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Scribed by Lysimachus

Spring 1236 AD


Fabius, Husam, Urbanus and I held a short Council meeting on the first day of the season. We first discussed the expedition to Mynydd Myddyn the previous season, and we voted unanimously to allow Cairwyn to conduct his religious practices at the spring on auspicious days. We also agreed to ask Nyal whether he would be willing to learn something of the celtic language to make communication easier in future. The skald seems keen on all forms of spoken word, and we hope that the prospect of learning more of an ancient tongue will intrigue him.

Fabius reported the results of his investigation into his blue diamond. It had indeed benefitted from the newly discovered sympathy relating to senses, and he also revealed that the item included a side effect that the any sigils detected by the enchantment would manifest physically, making them easier to analyse. He announced his intention to travel to Loch Leglean in the near future to teach his new breakthrough to his pater in gratitude for the instruction he had received throughout his apprenticeship. Given that he would be likely to absent for at least a year, he asked whether it would be appropriate to appoint an acting Ministrator, but we resolved to await Maximus’ return before deciding, as none of us were sure how well this would sit with the covenant’s charter.

The season itself passed without incident worthy of record, save for the arrival of Alannus with news of the wider world. The redcap announced that the Bishop of Oxford had attempted to prevent the students of that city from frequenting the taverns on Sunday, but this had led to rioting in the streets, and the Bishop had been forced to relent. Further afield – but still close to my heart – the Emperor of Nicea, John III Doukas Vatatzes, and the Bulgarian Tsar, Ivan Asen II, had besieged Constantinople. The Latin regent John of Brienne had, alas, forced them from the field, but the parties had subsequently agreed a two-year truce. One can only hope that Greek flags will soon fly over the great city once again.

Alannus also announced that House Guernicus had requested that Primus Bonisagus call an emergency meeting of the Grand Tribunal to hear a charge under the Primary Code against Marius regarding his the changes made to English law concerning the Order. Their argument appears that the laws have made the Order more visible at a time when the Papacy is looking inward for signs of heresy, increasing the likelihood that the Holy Inquisition will be established in England. I must say that I find the supposed connection between Marius’ laws and the inquisition to be extremely tenuous, particularly given that the latter is already established in lands over which Marius has no control, but perhaps there are other arguments to which I am not privy. Regardless, Primus Bonisagus has reluctantly agreed to hold such a meeting in the summer of 1137 AD.

Summer

We again met as a Council of four at the start of the season. Urbanus informed us that he expected further trouble with France over the English crown’s continental possessions, and it is possible that he will have to travel to Anjou to lead the English forces while Marius is away gathering support amongst likely attendees at the Grand Tribunal. Urbanus believes that as long as the rich lands of Anjou remain in English hands there will be little serious trouble with the English nobility, but things would become much more dangerous were Marius’ armies to suffer a reverse there. More welcome news came from Scotland, where previous disputes between landholders along the border appeared to have died down. Nevertheless, Urbanus announced that he would be away for all of autumn and his return for the winter council was uncertain.

Later in the season, Fulke reported on three incidents picked up by our spies along the Welsh marches. In the first, their had been a skirmish between the Knight of Leominster’s forces and those of Radnor over some missing sheep. In the second, the Knight of Stokesay castle had quarrelled with the Baron of Ludlow after the latter promised the former his daughter’s hand in marriage but then reneged on the deal. In the third, an innkeeper had complained to the Bishop of Hereford that the Knight of Hereford’s men had refused to pay for the goodly quantity of ale that they had drunk. Each of these incidents would normally not have attracted our attention save for the fact that we suspected some form of infernal influence in the area. Husam travelled to Blackthorn to leave a message for Holy Isle on this matter, where he also learned that Praeca Edith had called a special meeting of the Stonehenge Tribunal one week into the season of spring next year to consider nominations to attend the Grand Tribunal.

Towards the end of the season, Fulke informed us of another dispute even closer to the borders of the Dean: a football match between the villages of Orcop and Hoarwithy had resulted in the death of one of the players after he was stabbed by an opponent. With only a few days to go before the next Council meeting, we resolved to pursue this matter in early winter when we hope that Maximus will be available to lend his investigative skills.

Scribed by Maximus

Autumn


I have emerged from the cocoon of my laboratory and like a butterfly I feel transformed. I know have a red birth mark on my chest like my Rufus my robin familiar, my chest hair has turned red to match it , I know have small feathers growing from my elbows, and I notice a change in my voice and demeanor, I feel happier and wish the world well.

We met on the first day of autumn, and the rest of the council seemed quite glum, I hope my presence brought some light into there day and I tried to lighten the mood in my own cheeky way. Urbanis told us of the troubles on the border, and how it might end up a threat to the order, he said he had resolved a pair of feuds but we should investigate the causes of these foul moods. We determined to spend the season in covenant service , searching for cause but this made me nervous, I felt that had the Pontifex been present he would not have given us his ascent. Fabius said magic theory he would learn utilising raw vis to burn.

We went as a group leaving Fabius behind to guard the covenant. We started our investigation at one of the two villages involved in these feuds. Apparently at a football match one of the players drew a knife and stabbed and killed another because of a petty jealously over a woman called Mary, we stayed the night at the village and travelled the next day to the site of the murder, scanning around I found a dark spot in the spirit world one that might have been caused by a recent evil that had happened, but casting magics I could not detect any lingering traces of our enemy and so we moved on to the gallows tree situated nearby to talk with the spirit of the murderer. I summoned his spirit and through Fergus’ gift gave it a semblance of the mind it had once been. He stated he was sorry and was very repentant for the deed and said it had been an unnatural feeling that had come over him.He also requested that I tell Mary the woman he killed for how sorry he was and if we could pray for his soul together. Casting sense the lingering magic again however there was no sign of magic upon the corpse apart from my own. I then had an idea, using a device I summoned a ward against the infernal of the eigth magnitude around the corpse and cast the spell again, this time I did see another sigil, that of a sulphurous cloud, one we have come to associate with a powerful demon summoning member of the unnamed house. Knowing now the enemy we faced scared me a lot and After conferring with my companions I said we should go on to the other village to talk with the people there and thence home to pass on message to Holy Isle. this agreed on we travelled to the other village where I talked with Mary and with her fathers permission we went to the church to pray for the soul of the murderer. We planned to spend the night there but during a passable meal of rabbit stew and thick bread, Husam and Lysimachus persuaded me to try and cast eyes of the past at the location of the murder to see if I could spot the magus casting the spell. As it would look suspicious we left the inn that night by the window and assembled to cast the magics. In preparation I cast ward against the infernal again and then feeling the vis burn in my hands I cast my eyes back to that fateful day when the murder had happened. Something went wrong though and instead of seeing a sunny field thronged with people, my minds eye was whisked over a few leagues distance to a camp where a cloaked figure looked straight at me and roused himself to strike me. Awakening from this daze i realised that I had been under for several minutes and as I was explaining what might have happened the ward glowed a sickly green as it was struck by infernal magics, again and again this happened and Lysimachus called out that all was lost and we should all apport home. Looking to Duncan and Harold I thought I could not leave them, then I was pushed aside as Duncan tried to put his frail body between me and husam screaming that he was about to stab me in the back, confused and dismayed I did not know what to do, the Duncan screamed at me to take my potion and remembering similar situations in the past, I trusted my bodyguard and friend and drank my potion and took a step. The following events were told to me a few minutes later, Husam and Lysimachus seeing the demon attacked it with magics, husam trying to use a wand of demonic oblivion and Lysimachus bravely pulling from his pocket the Fulgaris a wand with a checkered history in combat. both of them struck the demon and it was dispersed but the lightning from the Fulgaris jump as is its wont to do and his a space a few paces behind the demon. Realising that this was the location of the enemy magus both wizards then concentrated on this location and with husam stripping the parma of the enemy magus it was with a violent bolt of white death that struck the unnamed house magus square in the chest, His arms flew out and hair burnt as his eyes exploded from his head, he was dead, searching round for other enemies but finding none the heroic pair and the grogs and my companions returned to Severn Temple with the head of our enemy.Husam then took the grisly trophy to Holy Isle for them to deal with the spirit of the infernal magus allowing the rest to continue their services to the covenant.

With the destruction of such a foe, we completed the season at Severn Temple after a celebratory feast with lashings of beer and cheese.

Winter

I apologise in advance for some of the smudges on the vellum here as I was trying out some of cook's summer forest berries preserved in honey. They were delicious and well worth the silver penny I gave as a present to her. We met in the cold council chamber and I sipped gently on some hipocris to warm my cockles, hopefully it will stop these sniffles I have just started getting. Urbanus reported that there had been more arguments between English and French nobles and that if Marius is forced to go to the grand tribunal then he will have to go to France to help sort out these arguments; I do hope he will be safe in his travels. In regard to Marius’ trial, I agreed to go to Blackthorn to establish what charges might be raised against our sodalis. Lysimachus said that, even though it was winter, he would bravely venture forth to the King's college to study at the great library there. Husam went into the cesspit that is Bristol again seemingly not to care, or just being incredibly brave to venture into that city of infernal might. I stated that I would learn the mighty spell Eyes of the Cat once I had returned from my pater's covenant. Urbanus learnt from the corporem texts and Fabius learned from the Vim texts.

The journey up to Blackthorn was uneventful except for a troubling vision. One night as we camped near Mynydd Myrddin, a grog did aspy lights in the sky above that regio. Once I was swiftly raised (the smell of cooking bacon aided this arousal) I also saw the lights and looking into the other world I saw a serpentine shape near the veil in the other world. What this meant I did not know and we continued our journey on the next day. We arrived and after we were admitted and had a quick repast of some dried meat, cheese, butter, bread and wine I was led to my pater's sanctum where we talked about the charges that would be raised against my sodalis. Apparently there would be five issues raised against him, and I will list them here:

  • He might have used a magic crown to achieve ambition
  • He might have used a magic crown to help in battles to achieve his ambition
  • He might have used Fae help in battles to achieve his ambition
  • He was then seventy years of age and thus by not handing over his crown has endangered the order
  • Cardinal Fishy had accused him of being a hermetic magus or in the thrall to such

The last of these would be the most heinous as it is technically a breach or the primary code whereas the others are peripheral code breaches.

Later in the season, Lysimachus returned with odd news. It appeared that his vice-chancellor of the college had gone into the woods to try and study or convert the wolves of the Dean; this was for a learned man incredibly dangerous. Lysimachus hoping the wolves would listen to reason decided to go and parley with them. I advised against this course of action as the wolves were dangerous and would be doubly nervous if one such as we entered their home. He initially went to talk to the freeminers in Coleford to establish if they had seen the vice-chancellor Augustus, but they reported that the standing deal they had with the wolves was that they would not go to the eastern side of the hill and that they had seen Augustus do just that the fool!

Lysimachus bravely followed over the hill and then set up camp for the night. Later that night the wolves attacked and although they were forced to flee they did injure a grog. Lysimachus went to the regio we knew the wolves to live in and conversed with the one they called the grandfather wolf, but things went badly and violence ensued; now who started it I do not know and I am sure that Lysimachus did all in his power to keep the conversation civil but I can imagine the wolves were scared of having someone of power in their home and would react to the slightest provocation, however unintended. A few moments into the fight a spirit of the wolves attacked and possessed Philippe, Nyal and the bitten grog Edward whose form changed into wolves and they ran off to join the pack. Stripped of allies, Lysimachus beat a hasty retreat and returned to the covenant to discuss with his sodales a remedy to this dramatic event.

The rest of the season passed peacefully in the covenant and we huddled against the cold in our warm sancti till the spring arrived.
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