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Scribed by Marius

Spring 1204 AD

Our council met upon the first dawn of spring with snow lying thickly upon the region and a biting chill still upon the air. Archimagus Tiarnen, the new pontifex of our Covenant, began by relating the investigation by Holy Isle into the presence of the Unnamed House and the death of Medius. As he has already written, the location of the regio has been found though the investigators will await a ship from Solis Castle before risking further exploration. With such a long and complex coastline, Wales is an easy target for the Unnamed House to land ships. With a view of obtaining advance notice of such I will spend this season establishing a coastal patrol to watch for enemy ships.

Tiarnen announced that each magus would be expected to perform at least one service for the covenant each year and there followed a long discussion about what these seasons might entail. For my part, I shall be abroad for most of the year. I shall spend this season setting up this spy network along the Welsh coast and in Summer I shall look to gain permission of the King to divert shipbuilders to our commission. Tiarnen confirmed that I shall remain Magne ex Parte in this role.

Cynfelyn intends to bind his familiar later in the year, though was willing to extract vim vis for the covenant in this season. Cormoran will enchant an item which bestows ‘Endurance of the Beserker’s’ for the covenant and Tiarnen will create an item that will seal the breach in the hull of a ship as Tribunal service for Holy Isle.

Cormoran then demonstrated his new breakthrough in magical theory. He has been researching the mystical abilities of giant-kind and, partially by virtue of his blood, has developed a spell which allows him to greatly increase his size. Standing with his head above the level of the battlements, his physical size makes him an awesome opponent for any that would challenge this Covenant.

Following the meeting I undertook one last service for our departed sodalis, Medius. I located a Rabbi within Gloucester and with some of the shekels found among Medius’ possessions we were able to arrange his burial. The Rabbi clearly recognised Medius’ tattoos as those of a member of the Qubala; I’m sure news of his passing will spread amongst his people. Cynfelyn and I were permitted to observe some of the ritual; paying our respects on behalf of those many in the Order who will mourn his passing. I hope Medius has gone on to whatever reward awaits him in the afterlife. His life, spent in service to his Covenant and the Order, shall serve as a fine example to his House. May he rest in peace.

With this last duty to our fallen sodalis completed, I made my way onwards into Wales. For the record, my approaches to the Princes were met well and each undertook a commitment to improve the coastal watch. I have also recruited a few Powys men to serve amongst their ranks to ensure that we receive news should this ship return or strangers invade these shores. I spoke also with Quaesitor Faelon at Holy Isle, to make him aware of this spy network. We agreed that, with Covenant permission, any reports relating to the Unnamed House that these spies uncover shall be passed on to Holy Isle.

Summer

Our council met with a few issues to discuss from last season. I began by reporting on Medius’ burial and my moves to establish a coastal spy network across Wales. I suggested the possibility of bringing De Percy into this arrangement – as the King has his own reasons to be concerned about people being smuggled onto these shores. There were mixed views about the wisdom of this plan, as it would create closer ties between the Order and the English crown. I will need to discuss matters with Holy Isle and it may require a discussion at Tribunal before any such move can be made.

Cormoran announced that he had developed a further spell based on his magical breakthrough. He is now able to smell the blood of men, as legend tells many giants may do. Cynfelyn successfully extracted a goodly portion of vim for the covenant stores.

There was discussion about what role might best fit Medius’ former shield grog and companion, Constantius. He is a man of too high a calibre to simply fit within the turb and we would not wish to lose his services. After lengthy discussion it was decided to make him a Captain, specifically for when we venture out into the wider world. He shall also have one season given over to him for personal research into his alchemical experiments. The hope is that he will develop, in time, a range of potions which will assist such parties. He shall also have the freedom of the mundane library, so that he can better serve the role of an advisor when we are abroad. However, the motion proposing that he sit in upon our council meetings as a non-voting observer was not carried.

There was also brief discussion about searching for potential new members of our council. The Pontifex will draught a letter to be sent with the next Red Cap. We have two good laboratory spaces available for such recruits; I hope the sometimes troubled history of this Covenant does not deter young magi from applying.

Cormoran intends to continue his exploration of the Dean, perhaps with the ambition of locating the Heart of the Forest which has thus-far eluded him. I believe Cynfelyn and Tiarnen intend to study from vis.

I shall be away for this season seeking permission from the King to have our ship constructed in London. It is not the cheapest option, for there will be a premium for such craftsmen given the demand on their services. However, it will ensure the best timber is employed in the ship’s construction and the quality of the craftsmanship will be of the highest order. From London it is likely that I shall be forced to travel overseas and help John defend his landholdings on the continent. If I am fortunate then I shall return to the Covenant in Spring – in good time for the King’s Council that Summer.

With only short negotiation, I was able to commission a new ship for the Covenant. I have also spent some time searching for a potential Captain – we require a man who has the skills and temperament for the role, and who will also not mind working for wizards!

Autumn

I shall relate such events as I was told upon my return to the Covenant as I was abroad with the armies of the crown for the rest of this year. I apologise in advance if this news is brief and for any inaccuracies in this record.

At the council meeting, Cormoran reported that he had successfully discovered the Heart of the Forest and was permitted entry to that magical glade. To do so, it seems, he was guided first to deal with mundane incursion upon the Southern edge of the forest; where it grows close to Wollasten. It seems the peasant folk were clearing land for farming strips, bringing axe and fire to the edge of the forest. Cormoran was able to first drive these men away, and then later terrify a pair of monks from Tintern who ventured forward to exorcise the place. Cormoran believes he may have killed one of these monks, or at least grievously wounded him with magic. Hopefully, it will merely reinforce the ‘haunted’ reputation of the forest – though, the monks of Tintern are aware of our presence.

Happier news was granted to Cormoran by the Anu. The source of Rego vis at Clearwell Hill, long lost after mundane mining diverted an underground river, has been restored to us. He was able to recover a good portion of vis from this site. Perhaps the Land is returning to strength because of the crown, or simply the Anu’s acorns that we plant around the forest each year. Either way, this is a welcome and uncontested source of a valuable technique.

Later in the season the Red Cap, Alannus, arrived with news. Of mundane matters he reported further banditry along the road south of Bridgenorth. This banditry has some of the character of the Fells; for they appear ambitious and effective – taking monies from well guarded tax shipments. This is a terrible embarrassment for the Baron at Bridgenorth, who will be forced to explain why his taxes have not arrived at London. If it is the Fells, then they are likely to be collecting funds for a reason. In the past they have used these to win favour from key merchants and nobles; and to extend their criminal network.

There was also report of the war upon the continent, which I may also relate personally. It has been mixed fortunes for John. He has lost two castles along the borders between France and Anjou. These land holdings are each worth more to John than the whole of Wales; they are rich lands indeed and sorely lost. In this season John’s armies moved to oppose these forces. For my part, my battles were successful. We were able to break the siege upon Saumer castle and push back the French to the borders of their own lands. As it turned out I was unable to return in Spring as planned; the siege to retake Angers ending in a stalemate.

Of Hermetic news I’m told that several magi wrote kind words to mark the passing of Medius. It is clear that Medius was a man of letters and had developed no few friendships through his years of correspondence. There was also news from House Flambeau, where Archimagus Motus has replaced the disgraced Periculus by a ritual called the ‘trial by fire’. Motus lost no time in pushing for a new direction for the House. He publicly acknowledged House Flambeau’s failings under Periculus revealing the former Primus’ hypocrisy over the admission of House Ethiopicus and apologising for poor judgement in supporting the Tremere. In perhaps an unprecedented move he offered the apology of the House to Cynfelyn for the loss of his familiar in wizard’s war (which he declared unjust) – and sent word that the House would seek to make some form of reparation for this loss.

Other than that I’m given to believe it was a fairly quiet season. Though rumours abound that Cynfelyn had an unusual accident with magic that left him with the voice of a dog for the duration of a moon!

Winter

Within the Covenant I am told that this season was quiet, with little news of note save that Cynfelyn elected to delay the binding of his new familiar; conscious that next year he may be called as hoplite to help investigate the coastal lair of the Unnamed House. For my part I was stuck in a cold and muddy camp beyond the range of the ballistae holding a siege against Angers which would last several months.

Thus ended the season and the year.
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