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Scribed by Husam

Spring 1258 AD

All members of our council were present for our first gathering of the new year and we initially discussed further the events that seem to have heralded the return to the world of the spirits that the Pagans worship in these lands. I was able to relate that the Oak Tree at the heart of Cad Gadu has once again bloomed and Astrius believes that we may see a return of other vis sites that are tied to these magical entities such as the spring, the Trellech Stones and parts of Mynydd Myddyn. It does not seem however that those mystical sources we associate with faerie power have returned to us however as the boar tide in winter still contained no vis. We speculated as to the possible causes of this flowering but none had sufficient knowledge to impart any light upon the mystery. We considered whether the return of these powers might make life harder for Amabilla, as the staff that she has corrupted was originally granted to Beddwyn by the Morrigan and it seems likely that the glade within the faerie regio associated with that being will no longer be a safe refuge for the renounced maga. Astrius said that he would attempt to find out more and would also check around the infernal dell again to see whether there are any tracks there.

Maximus stated that he wished to investigate Huntley Wold and asked if I would be prepared to assist him. I had to decline any such expedition this year for my time is heavily pressed by other matters, although I did say that I would probably be able to find some opportunity in the years to come. It seems that he has other paths in his investigation into our belief that the Brothers in Christ are in fact in service to a demon and announced that he would be undertaking a journey to the lost covenant of Morstow in Summer, there being some suspicion that some of that sect may have ventured their in the past. I announced that I was travelling abroad in that season and we agreed to share the ship as far as Boscastle as he intends to seek aid for his investigation from the magi of Trevalga covenant. Astrius said that he might also have to travel this year as his House is gathering in the East for some mission against the Mongol Horde that has done them such damage in recent years.

There was discussion about the threat posed by Damhain-Alladh and what items we might produce as a covenant to support the tribunal's efforts to oppose him and his forces. A number of items were discussed and it was agreed that at least some should be produced this year. Our vis supplies are greatly improved with the recent restoration of the pagan spirits and now the mine is in full production we are once more receiving a surplus of coin to our treasury.

Astrius agreed that he would spend the season in Lydney training his apprentice and all others are studying within the covenant, whether in their laboratories or the library.

Husam's Private Journal: I spoke with Astrius after the council meeting on the matter of whether the restoration of the pagan spirits might have been caused by someone else returning the Crown of Math to our shores. Astrius was adamant that was not the case and I did not press him further. It is clear that he has had some involvement but if he does not wish to share it with his sodales I have no complaint. I confirmed to him that Lysimachus and I were minded to travel to Tomar this summer to take advantage of the likelihood that any of the magi who might be aiding the protection of the Crown will wish to attend the Iberian tribunal that is to judge their allies on the recent deaths of members of my House and others. He said that he was unsure yet whether he would be able to accompany us as he needed to make a decision on the various matters that demand his attention. We agreed to speak again at the start of Summer. I also spoke with Lysimachus as travelling to Trevalga with Maximus makes it much harder to have him accompany me without raising suspicion. He was still unhappy about the secrecy but in the end agreed that he would travel separately to London and I would meet him there, swearing the captain of our vessel to secrecy.

The season passed with little event. I am glad to record that at the equinox the spring waters overflowed granting us four pawns of the Creo vis that we have been denied these last years, although the Boar tide still yields nothing. We also received a visit from Zephyrus who told us that the redcap numbers have been strengthened with the addition of a new maga at Cad Gadu, Acerbia. He also had news of the politic of the land and it seems that Queen Eleanor is being challenged by some of her Barons. A number of them, led by Simon de Montfort, have demanded that she sign to a list of provisions that will require her to appoint a parliament to oversee the decisions of the crown. They would appoint 12 and she would appoint 12 and while she is reluctant she has agreed to meet with them in Oxford this summer. Zephyrus also brought some news from the East where the horde, led by Khan Hurgu, has reportedly burned the city of Baghdad to the ground and massacred uncountable numbers of its citizens.

Husam's Private Journal: At the end of the season I had time to travel to Cad Gadu and collect those items that my Prima has been kind enough to supply to aid us upon our task in Tomar. She has made loan of a stone that can determine the magical nature of things viewed at close proximity through it. She has also gifted me with a cloak called the Bubo Paenulates which can allow the wearer to transform to an owl six times a day. This will greatly aid Lysimachus to enter the Convento de Christo and will make a fine gift to William in the future.

The spring overflowed with water at the equinox granting us 4 pawns of creo vis once more. Sadly the Boar Tide still shows no sign of returning to it's magical nature.

Summer

Our council had little to discuss save the Pontifex once more entreating us to consider the best service that each of us could make in order to provide weapons against Damhain-Alladh. Half of the council announced that they had business abroad with the remainder studying in the library or developing spells.

My activities this season required use of our ship and Maximus initially travelled with me as he had Quaesitorial business, making further investigation into the Brothers in Christ, which initially took him to Trevalga covenant. His purpose was to make investigation into the lost covenant of Morstow, seeking to identify if the intelligence he had regarding members of that sect using it as a base at some point were correct. Their Pontifex Augustus was away on business but Magus Constantine offered to act as his hoplite as he had visited the lost covenant before, though many years ago. He was able to warn that there were caves nearby where demonic creatures had been encountered. Taking men from both Severn Temple and Trevalga they sailed around the Cornish peninsula to the southern shore near where Morstow lay. The ship was unable to land as there is no natural harbour so it lay anchor in an inlet and they took rowboat to the shore. As Maximus described it the seas were rough as there were many rocks by the shore and the cliffs beyond steep and difficult to climb. Indeed as they climbed the face a man of this covenant, named Albin, fell to his death and one of Trevalga's scouts also fell , breaking his leg. Atop the cliff lay a dark and magical forest and that night it seems that the vines and roots several times made to grab those who camped under the boughs. Maximus was able to speak with one of the awakened trees and it told him that the forest does not like visitors and that they guard the covenant that lay within its boundaries.

It took the party a day and night to reach the ruins of Morstow, another of Trevalga's grogs being lost upon the way when attacked by a tree. A search of the covenant initially identified camping gear that was some years old and traces of non Hermetic magic that appeared to be a spell for seeking things with a sigil of a circlet of flame. As they continued they found a stone with traces of a fire's soot and they were able to use spell to determine that these ashes were a little beyond 5 years old. The grogs had been set to clearing a path to the entrance to the larger subterranean part of the covenant and when this was done the entire group travelled down the steps leading below. As they reached the bottom of the stairs Maximus detected further traces of non Hermetic magic, a spell to determine the stability of the structure around them. Constantine cast the same and as they entered a large room he determined that the floor was a little unstable in places. Upon the walls they saw faded paintwork as if of a forest scene and Maximus postulated that it may have been a Hall or perhaps important sanctum. With a rope tied around his waste the Quaesitor made further investigation of the chamber and found another staircase down at the far end. This appeared to be very unstable but the party nevertheless pressed on cautiously. As they made their way down they discovered a great blockage preventing further descent. An Intellego spell determined further magic had been cast in the past, weakening the stone around until it collapsed and blocked the staircase. Maximus wished to continue and thus Constantine cast a number of spontaneous Perdo Terram spells until there was sufficient space to travel onwards. Beyond they found a romm and a corridor of which there were a number of cells. Within one of these Maximus was able to detect a ghost and with his affinity for communing with spirits was able to determine something of the man's story. He was once called Martin and had little love for wizards as he had been imprisoned after his crew had attacked one of their ships and slain some of their men. There he had been left to die and in his years as a spirit recalled that once he had seen three monks pass by bearing torches. He had no recollection of ever seeing them return however.

The party made further search of the room that the corridor led from and discovered that one of the flagstones had once had an iron ring set within it. With the aid of spell they were able to lift the stone and reveal a dark shaft leading further down into the depths of the ground. At the side was a ladder although the metal was severely decayed and insufficient to bear a man's weight. Using magic the two magi lowered themselves down and perhaps 25 feet below reached another corridor. As they travelled along it the sides became less even until it was clear that they were in a natural cavern passage. Maximus cast further spells and determined a regio boundary where the passage opened up into what looked like a cave system. With his second sight he was also able to determine that the regio beyond was filled with blood red flames and black winged figures crawling across the walls and ceiling of the cavern. After pausing for a while to arrange for the grogs to return to the ship the magi pressed on. They initially chose to make investigation of the mundane level of the caves but their search initially discovered nothing of interest. Pressing on Maximus believes that they may have passed inadvertently and unknown through another regio boundary and as they entered a cavern with sulphurous fumes, pools and crusts they were assailed by one of the winged demons Maximus had earlier espied. They dealt with it swiftly enough but as they pressed on were subject to further attacks, at one point the Quaesitor being slightly injured. Now realising that they must have passed through a regio boundary Constantine sugested that they try some of the routes that in the mundane level had been blocked to further progress but as they pressed on Maximus was injured again by the attack of a demon. Seeking now to exit they eventually found a regio boundary leading back to the man made corridor but not before discovering a blood stained cloak upon the way. Within the corridor was a fresh blood stain and Maximus wondered whether they had returned to the mundane level or were still within a regio of some description. He was unable to find any trace of the spells that he had previously cast in the corridor but despite their fears they decided to follow the spots of blood that led away from the caves. Maximus cast the enchantment 'The Eye of the Sage' upon the blood and was able to see a vision of three monks, one of whom was injured and the other two tending him. They were in a large chamber and upon the wall was a clear and unfaded mural of a forest scene, although Maximus reported to us that it seemed strangely off kilter with the hint of dark creatures among the trees.

The magi agreed to try and capture at least one of the monks and Constantine went ahead. Maximus did not witness events but described a brief flurry of commotion and spellcasting before being invited to join his hoplite. It was now clear that the chamber was a Hermetic laboratory although there was no discernible exit save the way that they had come. Upon the floor one of the monks was dead and the other two were sleeping soundly. Using his scrying enchantments Maximus discovered that one of the monks appeared to be a gifted member of the Brothers in Christ, a man later identified as Prior William. They determined that he was the better prize and Constantine slew the other. There were a number of writings around the chamber and Maximus grabbed what he could as proof of the diabolic and Hermetic nature of the place. Attempting to rend the magical veil to allow exit to the mundane level proved extremely difficult however, the sides of the tear being hard to hold (in much the same way as happened at this covenant when it was lost in the high levels of our regio a number of years ago). After more than one attempt Maximus was able to get through although as he did so it closed again leaving the monk and Constantine. The room was dark and Maximus decided to render himself invisible while he waited for Constantine to successfully break through. He was there a number of hours and his caution proved wise as another group of a dozen monks arrived, their discussion amongst themselves making it clear that they were here to rescue their brothers from the depths of the covenant. Constantine suddenly reappeared and slew a number of the monks before they broke in flight. As Constantine pursued them Maximus was able to question some of the monks' spirits. They said that they had come to rescue Prior William and had been sent by the Archangel Gabriel. The Prior had made his journey with the intention of learning how to counter the magic of the Order. Maximus learned that Prior William had powers said to enable him to detect the lies of men and ensure the loyalty of his followers. The monk whose spirit was questioned came from a Monastery near Alcaster in the Shire of Worcester and had been recruited 6 years past. He only knew the 11 men who had travelled with him although believed that there were many more Brothers in Christ across Christendom.

Constantine returned and three still living monks were locked away in the cells below. Constantine believed that aid was required to bring them safely back to Trevalga so cast an apportation spell upon Maximus which swiftly returned him to that covenant. The grogs were able to inform the Quaesitor that Summer was almost over but that Augustus was now present and Maximus went to speak with him and tell him what they had learned. It seems however that Augustus has been in league with these enemies of ours for as Maximus told him the tale he described that magus as suddenly getting angry before attacking him with his sword. Maximus believes his life was only saved by the cloak that he wears which is enchanted to turn blades and he swiftly fled the room. Constantine followed however and cast an enchantment taking control of Maximus' limbs and movements. Maximus was compelled to start walking towards him but swiftly cast the spell of Wings of Soaring Wind that flung hum backwards at a great rate towards the great hall where he was slowed by the wall. A moment later he had broken line of sight however and was able to flee up the stairs, initially trying to find Liberata before fleeing the building by jumping out of an upper storey window. Although by now quite badly injured he was able to render himself invisible and some time later he located Liberata and Alyssia who heard his story with horror. It seems that realising that Maximus had escaped him Augustsus had packed some things, mounted the horse that is his familiar and fled the covenant. Maximus was able to confirm that his ruling was that Augustus was acting outside the code and Liberata swiftly left in an attempt to find him before returning unsuccessful. Alyssia arranged for Maximus to be healed and then left for Morstow to warn Constantine of events. Given the time of the season and the need to let us know of what had transpired Maximus decided to use the Leap of Homecoming to return to Severn Temple.

Husam's Private Journal: I find myself surprised by these events. The alliance between Augustus and the Brothers in Christ does not come as unsuspected news but I have long believed that Maximus has offered some support to that sect and might even be a part of their conspiracy. Yet the uncharacteristic bravery he showed in pursuing the investigation at Morstow, his aid in capturing some of the monks and questioning spirits and the attempt of Augustus to slay him to keep his betrayal hidden suggests that I have been wrong in this matter. I neither like nor trust our Quaesitor but I must be careful to ensure that these feelings do not prejudice all those beliefs that I have about him.

No other events of note occurred during the season.

Husam's Private Journal: After departing the harbour of Boscastle our vessel made swift time to London where I met with Lysimachus at the agreed inn. He expressed disappointment that Astrius had chosen not to accompany us, he weighing that the threats in Stonehenge demanded he remain, but still believed that our plan could succeed without him. We sailed across the English Channel calling first at Cherbourg before travelling around the coast of Brittany. The Bay of Biscay was unusually mild and with light hearts we travelled along the Portugese coast before journeying upriver to Lisbon. We agreed with the captain that he would return at midsummer and then as frequently as he reasonably could therefater. Travelling along the road alongside the river Tejo we were careful to select arcane connections in safe locations at intervals along the road so that we might swiftly escape Tomar after our mission had been completed. Our journey took us about a week and entering the town we took a room at the same tavern where I had previously stayed and established an identity as a travelling merchant.

On the first night Lysimachus used the Bubo Paenulates to fly over the Convento di Cristo and familiarise himself with the layout. He reported seeing a greater number of guards upon the walls than I had encountered on my previous visits, perhaps two dozen in total. On the second day we took the time to further strengthen our prepared roles in the town and sought intelligence. We heard that in a weeks time there was to be a major feast day where many people would attend an open air mass within the Convento and we agreed that it would be best if we could act before this in case more Templars returned to attend. Upon the third night of our stay we flew jointly over the monastery. There was the usual number of guards that I had previously encountered and I wonder whether Lysimachus had confused some of the fixed lanterns with men upon the walls. We were able to ascertain that there was a platform at the top of the bell tower with stairs leading down to the main church and agreed that this was the best point of entry to take. We decided that the following night we would make an entry and see if we could determine where the Crown was held.

Sleeping for much of the following day we were well rested when nightfall came and after a couple of hours to allow sleep to take many of the inhabitants we once more returned to the Convento di Christo. We had with us potions to take the form of a Gecko, a lizard common in these parts but upon arriving atop the bell tower while my potion was successful the first that Lysimachus drank did not last more than a few minutes. We had started to make our way down the stairs when he transformed back into a man and while he tried to silently make his way back up the stairs the noise must have drawn the attention of the armed watchmen at the bottom of the tower. Fortunately the next potion that Lysimachus drunk worked properly and despite some minutes when the man made a search of the whole of the tower he did not detect us in our Gecko forms. Recognising that he would now perhaps be on greater alert we considered whether to call a halt to that nights activity but given the finite number of potions that we held decided that after a wait it should be safe to proceed. Indeed we proved fortunate for the man decided to check outside the tower and as he did so we made our way downstairs to a door that led within the church. Crawling under the door we saw that the chamber had a number of columns surrounding the centre within which there was a square plinth. Atop that was an ornate cask surmounted by a cross and hanging on one of the arms of the cross was a Crown that bore the appearance of the treasure that we sought. There was another guard at the far side of the church and as we exited so that we might discuss our course of action the first guard once more returned within. We heard the two guards discussing the suspicion that we had aroused on our entry and we heard one tell the other that he should report it to the master.

While it was obvious that this might be a decoy we agreed that we should take it and while one left to secure it the other should remain to determine whether we had recovered the true artefact. We returned to the church and took up positions at each end of the church as swiftly as we could, ready to act, when another man entered through the door from the Chapter House at the end where I was still in Gecko form. He told the two guards that the master would be through shortly and then left again. I resumed human form, hidden by the pews, as we launched our attacks. Unfortunately our plan swiftly went somewhat awry. Lysimachus swiftly dealt with his but he was not quiet in doing so. While I was able to silence the one at my end with my first spellcasting I could not place him under an enchantment of sleep and we were swiflt y engaged in combat. He was well armoured and with no little skill and even as other men began to come through from the Chapter House I took a wound. As I was assailed by more I was hurt again and I fled towards Lysimachus who had by now retrieved the crown. He flung it to me and I was able to determine quickly that it was not magical. I shook my head at my sodales and as I was pressed again managed to apport back to the room we had taken in the tavern. Immediately on my return I cast healing magic upon myself before once more transforming to an owl and returning to the Convento di Cristo. The alarm was already well raised but although I was spotted I was able to reach the tower and transform to a Gecko once more and from there stealthily make my way back to the church and then to the Capter House. It was empty, just a few men leaving through the external door to the grounds beyond, and so I made my way back to the church where I was fortunate to happen upon Lysimachus who was similarly transformed.

As I discovered later Lysimachus had been able to transform back into a Gecko while the focus was on my departure and found a place where he could observe what occurred. There was discussion between monks and templars and then they all went to the Chapter House and thence down to a crypt which lay below. My sodales was able to follow and observed some sort of ritual ceremony. There was an altar with a red cloth covering something atop it. The master spoke of making arrangements and then they fell into loud prayer. After some moments a figure materialised within the crypt, bearing the guise of an angel, at which all fell to their knees save the master who bowed his head, avoiding all eye contact. He spoke to what he called the Archangel, saying that the wizards had come as the entity predicted and that they were ready to carry out his plan. Lysimachus described the voice of this guised demon as beautiful as it responded by telling him to gather his twelve first knights and give each a copy of the crown, setting them on the way before dawn. The master took the red cloth and, as we suppose, the real Crown of Math that it was concealing, leaving with a group of Templars. It was that group I had seen leaving the Chapter House but Lysimachus had not been able to keep up with them and had lost them.

We travelled up the tower and there espied the group. As we returned to the church the two guards were discussing the suspicion that we had aroused on our entry and we heard one tell the other that he should report it to the master. Lysimachus moved so quickly that I was left in his wake as we went in pursuit. We ended up near the cloisters and the Masters Palace and as I caught up with Lysimachus he hurriedly told me that the path had split and he was not certain which way they had gone. He pursued the route into the palace, eventually reaching the comfortably appointed apartment upstairs which to his frustration was empty. In the meantime I headed towards the stables and from there through a gate to a training ground where the Templars were gathering. Lysimachus returned as we saw twelve red bags being brought to the Knights that were gathering there. We spoke briefly and I took the form of an owl to better view the grounds from the stable roof. He activated the cloak a moment later but alas the aura overwhelmed the enchantment of the cloak and it was rent, the magic broken forever. Swiftly he apported away, back to the tavern. As he relayed to me later he once more took the form of a Gecko and climbed the tallest steeple of the town where he was able to espy the point we had agreed to meet and apport himself there.

I flew through the night as the knights rode out on to the road, swiftly passing them and meeting with my sodales further down the road. There we found a place to set an ambush, me ready to try and determine which bag held an item with magic and he further down the road ready to strike. As the riders passed I cast my spell and was able to determine that both the first and last rider bore an enchanted item. I called to Lysimachus and he launched an attack with the Arc of Fiery Ribbons, catching a number of the lead riders. My enchantment to blind the last rider failed to penetrate whatever defences he had upon him as Lysimachus followed his first attack by casting lightning at the lead rider. Unfortunately his magic once again went awry and he was struck by the bolt himself, only his ward against elements of the air leaving him standing. As half the riders pressed on the road the other half slowed to do battle and a violent fight ensued. Lysimachus had taken to the air and was casting lighting about him while I attacked with a combination of sword and the Crack of the Splintered Bone. I came within a few yards of the bag being borne by the last rider but was beaten to it by another. I had just enough time to take an arcane connection before the sun broke above the horizon and my enchantments went down. Assailed by two more knights I was unable to resist and was struck a fierce blow that caused me a grave injury that left me enmeshed in the dark of unconsciousness. Lysimachus had successfully recast his winds and had slain several of the knights when yet again he lost control of his magic and the winds around him started to blow him this way and that. Convinced I was dead he went in pursuit of the six riders who had escaped but could not overcome the winds and was driven to the ground where he too was injured. Even then he attempted to slay another but once more his lightning turned against him and he was lucky to avoid the strike. Having managed to recover some of the bags himself he left and made his way as quickly as he could to the first camp we had established for our return journey. After he had gone I regained consciousness long enough to drag myself to the side of the road and render myself invisible but I was so fatigued I slept until after dark fell again. When I awoke there were searchers in the area and I cast the Seven League Stride, returning to the apportation point where I found Lysimachus. He had three bags. Within two were rudimentary copies but within the first was a Crown that tou our eyes bore all the qualities of the item we had sought. Knowing that there were two items that had borne the trace of magic however we agreed that we should make an effort to trace the other with the arcane connection I had taken. We were perhaps still in a dominion aura however and Lysimachus decided that as such a task was at the very edge of his abilities with those arts he would go further into the wilderness. Alas his Wings of the Soaring Wind spell was miscast and heavy winds once more set around us, though resisted by the Parma Magica. He was successful on the second attempt and departed, leaving me to nurse my injuries. Using the Intellego vis that I had provided him he cast a spell to trace an arcane connection within 3 leagues while he concentrated and taking once more to the air he scoured the lands around, following the various roads leading away from Tomar. He flew for many hours but without joy although as he returned to our camp he espied a group of Templars in the nearby town of Torres Noves making searches and enquiries. Hoping that we had been lucky enough to collect the true Crown of Math we began to apport back towards Lisbon. We were tired and injured but made four successful strides to take us to the capital once more. There we found a tavern with a room from which we could see the harbour which we took for a week.

As we waited for midsummer I was able to once more establish an identity as a merchant who operated far away from Tomar and its surrounds. For five days we were unmolested but on the sixth day we heard noise from the tavern downstairs and quickly identified that it was the local authorities asking questions. As he did not have great skill in the language Lysmicahus apported away from the inn and I handled the questioning. It was clear that they were interested in where the scribe I employed was as he was not in our room and we agreed that if they returned I would guise myself as him and deal with them again. It was well that we prepared for they returned the following day, almost catching Lysimachus unaware as he delayed apporting away until the last moment. That afternoon our ship finally arrived at port and the captain was able to fend off the questions put to him by a group of Templars and soldiers who swiftly boarded. We were able to get message to the crew and that night slipped out of the tavern and aboard the vessel. Shortly before dawn we caught the tide and departed. Leaving without authority the local naval vessels made an attempt to pursue us but we were easily able to outpace them and make the long journey back to Stonehenge. I finally had the chance to present the crown to Astrius and those minutes while he examined it were some of the longest of my life, knowing as we did that if this was not the Crown of Math then we had most likely lost all chance of ever recovering it. To my joy however he confirmed that we had recovered that artefact we had sought. What comes next I do not know. We need to discuss what to do now we have the crown returned to these shores and among even the three of us in this covenant I believe there is some difference of opinion. At least the decision is ours to make and a blow has been struck against those who seek to enforce their religious beliefs on all magi.


Autumn

Our council began with Maximus detailing his tale. Astrius asked if he could take a look at the Hermetic writings that the Quaesitor had recovered and with agreement told us that on initial glance they appeared to be laboratory notes for the creation of a hermetic scroll, although it appears that experimentation is a factor in the act. Given all we have learned we discussed whether Augustus could be an active diabolist. While we were unsure of this Maximus confirmed that he had raised formal charge for the assault upon himself. While the circumstances obviously point to greater crimes his precise legal status is uncertain for he has not been renounced at tribunal and Maximus believes an emergency tribunal is likely given the age and position of Augustus. Astrius was able to report that we have once more started gathering vis from the mossy pool in the forest and the well at St Briavels. He said that he would check at Mynydd Myddyn this season. During the meeting there was once again some friction between Erla and Maximus. Both Daedelus and Lysimachus supported Maximus' complaint about it but our Pontifex was minded that as no great disruption was being caused then he would not intervene. With that Maximus challenged Erla to Certamen. He must have believed he would have a great advantage with his primary art but I recall Erla has made some study of Intellego lately and her chosen form of Herbam seemed likely to strongly favour her. As they entered the duel a phantasm appeared, a strange plant which they appeared to be discerning the magical properties of. Both used vis in the battle, and initially there was some success to both, but in less than a minute Erla rendered him insensible. The meeting was postponed while he recovered but as a result he was not involved in the casting of our Aegis. My understanding is that the result of this Certamen is that Maximus has no recourse should Erla insult him at council. Indeed the Quaesitor seemed to turn his ire upon the Pontifex when asked to perform a second seasons service in Winter extracting vim vis for the covenant. I agreed to perform my service this season crafting potions of invisibility for the battle against Damhain-Alladh. All others were engaged in some form of laboratory activity save for Erla who took the Imaginem books with her to study in Lydney.

Shortly after the season began the redcap Zephyrus called at the covenant. He announced that Augustus has been banished from Trevalga covenant and that magi throughout the tribunal are asked to report any sightings that they might have of him. There was news of the special tribunal in Iberia where it seems that the extent of the punishment raised against those who have slain members of my House in Saragossa is that they must hand any items and treasure looted to the covenants of the victims. Both Edith and Primus Criamon have appealed that the ruling be reviewed at the next Grand Tribunal. The Barons of England have been successful in forcing the Queen to accept their proposal of a government to oversee ministerial appointments, castles and other matters of the realm. There shall be twenty four members, half appointed by the Queen, who shall meet three times a year. The proclamation was issued to all the Sheriff’s of the land in Ltin, French and English. Llewellyn has retreated to Gwynedd where his supporters have had him crowned as King of all Wales. From overseas we also heard that there has been many disasters in the Holy Roman Empire with famine and disease widespread. Popular opinion is that it is a punishment for widespread sin and a lack of piety. A new movement has arisen in response who call themselves the flagellants for their acts of both public and private self mortification.

The season passed quietly although there was further good news regarding our vis supplies. There was a little vis to be had at Mynydd Myddyn. While the spring there still holds no regio the pool does once more have a magical vibration and though the forest is still seemingly asleep there was a small amount of sap to be harvested. Within the covenant our own spring once more bubbled over with blood granting us corporem vis. Strangely the Heart of the Forest produced five acorns despite there being six magi within the covenant. We also had a visitor at the end of the season with Luvidicus arriving to speak with Maximus, no doubt about his discoveries in Summer.

Winter

We discussed the matter of the acorns from the Heart of the Forest. Daedelus said he is quite happy not to receive one but Astrius said he would look into the matter and make no issue until then. Other than that we hads little to discuss although it is the Pontifex's belief that Augustus will most likely have fled abroad where he has good contacts throughout the continent. Almost all the council were engaged on service this season. Apart from Maximus extracting vis, Astrius, Lysimachus and Daedelus are all working on items for the future conflict with Damhain-Alladh and Erla offered to make more healing potions to treat disease.

The Winter Solstice was colder than in recent years with a heavier snowfall, though far from at the height of the Erechwydd's power. Two of the grogs on the gatehouse observed one of that dark faery enchantress' knights approach. He did not bear arms but carried something in its hand that it placed in the snow in front of the covenant before departing. Astrius and Maximus went down and saw that it was a sack and using magic they could determine no illusions upon it although there was a hint of an active spell effect a little way into the woods, something akin to Imagonem but with a hint of silvery stars. Lysimachus joined them and was able to use the Unseen Porter to bring the sack within the covenant bounds. He then cleared the snow from around them and Astrius opened the bag. Within it were the shattered remains of what appeared to be Beddwyn's staff, the iron bindings at each end still readily identifiable. Maximus cast further Intellego enchantments and determined that there were two effects once cast upon the staff – a binding effect with strange black writing and an effect of destruction caused by ice. As he looked at it with his second sight he said that it had a clear presence but that it was dark and to his mind evidence of devilry. It was decided that this could present further evidence against the Brother's in Christ as a diabolic sect so it was brought within the covenant where Maximus cast the spell Greeting the Maker, reciting it from the written text that we have and focussing on one of the iron bands. He had a vision of a man dressed in a monk's habit forging the bands, reading from a text and intoning chants as he worked them and beat the rivets into the wood. Untypically for this spell he was unable to see the man's face at any point in the process. That night there was a very heavy snow shower but the following day the weather started to grow milder again.

The last news of the season was that Zephyrus returned to the covenant again to announce that there would be an emergency tribunal on the Spring Equinox. No doubt this will be to determine the position of Augustus and hopefully to renew this tribunal's pledge to battle the Brothers in Christ.

Husam's Private Journal: A slightly disappointing season instructing William. While he has been a keen study to date, this season he seemed to struggle to understand my tuition, failing to grasp how those verses in the Qur'an that exhort righteous conduct are intrinsically linked with the belief that is necessary to ensure the reliable casting of spells. I fear I shall have to spend a second season next year developing his art.
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