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Scribed by Justinian

Spring 1265 AD

We met in the first season on a chilly morning of spring and settled into our chairs next to the roaring fire. There was no news from the quiet winter before and we rapidly moved one to what our yearly activities. Astrius inquired politely what we could do as covenant service and I suggested that to improve our shaky finances we could use our skills and arts to retrieve treasure from sunken ships which led on to a discussion of how we could achieve this. Husam with his mundane merchant contacts could locate the wrecks’ rough location and value then Lysimachus could use a water elemental to locate it exactly and then we could develop spells or items to retrieve the goods. I then went on to offer to extract vim vis in autumn for the Aegis which was accepted by the Pontifex. We discussed what Erla might do as covenant service and Lysimachus suggested an item of gift of the berserkers which she accepted and created the gauntlet of untiring warrior in the Spring Season. Husam stated he would go to Bristol and investigate what was happening with the gangs there and also collect information on wrecks that might be of value. Astrius agreed to scribe some of his powerful spells and Lysimachus stated he would work on the production of paper. Astrius then divided the Vis and monies and although the Vis was plentiful as usual the monies were light. We will have to do something to remedy this situation as we will need monies to travel and do good deeds across this war torn country. This season I studied from the Creo texts working towards being able to take an apprentice. The season was very quiet with my friend Lysimachus and my sodales Husam being absent for the most of it. Some important news did arrive at the end of the season, however, that Crown prince Theo and Queen Regent Eleanor had escaped from Arundel Castle which apparently is one of the most secure in the realm after the tower at London.

Summer

Summer council arrived and it was a happy council when we met, with the news that Princess Eleanor's family was safe she must be happy wherever she is. We discussed the consequences of the escape and wondered if there would be further war in the land. As Lysimachus has spent the previous season in Gloucester he was able to find out the circumstances of Philippe's death which seemed normal but worried Lysimachus seeing as the spirit of Phillippe now visited him in his sleep.

Lysimachus reported that with the siege lifted he now was able to receive his stipend again which will help our finances thanks to his generosity of donating it to the covenant. He also stated that a lot of the masters and students had fled the coming of the Welsh and it might be a time before the finances of the college were on an even keel again. Husam reported about Bristol and it seemed the saying no news is good news was appropriate as although there were several gangs in Bristol none were obviously tainted with evil as they had been under Husam’s former consor. There had even been no reports of the ship the ann fyan calling at bristol which means that they might have given up on that city, and Husam stated that Bristol was less dangerous than it once was. Of course if they have given up on Bristol are they now taking control of Dublin?

Through his merchant contacts Husam discovered the rough location and value of some wrecks. One of two thousand pennies quite close to the shore and one worth eight to ten thousand off the coast of Cornwall and thus harder to find. We talked about our activities and I declared I would be going to Normandy and as Astrius was taking his apprentice to Doissetep, we agreed to share the ship and I would be dropped of in Honfleur before it journeyed onward to Aquitaine.

The boat journey was uneventful and swift thanks to the captain’s skill. (my private journal. I had actually overheard a couple of the sailors talking about royalty being on the ship the previous season and I used Intellego magics to determine which ones. It turned out that Prince Theo and Queen regent Eleanor made their escape on our ship. It seems obvious to me that Lysimachus freed them and bore them safely away. My friend is playing a very dangerous game.)

When I returned to the covenant I had heard that Husam had had some metal grills delivered to his sanctum, I cannot think why unless he wishes to stop creatures coming in through his windows.

I made my way from Honfleur, a nice walled city and followed the coast road west till I came near to Caen. I make my way to St Luke's abbey, a lovely place with high walls to keep the peaceful monks safe and an extensive garden where vegetables were tended by the residents. Once I had explained that I was to meet brother Tolemy I was allowed in and given victuals and a cell to stay in. A few hours later I was invited into large chamber which was simply furnished with a large fireplace but being the season it was it was unlit. There I met Ignatius wearing Dominican white robes with a black mantle, he was in his late thirties with a lined face and dark grey eyes which shone kindly upon me, he was from the Dominican abbey of St Anthony just north of Le Man so he had traveled over a week just to meet me. We talked of the structure of the Brothers in Christ again and the three divisions that are the Medicos, Custodes and Scolari.

We then went on to discuss the magic of Corpus Domini and how it differed from Hermetic magic, to be honest I wished I had had my friend Lysimachus with me to explain it as some of it didn't make much sense to me. It appears that through their philosophy they have structured a method of channeling magic via their gift. They have split it into seven divisions that roughly correspond to some of our arts although some forms are sadly lacking showing Bonisagus’ greater wit when it came to the theory of magic. They call it the Septum Sancti and develop spells similar to the way we do but they are called devotions. Their magic is heavily immersed in the christian faith and without adhering to its philosophy it appeared to me to be almost impossible to learn. I discussed my disguise and Ptolemy suggested that If I was to join the house I would be expected to take up the role of novice and he would send letter of introduction to Abbot Albin at a Franciscan abbey just near Devizes called Lacock abbey. Ptolemy hid it well but it was obvious from Ignatius that they were uncomfortable with me disguising myself as a full friar without having done my service to Christ as a novice.

A few days later Hadrianus joined, he was dressed in the black of the Benedictines and told me he was a member of Glen Cochlear in Hibernia Tribunal. He said that fifteen years ago he had taken vows and he spent much of his time in the abbey of St Joseph near his covenant. I questioned him about how he came to be in the House and he stated it was an easy change for him as he had always been a follower of the church and the house readily accepted him. We got along very well and I offered to travel home with him after I had finished here but he stated that he was travelling south to meet some colleagues (hermetic or holy I did not know or ask). (My private Journal: Oh what a fool I was, how could I forget that this was the man I saw in my vision and who was responsible for the plot on Urbarnus and Aedden. I castigate myself fully and vow to keep track of our enemies more closely). After much prayer and soul searching I realised that many would try and cause harm to the innocents in the House and I would need to act as patrones to them, I decided to join the house of Corpus Domini. I requested admittance to the house of Primus Ptolemy and he with a smile accepted me he gave me the name of Justinian and brother Justin in my novice role. In that role I will spend a year in total at Laycock abbey learning the ways of my chosen order and he gave me a letter of introduction to the abbot. He also wrote a letter to Primus Guernicus requesting that I be made the house Quaesitor and I returned to England via Honfleur to Laycock Abbey and joined as a novice in the Franciscan order. (My private Journal: I visited Lysimachus to inform him of my decision and it was only then that I discovered what an idiot i had been, he was at the same time both sympathetic and criticising, which was kind of him. He suggested that I say at council that I realised and that I planned to befriend Hadrianus and uncover the lot from within. I must say he has saved me so many times I would gladly die rather than betray that friendship and prosecute him for his crimes if they ever come to light).

Autumn

The council meeting started quietly with no real news being reported until I declared that I was no longer Maximus, but Justinian of house Corpus Domini. I explained that I wanted to defend the new house from countless false accusations that would surely come at them and to uncover the plotters that caused the deaths of Urbanus and Aedden. Lysimachus was supportive but Husam, Astrius and Erla were not. (My private journal: Husam looked at first quite angry but then went quiet and simply stated that I would be judged on my actions, Astrius was angry but more in a frustrated way but it was Erla who sought to turn the covenant against me seeking this way and that to get me to admit I was one with the brothers in christ, a claim I denied most vehemently as it was the corrupt members of that sect that had led to the death of my beloved familiar Rufus. Eventually she calmed down but piped up her support for an idea of Hussam’s to declare wizards war on me to prove that I was on the side of the brothers in christ, I thanked Husam for his offer but declined, as I don't know whether I can trust him even after all these years with my life on the line, after all his pater was corrupt. In the end I think the council were intrigued with the idea of me acting as a spy for them and so mollified allowed the council meeting to proceed). Astrius had many questions about the new house, some of which I answered and some of which I said I would attempt to find the answers for him. With little else to discuss we ended the council.

Later in the season the redcap arrived with the following news. We were told of the meeting of house Tremere at Harco hosted by house Mercere, there was a long discussion about defending against the Mongol horde with the debate split into defending the north or south around Thebes, they decided to defend Thebes as the north had the Teutonic knights defending those lands. Queen regent Eleanor’s army had won a great battle against De Montfort and he and most of his family were captured and executed. Hostages from the other great families were taken to ensure their compliance and she rose again to become the preeminent power in the land. In Iberia Alicante had been taken from the moors and a new Pope Clement the fourth had been elected in Rome the 183rd man to take the holy title since St Peter creates the holy Church.

Winter

It was a quiet council meeting with not much said, no one went abroad and all were studying in their sancti all season.
A few days into the season a hunter from Lydney came up to the covenant and stated that there was an agent of the crown with some guards and a very heavy chest who sought an audience with Alexander, the name Lysimachus uses when posing as the chancellor of the university. The agent was being housed in Mrs Craddock's house temporarily and she had moved in with her sister next door but there was no rush as she did not mind so much given her age. The head man had told everyone to keep this discreet as the presence of what could only be considered a treasure chest might bring unwanted attention to the village from brigands. Lysimachus went down and with some help retrieved the chest to his sanctum which was a tight squeeze up the narrow circular stair of the tower.

Over the Christmas Feast we celebrated the retirement of Captain Connal who decided to live out his life in the covenant as is his right. Cathal is now the new captain and hopefully with god's will will defend us from malign forces.
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