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Scribed by Medius

Spring 1156 AD


My recording of events in this journal must of necessity begin two days before the spring concilium, as the previous author was unable to scribe them. The Redcap Lauretius arrived, bearing a message for the Ministrator. Magus Theodosius' pater, the Magus Jordael, has suffered a ferocious twilight and our Ministrator was called to attend upon him. It was agreed that the Imperator would accompany him upon his journey and thus there were just four of us present at the concilium, Magus Tiarnan still closeted away working on binding his familiar.

The first report we received was from Magus Cormoran. He was well bandaged, having suffered some injury whilst performing his service to Magus Qwellior. He told us that he had been tasked with retrieving the heart of an iron boar located within a magical wood near Chester. Within that regio, for such was the belief of the Magus, he became stuck within the wood and was beset by wolves. He took refuge up a tree but the wolves quickly turned tail and fled as the iron boar approached. This boar then led our sodalis to the edge of the wood so that he might exit. Magus Cormoran took the opportunity to attack the beast but it proved a strong foe and quickly gained the upper hand in the struggle. Magus Cormoran fled, and being fortunate enough to escape the wood led the creature to a tree where the Merinitan waited. As the boar attempted to gore Magus Cormoran he dodged aside and the creature struck the tree, which then collapsed upon the creature killing it in an instant. Magus Qwellior took the heart leaving Magus Cormoran the remainder of the creature from which 6 pawns of animal Vis were extracted. We agreed that it would be worth checking to see whether this forest was a registered Vis site or whether we might seek to utilise it ourselves in the future.

There was a short discussion regarding the items that we had obtained from the Demon in Lydney during winter. Maga Fenriata's advice is to keep the items submerged in running water and that we agreed to do until we had further information as to our best course of action. There were no other matters to report so our activities for the season were discussed. Whilst some believe such to be of little interest I have found that there are oft times when a matter of history becomes more important than might initially be believed so I shall report in full. Magus Aelfwin was set to extracting vim vis for the covenant, Magus Cormoran announced he was completing the invention of a spell, the Pontifex said she would study from the intellego texts whilst I was granted the right to study from the intellego vis.

A few days after the concilium Redcap Lauretius returned once more. He bore with him a letter to myself inviting me to attend the concilium Quaesitorii at the end of the season. He also brought us news that Narwold covenant has been besieged by the bodies of corpses possessed by spirits. They can breach the aegis of that covenant and they have asked for aid from all points. We were also told that Maga Fenriata has been instructed to return to Holy Isle. The season passed peacefully for all and some days before the start of summer I set off for Blackthorn, accompanied by Giovanni and my shield grog Conrad. As we passed Lydney, Giovanni espied some disturbance in the ground. There were patches of bare earth that appeared to be recently disturbed or dug away. This was disturbing enough that we returned to the covenant to make report before resuming our journey the following day. When we reached Chepstow we took a room at the Three Cups as usual while we waited to locate a barge travelling past Skenfrith. As we entered we were espied by a man dressed in what appeared to me to be the robes of a merchant who was accompanied by two unsavoury looking figures. There was some comment made by them regarding my race and shortly afterwards the innkeeper asked us to leave his establishment claiming that he had mistakenly hired us the room as it was already taken. I did not challenge the obvious untruth of his statement and we quickly located another tavern by the North Gate called the Gate Arms. The barge that we eventually travelled on did not leave for three days and the day following our arrival brought rumours that a man named Edward, who matched in description the man who I had seen at the Three Cups, was claiming that he had been swindled by a Jew. This Edward turned out to be the younger brother to the heir of Mitcheldean. Giovanni managed to garner some information from the innkeeper at the Gate Arms, a man who was prejudiced only against those who could not pay the coin that he asked, and made his way into the poor quarter where he spoke with a Jewish usurer named Zedekiah. This man had also had dealings with Edward, having been defaulted on a loan of 100 pennies. He told Giovanni that Edward had an elder sister named Rachel who was perhaps more level headed than her brother. Zedekiah also advised him that it was currently illegal for a Jew to hold servants and we had best conceal our relationship.

The following day a guard came to the inn and I was placed under arrest and taken to the watchhouse where I was interviewed by the Captain of Chepstow, a man held to be fair but also a friend of Edward. With Giovanni as translator I discovered that I was charged with defrauding Edward of 200 pennies over some business deal made two weeks earlier. Despite my best attempts to affirm that an error had been made I was told that unless I paid my debt I would be arraigned for trial. Giovanni returned to the covenant and Magus Aelfwin quickly journeyed to Chepstow with funds to pay my freedom. They were unnecessary however as after only a few hours in the gaol Zedekiah paid my supposed debt and I was set free. We returned to the inn and there I learned that Zedekiah was a Jewish Sorcerer, member of an organisation named the Cabal. He had knowledge of our order and had quickly recognised me as a magus although I believe that much of the cause of his aid was our shared heritage. He told me that his magic was not powered by the gift as we know it but was granted by god for his chosen people to use. I am no ill judge of character and it seemed to me that he was an honest man and I thanked him for his kindness and told him that if he needed aid in future I would gladly give it if I were able.

At Blackthorn I spoke with the Senior Quaesitor who believed that there was a treaty between the Cabal and our own order but stated that she would have to make further research at Magvillus. At the concilium Quaesitorii we discussed the proposal by Holy Isle that they should be given the right to investigate Magi known to follow the pagan faith without need for raising a charge. I will not speak of the detail those proceedings but after the final vote it was resolved that the concilium Quaesitorii of Stonehenge would not add its support to such a motion.

Summer


I did not return to Severn Temple until the end of the season as an investigation that I was tasked with took me to Cad Gadu where I remained for the entire summer. Whilst there I learned that Magus Jordael was considered to be on the brink of final twilight. My sodales, the Ministrator and Imperator, were not present and none seemed to know whither they had gone. They had departed Cad Gadu a month before the end of spring and had still not returned to our own covenant as I scribe this record. It was my impression that the Primus of House Ex Miscellanea might have some knowledge as to their whereabouts but he was not forthcoming to me.

I have had no report of any events here at Severn Temple either and the only thing that remains for me to record is that at the concilium the Pontifex announced she would study from animal vis while Magus Cormoran was tasked to stay in Blackney and assist the mining operation as his service. Magus Aelfwin has taken his son Matthew as an apprentice as it seems that the boy has the gift.

Autumn

Magus Tiarnan rejoined us at the concilium with his familiar, the otter Kai. Proceedings began with us informing our sodalis of some of the more notable events that had befallen the covenant in the year that he has been sequestered. We discussed the whereabouts of our missing sodales and after the Code's strictures on scrying were reaffirmed it was agreed that the Pontifex would send a letter to Primus Llandoddwyn asking whether he might shed any light on this mystery. Magus Cormoran reported that he had assisted the mining engineer and that we would start to see ore from spring next year and that the yield would improve twofold or even more. We were all gladdened by this news as the matter of the taxes we still owe was raised. The Pontifex announced that she needed to speak to the Sheriff to arrange repayment terms favourable to ourselves although at present her absence was not possible under the terms of our charter. It was noted that we may be able to sell some of our other coinage or jewellery through a goldsmith or moneylender and I was able to announce that in Zedekiah we might have such a contact. Magus Cormoran suggested that the Pontifex might wish to appoint him Imperator so that she might travel abroad but she demurred for the time being, preferring to keep the magus elected to the post. The conversation then turned to the Vis found in the Heart of the Forest however and the fact that beside the Ministrator only the Pontifex might be able to recover it. Magus Tiarnan then proposed that Magus Cormoran be granted the title of Imperator and he was supported in the vote by Magus Aelfwin and the nominee, myself and the Pontifex both choosing to abstain.

For the season I was tasked with extracting vim Vis for the covenant, while both the Magi Cormoran and Tiarnan stated they would be creating spells. Magus Aelfwin requested the corporem texts and the Pontifex was happy to accede before she left the covenant on her service.

The Pontifex was absent for but one day and returning she called for an emergency meeting of the concilium. She reported that whilst passing Blackney she espied a stretch of the hill had been stripped of vegetation and soil. We learned that the mining engineer had proposed that rather than tunnel under the ground as before that it would quickly yield more ore to use a technique called strip mining where the iron is extracted by digging down through the earth. Magus Cormoran had aided the process by casting Tread of the ashen path to help remove the vegetation and then diverting the course of a nearby stream to wash away the topsoil. There was quite a heated argument as to the wisdom of such a course and whether this might threaten the aura, attract attention and anger the spirit Anu. A motion was raised that all work be halted and the engineer instructed to utilise the more traditional form of mine. Magus Tiarnan the Pontifex and myself voted for this motion with Magus Cormoran and Magus Aelfwin voting against.

A few days later, after the Pontifex had left once more, the Magus Qwellior called upon Magus Cormoran to fulfil his final seasons service by swiftly travelling to Wales to fetch back a gifted child that the Merinitan wished for an apprentice. The child was protected with iron and Magus Qwellior feared that the local priest would soon notice his strangeness if the task were not carried out immediately. Once more an emergency meeting of concilium was called to agree the best course of action. I suggested that we send messengers to attempt to find the Pontifex and ask that she return so that the bargain may finally be fulfilled. Despite my protestations another suggestion was raised however and Magus Cormoran, pressed on by Magus Tiarnan and Magus Aelfwin, declared a state of Trepidus. Although I opposed the motion the other three Magi voted in favour and with the power of Dictator Magus Cormoran appointed Magus Aelfwin as Ministrator. The mantle of Dictator immediately passed to the new Ministrator who closed the meeting, ending the state of Trepidus that had been declared. Magus Cormoran was successful in his mission and returned bearing a pair of boots enchanted with the seven-league stride, a gift from Magus Qwellior.

Close to the end of the season the Senior Quaesitor and the Inquisitor visited me. They passed on the news that House Guernicus had decided to offer its support to Holy Isle's proposal although such a motion will have to be passed by the Grand Tribunal before it will come into effect. Quaesitor Serenia was also able to tell me some more regarding the cabal. It appears that they are a loose order of non-gifted practitioners of religious magic. There is indeed a treaty between our own order and theirs and they have strong contacts within House Criamon. She was further able to inform me that she had heard they were skilled in the magic of animating objects.

Winter

The concilium began with our Imperator relating his tale regarding his journey to Wales. The Pontifex swiftly learned of the state of Trepidus that had been called and was sorely angry. She immediately reinstated Magus Astrius to the position of Imperator and Magus Theodosius to that of Ministrator. There were intemperate words spoken and hearing Magus Cormoran question her decision not to appoint a new Ministrator she challenged him to certamen, he responding with corporem to her call of creo. The battle took place in the great hall with a figure appearing before each magus. A cancerous horror began to consume each figure and both magi sought to heal it before the tissue was entirely consumed. Within a short while Magus Cormoran had lost with the Pontifex barely having taken a hard breath.

The Pontifex informed us that the Heart of the Forest had once more yielded two pawns of vim Vis although I did not enquire as to how my sodales disposed of their prize. The Pontifex has agreed that those taxes still to be paid are reimbursed at a rate of 200 pennies a year over the usual tax of 400 pennies until the debt is cleared. Magus Tiarnan requested that when funds be sufficient in the treasury a laboratory be established within the lower level of the faerie regio. Three services were allocated for the season; the Pontifex extracting vim Vis, Magus Aelfwin producing glassware for sale and Magus Cormoran being tasked with spending the winter in Blackney. I chose to study from the works on Hermetic Law while Magus Tiarnan studied from the Pagan Lore volumes.

Shortly after the concilium I was asked to adjudicate on a further disagreement between Magus Cormoran and the Pontifex as to whether autumn should be considered a season's service for the younger magus. Referring to the journal yielded little information as to the precise agreement that was struck, as Magus Cormoran had not seen fit to record it. I decided that given that the activity had taken less than ten days, that part of a season that a magus may reasonably consider his own, and that no formal statement that this be considered a service had been made by either acting Pontifex during that season then the mission should not be considered as such. Magus Cormoran was unhappy with my decision and I informed him that he had the right to appeal to the Senior Quaesitor. I suggested that certamen may be a better way to settle the dispute however and calling rego Magus Cormoran challenged the Pontifex. She responded with mentem and this time the battle lasted but a moment as Magus Cormoran quickly conceded. He accused the Pontifex of assigning the service for malicious reasons as he was partway through developing a new spell and the work would be lost. The Pontifex responded that she felt it was important to make as much progress on the mine as possible with the decision not to proceed with the previous mining effort and that Magus Cormoran should assist with the creation of it.

Still early in the season the Redcap Lauretius visited us with news. In the mundane sphere we were told that there is a rumour that the Baron of Monmouth has been charged by the Archbishop's aide with refusing to give evidence against a witch and that the matter has been referred to the earl of Gloucester. If true this seems grave news as such a charge must have been raised with the Archbishop's support. Of Hermetic matters we were informed that Magus Jordael had entered final twilight and there were a number of fine testimonials from members of the tribunal. It was also confirmed that there will be a meeting of the tribunal next summer at the Domus Magnus. There was also word from Primus Llandoddwyn saying that we should not fear for our sodales as they were carrying out a service for him.

I am happy to conclude my scribing by reporting that there were no further events worthy of record before the end of the season.
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