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Scribed by Tiarnan

Spring 1165 AD


We began the year with a short Council meeting that did not dwell on any one subject for long. Indeed, there were no items worth noting for posterity, other than the fact that the Pontifex chose to make a generous distribution of vis to those who had carried out service on behalf of the covenant the previous year.

Theo travelled north to Lear Valley covenant to speak with other members of his House, who had assembled there to discuss the recent election of Fenriata, who until recently served as a member of House Tremere, as the new Prima of House Ex Miscellanea. Theo reported later that, in addition to several members of Lear Valley, the meeting was attended by representatives of the House from the Loch Leglean and Hibernia Tribunals. The Magi expressed some scepticism about their new Prima, though Theo managed to convince them to give her a chance to demonstrate her suitability to carry out her new role, rather than rushing to judge her on her past House affiliation. The meeting broke up with a decision to continue to watch Fenriata closely but to take no further action at this stage.

[Tiarnan's private journal: Later in the season, Medius asked to speak with me on a personal matter. He revealed that Cormoran had petitioned the Senior Quaesitor to be allowed to declare Wizards War upon me! Cormoran declared that he believed that I had poisoned the attitude of the other members of the Council against him, and that his recent misfortune, including the collapse of his plans in the faerie regio and his subsequent punishment for blaming Dialectica for actions that rightly belonged to him, could all be attributed to me. I was extremely shaken by this news, partly at the thought that Cormoran was so clearly unhinged, but mainly because I could not hope to win any such encounter.

Medius informed me that the Senior Quaesitor had asked him to intervene to see whether the dispute could be solved through arbitration rather than violence. I considered this for a moment before the sheer ridiculousness of Cormoran's actions overwhelmed me. I thanked Medius for his intervention, but I told him that Cormoran should act as he saw fit. I then made plans to hide should the giant carry out his threat, but these proved unnecessary, as Cormoran lacked the resolve to push the matter further. I, however, have not forgotten the issue, and I shall lay plans to bring about his downfall, whether through exile or more permanent means. This malicious, violent, self-interested, dull-witted, malign, inconsistent, vituperative and mendacious fool will regret his actions this day. It will take time to prepare properly, but I shall be patient and resolute.]


Summer

The Summer Council has just finished, and I do not know whether I should be more disappointed or angry. The meeting began in stormy fashion after I revealed Cormoran's attempt to declare Wizards' War upon me. I explained that this now made it impossible for us both to continue as members of the same covenant, for how could I express my opinions at Council fully, when the slightest disagreement between the two of us might tip Cormoran over the edge once more and result in a resumption of his desire to slay me? Cormoran displayed not the slightest hint of contrition for his actions; indeed, I sensed that he felt that he been magnanimous by agreeing to not to proceed with Wizards' War at this time.

I pushed for a motion of Exilium to be declared on Cormoran, based on his frequent malicious and ill-advised actions, his multiple censures from Council and now his desire to kill me. I received no support from my sodales, and Medius even accused me of trying to blackmail the Council for stating that I would have to leave if Cormoran did not! He refused to even hear the motion of Exilium, claiming that he did not believe that Cormoran's actions were deserving of such a penalty. Fearing for my safety, I then asked for permission to leave the covenant at the end of the meeting, preferring to trust to the wilds rather than spend more time in Cormoran's vicinity. The motion failed, which means that I must wait until the following meeting before I can leave. The rest of the meeting passed in a blur for me, for I could not concentrate on the issues. Not content with destroying my alliances in the faerie regio, Cormoran has now driven me from my home.

[Tiarnan's private journal: Following the meeting, I spoke at length with Theo. He explained that he had learned - I know not how - that one of the thirteen treasures of Britain, the Cauldron of Bran, was in danger of falling into the hands of his enemies. The Cauldron had apparently been hidden for many years, but Theo now feared that a group of diabolists including Ieuan, Idris' son, were on the brink of discovering its hiding place. He described a hall on hill shrouded in mist, surrounded by fenlands and guarded by faerie serpents, in which a tapestry hung that showed the location of the Cauldron. He asked for my aid to retrieve it, since he knew that the Faerie Court of Water had been involved in hiding it in some way. I readily agreed.

With the assistance of the Lladra, we rapidly made our way to the Court of Llyr. After some words between Theo and Llyr, which I shall not reveal here, we set forth in the company of Lady Nimue. We found the hall Theo had mentioned; after we gained entry, Theo claimed that we were assailed by spirits, which I could not see, but he managed to drive them back. We found the tapestry just in time, for Theo sensed that another party was making its way up the hillside. Grabbing the tapestry, we fled down towards the safety of the waters, though we were pursued by a fearsome wolf, and Theo exchanged blows with an invisible assailant who I later learned was Ieuan. With Nimue's aid, we escaped from the fenlands, and she took us to a riverbank where we could examine the tapestry in peace. As moonlight fell upon the threads, we saw a path winding through a forest that led to a small cottage. Three hills stood above the forest, and, as we looked up from the tapestry, we saw the very same hills on the horizon. We made our way through the forest to the cottage, where we encountered an old crone who insisted we call her grandmother. She seemed to recognise Theo, and persuaded her to reveal the location of the Cauldron - it had been disguised a simple well outside the cottage. Theo made two bargains with her to reveal the Cauldron's secrets and to have it moved to safe place, which I shall not reveal. With the task completed, we returned to the covenant.]


Later in the season, I learned that Medius, Astrius and a few other Magi had travelled to the lost covenant of Morstow, where they had encountered and slain the diabolic Magus Caelestis. Puzzlingly, Caelestis' body had disappeared after he was killed, which led some to speculate that he might not truly be dead. In addition, one of Caelestis' apprentices escaped on a ship with a heavy cargo that we assume to be an astrolabe.

Autumn


A second stormy Council meeting in as many seasons. Dialectica had returned to Severn Temple shortly before the end of Summer, having spent three seasons in the warmer climate of the Mediterranean as protection against the Erechwydd's vengeance. At the start of the Council meeting, she began by charging Cormoran with Exilium once more, arguing that his actions in blaming her for handing Gofynwy's sword to Sir Turold had clearly endangered her life. She declared that Cormoran's acquittal at the recent meeting of House Ex Miscellanea was nothing more than a political travesty that brought shame on all involved. She cited Cormoran's continued and wilful disregard for his responsibilities and his lack of truthfulness before Council as evidence that he had failed to learn from previous sanctions, which made permanent Exilium the only option. In the event, the motion was defeated by four votes to three, with just Dialectica, Theo and me voting in favour of exiling the giant. Dialectica chose to use Certamen to force the matter to the only conclusion that could possibly make any sense. However, there followed several further rounds of Certamen, with each side taking on the other to rebalance the vote. In the end, Dialectica chose to halt the progress, feeling that if Cormoran's sodales were willing to fight so hard to keep in the covenant, then he deserved to stay. With the matter settled - at least for now - Dialectica suspended the meeting until the following day.

The next day, we reconvened to discuss our actions for the next season. Medius described events at Morstow, and he declared that he intended to visit his religious allies in Chepstow to see if they could offer any advice on the matter. Theo announced that he intended to visit his landholding in Powys to inspect the settlements and improve his knowledge of the area. Finally, I informed the Council that I did not intend to leave the covenant.

[Tiarnan's private journal: I had made my mind up not to leave towards the end of the previous season. The reasons were several: a desire to complete the tasks I have been set here; the support I received from Dialectica upon her return; and the desire to ensure that Cormoran's actions rebound on him not me. Time will tell whether I have made the right decision, but I cannot help but recognise that the bitterness I feel over this episode will cloud my views of my sodales in the future.]

Towards the end of the season, we were visited by the Redcap Loretius. He brought the news that the Duke of York had declared for Henry Plantagenant, which had prompted the English King to call a second levy as he sought to protect London from the combined forces of his enemies. Of more interest, Loretius informed us that Prima Ex Miscellanea had investigated the spirits of one of Caelestis' companions and concluded that this was indeed Caelestis who had died in Morstow. Praefecta Orlania had therefore declared that the investigation was over. On another topic, the regular meeting of House Flambeau, which had been held in the territory of the Ordo Ethiopica, had ended with deaths on both sides.

Winter

Winter proved to be a quiet season. The Council meeting was more subdued than in recent months, and the discussion focussed on less dramatic topics. Medius informed us that he had learned little from Zedekiah about Caelestis, though he spent a full season with this priest. Theo explained that the land around the old village of Lydney had recovered from the flood, and we agreed that we should redouble our efforts to ensure that the settlement there grows successfully.

Little else of note occurred throughout the season.
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