You are at:
Scribed by Theodosius

Spring 1146 AD


So it seems that it is my turn to contribute to this record of events. Having only been here for a few seasons I would ask the readers forgiveness if I seem unsure of my statements in any regard. It is my nature to tell tales but to write them down seems to me to leech somewhat of their vitality. Still I can hardly say that this record has not been useful to myself and Astrius since we came to Severn Temple, so I will do my best to record events for those who come after me.

The Spring council meeting of the year 1146 started with a full council - or at least I should say a full High Council, the Low Council of various consortis and amici being held at different times. I must admit to having a small hangover from the night before, but the fresh air that morning cleared that right up.

As everyone walked into the council chamber and took their seats, I noticed that Aelfwin had a tired but happy look to him - this was due to the fact that his wife Helena had given birth to their son, whom they have named Matthew. I've seen Helena with Matthew and he's got a fine pair of lungs on him, I can understand how Aelfwin hasn't got a lot of sleep since he was born.

Anyhow the meeting started with us talking about issues arising from the last season. I told of the rumours I had heard during my time in Monmouth, namely the Baron's wife is pregnant but the rather snide and nasty talk is that it may not be his. Also our Earl seems not to be too bothered by talk of the Welsh going against their treaty, in that he is leaving the levy for others to organise. Still if this means that there is less chance of war hereabouts then I'll be glad. I do love to travel but doing so when war is about the land strikes me as unwise.

I also told of my meeting with Sheriff Theobald, and as much as he seems to have a slimy and untrustworthy manner to him our conversation was remarkably polite and helpful. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could spit him, but it does give me hope for our future relations. The outcome of this conversation was that we owe a sum of 1,600d tax, but he was willing for us to pay 400d a year (in addition to our usual 400d tax) over four years to pay this off. Now I know that we have the money to pay this off all at once, but to appear too rich would not be too clever, so I said I'd have to check the state of our finances but I would get back to him in the new year.

That was my news, Astrius told council that he had extracted 6 pawns of vim vis. More disturbingly Aelfwin told of young Bethwyn's kidnapping. It seems that Primus Tytalus is not content with having to ask for what he wants but has decided to just take anything that takes his fancy. Bethwyn was gifted and it seems he might have taken her as an apprentice, so Aelfwin is to go to Blackthorn early in the season and talk to the Primus and find out what is going on, Ruaridh is also to go with him.

Once the council had debated recent events we moved onto the future, and what we were all going to do this season. Aelfwin wants to go to Cad Goddeau to do some research into a more efficient potion for Raegwolf, who is currently cursed with the spirit of the wolf. He was bitten by one of the wolf changers, the werewolves, and it is hoped that this potion will help him maintain his sanity during times of the full moon. Helena and Sara have been working on a potion but their knowledge is limited in this area, hence Aelfwin's journey to study the alchemy texts in Cad Goddeau. Ruaridh was to go out and about on his Quaesitorial duties after he and Aelfwin travel to Blackthorn, as there is some trouble over a vis site between Lear Valley and Scarfell.

Turold is to make an item as covenant service. It seems he can enchant a sixth magnitude Ward Against Fantastic Beasts in a single season, I must admit that I was impressed when I heard that. Astrius will be studying from the ignem books as next season he intends to take the item Turold makes and go hunting the werewolves that have taken up shop near our settlement at Mynydd Merddin. I truly wish I was going with him, still I know he'll regale me with the tale when he returns.

Madoc will be continuing to invent a spell that will allow him to shapechange his familiar into a man. Considering his familiar is a horse and is of course limited as to where he can go, this will be immensely useful to him. I think he hopes to finish the spell this season. He said he would also be spending time in the library studying some of the books we have there. I will just add as an aside here, that it seems Madoc has angered the spirit of Idris somehow, I don't know if this is important, just thought I'd mention it.

As for myself I planned to spend both of my covenant services this year travelling about the country getting to know what's what and who's who. I planned to do this in Spring certainly, and possibly Summer as well, a much nicer season to go walking in, but I would also like to go hunting with Astrius. Still I will decide when summer comes.

So once the Council meeting ended, I went about my business around the Dean. I went from the covenant to Blackney village, I must admit that after getting stuck here last winter I actually quite like the place. It's not the biggest or most prosperous of villages and it's had more than it's fair share of bad luck but the people there are very welcoming. My plan for the season was to get to know the villages south to south east of the covenant. So I headed off from Blackney to Frampton, I stayed in the Dog and Duck and plied my trade. Well I won't bore the reader with details of which are the best inns around the Dean and Gloucester, I'll summarise what I learned.

In the town of Berkeley Castle (very near the village of Stone, so I was rather cautious), I heard rumour of a great, black hound with baleful red eyes, that has been seen around the Vale of Berkeley. Even some rumours that farms are being abandoned or worse, that this terrible beast has killed their inhabitants. I talked to two people who were reputed to have seen it, one, a man called Old Jake, was not willing to tell me the details about it but who struck me as the sensible down to earth type. The second Richard, a merchant from Gloucester, who had seen it during a storm, when heading south to Berkeley from Gloucester. He saw two red eyes watching from the darkness, foolishly (but which of us have not been foolish at times) he sent two men to investigate the darkness about the road. They did not return. Then they heard a howl from the darkness and they decided that travelling at night was safer than staying where they were. Since then Richard has been too scared to leave the town.

It seems very worrying, especially considering that Stone is so near. Also it's possible it could be connected with other news I heard. Baron Evan of Berkeley has a terrible reputation as a scoundrel with a beautiful wife whom he spoils hideously. Recently it seems that Evan has hiked up his taxes so that the freemen can not afford to keep their land, hence he can claim them for himself once they have gone. The Sheriff, Tristram, is a weak man who never stands up to the Baron and hence very little is being done here. Now I have no evidence for this but it wouldn't surprise me if the Baron claims the farmland that has been abandoned in the Vale - a nice co-incidence for the Baron that tales of this Hound are helping him claim land is it not? It's also interesting to note that the Baron has been petitioned to 'do something' about this evil beast, and so far has done nothing other than put a 50d reward on it. Also whilst the townspeople are afraid of the beast they are less likely to complain about the Baron's new taxes. As I say I have no evidence for this but these events are curious. So I plan to tell Astrius, I'm sure he'll love to hunt down this beast and then we can see what happens around Berkeley.

On a different note, whilst in Berkeley, one of my guards, Martin, contacted some thieves and suggested that we help them. He thought that this would be a good way for me to get some contacts in the local area. Whilst I agree with this in principle, I was far too near Stone for me to be comfortable with dealing with anybody around there. So I told him not to for now and I would raise it at council. Still it was heartening to see such initiative. I later heard that Richard the merchant was attacked and killed on his way south, possibly by these bandits that Martin mentioned, which may give us a hold over them.

The rest of the season was of a similar vein, I heard news of the Hound to the north but it was not with such concern. I also heard news that the Abbey of Tintern is being rebuilt, and apparently there is a ghost of a monk there who warns of a great evil in the wood.

Finally I heard tell of some sort of wyrm that had been sighted near Cheddar Gorge, it has taken some farmers sheep. This is definitely worth investigating as I know Astrius would love to hear of this and eventually hunt such a beast down. That would be an interesting tale.

So ended my seasons wandering, and I returned to the covenant.

Summer

The season opened with everyone at the council meeting, I reported on what I had discovered in my journey last season, whilst Madoc told us that he had been successful in developing his spell, so he can now turn his familiar into a man when required. Aelfwin told us what he had learned from his studies in Cad Goddeau, which was that it may be possible to cure the curse. The two ways he has read about are to take the teeth from the wolf that inflicted the wound and use these to lift the curse. Or to use the heart and blood of the Grandfather wolf - this may even be used to remove the curse from everyone of that 'lineage'. Aelfwin reminded us that these are rumours only, that much more work would be required before he could say with any certainly if it could work, but he was willing to try. Turold said that he had completed the Fantastic Beast ward - an item we would find exceptionally useful in the coming season. Ruaridh told us that he had resolved the dispute between Lear Valley and Scarfell, and had ruled in favour of Lear Valley, although I'm still not too clear on what the dispute actually entailed. After Ruaridh had reported this he raised an issue that seems to cause some tension at the meeting. He asked Madoc when he would be returning the vis he owes the council, after a little discussion Madoc said that he will return it all in the next seven years. For our seasons work, Astrius, Madoc and myself decided to go and check out the werewolves near Mynydd Myrddin. Ruaridh is going to extract vim vis, whilst Turold instructs Clifford and Aelfwin studies the Corporem book.

After the meeting ended Astrius started to prepare for our expedition. For a full account of what happened please read elsewhere in the journal. Suffice to say that we went and fought the werewolves, no-one died although it was a close run thing, and we have left it at somewhat of a stalemate.

Autumn

At the council meeting we discussed the events of the previous season and it was decided to leave things as they stand and see if the wolves would do likewise. However Astrius will continue to prepare spell and arts just in case, whilst others would see what could be learned of Jak'o'Green, werewolves and the Grandfather wolf itself.

Turold asked for the vis for Clifford to make into an item (one that would refine sand for the glassmakers), this is part of Clifford's apprenticeship but the item will go to the covenant, so the council agreed to this. Turold himself said that he was going to learn a spell, but shortly into the season the Cyrgyg arrived with some Terram vis from Turold's fae holdings and Turold went off with him back into Arcadia. In the meantime Aelfwin would study the Creo books, Astrius would study the Ignem books, Ruaridh would study from Creo vis, Madoc would study the Pagan Lore books and I would talk with Viremos to learn more about the various legendary beasts that roam the countryside.

We were only ten days into the season when Turold returned and informed us that the seasons were turning within the fae regio and the Erechwydd was expanding her snowy realm. As a result the Terram mines and Stonevail were under threat, and Turold expects them to be attacked early on in the fae winter. Astrius offered to help Turold when the time comes and the covenant gave Turold the monies to buy supplies (such as oil) to defend his holdings. Turold changed his seasons work to study the Creo books instead of Aelfwin (who studied the Intellego books instead) to better prepare for an attack. I also changed my studies, I worked upon how to effect the spirit world more directly with Viremos. However before that I went to Monmouth to pay our taxes of 800d (and get a receipt) and buy what Turold requires.

The rest of the month passed quietly, until near the end, when Viremos told me that the storm which has been building in the spirit world was about to break. I called upon Idris and he told me the same, he started to prepare himself for the storm and told me that he would 'die' in this fight with Ieuan (his son) who had been corrupted and turned against him. Once he was gone then I would then be the new guardian of the spring. He also asked me to pass on a message to Madoc, which I did so. Finally he tells me that the storm will break before the end of the year.

As it was only a day until the Winter council I held off calling a council to discuss this, this proved to be a mistake.

Winter

At the meeting I told of Idris' warning and we worked out that he meant the end of the pagan year, Halloween, that very day. The covenant starts to prepare for an attack, with the covenfolk being evacuated to Blackney.

Ruaridh and myself to went into the Otherworld through the regio boundary to see if we could help Idris fight off any spiritual assault. Once we were in the regio we waited for a while during which all was quiet, until we saw a large black storm wall approaching us - within it are hundreds of demons, if not thousands. I was staggered at the thought of someone raising so many. Ruaridh managed to cast a demon ward about us and this held back the onslaught, but it was impossible to see beyond the beating wings of so many foul spirits. Suddenly a large demon landed within the ward, with a man upon its back. This demon attacked Ruaridh and Idris, with Idris being hurt whilst Ruaridh desperately fought back. I managed to hit it in the face with my staff, which I don't think hurt it at all, but I did draw it's attention to me and it struck and wounded me.

By this time the figure on the back of the demon used some strange lightning effect to strike Idris, this dissipated his spirit and he was with us no longer. At this point the man and his demon leave the circle which left Ruaridh and myself surrounded by many smaller but still powerful demons. Ruaridh again tore a hole between regio levels and we quickly left. The demons tried to follow, and indeed after a short while they ripped a way between levels to come through themselves. We just made it into the covenant as they fell upon it, but the aegis easily held them all at bay - after a short while they dispersed about the forest.

I was wounded and taken to be tended, the others met up and discussed what had happened, it seems that other than our little adventure the covenant was safe. Although we soon learned that the demons that escaped went to attack the villages of Blackney, I wonder what other damage they caused? Some vis was used to heal my physical injuries and I was able to re-join the Winter Council meeting.

At the meeting we decided that I must learn more about what it means to be the guardian of the spring and that Ruaridh would go and check on the Heart of the Forest at some point soon. As for our studies: Turold was to enchant a flaming sword, Aelfwin would read the Creo books, Astrius the Ignem books, Ruaridh would develop a spell, whilst Madoc would continue with the Pagan Lore books and I would read the texts concerning Pagan rites and rituals.

Later in the season we had a Redcap join us, with mundane news that Stephen Du Bois has joined with France and that Henry had called for a levy again the French. It seems that the March lords did not want to join due to a possible uprising urged on by a Welshman called Cadfallen. There was also news of the black hound near Berkley, we were told the names of three people who have seen the beast. There was then the hermetic news, which was of chaos and trouble as usual, the senior quaesitor has been recalled and another appointed, and House Tytalus has lost its Primus. Serves him right for taking Bethwyn. We were also informed that Dionysus would be coming to investigate the recent attack by the Unnamed House.

Which he eventually did. Both Dionysus and Fenriata** turned up and start to interrogate Ruaridh and myself as if we had been the guilty parties. Dionysus twisted Ruaridh's words, which angered Ruaridh, at which point he was asked to leave. This left me alone with Dionysus and Fenriata and the rest of the session did not go quickly enough for me. Dionysus asked to remain for a few weeks to investigate the rest of the covenant, so the council allowed him to stay.

Well Dionysus finally left having asked far too many questions about my spiritual talents, and the season drew to a close. So ends my first year of writing in this journal. I hope the next year will be quieter but I fear not.
 You are at: