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Scribed by Cynfelyn

Spring 1200 AD


Snow lay heavily about the covenant as we met for the first meeting of the new century, though fortunately there was nothing to suggest that this was anything to do with the Erechwydd's wrath, merely the usual winter weather. Medius began the meeting by announcing that he would be sequestering himself within his laboratory for the year to bind his familiar, an owl named Horobetrax. With Marius planning a trip to Loch Lagleann in Summer, as well as his ongoing responsibilities in Powys, it was clear that a new Ministrator would have to be named and Medius duly appointed Tiarnan to that role.

Medius had further news to report, he told us that he had petitioned the Concillium Quaestori during last year's tribunal meeting for permission to redraft our covenant charter but had been rejected. However, apparently a tribunal vote could yet push through approval for us to revise our charter so he asked us to consider whether we should present such a motion to Praeco Ponrius for the next tribunal in 1206.

Tiarnan reminded us of the obligation to create an enchanted item to aid the refounded dedicated covenant to watch for the return of the UnNamed House. Medius bade us all think on the matter and suggested we present any ideas at the Spring meeting next year.

As to our ongoing efforts to bolster our covenant's magical resources, I agreed to extract vim vis as a covenant service to begin to build up our vim vis reserves for the construction of such items. Cormoran will brew up three potions that will enable a man to take the form of a raven, while Tiarnan will craft an item which will grant the Gift of Bear's Fortitude to those it touches, a truly invaluable item for our grog turb and consortis.

On a mundane note, it appears that our financial position has improved, as Medius felt able for the first time in a number of years to make a small grant of monies alongside the usual distribution of vis in return for covenant services. With that, the meeting came to a close.

Cynfelyn's private journal: While I would of course have accepted the role without complaint, I was glad Medius chose Tiarnan not me. Hopefully it is an indication that he is thinking ahead to missions against the christian and diabolic cults when he will need a hoplite. With regard to revising the charter, I see no need at present. Magi are rewarded for spending time to aid the covenant and by and large we are free to carry out our studies as we see fit. Whether problems would emerge if someone other than Medius were to take the role of Pontifex is perhaps less clear, though it has worked with different magi in the past so I see little imperative for change for now.

There was nothing of note to report from the season until the equinox. I attended the ceremony, which, at Cormoran's lead has greatly evolved from crude and largely improvised efforts to a formalised ritual with a genuine sense of ritual and magic. Although the ceremony passed without incident, the next morning I awoke from a disturbed night's sleep with the nagging sensation of having had a vivid dream, the details of which remained elusive and infuriatingly just beyond my mind's reach, no matter how hard I tried to recall them. I used creo mentem magics to try and bring it to mind before it was lost completely and was able to recall a little of the dream. There was some sort of fight going on in front of me, though I was a watcher not a participant. Some mundanes were being assailed by men in blackened armour, brigands I believe, one of whom struck an old man to the floor, opening up a nasty looking gash upon his forehead. A large hound leapt to the man's side and the bandits retreated. The hound then licked the blood from the man's forehead. With that the dream was lost. A vision of my future familiar perhaps? If her sister is to be believed, the Anu's promise to aid my once again still holds true so I remain hopeful that once I am satisfied that my arts are sufficient to form bonds as strong as possible that I will be granted further sight of such a hound.


Summer

I was not at the Summer council, having already departed for Lear Valley to fulfill a deal made with Maga Edith, so it was just Tiarnan and Cormoran present. Cormoran reported that his experiments in the previous season had somehow gone awry and resulted in an explosion that had wrecked his glassware, rendering his laboratory all but useless. After ascertaining that there was no spare laboratory equipment within the covenant, Tiarnan suggested that he write to Jareth, the alchemist magus at Solis Castle, whom he thought likely to have glassware available for sale. Cormoran decided to circumvent the possibly lengthy business of waiting for a Redcap to arrive and then again for any reply from Jareth and instead announced his intent to take the Severn Boar directly to Solis Castle to conclude a deal in person. For his part, Tiarnan stated that he would spend the season constructing the Gift of the Bear's Fortitude enchanted item for the covenant.

Cormoran had further news and recounted a vision that he had had on the night after the Spring Equinox. In it he was investigating Stonehenge when his magics went awry, resulting in some magical accident of some sort, for which he was roundly mocked for his foolishness by Vorn, the Giantish seer. Quite what this was supposed to mean I know not, nor apparently did either of my sodales at the meeting.

Cynfelyn's private journal: My season was spent assisting Edith in her attempt to recraft the old tree control staff which she bore while she was a member of this covenant. I was more than a little wary spending time in her sanctum and carefully avoided drinking or eating anything while I was in there, much to her amusement. However, while her manner is not the easiest, I grew more relaxed as time went on and while she would be a poor enemy to make if crossed, I did not sense any real malice or treachery about her. After some stormy exchanges in the first couple of weeks in our working together, when, had I not given my word that I would help her as requested, I would have walked out, we settled down into an uneasy cooperation which seemed to be successful, albeit the item had a minor side effect, though a curious rather than deleterious one.

Summer appeared to pass without any notable incidents until, as the first hints of autumn began to appear in the forest, Magus Alannus arrived at the covenant bearing news from the meeting of House Bonisagus. He brought sad news, that of the passing into final twilight of Archimagus Gravidius, Primus Bonisagus. Long may he be remembered for his wisdom and courage, and the pivotal role he played in ensuring that the Tremere's attempted coup failed. The new Primus is Archimaga Victoria from the Iberian tribunal, a specialist in the parma magica if I recall correctly. Alannus also had more cheering news, Borrea Tor covenant has been refounded a few miles from the site of the original covenant, with two young magi, Cecilia, filia Moravius, discipilus Verditius and Laurentius, filius Orlania, discipilus Flambeau its initial members. Less encouragingly, Marius's attempts to enlist the support of Loch Lagleann against Richard and the Templars were unsuccessful and the zealot king has won several major victories against John on the continent and is now besieging Calais. French warships have been sighted in the Channel, though a strange fog has been reported there, said by superstitious seafaring folk to be a sign that God favours the English.

Autumn

With both Marius and I returned for the autumn meeting our concillium was almost restored to its full number. Marius began the meeting by relaying what he had learnt about Richard's progress and his efforts in Loch Lagleann. That tribunal's vote was in no way an endorsement of Richard, for they are no friends of the Brothers in Christ, but rather a reflection of that fact that the threat they pose seems distant to the magi who dwell there. Marius advised us against taking ship via the Channel for the immediate future with the threat posed there by French warships. At this point Cormoran spoke up, confessing that the strange fog reported in the Channel in Summer was conjured by him. Cormoran described the accident that ha destroyed his laboratory glassware and how he had taken the Severn Boar up to Solis Castle to see Jareth with a view to purchasing replacement equipment. The outward journey had passed largely uneventfully and he had been able to purchase new glassware for a very reasonable price; however, the return journey was to prove much more troublesome.

The Boar made it through the English pickets at Dover and Southampton but just past Corfe was spotted by a flotilla of some seven French warships, two of which gave chase. Unfortunately the French ships were faster than the Boar and soon came within arbalest range. It was at this point that Cormoran used an item of his to conjure the fog that caused such mundane gossip. Unfortunately the fog did not discriminate between the enemy ships and ours, and the Boar's crew were hindered sufficiently by the sudden lack of visibility so as to render escape impossible. When the fog cleared it was obvious that while it had bought them a little time they would not be able to make it back to Corfe before the French caught them. With this in mind, Cormoran cast 'Cloak of Black Feathers' upon himself and flew across to the lead warship. Landing on the stern of the ship close to the wheel, he let the spell drop and set about the unfortunate French sailors there with his halberd. He quickly slew the helmsman and two others, but was not ready for the mob of marines and sailors that then came at him. To make matters worse a Templar knight was aboard the ship and he, wielding a great sword, was able to wound Cormoran, though not seriously. The real problem for Cormoran came from the sheer weight of numbers of his adversaries and despite his great strength and size, he was borne to the ground and his halberd ripped from him, much as levies may overwhelm an armoured knight on the battlefield. Seeing that his position was hopeless, Cormoran managed to break free long enough to dive overboard and using aquam magics made it safely to the shore.

Back on board the Boar, although Cormoran's actions had significantly hindered the lead French warship, its sister ship was gaining fast and soon arbalest shots were ripping through the rigging and sails. One shot badly damaged the mast and the Captain realised that their only chance was to try and thread their way through the sandbanks far enough so that the French would not dare follow. It was a desperately risky tactic and the ship came perilously close to being wrecked but when she eventually ran out of room and beached, she was too close to shore for the French to follow with their ship's greater draught and they withdrew. The Boar was left to lick its wounds and use what magic items had been granted it to keep it intact until high tide when she could float off the sandbank and limp back to Corfe for repairs.

Of further note, Cormoran reported that he believes his halberd, his talisman, may now be in the hands of the Knight's Templar and maybe even their allies, the cursed monks of the Brothers in Christ sect. Although Medius was able to successfully recover his talisman from them after a period of some months, it is possible that since then the vile traitors Henry of Jerbiton and Arcturus may have passed on more of our secrets and hermetic practice. The obvious concern is that they could somehow seek to use Cormoran's talisman, and the arcane connection it offers, against him. Scrying magics could only determine that the halberd was somewhere dry and dark, the hold of ship perhaps? As for the Severn Boar, although it needs extensive repairs, it will be fine in a season or two, though the episode demonstrates the need to furnish it with further enchanted items for its protection. Cormoran also mentionned that he had appealed to help from the gods of the sea during the attack and while no overt help had been forthcoming they had been guided by a couple of dolphins.

Marius then spoke about the possibilities of an invasion from France if Richard were to take Calais. He plans to try and get volunteers to use weather magics to foil any such attack and will be travelling in the autumn to speak with magi he believes may possess such art, including Mira, Amma of Ex Miscellania, Sorrentia, Geddyn, Moravius and Prima Fenriata.

At the equinox I was not greatly surprised to hear Cormoran rain down bitter curses on Richard and the Templars, though whether this will do anything else other than relieve his frustration a little I know not. There was certainly no sign of any immediate change that night, nor in the rest of autumn, which passed uneventfully.

Winter

Marius reported that Geddyn, the elementalist from Cad Gadu, has agreed to assist him. Apparently Geddyn can cause the winds to be still for a good long time. Moravius was also happy to help, offering to create items to create great banks of fog, though unsurprisingly he wants paying for such, as ever he seeks to profit from the situation. The mundane situation is finely balanced, Richard's forces are still besieging Calais and the French naval blockade remains in place.

Cormoran reported that he had been granted a vision following the equinox, in which he saw that his talisman was in the hold of a ship anchored just off Calais. There was some discussion about his plans to get it back, with Cormoran's plans to develop a formulaic version of the 'Invisible Hand of the Thief' of sufficient magnitude to retrieve it inevitably delayed by the need to first re-equip his laboratory. Thus, he will develop the spell during Spring, hoping that the mundane situation does not change dramatically in the meantime.

After the meeting, with Medius still binding his familiar, Tiarnan agreed to cast the 'Aegis of the Hearth'. Although I could not help but recall what had happened the last time Tiarnan attempted to cast that ritual, in truth I no real expectation that it would go awry again, which unfortunately is what occurred. As we neared the end of our circuit of the covenant's walls, there was a sudden flare of magic and Tiarnan collapsed as though struck. I felt the unmistakable feel of twilight around us and as I fought to maintain control I could see the shell of the Aegis lit up for a moment in an eerie purple light before flickering and winking out.

As soon as I was sure that I had successfully resisted twilight, I conjured a ball of flame to see if my magic was still working properly and was greatly relieved to discover that it was. I called for grogs to carry the still unconscious Tiarnan into the infirmary and went inside the covenant to see what effects the accident had had. It was chaos inside. Some men had lost all memory of who they were and others were incapacitated by terrifying visions of the dead walking, rats had grown to the size of dogs and a tree had upped its roots and was striding around the grounds. While Cormoran did his best to keep any of the coven folk from hurting themselves or each other, I stood guard over Tiarnan in the infirmary. Thankfully the madness abated as night fell and all returned to normal, though it will clearly take a little while longer for some to recover their nerves. Happily, Tiarnan though regained consciousness without any ill effects.

The season continued without further incident until near the turning of the year when Alannus arrived bearing message that, at Prima Fenriata's instigation, Archimagus Jolyon had conjured a fortified structure at the site where the refounded dedicated covenant will be set. The Prima has formally invited magi from across the Order to make application for membership of the new covenant. Of matters mundane, the siege of Calais continues and we were warned to expect a large muster of men in the New Year to repel any possible invasion. With that the year came to a close.
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