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Scribed by Cynfelyn

Spring 1216 AD

The night before the Spring council meeting, we received an urgent visit from Alannus of Mercere. He bore the important mundane news that King John had died of disease just under a week ago. Marius said that as John's son Henry is just 8 years old, a regent will be elected until the lad turns 14 or 15. Marius was not slow to see the opportunity of at least partially fulfilling the King's Council ruling, for the regent is essentially King in all but name. With much politicking to be done, he obtained council's permission to miss the Summer and Autumn tribunals, giving Tiarnan his sigil to vote with at the tribunal. Alannus also had some hermetic news of note, namely the announcement that the Stonehenge tribunal will meet this summer, Praeca Edith clearly seeking to return the tribunal to its usual schedule.

A few days after Alannus had departed, Quaesitor Serenia arrived to carry out investigation into the death of Idolon. Her aim was to check for any signs of hermetic involvement, whether that be Guyere, Gifted diabolists or the UnNamed House. Seeking to minimise our chances of being spotted by the enemy in Bristol, Serenia, Tiarnan and I took a hired barge to take us into the port, arriving just a couple of hours before dusk. It was at this point that the mistake I had made in bringing Maelgwyn along became clear. Our plan was to apport away as soon as we had conducted what search we could of the ruins of the gaol where Idolon was slain, yet, this would leave Maelgwyn stranded at the site for I do not have the capacity to apport him home. It was clear we could not afford to tarry or risk leaving and returning, thus giving whatever foe lurks in Bristol time to ready its powers to face us, so, gambling that the signs of our presence thus far would be so slight as to be negligible as we had not even left the barge at that point, Maelgwyn agreed to remain hidden on the barge, which at dusk next day would return him to Lydney. So, still cursing my lack of foresight, I set off into Bristol with my sodales.

It took perhaps just half of one hour to reach the remains of the gaol, but it seemed a lot longer as we navigated the dark, narrow streets. The knowledge of all that had happened here and all the evil that in all probability still lurked here never far from my mind. But we reached the site without incident. Once there it became apparent that the damage done to the building had been severe indeed, for the entirety of the upper floors appeared to have collapsed into the basement. To my Flambeau-trained eyes, the fire damage looked suspiciously intense for a regular house fire, though Serenia was able to find no sigil amidst the soot-stained rubble. However, a search of the surrounding area revealed an old iron grate leading down into one of the pits used to house prisoners. Peering down between the rusted bars, Serenia was able to find a sigil in the darkness beneath. It was part of a powerful spell used to bind some infernal creature, not wholly hermetic, but with a vim component nevertheless and of the eighth or ninth magnitude. The sigil was not one that was known to her, the stench of stale urine or bat droppings, an apprentice of Guyere she speculated.

However, as Serenia conducted her investigations of the pit I caught a faint sound on the wind, almost inaudible, but distinct enough for me to just discern the alarming sound of the beat of leathery wings. We decided to leave and as soon as I'd watched Serenia disappear safely, I drank my potion, my thoughts flicking back to my familiar was I did so. My concerns were justified, for not long after we had disappeared, a magistrate, a swarthy male companion and several guards arrived at the barge, looking for two men and a woman. When they were told that we had left a hound on board they tried to seize Maelgwyn, but fortunately he was quick enough to evade their grasp and fled into the port, though not before he had witnessed both the ‘magistrate’ and the swarthy man make gestures that appeared uncannily similar to anîmal! Fortunately our shared parma held and he was able to make his escape into the crowded city, though at one point the swarthy fellow, who he had left far behind in his flight, appeared in front of him, again appearing to try magics upon him. I was able to reach him a mile or so outside the city gates, though not without a scare of my own when, as I neared Maelwgyn, I heard a malign chuckle from out of nowhere and the 'Winds of the Soaring Wind' that bore me aloft failed. I was able to land without incident through quick magics but it was a sobering reminder of the reach and powers of whatever evil lurks in Bristol.

A week before the end of the season, a rider dressed in Powys's colours rode up the Briavel to bring us the news that 'Prince Aeddyn' had been elected Regent! And so Marius’s bold gamble approaches fruition, much hinges on him now, for good or ill.


The first business of the summer meeting was to formally vote that Idolon's effects should be given to Fabius as per the requests of Idolon's shade. With that done, matters moved on to the forthcoming tribunal, though little of note was decided, save that if it were appropriate, we might offer to coordinate information on the Fells as Medius had once done. Moments before the start of the meeting itself, Archimagus Marius arrived, to no little chatter amongst the assembled magi. It seems that in attaining the rank of Regent of England, Marius successfully completed the challenge of Archimagus Stefanus, which was to achieve a higher mundane rank than him without bloodshed.

The first item of tribunal business was an announcement by Praeca Edith that all magi were once more free to raise motions, all that must be done is to inform her and she will say whether it can be put forward. Next was the more controversial issue of covenant tithes, the Praeca confirming that wealthier covenants will pay more and poorer covenants less. She outlined the main beneficiaries of the collected vis, namely Holy Isle’s long-held dedication, Lear Valley’s infirmary and the sponsorship of a new Mercere ship.

There was a notable tension in the air, especially amidst those magi of the older and bigger covenants, as Edith announced the tithes she would be setting: Cad Gadu, a queen of vis; Blackthorn, 8 rooks; Severn Temple, 4 rooks; Lear Valley and Solis Castle, both 35 pawns each; Carrion Moor, 3 rooks; Scafell, 25 pawns; Trevalga, 2 rooks; Narwold, a single rook, and Borrea Tor, no tithe. All things considered, a fair enough deal for our covenant I think and judging by the reaction of the magi present, there was no great discontent.

Edith added that magi outside covenant would be able to petition to exchange vis for different forms on a one-for-one basis with that held within the tribunal stores. Furthermore, if they were content to submit to a survey of their local lands and register all their vis sites, they could petition for a grant or loan of vis for urgent needs, such as longevity potions. She concluded the issue by announcing that a new offence was to be instituted, one of covenant's failing to declare a vis site, for which the maximum penalty would be Wizard's March.

Next was Senior Quaesitor Serenia's report on the investigation into the murder of Idolon. She declared that the murderer was a hermetic magus and that he or she had clearly broken the primary code. She called for a formal vote into the matter and by a unanimous vote the murderer was duly Renounced. Serenia then speculated further on the identity of this latest enemy, whether he be a rogue member of the Order, albeit one whose sigil is not known to any magus she has talked with, an apprentice of Guyere, or a member of the UnNamed House. At this point Quaesitor Faelon of Holy Isle spoke up, stating that he had circumstantial evidence that the UnNamed House was or had been active in Bristol and that investigations into this were ongoing.

Magus Alannus was next to speak, giving an overview of recent news of import. Unsurprisingly, the election of ‘Prince Aeddyn’ to Regent of England was the first piece of mundane news. Of other happenings, Pope Innocent III has died and has been replaced by Honorius III, who reports say is likely to authorise a crusade against the lands of Egypt. Of news hermetic, the first item was that confirming Marius's elevation to the ranks of the Archimagi, for which he was publically lauded by Prima Amanita. Marius thanked her and reassured the tribunal that he was still fully bound by his Oath. With that, business was concluded for the day.

At the feast that evening, Tiarnan told us that Archimagus Jolyon had resigned from the King's Council as he had had his vote manipulated by Gofannon, as I had believed. Our Pontifex had more grave news, he too has been told by Amanita of her dark visions about the future and seems fully convinced of the urgency to redouble our strength for the coming attack by Ieuan and the forces of the infernal.

Marius spoke a little of the new mundane situation he faced, the young heir apparent, Henry, is quite religious, but, with luck, after his tutor is changed from a bishop to a scholar from Oxford that may change, though he is also of somewhat limited intellect. Also, de Percy and his son are now sworn to Marius personally, which should give us good control over an excellent spy network. With all this in mind, Marius intends to seize the opportunity to get the “Order of Hermetic Scholars” given special legal status, much like the Christian Church here is ruled by its own ecclesiastical law, thus the Order would have its own separate legal system. This would make it much harder for powerful mundanes to persecute or harm magi, although clearly it is not without risks of its own.

The next day was occupied by petitions from individual magi. Theophilus announced that there would be a grand symposium at Blackthorn in the autumn of 1218, at which he would speak on the limitations of hermetic magic, Geddyn on the principles of elementalism and Jolyon on the link between magic and faerie, though he invited any other would-be speakers to make themselves known to him.

Next was Magus Voresseo, filius Moravius, of Borrea Tor covenant, touting his services as a new Verditius, his speciality being creo-based magics affecting multiple targets and indirect environmental effects. Kira followed, beginning by apologising to Praeca Edith for her remarks at the last tribunal, then asking that the tribunal reconsider the role of Praefectus. Despite the efforts of Augustus and I to help state the benefits of the position, Amanita's block vote ensured that the motion narrowly failed once more.

The next petition was a most welcome surprise, three magi from without covenant, Oscar, Dalan and Justin, all of house Ex Miscellania, asked to be allowed to form a covenant in the lands between Nottingham and Lincoln. With Fergus of Narwold vouchsafing for the honourable dealings his covenant had had with the three in the past and Prima Amanita offering to help with supplies, the petition was carried, without a single naysayer, though the impressive nature of the presentation was spoilt slightly by the failure of the magi to think of a name for the new covenant.

Then it was Marius's turn to speak, his first petition, that of covenant land becoming protected, just as Royal forests are, through a decree of Royal Protection was carried comfortably, but his second motion, of establishing a Royal Charter for the 'Order of Hermetic Scholars' was unsurprisingly somewhat more contentious. Senior Quaesitor Serenia stated that there was no bar in hermetic law to what Marius was proposing, adding that most Quaesitori would probably be happy to have the status of magistrate. Prima Amanita was quick to stand up next and offer her formal support for it, and thus that of House Ex Miscellania, suggesting it would be especially good for non-covenant based magi. It was the more 'latin' magi such as Constantius of Tremere who spoke against it, cautioning that it risked making us far more exposed to mundane scrutiny than we had ever been before, which, in truth, was my primary concern too. However, other latin magi such as Ludovicus of Bonisagus and Augustus of Jerbiton spoke in favour of it. So, although Edith felt inclined to call a recess to give magi time to consider such a weighty issue, in the end the motion was carried comfortably, with almost all Ex Miscellanians voting for it, and a good half of the remaining magi too. The mundane symbol that will be used to denote the new mundane order is that of a star above a stylised henge.

Save for Trevalga reporting an increase in smuggling and piracy, troubling for such is known to be used by the members of the UnNamed House to cover their travel across the Irish sea, there was little else of note at the tribunal, save for more Verditius offering their services, clearly their house meeting is a few years off yet.
When we departed however, we had gained in number, Magus Husam of House Ex Miscellania, recommended to us by Prima Amanita was with us. He is of Arabic descent, hailing from the lands of the Levant. He seems a personable enough sort, so he was welcomed into the covenant so that we can get to know him and he us.


The council meeting began with Husam formally introducing himself to us and telling us more of his story. His story was intriguing, for he says that a seer sent him to Amanita to fulfill his destiny. Of his own abilities, he is gently Gifted, can work magic with nothing but the softest of voices and gestures and also knows a little of the art of alchemy. Husam is openly ambitious, stating boldy that he wants to make a mark upon the world. He claims a proud lineage too, stretching back to one of Pralix’s friends, whose line has a tradition of action, spying and assassination. After a brief discussion, it was clear that all were in favour of Husam joining the covenant and so he was duly welcomed as a new member of Severn Temple covenant. As I watched him sign the charter, I could not help but notice the long list of names of magi on it, I wonder if he did too and what he thought of the fact that hardly any of the magi on that list lived to see 100?

Now back in the greater security of the council chamber, Tiarnan spoke more about Amanita's visions. She had spoken of her death, the rise of Ieuan and the great threat he poses to Severn Temple, but her powers to divine further were blocked by some infernal power. She fears what will happen to the land should he obtain the Crown of Math and wrest control of Severn Temple and the power that this place holds over the Severn, which runs into the very heart of the land and this tribunal. Perhaps more alarming, for such visions were not new to any of us, save Husam, was Tiarnan's report that Amanita seemed tired and almost resigned to what is to come.

We resolved however not to be so daunted and set about making what plans we could to counter such dangers. Husam and Constantius will look to the local mundane sphere, especially our spy network. To aid matters, we agreed to buy one of Ildenacht's alchemical shortswords for Husam and Fabius will make Constantius a longevity potion, with several of us donating personal vis to enhance its potency.

The season passed relatively uneventfully until just after the autumn equinox when Cormoran came seeking our opinion on a matter relating to his former apprentice Frioc. It seems that Frioc was being blackmailed by the Earl of Somerset, who is also a bishop, into taking a holy Christian relic into Glastonbury, a site of no little magical power. The Earl apparently held a friend of Frioc's captive and was threatening to have him executed unless Frioc delivered the relic into the magical site. We advised Cormoran in no uncertain terms that it was of much greater import not to destroy the magic at the heart of Glastonbury than to save one man, whose fate was probably sealed anyway. We suggested that if Cormoran was so set on helping Frioc then he should bend his efforts into rescuing the man, while of course taking care not to breach the Code. Cormoran was readily convinced by our arguments and departed to return to Frioc.


With the covenant blanketed by a heavy fall of snow, we met once more, with Husam and Cormoran both returned from their excursions, though Marius had not. Husam spoke first, talking of the Fells and the apparent civil war that they have fallen into. We discussed whether it was worth checking to see if Lambert and the other masters were still around, to try and establish whether they are different people from the two hermetic individuals we encountered in Bristol. There was much talk on what to do about Faulk, focusing mostly on whether he could be moved somewhere near the covenant so that he could re-form our spy network whilst being close enough to the covenant for his own protection. Tiarnan was unsure whether or not he would accept such a position for previous intellego mentem magics he had cast upon Faulk showed a great mistrust and fear of magic and a belief that such is akin to devilry. In the end, Tiarnan agreed to go with Constantius to speak with him and sound out his reactions.

Cormoran then described the conclusion of Frioc's dilemma. He was unable to persuade Frioc not to take the relic to Glastonbury and so challenged him to certamen. Frioc refused and it seems there was some physical altercation in which Cormoran took the sword containing the relic from him. However, when he then tried to apport away with it, it proved immune to magic and did not travel with him. Hence, Frioc was able to resume his journey. Fortunately, Cormoran was able to find Frioc again and, after a scuffle, seized the sword once more and ground the fingerbone that was the source of the holiness to dust. Troublingly, Cormoran revealed a little more of the story behind the blade, the Earl, Bishop Bartholomew by his church title, knew enough about magic to blackmail a magus into retrieving it from an ancient barrow guarded by undead so that it could be used as a weapon of sorts against the magic that lies within Glastonbury. Our giantish sodales plans investigate Glastonbury next year to see what it is that the Bishop desires destroyed so badly.

The last item of note was what manner of enchantment to place within the blade to be given to Constantius, after some discussion it was agreed that a simple rego corporem enchantment to shut the eyes of anyone struck by the blade for the duration of a fight would be simple but effective.

Two days later, unfortunately after the Aegis had been recast, Marius arrived, having been delayed by the heavy snows lying all throughout the Dean. It was only to be a passing visit however, as he is on his way to winter in Paris. He reported that he has largely appeased the barons with the promised Great Charter and has good hopes that the forthcoming crusade will keep a goodly proportion of the French armies busy for a couple of years at least. Before he left for the continent, he did journey briefly to Monmouth to meet with Faulk and assure him of our status as loyal defenders of the Realm. Whatever he said must have been most convincing, for as I write at the close of the year I can see the diminutive figure of Faulk walking from his room within the covenant to the Great Hall.
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