Scribed by Tiarnan

Spring 1198 AD

With the winter snows still lying heavily about the covenant, we met on a bright yet bitterly cold morning for the first Council meeting of the year. Marius had returned late in the previous season, and he recounted news of his travels. He had expected perhaps to spend much of the year in the service of King John, who faces the prospect of war with France over his continental dominions, but he had instead learned late on that the meeting of House Jerbiton was due to take place that year, forcing him to leave his forces under the command of the Prince of Gwynedd and travel south to Valnastium. Marius did not speak in detail of the meeting, yet it was clear that there had been much debate over how to interpret the ruling of the Grand Tribunal that Magi could use subtle magics against members of the Brothers in Christ sect. The House appeared divided over the issue, with a small minority of devout Christian Magi counselling non-interference, while the majority of the House were in favour of taking limited action. Marius also evidently faced inquiry and some criticism over of his role in supporting King John, yet he intimated that he had managed to avoid severe censure or any restrictions his actions. Other than Marius’ news, there was little else of note discussed at the Council meeting, and we soon departed our separate ways. For my part, I took the Severn Boar north to Chester and travelled on to Cad Gadu to speak with Archimaga Sylvania.

Early in the season, the redcap Alanus braved the snows to bring us news of events beyond the Dean. He began, as usual, with an overview of events in the mundane realm, noting that war had erupted on the continent between Richard, backed by the King of France’s armies, and John. The French forces had pushed deep into John’s territories and taken two of his castles, and in return, John had transported his army over the Channel and lain siege to one of Richard’s castles. There had been a number of inconclusive encounters between the two brothers’ armies, and the conclusion of the war remains in the balance. Closer to home, a ship belonging to the Knights Templar, who John banned from England after they declared their support for his brother, was spotted off the coast near Solis Castle covenant. Its purpose remains unclear, yet there are rumours of a connection between that order and the Duke of York.

Moving to Hermetic matters, Alanus reported that Praefecta Orlania had returned safely after having spent many months lost within a regio at Holy Isle covenant. Prima Fenriata declared that House Ex Miscellanea would found a new covenant to replace Holy Isle and take on the dedication to research and pursue any remaining members of the Unnamed House. Decisions regarding the site and membership of the new covenant will be taken at the next House meeting in the year 1203. Looking across the table at my two sodales from that House, I wonder whether one or both of them will be persuaded to take on such a dedication, for Fenriata will no doubt wish to retain tight control of the martial element of the new covenant. Alanus also mentioned that Henry, formerly Magus of House Jerbiton, was rumoured to have fled north to Scotland, possibly to influence the politics of the Scottish King or perhaps even to ally himself with the Knights Templar, who have founded a monastery in the Scottish lowlands. The final item was an announcement of congratulations from Prima Fenriata, Senior Quaesitor Serenea and the Archimagi Sylvania, Jolyon and Motus for my success at achieving Palleus’ challenge and taking the title of Archimagus. Looking back, I must admit to a profound sense of embarrassment that this news took my sodales unawares. I had wanted to keep the news secret pending my trip to Cad Gadu to find out more of the responsibilities and etiquette surrounding membership of this body, yet I can see how doing so placed the remaining Council in a slightly awkward position. Still, I understand that, with varying degrees of success, they managed to retain their composure, despite their surprise. Alanus also brought missives for Medius from Augustus and Quaesitor Faelon, possibly regarding matters relating to his previous investigations of the Fells’ activities in Dublin.

[Tiarnan’s private journal: I spent the season in Cad Gadu learning something of the history and role of the Archimagi from Sylvania. In many respects, the pressure to live up to the status of the title and the exploits of previous holders is overwhelming, but Sylvania cautioned me that she had experienced the same feelings many years ago when she had first achieved the title. She provided me with a list of Archimagi who had offered her wise counsel and support over the years and taught me a variant of the spell Haunt of the Living Ghost that will allow me to contact them should I ever need to discuss matters of import. Though I resolved to try my best to be worthy of membership of this august body, I will also try to make sure that it does not change me into something that I am not; if it ever hangs so heavy about my shoulders that it becomes a burden rather than a pleasure, I shall endeavour to ensure another finds a way to take it from me.]


After a short and relatively uneventful Council meeting, Cormoran, his apprentice Frioc and his two consors departed to investigate the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge. Cormoran talked excitedly, and not a little incoherently, of his theories about the place, speculating that it had been built by giants, contained mystical passages to the groves of five pagan gods and was a site of great druidic worship. The group made their way across Wiltshire to the edges of the site, erecting a camp at the foot of the hill below the stones. That night, the moon bathed the stones in an otherworldly light, causing them to sparkle curiously and almost hum with power. Cormoran had to temper his apprentice’s natural eagerness to explore with cautionary tales about the dangers of the place, and the group decide to wait until morning to enter the circle itself. Over the next couple of weeks, Cormoran conducted his investigation, speaking with one of the nearby oak trees about former visitors to the place and using a variety of Intellego magics to judge the age of the place and to search for magical phenomena. One night, he spied strange mystical energies spanning the gaps between the upright stones that he interpreted as similar to regio boundaries, though crossing through between the stones the following day did not result in any unexpected events. Making the connection between the shape of the Trilithons, two upright stones capped with a horizontal bar, and a similar monument he had encountered years ago when attending a Giant Moot, Cormoran declared that he had solved the mystery of the site, for the Trilithons could only be gates built by giants to guard the entrances to their secret places. He therefore resolved to travel into the Welsh mountains to speak with the giantish seer, Vorn, who might be able to shed more light on how to make use of the gates. I am led to believe that Cormoran’s companions were less convinced that the full extent of the mysteries of the place could be so easily discovered, yet the giant was unmoved, and the party made its way west.

After several days of hard walking, they again camped at the bottom of a great hill, though this time only Cormoran and Frioc made their way to the summit. There they encountered Vorn, the misshapen seer, who berated Cormoran roundly for his past misdeeds. Cormoran took these criticisms with equanimity, stating that his former mistakes were the result of youthful ignorance and that he now had a more rounded understanding of matters. He asked Vorn whether he could teach him about the mysteries of the giants and their links with the other world. Vorn continued to pour scorn on the idea, pointing out the great sacrifices of health and body that he had made to acquire such knowledge. Seemingly putting aside his previous interest in Stonehenge, Cormoran pondered aloud whether he could make similar sacrifices - losing an eye so that he could see into the other world and an arm so he could act across the veil - to allow him to battle Ieuan on more even terms next time the diabolist attacks the covenant. His companions loudly decried this course of actions, pointing out that it scarcely seemed sensible to sacrifice his bodily strength in this world for the uncertain promises of a giant who openly disliked him, but Cormoran was deaf to their arguments, declaring that he would seek the wisdom of his sodales on this issue. He returned to Severn Temple and brought it to the attention of the Council, who echoed the warnings given by his companions and cautioned him that he consider the matter very carefully rather than making a hasty decision. Cormoran took this advice to heart, and he spend the rest of the season at the covenant given it deeper consideration.

Marius returned during the season bring news of his travels to Loch Leglean. He had spent several weeks around the Scottish court, but had found no signs that the Brothers in Christ had any influence over the King. The King himself also seemed unlikely to intervene in English affairs, as the unruly highland clans pose a threat to his crown if he takes the bulk of his forces south. The Templar monastery has been established close to the covenant of Giant’s Stone, which lies near to the town of Roxborough in the borderlands between England and Scotland. There followed an interesting conversation about what to do about the Duke of York, who continues to hold out against John’s forces. Cormoran declared that one of his companions, a man named Ralph, was the son of a noble from that town. Ralph was unwilling to provide any information that might be used to disadvantage his relatives, yet despite the fact that Cormoran loudly declared how loyal he was to his companions, the giant clearly implied that it would be simple for Medius to pull the information from Ralph’s mind without the Yorkshire man realising. In the end, it was Marius who decided the matter, as he noted that it was unlikely that Ralph possessed such valuable information to warrant the betrayal that Cormoran suggested, though he agreed he would speak with him to see whether there was anything that he would share willingly.

No other matters of note occurred during the season, though I heard Medius spent much of the season hanging around the graveyard at night, though whether this was connected with his reputation for Jewish necromancy or just an inability to sleep, I cannot say.


Cormoran and I left the covenant shortly after the end of the Council meeting, having been tasked with leading an expedition to Mynydd Myddyn to explore the parts of the regio that we had not yet visited since the place had moved from day to night. However, our mission was curtailed, for we learned some alarming news from the werewolves who inhabit the forests near to the regio. We had camped on the edge of their forest as usual, and I called out to their camp, requesting passage in return for a gift of foodstuffs and other sundry goods. We were approached by a group of the werewolves, who said their leader, the Grandfather Wolf, wished to speak with us, for three members of the pack had gone missing in circumstances similar to those that preceded the raising of the frightful blood wolves many years ago. Quickly dismissing the likelihood that this was some ruse designed to lure us into the forest, Cormoran and I followed them to their camp, where we encountered the Grandfather Wolf, who looked old and frail, having spent much of his energies on magical exertions. The creature explained that the three werewolves’ tracks led into Mynydd Myddyn, despite the explicit ban placed on any of the pack entering that place. Reviewing the clearing where they were last seen, Cormoran was able to detect that a Hermetic Rego Animal spell had been used there, with the obvious implication that it had been used to command them to do the caster’s bidding. The sigil, a black flame, matched that discovered following the attack on the Magi heading to the Grand Tribunal, and we suspect that it belongs to Ieuan. The prospect of him raising three blood wolves, possibly using Mynydd Myddyn as a base, sent a chill through my bones, and we resolved to return to Severn Temple to discuss the matter with our sodales. Before we left, the Grandfather Wolf informed us hat the wolves could only be raised during a blood moon. The next such event was scheduled for the second month of winter, giving us little more than a season to prepare, so we returned swiftly to Severn Temple to plan our next actions.

Medius called an emergency Council to discuss the matter, where debated what to do should the blood wolves attack the covenant. We were confident enough that the Aegis of the Hearth would hold them at bay, yet we knew we could not hope to protect Blackney, and there remained the possibility that Ieuan would try to lure us out by threatening the village. Cormoran was dispatched north to inform the Magi of Blackthorn and Cad Gadu of the possibility of attack. I was not party to the conversations that took place there, but I understand that Cormoran’s lack of circumspection almost caused a rift between the assembled Magi, for he revealed certain matters that only some of them knew. Prima Fenriata was forced to call him to silence and declare that certain matters related to secrets of House Miscellanea to prevent him from causing further friction. I believe it was Llandoddwyn who first suggested that the target of the attack might by Marius, rather than the covenant, which posed something of a problem, for he was away from Severn Temple and we had no easy way to contact him or offer protection.

[Tiarnan’s private journal: Locating Marius proved to be task fraught with difficulty. We knew that he had elected to spend the season in the noble courts, yet we knew not whether he had accompanied King John over the Channel, headed north to parley with the Scots or travelled elsewhere on some other diplomatic mission. Our attempts to find him started in near farce, for Medius quickly resolved that the need to do so overrode any prohibitions on scrying in the Primary Code. He retrieved a hair from Marius’ sanctum and used various Intellego spells to try to locate him, yet he was unable to do so, most likely because Marius was too far away for them to work. Unfortunately, Cormoran retuned and had the very same idea, and Medius was forced to dissemble when asked whether he had an arcane connection to the Jerbiton. Cormoran noticed the the door to Marius’ sanctum was unlocked, and declaring (rather suspiciously in my view) that he was concerned that an enemy might have been in there, he used Sense of the Lingering magic to determine whether any foreign spells had been cast thereabouts. This revealed Medius’ sigil close to the door, as the Quaesitor had used a Rego Terram spell to force the lock. This discovery could not help but further widen the lack of trust that exists between the two Magi, with Cormoran declaring that he had been lied to and Medius’ arguing that Cormoran was not worthy of being trusted in the matter. I must admit to a wry smile at the sight of the Quaesitor being outwitted by the giant on this occasion, but there is danger in this too, for Cormoran now possesses evidence that Medius has broken the Primary Code, which could cause him great difficulty if it is revealed to another member of his House.

Cormoran was also unable to locate Marius through Hermetic magic, and we therefore turned to non-Hermetic means to pursue that matter. Cynfelyn travelled to the Morrigan’s Glade to speak with his dark mistress, who revealed that though she could not see the Young King, the waters of the Nectan could grant prophetic visions. Cynfelyn was guided to the Nectan’s pool, from which he retrieved a skin of dark liquid. Back at the covenant, we discussed who was best placed to drink the water, for none were particularly keen given that visions of the future were known to come at a price. Each of us had a mark against us, for Medius’ faith meant that a pagan power was less likely to work for him and Cynfelyn, Cormoran and I were all somewhat reluctant to be drawn into the other world given our fraught relations with Arawn, King of the Dead. In the end, Cormoran agreed to drink the water while asking the question, “How may Marius and his crown be kept safe from those who plot against him this year?” As the waters touched his lips, Cormoran fells to the ground unconscious, and he remained still for several hours.

When he awoke, Cormoran told us that he had found himself transported to a dark land, where he had encountered Arawn guarding a bridge. Cormoran explained that, despite the instruction that he should never return, he had decided to brave the King’s wrath to save Marius. He announced that he was a changed man who now thought more of others than himself. At this, Arawn challenged him to name three selfless actions he had undertaken or be struck down on the spot. Thinking quickly and carefully, Cormoran described three such events. First, when Cynfelyn was engaged in a perilous Wizard’s War, Cormoran had taken the body of his slain familiar, Drudwyl, to the Morrigan’s Glade, where he had bargained with that dread spirit to aid Cynfelyn in his fight by revealing the hiding place of his enemy. Second, he had planted the acorns obtained from the Heart of the Forest for many years with no thought of reward from the Anu. And finally, he had taken on this mission to assist Marius, despite the great peril. Arawn was satisfied with these answers, and Cormoran was allowed to proceed across the bridge, where he was shown a vision of Ieuan, Cassitus and Dionysus conducting a dark ritual to raise the blood wolves by a gallows in a sickened forest close to the city of York. He also saw that should the plot remained unchecked, Marius would leave the city after having concluded a peace with the Duke only to be overrun by the blood wolves.

After Cormoran had finished speaking, he was soundly berated by Cynfelyn for lying to him about the fate of Drudwyl. I was also expecting Medius to weigh in given that Cormoran had admitted to direct interference in a Wizard’s War, yet the Quaesitor remained silent. After Cynfelyn’s anger had died down, we resolved to set an ambush for the diabolists before they could complete their ritual.]


As I write this, I cannot help to but pause for a moment to recollect the great changes that the past few years have brought. So much has happened over this time, scattering our enemies, bringing their plans to ruin and now, finally, driving some of our most enduring foes from this world for good.

The ambush outside York was a complete success. The site of the ritual was identified in advance and arcane connections taken to a nearby spot. As the blood moon was rising, Fenriata, Motus, Orlania, Cormoran and Cynfelyn fell upon the diabolists, destroying Cassitus and Dionysus utterly through the light of the lantern and catching Ieuan with great gouts of fire and lightening. Though there are hints that Ieuan’s spirit survived the attack, his body did not, and even if he returns, it will not be as a man.

Though this winter is as bitter as ever, for this night at least, there is a sense of contentment and good cheer throughout the covenant that will be remembered for some time to come.