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Scribed by Astrius

Spring 1254 AD

Snow still lay heavily on the ground when we met for the first council meeting of the year. Although we only lost one grog to sickness over the winter, it seems clear that the Erechwydd's curse still holds. At least we now have Erla's herbalistic potions that have been shown to be an effective cure, even without vis, albeit with a significant investment in her time and herbs.

With covenant healing in mind, I raised the possibility of obtaining a longevity potion for Blanche, given her great proficiency with the healing arts. While no one at the council possesses the art or knowledge to brew an effective potion for a non-Gifted individual such as her, Daedalus will travel to Blackthorn to send a request to Mattheus in Solis Castle.

The next matter of business was that of Maximus raising amendments to the Charter. He said that he had several potential changes, but was bade to discuss one at a time. The first was to prevent a repeat here of what Salus had done at Narwold. The essence of the motion was that "All magi must be physically present at lawful council to enact any changes to the Charter of covenant membership." There was some discussion about possible flaws with such wording, mostly centring around whether it would prevent abuse or would instead allow one magus to effectively veto any motion be simply absenting themselves.

After a while Maximus agreed that he would look to alter the proposed amendment to one requiring a unanimous vote of the full council to change the Charter. I asked Maximus to ensure that any future amendments would be presented in written form to all magi a season in advance of any potential vote.

His next proposed amendment was that anyone should be able to take an item so long as they can justify why they have taken it at the next lawful council meeting. He said this was necessary as we were constantly breaking the Charter by issuing items outside of lawful council. I pointed out that this could lead to something of a free-for-all following council meetings at the start of the season. There was some talk of chalk boards about who has what but there seemed no great enthusiasm for such a system.

After the meeting I re-read the pertinent parts of the Charter and found that our Quaesitor appears to be mistaken - the distribution of magical items is not a "Matter requiring Lawful Council" and furthermore "The Pontifex shall, in accordance with this charter, dispense these resources in the interests of this Covenant. Beyond this; the Pontifex shall dispense what resources are required for the security of the Covenant, and have consideration for the safety of magi when they are abroad."
Maximus's next proposal concerned 'good standing' and he stated his concerns that the Charter unduly restricts the movement of magi in both the requirement to attend lawful council and the demands that can be placed on magi during Trepidus. The discussion was again inconclusive, though to my mind at least it highlighted how Maximus appears to view the covenant as more of a vehicle to serve magi than a two-way, mutually beneficial institution, as part of which magi serve the covenant as well. After all, in the end it is the covenant that endures after we die. A representation of the Order in miniature if you will.

Maximus's final proposal sought to introduce a method of removing the Pontifex. He suggested that if the Pontifex vetoed a motion then a vote of no confidence could be taken (which could not be vetoed). If that vote were to pass then a second vote of no confidence would be taken a year later, which, if that too were to pass, then the Pontifex would be removed. Daedalus spoke up immediately and said that he would never vote for such a motion, for he believes that a Pontifex must be able to lead to give the covenant stability. There was some further debate but, as with all the other proposals, Maximus said that he would review their wording and represent them for further debate at a later date.

Lysimachus then reported that he will learn the second elemental ritual in Autumn and asked that we meet sometime soon afterwards to discuss with Geddyn how then to proceed. Husam will continue to build trade links with the continent. There was then some discussion about the Erechwydd. Erla believes that Lydney is now the likely target given its vulnerability. We agreed to take arcane connections in and around Lydney. While he is doing so, Husam will speak with Aiken, the innkeeper there, a former contact of Husam's from Bristol.

Astrius's private journal

It is clear there is some appetite for change to the Charter within the council, but I remain unconvinced, having come round to the belief that a Pontifex is in fact beneficial for the council, especially when it is fractious. That goes doubly for the proposed removal of the Pontifex’s veto, but I shall try not to be too hasty in judging such. As for the original matter prompting the notion of a change to the Charter – prevention of a repeat here of what Salus did at Narwold - as I recall the major legal problem with that was Maximus's bizarre decision to deem him sane. I met Salus at the same time as Maximus and he was most assuredly mad.

More alarming was the implication from Lysimachus that we might consider trying to kill Barroc before Mona. I confess I find it hard to see any logic behind such a position, I understand concerns about "Captain Barroc" storming gatehouses and the like but what of Mona's murder in seconds of two senior martial magi and the destruction of an entire covenant? I just hope that this is naught but Lysimachus chafing at my sometimes autocratic nature, but surely he cannot have forgotten Narwold already? Has he not read the journal account of the Mona’s murder of Fulgaria and de Camp? We have no evidence of Barroc, ‘the warrior’ using spells or other large scale effects, while Narwold’s ruin stands testament to Mona’s powers. Whichever of the three is slain first, the remaining two will know it, it is naught but madness in my mind to given Mona any forewarning of our attack.


Later that same day, when Husam visited Lydney, he found things had gone bad already. Our two spies there had been murdered and their eyes cut out, one in the middle of the tavern right in front of a terrified Aiken. While talking with Aiken, Husam suspected he was being scryed upon by a bird of some sort. He sent William back to the covenant, using his Leap of Homecoming potion, to warn us. From there, I could see that a storm was brewing over to the East, intellego auram magics revealed that it was unnatural and centred upon Lydney, and growing worse all the time. However, I judged that the winds were not yet so strong as to be prevent safe flight using ‘Wings of the Soaring Wind’ and so I set off. Rather than risk flying over the forest, I flew along the edge of the forest to Blackney, planning to follow the river along to Lydney. However, little more than a quarter of a mile beyond the deserted village, I suddenly found myself buffeted by strong winds. Although I was able to maintain control for a moment, I soon found myself veering out over the woods. Not wanting to be drawn into the faerie region, I steered as low to the ground as I was able and released the spell, activating an item enchanted with the Rise of the Feathery Body to allow me to float down to the ground. As I dropped through the sparse tree canopy, the winds slammed me into a trunk, but fortunately I suffered little more than little bruising and landed unharmed on the snow-covered forest floor.

I had scarcely got to my feet when I was hit three times by massive spears of ice, perhaps each the size of a ballista bolt. My parma magica kept the first two out but the third hit hard, I felt my ribs break beneath my chainmail and an intense cold pierce my chest as the ice penetrated my flesh. Still winded and reeling from the impact, I hurriedly stood and threw up a Wall of Fire ahead of me for I could see a snowy wind approaching that I knew would be carrying the Erechwydd's servants to press the attack. The flames gave them some pause, but did not stop them. As I saw three giants and several ice goblins revealed by the fire I realised that it would be fatal for me to tarry any longer and apported home.

Meanwhile, Husam had also apported back to the covenant and had hurried over to Tiarnan's scrying mirror, in which he watched a group of men from Lydney enact a ritual to the Erechwydd at the sacred stone that Cormoran had placed just outside the village. They were led by a man named Gerard, the ringleader of those who had murdered our spy in the inn. The ritual involved each man cutting the palm of their hand and offering up their blood to the Erechwydd, the Queen of Winter. The eyes of the two dead agents were placed in a bowl in front of the stone.

Soon after the completion of the ritual the Erechwydd did what we had been fearing for some time and broke through our Aegis of the Hearth. She slew a good dozen grogs and covenfolk before much in the way of an alarm was raised, though it appears that most of our men stood and fought even though hopelessly outmatched. So did Constanza and William, whose unconscious and hypothermic forms we were to find lying in the snow by the outer ring of trees afterwards. It seems that the Erechwydd attacked with spells to either project powerful spears of ice or to blanket an area with a cold so intense as to render people insensible or worse. By the time a grog managed to reached the keep with word of the attack she was close behind. Lysimachus was first to encounter her and burning most of his ignem vis managed to hurt her with a ball of flame, only narrowly dodging a great ice spear in return. I meanwhile was in the infirmary, but quickly enacted an ‘Incantation of the Body Made Whole’ and joined Lysimachus as soon as I was able.

The threat of Lysimachus's ignem magics, which had burnt her twice now, gave the Erechwydd sufficient pause for me to join him before she had progressed beyond the Great Hall. She had however learnt from her initial overconfidence and when we stepped back into the hall, ready to send flame against her once more, we were confronted with not one but three Erechwydds. Unfortunately we both guessed wrong and hurled our fire to no apparent effect, while all three images cast great ice spears back at us. Dodging the worst of the spears, I conjured 'The Breath of the Dragon', my new spell which burns all within six paces as though hit by a ‘Ball of Abysmal Flame’. This time, I had the satisfaction of hearing the Erechwydd cry out in pain, but was forced back to the shelter of the stairwell by more ice spears. Lysimachus bravely stepped out again while I paused to restore my parma magica, but she was gone. I threw more flames into the area just beyond the door to the hall but she was out of sight and a moment later we felt the Aegis breached as she left.

We had not only survived a concerted attack by the Erechwydd, but had hurt her and driven her off. However, as we surveyed the covenant grounds and the body count of our covenfolk and grogs became apparent we could see how much it had cost us. We rushed Constanza and William into the infirmary, but fortunately their injuries were not severe. Meanwhile, in the scrying mirror, Husam and Lysimachus watched the cult leader, Gerard, return to his house. They kept an eye on Aiken’s tavern also, but despite this, Aiken and his wife were frozen to death by the Erechwydd that night.

An emergency council meeting was called to discuss what to do next. It seems very likely that it was the ritual in Lydney, in particular the blood sacrifice, that gave the Erechwydd sufficient power to pierce our Aegis of the Hearth, and possibly also allowed her use of illusions to protect herself. There was some disagreement about whether we should slay the whole cult. The vote was 4-2 in favour of killing them all, though on reflection I would have voted in favour. I confess I made a mistaken assumption about their worth to the Erechwydd alive. However, Maximus was not satisfied with such a result and immediately challenged Erla to a certamen. The first exchanges of their intellego corporem bout were fairly uneventful, but a second flurry of magical energies resulted in Erla’s collapse, with dark blood trickling from her ears. We rushed her to the infirmary where Blanche diagnosed a bleed on the brain, which was highly likely to deteriorate quickly. After an initial casting of ‘The Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch’ proved to be of little use, I cast ‘The Incantation of the Body Made Whole’, with Maximus having provided 6 pawns of vis, the covenant’s meagre healing reserve having been exhausted. Happily the spell worked and Erla was soon sufficiently recovered to become very angry with Maximus.

The council reconvened that evening, Husam made a hesitant start at a challenge of certamen to change Maximus’s vote, but for once our Quaesitor was too sharp and quickly beat Husam to the call with a shouted “intellego”. However, perhaps subconsciously unsettled by what happened to Erla in his earlier contest, Maximus never seemed settled in the ‘intellego imagonem’ bout that followed and Husam won in three rounds.

I paused the council once more to allow Maximus to recover and we reconvened again the next dawn. Before we resumed our discussions, I stated that although I had delayed the council this time for magi who had fought certamen to the point of unconsciousness, I would make no promises to always do so in the future.

With the vote now back at 4-2 in favour of killing the cultists and no one choosing to issue any more certamen challenges it duly passed and we then debated whether we should kill them quietly and without drawing any attention or more overtly to send a strong example. The vote was 3-2 in favour of killing them quietly, with Erla and I in favour of an overt death and Maximus abstaining. With the decision finally made, we set about our plans. Husam was charged with coordinating the attack and he set off to Lydney to gather intelligence on where all the eleven lived and whether they had families and so forth.
He returned five days later with that information, but also the curious insight that Gerard is somehow ‘touched’, in a manner not unlike the Fells, albeit without any sign of anything infernal about him. We agreed out targets, Husam would take the 6 with families as he is best suited to killing them without complication or witnesses, I will take 3 without families, plus Gerard, and Husam’s apprentice William will take one of the freeminers in a camp on the outskirts of Lydney.

The next night we set about it. Erla waited in the trees between the village and the stone with a couple of grogs, lest any of our victims were to escape and try to head there. Husam’s and William’s executions passed without incident, but while I was able to kill the 3 villagers, things went awry with Gerard. We had not known he was married and his wife got out a scream before I could silence her. I sensed someone coming at me rapidly from behind and lashed out instinctively with my sword, killing Gerard’s son before I realised who it was. With the sounds of people waking up outside, I decided to try and conceal the killings by setting a fire in the bedroom and hurried outside. As I lowered myself out of the window using ‘Rise of the Feathery Body’ I think I was spotted by a neighbour as she peered out of the window of a neighbouring house. I put my finger to my lips and then drew my hand across my throat in a bid to try and intimidate her into silence and she ducked back inside. I quickly hurried off to where Constanza was waiting and watching and we made our way quickly back out of the village to the prearranged muster point and thence back to the covenant.

Constantius watched the village carefully after that using the scrying mirror to see what the reaction was to the killings. There were rumours that screams had been heard before the fire that killed Gerard and whispers of a devil stealing out of Gerard’s house shortly before the fire. The villagers had also noted the fact that all the men who disappeared did so in the same night and hints that they all had worked with Gerard, but spoke of it only in hushed whispers. All in all, little that seemed likely to draw the wrath of any local mundanes or churchmen. And indeed the rest of the season was quiet.

Summer

The only news of note from Lydney at the council was that Aiken’s surviving family wanted to sell up and move to somewhere safer. There was talk of how we might persuade them to stay, perhaps asking one of the grogs nearing retirement, such as the ever-reliable Osmer, to settle there. Husam agreed to look into the matter. Daedalus announced that he has finished scribing the books we agreed to copy for Black Road covenant and Lysimachus will travel there to complete the deal in summer of next year.

A week later, Zephyrus arrived at the covenant. There was much hermetic news to discuss, particularly that relating to House Merinita. He first reported that the surviving members of the House were meeting in Summer to elect a new Primus and decide upon a response to their renegade former sodales. Zephyrus had poor news from Loch Lagleann on what those traitors have been up to. The tribunal had called a Wizard's March against Pitfichie Forest covenant and when they arrived there they found it to be empty, save for the bodies of Magus Drudan of Ex Miscellania and a few covenfolk. Investigations determined that he had been murdered by his former sodales, Renounced Merinitans all. Worse, it seems that the Renounced Merinitans have destroyed Balmanach covenant. The covenant's tower was riven from top to base and an almighty fire conjured within it. Eyes of the Past and other intellego magics revealed that these spells were cast through the covenant's Aegis of the Hearth. The attack was carried out at night, with sigils revealing that both of Naethir's renegade former companions, Fausta and Fionnuir, took part in the fighting. It seems that once all the defenders had been slain, warriors from the lowland clans entered the covenant and removed all the bodies. Whether they were taken for further interrogation of their spirits or simply to conceal the evidence is as yet unclear.

There was further news of Faelon's interrogation of Naethir's ghost. With the help of McKeidh, he managed to coerce it to reveal that the Renounced Merinitans had been seeking an alliance with 'Damhan Allaidh' against the Order. Intriguingly, Naethir believed that Damhan Allaidh was never slain by Pralix and her army, but, instead, imprisoned through some sort of faerie bargain. The declaration of war against the Order by many of the faerie courts having resulted in his release from that prison. Whether Naethir's belief was accurate or not, it certainly would fit the facts of the matter. It would also explain the potency of the magics used to destroy Balmanach. The sigil of such, a shifting combination of the four elements, will be checked against the records of Cad Gadu.

Of mundane matters, Queen Eleanor has declared that parliament will now have representatives elected from the shires and cities. On the continent, King Louis of France's war against English continental holdings continues. He has also decreed that all jews be cast out of France. I could not help but think of Medius as I heard this latter news, it is sad that those of his faith continue to persecuted so. They helped this covenant against the very worst of the infernal, more so than any mundanes that follow the jealous God of the Christians ever have.

There was also some news concerning the Pope's announcement about "purgatory", some indistinct place 'twixt Heaven and Hell, though the exact significance escapes me.

Zephyrus also had a reply from Mattheus of Solis Castle, he is prepared to create a longevity potion for Blanche in either Autumn or Winter this year in return for one rook of vis.

Astrius's private journal

Zephyrus provided further details of the now-Renounced Merinitans from Pitfichie Forest. The oldest is Margaret, who’s about 100 years old, with a sigil of twisted wood. She’s not overly martial, but is known to be a seer or diviner, with strong faerie glamour and illusionary talents. The next oldest, Swaine, just a few years younger than Margaret, has a sigil of beast fangs and is, as such would suggest, a shapeshifter of sorts. He focuses on unearthly beasts, uses birds as spies and has some ability to command beasts of the air and land. The youngest, Tancred, is perhaps in his 90s and has a sigil of black ice. He has considerable power over ice, water and air, as well as some degree of glamour and illusions. He then spoke of Damhan Allaidh, for it appears it is likely he. As well as his mighty elemental magics, he has great influence over the lowlands clans in Loch Lagleann and they have fought for him en masse before. If he comes again then he may well come with mundane army as well as magicians.


I scribed an account of my fight with the Erechwydd and details of her 'new' powers and asked Zephyrus to convey it to Archimaga Sorrentia in the hope that she might be able to offer some further insight.

Autumn

The autumn council brought somewhat mixed news. Husam reported that his endeavours to build up our foreign trade links had gone well, bringing in an extra 25d for a season’s investment every year, with the likelihood of being able to significantly build on that. However, it seems that ‘Gerard’s wife’ apparently turned up alive and well in Lydney the morning after our attack and directly accused the wizards from the hill of the murder of her family. She reportedly left soon afterwards for Chepstow, but Constantius has found no trace of her there. Given that I killed her myself, there is clearly some trickery afoot, though it has not the feel of the Erechwydd’s modus operandi. She has not before been noted for her illusions, though I am unconvinced by Maximus’s and Lysimachus’s suggestion that it might be the UnNamed House. In any event, Maximus will investigate the village for sigils and the like to try to shed some light on the matter. In the meantime, Constantius will be set to spread rumours to counter hers, suggesting that it in fact it was she who murdered her husband for his money.

We then turned out attention back to our ongoing efforts to stabilise our rather precarious mundane finances. Husam reported that he has arranged for us to take over the tavern in Lydney to ensure that our income stream remains steady. There was some discussion about whose name the new deeds should be placed in. There was some debate about whether Lysimachus as King’s College Chancellor, Maximus as a magistrate or Husam in one of his merchant guises would be best suited to do so. In the end, Husam agreed to take it on, which I think is probably the wisest course. We will set the old steward and the Osmer there to run it for us, as well as offering them a secure and well-deserved retirement. Of note, the discussion also highlighted the fact that Maximus has 17 or so years left before his “Bernard de Birmingham” magistrate becomes too old, while Lysimachus’s chancellor persona has perhaps 20 to 25 years.

With Mattheus’s offer now confirmed, the matter of Blanche’s longevity potion was put to a vote. All save Maximus voted in favour of the covenant putting forward the necessary vis, supplemented by generous donations from Husam, Erla and Daedalus.

Finally, Maximus and I agreed to visit the barrows to the North to try and collect some vis there, while Lysimachus will travel to the caves in Mynnydd Myrddyn. This will be important for our vis income grows steadily less, with no silvery moss in the pool last season, though Erla holds out hope that she may be able to replant some of the vervain next year.

Astrius’s private journal.

Shortly after the council meeting, Husam came to my sanctum and told me what he had learnt from his reconnaissance of Portugal. Toma was it seems well chosen by the Brothers in Christ for it is completely run by the Templars, both mundanely and spiritually. The Dominion there is very powerful and apparently all-pervasive, and the place where we believe the Crown of Madh is hidden is a well-guarded and well-watched fortress. Husam suggested we bring in Lysimachus and after a short conversation I agreed, suggesting that an invitation would likely come better from him then me.
The first thing to happen that season was Maximus’s investigation of Lydney, with me acting as his mundane bodyguard and Constanza as his ward. He uncovered little of interest from the villagers, but did find an unknown sigil outside Gerard’s house, that of a silver frost. Some form of Creo Mentem enchantment, perhaps with a hint of something faerie, had been used there, an effect akin to ‘Memory for a Distant Dream’.


That night, we snuck out of the inn and Maximus cast ‘Incantation of Summoning the Dead’ in the charred remains of Gerard’s house, calling up his shade. He learnt that Gerard had been taught the rites by his father, who, in turn, had been taught by the “Old Man of the Woods”, also known as Llandolwyn. That would make sense, fitting as it would with the instruction given him by the King’s Council when it was trying to soothe conflicts between the faerie resulting from the worship of the Erechwydd started by Magus Cormoran. Gerard added that he had 10 followers committed to the old ways, which at least agrees with our intelligence.

Maximus returned to where I was watching and waiting and indicated we should return to the inn to discuss what he had learnt. After a brief conversation about what else could Maximus could have asked, we returned to the ruins and Maximus recast his spell and pressed Gerard for what he might know of the caster with the silver frost sigil. Gerard was not pleased to be disturbed again, but Maximus coerced him successfully and we learnt a good deal more. Gerard’s little sect also followed the other Old Gods – the Morrigan, Gofannon, Llugh, Madh, Bran and so forth. Gerard also claimed that the cors spied for the Erechwydd. This would make no sense unless the Erechwydd has captured and laid claim to the Morrigan’s glade, an alarming thought given all the spiders and wolves that dwell there, not to mention Beddwyn. Also, all the cultists had been granted the ‘Blessing of Winter’ by the Erechwydd.

Gerard went on to say that he had met a young woman with a heart-shaped face and a bloodline belonging to the Court of Snows. She set him and his group against those who had “murdered the King”. It was she who arranged for the cult to murder our spies in an effort to draw us out and then to conduct a ritual to give blood “to the Morrigan” to enact vengeance upon us. This was to be spoken at midwinter at the altar stone, presumably to grant power to the Erechwydd who now holds the Morrigan’s place of power. This woman is clearly a maga and almost certainly another of the Renegade Merinitans. Gerard’s shade could add little more, so Maximus dismissed him again and on the next day we left Lydney to travel on to the mentem barrows.

En route, in Gloucester, we heard that Raglan had fallen to the Welsh and their army was marching on Monmouth. In response, Queen Eleanor was raising a great English army in Oxford to “drive the Welsh back into the mountains”. More alarming, were the stories of the great Welsh hero “Captain Barroc”, one of Llewellyn’s sworn men, who single-handedly climbed a ladder and took the Raglan castle’s gatehouse, slaying 18 defenders despite being peppered with arrows and struck repeatedly with swords and axes. The tales claimed that he was protected from harm by the Welsh War Wizard’s magic.

Our trip to the barrows went smoothly. I shared my parma with Maximus and he was able to coerce the same spirit whose barrow he had raided previously. Taking care to leave the skull and rusted remains of the sword behind, he was nevertheless able to take some rib bones, a torc and a handful of coins, which yielded 3 pawns of mentem, a rook of rego and 4 pawns of terram vis, respectively.

Upon our return, we discussed Maximus’s findings and Husam travelled to Blackthorn to send word to Archimaga Sorrentia. There, he learnt from Ludovidicus that Cad Gadu had confirmed that the sigil found in Balmannach was a match for that recorded in the House records.

Sorrentia gave quick reply to our query, informing us that the silver frost sigil belongs to a Maga Amabilia, filia Naethir, formerly discipila Merinita. She is in her 60s and specialises in glamour magics that affect the minds of men. She was also apparently in charge of mundane affairs at her covenant, Carrowcrom in Hibernia, so it likely to have no lack of skill in moving in mundane circles.

One bit of good news that season, the day before the Winter council meeting Blanche and Constantius returned, Mattheus’s efforts at brewing her longevity potion having been successful.

Winter

Lysimachus informed us that he had completed development of his second elemental blockade spell and now knows how to bar the paths of fire and air. We shall set a meeting with Geddyn to agree a date to act.

Husam reported that the old steward, now based in the tavern in Lydney, had informed him that the war had caused food prices to double, which will incur an extra 500d cost to us. Lysimachus said that he will visit the university early this season to collect his money and see how it fares with Eleanor’s army camped there.

There was little else of note from that council, but Lysimachus returned a week later bearing “dire news”. The demon that has long plagued him and the university returned for another of its ‘philosophy chats’ with Lysimachus but after he refused, it grew angered and kidnapped the scholar Roger Bacon, his close friend Philippe, and the Vice Chancellor, along with the university’s financial records. Although this would represent a difficult situation at the best of times, it is near-disastrous now as the Queen wishes to see the books, as well as to speak with Roger Bacon and the Vice Chancellor. Lysimachus had a very awkward meeting with her and she left him in no doubt as to the severity of the matter if he could not present her the books showing how the college had properly used its monies. Under mundane law, theft from the crown, as such would be given that it was the Queen who directly granted the college its monies, would be classified as treason. Such a crime carries an unsurprisingly harsh penalty, death, and not a quick one.

The discussion that followed turned into a long drawn-out argument about demons and how magi could and could not interact with them in such circumstances, and whether Lysimachus could explain exactly what it had told him. Maximus said that we shouldn’t listen to its words, but would not make that an official Quaesitorial ruling on that. However, Daedalus then made formal request that he do so and Maximus duly obliged, ruling that it would be unlawful to repeat what it had said.

Astrius’s private journal.

It seems that Daedalus is in his own way every bit as pig-headed, blinkered and parochial in his world view as Erla. Does he really believe that things are so black and white? Gods, is this how I was when I was his age?


We set a plan as best we were able with Lysimachus returning to the university with Husam and Maximus for support. Lysimachus had to be apported in however for flurries of snow akin to those that took control of my soaring winds surrounded the fringes of the Aegis of the Hearth.

I’m still not entirely clear as to what exactly happened to resolve the situation, but that night in Lysimachus’s rooms Maximus tried to have one of his divinatory dreams about the location of the missing people and books. He would say little of what he saw, save that he had a dream of Hell and could not repeat any details. But whether prompted by the arrival of three magi, Maximus’s divining or merely some whim of the demon, the next morning all three missing people returned, seemingly unaware of the fuss they had caused and with no sense of having been anywhere or indeed of having been gone at all. To cover up what had happened, a story involving a hidden laboratory and fumes from an experiment gone wrong rendering people insensible was concocted.

Lysimachus wasn’t convinced that the Queen believed his tale, but he was at least able to hand over the financial ledgers and she seemed satisfied enough with those.

Fortunately there were no further dramas for the rest of the season and the year concluded with no sign of any plague either. With luck that means that the Erechwydd’s power has been dimmed somewhat, though, in truth, I rather doubt we shall be so fortunate.

Astrius’s private journal.

As the year drew to an end, I spoke with Ludovidicus about Damhan Allaidh. The Senior Quaesitor has been told that Ex Miscellanian seers from Duncroigh covenant believe that the Order’s old nemesis may be gathering together a mundane army along with the Renounced Merinitans. Cad Gadu is likely to be the prime target of such a force, both for its historical significance – built as it was to commemorate Pralix’s victory – and its location on a node of magical power. The army will have only Scafell covenant standing between it and Cad Gadu, and given the harm wrought before by Damhan Allaidh on Magnus, the covenant’s prime defender, it seems very unlikely Scafell will present much of an obstacle. Ill tidings indeed to end the year with.



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