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Scribed by Tiarnan

Spring 1167 AD


An unexpected and shocking Council meeting that has left the covenant bereft of its former leader in most mysterious circumstances! Dialectica opened the meeting and promptly announced that she intended to resign her position as Pontifex and depart the covenant with all haste. She announced that she could no longer here given that the pagan Goddess Ceridwen had designs on her apprentice, Aedan. Even though Aedan had been returned to her, Dialectica declared that she could not be sure that she could protect him should Ceridwen return, and she therefore planned to take him far away from any place where this entity might have any influence.

Several of us tried to dissuade Dialectica from her chosen course of action, though her resolve was unshakeable. I even proposed to resort to Certamen to force her to spend a further season here to reconsider, but in the end I was persuaded that it would be unkind to do so given the very real fears she expressed for the safety of her apprentice. So, it was agreed that Dialectica would step down immediately and that Aelfwin would take over her position as Pontifex. The rest of the Council meeting passed in a swiftly, as few here had the appetite for making great decisions before we had thought through the implications of Dialectica's decision. In the end, we all agreed to remain within the covenant for the duration of the season, with the exception of Theo, who spent time in the villages around the Dean building up his network of contacts. True to her word, Dialectica immediately set about collecting her belongings together, and she departed the covenant - we can only assume forever - for Blackthorn.

[Tiarnan's private journal: The meeting was more surprising for what was not said as for what was actually discussed. Theo barely said a word for the entire meeting, and his gaze was downcast for the entire time. At least four of us around the table - everyone except Cormoran, in fact - know the true story behind Aedan's history, yet not a word of the real reason why Dialectica was so concerned about him. Indeed, had Cormoran been more perceptive, he would surely have twigged that something was not quite right, but fortunately he remained ignorant of the subtext. I cannot believe that Theo can be happy to lose contact with his son, especially if some of the predictions I have heard about him turn out to be true, but I do not see what he can do about it. I sense this move will bring him immediate unhappiness and profound troubles in the longer term.]

Summer

Theo told us at the Council meeting that he had managed to rescue one of the covenant's mundane contacts - Rachel of Huntley - from the clutches of her malicious brother, who we suspect of diabolism. In the guise of a Black Knight, Theo had spirited her away from the manor house in Huntley by defeating her guardian in single combat, though from the look of the bruises on his face, the fight had not been all one way. We then had a long conversation about various matters relating to the grogs that I must admit I did not fully follow, for I was preoccupied with the deciding whether I should press on with my researches or go for a swim during the afternoon. By the time I had decided on the swim, the Council had apparently determined that we should spend some funds to erect a shelter outside the south gate of the covenant to protect visitors from the elements while they wait for our grogs to decide whether to permit them entry. We also agreed to buy the grogs some new uniforms, though I sense it will take more than some new tabards to improve the look of that unsavoury and decrepit bunch.

I spent the season travelling through the faerie regio to learn more about the impact of recent changes to the balance of power between the Courts of the Erechwydd and Gofannon. We managed to sneak past the glade where the Palug once dwelt without encountering that place's new guardian, though I saw him spying on us as we hurried past. We attended Nynniaw's gift-giving ceremony once more, and we learned that the forest had moved from winter to spring and the snowfields that had once cloaked the ground were now in retreat. There we saw a creature with the lower body of a horse but the head and upper body of a man; we spoke briefly, but he seemed very suspicious of me when I announced that I was a wizard, and I chose not to press him further. After rescuing Kai from an accident involving a transformation spell, which I will think about more in future, we travelled on through the forest to Stonevale, where Cyrgig provided a stiff and rather formal welcome. Sir Turold was not in residence, so I left a message for him and then we made our way back out of the regio via a new path that led past a great tree which I took to be the home of Silgiltis, a faerie that I had not hitherto encountered. He seemed annoyed that we had arrived at his home uninvited, and rather than risk alarming him further, I chose to depart forthwith. Leaving the regio, we found ourselves deep within the mundane forest, though it was not too difficult to find the covenant once more with Kieran's help.

Autumn

Medius and Astrius returned from their expedition to the Levant just before the start of the season, and they recounted the main events of their journey at the Council meeting. Astrius agreed to scribe a detailed account of the trip, which can be found here. The main conclusion was that they managed to track the renegade Magus Caelestis to the ruins of a great temple, where he was slain. Medius was convinced that Caelestis would not rise from his grave again, for he had managed to destroy the demon with had kept the diabolic Magus alive on previous occasions. Hopefully, this matter is settled once and for all, and we shall have no more trouble from that quarter.

The rest of the Council meeting was fairly uneventful. Theo resigned his positions as Ministrator, saying that he no longer wished to hold the post, and Medius was elected unopposed as his replacement. Theo declared that he would spend the season travelling through the nearby towns and villages of the Dean to ensure that no rumours linked the mysterious Black Knight who rescued Lady Rachel of Huntley with Severn Temple. During the rescue, he had been forced to take off his helmet, revealing the unusual circlet that he always wears, and so he planned to tell stories emphasising another of the knight's characteristics, his flame red hair, to draw attention away from any mention of the circlet. Finally, there was a discussion about who would take-over the fine laboratory equipment left by Dialectica. Cormoran and I both laid claim to the equipment, and so we determined to settle the matter through Certamen. The contest was over quickly, and the equipment now graces my laboratory.

A strange event took place at the Autumn Equinox, which was also the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Order of Hermes. One of the grogs spied a figure standing by the spring, and by the time he had conveyed the news to us, more figures had appeared. We ventured outside, and we surprised to discover that the figures were the shades of Magi who had once dwelt here at the Severn Temple. What magic had drawn them here at this time we can only guess, but it proved a fascinating opportunity to converse with those who we had only previously read about in the journal. The occasion was almost spoiled by Astrius, who insisted on repeatedly berating several of the shades for "betraying their oaths" or some such, but Daffyd pointed out that the forces that had drawn the shades here obviously did not concur with him. Indeed, only four Magi - Radulfus, Jean, Caelestis and Audacia - were absent from the throng. Astrius claimed that this did not mean that there were not other oath breakers among the group, for it seemed to him that it was only those who had had direct contact with the infernal who had not returned. Aelfwin pointed out that Audacia had been killed by the Morrigan, rather than some demon, after which Astrius quietened down, but I wonder if there is not some truth to his assertions. The rest of the night passed peacefully, as Magi regaled each other with stories from the past. As dawn approached, the shades began to depart, leaving only the living Magi.

Winter

Medius returned from a trip to Blackthorn, where he had spoken with Senior Quaesitor Serenia about Caelestis. He was also able to inform us that Serenia had decided not to raise the matter of Dialectica's departure with the Concilium Quaesitori, preferring to give our new Pontifex time to prove himself. Theo explained that he had managed to visit two sets of standing stones during his travels around the Dean. He located a bronze arrowhead just beneath the ground amid the Trellech Stones and handful of moss at Gray Hill. On further investigation, these proved to contain Corporem and Mentem vis respectively.

Later in the season, we were visited by the Redcap Loretius. He brought news that the forces of the Duke of York had been stalled in the north, but Henry Plantagenet had won a great victory in the south, driving the king out of London. Closer to home, Loretius, reported that he had seen no sign of the fells, but there continued to be rumours of diabolic practices at Snig's End. Of Hermetic news: a meeting of the Grand Tribunal has been called for midsummer 1172 to discuss Prima Ex Miscellanea's accusations against Holy Isle; Scarfell covenant has been attacked by black clad enemies; House Criamon held its house meeting, though Primus Criamon was not in attendance; and Quaesitor Galfredus of Holy Isle intends to come to Severn Temple next year to learn more about Mynydd Myddyn so he can investigate the recent sighting of a member of the Unnamed House.
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