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Scribed by Medius

Spring 1201 AD


After a year sequestered in my Sanctum, as I have bound myself to Horobetrax, it was good to meet with my sodales once more, although since I have adopted a more nocturnal pattern of life in order to spend time with my familiar it was not easy to rise so early on such a crisp morning. All were present within the council and having spent some time the previous eve familiarising myself with the events of the past year we were swiftly able to move to business. It is clear that Archimagus Tiarnan was glad of my return for I sense that with a second casting of the Aegis of the Hearth going awry he is unlikely to turn his hand to that ritual again.

We discussed our plans for the forthcoming year and it became apparent that all of us planned to be abroad from the covenant in the summer. I was concerned that with all the threats that still lie about us we should not leave our home so long unattended and reluctantly I asked Magus Cynfelyn to remain rather than accompany me to Carrowcrom Covenant, where I am to address members of the Hibernian Tribunal regarding the threat that the Fells pose. I asked the Archimagus to bear message to the Redcaps asking Orlania to arrange a hoplite to Accompany me on that journey, as he was travelling to Cad Gadu during spring prior to heading on to his House meeting.

We agreed that we would present two possible items for the new covenant of Holy Isle, so that they may choose which would be of more use to them. Magus Cynfelyn can create a device that would cast a greater version of the Weaver’s Trap of Webs but we could also provide some valuable enchantments should they choose to commission a ship. I am sure that either would prove valuable to them and I hope that we can forge a far closer relationship with the refounded dedicated covenant than we ever held with the corrupt place that preceded it.

Magus Marius warned us that there was possibility of a future invasion from Richard’s forces and it was likely that taxes would be higher in order to pay for men and defences to meet that challenge. In truth I am glad to pay for it is clear that our covenant and tribunal would both be better served by the reign of King John and it was agreed that no stipend would be paid to any of the magi who reside here. Cormoran confirmed that he would spend spring working on enchantments to aid him in returning his lost talisman. Cynfelyn will study from personal vis, while Marius shall be abroad with the threat of more war in these lands. I spent my time creating a new spell for myself and I am pleased to say that there was no event worthy of recording for the remainder of the season.

Summer

Although I travelled to the Hibernian covenant of Carrow Crom this season I attended the meeting of our council before departing upon our vessel, although Archimagus Tiarnan was still abroad at his House meeting. Magus Marius had news from his travels , reporting that Hereford is upset at the excommunication of King John. Marius does not believe that he has sufficient support to raise a rebellion and with the possibility of French invasion it is likely that his position is still secure. Nevertheless, rumours remain that there are those within the mundane court who may yet switch allegiance. Marius also reported that our spies have detected a great deal of movement in the vicinity of Tintern Abbey, possibly the Brothers in Christ returning to secretly raise allies for Richard. Abroad, Calais still stands, with some supplies having breached the French blockade. It is feared however that this position may not remain as the French turn the screw against the city. If Calais should fall and the brothers in Christ be successful in fermenting rebellion then John’s position might yet quickly become grave and we discussed what options we might have as a council. It was agreed that should our spies identify the monks who hold rank in the Christian sect then they will send us word as swift as they may and Magus Cynfelyn will in turn travel to warn the earl of Gloucester of their treachery. As a result Magus Cynfelyn agreed to remain in the covenant and chose to study from the Perdo texts. Marius will once mor journey beyond our walls, heading first to London before travelling through Powys, and Cormoran announced that he was travelling across the Channel to attempt to retrieve his talisman.

[Medius’ personal journal]
My journey to Hibernia aboard the Severn Boar was uneventful, despite our Captain never having sailed the route before. Travelling north beyond the port of Chester we skirted the coast of Loch Leglean before cutting to the west and around the northern edge of Hibernia. It took a little over a week before we saw two rocks jutting out like teeth and beyond them the natural harbour I had been advised to disembark at. There was a small village there and we were met by a contingent of grogs who led us up a long, steep slope to the covenant.

There I was met by Quaesitor Faelon who provided me with some detail regarding the political makeup of this troubled tribunal. There is fierce rivalry between those of House Merinita and House Flambeau, and other alliances have built around these two factions. Faelon provided me with a list of names of some of the members of the tribunal that I should seek support in my attempt to gain permission to further investigate the Fells’ activity in Dublin.

I started by presenting myself to Praeca Dectria who is herself a Merinitan and she swiftly sought to embroil me in the politics of the tribunal in return for her support of my motion. There had been a wizard’s war between a member of her House and a Flambeau, whereby the Merinitan, a man named Sean, had enlisted the help of a fae that took his guise. The Flambeau attacked the faerie and in return the fae raised an attack upon a covenant of the tribunal. Following the investigation of Senior Quaesitor Apparatus he had decided to charge Magus Sean alone with a breach of the primary code and when it became apparent that I saw a provisional opportunity that the Flambeau might also be charged the Praeca asked me to give a legal ruling at the tribunal. I was cautious and committed only to speaking with the Senior Quaesitor before making any judgement. It was clear that with many of her House being abroad at the House meeting she was concerned as to the result of any trial.

As the tribunal started I took the opportunity to speak with those Magi who Faelon had recommended. Magus Rianber, an Ex Miscellanean from Muinner Carn covenant who holds great sway within the tribunal cared little about my concerns, and considered the Fells to be of no great interest. I spoke with another of his House, Magus Galledin of Glen Cochlear but he also expressed little interest in my petition, although I gained the sense that if I aided Magus Sean in his travails he might be swayed to offer me support. I spoke with Magus Ernan, an aged member of House Verditius, and he held some fear that based on the tale that I told there might be interruption in his dealings with the merchants that operate from Dublin, but again I sensed that there was little understanding of the infernal threat that the Fells hold and I left our meeting somewhat disconsolate at the lack of support that I was attaining. I had more joy with Maga Maria, a redcap who travels often through the city. She was concerned that they might interfere with her, and the tribunal’s, contacts and resources and agreed that if the tribunal supported me she would be glad to lend her eyes and ears to my task. I gave her what information I had, for detecting even then that I might fail to win over this tribunal I hope that she may yet offer some aid in the future.

My meeting with Senior Quaesitor Apparatus went badly. He was not at all interested in my legal opinions and in short order demanded that I do not involve myself. Our conversation became heated as I reminded him that there was no bar upon my opinion being sought on this matter while he insisted that I had no understanding of the political situation in this tribunal. We parted on bad terms but the following day he came to see me again and was more moderate in his tone. While I still told him that I would have to give great thought to my decision he refrained from further insult and while I was in no doubt as to his preference I sensed that he regretted his earlier intemperate behaviour. I thought long and hard about my position. It was clear to me that refusal to assist the Praeca would go badly for my goal to further investigate the Fells in Hibernia and Horobetrax was in no doubt that this should be my primary aim. Yet I am also aware that I have responsibilities as a Quaesitor, and while that title seems more and more to me an unwanted burden I swore an oath which I would not lightly set aside. While my instinct towards fairness could see an argument for bringing charge also against the Flambeau I considered the charge against Sean entirely just. As Apparatus reminded me I was not privy to all the details of the investigation that he had undertaken prior to making his decision and I was poorly versed in the political currents of the tribunal. While my younger self might have readily cried that such has no place in the implementation of the code, my years in Stonehenge have shown me that the reality of the environment a Quaesitor operates in does, and must, have a place in the decisions that he reaches.

The matter was the first raised as the tribunal commenced and as she had promised Praeca Dectria asked me to give my own judgement on what charges should be brought before the tribunal. I chose to demur and said that I did not feel it my place to offer judgement further to that of the Senior Quaesitor. She looked coldly upon me as she confirmed that Sean would be tried in his absence before announcing that I had no further business with the tribunal. Whilst I am regretful that I can take no formal action regarding the Fells in Dublin I still believe that I made the right choice. I can only hope that future events support me in this. Perhaps the one glint of sunshine upon the edge of the cloud that has covered this journey was that Apparatus sought me before I departed home and told me that he would offer what help he could.


Autumn

Once more the Archimagus was absent but the remainder of the council of Severn Temple was present. Marius spoke first, with quite astonishing news. It seems that there are many rumours that Richard is dead, killed in a hunting accident. While still unconfirmed this brings great hope, for his son prince Arthur is but 12 years old and if true it seems likely that the invasion will be long delayed, should it happen at all. Marius confirmed that he would spend this season on covenant service making further investigation of the Brothers in Christ and I agreed that Horobetrax would aid him by spying upon Tintern Abbey should such be required. Cormoran announced that he had successfully recovered his Talisman and that he would be extracting vim vis for his own personal use this season, a task that I undertake on behalf of the covenant. Magus Cynfelyn said that he would be studying form his own vis supplies.

Perhaps two weeks into the season Marius asked for Horobetrax’s assistance as he believed that there were inhabitants from the Abbey travelling at night and he wished to know whither they went, and whether they could be linked to the Archbishop at Hereford. A few days later my familiar spied a group of five figures with a hooded lantern departing the cloisters and taking a small side gate that led to the river bank. Three of these men made their way to the river while the other two secured the gate before returning to the cloisters. Shortly thereafter another faint light could be seen as a rowboat quietly made its way upstream to meet with the monks and take them on board. The two men rowing were armoured with mail and the language that they spoke in was not one that Horobetrax or I recognised. My familiar followed the boat that night but back at the covenant I was able to speak with Cormoran and he agreed that he would meet Horobetrax as dawn approached and continue the pursuit guised as a raven. That day he observed the boat hidden on the bank as the monks continued on foot along the road to Ross on Wye. Marius and Cynfelyn took it upon themselves to travel to that town and arrange for spies to continue the pursuit. The monks skirted Ross and continued along the road but my sodales had managed to meet and Cormoran continued to follow as a raven while Marius and Cynfelyn followed afoot about one hour behind. Cormoran observed the men meet with a merchant in the village of Orcop and managed to get close. While the conversation was initiated in French the merchant could not speak it and so they switched to English. The monks gave the merchant a bag of money and told him that it was from the pope. The merchant in turn told them that the man they wanted was called Jake and that he would meet them at the bridge south of Hereford where he would smuggle them into the city.

Cormoran returned to Marius and Cynfelyn to appraise them of what he had learned, and with Horobetrax’s aid continued to track the men without difficulty. Following them by dark Horobetrax was able to determine that under the robes of the three monks they also wore mail and carried broadswords and at least one wore a templar tabard. As they reached the bridge the merchant went forward to speak with the armed watchman keeping guard and passing over a small sum of money they were permitted to travel forward to the walls of Hereford where they left the road and followed a narrow hidden path along the steep shore of the river. Some way along the came to a narrow cave and were met by a man wearing a helm and a travelling cloak, who Horobetrax and I suspected was a guard. The templars handed over another sum of money, ‘from the pope’ and then headed into the cave while Jake and the merchant concealed the entrance. Horobetrax flew over the walls and was fortunate to spot them as they emerged from a small stone building near the midden pits. They surreptitiously entered a tavern, marked by the sign of a tankard with a frothing head of beer, aided by a burly man who also received coin for his treachery. He told them to sleep in the cellar and Horobetrax fetched Cormoran to keep watch as dawn approached. Shortly before the morning sun rose he observed them leaving the tavern and moving along the streets. As dawn came he was obliged to break from his pursuit for a moment as he rewove his enchantments and as he returned found that he had lost their trail. Taking human form he approached the cathedral but could find no trace of the men and thwarted he left the city to meet up with his sodales once more. Marius and Cynfelyn said that they would enter the city to meet with one of De Percy’s agents and Cormoran determined to return to the men’s camp and try and locate an arcane connection to them. He found that Jake was still there and while attempting to render himself invisible from Jake’s eye suffered a flux in his magic that drew the mans eye to him instead. Cormoran swiftly drove the man off and quickly gathered some of the belongings, finding a ceremonial templar dagger and a hair on one of the bedrolls before returning to Severn Temple.

As Cynfelyn and Marius departed Hereford they espied Jake themselves and decided to apprehend him. Cynfelyn swiftly numbed his will with spell and he was transported to Ross to be questioned by one of De Percy’s intelligencers before also returning to the covenant. There Marius was able to identify the dagger that Cormoran had recovered as one usually given to trusted servants and I was able to use the arcane connection to determine that the men were inside Hereford Cathedral. Those who aided these men will be arrested and questioned and further action will be taken by De Percy as required.

Winter

As the frost settled once more upon the ground we met, with Archimagus Tiarnan now returned. He said that he would scribe a fuller account of his journeys but told us that he had travelled to Loch Leglean and then Hibernia in order to recover Maga Marissa who had gone missing. It seems that he learned she had been taken to a magical island called Tory Island off the northern coast of Ireland, rumoured to be the home of the Fomorians. There he found a glass tower within a regio in which Marissa was imprisoned by a diabolic magus of the Un-named House, believed to be called Lorgan. This traitor to the order bears a twisted sigil and is strong in the arts of perdo, Corporem and Imagonem. He also has an infernal imp that does his bidding. While the Archimagus was able, with the aid of some of the Flambeau of Hibernia, to recover Marissa the diabolist escaped and she has had her spirit sorely damaged. He believes that a part of her spirit may have been bound to an object held by this Magu. As Holy isle has not yet been reformed he will pass message to Fenriata of what has occurred and I sense also that he believes that this is business that he must finish. There are rumours that the Un-named House may have a presence in the Western Isles of Loch Leglean and I wonder whether our sodalis will travel there in time to come.

Marius reported that De Percy travelled to Gloucester to oversee the investigation that we had set in motion and he discovered the templars hidden in the rectory of Hereford cathedral. No direct link has been made to the Archbishop but his aide has also been taken and he will be pressed for further evidence. De Percy’s men will continue to watch Tintern and we might yet receive further word via Blackney.

Of even more joy to our ears our sodalis was able to confirm that Richard is indeed dead. It has been reported that it was no hunting accident that killed him but the work of an assassin. The King of France has taken Prince Arthur as his ward and has petitioned the pope for Arthur to be acknowledged as the rightful King of England. While the siege at Calais still continues the word is that enthusiasm for the task is fast waning and it is our hope that the venture will be called to an end. Marius said that it is likely that he will be granted some lands in England for his assistance in these affairs. Marius also agreed to make some seals for us that will enable us to scribe letters of passage, making our own movements around the Kingdom of England easier.

Cormoran spent the season training his apprentice while Marius took the opportunity to study from the Intellego texts. Both Tiarnan and Cynfelyn extracted vis on the covenant’s behalf although Tiarnan took a couple of weeks to travel to Cad Gadu. Sadly he returned with the news that she had passed into final twilight, a great loss to her House, this tribunal and the wider order.

[Medius’ private journal]
I spent this season studying the texts on diabolism that I had recovered from Arcturus’ sanctum. They are depraved works full of dark rituals and I am glad that I had God to turn to when the evil in their pages cast a dark cloud around my mood. There are handwritten notes in the margin in a language that I am unfamiliar with. I will need to make further study in order to try and ascertain whether anything here will help me determine Arcturus’ guilt or innocence.
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