You are at:
Scribed by Lysimachus

Spring 1223 AD


Before I begin to record the events of this year, I should like to state how honoured I am to have been asked to serve as a member of the Council of Severn Temple covenant last year. Anyone who reads the covenant journal cannot fail to be impressed by the dedication, energy and spirit of this place, and it is my sincere hope that, one day in the future, my deeds and achievements will be deemed worthy to stand alongside those of the Magi who have gone before. The journal is rich with speculation about why this place has such an important role to play in determining the fate of this land, but whether your heart inclines to the mystical or the pragmatic, I sense all here revel in the opportunity to be part of something that transcends our individual desires and abilities.

We met as a Council on the first day of Spring, with all save Archimagus Marius present. The meeting was dominated by a lengthy discussion on the monks of Tintern and their crusader allies following their abduction and murder of the pagan druid Duncan last year. Investigations lead by Husam, Constantius and Fulk had uncovered that one of the villagers, a man named Carl, had continued to spy on the small group of pagans who venerate the Faerie Queen of Winter, the Erechwydd, at the standing stone on the edge of the village of Lydney. Through our spies, we had learned that Carl had travelled to Tintern Abbey following his first encounter with the pagans, and a group of four men, believed to be former crusaders, then travelled by barge and then wagon to the village to abduct Duncan. They had taken their captive to the village of Cotterly, which lies on the border between the counties of Devon and Somerset, where another former crusader, Sir Neil, serves as knight. Despite possessing an arcane connection to Duncan, we had been unable to learn anything through the Mirror of Far-Seeing or other scrying spells, which suggests that Duncan’s body has been burned to ashes. We debated how best to pursue this matter, for we could see advantages in learning more about exactly what happened to Duncan and what the role of the knight was, but we did not want to risk tipping our enemies off about the extent of our knowledge of their operations. In the end, we resolved to await the return of Archimagus Marius, who may be able to arrange for the knight to be called away on some ruse, which would make it easier to investigate the manor and village in his absence.

The rest of the season passed peacefully, with all engaged in study. I understand that Husam visited Cad Gadu in the middle of the season to attend an emergency meeting of House Ex Miscellanea, though he did not immediately announce its outcome. Maximus also left the covenant for a few days as he travelled to Blackthorn to speak with Serenea about the Tribunal meeting held the previous year, though, again, he did not reveal what was discussed.

Summer

At the Council meeting at the start of the season, Husam reported that, according to the traditions of his House, Erin of Holy Isle had been appointed as Primus on account of his great age, which exceeded that of all other members of the House save Archimagus Jolyon. The Archimagus would have had prior claim on the position, but he again declined the honour for an unspecified reason. I do not know Erin personally, but I am lead to believe that he is much respected within the Tribunal as a master of his craft of potion-making with a selfless dedication to assisting others. Husam noted that Erin’s first action as Primus was to invite Praeca Edith to rejoin the House, which she gratefully accepted. He also reaffirmed the House’s support for Holy Isle, which had been somewhat in doubt during the brief term of his predecessor, Kentigern, and declared that Cad Gadu’s libraries would once again be available to all members of the House without charge, and that members of other Houses could petition for access for a suitable fee.

Later in the season, Alannus visited to bring us news of the outside world and wider Order. King Aeddan’s forces had recently routed those of two rebels, the Barons of Thetford and Buckingham, reducing the military threat to his throne. The Barons were rumoured to be close to the Earl of Norfolk, believed to be the most powerful sympathiser of Henry, bastard son of King John, who remains imprisoned in the Tower of London. Further afield, King Philip II of France has died and his son, Louis, has been crowned in his place. Philip is widely deemed by all save the English to have been a fine King, having greatly expanded his territories, fortified Paris and founded a great university there. Finally, those accursed sons of whores, the Venetians, have signed a peace and trading treaty with a great Khan from the East known as Genghis. This Khan’s forces are said to threaten the Christian and Muslim kingdoms of the East, having already subdued or destroyed all who have dared to oppose him to date.

The East remains troubled in Hermetic circles as well, for an emergency meeting of the Levant Tribunal was called in the Spring of this year at which Hashim of Ex Miscellanea, pater of our sodalis Husam, was formerly renounced for the murder of four senior Magi. The Tribunal was dominated by accusation and counter-accusation of treachery from Christian and Muslim Magi, and a full quarter of the Tribunal apparently walked out of the meeting in protest following Hashim’s conviction. Though it scarcely needs to be written, I would like to express my sympathy and support for Husam at this time. Though I cannot claim to have any great knowledge of what this news might mean to him, I believe that all should be judged on their own merits and flaws, and that reputations should arise from one’s own actions, not be inherited. In other news, Primus Jerbiton announced that there would be a meeting of that House in the Summer of next year. Finally, Alannus confirmed the news we had already heard from Husam regarding the meeting of House Ex Miscellanea in Spring.

Autumn

We held a short Council meeting at the start of the season, though there was relatively little of great import discussed. Husam mentioned that he had been in the eastern counties during Summer, though he had not managed to contact Archimagus Marius, who had apparently spent much of the season in York, attempting to negotiate a lasting peace agreement with King Alexander of Scotland. Husam also agreed to perform a covenant service this season by visiting the covenants of Carrion Moor and Trevalga to explore trading opportunities and to call in on Kernau and Frioc, two members of House Ex Miscellanea who dwell outside covenants, to check whether they require any assistance.

The rest of Autumn passed uneventfully, though I understand that Senior Quaesitor Serenea paid a visit during the season to speak with some of the Magi on matters unknown.

Winter

For the first time this year, the entire Council met on the first day of the season, for Archimagus Marius had returned to the covenant a few days before the end of Autumn. Marius confirmed Husam’s news that he had spent much time in York and Durham in negotiations with Alexander of Scotland trying to avoid a future conflict over the right of succession to the English throne. I believe that progress had been made, though the agreement was not finalised. Marius also revealed that he had evidence of secret communications between the Earl of Norfolk and Henry, which might force him to take action against the imprisoned young man. I sensed a considerable reluctance on the part of Marius to simply execute Henry, which speaks to his sense of moral purpose and the fact that the necessity of focusing on the bigger picture has not completely inured him to the impact on individual lives. Yet, for all his worldly power, Marius may have little choice in the end, for while Henry lives, he will act as a beacon to all those who are disaffected with Marius’ rule, particularly those aligned with the Latin Church. I do not envy him the decision.

We next turned to the matter of Sir Neil of Cotterly and his links to the monks of Tintern Abbey. Marius declared that it would be simple enough to invite the knight, along with a range of other nobles to avoid raising suspicions, to London to hunt and feast, which would make it easier to investigate of his lands. It was decided that Maximus would be appointed to act as a magistrate, which would give him both legal authority to demand access and a suitable excuse for doing so. Maximus would construct some ruse about pursuing a murderer across the knight’s lands, which would allow him to search the area and interview people without revealing the true purpose of his visit. All agreed that this seemed like a sensible plan, and we determined that the investigation would take place in the Summer of next year.

Husam then reported on his activities during the Summer. His visit to speak with Kernau went smoothly enough, but he was unable to find Frioc, who has apparently suffered a difficult time, having been accused of murder by a group of local villagers. Although Frioc managed to escape potential capture, he lost many of his possessions in a scuffle, including the herbs that he values so highly. Husam attempted to bribe the villagers into returning these items, but it seems that they are lost, having been emptied into the midden by those that did not recognise their true value.

Husam’s visit to Trevalga also proved difficult, for Augustus, who serves as the Pontifex of that covenant, declared that he was welcome to stay for only a single night, as he was greatly upset by the actions of Husam’s pater, Hashim. I can quite understand this emotional reaction, for Augustus apparently knew one of the four Magi that Hashim slew, but examined in the cold light of day, his actions are unreasonable: if he suspects Husam of direct involvement in the murders, he should ask the Quaesitori to investigate; however, if, as seems more likely, he simply blames Husam based on his magical lineage, this is an intemperate reaction and a logical fallacy to boot. I am hopeful that, as passions cool, he will reconsider his actions and apologise, for our records suggest that Augustus is a sensible and honourable man. Husam received a warmer welcome from Liberata, and I believe that Fabius will record potential trade ideas concerning non-magical texts. Most of Husam’s season was, therefore, spent at Carrion Moor covenant, where he took extensive notes on the contents of their spell library.

The only other event of note that occurred during the season was that Husam reported that the remaining four pagan worshippers in Lydney once again summoned the Erechwydd at Midwinter, who apparently granted their new leader a “gift” to protect him should the monks of Tintern attempt a further abduction during the warmer months. This man now possess the ability to summon and control cold blue flames, which the Erechwydd claimed would allow him to escape the fate of his predecessor, the unfortunate Duncan.

And thus ends my time as the keeper of the covenant’s journal. I hope that my successor, Fabius, derives as much pleasure from this task as I have done.
 You are at: