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Scribed by Dialectica

Spring 1184 AD


Our council met, save Astrius and Cormoran who are still abroad in Novgorod, upon the first morning of spring. There was little to report from the previous season save the long-awaited return of Addyn, having successfully passed his gauntlet to become Magus Marius follower of Jerbiton. With our two warrior magi away no vote can be held, but he expressed his desire to join our covenant and was invited to remain as a guest until their return.

[Private journal: The vote is fairly secure I think. Carwen appeared genuinely pleased to see Addyn return and Medius will see the benefit of having a Jerbiton potentially able to help him in his investigations of the Church cult and the Fells. Giraldus will follow the lead of the majority, I feel. Cormoran will likely vote the same way as Astrius (unless they fall out during their trip, the giant appears to have formed a bond of friendship with the hoplite) and I think Astrius will be easily convinced to support Marius' membership.]

Medius reviewed our stores of vis, setting aside the tithe we shall need to pay next year at Tribunal before distributing two pawns for each covenant service completed. Giraldus, as covenant service this year, will travel abroad within the shire; not least to see what news there may be following the death of Friar Bertram last year.
Marius and I will travel to Powys and attend the Prince's court.

The Welsh court welcomed Addyn with enthusiasm and the Prince held a feast in his honour to mark his return. Many of the Prince's house knights appear to already court his favour and my concerns that there would be animosity towards Ifan's heir have proven unwarranted. The Prince's wife was cold towards him, however, though Maneddwy has no right to complain given she has born Ifan only daughters. Addyn carried the occasion well, clearly having learnt much during the preparation of his gauntlet. I was content that he perceived well the intrigues of the court and made moves to ensure that the influence of Maneddwy over some of the more impressionable knights was minimised.

My greater concern came when emissary of the Prince of Gwynedd arrived later in the season. It seems that Llewellyn is once more feeling the urge to take up his sword and make threat against the English. Of course, he cannot do this alone and Ifan made it quite clear that he would take no action that would endanger the treaty he holds with Gloucester. However, Conwy and Anglesey appear to support Llewellyn, and this issue will return in force if they choose to openly support the Prince of Snowdonia. Ceredigon and Carmarthen seem more swayed to Ifan and it may be worth Addyn paying visit there to shore up such sentiment in the short term and create a relationship he can influence in the longer term.

Summer

With Astrius and Cormoran still away, our depleted council met to relate events from last season and plan actions for the next. Giraldus began by relating that the Baron of Chepstow has appointed a magistrate to investigate the death of Brother Bertram, at the Abbot of Tintern's request. This is disturbing news; firstly, because it suggests that the Abbot (whom we already suspect of having links to this Church cult) has considerable influence over the Baron, and secondly, because such an investigation always risks uncovering the involvement of this covenant in the Friar's death.

As if to remind us that the threat of the Fells has not receded, our spy in Huntley reported that Edwin has not been seen for some time. Rumour claims that he is 'unwell', but with a diabolist one can never be too sure. It is clear that the Church cult will occupy the focus of our attention for the time being, being a more direct threat, though I know that Medius for one has not forgotten the menace of the Fells.

Giraldus will travel on Tribunal service, delivering messages between covenants in the south. Medius and I will carry out covenant service; Medius will extract Vim vis for the covenant stores and I will make an item for Giraldus. Addyn requested and received access to the covenant's mundane library so that he can better familiarise himself with the workings and traditions of the Church.

[Personal journal: Over dinner Medius, Carwen and I complained a little that we appeared to be receiving very little news beyond our immediate contacts in Trevalga, Narwold and Carrion Moor. We had hoped that the presence of a Red Cap would mean we would receive richer news about the mundane and Hermetic events further afield, yet it appears, if anything, that we now receive less news. We agreed that we would gently raise the subject with Giraldus. We would not wish to offend him, yet it may be that he simply does not realise what import such wider news may have for us; inexperienced as he is.]

Autumn

With Astrius and Cormoran returned, our council met in full. Medius, clearly pleased to have them back, swiftly appointed Astrius as ministrator and Cormoran as Imperator once more.

Astrius and Cormoran made brief report of their trip to Novgorod. The journey was facilitated by Moravius of Solid Castle, who asked in return for a claw and a venom sac from the Wyvern they had encountered in Mynydd Myddyn (should they manage to slay it). This deal was retrospectively approved by the council. They described the journey through the wilds of the North, Astrius appearing particularly enamoured with the vast forests and snow capped mountains far from mundane influences. It appears they had a run in with the Order of Odin (a force many in the Order thought long since quiescent), though managed to defeat three of them with relative ease. They eventually reached a covenant, far to the North, called 'Shining Lights' where they met the strange magi who inhabit the place.

The Pontifex of the covenant is a very ancient Flambeau, who chastised Astrius for the inaction of his House against the Order of Odin. Astrius related that Shining Lights acted as a bulwark against this old enemy, though he had concerns as to what would will happen as that place inevitably declines as the magi age and die. Our sodalis will raise these concerns in a letter to his Primus and make motion at the next meeting of House Flambeau.

Cormoran had travelled there to investigate the mysterious deaths amongst the giants of Albion and discovered that the Tytalan there had made a pact with the Norse giants. The Norse giants would leave their covenant in peace so long as this Tytalan assassinated their old enemies to the south. Cormoran resolved this problem by granting the Tytalan an ancient magical artefact of the giants, a horn which causes terror in such kind. This will allow Shining Lights to keep the giants at bay, without any further attacks on Cormoran's giant kin.

News from last season included an ominous discovery that the magistrate appointed to investigate the death of Friar Bertram is a monk from Tintern Abbey. Brother Oswald is said to be a very pious man and close to the Abbot himself. It appears that the Church cult is directly investigating the death of one of their own.

Carwen reported that a book on Saintly miracles, obtained from Yania, had been translated into Latin. Our Merinitan related that some of the odd hand gestures which appear in the illustrations of this text appeared very similar to some made by Bertram when he encountered him at the Trellech stones.

Further to this, Medius announced that he and Astrius (acting as Hoplite) would travel to Narwold to see what they could discover about the disappearance of Arcturus. The Tytalan, renowned for his knowledge and contacts within the Church, has been missing for some time now. Could it be he has become a victim of this cult? Whilst they are in London they shall take Giraldus along and look to commission the building of a ship and the recruitment of a crew to sail her.

Finally, Marius' petition to join the council was only little more than a formality, though my filius treated the matter seriously and gave a good account of himself to the gathered magi. I was particularly appreciative of Carwen's support, who spoke well in his favour. No one made any argument against the motion and the council voted swiftly to admit him. Marius will return to Powys and look to developing the village near to Mynydd Myddyn he inherited as a Covenant Service.

[Personal journal: Marius has done the Covenant something of a favour and raised the issue of what news we receive with Giraldus. My filius couched the discussion in terms of the information he will need to help him manage the mundane politics in Wales. It appears that there a couple of reasons why we are receiving so little news beyond our borders. Firstly, Archimaga Gyriania has been recalled to her Domus Magnus over some matter of grave import to the House; secondly, our new Red Cap has been spending more than a little time in the taverns and inns of the Shire during his periods of service (albeit to build up local contacts, he claims). However, Giraldus has promised to seek more Hermetic and mundane news beyond our borders to report to council in future.]

Winter

Our council met in full on the first day of winter, though there was only little news from what had been a quiet season.
Of the investigation in Narwold and London, Medius (quite naturally) revealed little - though it appeared that both he and Astrius had encountered significant difficulty getting into Arcturus' sanctum (Astrius returned blinded!). His investigation is ongoing.

Giraldus reported that the ship was under construction and that he would return to London to continue the process of recruiting a crew. The ship has been named the 'Severn Boar' after the great silver-haired beast which has been occasionally espied when the tidal bore races along the river.

Marius reported that he had begun an investigation into the Church within Powys, careful not to arouse suspicion, but in order to identify any individuals or monasteries which might have links to this Church cult. The village near Mynydd Myddyn is isolated and relatively poor, but could act as a useful staging post for magi wishing to travel into the regio. The steward of the village has been told to welcome any who bear the colours of Briarvel.

Cormoran will perform a covenant service and prepare further potions of Leap of Homecoming.

Medius reminded the council of the Tribunal at Blackthorn in the summer and bid us consider any motions we might wish to raise so that they could be discussed at the next council meeting.

The season passed peacefully, and the year ended with all magi safely returned to the covenant.
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