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Scribed by Medius

Spring 1190 AD


Once again I must start my scribing of the events of the past year by thinking about a sodalis lost to us. There are those within this tribunal that say this covenant is cursed and while I do not hold to such beliefs as I look back through the pages of this record the roll call of those who have met a premature end while members of Severn temple’s council surprises me once again. There is a heavy atmosphere about the covenant, with Marius still grieving of course, and Astrius perhaps burdened with a sense of some responsibility although he does not speak of it. For myself I just feel sad; the loss of a maga who ensured that this covenant maintained as much independence as it could and steered us through so many difficult years, who was so wronged by another of our number and yet never openly took revenge upon him, will be greatly felt and I shall miss her counsel keenly.

Our first council of this new year brought news of another death, though clearly without such significance. Nevertheless, Henry, who was captain of our barge The Crescent Moon, was a good servant to the covenant and it is right that his passing be recorded for future readers. I understand that his younger brother takes the title of captain although others will run the ship for he sounds like a simple man, too fond of liquor.

The council that met was still short of Magus Tiarnan there was concern about his failure to return. Following the meeting I spoke to Captain Harry, master of our cog, and he revealed that Tiarnan had sailed to Carrion Moor covenant. I scribed a letter to Maga Kira which the captain bore and he returned later in the season with the news that Magus Tiarnan had travelled to a far faerie regio and somehow become lost in Arcadia, a place I understand to be the deepest place of faerie that there is. There is a chance that he will be unable to return but I shall scribe a letter to Archimaga Sylvania asking her further advice which can be sent with next redcap or magus journeying to Cad Gadu.

With the loss of Dialectica and no sign of Tiarnan the council was subdued and little was discussed. Magus Cormoran revealed that he had spent his winter creating a new cider brew, which he was most insistent that we should try. I have no taste for the drink myself but our sodalis insisted that it had special properties, apparently granting a man resistance to pain and injury although inebriating him. In truth I am not sure how different that might be from any of the other brews that Cormoran has developed but he seemed most pleased with his work. Magus Cormoran confirmed that he would be travelling to Narwold to aid them with the threat of giants that hangs upon them. Magus Marius informed us that wished to spend two seasons at court and he was granted leave to miss the next council. The imperator announced that he would study from the written works on Herbam whilst I spent spring in developing the last spell required to restore my talisman to myself. I am happy to record that this was successful and while there are a number of my possessions still lost to the Christians who have so assailed us I am greatly relieved to have this so restored.

On his return Magus Cormoran told us of his adventure in the east of the tribunal and I shall record it as faithfully as I may. Taking three grogs with him his journey to the covenant was uneventful, the Magi there confirming that one of their grog patrols had encountered a giant in the marshes and been beset by the creature. Making search of the marsh our sodalis eventually found a cave, bones and pieces of armour scattered around its entrance, and a footprint belonging to a creature that can reach a size of more than 12 foot tall. He called for the creature to come forward but there was no response and caution stayed him from venturing blindly into the cavern. Instead he returned to a camp that he had established in the marsh and that evening was roused by two of the grogs who had espied the trees moving wildly in the copse opposite form that in which they made their camp. Cormoran said that he parlayed with the creature, although his description of diplomacy between giants is unlike any form of negotiation I have ever heard, and eventually, when it became obvious that he would not fight, Cormoran was invited to meet the creature’s king. Hearing that this king lived deep in the caves, and suspecting that this would most likely involve regio’s, Cormoran declined and returned to Narwold covenant. He discussed possible courses of action with the magi there and then returned to seek to force the giant to accede to his will through combat, much as we might through certamen. Locating the giant in the same copse the following night our sodalis began the fray, and much as has happened before in his dealings with giant kind slew it swiftly. Initially he took only a lock of the creatures hair, but later he returned and took the monster’s weapon, a staff impaled with many sword blades, and its heart before destroying the body.

Summer

The season began with Tiarnan still not returned and with Cormoran travelling to Cad Gadu for the season I passed the letter that I had written to him. We discussed the events of Cormoran’s journey to Narwold and Drudhuil asked whether the other giants were still a threat to that covenant. Cormoran does not believe that they will take any action, at the very least not at this moment. I asked Cormoran whether he would be able to make contact with the giants of the tribunal and gain assurances that they would not make any attack upon a covenant. Perhaps they might also use him as a go between in the same way that he is so dedicated to the order. He agreed that he would seek the creatures out in early autumn. I spent the season training my apprentice Ezekiel and Astrius returned to the library, this time studying from the Imagonem texts.

[Medius’ private journal] I took the opportunity of the covenant being empty, save for myself and Astrius, to speak with him regarding the lost covenant of the Hall of the Forest. I think Astrius was surprised that I had knowledge of Swallowcliff and the threats to the order that have been kept hidden under the rule of silence, but he was enthusiastic to join me in my investigation and we resolved to travel in the spring of next year. The conversation developed further, as I am well aware that he is suspicious of my dealings with the Kaballah, and he was frank about his concerns especially with the way that Theodosius changed and the threat from the Pious Magi. I assured him that I hold true to my oath and I believe such, although as I write this I wonder whether this will always be true. If the order turned against the Kaballah I am not sure which bond would be strongest. I realise that it is ever more important to ensure that a careful course is steered in such turbulent seas.

Just after midsummer I was talking with Magus Astrius when we felt the Aegis of the Hearth both resist assault and penetrated. Swiftly making our way beyond the confines of the tower we saw Tiarnan making his way towards us but there were several changes about him. His skin seemed smooth and unblemished and his eyes had taken on an elliptical shape, both reminiscent of many of the fae that we have encountered in the past. Magus Astrius challenged him as to his identity and Tiarnan responded that he would prove himself by demonstrating his sigil. This normally takes the form of a slight glistening of water upon his skin as he works his spells but as he worked his enchantments blood sprang to his eyes and was shed as tears. At the same time his features briefly changed, perhaps taking on something of the aspects of an otter. Astrius was still concerned but I noticed that there were the faintest signs of the sigil that I had expected to see. At that moment he espied the Star of David that I wear about my neck and his reaction was one of discomfort, perhaps even fear. I covered the symbol and he said that he would cast his magics once more as he believed his casting had gone awry. He left the bounds of the covenant, with the Aegis again reacting to his presence, and from beyond the walls cast a spell that brought forth a mighty torrent of water to his hands. This time his sigil was clear to all and he said that he would drop all his spells so that I might, with his permission, cast a spell to ascertain that he had no active magic about his person. He returned with us to the great hall and there we found Magus Cormoran who had apported back to the covenant following his awareness of a breach of the Aegis.

Tiarnan then told us his tale. He said that he had accidentally travelled to the realm of Arcadia and found it difficult to return whence he had come. While there he had encountered creatures most strange and it was only with the intercession of Nyniaw, Lord of the Oaks, that he was able to return to us. He was aware that his sojourn so far from the mortal world had wreaked a change upon him and he now found the sight of the holy symbol that I wear hateful to him. After some further discussion he agreed that he would submit to investigation by the Quaesitor Linaris and I ruled that unless she said otherwise he was to be considered as our sodalis returned to us with full rights under our charter.

Magus Cormoran left us once more to return to Cad Gadu although I understand that he missed the meeting of his House over the midsummer, although he was able to persuade Archimaga Sylvania to contact the Quaesitor for us. Magus Tiarnan himself travelled into the Forest of the Dean for the remainder of the season.

Autumn

Marius returned to our council after his time away in the mundane courts bringing us news of the English King Richard. He arrived in Portsmouth to receive his crown before leaving for France after just a few months in his new kingdom. He makes his way to the crusade in the far east. Apparently the king has placed the Jews of England under his protection in order to ensure his access to the monies that my people have available to fund his warring but Marius reported that a mob in York slew perhaps 150 of my people with many slaying themselves rather than fall victim to the hate of the pogrom. I wonder whether Arcturus’ hand lies behind this deed. He further reported to us that Prince John and his new wife Isabella have left Gloucester. It seems that John is not as charismatic as his brother but a number of nobles support him, perhaps resistant to the burden of taxation that the new king levies to support his crusading. We wondered whether conditions may be right for a future attempt to usurp the throne and Marius will keep an eye on such machinations.

Reports from our spy network indicate that the monks of Tintern have regular trade movements between the abbey and the surrounding towns. Our spies continue to try and build up a firm picture of their activities. With the Baron of Chepstow one of the nobles who has attended the king upon his crusade we discussed attacking the monks’ finances by waylaying their barges. They do not pay tax upon their goods so these are clearly marked. When our knowledge of their movements is more thorough I certainly believe there will be value to this approach.

Marius’ final news concerned a story that he believed might have the stamp of the fells upon it. Apparently a blacksmith in Tewksbury, a man known for the fine quality of his work, has killed himself. His work had deteriorated over a short period resulting in the ruin of his reputation, and the events around it seemed suspicious. Magus Tiarnan then informed us that he was responsible for the downfall of this man as a result of some faerie bargain. He seemed unconcerned about the mans fate and I wonder if his heart is turning as cold as those of the soulless creatures that his House so admire.

For the season Tiarnan agreed to perform as service enchantments that would aid our ship. I worked on inventing a spell, Astrius on his studies of Auram from vis and Marius on his studies of Mentem from the work in our library. Cormoran announced that he would be visiting the giants and studying from the Perdo texts should he return with sufficient time to make practical use of them.

On the same day as our council meeting we were paid visit by the redcap Alanus. The news he brought of the mundane world was much as Marius had brought to us although without the insight of our sodalis. He told Tiarnan that Quaesitor Linaris requested that he be present in the covenant over the winter as she would arrive then. He informed us that Maga Fera of Lear Valley Covenant had fallen into final twilight. Scafell have again appealed for aid against the hedge wizards with divinatory powers that so assail them. They have also announced that Henry of Jerbiton has been kidnapped or killed but no body has been recovered. Serenia has apparently sent the new Quaesitor to investigate although in my mind I am certain that the traitor has merely fled and I wonder whether he will be eventually found in the company of Arcturus.

The season passed peacefully for those of us within the covenant but Magus Cormoran had news upon his return. He travelled into the welsh mountains and met the giant called Vaughn. He told my sodalis that he was not welcomed by the giants as he had slain two of their number since last the giant moot had met. They do not wish to negotiate with him and demand that they are left unmolested in their territory. He discovered that they mainly live in regios, venturing forth only on occasion. However they threatened those who would venture into He Htheir territory with invasion of their own and Cormoran has prepared a report to be sent to the Praefecta. I fear that there will be further conflict with these creatures and I sense that Cormoran is upset by that prospect.

Winter

At the council Magus Astrius was most interested in Cormoran’s tale and suggested that if we could get a map of where these creatures claim holdings then we can seek to avoid aggravating them in the future. It would of course also mean that we have a tool to attack them should it be required at some point in the future. Cormoran said that he would take up the challenge and raise it at the next tribunal. We voted as a council to return the giant weapons that he had taken on his previous expeditions. Marius also spoke reminding us that he was the heir to Powys. From next year it seems he will be obliged to attend court for at least one season in every year.

I elected to learn another spell over the course of winter with both Astrius and Tiarnan studying from personal vis. Marius turned to the Corporem texts and Cormoran travelled once more to Cad Gadu in order to scribe the pagan texts as a covenant service.

We had two visitors over the course of the season. A week after council met Praefecta Orlania arrived in order to speak with Cormoran. With he already departed she spoke privately with Astrius before making her way to Cad Gadu. A further week followed before Linaris arrived to make her investigation into Tiarnan. She was at the covenant for a few days and she said that she was as certain as she could be that our sodalis was still a man rather than faerie, and although there are changes upon him I am confident that she is right in her ruling. Other than these diversions the season passed without further incident.
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