord whether she wishes to serve the Morrigan in future. As I said these are both events of great significance and sure to have repercussions in the future, but it is late now and my mind can not grasp what these may be.

Summer

Concilium began with a discussion of the events surrounding Audacia and the Morrigan, with Antonius being particularly interested in the precise wording of the bargain struck. He is concerned as to what the dangers will be should Bethwyn not complete her apprenticeship, those of the Flambeau being notorious for the danger to the students involved. Ruaridh and Audacia do not know for certain, but they do believe that there will not be a new Ruadan and that it is a new servant that the Morrigan requires rather than an identical replacement.

Antonius also told us that he had spoken at length with Dialectica concerning the activities of the fells and they believe that there may be such a band in Hereford, with a camp having been found near Blackthorn. They may be smuggling goods through the Welsh mountains. He has also established that they seem to be present in the majority of ports in the south of England leaving us all to wonder how many more there may be in Hibernia, Normandy and Iberia. How much do they know of our order? It seems that trying to capture a senior member must be a primary goal of our efforts.

For the season Audacia stated that she would commence training her apprentice, a task that I also decided to pursue. Antonius would again ride abroad with Ruaridh again developing a spell and Aelfwin studying the texts on medicine. It is the last season of Madoc's enchantment; I am beginning to forget what he looks like.

Early in the season I travelled to Blackthorn to speak with Eloria about our proposed motion. I do not like speaking to our Praeco and once again found our conversation twisted by her at every opportunity. In the end she said that she would allow our motion but I had begun to have concerns about the wisdom of such a motion at this present time, particularly with the Grand Tribunal, the only body that could really act on anything suggested by the tribunal, being so many years away. A council was called and there was quite a vigorous debate eventually going to a formal vote. I cast my sigil against raising the motion, as did Antonius, but with Audacia, Ruaridh and Aelfwin all in favour they carried the day. Despite my concerns I agreed that I would be the one to raise the motion however, hoping that my political neutrality will help to prevent the worst responses that I now fear might surface. We shall soon see for I travel to the tribunal tomorrow.

As I write the leaves are beginning to turn and Autumn is near. The season has passed relatively uneventfully since the tribunal, and that was perhaps the least remarkable of those meetings that I have ever attended although there is much of interest to report. Before the meeting began Audacia told us that she had spoken to Orlania and Garius regarding our proposed motion with the former not surprisingly being opposed whilst Garius expressed his full support. The meeting began with Eloria's address where she stated that she was glad to see many of the Ex Miscellaneans present once more, talking of the need for disparate voices within the tribunal. She stated that there were now 66 magi and 11 covenants in Stonehenge, with two of the covenants currently being Domi Magni. She announced that Gyriania had bested Beranius of Bjornaer and was now an Archimaga, joining Jolyon in that esteemed title. She also announced that as Narwold had paid their fine and because of the loss of the infirmary at Scafell there would be no tithe of vis.

Gyriania spoke next, bringing us the most recent news. In the mundane sphere there had been a great battle at Thorn Moors between Henry and Stephen, the latter having been seriously weakened by the desertion of a full quarter of his host. The battle lasted a full day and at the end Stephen was forced to flee to France with Henry victorious and now King of England. There have been further battles between the English and the Welsh, while Scotland is divided with some of the nobles now wishing to press against there former ally and maintain there gains in England. The King of France has also made significant gains and many on the continent are still loyal to Stephen. It seems King Henry still has much to do to secure his crown.

Of Hermetic matters, Gyriania told us that there were growing tensions between the houses of Merinita and Flambeau in Hibernia, with the Flambeau supported by house Bjornaer. There have been nine wizards wars resulting in six deaths and magi travelling to that tribunal have been advised to consider the political situation there. The Order of Odin continues to be active in Novgorod and they may also be assisting McGreine, along with some rebels within our own order. He is believed to be manipulating mundane politics and the old Praceo of Loch Leglean has been charged with aiding him. The new Praeco is Cortius of house Bonisagus. Finally Primus Tremere has expressed his regret for the news of Darius' betrayal and stated that the new Pontifex of Holy Isle will ensure that such a thing can never happen again.

Next Eloria welcomed the new magi of the tribunal. They are Pontifex Ursula of Tremere and Xeres of Flambeau at Holy Isle, Cirentia (the filia of Sylvania) of Merinita at Cad Gadu, Augustus of Jerbiton at Borri Tor and our own Aelfwin.

The first matter resolved was the trial of Darius. Ruaridh presented the facts of the case with Audacia and Serenia confirming their veracity. It seems Fenriata had been asked to investigate rumours concerning that magus after his death and while she was investigating his sanctum she was beset by an infernal creature. She was gravely wounded, and the word is that even now she may still die as some sort of fell enchantment is about her. It is only by means of ritual magic that her life has been this long prolonged and Holy Isle have sent for Providus of Bonisagus to see if he might be able to help. Ruaridh and Audacia were thus asked to accompany Serenia in her investigations and they were further aided by Cassitus. They found an non-hermetic text hidden in Darius' sanctum containing many diabolic rituals. Proceeding further into the lower chambers Ruaridh, Audacia and Cassitus discovered a torture chamber and more infernal texts before they were themselves attacked by a horned creature. In this battle Cassitus' magic went awry and he was lost to the order entering final twilight. Ruaridh put up a ward that resisted the infernal beast and the two magi were able to wound it, forcing it to flee into the darkness. As they pressed on it attacked again and in its defeat the ground opened up and it was sucked into the very bowels of hell. Behind an Iron Maiden they found a passage that led to a hidden room and there they found a gutted human body with a pulsating Demon's heart set into its ribcage. Ruaridh destroyed this obscenity, despite the presence of an infernal aura. This evidence, with further statements garnered from the man who had acted as Darius' torturer, and eyes of the past revealing the deaths of men (one of whom was confirmed as Tomas of Ex Miscellanea) was concluded and questions were invited. Ursula asked if there was some question as to Darius' death and Ruaridh replied that he had been killed when the Dragon attacked this covenant, although he could not say whether it was the Dragon that had killed him. Edith asked if there was any evidence that any others at Holy Isle had knowledge of Darius' dealings with the infernal with Ruaridh answering that no charge was laid against any other. Edith pressed on, raising Blodwyn's death and accusing Dionysus of negligence at the least but Eloria brought her arguments to a close, calling for a vote. The decision was unanimous and henceforth Darius' name will be struck from the history of the order, which well befits one such as him.

The second day opened with the trial of Caelestis. Ruaridh stated the details and Dialectica offered no defence. All present voted guilty with the exception of three abstentions and Caelestis too suffers the fate of Darius.

The motions then began with Blackthorn raising the issues that I wrote of in this journal. There was much discussion about the merits of the Great Library, and even more about where it should be located. In the end two separate votes were held with 28 against 17 supporting its establishment and 26 against 20 granting it to Blackthorn over Cad Gadu. Next came Holy Isle and Ursula announced firstly that there would be no vis tithe and secondly that the trials held in absentia against various members of Ex Miscellanea would stand. Cad Gadu were next to raise their motions with Garius speaking of a Sea Beast that had destroyed three ships off the coast of Wales. Apparently it is 100 paces in length with eight or ten arms of 50 paces apiece. Garius also raised the second issue concerning a mundane scouting party that had been slain in mid Wales, their bodies aged beyond their natural span. No trace had been found of hermetic magic and Ruaridh stated that he would investigate this matter. That night we had a meeting where Antonius said that in light of Primus Tremere's apology and the appointment of Ursula he wished the council to again consider the sense of its motion. Ruaridh said that without Aelfwin we were not quorate and Antonius returned to Severn temple to try and convince him to change his opinion but he would have none of it. I must admit that I shared Antonius' viewpoint and for a while refused to raise the motion, but eventually was convinced by Ruaridh that regardless of my personal feelings it was better that I raise it than Audacia.

Day three of the tribunal began with Borri Tor's motions. The first of these concerned their continued problems with the Scottish and their inability to use magic to defend themselves. Ursula asked if any more action was to be taken against the rebel magi and was told by Garius that house Flambeau currently considered the Order of Odin and events in Iberia to be greater threats although there were more of the house now residing in Stonehenge and if intelligence was received they would surely act. The tribunal then appointed Garius to organise any further attacks upon the rebels. Pontus also spoke and stated that Borri Tor were keen to recruit new magi.

Solis Castle began with Orlania relating sightings of a great Norse ship and her concern that this might be the Order of Odin. She wants to gather information on this vessel. Yavid of Ex Miscellanea, from what I understand a practitioner of spirit magic, said that he believes it is a ghost ship and an ancient enemy. Orlania was not exactly overjoyed by this contribution. Moravius then rather vulgarly announced his position within the house Verditius competition and said that he was selling the item that had attained it for him. For Lear Valley Jan asked if Ruaridh would investigate the disappearance of Gwyth who they feared may have been one of Darius' victims. Raeriania then announced that Lear Valley was growing and seeking trade, particularly for texts.

Blywyddan were next and Venius asked the new Pontifex of Holy Isle to assure him they would not let up in their investigation of the un-named house. Ursula stated that whilst Dionysus would continue his work, she was keen to oversee some changes in the way their task was carried out. She also stated that for the time being they would not be investigating within the order but searching for those who attack it from without. Jeriana raised the next motion and demanded that in the light of the number of fallen magi who had resided here, Severn Temple should be investigated. There was a great deal of uproar at this and Eloria was forced to call for a recess. During that time we once more argued about our second motion but again the decision remained the same. When the tribunal resumed there was much discussion, Antonius being particularly eloquent on our behalf. Edith also supported us though her words were slightly less conciliatory than his were. Orlania said that there might be a need to see if there was some factor causing the infernal to take an interest, despite the completely unrelated nature of the betrayals that we have suffered. Jordael spoke wisely in our defence and when the matter went to a vote it was decided by 26 to 18 that there should not be an investigation. Surprisingly Antonius voted for an investigation but he made it clear afterwards that this was because we had nothing to fear, particularly as the wording of the vote would limit any investigation very specifically to the three fallen magi who have resided at this place. Nevertheless I for one am glad that we shall not have others poking their noses into our affairs.

On the fourth day Scafell began by ending any suggestion that they might relocate to Loch Leglean. They then stated that they were rebuilding and looking to trade for stone, weapons and other suchlike, even to the extent of offering vis in return.

We were next and Antonius made his presentation. After some discussion he was formally charged with co-ordinating all investigations into the activities of the fells. I then presented our second motion and the moment I had finished my opening statement there was uproar again. After the din had died down I was able to complete my statement at which point Ursula responded with words far more moderate than I would have expected. She did not welcome our motion as she already had plans and hoped that we would give her time to implement them. Garius then spoke, and to Audacia's disgust he also said that Holy Isle should be given time, rejecting the motion that we had thought he supported. Orlania also supported him, though again Jordael, and later Jolyon, spoke out in favour of our motion being brought before the Grand Tribunal when it next sits. Venius claimed we were indulging in nothing more than politicking but Antonius rebutted that saying it was sad how some saw political agendas in everything. Venius then launched into an attack on house Tytalus. Harnol, true to form, launched into an attack on Holy Isle accusing Dionysus of being a diabolist as well. Again Eloria was forced to end the debate and bring the matter to a vote. By 23 votes to 21 it was decided that this motion would not be brought forward to the Grand Tribunal. That was the fear of myself and Antonius and it gives me no pleasure to have been proven right.

Carrion Moor spoke last on this day. It seems that there have been hedge wizards stirring up unrest amongst the mundanes in the area and covenant parties have been attacked. Kira then asked about the precise status of Morstow as a lost covenant and Ruaridh told the tribunal that after such a declaration 7 tribunals must pass without response before the magi were declared dead.

The fifth and final day began with Narwold asking if their dues were now paid. Eloria curtly informed them that the matter was now at an end. Arturus then stated that he had discovered a future source of tension in the church. The new King has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury if he can buy back some of the land currently held by the church but Hereford is firmly against this. Arturus expects a major clash between the two archbishops and believes that covenants should check to see their current legal status. For motions out of the covenant Harnol, now resident in the south, asked for an investigation into the disappearances of Maneddwy and Agned, to which Ruaridh agreed. Vorius of Criamon spoke for the north and he launched into a riddle reminiscent of Krakeranius at his most obscure. "Many tendrils of corruption spread from a shadow rising in the East. Many signs of this omen can be seen by those whose eyes are not closed. Past events may merely foreshadow this influence and with the shadows passing events will come to tell of it."

Roswynd is the only magus currently residing in Wales and she had no motion to raise. Following the end of the tribunal we spoke with Edith and it was decided that we would no longer hold her to the fine that we had agreed, although this was as much due to her threats regarding Jolyon as to our sense that maybe she had justified reason to carry out the acts that she did.

Indeed the magus Jolyon travelled with Antonius and Ruaridh to Mynydd Myrddin and there raised a tower from the ground as he had promised. The celts were highly impressed by this feat and they have been told that they can seek sanctuary there as long as they understand that the grogs will be in charge within the defences that we have erected. Jolyon has agreed to develop the spell that we wish to raise a new Great Hall.

The final news of the season was that Aelfwin's amica gave birth to a daughter. The child was not gifted.

Autumn

The season began with our concilium at full number again for the firs time in a year. Madoc reported that he had successfully bound his horse Arian as his familiar, although the process has caused him to shed his welsh accent for a more noble cadence. Antonius reported that he had purchased 200 pennies of herbs with which to utilise greater the talents of Sarah. It was also agreed that Audacia would travel to the barrows in search of Mentem vis during the season.

Of our activities during Autumn; Audacia continued work on her spell, Aelfwin developed his glassworking talents (acting as his service for the next year), Antonius studied from Corporem vis, Ruaridh was to carry out his quaesitorial duties and Madoc agreed to search the Forest of Dean as a covenant service. I spent the season opening the enchantment with which I must repay Gofynwy for the healing that he provided.

Perhaps it was but a co-incidence but this first season for many years with six members fully active within Severn Temple was one of the more peaceful in that time. The only event that I can think of to record was a visit by William of Red Morley to Blackney where Antonius met with him. It seems that man claims to have been attacked by a Demon that slew his wife and child. Guards were set about him but nothing came and Antonius arranged for him to stay in Chepstow.

Winter

This was an even quieter season than the last although we found much to discuss at council. Ruaridh began by telling us something of his investigations. It seems that Gwyth was indeed the victim of Darius, his corpse being found within the graveyard at Holy Isle. There was a discussion, prompted by Audacia, as to why Darius did not just destroy the body. There were several suggestions but perhaps the most compelling (and the most concerning) is that someone might be making investigations easy to solve so that they do not dig deeper into whether there are any others who had fallen with the renegade magus of Tremere. Audacia herself was able to report that she had retrieved four pawns of mentem from the barrows, although one grog had been injured when one of the skeletons animated while still within a sack. Fortunately our sodalis is well able to deal with such threats.

Aelfwin has set up the beginnings of our glassworks and carried out some survey of the sand from the Severn. It appears that whilst it is not of the very finest quality it is certainly sufficient for the bulk of our needs and with a sieve, perhaps enchanted with a simple Rego Terram effect, it should produce glass of a fair nature.

Madoc had perhaps the most interesting tale to bring before council. Travelling in the north of the Dean he had found a hill. Jutting from the top of this mound was the tip of a stone and some excavation revealed it to be two and a half feet high. It was engraved with symbols of beasts, all merging into one another, and Madoc was able to ascertain that the item was magical. Indeed he had a vision through his magical sight of a ritual being carried out about the stone by 7 hooded figures. Some discussion of this led us to believe that it was tied to the legend of Merlin, and perhaps to an even earlier tale of Gwynenbach. Madoc has kept an arcane connection to the site and Antonius and Ruaridh agreed to make a brief visit to the site. Madoc had no other news to report save that he had been beset by brigands in the north of the forest near Huntley Wold, some injury befalling his party but ultimately to their peril rather than his.

Aelfwin said that he would spend the season setting up his alchemical laboratory using the building that once housed our visitors library. Audacia was investing the vis for her talisman whilst I also continued with my enchantments. Ruaridh once more devoted his time to the craft of spell creation; I sometimes wonder whether any other magus of his age has even a half of the number of spells. Antonius was also developing a spell, one that would draw pictures from a mans mind and Madoc said that he would be studying from the Corporem tomes.
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