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Scribed by Maximus

Spring 1235 AD


At council we discussed whether with the Pontifex’s absence we should distribute vis and after a while we decided that it would be sensible to continue as normal. We then discussed what we would do if the inquisitor is found, it was decided that we should steer well clear of doing any act that might be precipitous as the wrath of the church falling on the country could easily end up with someone suffering punishment under the primary code..We discussed the aegis and decide to cast the fifth magnitude one if astrius is still absent whence winter comes as no one present was capable of casting the Aegis of the ninth magnitude we normally cast. On discussion of our seasonal activities Urbanus said he was going to London in spring and Powys in summer as part of his mundane duties, although to be honest to call them mundane when they are the duties of a prince who wields the power of his father in his absence is a bit of a trivialisation. Lysimachus declared he would study the theory of magic through the medium of vim vis. Fabius had a blue diamond and said he would investigate it for its sympathies, at this point the conversation got away from me a bit as Fabius and Lysimachus discussed magic theory for some time, luckily I had some bread and sausage stashed in my pocket in a piece of muslin for just such and emergency and so the time passed slowly but bearably. with the division of vis being decided it was discovered that we did not really have much Vis in store and so Fabius decided to split the potions and his special magical devices as reward for service also some monies were distributed to those magi wishing to take them.

I went to Blackthorn as requested via the barge and a short cart journey, And Talked to my pater about the responsibilities of being acting senior quaesitor as he was going to the tribunal and had requested that I act in his stead. He said we were correct in our assessment of the Inquisitor and we should avoid the wrath of the church. When I asked him he told me that he has sent missive to oakenvale to warn them about the inquisitor being near them in Nottingham. He told me that at tribunal Marius may be charged under the primary code and an emergency grand tribunal may be called to call him to account for the consequences of his actions. If the worst comes to the worst Marius may be forced to give up his title.

Summer

As summer, the warmth, the cheery disposition of people you meet, it is the best of seasons, well apart from harvest of course, fresh bread made with fresh wheat, creamy butter and lovely cheese with slices of crisp fresh apple, no sorry summer you have just been relegated to my second favorite season. The Council met at dawn on the first day of summer and Urbanis informed us of several battles between the French and English as The french try and claim the lands of the king adjacent to there own. We talked of the Marcher lords and if any would rebel against the King now his attentions are distracted in France but we had no information to lead us to any conclusions, The welsh were loyal to the crown and normally so would be the Marcher lords but there had been strange accounts of old issues creating border tensions. Messages had been sent and got to Urbanis and hopefully Marius about what might be occurring at my house meeting. Husam reported that the Waggoners rest a tavern in Bristol was now our going concern in that city and to gain access to a room you would say you are a friend of Harold of Boscastle and that you had heard Bristol is a safe place. He also tol us that His man Giodinio is now placed in Bristol as a spy. Husam said that he had found out that the captain of the watch of Bristol was a venal man and was waiting for a new gang to rise so he can extort from them again. They had found Lambert’s residence and a woman lived there but unfortunately Husam forgot to take arcane connection of this potential infernalist.

We decided what our seasonal tasks would be and Husam said he would travel to Cad Gadu to copy intellego texts, I scribed the perdo texts as a covenant service, Urbanis will investigate the conspiracy on the Marches. Lysimachus studied from vim vis to enhance his understanding of Bonisagus’ theories again, he is working towards a connection I believe between the elements and hermetic magic. I have dream to try and determine the source of the disturbances on the marches and it showed a man in shadow walking south along what I later learnt was a thing called Offa’s dyke, his footprints filled with water but then appeared to be blood.We discussed the dream in the morning and I eventually agreed to go to Holy Isle to report it, My trip there was easily achieved on our ship but the Flambeau I met there although giving me the respect due my office was obviously not very interested in my dream and told me to investigate it myself as he was defending the covenant and the rest of the dedicated magi were in Hibernia.

The rest of the season passed peacefully for me as I prepared for the year long task ahead of me in the action of binding my familiar.

Whilst in Cad Gadu scribing texts Primus Erin asked to see Husam and formally requested that Husam helped the house by rescuing two magi who might be in danger from the inquisitor. Erin arranged for someone else to scribe the texts so that Husam would not be in dereliction of his duties to the covenant and provided Husam with the location of the two magi he had to save. Husam traveled across the country to the area of Nottingham and went and saw Toby the diviner. He warned him of the Inquisitors presence and Toby happily agreed to vacate the area for a time to avoid conflict with agents of the church. Husam then went on to find Magus Owain who resided near a market town of Bedford, It was not long before he found him and being a diviner when warned of the imminent threat Owain divined his own future. Owain spoke of a vision of a hooded monk opposed by a red dragon, the monk killed the dragon. Being welsh himself he thought himself to be the dragon but it could of easily meant Marius or Urbanis as well. Husam offered to escort Owain to safety and they travelled south to escape the area. Outside St Albans they espied on the road some pilgrims and Brother Sebastian, Brother Michael and Brother Leonard. It was obviously not a chance meeting and Owain assured of his own destruction decided to flee in a separate direction from Husam hoping to confuse his nemesis. Husam and the grogs that accompanied him set up camp in a copse removed from the road they had fled to avoid contact with the pilgrims. Later that night brother Michael and a local knight attacked and easily defeated our grogs, at the last moment Husam fled from the fight in bird form. One interesting point in the fight was that brother Michael's cast magics that made one man flee, obviously some Mentem effect although to give hermetic names to a divinely powered effect may be a bit of a misnomer. Brother Michael also interrupted the veil of invisibility that Husam had cast on himself, but we already knew that these monks seemed able to defeat simple illusions. Apparently the grog Egbert died of his wounds but the others were taken into the manor , questioned and then hanged. Astonishingly one man survived all this to report in detail what happened but I believe the experience has changed him and his days as a wall grog will be over. Husam returned to Cad Gadu and sent missive of what he was doing in case we had worried about him. Primus Erin put Husam in touch with Hirsutus the tribunals best tracker, and together they went off in search of Owain. Owain had been tracked by brother Sebastian, Sir Leonard and another a tracker who seemed magically able to follow Owain.

Owain either bravely or foolishly realising he was being followed by agents of the divine hid in an infernal regio multiple levels deep to avoid the trackers Husam bravely ventured into this regio and easily slipped between the boundaries that left Hirsutus perplexed and puzzled. On his own Husam bravely went on into the darkness of the cave, round a corner he found Owain cowering and led him out to the surface again and travelling quickly to be in range they then took leap of homecoming potions back to Cad Gadu.

Autumn

I record here the activities of Autumn but as I am locking myself away for a year my good friend Lysimachus will take over writing the journal for the next year. The council meeting happened on a windy autumn morning the leaves from our magical walls were blown into heaps that the covenant children liked to play hide and seek in.
The meeting started with Urbanis telling us of his adventures in the marches and how he had found the starting point for these rumors, apparently it had started in Chester a year and a half ago and the seeds of discord were sown for over 6 months. We now knew where those events happened and Lysimachus stated we could then investigate, the towns of Shrewsbury and Welshpool were still simmering from some long forgotten slight and Lysimachus asked me to investigate these towns this season, I had to disappoint my friend as I had to bind my familiar. because I would be unavailable for the year Urbanis said he would go and talk to Faelon in Holy Isle. Fabius proudly reported that the blue diamond had two magical affinities, one the normal one diamonds have against creatures of an infernal nature and another linked with sight. Husam stated he would study from the corporem text, Lysimacus studied from the perdo text.

I know hand over to my friend Lysimachus the task of completing this season and the next year as I undertake the great task of binding Rufus to me and myself to him.

Scribed by Lysimachus

We wished Maximus the best of luck as the Council meeting ended, for he shall spend the next year locked away in his sanctum forging the mystical cords with his intended familiar, a robin. Some might look on a year’s concentrated laboratory work as a rare chance to put aside the mundane cares and tribulations that inevitably interrupt our plans, but I sense that Maximus, more than most, will miss being part of the hustle and bustle of the covenant. He is certainly committed to binding his familiar, resisting all entreaties to delay the task to assist the investigation of the disputes on the Welsh border. This bodes well for his future relationship with the beast, for the permanence of the cords means that it is not a decision to be entered into lightly. May fortune smile on his endeavour.

The rest of the season proceeded quietly, with all of us engaged in laboratory work. Towards the end of autumn, Quaesitor Faelon and Maga Kira visited the covenant. They had spent several weeks investigating rumours of old disputes between neighbours resurfacing along the Welsh border. Kira suspects some sort of infernal interference, for although she could detect no overt use of magic, she was able to confirm that these were not long-festering quarrels; instead, memories of forgotten disputes had reawoken suddenly and with no obvious cause. As an example, she described how a Welsh nobleman had remembered the death of his grandmother many years before at the hands of an English knight, even though he had not even thought of her at all for many years. She described an infernal power known as psychomachia, which pits vices against virtues, strengthening the former and weakening the latter. As such, even deeply buried jealousies and resentments can come to the fore.

We discussed the possible reasons behind these actions. Kira believes that the most likely explanation is that they are a trap designed to prompt an investigation by Urbanus. She reminded us that one member of the Unnamed House, a demonologist with the sigil of sulphurous fumes, had escaped House Flambeau’s attack on their Welsh covenant, and she suggested that, with Marius away in Anjou, he might know that Urbanus would be the most likely person to investigate the rumours. I challenged her on this, for it did not explain the apparently similar disputes along the Scottish border, but she argued that the two sets of incidents were unconnected. Instead, she argued that the Scottish raids could be explained by the actions of Magnus of Scarfell, who had had many run-ins with Scottish hedge wizards over the years. Faelon and Kira departed before the end of the season, but they left us with much to ponder, for a cunning enemy lurking in the Welsh marches poses a considerable threat to any who spend time in those lands, particularly Urbanus. When Maximus emerges from his sanctum, I am keen that we press this matter further, for I would like to confront the issue head on rather than allow it to surprise us in the future.

Winter

With Astrius, Marius and Maximus absent, the Council meeting was a relatively short affair. Fabius announced his intention to investigate the blue diamond that he had enchanted with Sense the Lingering Magic in order to see whether it had benefitted from the sympathies he had discovered in a previous season. We debated exactly what it is about a substance that dictates its sympathetic effects; it seems to me that the importance of form is easy to understand, but the properties of many substances are less obvious to me. It is certainly true that the Order has catalogued a great many sympathies associated with substances, but I wonder how well we comprehend the underlying reasons for their powers. Perhaps Fabius’ experiments will shed some light on this question.

After the meeting had ended, Husam and I assembled a party consisting of Nyal, Constantius and Osmer to travel to Mynydd Myddyn in search of Astrius. I must admit that I had been keen to revisit the place since the expedition the previous winter had had to be cut frustratingly short, so the Council’s decision to authorise an investigation of the place was welcome. The journey to the edge of the regio was uneventful, with the surrounding forests as quiet as in recent years. We traversed the regio boundary at the standing stones easily enough, and we found ourselves at the bottom of the steep slope.

At the top, I conjured a sylph, instructing it to patrol the skies, looking both for Astrius and any sign of the wyvern that attacked members of the covenant in years past. In the event, it saw neither, and we made our way towards the tower that has so often been the base for investigations of this regio. As we approached, it was clear that the tower was once again inhabited by the celts, and they sent a band of warriors to meet us. We nominated Constantius to act as our interlocutor, for he spoke Welsh better than the rest of us, but the mood instantly turned ugly when he called back to me in Latin to explain the conversation. Too late, we remembered that these people view themselves as fighting an ongoing war with the Romans. The leader of the celts bellowed out a challenge, and the band, which outnumbered us two-to-one, attacked. Fortunately, we were well prepared, and the battle proved very one-sided. Though we exercised restraint given the unintended nature of the conflict, one of the celts literally lost his head when he foolishly pressed his attack on Nyal, and the rest of his comrades soon fled back to the tower.

Regretting our error, we did not pursue them. Some time later, two figures – an elderly man and his younger assistant – made their way down to meet us. There followed many frustrating attempts at conversation, but we were unable to understand their questions, though I picked out the word Myddyn at one point, and through gestures indicated that we were connected with this ancient Welsh sorcerer, which seemed to please them. At length, the older man beckoned us to follow, and he led us away from the tower and through the woods that in past times had contained Myddyn’s Brood, though the mens’ manner indicated that they did not fear attack. We arrived at a small shack, and the older man brewed a heady concoction using bark, herbs and various other ingredients. As Osmer and Constantius breathed in the smoke from the cauldron, they began to speak the strange language of the Celts. Husam, Nyal and I were unaffected, so I deliberately lowered my Parma Magica and took a deep breath. My head span for a few moments as though I had drunk too much ale, yet I found that I could at last understand the two men, though Husam’s words seemed curiously garbled.

The older man introduced himself as Annog, a druid, and his apprentice, Cairwyn. He apologised for the behaviour of the other celts, who he called “pig-brains.” He said that the other celts had no understanding that they were trapped in a false land that was cut off from the rest of the world. Annog and Cairwyn, in contrast, seemed most aware of their situation, and they explained that Myddyn had sealed these lands away to protect their secrets, for the future and past were intertwined here. Their knowledge of the outside world was very archaic, for they described the recent – to them – invasion by Gaius Julius Caesar, and the betrayal of the druids at the seat of the bard king. I was able to describe a little of more recent history of the realm, pointing out that the Romans had left many years ago, though there had been subsequent invasions by Saxons, Vikings and Normans.

We explained the reason for our journey, and the two men agreed to help us, noting that it was possible to receive visions at a set of standing stones high on one of the hills deep in the regio. Cairwyn led us through the awakened forest to the great oak tree, where he extracted some of the sap that contains Herbam vis, and then up the slope towards the standing stones. We passed through a regio boundary before arriving at the stones, which formed a circle around a central block that still bears the signs of ancient blood sacrifices. There, Cairwyn took a draught of a bitter potion and lay down to sleep.

He awoke several hours later and told us of his dreams. He had seen the stars of the night sky wheel around the North Star, as the cry of a raven heralded the arrival of the Morrigan, who he described as a “face of the triple goddess.” He explained that we sought Astrius, but she told him that we must be patient, for Astrius was pursuing an atonement quest within the otherworld. He was deep beneath the earth and would face a great test, in which no one might intervene, not even herself. Though this strange tale was full of peculiar ideas, we were nevertheless reassured that Astrius yet lived. We could think of nothing further that we could do, and so we travelled back to Annog’s home to give thanks for his aid. There, he asked us to take his apprentice out into the real world, for he claimed that he would learn nothing more while trapped in the regio. I considered for a moment, but then agreed; part of this was in thanks for his assistance, but part was that Cairwyn may be a useful source of information of Mynydd Myddyn in the future. We then departed the regio and made our way back to Severn Temple without incident.
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