Scribed by Volutus

Spring 1298AD

Since I last set my hand to the task of recording our Covenant’s journal the tribunal has gained a new Covenant, but the wider Order has suffered such devastating blows that there are times when I am sure all must find themselves wondering whether we can survive the years to come. Yet despite the savage losses, which have included several friends of this council, and the ongoing crusade against us, I remain optimistic that there is hope for the future. While the differences in the views of the magi who make up our council are sometimes highly apparent, I still see a sense of common purpose among us; to endure these hardships without succumbing to despair, to seek avenues to improve our situation and to be bold in imagining what the future may yet be.

Our council began with Jari making an assessment of Tegid Foel’s visit at midwinter and what it might mean to us. He believes that we will see other visits in future, although not necessarily every year, and that as long as we can provide the dark faerie food and drink from dusk to dawn then he will continue to reward us with trinkets from the tower. We received a total of 13 pawns of vis from his last visit, in the forms of Perdon, Auram and Imagonem, and that is a sum well worth such a minor inconvenience. We agreed to ensure that we would set aside sufficient coin to cater for him as a guest each year; if he does not visit it will merely mean that the inhabitants of Severn Temple will fare even better at midwinter than they currently do.

The next topic for discussion was the situation regarding Avebury. Terrentius seemed to be relatively sanguine about the threat to him arising from his last visit there and offered some advice as we considered the most likely time that vis might be found there so that we can make claim to the location as a vis site. He highlighted that the Hunters Moon is noted as a time when pagan powers wax. Hypatia added that there are certain times of the season when the veil becomes thinner, such as the start of each season and the equinoxes and solstices. Between them my sodales were able to determine that the coming summer brought a confluence of these two events at the start of the season and so it was agreed that myself and Pyrrhus would head there, directed by Terrentius, and spend a few days determining if we could find a source of vis to register.

Given that the financial resources in our treasury remained very healthy, and as I would generally rather that such resources be directly in the hands of members of this council, I released a generous stipend to all who wished it this year. Hypatia suggested that we should look to make some investments with the still significant sums that remain and a number of suggestions were made. It was agreed in the end that the steward would head to London and see whether he can find a business there that we might buy – giving us both an additional income and somewhere to stay if we are visiting that city. Hypatia agreed to raise the matter with him for she planned to spend the season at court and progressing the intelligence relationship between the Tribunal and the Crown.

The rest of my sodales were all set to some form of magical study or enchantment during the season, although Terrentius confirmed that he was attending his House meeting at Eurus Aquilae over the middle of the season. I am travelling to Carrion Moor where Maga Phaedra has kindly agreed to spend the season sharing with me something of her knowledge regarding twilight.

I have little to record regarding the season just passed save that my time spent with Maga Phaedra has proved most useful indeed. She has taught me a ritual known within her House that will enable me to better root myself in this realm if deliberately seeking out an experience of twilight. She has agreed to aid me in that matter also, as like Arcanus she has knowledge of the ritual to deliberately induce such a state in oneself and she has agreed to teach it to me.


Terrentius began by telling us a little of his House meeting. The most important point for us was perhaps that the newly elected Primus, a man named Argentius, was minded to continue along the path that Julius had set out and would maintain the Domus Magnus at Eurus Aquilae. Terrentius was positive about his new Primus and that seems to bode well for the future. He will be joined in Stonehenge by another of his House, Maga Pravia, subject of course to ratification at the next tribunal. Apparently, he is also inviting some other magi that he believes would be valuable additions to this tribunal. These are a Magus Sufius of my own House, who is said to have worked with Julius and the Bjornaer in the past, Magus Tiberius of Flambeau, said to be an honourable man of beyond a century in years and one who faced the mongols when they attacked the east, and finally Magus Duris of Merinita, who Jari said heralded from Irencilla and had a fox familiar. I sincerely hope my sodales within the tribunal see the wisdom of strengthening our home with new additions and do not wholly succumb to some of the fear mongering that Liberata espoused in her speeches last year.

Hypatia confirmed that she had concluded arrangements regarding intelligence sharing with all the Covenants of Stonehenge, although like myself in the past she has struggled to make any headway on dealing with those magi who choose not to reside in covenant. She said that she would speak with Blanche and Agnes and I agreed that I will seek in the future to see whether I can make any contact with some of those other magi. She also informed us that the steward had identified an ironworks in London that he thought might be an appropriate investment but when our council heard the costs and the likely returns we were not so minded. I do not blame the steward, for such a task is not one that he has trained for and he serves us well in his usual duties. Hypatia suggested that we should consider investing in fortifications for our mines and orchards and we agreed to look at this further. She then announced that she had returned with her niece, Princess Eleanor, who she has taken as an apprentice. She plans to travel to Cad Gadu for her House meeting at midsummer but will be starting her training this season.

Pyrrhus agreed to create some vis invested healing potions for our sodales to carry with them when they travel to Roxburgh next season and all others were about magical study.

The first act of the season was myself and Pyrrhus’ visit to Avebury and Terrentius felt it would be easier to accompany us to the vicinity of the site so that we might more easily find it. Alas, we should have asked for directions or a map for it turned out to be an ill decision. After a little under three days walk we were in the vicinity of that place when Terrentius bid us hold for he could see a large stag staring intensely at him form a copse of trees ahead of us on the road. I could see a number of deer but no stag, and I later realised that this was a spirit and it my sodales gift to be able to see something of such that had caused him to pause, and indeed more than that for a few moments later he transformed into a raven and took to the air, as the stag began to approach him at pace. After a short while it became apparent that he wanted us to follow him and we did so, returning along the road to the village of Uffington. We waited in the church and eventually he joined us in human form to inform us that we had been pursued by several spirit hounds and that while they could not approach the church they were scattered about the village. Given that these entities had now seem myself, Pyrrhus and his consors Arnulf it was clear that we could not return straight to the covenant (having already ruled out travelling on to Avebury as too dangerous) for fear of leading the Horned God directly to our sodalis’ home. Terrentius had heard a tale that these hounds could not cross large bodies of water and so we agreed that he would fly back (for they were unable to follow him when he was in the air) and arrange for the barge to meet the rest of us in Bristol where we could then depart and cross the wider part of the Severn. This we did but as we eventually alighted at Chepstow I thought I heard the sound of a hound and as we left the town it occurred to me that perhaps one or more of the hounds might have slipped on to the barge alongside us. We paused in a copse on a hill just on the eastern side of the Wye and agreed that Arnulf would return with our concerns, using the one remaining Leap of Homecoming potion that we had between us. Unfortunately, as he took it nothing happened, and it was clear that the potion had failed. Eventually we decided a plan involving a convoluted set of arrangements to get a message to Terrentius. This was partially successful and after eventually reaching our location he was able to confirm that we had indeed been followed by initially two and then later several more of the spirit hounds. He told us that he had placed an enchanted cloak and two potions of transformation into the form of a swift near a flat rock perhaps ¼ mile from where we were and then departed. Following his directions we were able to find the items and return to the Covenant.

I called an informal session of council and we discussed what this would mean. Terrentius was able to make further assay of the situation and reported that he and his familiar had located three of the hounds set upon specific locations – the docks in Chepstow, the bridge over the why and alongside the Severn by the rock where he had stowed the items. Hypatia said that the only path that she could see for Terrentius was that he sought the aid of another powerful pagan spirit to intercede on his behalf, suggesting the Morrigan or Lugh as perhaps meeting the requirements. Hypatia also noted that with regard to the protection that the Morrigan places around our Covenant, it is likely that she will not aid the Horned God should he come, neither will she seek to hinder him. It was clear enough that our sodalis was not enthusiastic about such a plan, but he will consider what to do on his return from Roxburgh. In the meantime myself, Pyrrhus and his consors will have to be careful when travelling in the area. Hypatia advised all of us that we must avoid intervening in this as we might find ourselves subject to the wild hunt.

Volutus’ private journal: During our discussions regarding the threat of the Horned God to Terrentius there was a somewhat distasteful confrontation between myself and Pyrrhus. He was keen to express an opinion regarding a possible solution, despite as he himself said knowing nothing about the pagan spirits. I was keen to hear the advice of someone who knows something of the matter and asked him to wait to speak until we had heard from Hypatia who had begun to speak momentarily after him. He reacted badly to this, accusing me of not allowing him to express an opinion. I confess that I lost a little of my own composure then – for I have lost count of the times when I have deferred as he has talked over me or allowed him to express an opinion on a subject he clearly knows nothing about despite the irritation such sometimes causes to other members of our council. After we had heard Hypatia’s opinion he refused to speak further himself, his childish sulking when not granted his own way all too familiar. We exchanged some heated words, much to the amusement of Jari I have no doubt, and he has barely exchanged another word with me over the rest of this season. While part of me wants to smooth the matter over by apologising and pandering to his ego, much as he had me do on his behalf with his consors not so long ago, there is another part of me that is less prepared to compromise on this. I will think on it.

Hypatia arranged to speak with the remainder of the council after her return from Cad Gadu. She confirmed that Llandoddwyn has been named the new Primus at a House meeting that was very poorly attended. Beyond those that attended from this Tribunal, and that was far fdrom all who might have done, there were just two from Loch Leglean and two from Hibernia. She said that his acceptance speech was perfunctory and lacked inspiration and that was largely the entirety of the meeting. He did speak separately with the magi from Loch Leglean and Hibernia for there is still open conflict in the former and the latter has seen a deepening of the isolation between Covenants. She also reported that there was still fighting between the English and Scots in the border region so our sodales would need to have a care when travelling next season.

Close to the end of the season we received a visitor. Magus Thomas, a redcap from the Rhine Tribunal, had accompanied to the Covenant a boy called Sander, the former apprentice of Magus Rubellius of my House who was lost in the attack on Durenmar. This boy has been sent to me for a continuation of his training by my Pater, who believes that despite the fact that he was initially training in the theoretical tradition of the House would be well suited to act in the Trianoman tradition also. The lad does not speak any English and very little Latin so I will make some study of him through Autumn, although I would wager he has received one or two years training at the very most.


Our council was not overly lengthy this season for the entirety of the discussion was regarding the trip of Terrentius, Jari and Hypatia to attempt to recover the scabbard from the Templar stronghold at Roxburgh. They have agreed that they will take the ship to the English port of Tynemouth and from there travel overland to Giants Stone Covenant. Hypatia will remain there, or in an area with a magical aura nearby, for she only needs to be within seven leagues of Roxburgh to contend with the powerful demon that we believe is there. She does not believe from the description of Roccus’ vision that she can best it but is optimistic that given the right circumstances she will be able to hold its attention for perhaps as long as half a night. Terrentius and Jari have been developing their arts for several years now in preparation of this mission and they have identified where they believe it most likely that the real scabbard will be held. Much will depend on whether Jari is able to discern the true artefact from what are likely to be very detailed copies through recognising the touch of faerie upon it. We are all very aware that there is grave risk on this mission and it was agreed that if they have not returned by the start of Spring we should notify those allies we deem appropriate and make efforts to determine what fate has befallen them. Let us hope that this does not come to pass.

About a month had passed when the covenant received a visitor, a messenger from the Crown named Philip who told us that Osmund had sent him. He reported that three days previously a group of three foreigners who were suspected to be Templar Knights had disembarked from a ship in Bristol. An agent had followed them south to a forest near Axbridge where the trail had been lost, although they did not believe that they exited the forest since. Pyrrhus and myself decided that we needed to make urgent investigation on this matter and so accompanied by my sodalis’ consors Arnulf and four men of the turb, including a man named Merrick who is being trained to replace the Captain in the future, we travelled with Philip to the forest. There we met with two further agents who gave us the names Tom and Geoffrey. Philip returned to Axbridge to make further arrangements there and we headed a little way into the forest to establish a camp at a point approximately one quarter of a mile from where our prey’s tracks had been lost. As twilight came myself and Pyrrhus went a short way away to cast some enchantments upon ourselves but when we returned it seems something must have gone awry with one of my sodalis’ spells for as he came close to the fire that had been built in the camp the flames swooped towards him. The man Geoffrey reacted quite badly to this but Tom calmed him somewhat by telling us that this forest was known locally as the Witch Woods and was said to have an ill reputation for strange events. I took an opportunity to discern something of the nature of the aura and discovered that it had an infernal presence of the first magnitude. We decided to make an assay of the point where the tracks were lost and Tom led us through the woods. We found a point where two trees crossed over each other and I was able to discern the boundary of a regio, with the access seemingly limited to the point between the two trees. Sending Tom back to the camp we decided to press through but alas we made an error in our tactics for while Pyrrhus had ensured that he had the enchantment of the Gift of the Bears Fortitude about himself, none of the men we travelled with were so protected. The moment we passed through we discovered that an ambush had been set, most likely the time differential in that place that we later identified having meant that the three Templars may only have recently arrived within that regio themselves and were still on full alert. Within the twilight of that place we could see the ruins of a tower and among the stones, largely covered by long grass, one of them immediately loosed a quarrel from his crossbow. I had thrown myself to the side but was still struck, although fortunately the wound I suffered was light due to my own magical protections. Pyrrhus’ man Arnulf immediately charged the assailant, though as he did so another of the knights unleashed a crossbow bolt that struck Pyrrhus. He too was not significantly harmed but he took more damage after he unleashed a Ball of Abysmal Flame that immediately turned back against himself, presumably an affect of the earlier magical mishap he had suffered. The third of the Templars had been engaged by Merrick and Aldrich and they were able to defeat him and turn their attention to aiding Arnulf who had been struggling to contain the man he had first charged. Aldrich was eventually able to deliver the killing blow but sadly not until after Pyrrhus’ consors had been slain. Meanwhile Pyrrhus had switched his attacks away from fire-based magic and was able to defeat the other knight using a combination of spells that flung a rock against him and then burst it into a thousand shards. The battle had perhaps lasted for no more than two minutes but at the end there were none on our side who had not been injured to some degree and Merrick was gravely wounded. Aldrich was able to stabilise those most grievously injured, Merrick having been treated with a temporary potion, and after this was done he accompanied me on a search of the surrounding area. We found nothing more than a recently established camp, some travelling provisions and three Templar tabards stuffed at the bottom of a pack and there was no indication as to what purpose their visit might have been for. Between us we built two stretchers to drag back Merrick and the Templar that Pyrrhus had bested and we departed the regio. The wood was decidedly colder, with the trees stripped of leaves, and it was dark when we exited. Eventually returning to where we had left the camp we discovered that it was gone, with no trace that anyone had been there recently. As dawn came the final Templar succumbed to his wounds but we were able to stabilise Merrick once more. Aldrich travelled to Axbridge but could find no sign of anyone that he recognised so we were forced to make our way back to the covenant the best that we could, a journey that took several days and brought us back to the covenant with just under two weeks of the season left.


I am glad to report that Jari, Terrentius and Hypatia had all returned shortly before the end of the Autumn season and our council began with them recounting events at Roxburgh. They initially took the ship to the English port of Tynemouth as previously agreed and there discovered that the Scots had recently recorded a victory over the English in a battle at a place called Stirling Bridge. Apparently their forces, led by and Andrew Moray and William Wallace, overwhelmed a larger force and their own army had now crossed south into England and it was feared that they may only be a few days away. Word had been sent south to the King to swiftly bring an army north and it was clear that overland travel would be more dangerous than initially assumed. Our sodales arranged for the ship to meet them later in the season at the port of Hartlepool, which is further south than Tynemouth, as long as English flags were still flying there. They then headed north, passing Newcastle as fleeing English from the north were heading to the city. Terrentius sent his familiar Meliorax ahead to scout the road north and the hawk reported a Scots host camped near a castle which they suspected was that of Beverley, perhaps a day’s march north. They decided to change their route, heading west along the old Roman wall before turning to the north. The going was harder on this route but they were able to avoid the Scottish army’s outriders. Unfortunately, the weather turned somewhat along the way and both Hypatia and one of Jari’s consors, Sighurd, fell ill. Fortunately, the party had taken potions for the curing of disease with them and so they were no waylaid by the problem.

After a few days travel they came to the outskirts of Giants Stone covenant and were greeted by a disturbing sight. One of the covenant grogs was dead on the path that led to the, now broken, covenant gates. Investigating, our sodales determined that the grog had been slain by a sword or an axe, and the surrounding tracks indicated that he had been slain by perhaps two assailants who had crept up and fallen upon him in a surprise attack. As they approached the stockade they could see further corpses, once again all seemingly dressed as the grogs they had seen on previous visits to the covenant, and the timbers of the defences had a number of arrows jutting from them. It was clear that a more significant fight had occurred here, and yet more corpses were espied within the walls. Terrentius was able to espy a spirit of one of the fallen but even though he spoke to it in the Gaelic tongue he received no response. Casting further spells he was able to determine that a malign Corporem effect had been cast upon one of the fallen and he identified it as a Hermetic effect, the Incantation of the Milky Eyes, with a sigil of fine white ash. Meliorax reported seeing a camp in the woods to the north of the covenant and they made their way there before venturing further into the covenant grounds. They were able to identify that at least a dozen men had made camp here and that one of them had been accompanied by a wolf. A fire in the campsite showed that they had stayed here no more than a few days ago and further investigation identified the sigil of fine white ash once more. Returning to the covenant they were able to find further sigils; upon the broken gate lightning had been cast by one who left a strong smell of ozone and within some of the sancti spells had been cast searching for hidden spaces and these left a scent of tree bark. Despite finding a few vials (some of which detected as magical) and a few pennies upon the floor it looked like the place had been entirely stripped of valuables. There was no sign of any corpses save for those of the grogs of the place, the fate of the magi entirely unhinted at.

After setting up camp nearby they returned the following day and Terrentius managed to find a spirit that he was able to communicate with, it’s senses still drawn enough to the mortal realm that it could recall what had happened. It said that they had been cut down by a rival clan, the Frazers, and the wizards that travelled with them, who herald from the covenant of Carron Valley. The spirit reported that the two Magi of Giants Stone had been present but did not know of their fate. Terrentius dismissed the spirit and buried the corpse and our sodales decided to press on to find a magical aura beyond the covenant surrounds but within seven leagues of Roxburgh. Eventually they did so and leaving Hypatia there Jari, Terrentius and their companions pressed on into the hills. Travel was hard going but eventually they established a camp atop one within a few miles of the Templar fortification. Over a couple of days they scouted the town and determined that both it and the castle had significantly less activity than when last they had visited. They speculated that perhaps some significant part of the Templar forces might have travelled to the crusade on the continent. Terrentius returned to the earlier camp and arranged with Hypatia which night they would enter that place with she saying that she would aim to arrive a little before them in order that she might draw the demon away. Jari and Terrentius left their companions at their camp, save for Terrentius’ familiar who was set as a watch without the castle, and entered that place. The days spent scouting proved accurate about how many inhabitants were left there for they encountered barely an armed man, easily dealing with the few threats that arose during the next few hours. Terrentius was also able to destroy some minor infernal spirits although not all of those that he espied. Sadly, there was no sign of the scabbard anywhere within the castle, or indeed of any magic at all. While the majority of the castle appeared to have a dominion aura they did find an infernal aura in the dungeons but nothing there save for some cells and a strongroom that contained some standards, coins, gemstones and documents, the latter of which Terrentius took. Eventually they found some squires that they were able to ensorcel and magically question. From them they determined that the Master of Roxburgh had indeed travelled to the Rhine on crusade, taking his knights with him. It was clear that if the scabbard had indeed been at Roxburgh that it too had been removed, as indeed had any replicas created of it. Gravely disappointed by the results our sodales departed and returned to the camp in the hills. After some rest they started to make their way to Hypatia’s camp but the hard going across the hills meant that it was clear that they wouldn’t all make it before night fell once more so Terrentius and his familiar flew ahead, although it still took them some time to get there as they did not immediately find the correct route to return. When they did reach it they found no sign of either Hypatia or her horse. They then decided to travel on to see if she had travelled to Giants Stone and there they found her, her left arm badly injured and her face deathly pale from the blood that she had lost. Terrentius had a healing potion that he was able to use and she was temporarily roused and able to tell him her tale. She had been surprised as she passed beyond the veil, the demon striking her before she could respond. She said that if not for her steed she would surely have died then and there but it carried her along the hidden paths, staying far enough ahead of the demon that it could not get to her again. She described the demon as a large winged creature, with horns and claws and cloaked in shadow. Terrentius was then able to return to the others and fetch a permanent potion of healing which he used at dawn to ensure Hypatia’s wellbeing.

Tired, and a little demoralised, they spent the next nine days travelling south avoiding mundane settlements, eventually arriving at Borri Tor. There they informed Romanus of the fell deeds at Giants Stone covenant. He reported that Maga Stefania of Bonisagus was the new Praeca of the tribunal and that Loch Leglean currently had no Quaesitorii as Decima had been another that had met her end at Durenmar. He said he would send word to Stefania and seek permission to make an investigation, though thought it unlikely it would be any earlier than Spring. Given the curse that Stefania’s covenant seems to lie under I would not be surprised if he does not find he has to wait for some time beyond that before he gets a response. Taking some time to properly rest and recover they then returned to us here at Severn Temple.

After the telling of this tale we discussed what path might be open to us now. It is clear that the Templars will at some point learn of the infiltration of Roxburgh and thus it is unlikely that the scabbard will be returned there at any point if the future. I will write to Primus Mercere and see whether there is any word on where the Master of Roxburgh might be but beyond that we were unable to think of what other action we might take. The papers that Terrentius recovered were given to our librarian to see whether they contain any information that might be of use to us.

Pyrrhus and I next recounted our own adventure from last season. The council agreed that we would grant sufficient vis for Pyrrhus to cast the Incantation of the Body Made Whole from text so that Merrick might be restored, for his injuries had resulted in significant damage to his voice and with such it was clear that he would not prove as effective a captain in the future. The man has demonstrated that he is of the right calibre for such a post and we were unanimous in this decision. Terrentius agreed to speak with Osmund concerning the fact that the three Templars had been slain; at least the King will see some benefit from our recently struck arrangement to share intelligence.

The rest of the season was peaceful. I spent my time making some study of my new apprentice who I am confident will make a good addition to the House. The rest of my sodales were all engaged in their laboratories save for Hypatia who spent the cold months in the library studying from the Mentem texts.