You are at:
Scribed by Volutus

Spring 1293AD

Volutus' Private Journal: Although I have lived here for almost two decades now, I still find the bitter cold that lingers at the start of Spring slightly unsettling. The powers that are tied to our covenant are significant and I wonder whether they have other influence upon us beyond that which I can easily identify. The magi of this place have a long history of acting in ways that, even the most generous supporter would be forced to concede, far exceed the letter of the Code of Hermes, and perhaps on occasion the spirit of it also. Yet as I write, but a few hours before our first council of the new year, I am aware that not only am I currently advising one of my sodales to disregard Hermetic law but that I fully intend to disregard it myself. I can tell myself that the code is currently broken, written for an Order that had a broad sense of joint purpose rather than the badly divided body that exists today. I can say that there is a deep corruption at the heart of the Order, where our enemies have breached their own oath and thus left no alternative for myself and others but to respond in kind. In truth these reasons are only part of it.

I have listened to the tales that travel across this land and beyond, and I have seen visions of my own. The Order must change or it will die and among those who recognise this there are two competing visions of what it should look like. I seek an Order that even if it must travel further to the boundaries of Christendom, and perhaps beyond, should continue to be a group that seeks and supports magi of many traditions. I believe that we can avoid such an upheaval if we seek to hold some influence upon those within the mundane realm, such as has been the goal of the so called 'Stonehenge Experiment'. Our enemies believe that the survival of the Order hangs upon reaching an understanding with the Church where that body holds some degree of primacy, and if sacrifices must be made to ensure this comes to pass then so be it. Some of them I am sure have been corrupted by infernal forces, while there are others that I believe genuinely hold their views in the belief that this would be for the best. Among these two competing visions lies the great majority of the Order - desiring to practice their art without fear in a world where magic is still widespread.

I appear to have chosen a side, and that decision perhaps sets me at odds much that I have believed for many years. The teaching of Trianoma is that those who follow her lineage must dedicate ourselves to strengthening the Order, to ensure that it endures so that magic can be practiced and shared with one another. This is still my goal, but it seems I am as ready to wage war on those who seek a different path as they are upon us. Even as I look at my earlier scribbling I see that I write that my enemies are willing to sacrifice others to achieve their ends, but is that not my position also? Rather than seeking to find a middle ground between two rival ideologies I have been conspiring to defeat those who have followed a different path from the one that I favour. Perhaps, despite the lofty ideals than I have often espoused, I simply act in a manner that I shall make enemies of those who attack my friends. Hypatia seems certain to be thrown from the Order regardless of what action she takes, and that is surely wrong, particularly when you see the magical flowering within this tribunal that is largely a result of the tireless work of herself and those who went before. Yet in my efforts to hold to the bonds formed within our covenant, and with those of my sodales who seem wise and with worthy ideals, am I not betraying my own oath and perhaps the original aims of Trianoma. Am I like those who decided that the loss of House Diedne was a price worth paying to prevent the Order from splitting more widely, a decision that as a young man I criticised as cowardly and lacking in ambition, despite my Pater's words that in time I would see why such a decision was necessary.

It is cold and I am tired, and I seem to be thinking in circles. My hope that setting my thoughts to paper would help me more clearly see what I should do has proved forlorn. To bed and let us see what comes next.


Our council met upon the cold and frosty morning that heralded the first day of spring, the fire in our chamber barely proof against the chill in the air. We began by considering some of the activities that we must turn our minds to over the course of the year. With the Grand Tribunal drawing ever closer, and the seeming inevitably that this will have a great impact upon both the Order and my sodales within the covenant, it is clear that we must make a determined effort to see whether it will be possible to swiftly recover the scabbard that pairs with the sword. We are still not sure whether it lies within Roxburgh and it was agreed that another journey north must be undertaken. Terrentius and Jari have agreed to pursue this and they will travel their in Autumn of this year. Some of the delay is due to the need for Terrentius to make an assay of the former vis sites of Narwold covenant to aid in the refounding, and he is to travel there this season. It was suggested that it might be worthwhile taking Maga Drusella with him for she remains within the covenant and he agreed to speak with her. Jari informed us that he was travelling to Blackthorn for the season as he wished to learn the spell Summon the Distant Images which will help in the investigation at Roxburgh.

Hypatia will be in court once again this season but she will also seek to learn more regarding the necromancer reported to have been briefly captured in Rochester. We wonder whether this might have anything to do with the magus of the Un-named House who had committed the atrocity at Abingdon Abbey. It may be necessary to make further investigation later in the year and if so this will likely fall upon myself and Terrentius. It was also agreed that we must not let the matter of Mynydd Myddyn linger uninvestigated for too long. I shall create a device to make passing through the thick forest easier as a service to the covenant, and in preparation for this I determined to study from the Herbam texts this season. We will almost certainly want an item with other useful enchantments and thus it is likely I shall undertake a second service this year to invest an item to such end. It was agreed that Pyrrhus will craft more leap of homecoming potions, the insights provided to him through his study of the Secretum Secretorum making experimentation on such potions more likely to succeed. This season he chose to study from the Creo texts as he said the horoscope was not favourable for such experimentation.

With the future of Hypatia clearly uncertain she generously made a gift of 20,000 pennies to the covenant reserves. She also suggested that we give thought to any specialist covenfolk we might need for she will have some opportunity when at court to look out for qualified men. This reminded me that Captain Cathal had been gravely ill over winter and while he is now recovered Terrentius will start to give some consideration to how best he may be succeeded in future.

The season passed fairly uneventfully within the covenant. We were visited by Maga Acerbia and she confirmed that there would be an emergency meeting of the Stonehenge tribunal in Spring next year so that we might determine who shall travel to the Grand Tribunal on behalf of us. There was news also from my new Primus who has deferred the scheduled meeting of my House, due to take place in Summer 1295, until after the Grand Tribunal. She brought word that the scouts of Blackthorn covenant had spied a group of monks travelling in the wilds to the west of a place called Clun, close by it seems to the ruins of an old lost covenant. Apparently a knight out with a hunting party spotted them but as he approached they fled into nearby woodlands. There was also some mundane news as King Theo has apparently bought the Isle of Wight from Isabella, Countess of Devon, for a sum of 6,000 marks.
We had two other visitors during the season, both prospective candidates for the refounded Narwold covenant. They were Magus Gaines, a gifted magus of House Mercere, and Magus Severo of House Bjornaer. Both have good art to bring to that covenant and I shall certainly commend them to that place. From the report of Terrentius it seems that progress goes well on the new covenant and it will not be long before it is ready for occupation. He managed to rediscover three of the vis sites and with the ongoing support from Eurus Aquilae it is my hope that the new magi of that place will have a fine start to their lives in Stonehenge, despite the difficulties that we all face.

Summer

Despite the difficult times that lie ahead of us I still sensed a positive mood in my sodales as we met for our council of summer. Hypatia started by bringing us news of Rochester, with her investigations leading her to believe that the incident that had occurred there was not related to the infernalist of the Un-named House. She had learned that the so called necromancer was a young man named Wakelin Verney who had something of an ill repute amongst the people of that town, although it seems that it was his unsettling and watchful nature that prejudiced them rather than any evil deeds. There were tales that the voices of spirits could sometimes be heard on the wind when in his presence and we speculated as to whether he might be gifted. Apparently he has something of a friend in the Captain of the Watch, a man named Eustace, but the local magistrate, Walter, and a Franciscan monk named Brother Peter had pushed him to make an arrest and it was as Wakelin was being escorted to the gaol that a great tremor was felt in the ground and in the surrounding hubbub he made his escape. Hypatia thinks it is possible that the Captain may even have aided him somewhat and I shall certainly want to speak with him, for I plan to make a journey there in Autumn to make an assay of this lad.

Hypatia also confirmed to us that Balliol has been crowned as the new King of Scotland, although she believes it is likely to take some time before his authority spreads widely in that land. Fortunately for him she believes that those who might oppose his rule are unlikely to work together in any way. We also discussed the sighting of the monks near Clun, reported to us in Spring. It seems that the long lost covenant in the vicinity is a place called the Hall of the Forest, a name which it seems to me I have heard, or perhaps read, at some point although the context entirely escapes me. The knight that they fled from is from Ludlow, which is north of Hereford, and given what we have heard it was agreed that Terrentius and Pyrrhus would travel this season to make an investigation.

We agreed that I would write a letter to Faelon to ask him about precedents regarding raising a defence against a charge raised at Grand Tribunal if one was absent from that meeting. Jari also agreed to write a letter to Maga Blanche asking if she would be prepared to act as an intermediary to speak with Maga Lluddwyn in our search to see if she might know ought of the events that have been laid at Hypatia’s door. He is travelling to London again to receive further training from Hypatia’s contacts there which meant that just myself and Hypatia remained in the covenant – me investing the device I had agreed as service and she studying from the Aquam texts.

Terrentius and Pyrrhus called at Blackthorn before pressing on further into Wales and there they spoke with Acerbia. She confirmed that she had a means to deliver a message to Blanche but questioned whether she could read so our sodales sensibly asked her to carry a message that Jari wishes to speak with her privately. She perhaps had the closest bond to him of all the magi who now reside here so hopefully she will respond. If we need to get a message to Lluddwyn it may be harder for they are left at Blackthron but it does not sound like she travels there frequently. While there they also learned that the Senior Quaesitor has been recalled to Magvillus and that the rumours are that Magus Vitraxius will replace her.

Our sodales then travelled on, heading north past Hereford then following the river Ten to the west. They passed Clun, which they described as a walled town with a castle, and headed into the great forest. On their first night there the grog Aylwin, who is said to have the second sight, reported that the ghost of an elderly man was in the vicinity. While he was initially lost to view, later that evening my sodales also saw this presence and Terrentius’ familiar flew off to investigate further. It seems that the hawk passed through a regio boundary for he disappeared, though he was swiftly followed by the rest of the party and from reports was not overly discomfited, despite a close encounter with a wolf. Beyond the boundary they once more spied the apparition and the figure appeared to be tending to a tree in some way, speaking in a tongue related to welsh, although different. They followed as he continued through the forest where they passed through another layer of the regio, Terrentius determining the magical aura to be of the 4th magnitude, and came upon an archway of trees which the ghost was proceeding under. At the end of the path was another boundary and beyond lay a large glade with a great oak tree and stream at its centre, with the aura now of the 6th magnitude. Near the tree was a stump covered in leaves which Terrentius reported feeling was somewhat incongruous to the scene for it was the only thing in that place that was not hale and hearty. Investigating further they suspected that it must be an ancient wooden carving of a man sitting hunched as if asleep. Given that they had passed through three levels of regio they resolved not to tarry for long but as they were leaving Terrentius thought he saw the carving move, as if it had stirred momentarily before returning once more to its slumber. They tried talking to it, and pouring water from the stream upon it, but there was no response and suspecting that perhaps he had been mistaken they made to leave again. As they did so however my sodalis once more thought he saw movement, as if it was stretching its legs for a moment. Pyrrhus suggested that perhaps it was responding to magic, for on both occasions Terrentius had cast Glimpse Through the Mystic Veil to make their departure easier. Now watching closely Terrentius cast a spell again and this time had no doubt that he could see movement. As he cast more cantrips the movements became stronger and the shape of a man became more defined. Eventually the stirring became life and before them stood a figure who seemed as much tree as human. He spoke to them in Latin and as they conversed it became plain that this was Magus Llandoddwyn, whose name is surely familiar to anyone who has read the history of this covenant and tribunal. He said that while he had been asleep fpr some time the land felt younger to him and he led them on another path, through an avenue of silver birch that once more ended in a regio boundary, before they came upon some scattered ruins, barely visible stones in the ground, set within ancient and heavy woodland. Casting a spell, Terrentius determined that they were once more in a 4th magnitude aura as the ancient magus informed them that they were on the site of the covenant of Hall of the Forest. They made a search of the area and Terrentius found some faint tracks that indicated that people had been here some time ago, perhaps the monks. Llandoddwyn said he did not believe that they would have been able to find anything in this place but said there were other lost covenants, Swallowcliff and Wither End where there might still be something for a searcher to find. He said that the spirit that led our sodales to him was likely to have been that of a druid and that he needed to find his familiar and understand what was happening in the land. He said that if they needed to contact him then they should speak with the great oak atop Huntley Hill. Then he thanked them for rousing him from his slumber and departed. Our sodales were able to make their way back easily enough, arriving at Severn temple a little before the end of the season.

Autumn

Our council began with a discussion of the events in Wales and Hypatia said that she would travel to Cad Gadu this season to speak with Galioin before returning to make study of the Auram texts. She also had some news useful to me; the King’s agents near Rochester have suggested that Captain Eustace’s wife Alma may be providing food and supplies to Wakelin. I have been given a contact at a tavern in the area who I can speak with to learn more. Our final discussion concerned Roxburgh, and we have agreed that it shall be next Autumn that our sodales will attempt to penetrate that stronghold. Only I was travelling abroad this season with the remainder studying art, learning spell or, in the case of Jari, enchanting an item as a service to the covenant.

I will not write in endless detail of my season for I am sure that there is little benefit to the reader to hear of much of my adventures, but please forgive me if I set down a little more than merely the outcome. The man Hypatia had directed me to, who named himself Geoffrey although I suspect that was not the name his mother gave to him, proved himself most useful and after some false starts I was eventually able to use his information to tail Alma to a woodland a little way out of Rochester. There I made my way and spied the man, who could not have seen much more than seventeen or eighteen summers. I called his name and that I was a friend but the response I received was for him to loose an arrow with unerring accuracy that struck me in the gut, although to my good fortune not so greatly that I was not able to alleviate the damage somewhat – once I had rendered myself invisible from sight of course. He fled back to a hut and eventually persuaded that I had left, although not before appearing to speak with some invisible presence, he took to his bed. I took the opportunity to steal in and take his bow and when he woke I was able to have something more of a conversation with him for perhaps he sensed then that I meant him no harm. I learned that he spoke with the spirit of his dead sister who kept a watch over him and that he sometimes knew things that he should not possibly be able to know. His grandfather had been similar in that he could find things that were lost but Wakelin also unsettled both beasts and men and said that he had seen many more ghosts than just his sister, even on occasion speaking with some. Eventually I persuaded him to allow me to cast a ritual upon him and I determined that he did bear the true gift. With a little care, and some help, I was able to lead him away from that place, despite the watchers set to look for him and via our ship return to the covenant. He is a perceptive and intelligent young man and he learned quickly as I spent some time teaching him some Latin and a little of the Order. I think also that he might have something of an affinity with Intellego magic and given his obvious skills with spirits I have sent a letter to Magus Oratio at Holy Isle, recommending the lad as an apprentice. While he is a little older than many when they first come to the Order I believe he has the makings of a good wizard.

Little happened in the covenant over the course of the season. Hypatia reported that Galioin had heard of Llandoddwyn but that the ancient magus had not yet visited Cad Gadu. Acerbia also called though she was here to speak with Jari rather than the wider council.

Winter

Our council was quite short with the only news from Jari. He told us that he had spoken with Blanche and that she has agreed to carry our message to Lluddwyn. She had not heard about the Grand Tribunal and the charges to be levelled against Hypatia and Jari thinks that she took the matter most seriously. We all planned to remain within the covenant over the season with a mix of activities similar to Autumn, although it was I that was enchanting a device as a service this season. Hopefully we will soon be better equipped to make another assay of Mynydd Myddyn.

There were no events worthy of record over the course of the season although as I prepare to sleep on this last night of Winter I wonder what the next year will bring.

 You are at: