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Scribed by Astrius

Spring 1269 AD

The council began with Justinian reporting that he had completed his enchantment of a hazel rod imbued with a dozen castings of “The Sailor’s Foretaste of the Morrow” for the Severn Boar and had handed it over to the ship’s captain.

Lysimachus then told council of the encounters with Myrddyn in the crystal cave last season. There some debate on the wisdom of continuing to trust Myrddyn and allow him to carry on teaching Emma. This debate was somewhat fraught and less surprisingly came to no conclusion, though it is clear just how little we know about Myrddyn and his ultimate motivations.

Astrius’s private journal
Maybe it was just two argumentative old magi arguing but I believe Myrddyn is being somehow dishonest with us and I am not convinced that he has Emma’s best interests at heart. But what to do? She is Lysimachus’s apprentice and I am sure that he is watching out for her, though I think he was a little too eager to believe the ancient wizard, greedy for more scraps of knowledge from such a legendary figure. I am loathe to start a fight with a dragon in the midst of the Crystal Cave unless there is an extremely pressing reason to do so, so for now I shall have to watch and wait and hope Lysimachus’s trust is not misplaced.

Lysimachus then announced that he will be away in Summer and maybe Autumn too, a voyage for which he will be using the ship.

The next matter for discussion concerned crafting a replacement for the ‘Sapphire Blade’, one of the most useful items previously held in the stores. It was agreed that the council should set about reconstructing a similar item and we agreed to send the steward out with the necessary mundane monies to purchase a sapphire to aid in this. Gnaeus will open the item for enchantment in Summer. Of other notable services, Erla will create three potions of the ‘Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch’ and Lysimachus will endeavour to use water elementals to trace the Ann Féann.

The season was just a few weeks old, when Acerbia arrived bearing news both hermetic and mundane. Of news hermetic, she reported that there had been a meeting of House Bjornaer and the new Prima, Hastia, had agreed to submit to an investigation of the House’s relations with the shapeshifters from the East. Primus Bonisagus had apparently negotiated the deal, though some argument continues over the exact extent of the investigation. With luck, such an accord will help ensure that the House Bjornaer remains within the Order of Hermes. Whatever they have or have not done, we will be weaker without them.

Acerbia also brought word from Cad Gadu, where Primus Ex Miscellania has had some issues with a great magical stag that he referred to as an “Elkare”. The Primus says that he seeks to trap or placate it. I can only hope that he is not seeking to have the head of the guardian of the forest about Cad Gadu adorn the covenant’s new walls, though such creatures are normally not aggressive, so it is more likely some newly awakened magical creature, perhaps something akin to the fearsome bear that stalked the Awakened Forest in Mynydd Myrddyn.

There was also a message from Glencoughlea covenant in Hibernia. The magi there have conducted an investigation into the nunnery of Saint Denis and found large crypts beneath it, big enough to extend out beneath the farmland surrounding the nunnery. There they found a dungeon, with an infernal aura present, and clay jars used to store blood. Magus Bradon of Tytalus has traced something of the movement of these jars and believes they are taken to Wexford and then loaded aboard the Ann Féann. However, he believes that the ship has now fled to foreign shores, not Stonehenge, but more likely Normandy or Brittany. In the process of these investigations they found three more diabolists disguised as nuns and slew them, though they are trying to find more to capture alive. I wonder whether the Normandy connection is at all related to the fact that we believe that Guyere originally came from there? Searching through the journal yielded little more information other than he was believed to be a priest at Snig’s End before 1025 A.D.

Husam was keen to follow this all up and will send a letter to Bradon asking for more information on the link to Normandy or Brittany. He hopes to then take time to look for reports of the ship in the ports of those regions.

Of mundane news, the Mongols have captured the crusader state of Antioch and attacked Northern Bulgaria. Closer to home, it seems that the monks of Tintern have laid foundations for a great church there and are shipping in large quantities of glass and stone. The fact that our spies have not reported this is troubling, hopefully it is more a result of lack of numbers rather than enemy action. We shall have to step up our efforts locally and Husam agreed to spend some time investigating the matter this season. Happily, the last bit of mundane news was more cheerful, the Christian Pope Clement IV has died and has no immediate successor as the senior priests squabble and fight amongst themselves over who shall replace him. Long may that continue.


The matter of Tintern’s great new church was the first matter for discussion at the start of summer. Husam reported that the foundations have not yet been laid, but they are being cut on Mason’s Hill a little North of Chepstow, close to the Wye. Our spymaster has been able to obtain sufficient stone chips to enable some degree of scrying on the workings. Discussions as to what to do about it became somewhat sidetracked when Justinian asked why we were talking about stopping it. Although the journal makes the historical threat posed by Tintern quite clear, not to mention the effects of churches on magical aura hereabouts, the council was somewhat unsure on the matter. There was some discussion about how far the Dominion spread, was it simply within sight of the Church? In which case ascertaining the height of the church tower becomes something of a priority, or was it further afield, within the sound of the church bells? Justinian agreed to use his Intellego Vim magics to ascertain the boundaries of the conflicting magical and Dominion aurae, before heading on to Laycock Abbey to continue his training as a ‘Novice’.

A couple of days after the Summer council, Magus Brichan of Ex Miscellania came looking for Husam. Husam departed with him and a couple of grogs; however, a couple of weeks later one of the men, Corporal Hereward returned, bearing a letter from Husam. Husam reported that he had been helping Brichan deal with some undead or infernal creatures near Llandeilo, when Hereward had been wounded by the claws of one of the creatures and had become afflicted with some blood sickness. They suspected a witch of some sort was behind it and Husam made it clear he required no aid, but rather was concerned about Hereward. Hereward’s disease was beyond any hermetic art I possessed, but fortunately his affliction proved within the capabilities of the healing arts of Blanche and Symeon in the infirmary.

Husam returned to the covenant a few days later, reporting that he had been able to track down and slay the diabolist behind the attacks. More concerningly, he had found a caged demon in the diabolist’s cave that had the shape of some vile chicken foetus, albeit one of humanoid proportion. It claimed to be able to both turn into shadow and also gift such powers, but Husam was too wise for such temptation. However, he was not able to slay it and so he buried it on a remote hillside and shall study Perdo and Vim to enable him to destroy the creature.

Later in the season, a few weeks after Midsummer, Acerbia returned to the covenant with letters for me from Maga Marissa and my Primus. In her missive, Marissa confirmed that she did know something of Glastonbury and that the faerie marsh in which Lysimachus was captured, lies over a mundane marsh near Carrion Moor. She believes that the silver-haired dark faerie enchantress is the one that she knows, and, if so, is very afraid of fire, with a likely weakness against ignem. Grogs collecting vis from that place used burning brands to keep her soldiers away. However, while weak in that regard, she is a tricksy foe to bargain with, not least because her motivations are hard to glean.

Primus Viperion’s letter was very straightforward, announcing that the House Flambeau meeting will be held in Bulgaria and some of House Tremere will also be present. Doubtless some sort of action against the Mongols is planned.

Astrius’s private journal
Viperion made it clear that the decision as to whether or not to come to Bulgaria was for me to make as he is well aware that, save for Laurius, there are few Flambeau of any age left in the West.


Lysimachus was still abroad when we sat down to our Autumn council. Justinian reported that he was now a novice monk and was considering swearing vows of chastity, poverty and obedience to Primus Ptolemeus. Unsurprisingly this led to a somewhat heated discussion, largely centred around where exactly Justinian’s loyalties lie. While he was clear that such a vow does not take precedence over his Oath, he was altogether woollier on where he now stands if forced to choose between our covenant and Ptolemeus. Worse was to come when it became clear that on the death of Ptolemeus, his vow will not necessarily apply to the next Primus Corpus Domini but rather the most senior monk! Justinian stated that under his vow of poverty he will take no vis for performing a covenant service, nor any monies, but if he hoped that would mollify his sodales he was mistaken for several at council clearly held grave reservations about his vow of obedience to the head of the Franciscans.

To make matters worse, Justinian also had to admit that he forgot to survey the extent of the Dominion around Tintern, as he had agreed to do last season.

Astrius’s private journal
How ridiculous and offensive it feels to even write the words “Primus Corpus Domini”. Justinian’s protestations are becoming increasing hollow as it seems clear now that he has chosen his side. Let him be judged by his actions, but if he betrays the covenant’s trust in favour of these Franciscan Christian zealots I will see him expelled. I hope that his failure to measure the Dominion was a result of his usual thoughtlessness, but he will bear watching to make sure it was not part of some wider, deliberate action.

Husam reported a little more of his investigations into the Ann Féann, Braden apparently learnt of its likely destination by posing as a traveller. Having read through the former magus Antonius’s notes, Husam will next venture to Anjeux. Justinian, who is travelling to Le Mans to further his studies of the rites of the Brothers in Christ, will accompany him for most of the journey.


All save Justinian were present for the final council of the year. Husam told us what he had learnt of the plans for the new church at Tintern. If completed, it will indeed be the largest church in that abbey, with a tower of some 70 feet high. The largest tower at the moment is no more than 50 feet. All in all, Husam believes it will take some 20 to 30 years to build, with a church bell the last item to be installed. So, we have a little time yet and the manufacture of a bell for such a tower is a highly specialised and expensive construction so it will not be made locally. With luck, this will give us a chance to destroy or steal it well away from church grounds.
Husam then spoke of his investigations in France. With the help of Primus Ptolemus, he was able to access the records of the Anjeux diocese, though records older than 1025 AD had been destroyed in a ‘mysterious’ fire years ago. However, with some clever and painstaking work he was able to find the church of Saint Gervaise, some 3 days’ travel North of Anjeux which had been rebuilt around that time. There, from an aged priest, he heard an old tale of a lay clerk with a terrible temper who killed the church’s priest with the altar cross. The clerk, known as “villainous Guyere” fled, but was caught and hanged. Husam wondered if somehow, possibly through diabolic means, Guyere was able to evade death. He did note however that it was odd that with the ruthless efficiency with which all church records about him were burned, he should continue to use the same name. There was some debate about who or what Guyere is or was, though no firm conclusion was reached.

Husam’s investigations into the Ann Féann had not gone too far as he had been unable to access the harbourmaster’s records, but he will press on with this next year and set up some spies along the Northern coast of Normandy. He may also speak further with Magus Bradon about setting up a joint network of intelligencers.

There was nothing else of note to report this year.
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