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Scribed by Medius

Spring 1185 AD


As the season turned a full council began with the good news that our ship is now ready and a crew have been recruited. Harry, the son of Henry who is a consors of Cormoran, shall captain it. The vessel will be named 'The Severn Boar' and it was agreed that while it would operate out of Chepstow it will spend the first week of each season at Blackney so that it is readily available to any of the magi who should need it. Giraldus will travel to London and oversee the launch of the vessel. As both myself and Astrius travel to Narwold to continue an investigation we shall travel much of the way with him. We also discussed the tribunal that is to come this summer and possible motions that we might raise. Cormoran expressed his concern about the incursions of the mundane realm into sites of magical power with Carwyn asking whether there should thus be a greater effort throughout the order to provide effective stewardship of these places. Giraldus felt that we might wish to offer passage to our fellow magi aboard our new vessel. Finally Cormoran raised whether he might offer himself as an emissary to the giants of the tribunal. We shall consider these issues over the spring and think on whether there are any other motions that might be raised with a view to making a decision at the council of summer.

Vis was distributed at a rate of 2 pawns for each season's service in the previous year and each magus was granted a stipend of 30 pennies. Marius announced that he would be travelling to the court of Powys and may be away for summer also. Dialectica said that she would accompany him for this season but would be returning in summer as she intends to attend tribunal. Carwyn will remain within the covenant making further magical studies and Cormoran announced that he was travelling to Cad Gadu to make use of their mundane library.

Myself, Astrius and Giraldus were accompanied on our journey by Captain Harry, his first mate Bob (also the son of another of Cormoran's consors, Wilf) and a number of our companions. While travelling Giraldus learned that Prince John has been granted the land of Ireland and was raising a large force to subdue the natives. Many ships were being requisitioned in London to transport this army so Giraldus decided to ride ahead and see what the situation was for The Severn Boar. Henry and Bob agreed to press on as quickly as possible so Astrius and I parted company with them and continued on our way.

At Narwold covenant we were met by Mattheus and he told us of a black mist that had been seen upon the marshes surrounding the covenant. This mist has caused a disease in those who had encountered it that affected their lungs and was apparently magical in nature. Once my own immediate investigations were complete I was able to release Astrius to assist our sodales with this matter as Fergus later raised his fears that it may have been caused by the return of one of the three dread spirits that Theodosius released. Astrius accompanied Fergus into the marshes and there they were able to interrogate a shade. It revealed that a black spirit was abroad and causing the mist, the creature being found near a black rock far out in the marsh. The magi were forced to camp out overnight and as the darkness reached its peak the stench of the bog grew stronger and a mist started to roll in from the north. Astrius viewed it with the second sight that has been gifted to him and described it as a dark shadow. He also espied three shades that lurked in the vicinity flee. My sodales had erected a small ward against the infernal and this proved most useful, as the mist could not penetrate its circumference. Astrius then saw a dark figure, perhaps 7 foot tall with bony claws and flaming red eyes, stalking through the darkness. The demon, for so it was swiftly identified by our Ministrator, unleashed some of its dark power and Fergus was overcome with terror along with two of the grogs. Only one man stood with Astrius and Drudhuil as the creature circled the extent of the ward. The two grogs who had succumbed to the terror then rose to their feet and seemingly possessed walked beyond the circle and disappeared in the darkness. Fergus was able to resist this summons but Astrius recognised the threat and strode forth to do battle with the servant of Lucifer, followed immediately by his familiar. Astrius was wounded in his battle but his martial skills were too great for the demon and he successfully bested it, the fog lifting instantly as he did so. It seems that his first attempt to heal his wounds went awry, perhaps affected by the infernal aura that might have still lingered, but he was able to recover himself sufficiently to return to the covenant and there was granted sufficient vis for more permanent healing.

[From Medius' private journal.] The second attempt of Astrius and myself to penetrate the mysteries of Arcturus' sanctum was more successful than our previous effort. Alerted to the trapped step we were able to use magic to raise ourselves to the upper level. I suffered one mishap in this process as I lost concentration but fortunately my parma magica was sufficient that no great harm was caused. Within the upper level we found some items of interest. There was a chalice upon a table, which, whilst no magic could be discerned upon it, Astrius asserted had some kind of spiritual presence. We have encountered similar before and I can't help but wonder whether this is some sort of holy artefact, perhaps pilfered by Arcturus so that he might research it further. Two drawers were trapped and had sufficiently impressive locks that they could not have been opened without forcing them and I chose not to do so. We also found a coded book that I spent the remainder of spring examining. I believe that I have broken the code but the language that it is written in is unfamiliar to me. Given Arcturus' origins I suspect it is the tongue of the Normans and I resolved to speak with Praeca Yania about this matter.

On our return to the covenant I learned that our ship had indeed been requisitioned by Prince John's army and had transported supplies to the Irish coast. On their return journey they were attacked by Irish raiders but successfully repelled them and returned to the shores of England accompanied by one of the King's warships.

The final event of note that occurred during the season concerned Magus Carwyn. Apparently he met with his primus Pallaes and has rejoined House Merinita. He is once more to be called Magus Tiarnan and I sense that he is very happy to be so returned.

Summer


Our council met with only Marius not present, that magus having been correct that his duties in the mundane world would necessitate his remaining away for summer. Dialectica informed us that the sons of Prince Llewellyn had launched raids upon a number of English landholdings. In response a force led by Ralph de Glanville, the justicary of England, was sent but was defeated with the sheriff of Worcester being slain in the battle. It seems likely that King Henry is likely to retaliate with a much larger force and the southern princes of Wales are to send a delegation to Gloucester to pay tribute and reinforce that they have stayed true to their alliance. It would be wise for us all to have a care when travelling in Wales until this situation is resolved.

Following Astrius' telling of his encounter with the demon we discussed once more the three spirits. It seems likely that with Marius having refused the crown then they may no longer be bound by the king's peace and Astrius will speak with the Praefecta and Magus Geddyn about this. Giraldus told us that Edwin of Huntley was reported missing, having not been seen for three years now. We must make further investigation into this matter as soon as time permits.

Discussing the motions that we would bring before tribunal we agreed that Cormoran would offer his services to the tribunal in matters relating to the giants of Stonehenge and that we would offer our support to Archimaga Sylvania's survey of the magical sites of Britain. We shall send message privately to our allies regarding the availability of our ship. With everyone determined to attend the tribunal I removed the position of Imperator from Cormoran. While I am concerned that this may mean a greater burden for Astrius in the future in his position as Ministrator I can no longer countenance the continual reallocation of titles merely for convenience.

Beyond the time we will spend at tribunal I shall spend the season training Ezekiel, Tiarnan and Dialectica are both studying from personal vis supplies, Astrius is creating a spell and Cormoran is learning welsh. Giraldus will be abroad fulfilling his duties as redcap.

The first half of summer passed uneventfully and our journey to Blackthorn was unmolested. When I arrived I was quickly asked to attend upon the Senior Quaesitor to whom I gave an update on my investigations. She also gave me the sad news that Archimaga Gyriania had passed into final twilight whilst upon some duty for Harco covenant.

I was also able to speak with Erin regarding his availability to manufacture me a longevity potion, agreeing a date for this, and take advantage of the excellent market that Blackthorn had arranged to purchase some new formal robes and some fine wines from my home country.

[From Medius' private journal.] I spoke with Praeca Yania about my investigation so far which she seemed to have some knowledge of already. She agreed that she could spare me an evening to look at the book that I had found in Arcturus' sanctum. It seems that this is a journal containing some details of his activities and contacts but it was Yania's opinion that it was far too obvious to be anything more than a diversion. She told me that the matter would be raised at this tribunal and that it would be for me to make a decision whether there was any evidence to support a charge against that magus. I do not have long to reflect upon this and I pray that I make the right decision on such a vital matter].

The first day of the tribunal began with the Praeca's address. She spoke of both the threats to the tribunal and the opportunities that we have if we accept that brotherhood and co-operation will accomplish more than suspicion. She also paid a moving tribute to her sodales Gyriania. She then raised the first motion of Blackthorn covenant. She reported that the tribunal infirmary located at Lear Valley had used 26 pawns of vis since the last tribunal on such matters as the healing of disease, blindness and premature aging. Thanks to the generous establishment made under Eloria there was no further tithe required for the time being. Magus Theophilus spoke next and announced that following his previous successful symposium another was to be held at Blackthorn in the summer of 1189, to which all were invited.

For Cad Gadu Serentia was the first to speak. They have carried out detailed research into the magical and faerie sites to be found in the vicinity of that covenant and this has revealed that those located closest to mundane settlements have suffered. While vis supplies appear to be holding steady there has been a decline in the strength of the auras of these places and some magical entities that were previously sited there have not been seen within current lifetimes. She reported that an area of faerie wood north of Chester had been felled and no fae could be found there anymore. Magus Geddyn spoke next on the matter of the three spirits who had so recently exercised our own council. They are still at large but he shares our fears that they may no longer be bound by the pact that Theodosius struck. He has continued his researches into a ritual to prevent them shifting through their elemental forms but wanted to know whether such work should continue as they have not been seen for many years and such work might re-ignite the conflict between them and the order. He believes that a ritual is possible but that it will have a high price. Orlania said that she did not know how to find them and did not believe that we should actively pursue such a search but recognising the risk felt we should continue the research for when they re-emerged. Astrius asked whether they would know of any continuing research and Geddyn said that with Theodosius dead it was unlikely. Magus Magnus asked whether magi of House Jerbiton might carry out a subtle search with Augustus responding that there was great danger in any active effort and that they would have reported had they learned anything already. The Praefecta asked for a vote on her view and this was overwhelmingly carried although Tiarnan and Marius voted against.

Ursula, the Pontifex of Holy Isle, was next to speak. She spoke of the concerns of many in the tribunal regarding the accountability of her covenant but was glad to report that three mundane members of the un-named house had been captured and questioned. They had revealed that there are four wizards of the renegade house moving between Hibernia and Wales and Holy Isle are currently trying to track them through ports. She suggested that magi of the order take particular care in the vicinity of Aberystwyth and Cardigan. We were also asked to keep an eye out for an un-named ship captained by a man with bone white hair and long scars upon his face, rendering one eye blind, because he is believed to be smuggling their agents. She went on to say that such investigations had been expensive and therefore Holy isle were levying a tithe of half a rook of vis per magus for the next tribunal. There was some discomfort at this and Cormoran stood and said that it seemed excessive. Ursula replied that she could not give details but assured him it was necessary for such amounts to be tithed. She reminded all present that Holy isle can be called to account on this matter at the Grand Tribunal and that she would be happy to discuss this there subject to the agreement of the Primi. Cormoran then asked whether a reduced tithe could be levied against those magi who reside outside covenant who he claimed were not as rich in supplies of vis. Ursula said that she did not believe that such differentiation was possible but that she would check with the Quaesitorii and report back (such was done at the end of the tribunal and she was correct in her assumption).

Maga Maia, of House Tremere, raised a single motion for Bly-Wyddan. They wished to bring a complaint against Magus Alwyn, an Ex Miscellanean without covenant, for interfering with two of their vis sites. Serenia said that she would allocate a Quaesitor to investigate and it was apparent even then that this task would befall myself.

Magus Erin spoke first for Lear Valley. He wished to announce that he had made a further breakthrough in his researches into longevity potions and their effect upon mundanes. He revealed that by identifying special ingredients that were relevant to each individual he could craft a potion that would be as efficacious for a mundane as for a magus. Ponrius immediately stated that he was concerned such a discovery could be a threat to the tribunal and demanded an injunction. He said that if recipients of such a gift ended their relationships with covenants their longevity may well draw the attention of others. Cormoran then spoke again and said that he felt such a potion should only be granted to a magus' amicus and Ponrius swiftly agreed with him. The site of these two magi in full agreement seemed to surprise many in attendance and there was a moments silence before Tiarnan spoke. He said that he did not agree with either of his sodales and felt that such an injunction would be a great interference in Erin's right to practice his art. The Praeca said that whilst rare injunctions had been allowed in the past for magical breakthroughs and declared that there would be a vote with the motion proposed being that Erin's breakthrough be used only on sworn amici. Tiarnan voted against and Marius abstained but this vote also went against them by a comfortable margin. Erin was advised that he could bring this matter before the Grand Tribunal should he gain the support of the Praeca and Primus Bonisagus. Erin looked disappointed with the decision and was perhaps not the only one affected as Fera immediately asked if she could withdraw her motion and was told that she could.

Moravius spoke next and announced that he was available for commissions from the present time through to 1190 with work undertaken in the order that it was received. Orlania then rose and made a report of the threats currently being investigated within the tribunal. She spoke first of the three spirits and then the church cult, highlighting the difficulty of infiltrating it with spies and the shortage of evidence against those in the mundane realm believed to be implicated. She then spoke of the fells who are still believe to be operating in Bristol, London and Hibernia and finally of a threat against Narwold made by giants which she said Cormoran would speak of later in the tribunal.

The tribunal moved next to Scafell covenant and Magnus announced that there was another threat all should be aware of. The covenant had recently been attacked by hedge wizards operating out of the Loch Leglean tribunal and he believes that they are led by someone with divinatory magic as their plans and ambushes are being easily forestalled and avoided. He announced that the covenant was prepared to pay handsomely anyone who has experience in countering such enchantments. Xanthia spoke of a request from Torius of House Criamon. That magus had a vision within twilight of a child born with the birthmark of a star upon his head. He offers a reward of half a queen of vis to any who can provide information enabling him to find this child.

As the motions moved to our table the Praeca first formally welcomed Magus Marius to the tribunal. Dialectica made a report of the survey that Tiarnan has been undertaking, making refernce to the activities of the monk Bertrand. She said that all should heed the advice of Archimaga Sylvania for fear of losing those places of faerie and magic that we so require. She urged everyone to take part in this survey so that judgements could best be made as to whether indirect means should be used to stop the progress of the mundanes within Stonehenge. Sylvania thanked her for her words and then briefly echoed them. Cormoran stood next and reported the task that he had performed for the giants of Britain and explained something of their clan structure. He said that these creatures were evil and self serving, and could not be trusted, but that they were afraid of greater strength and magic. As he had met all the clan leaders and their seer he offered his services as a mediator or ambassador should any have problems with these creatures. Fergus said that he recognised that it was because Cormoran had attended a moot of giants that they were aware of the possible threat against his covenant and asked what my sodales would do should such an attack come. Cormoran replied that he could threaten the giants and maybe act as a go between should some form of compromise be required. He said that there were opportunities for trade with giants as they were good for strengthening auras and creating sources of vis. Yania asked whether Cormoran sought any stipulation on members of the tribunal on how they may interact with these creatures and he said that he did not. Further clarification revealed that Cormoran was happy to take this as a tribunal obligation upon himself and make himself available whenever any needed his aid. This was put to a vote and with our council unanimous in support the motion was overwhelmingly carried.

For Carrion Moor Arcanus spoke first and he said that while satisfying his interest in the history of these isles he had come upon a ruined earthen fort within a region, which contained spirits of long dead Saxons. He sought someone who could speak with such to accompany his return. Kira spoke next about a group of merchants who have formed a guild based in London and Southampton which seeks to manipulate the markets in their own favour. This is interrupting her covenant's trade links as those who do not join with them are being excluded from markets. She wished for an indication of what she could do to protect their trade interests. The Senior Quaesitor highlighted a number of precedents on the continent where covenants have formed their own guilds and maintained control in such a manner that no harm has befallen magi or covenants. Guilds do not have the protection of the church so as long as there are no ill consequences there are no special protections. Kira looked quite pleased by this.

Fergus of Narwold spoke next and revealed that Arcturus has still not returned and wanted news of the quaesitorial investigation into his disappearance. Asked to speak I stated that I had seen the magus and could therefore confirm that he was alive. I announced that I had found no evidence to suggest that he was not still engaged in the work he had been tasked with as an investigative hoplite and that therefore my investigation was at an end. Fergus asked whether Arcturus was still entitled to hold his membership and I advised that I would need to see the covenant charter to make such a ruling. I agreed that I would look at it when next my business took me to Narwold.

[From Medius' private journal.] This was not an easy decision to make, as in truth I do still have some concerns about Arcturus' behaviour. I do not know why he could not say more when it was clear to him that I would speak with him and I wonder about the chalice that was stored within his sanctum. Yet he has been a loyal servant to the work of the Praefecta over the years and he has granted me much of his aid and his insight in that time. I can see no definite evidence that would justify a continuation of this investigation that has already so breached his privacy and so I believe that I have chosen right. As I write this however I find myself again prey to doubt. Too many of my decisions in recent years have been ill made and if I am wrong on this matter then it brings grave peril to the magi of this tribunal.

Ildynach spoke first for Trevalga, repeating that he was till taking commissions for his work. Augustus then announced that the covenant had established a trade link that enables them to procure goods from the orient at prices notably cheaper than were any to go through the covenants of the Levant. He said that they were seeking partners with greater financial resources to enable ever larger purchases, highlighting particularly the money that could be made on the import of Saffron.

Finally came the motions from those who reside without covenant although no representative from either north or south of England came forward although Yania formally welcomed Richard of Beresford, a member of House Jerbiton, to the tribunal. Magus Tewdric, a young alchemist from ex Miscellanea, was granted the right to speak from Wales. In a mixture of Latin and Welsh he announced that he was seeking large quantities of sulphur and he could trade Animal vis for it. Later Magus Cormoran informed us that he believed that we may be able to make such trade and he will arrange it for us.

At the end of the tribunal I made an initial investigation into the complaint brought by Bly-Wyddan but it would be inappropriate to record details within these pages.

[From Medius' private journal.] I spoke first with Maga Maia in order to ascertain the nature of the complaint. She told me that Bly-Wyddan have a vis site that takes the form of an ancient standing stone. While travelling in the vicinity she found a camp located nearby and indications that some sort of ritual had been performed near the stone. Ffollowing the tracks that led from it came upon Magus Alwyn who did not identify himself as a magus of the order until after she had captured him. She informed him that he was not to travel to that site or any other laid claim to by her covenant and when he told her that he was merely travelling in the vicinity and had just left an offering to the spirit of the stone she challenged him to certamen to enforce her words. He declined to fight her, likely because he was unskilled in the art, and so she assumed her victory as stipulated within the peripheral code. Ponrius later informed her that three days after this event he had encountered Alwyn at another of the covenant's vis sites which is why she was bringing forward formal charges. She was able to confirm to me that there was a covenant mark set upon a tree close to the stone which is harvested in late Autumn. She stated that she had cast no scrying magic upon the stone and she could detect no change in the aura there.

I spoke next with Ponrius and he said that he found Alwyn fishing in a lake which contains fish of both magical and mundane nature. Not knowing of the previous encounter between Alwyn and Maia he also warned Alwyn that he was not permitted to visit any vis site owned by Bly-Wyddan. He told me that the magical fish can be identified by a distinctive pair of bright yellow spots on their flanks.

Speaking with Alwyn he confirmed the truth of what I had been told. He travels widely around Wales and as he does so leaves offerings to those spirits and fae that he becomes aware of to ensure his safe passage along the road. He said that at the stone he lit a small fire and put down a bit of food, saying a few words as he did so. He said that he was not a practicing pagan and there were no formal prayers or invocations. He was captured the following day by some burly grogs and confirms the conversation that Maia said they had. He told me that he was not aware of certamen having never been taught it by his pater, a hedge wizard. He was brought into the order by Nora, a non-gifted redcap at Cad Gadu. He did not recognise the markings on the tree as a symbol of a registered vis site and had no desire to impinge on any covenant's vis sites. He told me that he had also not realised that the lake was a vis site and had caught only a single plain, silvery fish with no markings upon its flanks before he encountered Ponrius. He agreed to having the enchantment 'Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie' cast upon him and this confirmed the truth of his words. He told me that I could leave a message for him at Cad Gadu and also provided me with details of two taverns he visits quite often.

By his own admission Alwyn has tampered with two vis sites and failed to abide by the result of a certamen but there does not appear to have been any loss cuased to Bly-Wyddan. I have asked the magi of that covenant to send word when they have harvested these sites next as to whether the vis obtained falls within the normal parameters of collection. I shall await such report before I make a decision. It is my hope that some agreement can be reached between the two parties without the necessity of a trial at the next tribunal but given my previous dealings with the magi of Bly-Wyddan I am not overly optimistic.

Our return to Severn temple was no more onerous than the outward journey and the remainder of the summer passed without further event.

Autumn

Our council stood with a full complement following the return of Marius who brought further news of the conflict between King Henry and the sons of Llewellyn. The king mustered a sizeable army which was able to retake Wrexham. One of the sons was killed in the engagement and the other taken for ransom. The Prince of Llewellyn will have to make significant reparations and his reputation has been severely damaged, which is very good for Prince Ifans. Marius has been granted tax raising rights over the small holding he has near Mynydd Myrddin and the council agreed that whatever revenue is raised shall be reinvested into the manor.

Marius announced that he would be travelling to Gloucester this autumn to continue in affairs of politic. Cormoran continued with his education in the welsh tongue whilst Tiarnan studied from his personal vis. Giraldus has been asked to take on some of the burden caused by the demise of Gyriania so will be abroad again this autumn although it is likely that he will have some time in the latter part of the season to make enquiries on those matters that are important to this covenant. Dialectica agreed to extract vis from the aura as a service while I took loan of the Animal texts held in our library. Magus Astrius announced that he would be taking the ship and travelling to the Provence tribunal as he was required to attend upon his Primus at Doissestep. He asked permission to miss the next two council meetings in case he was unable to return before the winter storms set in upon the Bay of Biscay.

Our season passed quietly and it seems that Astrius' journey went well for he returned at the end of autumn. Apparently the 1st mate of the ship has some sense of forthcoming weather and was able to warn of a storm that might have caused great harm had they been upon the sea. He did not speak of events in Provence.

Winter

Following discussion of Astrius' sea journey the previous season Cormoran suggested that it would be a valuable investment to craft some magical items for the ship. We all agreed that this was so and there was some discussion of items that might prove useful but our vis supplies are not as large as they have been and with a significant tithe due to Holy Isle I would see our coffers restored somewhat before such investment.

Marius told us that King Henry is apparently content with his victory at Wrexham so will not pursue war into Wales and the earl of Gloucester still holds true to his treaty with the southern princes. Giraldus also had some news from the mundane courts. A new archbishop has been appointed at Canterbury, one Baldwin who was formerly stationed at Worcester. This has caused some difficulty as Christchurch Convent, located within Canterbury and headed by Prior Alan, had refused to allow his election. The pope has issued a bull that a religious movement in France called the Cathars are heretics and must disband. Prince John's expedition to Ireland has ended in failure and it seems that he has gravely upset the nobles as well as the native peasantry. He has returned to England.

Giraldus also told us that the citizens of Huntley are currently running their own affairs with rumours abounding that Edwin is dead, although Marius told us that such word had not reached the Earl's court. He also told us that Oswald had last been sighted in Tintern and Chepstow. This led Tiarnan to inform us that he had visited the Trelloch Stones and they remain undisturbed with the aura still strong. Astrius suggested that we should make another visit to Snig's End at the beginning of spring and I agreed that there would be value in such a journey.

Little occurred during the season save for an outbreak of illness in Blackney that claimed the life of one of the villagers. My apprentice Ezekiel was by the account of Astrius most useful in aiding several of those who were sick.
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