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Scribed by Cormoran

Spring 1212 AD


When sky rises high and turns ever blue
Melodies in the orchard briskly fly
Who turned me into a musician
that can play the notes of apples

The frost hung hard on the stonework of Severn Temple causing much amusement to the covenant folk as the grogs slip and fall on their arses. The late thaw has meant the trees are slow in waking and when I talk to them they seem groggy and barely awake.

The council met and Marius informed us that the Knight of Epney had been arrested. Two knights and a magistrate went to his manor and found some of the stolen silver and other evidence of his misdemeanors. He has been handed over to the King's justice and transported to a tower in London to await the King's decision. Fabius announced that he had created a Bracelet of Forgetfulness as a limited enchantment with three uses a day. I did like the crafting of the item as it has a dangling chain that can be used to attract the eye of the one you intend to use it on. The magics of Sense the Lingering Magic and The Bountiful Feast were added to the magical library by Tiarnan.

We went on to discuss the vis site which I have been gifted in the Fae forest by the mighty Queen of the Snows because of the fact that I had gotten vis from the site without the Pontifex’s permission. After much discussion, it was decided to make the vis site an uncontested source of vis, although I would like to see anyone else try and take the Vis from it. This led on to a discussion of the Heart of the Forest and why the location was kept secret from two of our sodalis, Fabius and Idolon. After much discussion, it was decided that they should be shown the location to the site at the next collection of acorns from it. The Pontifex was also questioned about the chance of getting some monies and he decided to give each magus who wanted it fifty silver pennies.

Once the division of vis and monies was finished, the Pontifex asked for ideas for action for the covenant. I suggested that Bristol, being so close and reportedly the home of the remnants of the fells, should be investigated. We agreed to move spies south from Hereford to Bristol. Idolon suggested that he could learn much by going to the Dean and garnering contacts with the forest folk and looking at some of the old magical sites contained therein.

We then announced what we would be doing for the season: Idolon would be developing a spell to enable him to discuss with spirits that do not speak his languages; Tiarnan studied from Creo vis; Fabius studied from the Corporem book; Marius developed his spy network and moved his pawns about the board; and I went to Lydney to encourage the harvest and help the villagers there.

The rest of the season passed peacefully in the Dean and soon the cloak the Erechwyth had thrown over the valleys and forest was burnt off by the spring sun.

Summer

The apple orchard, there in the distance
It's silhouette dark against the setting sun
each tree standing proud as if about to march.
Swaying gently in the breeze of evening
with the promise of plump apples for tomorrow.

Summer sun and glorious rain cascaded down on the start of summer, feeding our crops and orchards, which in turn feed us and our animals. The summer is the quiet time for the farmers, between the hectic spring and autumn, but for us magi it is the time for journeys, for the dry days of summer make for pleasant travels.

We met on the first day of summer and discussed the events in Gloucester. Apparently the man Faulk is a child of fell parents who escaped their grasp and now trades information. Apparently with the falling of Guyere the various fell gangs started infighting, which is good news for us. Godwin is our man in Chepstow and he can tell us the comings and goings at the port as he is the harbour master there. I had two suggestions for our mundane activities: safe houses and pigeons as carriers of messages. The latter was well received as a method of transmitting information from our mundane contacts, but the former was considered too expensive by our Pontifex. This season, Marius declared he would be going to Gloucester and Powys to look after his domain; Idolon went to Cambridge to exchange some tomes with the fledgling university there; myself and Cynfellen went to Blackthorn to check the records there for Blywydden's vis sites and also to investigate the disappearance of the werewolves, planning to go on into Mynedd Merdden if time permitted; Fabius studied from Corporem vis; and Tiarnan studied from Creo vis.

Myself and Cynfellen went to Blackthorn to study the records of vis sites. We were met by Serenia, the senior Quaesitor, and had a pleasant evening talking to her about the potential candidates for Praeco. Apparently, it's between Jolyon, Lorimere and Erin. I hope Erin gets it as it will get him out from working for Holy Isle, a position I'm sure he does not like. Of the vis sites, it appears the previous Praeco had quickly reclaimed all the old sites of Blywydden for Blackthorn, which was not surprising as being a previous member of that covenant he knew where they all were. There were two not collected and we duly noted these down to investigate later. Whilst at the task, we also made note of the registered vis sites in Powys so as to avoid pillaging someone's vis site accidentally. After we had spent a few pleasant days at Blackthorn, we approached the werewolf forest and investigated their disappearance. Their camp was abandoned without much evidence of a fight, and by using Intellego Ignem spells on the fire we could see that they had been burnt between five and six years ago.

We returned to the covenant and I suggested that I talk to one of the old gods who holds the werewolves dear, the green man. I went to a local grove and summoned the ancient spirit, and it told me that the black flame had perverted the spirit of the grandfather wolf and forced the pack to change to their animal form. Then they had been possessed and taken away from its vision. He demanded I call the wild hunt on the perpetrator's head, even though it might mean my doom. On the way out of the grove, the hind appeared to me and told me to protect my own life as I was marked as the defender of the spring. With these conflicting and worrying messages, I returned to the council and reported my news. Myself and Cynfellen then went to talk to the Huntley wolves who now live in a regio north of Severn Temple. They informed us of the powers a grandfather wolf has to protect the pack by controlling the change. We then went to Mynnen Myrddyn to search for any wolves, but none had escaped into that regio.

With that sad and worrying news the season ended with our nemesis Ieuan again creating havoc on our doorstep.

Autumn

The reds and greens which give the orchard splendor,
From cider applies to the best for pies,
On stems so elegant and branches slender,
A feast to greet the Autumn gardener's eyes.

The Autumn came and the crops were brought in, the leaves rapidly turned brown and red, the winds gently nudged them from the branches and they tumbled and fluttered to the floor, covering the forest in the annual carpet of gold.

The council meeting started with myself and Cynfellen explaining our findings about Ieuan and the wolves. Idolon agreed to investigate the area as with his spirit sight he might of been able to garner more information. Marius informed us of some form of mundane rebellion in Germany, which is a country across the sea to the east of Britain. Apparently the Holy Roman Emperor Otto has been excommunicated and a new Emperor has been declared by the Pope, a man called Frederic. Idolon informed us of his successful exchange of books with Cambridge and he told us of an adventure he had had with some Fae on the way and that he had got some help from a travelling troubadour called Arthur, who has a spirit brother that follows him and helps him. He has installed Arthur in Lydney.

Marius stated he would be abroad doing his mundane duties this season. I went to Cad Gadu to announce my apprentice trained and ready to enter the house Ex Miscellanea. Tiarnan went to examine the two vis sites unclaimed from Blywydden. Fabius made a minor enchantment to ward beasts of legend and Idolon learnt a spell as well as investigating the werewolves' disappearance.

Myself and Frioc travelled to Cad Gadu, where we were received my my Prima, Amanita. She questioned me and Frioc long, as for some reason she had taken a dislike to Frioc and seemed not to trust him. When she learnt of his desire to live outside covenant, she asked if I had trained him to do so. I replied that he was well capable of looking after himself and I had provided monies and vis to look after himself should times become harsh. She looked at him with an evil look in her eye and asked him, if he was made a magus, would he bring shame on our house and he replied no. She asked him again and then asked him if he understood the oath and would he keep it. I told her that he would as I had told him that the only thing protecting him from other wizards was the oath. Unsatisfied, she set him a gauntlet, which was to return to Cad Gadu from somewhere in Wales that I would drop him off using his survival skill as best he may. With that she commanded him to lower his Parma and cast a magic about him that rendered him insensible. She then ordered me to take him a week's journey south to a place he would not recognise. I lifted his small body and walked south. After I had arrived, I waited till he had awakened then left him there on that bleak Welsh hillside with the rain starting to fall. I apported back to Cad Gadu and he made his own way. He initially followed my tracks, which was clever of him, but after a day or so lost them. He entered a wood looking for shelter and food, but soon realised it was a faerie wood and, instead of provoking the Fae, fled from the wood to avoid any conflict. He had an altercation with some mundanes who did not trust him as he spoke no Welsh. After a mild altercation, from which he told me he was never in any danger, he followed the rivers down to the mighty Wye and thence up the Severn to Lydney. He tried to get a few people to help him, but because of his gift they shunned him until he came across the troubadour Arthur, who seemed to ignore the taint of the gift that was about my apprentice and arranged a passage on a barge for him most of the way up to Cad Gadu. It was then a simple trip for him to the mighty Covenant and he presented himself after two weeks to the Prima and was sworn in as Magus Frioc. We traveled south and I was full of pride that he had accomplished the gauntlet set down by the Prima. He told me of his travails and I was impressed by his resourcefulness. I am sure he will do well for himself and I offered to allow him to stay at Blackney over the chill winter season so as to allow him a full year to get a place to call his own. Whilst I waited for him, I researched in the pagan tomes about the wild hunt.

Later in the season, Alanus the redcap arrived with news both hermetic and mundane. Apparently there was some form of mass hysteria in France and Germany and 30,000 children marched on crusade to the holy land led by a simple French peasant. The children thought the sea would part for them to go to the Levant and surprisingly it did not , but luckily there were ships there to take them onward on their journey. The King of Spain was killing more moors and this made the Iberian peninsula very dangerous at that moment. The hermetic news was that in house Tremere all but 14 magi had presented themselves to the light of the Lich killing lantern, and their new Primus, Saben, has sworn to defend the order against the warlord to the east of Europe should he try and come this way, although I do not know how this is not interfering with the mundanes and I hope he does not bring down the wrath of the Church on the Order. The magus Arcanus had returned from his disappearance in Cornwall.

The rest of the season passed quickly and quietly for me.

Winter

The winds and snow did come,
Chilling those it caught
in its embrace of frost and ice
as warm shelter they sought.

It is remarkable that, even though we are blessed with fruit and grain aplenty, the snows come early and hard in this region. Maybe the waxing of the Erechwyth has brought this reflection in our world. Although I do not feel her grasp, the old and sick suffer especially in Lydney and it is with sadness that I hear the news in spring of the damage that winter has wrought.

The Council met at dawn and the frost almost permeated the room. Tiarnan informed us of the vis sites he investigated that used to belong to Blywydden. The first was a glade that once had flowers, I think, but it was barren of any vis, and we surmised that someone had stripped it of its power. The second site was underwater and so suited our Pontifex and his magical skills. He managed to extract a single pawn of Vim vis, so it might be a poor site and difficult to harvest, which might explain why it was not claimed again. I explained to the covenant about Frioc’s trial and that no mortal who sees the wild hunt is supposed to live. We also discussed Idolon’s findings from the werewolf glade, where he saw in the spirit world a great black flame around the grandfather wolf's hut. We went on to discuss what defences we could muster against Ieuan, but came to no firm conclusion. Hopefully he is now afeared of us at Severn Temple and will not show his face or spirit here again for a long time. Cynfellen announced a quest to Novgorod in the following year and invited me and, as we had gone before and mayhaps this was a chance to recover the Horn of Burglemear, I agreed. This season I extracted Vim vis, Idolon studied from the Mentem texts, Cynfellen learnt the Ward Against Heat and Flame, Marius studied from the Auram texts, Fabius created a minor enchantment and Tiarnan studied from some Aquam vis.

I asked Tiarnan to cast the Bountiful Feast over the orchards in Lydney and provided him the vis to do so. I asked if he could cast it invisibly, as that way it would not seem suspicious, and he agreed to do so. I would do this myself, but I will be in the Fae regio celebrating the Erechwyth’s season.

I went to the party as ambassador for the covenant with the gift of a silver snowflake as crafted by Fabius. It was quite beautiful and she was very grateful and granted me a servant of an ice goblin, which technically belongs to the covenant but the Pontifex said to do with it as I willed. I went to my tower and harvested vis for the covenant and managed to obtain 4 Ignem and 2 Animal plus feeding the rat who lived in my beard for many years. At the feast itself, I did not imbibe the brew as it wakened my giantish heritage's appetites and did not want to lose my humanity as once I nearly did.

I returned to the covenant and completed my service. The rest of the season, although bitterly cold, passed without incident, and so passes another year in our river valley covenant.
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