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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.
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