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Scribed by Maximus

Spring 1240 AD


We met in the cold council chamber on the first day of spring, all were present bar the King Aethan. Given the events that had surrounded Marius we discussed what Praeca Edith's response might be. We concluded that we did not know what she might do but must be vigilant to be aware of any political backlash.

We then discussed the Brothers in Christ and what we might do to defeat their machinations. After I warn that any active actions might bring a magus in danger of breaking the code, it was decided at council that instead of accepting a dedication we would instead volunteer Urbanus’ services as a coordinator. The vote was nearly unanimous apart from myself who voted against.

With the news and views discussed we then went on to discuss our seasonal activities. Lysimachus stated he would be performing some experimentation in his lab, I was hopeful that he would obtain his breakthrough as I knew he was keen to present it at his house meeting in the summer. Fabius again volunteered to make an item for the covenant which was a device of the Demon's Eternal Oblivion, a name I question now I think about it for are they truly banished from this plane eternally? Astrius extracted Vim vis, Husam stated he would investigate the city of Bristol again as he had heard rumours of unusual murders in the night from there. Urbanus stated he would go to Powys in spring and London in summer. I stated I would examine my familiar in the lab.

Husam broached the request that I accompany him to Bristol to assist in the investigation of the murders. I warily agreed knowing of Bristol's fearsome reputation but knowing my skills with spirits and the dead would help my sodalis. However, I was very nervous and he reassured me saying I would be staying in our tavern and that I would not be in any real danger. We traveled down together and after introductions I ensconced myself in the waggoner's rest. A sizable tavern with a well appointed private room for myself. The food was excellent and I would recommend the fish pie as I am sure I saw the little buggers still flapping they were so fresh. I must also recommend the wine; I am not sure how he gets it but on my stay there I sampled wines from France, Spain and even a cheeky Italian number which slipped down accompanying a chicken stew with some lovely parsnips, fennel, garlic, parsley, shallots and onions. It appears the innkeeper knows his wine and his wife the chef knows her herbs. Also I must mention that there was a delightful young serving lass called Mary that made my stay at the tavern most relaxing.

After a few days rest, Husam came for me and we exited the city to perform magics upon the body of one of the victims of this grisly murder. The victim was drowned but on examination it appeared that he had been drained of all blood and his heart had failed as a consequence of this. Thinking this to be an evil infernal ritual we dismissed the ghost of the corpse lest we tainted ourselves with the devils work. We returned to the city and I decided to sleep on the problem to see if I could have a vision of the culprit of this murder. The vision I had put me into the city at night almost looking through the eyes of the killer. I felt what he felt and the feeling was hunger. He followed the victim and struck him down from behind and then bit his neck and supped on the flowing blood. The vision then drew back into the shadows and I then saw onlooking a woman's face. She had dark orbs where her eyes should be and white features. In my vision she turned to me and screamed out over the rooftops “I know where you live wizard”. With that shock I awoke and cogitated over my dream. It was obvious that the murderer was somehow in thrall to this pale lady but not under her direct control, and he and she were obviously infernally tainted.

Dazed upon wakening, I alerted Duncan to what I had seen and he prepared to defend me. At that the window was forced open and the lady materialized inside the room, slamming Duncan across it with a languid sweep of her arm. Duncan fought fiercely to defend himself from her advances but eventually she simply grabbed his arms, pulled him close and the light in his eyes died, as he meekly offered up his throat and she bit deeply and drank. By this time I had managed to get the wand of Demon's Eternal Oblivion that Fabius had crafted for me out of the bag by my bed and activated it at the pale demon. The lightning crackled out and hit her but seemed to sparkle across her; with that she turned, dropped Duncan, hissed at me and leaped for the window. As she exited the room, she seemed to vanish into the night but that could just have been the sleep dust in my eyes. Worried about Duncan who would not be roused, I decided to get him back to the covenant to see if magical healing might help him. We stayed overnight in Eply before I decided to go to Gloucester to see if the blessing of a priest might lift the curse on my companion for it appeared that during the night he was fine but during the day he roused not and hid himself from the sun, declaring it burned his skin. When we got to Gloucester, we went to the church of St. Michael's, where I asked the priest to bless Duncan. He went to do so but declared him dead. I was distraught: Duncan with whom I had grown up with him as constant carer and protector was gone. I determined to take his body back to Severn Temple to investigate the cause and to see if any clue as to the white lady's nature could be gleaned from it. In my misery we made our way back home and stopped overnight in Blackney. I drank heavily I admit it from the rather nice beer there and only ate two pies, a mutton and an apple one, so I rapidly became drunk and retired to my bed to sleep off my sorrows and woes. It appears that during the night Duncan arose from the dead, but unlike our lord Jesus Christ then set about an innocent old man in Blackney, escaped the village and disappeared into the woods. The next morning (although it was closer to noon when I was fully awake), I returned to the covenant and myself Astrius and his hound Maelgwyn tried to track Duncan down to prevent him performing any more murders. The tracks led to the river but there was Duncan's tracks and a woman's. It was obvious that the white lady had collected her own and therefore and with great sadness I declared Duncan no longer a companion and that he should be not allowed entry into Severn Temple covenant, may god rest his soul. Husam returned to Bristol to continue the investigation that had cost me my friend and protector.

The rest of the season passed uneventfully but I will always remember Duncan for the strong man he was not the creature he has been turned into. On a side note, I went to the infirmary later in the season with a strange burning sensation but it was soon cleared up with the judicious application of some herbs.
Summer

The bright lights of dawn struck in through the windows of the keep as we made our way to the council chamber. We started by discussing the fate of Duncan and Dougal, which was of sadness and brought tears to my eyes. By using scrying magics it had been determined that they have left Bristol. One reason for this is maybe because having a converted Duncan she might be afraid of our retribution. We discussed Lambert’s wife and the pale woman and if they might be one and the same. We also discussed Captain Martin of Keynsham who was the captain of the Bristol watch and decided he was an exception not the rule and that the rest of the watch was not tainted with the infernal. It was reported that the Knight of Keynsham might have sired Martin as a bastard which might explain his rise through the ranks. The Knight also has an unnatural son which he keeps locked up and his wife suffers from ill health and as such he rarely is expected to make an appearance at court. All these taken individually might be seen as innocent but combined there is a coincidence that demands further investigation, for perhaps the manor is cursed in some way.

We discussed the upcoming tribunal and agreed to ask as a central point of information on the Brothers in Christ and also to ask Lear Valley for a copy of their terram texts if they still exist following their disaster there.

Fabius stated he would do some lab work, Husam said he would invent a spell, Astrius extracted Vim Vis, but as I record this I note he said he did this in spring so I will have to check if he really did extract two seasons in a row. Lysimachus went off to his house meeting and I wish my friend well on his journey and demonstration. Ubanus went as he said he would to London. I read from the texts on medicine.

I had chance to talk with Theopholus, who was at the covenant to travel with Lysimachus. He told me he thought my arguments and philosophy were weak and to be honest he got a bit angry with me. This was upsetting as he was a guest and, although my actions might be seen by some to be counterproductive, I believe I have preserved lives within the order from the corruption that will be offered by some of the members of the order of Suleiman.

At midsummer, I went with Astrius to the tribunal and he spotted the glow over Mynyth Myrthyn again, which we decided to ask people about at the tribunal. We arrived to find the covenant in constant bustle as the tribunal was being prepared for. We were assigned rooms and I was summoned for a discussion with my Pater, where he gave me a gift of a very fine cloak, which had previously been the property of Archimagus Pulmo, a well thought of magus of our house. We discussed the tribunal and I reported my news to him.

The redcap reported the news of the Grand Tribunal which we were already up to date with due to its immediate influence on our sodalis. House Tremere had reported that the Mongol army had taken a town in Novgorod tribunal called Kiev and that a noble called Alexander Nevsky was raising an army. Some rumours said he had made a deal with the mongols and planned to join them. Another crusade and another excommunication, this time holy roman emperor Frederick for denying access to French knights of the city of Brindisi which is somewhere in the Rome tribunal I think. Damascus and Egypt have changed hands and different Arab rulers now hold power there. As all the french knights were in Rome tribunal they were not able to attack the English and so peace reigned in the south of the kings realm.

The hermetic news was as follows: Jareth an ex miscellanian had gone into final twilight, and Liberata had disappeared from Trevalga covenant. The evidence that had so damned Marius seems it could have been manufactured by brother Sebastian and house Mercere was investigating this.

Edith then stood and reported on the state of the Tribunal. She made an impassioned speech against the Brothers in Christ and proposed that Severn Temple covenant coordinates information against the Brothers in Christ and asked us to take a dedication as such. My pater then stood and advised the tribunal as I had advised my covenant, that this road we were setting foot along could easily lead us into open conflict with the church, and once that conflict had started the knights and barons of christendom would gladly wreck havoc upon our covenants to gain the riches and magics contained within them. Erin then meekly stood and looking towards Edith for permission then softly spoke of in favour of the motion as Marius’ fate should be revenged. Kira also stood and commended this motion. My pater detecting that a unanimous vote was on the cards then called a point of order saying that according to the charter a dedication of Severn Temple would have to be agreed in formal council and as the charter was considered law Severn Temple could not take the dedication until the vote had been passed in lawful council. This move obviously infuriated Edith who sat glaring at Luvidicus. She then lowered her eyes, slowly stood and the room went silent. Staring directly at Luvidicus she stated that as the Brothers in Christ were an immediate threat to the well being of the tribunal that a wizards' march should be called against them. There was a gasp and the room sat deathly still as everyone considered what open war against members of the church would mean to them, their covenants and the order as a whole. Many of the younger magi could be seen asking questions of their sodalis trying to work out if this was a good thing or a bad thing. Not wanting to allow the tribunal to destroy itself and possible damage the order irrevocably, Luvidicus stood and turned to the rest of his quaesitori and instructed them to leave. We all stood and left bar one: Phaelon stayed, in direct contravention to the Senior quaesitor's instructions. We stood outside the room and listened as Phaelon explained that as he was a quaesitor of Holy Isle covenant, a dedicated covenant, and he did not have to follow orders of the Senior quaesitor as it was set apart from the normal chain of command. I was told the voting as follows: of Severn Temple, Urbanus showed some restraint and abstained, but Hussam, Astrius and Fabius all voted for. What should of warned the tribunal is those who voted against, these included Serentia, Lorius, Asarius, Constantine and Ildernacht. These wise minds tried to stop the madness but to no avail as the blood of the tribunal was up and they demanded bloody vengeance, may god forgive them the innocent blood that will be on their hands. The bloody vote carried and Severn Temple was set as the coordinators for the wizards' march.

After a break the Tribunal continued with all the Quaesitori present. Blackthorn announced that in 1242 there would be a another Symposium with Archimagus Astrius describing his breakthrough in Parma, Praeca Edith describing the properties of unusual plants and there would be two other people presenting. Holy Isle reported that the ship they had been following which they suspected of being in league with the Unnamed house had disappeared. Arcanus of Carrion Moor asked for an investigation of Frioc as he was accused of poisoning a Knight ands causing problems for the covenant. Cynwise announced she would move to Cad Gadu and lear valley will close after the next tribunal. Magnus asked if he could claim Lear Valley's Vis sites but was told that the matter would be sorted out at the next tribunal. Solis Castle asked any young magi if they would like to join them as they were trying to refresh the blood of the place. It was reported that Liberata was missing from the covenant of Trevalga and that Ildernacht was free for some commissions of magical items if needed. Oakhamvale stated that they were suffering food issues as a local hedge wizard was cursing their cattle who were sickening and dying and requested help. Edith stood and stated that Llandollwyn had not been seen and was declared dead.

Luvidicus then stood and produced a letter from Primus Guernicus. He read that Phaelon was correct in his statement that he was not subject to the Senior Quaesitor of Stonehenge tribunal's authority because technically he was not a quaesitor of Stonehenge, and because of this he did not have the legal authority to sit as quaesitor of the tribunal and thus any ruling or rulings performed whilst he was sole quaesitor were null and void. With this judgement the Quaesitori of Stonehenge tribunal left the room again, leaving a stunned room. Phaelon stated he would challenge the ruling at the next grand tribunal, but that it was in twenty years time. Edith also angrily stated she would challenge the ruling and also stated that the Brothers in Christ were enemies of the tribunal and so no wizards march was required to prosecute their destruction.

With no Quaesitori of Stonehenge in attendance the tribunal was legally not able to make any decisions and thus Edith was forced to end the tribunal.

We travelled home under a dark cloud and many times I wondered if Astius would ride off, as his anger at my actions were written all over his face. Indeed at one point he declared that my house played politics and forgot our oath, and he said I had denied him his right to vote at tribunal and would seek legal advice if there was a case to answer.

The rest of the season passed uneventfully

Autumn

We met on the first day of Autumn and unusually for the season the sun was shining brightly, and as I climbed the stairs to be met by the morning sun my mind instantly thought of a fried egg gently simmering in a pan, and the clouds that day looked like fluffy blobs of porridge.

In the council we discussed the events at tribunal and the results of the discourse there. We then discussed the Brothers in Christ and how we might bring our individual skills to bear on investigating their abilities. Lysimachus said he would get an ecclesiastical scholar at the college to research them and other heretical sects within the church and I look forward to the research notes that this man produces. We discussed the magical abilities of the sect and I volunteer to investigate their practices.

Astrius reported that white lady might be a Succubi, a demon of some power that is known to suck men's blood and corrupt them. We discussed if someone might have summoned the demon to Bristol but ended up speculating with no evidence and so stopped that line of discussion. Astrius said he had talked with Mckeith about the lights over Mynedd Merddyn and he thinks a Dragon could be approaching through the spirit world, and to check if it was occurring by investigating the standing stones as there might be a summoning of some sort happening there. If not a dragon, McKeith said it could presage a quake or tremor in the earth and we should be prepared for such a devastating event.

Astrius stated that after discussion with some alchemists at the tribunal he had decided to make the mercurial silver worth two of any other pawn and said that we could take it as service rewards on that basis. Urbanus reported that the Powys fae areas were receding and that it could be related to Marius being stripped of his power but again this was speculation and could be due to the typical wax and wane cycles of the fae regios.

We decided what we were going to do this season and Lysimachus and Hussam learned spells from the library, Fabius learned the art of Vim. I went and investigated the Brothers in Christ to learn of their magic. Astrius studied Creo vis. Urbanus went to Gloucester to consult with DePercy and to study at the King's college.

My journey began with Husam directing me to the location of his fight with the Brother in Christ. We traveled overland to Gloucester, Pricknash, Cirencester, the big city of Oxford then on to a sleepy hamlet called Wallingford, a market town called Reading where we stayed in a coaching inn that was expensive but served a lovely roast fowl with delicate apple pies for pudding. From Reading, we approached Windsor and then skirted the great city of London and heading north along the old roman road heading north. As I travelled upon the cobbled road I wondered about those legionnaires bringing war death and eventually Christianity to our beautiful country. It made me feel that even the darkest of nights might lead toward a dawn of peace and happiness.

We approached the manor of the Knight who assisted the Sect in the fight with Husam and I cast magics around to sense the lingering magic but I did not find any trace of magics, with the light drawing in I took the brave decision to approach the manor and introduce myself to the Knight as a magistrate traveling north to the city of York.

We approached the manor and were met by the steward who brought us into the great hall where we met the Knight himself. His name was Sir Martin and during the introductions I used silent magics to ask him if he knew of the Brothers In Christ and to my surprise he did. His liege lord was the Baron of Bedford who although only a baron was a man of some import. I probed his mind for further information and learned of the names of four members of the Brothers in Christ those being Brother Godfery, Brother Martin, Brother William and Brother Michael, some of which were resident at the priory of St John, which was located a few leagues north along the road. Utilising my magics further I discovered that the aims of the sect was to root out Witches, make a Christian kingdom, bring light to dark places and make a Jerusalem of England. All these aims I can agree with in principal but it is the practical application of these principles that often would bring us into conflict. For example, what is a witch? Is it a infernal user of magic, in which case I would agree to unfortunately destroy them for the protection of those unable to defend themselves from the infernal magics, or is it any user of magic in which case I myself a god fearing man would be burnt as a witch, clearly a point I might argue with, unless it was a very cold winters night in Lydney when a little fire by my feet might be welcoming. With this knowledge gleaned from the mind of the mundanes, I determines to return to the covenant to ensure its survival and in that discussion with Husam he asked me to go back and find out how the monks communicate. Doing as I was requested, I returned across the country staying at the inns which had provided me good sustenance before and avoiding the shoddy ones who had served me poor quality food. On arrival at the manor I was immediately put on guard by the appearance of one of the monks, a Brother William who with his hawk like nose reminded me instantly of one of the monks I had seen in my dreams killing Arcturus. I sat and had a meal with the knight and this monk and had a torrid time, as he asked me questions I could not answer due to my lack of knowledge of the workings of the church, a situation I must rectify soon. By the end of the meal I had agreed for him to join my party going north in the morning and was worried that he suspected me of not being the plain magistrate I claimed to be.

That night I heard the monk praying intently and looking back I wonder if he was communicating with the other monks for in the morning I determined I must leave this monk on the road to avoid conflict that might occur. I came up with a cunning ruse of getting my familiar to turn into a man and come to me as if a messenger to summon me back to London. We started upon the road together and I instructed Rufus to execute the plan but for some reason he decided not to follow through, saying later that it would have looked suspicious. I love him dearly but he did frustrate me that day. As we walked north my men spotted some monks coming the other way, I must admit I started to panic and was looking down the road willing Rufus to appear and save the day.

But to no avail and eventually the other monks and some rough looking guards approached and with a swift movement they attacked me and my men. I'm sure the monks were using some mind effecting magics because some of my men behaved in a very strange ways and to prevent further damage to my men, I decided to surrender and hope that God would look after me and my men. I was taken back to the manor where I was questioned by Brother William.

He first tried to recruit me to assist him in his quest, but I refused to betray my oath. Then realising I was a man of honor, he decided to offer me a peace deal, I think he was scared what the wrath of the tribunal could do to the sect. I said I would take his offer to my superiors and he suggested we meet again in the next summer at the equinox in Gloucester cathedral to communicate there reply. I told him that I had sent message that I had been captured and that help would be on the way, he thanked me for that knowledge and said he would evade capture until our next meeting. Although he has hurt my sodales greatly I hope no harm comes to him as he was obviously a man touched by god. I returned with the peace offer and reported this news to my pater. He stated that no such deal could be made as it would interfere with the tribunal ruling and so I returned to my covenant with heavy heart that many innocents would end up dying for the sake of this feud. My sodales welcomed me back and started plotting the demise of this brother William. I hope their plan is foolproof as I will be in the middle of it and being young as I am could easily become the fool that turns their carefully crafted plan into a sloppy ambush in which myself and many others could be hurt.

The rest of the season passed peacefully and our studies completed mainly successfully.

Winter

We met on a chilly winter's morning and, after a warming breakfast, we sat in the council chamber. I was grateful for the extra cushion that Mary the serving girl put on my chair, as it shielded my tender bits from the hard chair and more importantly the biting chill that rose up from the stone floor through the wooden chairs and tried to claw its way into my warm body from below. Although the morning was cold, the weather this winter was milder than we had become used to, and over dinner we had discussed if maybe it presaged a change in the Faerie powers in the region; mayhaps the Erechwyth was losing her grip on the wood.

The council discussed the Brothers in Christ again and I was asked to consider my meeting with brother William. The current plan being that at the meeting in the cathedral we would take an arcane connection to him and then follow him to his hideout. We then discussed what tasks we would complete in this cold season. Fabius studied from the Imagonem texts, Lysimachus, Astrius and Husam all went to investigate Mynedd Myrdden, Urbanus went to the King's college to study and I studied the doctrine of the church in preparation for my meeting with William.

My sodales entered Mynedd Myrdden with different intents: Astrius to investigate the dragon sightings and Husam and Lysimachus to continue their adventures in the caves there. The expedition to the caves went badly; my sodalis were attacked by huge snakes and barely managed to escape with their lives. Lysimachus was bitten badly and they retreated from the regio, camping outside to wait for the pontifex to finish his business. Astrius accompanied by Carwen the druid we took from the regio a while ago performed some rituals at the stones which summoned the pagan spirit known as the Morrigan. She did not seem to know the reason, even though one of her aspects is apparently the goddess of knowledge and then advised the pontifex to seek the knowledge from Merlin himself. The pair then left the witch on the hill and tried to escape the deep regio they were in, but to no avail. Desperate now they proceeded to the old oak in the deeper regio which was very impressive in that level, where Carwen performed a ritual and conversed with the nature spirit whose form was a huge bear who led them from the regio. Reunited the three explorers returned to the covenant

The rest of the season passed peacefully, thank the lord
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