Scribed by Jari

Spring 1299AD

Council began with Volutus reminding us about the forthcoming tribunal in Summer, as he sought our plans for how we shall best act on covenant service during the year ahead. I will journey to London with Hypathia to learn about the intricacies of London in general and court life in particular so that if threat does come from abroad against the tribunal’s new ally, king Theo, we shall be better prepared to identify and attempt to deal with it effectively without incurring any mundane awkwardness. Terentius and Pyrrhus shall visit Mynyndd Myrddin in Autumn, while Volutus will extract vim vis from the aura. With suitable tasks agreed for each, the only other matter of business was for the council to agree to pay the sum of 4000d that it will take to fortify Lydney and our mines.

After speaking with Hypathia before setting off, so as best to set-up a plausible identity, I guised myself as a well-to-do scribe named Reynard. Hypathia, or as I was to call her for the rest of the season, her majesty Princess Eleanor, made it clear that while she could have me admitted into the Tower grounds, coming and going would not be possible without express invitation. The security around admittance to the Tower is strict, but once you are in, save for the royal quarters, it seems relatively simple to move around as you will. Once I had settled my consors Erik and Sigurd in the Blue Boar Inn to the North of the city, leaving them to set up as a barber surgeon and bouncer respectively, I proceeded to the West gate of the Tower, as arranged, from where I was granted access into the Tower complex. I was given small but comfortable quarters in the White Tower itself and spent an interesting month watching the comings and goings at court and parliament.

Noble society is more complicated than I had imagined, with all sorts of layers and subplots at every level, from the noble ladies taking advantage of their husbands marching North to hammer the Scots with the King, to the servants and ladies-in-waiting, some of whom had noble blood themselves, scuffling genteelly for privilege and access to the privileged. I’m not sure whether this makes an infiltrator’s job easier or harder – the social structure is clearly complex enough to create a fake identity without it being easily discernible as false and yet people at all levels of society surrounding the royal court are so intertwined that new people would not go unnoticed. However, as my own experience clearly indicates, with a vouchsafe from someone of sufficient seniority then infiltration is most certainly possible. I am no expert after just one season, but to find spies or assassins in the court I would first look to the staff of high-ranking nobles of dubious loyalty to Theo or those known to be zealots who put the pope before the crown.

As an aside, having read Aristotle’s Politics I was curious to see how the royal court matched up to the ideas espoused in that. Surely King Theo would fit Aristotle’s idea of a noble man who is most suited to rule, thus, should not this be what Aristotle saw as the “perfect state”? Frankly, while I can see how it works, there is clearly much wrong with it – nepotism, toadying, as well as political infighting amongst those seeking influence with the King and most damningly of all, the likelihood of disastrous civil war if anything were to happen to Theo. Also, although I didn’t see any evidence of it, I’d be surprised if there was not some level of bribery and financial corruption, as Aristotle himself noted, “the many are more incorruptible than the few”. Give me a republic based on Zeno’s ideal state any day.

After Hypathia left to try and make contact with Opafexus of Ex Miscellania, I ventured more widely in London with Erik and Sigurd who, judging by their fat purse and bruised knuckles respectively, had been enjoying their temporary jobs. I mostly spent my time watching proceedings at the permanent magistrates’ court in central London, but also took a little time to familiarise myself with the merchants who stock more esoteric items and was able to pick up a few foci for myself and Terentius. I also made a point of going to church each Sunday, trying to visit as many of the main churches as I could. It was quickly clear that, unlike some of the preachers in the Dean, especially some in Monmouth, the priests in London speak wholeheartedly in favour of the king. Hypathia later confirmed that the Bishop of London is a good friend of Theo’s. Then, as the season drew to a close, I was given introduction to two royal agents in London before we returned home.


Hypathia reported on King Theo’s march North, she thinks he’ll have to push into Scotland to engage with the Scots, as they will likely retreat in the face of his approach and any move North with such a force will be pointless if it does not destroy the ability of the Scots’ army to raid England.

She also shared the interesting news that the king’s agents have tracked the ship in Bristol that brought in the Templars. It is called “The Fidelmid”, please don’t assume I’ve spelt that right, which is an Irish ship, from Dublin to be specific. That port has obviously been associated with Fell doings before so this news raises more questions than it answers. The suspicion is that the ship came originally from the continent, but that sounded like supposition rather than an evidenced opinion. The Fidelmid apparently first called in at Chester before Bristol, so it is clearly possible that templars got off there too. Investigations are underway but the trail is old.

One final point of note before talk moved on to the tribunal was that we had not had our customary visit from Maga Acerbia. No news of her is unlikely to be good news in this case.

Just before we all set off for Blackthorn, Terentius reminded us of the spirit hounds that have been set on certain key bridges and roads nearby. We shall thus take a longer route to Blackthorn than normal, cutting through the forest to the North and onto the Huntley road. It will take us a half day or so longer, meaning we shall have to camp out near Mynyndd Myrddin, but it is a small price to pay given the alternative of bringing down the wrath of a certain pagan deity associated with hunting upon the covenant. Judging by the expression on Volutus’s face it seems that he and Pyrrhus may not have remembered this when returning from chasing templars last season. Fortunately, the absence of any attacks to date and any hounds outside the covenant indicates he took a safe enough route home then.

We made it safely through to the Mynydd Myrrdin campsite without any sign of ghostly canine pursuit and set watches. Volutus and Pyrrhus had first watch and reported seeing the movement of the trees at dusk to cover the hills, as has been observed before. However, what was new, was that they saw movement in those trees and caught a glimpse of what they believe to be an Old One moving across the stream. A little after that, they both clearly heard howls in the distance. This suggests that the Old Ones are able to exit the regio. Terentius later saw a strange silvery light spread across the air above the forest and noted that there was now a third magnitude aura at the campsite, where previously it had only been of the second magnitude. I looked it too, with my ability to perceive faerie fluences. It appeared to me as a faint haze twinkling across the regio, which seemed to roll back and forth, growing brighter then darker. Although I’ve not seen such before, it did put me in mind of the aurae of beings and items that are of both magic and faerie.

Hypathia was very worried by the report of the Old Ones being able to leave the regio. She said that they should not be able to leave. Whether this is through some old trails known to the wolf spirits of old or that the regio is now somewhat permeable to all inhabitants, including the very dangerous ones, is not clear. She believes that the magic in the place is getting more powerful and the growing proximity of the Shining One could well be responsible. She had a gut feeling that something is wrong and her steed was similarly uneasy, stamping its feet and whickering throughout the night. Whatever threatens, there was nothing else of important that we noticed that night and so next day we made our way safely to Blackthorn for the tribunal.

There we learnt the reason for Maga Acerbia’s non-arrival – her longevity potion has failed so she has gone to Harco to try and get another one created for her. In her absence, Notoria reported the news, with the first item not boding well for our regular messenger’s hopes of a new potion for Mercere’s agents believe that Harco is the likely next target of the Templars and, if so, they will flee and relocate rather that mount a heroic but likely doomed last stand. There was also news of some sea battle between the Genoese and Venetians though I confess I wasn’t paying enough attention to be able to scribe any more detail than this. The next piece of news did make me sit up for it was that Oratio is dead! Somehow, though exactly how was brushed over, he had managed to regain his divinatory powers and, apparently against the advice of his sodalibus at Holy Isle, had tried to divine the nature of the Templar’s weapon. He was found in his sanctum, his body badly burnt, swathed in flickering flames.

Jari’s private journal
It would probably have been the proper thing for me to have written something expressing sorrow at the passing of a former Pontifex of this covenant and how it is a loss to the Order, but even I’m not that big a hypocrite.

Volutus gave our news about the three templars who had landed near Bristol and Romanus asked whether their choice of landing site could be linked to the activities nearby of the UnNamed House magus. Faelon said that no evidence of such had been found, though he noted that both parties are known to be associated with the infernal.

Then, with the news done, we moved on to the main item of business – the admission (or not) of new magi to the tribunal. It was a disappointing start for Liberata, for she followed the stereotypical Order of Hermes order of precedence, beginning with Primus Tremere Argentius and thence in order: Sufius of Bonisagus, Tiberius of Flambeau, Pravia of Tremere, Durius of Merinita, and Altius, a non-Gifted magus from Mercere. Clearly she picked Argentius first so that he could control his House’s voting bloc and also could speak in favour of his chosen continental allies. One obvious common element between all save Altius was that they are all likely to be of great use in the battles that are to come against hermetic and non-hermetic wizards from abroad, templars and infernalists. This at least shows that Argentius and Liberata are taking the threat of hostile magi attacking from the continent seriously. I won’t bore you with the details of the votes, for everyone was duly admitted with little concern. There was a shameful amount of sucking up to the various senior members of our own houses standing for admission, of which I must confess I too was guilty. The only few interesting bits came from the questions – I’d love to know what Loraticus was planning on asking Sufius before Liberata cut him short. Tiberius showed just how much he hates his new Prima, refusing even to recognise her as such.

Jari’s private journal
I spoke with Magus Durius of my house that evening at the feast. He’s sly and watchful, and quite obviously a ruthless killer who spoke openly of his pride and satisfaction in killing those Merinitans who Renounced their Oaths when the crown was lost. Although superficially friendly, he’s plainly not interested in frivolities or other amusements and all in all is quietly rather frightening. I can’t imagine he’s very impressed with me!

The next day we gathered again and Liberata advised all covenants to look to their physical mundane defences and urged us to ensure we will be ready when any attack comes. We were reminded that the templars are not the only enemy and that House Diedne may well seek to take advantage of any chaos or weakness.

Hypathia was invited to give her assessment of the current mundane situation. She said that the current crusade was actually a good thing for us as it keeps Philip of France away from our shores, though he remains a serious and ongoing serious threat. She then discussed the war with the Scots and the possibility of traitors within Loch Lagleann aiding the Scots armies. Liberata asked what could be done within the Code. Durius then spoke, noting that we had little intelligence on the Scots but wondered whether any traitors could be captured and imprisoned for trial. Clearly if magi were to aid the Scottish armies and help to prolong that war then it could only weaken King Theo’s position and aid the cause of Philip and his crusader allies.

Liberata then proposed that the tribunal elect some new Quaesitori! Faelon didn’t look too happy with this, but when pressed was forced to concede that there is nothing in the primary code against this, that it is the secondary code that states that only Primus Guernicus can do so. He said that there was no precedent for a tribunal doing such. This of course was all Liberata wanted to hear and she called for a vote on whether Stonehenge should elect new quaesitori. We were given a recess to discuss this amongst ourselves. Volutus spoke about the importance of bringing back the Order’s structures, as you might expect, despite the fact that the Order’s structures haven’t stopped us getting into this mess in the first place. Pyrrhus, who seems to now excel at interesting opinions, stated that law is not realistic now, while Hypathia argued more along Volutus’ lines that this would be an important sign that Stonehenge is still seeking to work in-line with the Order and Code.

In the end, the vote passed, though only by a whisker, and we moved on to the equally interesting question of who would stand. After a further recess to decide, the candidates who put their names forward were Durius of Merinita, Minaxia of Tytalus, Bodrick of Bjornaer, Loraticus of Tytalus, Pravia of Tremere, McKeidh of Ex Miscellania, Geddyn of Ex Miscellania, Gaines of Mercere, Valence of Jerbiton, Toby of Ex Miscellania and of course, Volutus! The latter being ‘reluctantly’ persuaded to run for such office by his sodalibus. I should also note that the Senior Quaesitor will be Romanus, for Faelon declined such because of his age and service at Holy Isle. A quite ridiculous six quaesitori were elected in the end: Durius, Bodrick, Pravia, McKeidh, Gaines and Volutus. It’s worth pointing out I think that, with the possible exception of McKeidh, these are very much all magi who are well known to the senior members of the tribunal and those more likely to act less predictably or follow tradition like the two Tytalans and Ex Miscellanians were rejected.

Jari’s private journal
Is this really Liberata working to free Stonehenge to act as it will or is she up to something else?

Liberata then told, not asked I couldn’t help but notice, Romanus to hold a Concillium Quaesitori at Blackthorn next midsummer to investigate the Templar’s magic suppressing weapon. The next tribunal will be in held at mid-summer 1301.


Council was dominated by discussions about Mynydd Myrddin, mostly about how best to travel across the regio. Given the difficulties moving on foot through the thick woods, and the suspicion that using rego herbam magics to help ease people’s passage may attract the Velka, Terentius was keen not to take any grogs, despite the many and varied dangers of the regio. However, the sense in two magi going rather than just one was clear and it was decided that Terentius and Pyrrhus will enter the regio, leaving a group of grogs in the established camping spot just outside the white stones that mark its entrance. They plan to visit the lake, the ravines where the harpies are believed to live, and to speak further with the ‘Old Ones’ about the Shining One’s possible return. Hypathia warned Terentius and Pyrrhus to be careful in the deeper levels of the regio, lest they’ve become like the Otherworld where casting even the smallest of spells carries a grave risk of twilight.

Of other matters, naturally keen to help our esteemed new Quaesitor prepare for next year, we discussed how we might seek to uncover more about the Templar’s weapon. I favoured finding Witherendun, the site of a long-extinct covenant, but also the only one, that we know of, which has not been found by magi – unlike Swallowcliff and Halls of the Forest. We know that it lies in the Weald, a great forest to the South of London, but little more than that. Given what we know, it seems that the best place to start is with the old records at Blackthorn, which may at least allow us to pinpoint old vis sites and the like. Whether or not finding it will help us with identifying something of the nature of the Templar’s weapon is of course not known, but given the secrets held in Swallowcliff and Halls of the Forest it seems like a most worthwhile exercise to me. Of course, it is possible that Swallowcliff holds as yet undiscovered secrets, or ones that were not written in the journal, so it would perhaps be of worth investigating that place too. Pyrrhus suggested that it could be worth talking with Morgana le Fey which is another interesting angle, though one which will have to be approached carefully.

This led into further deliberation about the nature of the weapon, which proved surprisingly productive and I believe demonstrates the importance of speculative discussions. Were pure faerie magics suppressed by it at Irenchilia? No one knew. Hypathia suggested that it was probably infernal in nature, which led to more debate, with Pyrrhus suggesting that it could be a captured and bound creature in a cage of some sort that the Templars are carrying, which is an intriguing suggestion. He then asked whether the suppressive force might have left some residue behind at Durenmar. As we know, that site is still held by the Templars and a not insignificant mundane force, but I pointed out that if such a residue exists then it should be discernible on Volutus.

All eyes turned to our Bonisagus as he cast Sense the Lingering Magic on himself. He reported that he could see something – an entirely non-hermetic influence that suppressed the ability of the Gift to express itself, though he had a sense of shifting shadows seeking to obscure it from his view. A little reluctantly he agreed to let Terentius have a look, but he couldn’t see any effect at all. More reluctantly still, he agreed to let me have a look and I was able to make it out. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, though I am not greatly experienced in exotic magics or the occult. To me, it seemed like a very powerful but diffuse effect, seeping through the various hermetic auras that lay upon him, but with no discernible pattern. Although I had a sense of it as gaps and shadows amongst the other auras, I wouldn’t like to categorically place it as infernal, though it was certainly utterly non-hermetic. All in all, most curious and likely proving Hypathia’s suggestion of an infernal origin correct. I suggested that Volutus let Liberata have a look, given her studies into the occult, but Volutus’ reluctance threshold had clearly been reached and he declined, though he said he would visit with Sufius at Blackthorn shortly after our meeting was concluded.

Pyrrhus wondered whether the appearance of the artefact might correlate with the return of the Shining One. Initial thoughts were likely not, especially given the apparent infernal nature of the power, but it can’t hurt to have a quick check of the various dates involved. So ended the council and everyone went about their business.

Just after the autumnal equinox, Pyrrhus returned to the covenant and called an informal council. Once we had gathered he told his tale. He and Terentius had travelled with Volutus, as he headed to Blackthorn via the long route, still being wary of the Hunter’s hounds, to the campsite that lies just outside the regio. There they were a little alarmed to discover that the magical aura in the woods seemed to have increased by at least one magnitude and to see signs of what seemed to be the Elkare moving outside the regio. The obvious question being if both they and the Old Ones can leave the regio what else could? As they discussed the possible causes of all this they heard a wolf howl and Terentius hurried off to speak with the Old Ones. Their pack leader was content to talk with him again and told him that the Shining One has been twisting together creatures that he finds into new ones. It is through fear of this that the Elkare have moved into the “younger” woods and the great wolves have followed them. In the “older” woods there are many monsters that contest their hunting and those woods have grown so wild that even they must tread with care now.

When asked about the Shining One, the wolf said that he had no home that they knew of in the regio but that he appeared as if from the air could step back through it at will – much as we might pass in and out of the regio. At this point in the conversation, the wolf assured Terentius that wizards were not seen as prey to the Old Ones, so long as we raise no weapon or spell against them. It said that the “old” or “wild” wood as it called it, is now full of a strange light and it is a combination of this light and a feeling of static charge in the air, such as sends the hair on the back of your neck rising, which foretells the imminent arrival of the Shining One. With that warning, the wolves left and Terentius returned to the camp.

Later that night, Volutus, watching from the camp, saw a flicker of white and blue light off in the deep hill and felt a sense of twilight as he looked at it, with the hairs on the back of his hand standing up. It lasted but for a moment but left a powerful impression on him. Was this a brief visit from the Shining One?

The next day, Volutus continued on to Blackthorn and, leaving the grogs behind in the mundane campsite as arranged, Pyrrhus, Terentius and Meliorax made their way thrice widdershins around the white stones. Almost as soon as they had stepped out onto the bottom of the steep slope, there was a great rumble of thunder, though to Terentius’ keener ear it sounded not like a mere storm but a dragon! They hurried into the shelter of the trees, for whatever that would be worth against such a beast. As they ran, looking up they saw it, high above them, clearly a dragon, with dark rusty brown scales. Even though it appeared to be high in the sky they felt the downforce of its wingbeat as it soared effortlessly into the clouds with a flick of its great wings and out of sight.

At this point, few could have blamed them for not wishing to carry on. I certainly would likely have had to at least pause to change my hose. But my sodalibus are clearly made of sterner stuff for they pressed on, flying close to the tree canopy invisibly or transformed into a raven and fortune favoured the brave in this case as they made it safely to the ruined tower. There they determined the aura was now of the 7th magnitude!

Pyrrhus then spoke of the strange hybrid creatures he had seen in the regio: one in the woods had the head of a wolf, the body of a bear with green fur, cat paws and two tails; and, a creature in the lake which was half stag and half snake. Were it not for the warnings he’d relayed from the Old Ones and the clear urgency with which he told the tale, I might have wondered whether he’d been drinking. In any event they were able to harvest a powerful amount of vis from some clay collected by the edge of the lake. Not only has the form of the vis changed but the amount collected was several times greater than previously! He also reported that while attempting to reach the reeds a couple of yards from the shore he inadvertently made a bit of a splash and saw a bow wave caused by some large creature head rapidly towards him. Astutely judging that this was probably not the best place for heroics he activated the item again and Soaring Winds pulled him to safety.

They then decided to fly off to investigate the caves where once Myrddin’s brood dwelt but now purportedly are home to harpies. As they flew there, whether because of what they saw or through simple miscalculation they neared instead the two hills upon which the standing stones and ancient dolmen once stood. The appearance of the southernmost of the two, where the circle of stones stood before, was striking in the extreme. Its peak was bare of trees with a swirling gyre of dark foreboding clouds gathered above it. As they flew nearer they could see lightning strike down from the storm onto the hilltop.
As they drew nearer, Terentius suddenly vanished, shortly followed by Meliorax. Pyrrhus flew after him but did not pass through the regio boundary that Terentius and his familiar had. He looked for a place to land amidst the dense forest, but even as he did so he espied 3 harpies land in the canopy nearby. Alone and with no obvious place to set down safely, and all too aware of how even the Old Ones walked this forest with caution, Pyrrhus decided to leave and seek help.

He was able to exit via the white stones without further incident. On returning to the mundane realm, he was surprised to see Meliorax swoop down from a nearby tree and land on his shoulder. With no way to communicate with Meliorax, for Terentius shared no language with his familiar, he guessed that the bird had somehow become separated from Terentius and wished to return. So, with Meliorax still on his shoulder, he returned thrice widdershins round the stones, back into the regio. However, Meliorax disappeared as he did so. On returning, with no little difficulty, for such boundaries are not easy to cross repeatedly, he found Meliorax sitting in a tree. Unable to ascertain what was going on, he decided to return to the covenant with the grogs.

Given that the aura outside the deeper regio boundary was of the 7th magnitude, and the fact that previously there was not one but two boundaries upon that hill, Terentius must be in a regio of at least the 7th magnitude. Who knows how discordantly time will run so far from our world? Nor was it clear how we might help him, for though the threats that caused Pyrrhus to retreat are clearly a grave risk to our missing sodales they will equally be a threat to those who seek to find him. Matters weren’t helped by the fact that he was carrying with him most, if not all, of the enchanted items which would be of most us in going in after him! So it was we made a decision which we may yet come to bitterly regret, deciding to seek for immediate help from our allies rather than wait to see if he returned of his own volition. Volutus went first to Trevalga to seek Constantine, but he was not there, having journeyed up to his Domus Magnus. So Hypathia, taking secret paths that only she knows, travelled as quickly as she could to Eurus Aquilae.

Hypathia returned but a few days later. She said that she had spoken with Constantine and that he had been very sanguine about his filius’ situation in the regio. Right up until the point when she mentioned the dragon. After that, although he remained a little sceptical that there really is a dragon there, he said he would come with all speed to Severn Temple, taking ship South as soon as he could. Initially this seemed like good news, Constantine would come and help us rescue our sodales, if he deemed it necessary. However, when Constantine arrived three weeks later it became clear that he had another idea. And a very stupid one at that. With a couple of other eminently powerful magi whom he has requested come to help, likely Emerius and Tiberius, Constantine wants to go into the regio, find the dragon and attack it.

So, to sum up the situation, with our tribunal under imminent threat from:
mundane armies from across Christendom,
a church led by an undead Pope, who is controlled by the templars
infernally corrupted templars bearing a weapon that negates magic,
a fallen magus capable of spells and infernal magics of at least the 11th magnitude
growing numbers of Pious Magi, including Prima Flambeau
our key defenders want to go and pick a fight with a dragon, despite never having actually fought one before (or more likely because they’ve never fought one before). A magical beast of at least the fourteenth magnitude that dwells somewhere in a very deep magical regio full of dangerous beasts of unknown powers and forms. With a Shining One quite likely to appear at any moment.

Jari’s private journal
It seems my mater’s Myanaran teachings reached more deeply than I had imagined. On learning that the reaction of some of the senior wizards of this tribunal to the discovery of such a rare magical beast was to want to kill it, I found myself in the unusual position of being beside myself with anger! Such ignorance and hubris! Magi speak of the importance of preserving magic and they debate the causes of the slow death of magic in many places, but is it any wonder when the reaction of elder and supposedly wiser (hah!) magi is to want to kill a creature whose magical essence is so puissant that it can create powerful regios by itself. The surge of emotions was I confess quite exhilarating, not a little unlike being pleasantly drunk, but I can see how it makes one think less rationally. Perhaps being in such an angry state for too long rots the mind, which would explain the frankly moronic plan of Emerius, Tiberius and Constantine.

This sorry episode is a timely reminder that while martial magi, such as those of House Flambeau, deserve praise for risking their lives in defence of other magi and magical places, the oppugnant mindset needed to win such fights also results in them seeing everything as a potential threat with violence as not only the best but the only real solution to all ‘problems’.

We discussed as a council how we how we could try and stop this madness. We could technically forbid them from entering our vis source, but I think that if they’re sufficiently determined they’ll realise that their status as de facto defenders of the tribunal means that sanction for breaking such a decision will be light even if such are ever passed by tribunal. Maddeningly, Volutus pedantically insisted that we have to talk to everyone who we can reach who might have an opinion about this, presumably on some point of principle, even if it increases the risk of this madness going ahead. He promised that we can still have a vote to ban everyone from Mynydd Myrddin if we still want after the discussions are over. How very generous of him.

Jari’s private journal
Volutus is resorting to the comfort of a consensus decision lest he be party to an action or inaction with devastating consequences for Severn Temple and Blackthorn. But this is not enlightened democracy, but shameful cowardice and weak-mindedness. He illustrates beautifully my long-held belief that many Bonisagi are not half as bright as their house membership would imply and that the reputation and prestige of many such magi is purely as a result of their House membership not any personal achievements.

Volutus duly went off to speak first with Constantine to tell him that as a council we had decided that no one would have permission to enter Mynydd Myrddin until we had spoken with our neighbours at Blackthorn, whose covenant after all lies close to their proposed dragon battle site. Constantine was apparently not best pleased. Volutus then journeyed to Blackthorn where he spoke with Liberata and agreed that we should all meet for a joint council on the first day of winter.

Jari’s private journal
Having successfully concluded my studies with intellego vis early, I spent the last week reading through the covenant journal and my own notes, trying to put together an argument that will convince Isengrim, Bruin and Baldwin that trying to kill the dragon is a disastrously bad idea of which no good can possibly come. I’m not hopeful but perhaps if I can put it into reasoning that their thick skulls might more readily take to it is possible. Or should it be pitched at convincing Liberata of the folly? There is much to ponder in such a short time.

A week later Emerius and Tiberius duly arrived and we all set off for Blackthorn. We stopped at the camping site just outside Mynydd Myrrdin and found that little had changed since our last visit, with Volutus still picking up a sense of twilight. We arrived the next day at Blackthorn and agreed to meet for a quick council amongst ourselves before dawn the next day.


In the dark pre-dawn next day, Volutus, ever the stickler for rules, formally declared that meeting to be our winter council, but then deferred the man business until after the joint meeting with Blackthorn. So, all in all, well worth getting up an hour early for.

The combined meeting, with Liberata, Sufius, Daedalus, Providus and Gaines, but happily no Constantine, Emerius or Tiberius, did not get off to the best of starts. Liberata and Volutus argued a little testily about the format before we agreed to go with whatever the consensus of the combination of the two council was.

Finally we got down to trying to resolve the situation. I spoke of what I'd managed to glean from my research, focusing on the likely powers of the Shining Ones and the threat one would pose to the tribunal as a whole if roused to action beyond the regio. Providus spoke of Criamon reports of interactions with intelligences within the ‘realm of twilight, who they knew as the ‘First Ones.’ Encouragingly for our case against attacking the dragon, but somewhat ominously for Terentius, Providus reported 5 that such encounters were rarely positive for the magi involved and they were often left badly damaged.

Pyrrhus was then asked for a detailed description of his sighting of the dragon. Based on this, especially his guess of its size as being some 50 paces or more, and an image of the creature that he was able to conjure, Sufius started that he believed it to be an ancient and powerful wyrm, one of such might that sending the tribunal’s key defenders against it was far too perilous.

Daedalus was a bit more prosaic, taking of creating a ward to keep it out, though that would likely be of the 15th magnitude! In any event, it was clear that both councils were of the view that an attack on the dragon would almost certainly do more harm than good and so we voted unanimously to decline the request to enter Mynyddyn Myrddin and to actively ask that they not enter at all.

With a glint in her eye, Liberata said that she would inform Constantine and the two Flambeau of our decision. Severn Temple will continue to keep an active check on the regio, especially regarding its permeability, and will keep Blackthorn informed, as well as reporting to the next tribunal.

Before returning to Severn Temple, I agreed to help Providus decipher Arcanus's notes and will return sometime next year to do so. Hopefully they may provide us with further insight into Mynyndd Myrrdin, Shining Ones and twilight, it should prove to be interesting as well as useful. It might also help us learn more about hidden places of magical power like the stone circle at Avebury.

Back at Severn Temple we discussed what more could be done about Terentius, but other than checking that his familiar continues to live then not much was the consensus. Fortunately some three weeks into the season he returned. He called an informal council and as soon as I walked into the room I sensed something odd about him, but sat down and listened to the tale he had to tell.

He reiterated a lot of what we suspected from Pyrrhus's story, speaking of his error in navigation that led him into the region and of the black lightning absorbing light and energy from this realm.

At some point in his retelling I noticed something curious about Terentius. There was a flickering blue-white flame in his eyes, which seemed to become brighter when he got more agitated. This eerie glow emitted the same sort of sense as the door to the Otherworld in our great hall. Clearly Terentius was still in twilight!

Jaris private journal
In truth I realised a little earlier, but was curious to see what he would say while in that state. Probably best keep that to myself though!

The most intriguing part of his tale was that of the repeated switching of his consciousness to that of a lost Roman military scout from the 4th legion, named Huardus Conradus, from Hispania originally. In that body, he sensed that he was in a throne room, which also contained a bronze cauldron engraved with hybrid animals and two braziers emitting an eldritch blue-white light. He heard what sounded like his pater Constantine’s voice asking him to choose a form, that of the Roman or himself shapeshifted into a raven.

Eventually, after the voice in his head told him that his blood was power, he tried to simultaneously cast ‘Rend the Mystical Veil and was able to escape, though he cried tears of blood while doing so. The twilight lasted a fair while and it seems it has left a lasting mark upon his gift for his ability to work spontaneous magic has been much improved, though the flickering twilight flames still seem to appear in his eyes at times of stress.

After such an eventful year, no one was too disappointed that naught else worth remarking on happened in the last few weeks of the century.