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Scribed by Marius

Spring 1199 AD


Our council meeting began with a discussion of mundane affairs. John’s war with Richard, on the continent, continues to prove costly to both sides. However, should this plan of attrition fail and Richard break through as far as Calais, then the threat of an invasion remains real; so I proposed some thoughts as to how to minimise this threat. One of the principle threats is an alliance between the French and the Scots against John; but using mundane influence it may be possible to prevent this, and to that end I shall travel to Loch Leglean next year. However, another thought occurs; if a Templar army seeks to travel with Richard’s forces would it be legal, within the Grand Tribunal ruling, to use indirect magic to delay the invasion fleet? The question comes down upon defining, precisely, the relationship between Richard, the Templars and the Brothers in Christ sect.

The opinions of my Sodales were divided on this, with good argument on either side of the debate, so my plan is to travel to Blackthorn to see if Ponrius will allow a Tribunal debate on the matter next season and also speak to Senior Quaesitor Serenia to see if a concillium quaesitori can decide the legal interpretation of the Grand Tribunal ruling. Incidentally, Cormoran suggested using the Fells to try and infiltrate the Brother’s in Christ sect; a suggestion that did not prove popular amongst the other members of the council! Whilst dealing with diabolists is not the same as dealing with their demon masters, I think it would be a grave mistake to ally ourselves with any group that would ultimately prove treacherous and self-serving and further test the relationship between the Church and the Order.

There was discussion about threats to John himself; so much depends upon him remaining King. I think the greatest threat to his rule is Richard succeeding on the continent, perhaps taking Calais or some other strong port from which he could mount an invasion. However, another threat is the possibility that Richard’s allies within the Church could convince the Pope to excommunicate John. Whilst this would serve no immediate temporal gain, it would make some of John’s more pious supporters consider their allegiances and this would certainly weaken his hold over England. Finally the possibility of John’s assassination was raised as a concern; I explained that this was quite possible and that John’s right-hand man, Baron DePercy was charged with the King’s personal protection. This man is both cunning and loyal, so my hope is that should any plot emerge for John’s assassination DePercy and his spies would identify and neutralise the threat – though clearly it is a risk.

There followed a long discussion about possible items for the covenant. The ability to conjure some sort of rope ladder appeared to be the most pressing; given some of the difficulties getting into and out of Mynydd Myddyn. Astrius will enchant this later in the year. Also a device to ‘weigh the turncoat’s silver’ was agreed to have merit and Tiarnen has agreed to set time aside for this covenant service later in the year. Finally, Medius and Cynfelyn will investigate Snig’s End to see whether there is any sign of renewed Fell activity.

***

I have just returned from Huntley having been summoned by a messenger of the Knight of that village. It seems that my sodales had a run in with the Knight on their way to Snig’s End. The Knight and some of his men were tracking a small group of bandits and it appears they picked up on the trail of the covenant party and were given to suspicion when they could give no good reason why they were there. Fortunately, despite lots of opportunity for things to go badly awry, my sodales were able to avoid any conflict with our neighbour and I was able to vouch for them. Indeed, the Knight accepted their help in tracking down the bandits and was keen to see that no new mischief was in play within those dark woods. As the son of Red Morely, whose landholdings border upon that fell place, the new Knight of Huntley could make a useful ally. He appeared tolerant enough of the talk of magicians and I know the Earl holds him in high esteem. So I was doubly thankful that this misunderstanding didn’t descend into violence!

Ponrius was content to allow my proposal to go before the Tribunal next season, and Serenia was gracious enough to agree to call a concillium of the quaesitiori to determine the legalisty of using indirect magics to hamper Richard’s fleet. Thus, all appears set for next season!

Summer


Our discussions began with events of last season. I discussed a deal that I’ve agreed with Huntley; that we will warn him should any shadow re-emerge at Snig’s End and he shall pass on any warnings. I have suggested, out of courtesy, that we inform him when we are investigating on his lands in future. This season will see the meeting of the Stonehenge Tribunal so between my duties as Prince of Powys I shall be travelling to Blackthorn for midsummer. Little else of note was discussed at the meeting.

My season began by riding to Gwynedd to speak to the Prince; there has been considerable delay in his sending men and taxes to support John and I was wary that the Prince was reneging on his earlier promises. I discovered that the Prince has been preoccupied by love for a mysterious woman who attended his court at the last midwinter feast. I can’t be certain, but she sounds at least fae touched and possibly a faerie. I was able to gain his attention and extract the troops and monies he’d promised, but was unable to locate this woman for him in the time I had.

The Stonehenge Tribunal met with robust numbers compared to previous meetings of that council. The concillium quaesitori determined that the Tribunal could vote upon the matter of my proposal, though Medius was unsuccessful in getting that body to overturn the restriction that our charter can only be altered with permission by the concillium; Medius was invited to put the matter to the Tribunal.

With Holy Isle restored upon a new site, work has begun in earnest to equip the new covenant for its dedication. Each covenant will supply enchantments invested with 10 pawns of vis and donate the covenant services to support this work. I shall be incidentally assisting the new covenant with some local mundane contacts and potential supply routes through my political connection to Gwynedd.

It is also worth noting that, after considerable delay, the covenant of Borri-Tor will be refounded in the North. Solis Castle are the principle sponsors for this new covenant.

Cad Gadu requested that their Castellan be allowed a longevity potion using Erin’s magical breakthrough. This decision was circumvented by Erin petitioning to have the restriction on his magical work lifted; insisting quite reasonably that he was able to judge whether a mundane should have such extended longevity himself without having to wait for a Tribunal to vote on it. Cormoran, who had voted in favour of this restriction when it was first raised, spoke in favour of it being lifted. In the end the Tribunal voted strongly in favour of allowing Erin such discretion.

My petition to recruit individuals willing to use indirect magics to hamper any invasion fleet was narrowly passed. Many were concerned that the use of magics to thwart Richard would draw magi further into this mundane conflict – and be much to our detriment should Richard succeed. However, the majority were swayed by the belief that the Brothers in Christ were at least indirectly aiding Richard through the Knights Templar. Thus, the Tribunal voted in favour of allowing such magics to be used. I managed to speak with a few magi who might be willing to assist with this; Geddyn and Moravius both committing themselves to giving aid if called upon.

Ponrius announced a tithe of 1 pawn per magus by the next Tribunal; and the council at Blackthorn was ended.

Upon my return to Powys I was surprised to be petitioned by a fair headed woman by the name of Aderyn. It seems that she was the maid with whom the Prince of Powys is so besotted. She appears to be heavily fae touched, though mortal I think, but she is unhappy with the attentions of the prince and begged me to speak to him on her behalf so that she may be free of his fascination without causing offence. I had no real desire to become involved in this, but invited her to remain as my guest while I had time to think upon her request.

At dinner that evening I asked her why she should be so loathe to be courted by such a noble and honourable man such as the Prince; explaining to her that many of the women at court would be flattered beyond measure by such attention. It appears that she is not repulsed by the idea of the match, but merely has no trust in the hearts of men; she had learned that men’s hearts were fickle and given to expressions of love that quickly evaporated after the wedding feast. I tried to reassure her that an honourable man like the Prince would not be so flighty in his affection; and appeared well taken with her from but a single meeting. Then, perhaps remembering some old story of Theo’s, I suggested that if she truly wished to know his heart or be rid of him she should set him a test. If the test was challenging enough then one of two things would happen; he might refuse or attempt to renegotiate the test, and she would then know his affection was not strong, or he would agree and in time succeed, in which case she would know he was true. She seemed quite taken with this idea and left the next day to travel to Gwynedd. I had not yet heard the consequences of my advice, though I hope I have not made matters worse!

Autumn

This season I shall be on my duties to the covenant; spending some time ensuring our network of spies is still keeping watch for any news of the Fells or Brothers. Tiarnen will be enchanting the item for the covenant.

There is some news report in this otherwise quiet season. Medius appeared to have been led, by a sequence of events, to locate a potential familiar. It seems, as possibly directed by a vision, he found himself in a village plagued by the shade of a vengeful murderer; returning in death to punish people within the village who had given witness to his crimes in life. Medius was able to locate and destroy this infernal spirit and in the process struck up an acquaintance with an owl which was haunting the area. I believe he intends to take the bird as a familiar.

Of mundane news it appears the Pope has been swayed by Richard’s allies and has excommunicated John. Whilst this undoubtedly causes problems it was not unexpected. However, I dare say it will make DePercy’s job all the more difficult. I’ll have to spend some time assessing the impact of this next year ... though from the viewpoint of the Order of Hermes it might even be welcome, as the strength of the Dominion should be a little weaker in these lands over time.

Winter

Some news from last season emerged from our council meeting; the origin of one of the strange visions which appear to have helped guide Medius to his familiar. It appears that last season Tiarnen led a group from the covenant to explore the Grey Hill, a site mentioned by my father but never really investigated. It appears that this otherwise unremarkable looking site is the location of a very deep regio; extending through several levels via a winding spiral pathway up the hill. At the lower level they were able to locate an old coin which appeared to contain vis and Tiarnen, through burying an offering of his own, was able to communicate with the ghost of his father as they travelled to a deeper level. At the deepest point of this site the sky is apparently completely clear and dark, with thousands upon thousands of stars clearly visible. It seems that Medius, Tiarnen and Kai had visions at the site; Medius seeing signs that would lead him to his familiar and Tiarnen and Kai receiving strange visions that they were not able to fully interpret. This remarkable site has been registered as a vis site.

Alannus arrived later in the season with some news. Of mundane matters, most of the news was already known to us. But of Hermetic news there was an incident of note. It appears that during the formal investigation of Coeris covenant a part of the underground structure collapsed killed three of the investigating magi (including a quaesitor of Medius’ acquaintance). Whether this is the liches or their allies seeking to hamper the investigation, or merely a cover for some of the suspects to have ‘died’, is unclear. However, one thing our council were all sure of was that this was no mere accident.

Thus ended the year and my term as scribe.
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