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Scribed by Cormoran

Spring 1157 AD


It is my duty to now scribe the trials and tribulations of the covenant in this year of 1157. My hopes are that we may be allowed to live in peace and harmony to continue our studies, but my fears are that we will be assailed by forces of strife both internal and external.

We started the council meeting in good cheer, but that soon soured. Dialectica had apparently been spying on me last winter, and because I was not knee deep in mud as punishment for my accusations of incompetence last season, she decided to attack me in council. She proceeded to cross examine me and then further embarrassed me by getting the mining engineer to give an account of my duties. He reported that I did supervise the mining, but not directly, and the headman reported that I was seen only at meal times and occasionally out on the hill. I was directly asked if I worked hard: I said no, but I did do work. Indeed, I cast multiple spontaneous magics, which we all know is a risky proposal at the best of times, but my thoughts were for the covenant. Dialectica would not listen, though, even when I stated that I used the magic hammer once the steward had it delivered to me. Medius asked a few questions and things went badly as I agreed I had not worked as hard as I could but I did do my duty as warden of Blackney. Then I remembered that that Dialectica had used Image From The Wizard Torn to ask questions of the mining engineer when spying on me to avoid breaking the charter because she could not physically leave the covenant. I accused Dialectica of scrying and asked Medius to investigate; because of this the council was suspended. Medius did not question the headman or mining engineer and just said Dialectica was innocent after using Mentem magics on her to verify her story. I was not surprised as Dialectica is wise and my attempts to catch her out were thwarted, but I was annoyed at the baseless accusations of dereliction of duty. Dialectica then charged me with Delictum and all my sodalis voted against me, so I did not challenge any to Certamen because I did not want to fight Aelfwin, whom I consider my friend. The punishment offered by Dialectica was two seasons penalty; I offered no seasons as I felt I had done little or nothing wrong. For this vote, Aelfwin abstained and so I challenged Tiarnan to Certamen to force him to change his vote. I called Rego and he responded with Animal. The form the Certamen took was a fight between two animals: I had a bear and he had a faerie snake. I lost badly and quickly; his mastery of the form of Animal was obvious. Once I recovered, the council continued and the two seasons punishment was agreed. Dialectica then handed out Vis at the rate of one pawn a for each season's service performed by a Magus. I was directed to work for two seasons, in spring and summer, in Blackney, neither of them counting as punishment, so it is obvious that I have angered the Pontifex greatly, even though I was right as she then appointed an Imperator. It shocked us all when she named Medius as Imperator, which endangers his position if he gets called away as it will break the charter, something I know he would be loath to do. This was an appalling decision by our Pontifex if you ask me!

Dialectica and I travelled down to Blackney as she is out and about chatting to mundanes as Theo is not around to deal with such affairs. We chatted about finances and I suggested cider making as an alternate source of income that would be agreeable to all as growing trees would please the Anu worshipers in our covenant. It appeared that the Pontifex had regained her composure and was now trying to mend the bridges which she had nearly burnt. I wish to stress that I have no ill will towards her but she did not wish to leave the matter after the first Certamen.

Syrentia, a Merinitan from Cad Gadu, and Lady Luned passed by Blackney later in the season and stayed for a cup of ale and some food on their way to see Tiarnan regarding business of the fae I guessed. The Lady seemed childlike, but that might mean nothing in a faerie. They were both delightful company and a charming few hours were spent in their presence.

At the end of the season, Dialectica called an emergency meeting, saying that Baron Martin had been accused of being in league with the witches and wizards of the dean (or us in other words). The sheriff had also been arrested, accused of selling lands to witches and warlocks, and all deeds were going to be inspected. It was obvious this was a two-pronged attack upon us. It was felt that the fells might be controlling things to cause us harm. Dialectica decided to try and sort matters by going to see Magus De Camp at Carrion Moor, a Jerbiton who can help us with the mundane nobility and church. With his aid, she would try and attempt to infiltrate the noble court and discover the truth of the matter. I informed the villagers of Blackney to tell of Briavel village as a mining community, not wizards as was becoming the habit as they became used to our presence due to my living there. One solution to the deeds problem was proposed. We decided to investigate the possibility of making a magus of House Jerbiton, who is of noble birth, to hold the lands in the paper work, but this might not work and De Camp had to be consulted.

Summer

At the council meeting, the situation with the archbishop's aide was discussed and it was revealed that De Camp of Jerbiton would assist us in our troubles. An archbishop's aide is very powerful position, apparently, as he shouted at various nobles without repercussions, as if he had an Aura of Rightful Authority, although this might be the fact that his patron is a powerful man. Medius informed us that the Jewish sorcerer of Chepstow, who is Medius's friend, had visited the aide, Clifford, in his cell, and it was his opinion that there was an evil taint upon the man as if he had done a deal with the devil, although the methods of such detection were undisclosed and there veracity could not be proven. Probably, they work in a similar fashion to Theo's abilities in that he observes their spirit in some way, as the infernal seems to be able to warp Hermetic Intellego spells to make them ineffectual. For this crisis, Dialectica made Medius Ministrator and I was made Imperator, so at long last we had a proper power structure in the concilium again. Tiarnan announced he would travel to the Fae regio on his own business, probably this had something to do with the two fae who visited him last season. With the probable attack on the covenant by infernal forces, I vowed that I will defend the covenant with my life and, although some talked of evacuation, I thought that to flee and leave our home to be ravaged by the forces of evil to be an unconscionable event and so I made plans for our defence. Dialectica stated that any and all covenant resources could be used in its defence and, as long as the Primary Code was not broken, these acts of defence would be done in her name.

Medius obtained a tincture from the Jewish sorcerer that allowed him to see the auras of people, showing their spirit and therefore displaying if they are in league with the devil. He then went to Gloucester with Dialectica and De Camp to assess who in the high court was corrupt and who was pure of spirit. It was displayed to Medius through the application of this tincture that the aide Clifford and the knight assisting him were foully corrupted. Also there was Yvonne at the party and the 2nd son of the knight of Micheldean who caused Medius trouble in Chepstow when he first met the sorcerer. During this feast, Medius posed as De Camp's servant, fetching and carrying for the Jerbiton, which must have been unusual for Medius, as I don't think he has served wine to anyone since his gauntlet, and, being from the Tribunal and House he is, probably never has done. My time with Giddeon taught me a lot of humility and the common tasks that I am given by Dialectica do not worry me. I just wonder if, because of my House or looks, I am handed more of these onerous tasks than others.

Medius reported that, in his servant guise and with the fake name of Angelo, he was engaged in conversation by a servant. Later, on some pretext involving theft, a guard took him to question him but took him to Clifford, who had a demon with him. The demon and Clifford imprisoned and then quizzed Medius before attempting to wipe his memory. Through his strong will and an error of mismatched memories the dam built by the demon broke and the full horror of what had occurred was restored to Medius. The demon had referred to Clifford as Guyere, which scared Medius greatly, as this man was the leader of the fells!

After this story was revealed to Dialectica, she ordered Medius, Giovanni and Conrad, Medius's shield grog, to leave for the covenant, but they were followed. The group then ran for the docks via the town centre. Conrad was instructed to kill the man who followed if he attacked and, although at first a bit worried of the consequences of murdering a man in a busy city, when he found out that this servant who followed the group was a churchman he readily agreed. Medius and Giovanni then found a barge and helped load it for half an hour to hasten its departure, although how much heavy lifting Medius did with his soft hands I do not know. They quickly travelled down stream to Blackney, where they fled into the Aegis there for protection from any following spirits. Medius and party rested after their panicked flight from Chepstow at Blackney until just after nightfall, when scouts reported that the undead are on the move from Lydney and look like they will assault Blackney. Medius decided to leave his close friends at Blackney under undead assault and aported back to the covenant using a potion of Leap of Homecoming.

Theo and Astrius returned to Blackney at this inopportune moment and then set to defend it as best they could. Astrius cast fireballs at our enemies at Blackney, but although he hit many, the legions of undead rolled up to the edge of the Aegis. Theo and Astrius retreat into Blackney and, not being able to cast spells across the Aegis, for they were not included in the ceremony, being away, had to watch uselessly as the undead flailed against the invisible wall. Then the army of undead started to withdraw and Astrius demanded that they open the gate so that he might smite the retreating enemy with his powerful magics. However, the people are terrified and refused to do so until he himself unlocked the gate. The reason for the retreat was now becoming clear, as evil spirits and the undead legion now assailed the covenant. The Aegis is tested again and again but to no avail as our ninth magnitude defence was equal to their attempts to gain entry. I blessed the inventor of that powerful spell as I organised the defences by rallying in the great hall. I did this because I realised that although against mundane threat our grogs could hold their own, but against this mystical attack if they somehow penetrated our Aegis they would have no hope unless defended by a Magus of the Order. With my plans in place and the final redoubt defended by our stout grogs and the back door protected by a ward against the infernal in which Helena and Aelfwin remained to be the safe place for healing our wounded, we waited for what may come.

Astrius, bravely stepping out of the Aegis, trusting in his own physical and magical defences, was then attacked by a strange magical power, but his Parma resisted this attack, and Theo, using his sight of the spirits, observed two wraiths in the otherworld attacking his lifelong friend. Thinking quickly, Theo used his power over the spirit world to command these fell apparitions to flee, which, because of his power, they quickly did so. At this point, with his master having abandoned him, Giovanni explained about Guyere and the incidents that had taken place at Gloucester to Astrius and Theo. A few moments later, a ghostly priest came up towards Blackney and Theo tried to command it, but it defied him and curses him to what effect remains to be seen.

At this moment, our Aegis at Severn Temple was assaulted and failed. Thinking rapidly, I lent my boots of apportation to Medius, who used their magics to transport himself to Blackney to warn them of the Aegis failing at Severn Temple and to check on the situation there. As soon as he arrived there, the Aegis was tested and tested again in many places in an apparent attempt to destroy it. Theo, looking with his spirit sight, again saw that a skeletal figure was attacking the Aegis with white lightning, but the shocking realisation was that it was attacking through Medius, maybe through some form of arcane connection gathered at Gloucester. But perhaps this is a Hermeticisation of some infernal spiritual power. Theo then looks at Medius' spirit with his sight and observed blight on his spirit. This, he deducted, was a mark left by Guyere in Gloucester and now he was vulnerable to the infernal powers and offered a way to bypass or even destroy the Aegis. Given this information, Medius fled with my boots of apportation to Mynyyd Myddyn to hide from the demon in a regio, but he then thought better of it and then returned to me and asked for a link to Chepstow, presumably to seek aid from his Jewish sorcerer friend, which I provided.

Blackney was then surrounded by 3 spectres to hold those at bay whilst the main attack fell on Severn Temple. Theo stepped out of the Aegis but quickly retreated when his commands did not stay the evil spirits. He may be powerful when it comes to spirits, but obviously not all powerful.

Theo then made a run for the forest with Astrius providing a decoy. Two of the spirits attacked Astrius, but the third one floated around aimlessly for no obvious reason. Of the two spirits attacking Astrius, his mighty defences repelled them easily and so Astrius and Theo ran to the forest calling on the Bethwyn to defend them, hoping her Fay powers would defend them from the evil spirits. Bethwyn flies Theo and Astrius to Severn Temple after some negotiation by means of her evil and ugly Cors. She tells them that she can offer protection under the forest boughs but not in the covenant. It is unusual for this agent of the Morrigan to be so helpful, and I am left wondering what deals might have been done by those in regular contact with her.

Realising that we were assailed by a mighty force, I decided to ask permission of Aelfwin for his apprentice to apport to Blackthorn and ask for aid against the legion of demons, spirits and undead that assailed us.

As soon as Mathew left seeking aid, Astrius and Theo arrive by air and Astrius went to defend the gate, taking plenty of Aquam Vis. I do not fully understand his thinking here as the mundane defences of the gate would not assist him against the spirits and if he got into trouble then no aid could reach him, but I suppose the hot headedness of the Flambeau overrode his sense of tactics, and he strode out into the night.

An unearthly mist rolled in over the walls, showing that the horde from Blackney was approaching. Then they assaulted the main gate. Astrius attempted to blast them with water to what effect was unsure, but I can see his reasoning, as if they were demons, fire would have little effect. Seeking around himself with his spirit sight, Theo realised that he could not see into the mist in the other world, for it was as if they knew of our powers and used the mist to defend themselves from Theo's magics. Theo was now outside the main hall without a strong Parma and was attacked by a hag and so fled back to the great hall where my defences stood ready to repel the invaders.

Astrius, alone on the gate, was attacked multiple times via magic but his Parma held. The gate now came under perpetual attack and even Astrius, constantly counterattacking with water blasts, could not hold back the tide of undead. The gates were then broken open and, at last realising his precarious position, Astrius retreated rapidly back to great hall. He nearly did not make it as then a big beast attacked Astrius, causing him to stumble, but he managed to maintain his balance and sprinted at full pelt for the main doors of the great hall. It must have been hard for him to turn tail and flee like a whipped dog, but his pride had led him to near disaster and his feet now extricated him from certain death. Theo and Astrius scampered back in and, as the door was slammed and barred behind them, a powerful demon put his hand in to try and force the main door. I hit the demon with my halberd, which hurts it badly and forced it to withdraw its hand a few fingers short, which I noticed turned to maggots as they hit the floor, and wriggled out under the door back to their master.

Mathew arrived at Blackthorn and begged Serenia for help she rapidly formed a party to aid us and prepared to join the fray.

In the great hall, although we were defended against the physical undead, the spirits entered and started to posses the grogs. Theo stepped sideways, as I think he calls it, and once in the spirit world began to fight the possessing spirits.

Then the main door rang like a bell as the demon that I had struck began to assault it. Astrius summoned a dirt berm to hold the door in place, but for how long that would hold I was not sure. Theo attacked it in the spirit world where it was vulnerable, but as he could not be in two places at once the spectres in the hall ran riot and possessed many of the grogs, including a member of the guard who all then attack Astrius. In the world of spirits, Theo fought the demon and struck it a mean blow, which leaked fire instead of blood, the fire from the cut burns over Theo, but through some power he was only slightly hurt from the burns. Then Theo summoned all his powers from his Hermetic, non-Hermetic and pagan sources and struck the demon a mighty blow which cuts deep and the demons spirit is rent to pieces by Theo's dark blade.

Hearing noise of panic from the council chamber, I bravely leave the great hall to defend our coven folk. I attack a demon and wound it gravely, but in the confined area break the sword I was using.

Astrius was then attacked by a spectre and, surprisingly for one of such a powerful Parma, was possessed by it. He then proceeded to attack the dirt berm he summoned, in his crazed state, presumably to allow entrance to the horde still remaining outside. Realising that Aelfwin and Helena were defended from demons but not from possessed grogs, I stood bodyguard over them both observing the actions in the confused great hall.

Theo, using his summoned powers, then drove off the demon terrorising the coven folk hiding in the council room that I had previously wounded, its weakened state no match for the demon slayer that Theo had become.

Unfortunately, at this point, Astrius went mad, probably due to a possessing spirit and started fireballing the grogs. This was the biggest danger of all now, as his Ignem powers were not inconsiderable, and so I charged him to tackle him and prevent further death and destruction in the room. As I closed the distance, he quickly cast a blast of water at me, but I shrugged it off as if it were a light shower of rain. I reached out and grabbed him around the waist and easily tackled him to the floor. Once there, he was no match, even in his maddened state, for the power and force of my body and he succumbed to my will as I pinned him to the floor. With that, lightning was heard outside and the rescue force Serenia had assembled arrived, Fenriata blasting the undead with her Auram magics. Also with her were De Camp, Dialectica, Gyriania and Orlania. Between these powerful Magi, the undead horde was quickly defeated and, although I would have liked to help them, I was needed to hold Astrius at bay until Theo could assist him.

After the fight was completed, the Pontifex organised that the Aegis was recast, but without Medius in the ritual as he was still marked by Guyere and could not be trusted.

Medius, in Chepstow, asked the Jewish sorcerer for assistance and while there the demon that destroyed the Aegis attacked the Jew's house. But, through the use of Kabala magics to defend them and a sword and dagger to attack it, they defeated the demon and then offered thanks to their Jewish gods. It appeared as if this fight using the Kabala magics confused Medius, for when he tried to cast a simple spell to discern the wounds of Zeddakiah, the Jewish sorcerer, he collapsed until morning.

The next morning, Dialectica called an emergency council meeting. The proposal is made by Dialectica that we employ the gang in Gloucester to assault the archbishop's aide (Guyere) and that we would use the mundane attack to hide an attack by wizards on Guyere, as only one magically aided could hurt him with his protections about him. Realising the strength of the opponent, however, we determined to take the matter to the Tribunal, hoping for a Wizards March, as Guyere is a fallen Hermetic Magus, over 150 years old and bringing the wrath of the mundanes upon the Order. Medius, using my boots, teleported to Blackney to meet the group going to Blackthorn for the Tribunal. There he was questioned about Zeddakiah and the possibility of whether he is a Pious Magus, therefore to be slain, was discussed but dismissed. Because of his taint, the Concilium Quaesitori decided to place Medius under probation for a year and asked a member of the covenant to watch him for anything suspicious. Also he was not be allowed to continue in his duties for the year, which must have vexed him mightily. Theo reported his activities about a hill top fight to Serenia who said she would inform Holy Isle about the attack, as it appeared to be by the Unnamed House.

The report of the Tribunal was gathered from information passed to me by Medius and Dialectica.

The job of Prefectus was proposed. This would be to the Tribunal as Imperator is to our covenant and lots of discussion took place as to whether one was needed. A tax was issued that once every seven years a Tribunal service would have to be completed by each covenant. Finally, a tax of two pawns of vis per Magus was issued to swell the coffers of the Praeca of the Tribunal.

The Redcap reported that Jordael had passed into final twilight and many eulogies were said for this quiet but powerful Magus. House Flambeau reported McGraine was dead and that, because of this, the Scottish clans had sued for peace, which would bring much relief to the embattled northern covenants. News from far away reached these shores and it was reported that North African covenants were being attacked by order of Etheiopicus.

During the first evening, Ursula talked to Theo about the attack by the Unnamed House and proposed Motus as Prefectus if the case came to trial as there were many loose ends to be tied up. Arcturus questioned Medius about the legality of the role of Prefectus as he was obviously worried, but Medius, after stressing that he was not in a position to give a ruling as his probation prohibited him from doing so, offered the advice that it was a legal precedent..

The news and declarations of the various covenants is described below:

Blywythen stated that Mair of Tremere joined them and that they required Perdo Vis to further their studies and wanted to trade for it.

Cad Gadu stated that Jordael had no will and so his belongings will go to the covenant and that there would be free Herbam Vis for any Ex Miscellanean who presents themselves to the Primus resident there.

Carrion Moor stated that they now have a ship for use based in Southampton called the Indomitus and that they have found an ancient place and wants investigation by those skilled with spirits and such like.

At this point in the proceedings, Sylvania challenged the legality of Prefectus, but after much discussion the Quaesitori decide it is legal and support its application for vote.

Later that evening, Ursula began to talk to Theo about the attack on the hill by the Unnamed House. Luckily for Theo, Llandothwyn interrupts the conversation and informs him that all discussion about this will have to be directed through him. Thus ending the conversation as Ursula did not wish to harangue Llandothwyn and was hoping for an easier target in Theo. Dialectica later talked to Theo about a moratorium on the big vote until the job of Prefectus is better described. They then talked about voting and which way the Tribunal will vote, but I feel Dialectica was just trying to distract Theo from the awful mess he nearly got himself into with Ursula.

The Concilium Quaesitori discusses the role of Prefectus and most seemed in favour. Medius states that it might be voted on, as it is not the place of the Concilium Quaesitori to debate the good or bad of the case but just the legality. As always Medius showed himself to be a stickler for the letter and not the spirit of the law. After this meeting, Theo chatted to Medius trying to convince him of the folly of this Prefectus position. He proposes the moratorium that he and Dialectica had discussed and Medius declared he would think on the matter. Theo, now acting as politician, a role he is not the best suited to, met with the magi of Trevalga covenant to try and convince them of the moratorium's benefits. Two of the Tremere state that Ursula will cast their vote and so they have no say and the rest are not swayed by Theo's words as he puts the case badly, which was not surprising to those of us who know him.

The next day, Llandothwyn and Torius of Scarfell were questioned about attacks on the henges. They were asked, if the henges were destroyed, what would happen to magic in the Tribunal? Torius stated that if enough of the stones were destroyed, then the magic would fade and we would not be able to defend ourselves from the Unnamed House. Dionysus states that it would be bad for magic if these sites were destroyed, which was an obvious statement, if you ask me. Theo was then questioned and unfortunately embarrassed the Primus in front of the whole Tribunal by telling of the ban on his revealing anything without the Primus's permission.

Next the case for Prefectus is strongly made, as we are under attack by the Unnamed House and a strong war leader is needed. Indeed, if I had been there I would have joined my voice in support of this position. A powerful speech by Eloria was made for the case and it is obvious that many are swayed in the room by her arguments. Then she calls for a vote. At this point, Sylvania asks for moratorium, but is rebuffed by the Primus who demands the main vote to be taken now. The final vote is 23 votes in favour to 23 votes against. Eloria has the casting vote and she naturally cast it in favour and, as the proposal had won, declared a Prefectus was to be chosen before the end of the tribunal.

The various covenants then continued their declarations, which were as follows:

Holy Isle stated that a tax for defeating the Unnamed House was set at five pawns of vis per Magus, although what they will do with so much Herbam Vis I do not know, possibly build a very big tree house. Also they stated that Motus of Flambeau had joined their ranks.

Lear Valley stated that Ferra had finished her research on familiars and will teach other Magi about this breakthrough if desired; also that Jolyon had created spell to turn stone as strong as steel.

Narwold stated that spirits were still attacking their covenant and that they still needed help and that Arcturus had found a Christian cult in London based around merchants etc.

Scarfell stated that they have a new inn in Carlisle, which could be used in safety by Magi of the Order, and that Torius wished to contest the findings of his filius's death, Madoc, by Ruaridh and wants the Concilium Quaesitori to reopen the case.

Solis castle stated Yania now had more open access to Lindisfarne library and Gently Gifted Magi can have access via her. Pontus asked that, with the threat of Scots receding, he wanted Bori-tor re-founded with apprentices that pass their gauntlet to shore up the northern defences of the Tribunal.

Severn Temple stated the report of the attack by the undead and proposed Guyere is an enemy of the Order and a Wizards March should be declared. Jerbiton's should lead the attack and Holy Isle should investigate, as he might be of the unnamed house. This vote was easily carried and Wizards March is declared against Guyere. The Prefectus will organise the attack. Our second statement was that we were open to any vis trading, as our supplies were large. To this statement, Orlania said she would trade for the Ignem vis with Corporem and Perdo vis.

At the end of the meeting, the Prefectus was chosen. Those putting their names forward were Motus of Flambeau, Orlania of Flambeau, Pontus of Tremere and Geriania, a Tytalan of Blywythen. The general feeling the night before the vote was that Orlania will probably win, as Motus is relatively new and Pontus had a reputation as a loser as he lost his covenant to the Scots invaders. It was also discussed that Geriania had no chance as she was an unpopular Maga. In the end, Pontus or Orlania seem the strongest candidates and the vote was mainly going to be between them. When the vote was cast, Orlania won and becomes Prefecta. She proposed the rooting out and destruction of Guyere as the priority, which pleased us in Severn Temple a lot as he had been a thorn in our side for a long time.

As the meeting came to a close, a little excitement was raised by Fenriata and Ursula having a Certamen about an unknown matter. A Creo Terram fight was called which Fenriata won in a few minutes.

As preparations were being made to leave the tribunal Theo talked to Carrion Moor about ancient site, trying to glean information which might prove interesting, but they new little about the site and so his questions remained mainly unanswered.

Autumn

On the first dawn of autumn, the council was convened and the previous season's occurrences were divulged to the assembled Magi. Dialectica's first action was to revoke all positions granted whilst Theo and Astrius had absented themselves and asked for a new vote. I had thought, as my successful defence of the covenant had shown me to be an able Imperator, I would retain the position, but is was obvious that success does not breed loyalty in Dialectica's eyes. Theo was re voted in as Ministrator, which cannot have pleased Medius much, but in his situation of being on probation and possibly tainted, he cannot have avoided losing the position. The vote for Imperator was close, and four to three voted for Astrius. I suppose friendship won out over sense as Theo, Aelfwin and Medius all voted for the Flambeau, even though his ability in battle seems to be as a loner going into danger rather than a leader of men. Because of my desire to retain this prestigious post and to ensure that the covenant would always be defended by a thoughtful warrior, I challenged Theo to Certamen to change his vote. I successfully defeated him, but then to keep his friend in power, Aelfwin Certamened Tiarnan to change his vote, which he lost. Fearing now for his prideful position and after his friends had first tried to stand up for him, Astrius stirred himself to action and he challenged me to Certamen again, even though I was tired after my first Certamen. I agreed, always willing to test my mettle, no matter how weary I am. Astrius pressed me mightily, but he made an error and I saw an opening and, as I pressed, his magics seemed to turn in on itself pushing deeply into his own persona. He collapsed and was rushed to the infirmary where Helena ministered to him to attempt to revive him. I now had the votes and my position was about to be secured when Medius, worried that I, an Ex Miscellanean, successful as I was, was about to retain the position when he had lost his, stepped up and with a quiet voice uttered a challenge. Although now very tired, I accepted, as a warrior can not choose when to fight, only to make do with the resources he has at the time of the challenge. He had seen my sweated brow and awaited his time to strike me low and his tactic paid dividends as I was too exhausted to best him and so withdrew after but a short time. So, with the final vote back to four to three, Astrius the rash was voted back into the position of leading the defence of the covenant. As recompense, I was again made Warden of Blackney. This position was created to appease me, I feel, but I will do my duty to covenant and villagers.

To the defence of Blackney and ultimately the covenant, I propose we either flood Lydney to cleanse it or close down Blackney permanently, creating wealth internally to the covenant via beer and cider or the simple method of selling vis. Both are argued down, but Tiarnan agrees to talk to the Lladra about the flooding idea next time he meets her. Because of the defeat of the undead legion, we decide to reduce the Aegis to fifth magnitude at Blackney.

Orlania, Gareania, Pontus, Du Clerc, Augustus, Yania, Fenriata and Jolyon arrive at the covenant to discuss the attack on Guyere and it is decided to use the gang to get Guyere out of Gloucester and then kill him in anonymity. To this end, Theo went to meet Melgwyn to buy the infernal books. 450 pennies was the agreed price and, during the meeting, Yania, in the guise of "Diana", Dialectica's alter ego, checks books and reads the mind of Melgwyn. Now understanding Melgwyn's motivation, the plan solidified and an idea was implanted into Melgwyn head, he planned to assault Stone manor, one of the known locations of Guyere's homes. At an emergency council meeting later in the season, we were informed that Guyere had been killed and his body parts sent to Holy Isle for investigation. He was at Stone because of the capture of Melgwyn in his bungled assault. Because of the lack now of the archbishop's aide the case against Baron Martin and Reeve was dropped and they were freed. Melgwyn, surprisingly, survived the ministrations of Guyere's torturer and had fled to the country where it was believed that he has set up a tavern with his ill-gotten gains.

Winter

Remarkably for this covenant, a very quiet and peaceful winter occurred, and we all relaxed after what has been a tumultuous year.
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