Scribed by Hypatia

Spring 1302AD

Having been absent from the covenant for the seasons of spring and summer, I have done my best to record the decisions and events for the journal from the reports of my sodales.

At the council meeting at the beginning of the season only Terentius and Pyrrhus were present. In accordance with our new charter, the first matter of business was the election of the new Princeps. Both magi declared their candidature for the position but, as neither magus was seconded, the election was determined by the drawing of lots. Pyrrhus apparently won this competition, and therefore became the new Princeps of Severn Temple council. He nominated Terentius as deputy, before leading the discussion of news and plans for the season, and distributing vis and coin for last year’s covenant services.

Knowing that Jari and Volutus should return from their journeys to London and Cad Gadu respectively within the next week, Terentius decided to return to Gloucester and seek news of Master Maudit and the Priest of St John’s.

About a week later, the council met again with both Jari and Volutus returned. Jari reported having passed on the news of the letter and imminent threat of rebellion to Sir Hugh de Verre, Castellan of the White Castle and Master Stoke, Theo’s spymaster in London. Volutus reported that he’d been able to speak with Nitoria, who will bear the urgent news to Borri-Tor, whilst Primus Llandoddwyn himself travelled to Eurus Aquilae.

Terentius reported that Master Maudit was now missing from the King’s College. In light of the ‘poisoning’ of Master Burgess and the arrest of a student, Martin, for the murder of one of the Bursars. It seems people are not certain whether the Mathematics tutor was another victim of ‘witchcraft’ or was involved along with Thomas of Oakhampton (Pyrrhus’ alias) in committing these crimes. The Priest, meanwhile, appears to have fled to Hereford – perhaps seeking the protection of the Bishop after Pyrrhus’ magical accident in the church last season.

After some discussion of this news, Jari and Terentius determined to travel down to Bridgewater to investigate what Sir Cyril was up to given the interception of the letter would likely be discovered by now. Cyril may know the content of the letter and, once the death of the Bridgewater men is revealed, may look to seek out the other conspirators himself – including Bishop Adrian at Sherbourne – to ensure the plot to overthrow Theo is instigated in time for the Templar forces to invade next season.

Volutus reported that with Magus Gaines abroad seeking to re-establish lines of communication with the wider Order via Verdi Covenant, Maga Nitoria has been required to take on both his and her own local duties. Thus, in order to ensure that magi in the south were aware of the situation and impending threat, he would bear news to the councils of Trevalga, Carrion Moor and Narwold himself – also seeking out Opifexus and Edward who live outside of covenant if he had the time and opportunity.

Before magi departed the covenant, Volutus led the re-casting of the Aegis.

Hypatia’s private journal

After learning from Master Philip in Lydney the location of the court, I left for York in the last week of winter, arriving about a week into spring. I used a spell to disguise my age before making approach to the court – part of me worrying that one day such use of magic might feature in a charge of interfering in mundane affairs. However, whilst my brother wears his age well, his weathered features and grey hair makes it obvious that our apparent ages have become more disparate with time. Having both turned fifty this year, I must steel myself for the inevitability of outliving my twin brother. However, to my great relief, I found Theo hale and well – enjoying the on-going celebrations of victory over the Scots.

It took a day to finally get him alone and reveal the plot Terentius and Pyrrhus had discovered last season. Theo appeared less surprised than I had expected, and he revealed that there were already grave suspicions regarding York’s loyalty. Apparently, the Duke had promised fresh levies to help break the defences of Edinburgh and so prevent the siege extending over the winter – however, despite repeated assurances, these forces never arrived; leaving the prospect of tired troops having to breach the fortifications or significant losses to the cold and hardship of the Scottish winter. Faced with this, Theo determined to make use of some of the research undertaken over the last years into black powder. They used mortars to harry the defenders of the castle and ordered sappers to load the tunnels under the walls with barrels of the explosive mixture. They brought down a section of the wall and his troops fought a swift and decisive battle against the panicked and demoralised defenders.

The issue was not persuading Theo that York intended treason, but finding some way of proving this fact to the assembled nobility so that he could be arrested. Attempting to imprison the Duke without persuasive evidence of his guilt would likely trigger the rebellion that we wanted to avoid – as many nobles, not otherwise supportive of York, would gain sympathy should the King act like a tyrant.

I worked with some of the King’s spies to see whether we could obtain some testimony or documents which might demonstrate York’s involvement with the Templars or his intentions to rebel against Theo. As this investigation stretched on and days passed, I became increasingly mindful of the threat of assassination contained in the letter. My fears only intensified when I learned that there was to be a celebratory mass later in the season. The Bishop of York attending court with a contingent of priests and monks with plans to conduct a service of thanks to God for the swift victory over Baliol. Which of these clergy or monastics might be members of the Brothers in Christ cult? Which of the many nobles who would attend court for the occasion might secretly be part of Cardinal Emmanuel Cortes’ plot? Even amongst those knights well known to me, I worried that some mental magic might turn one of Theo’s guards into a tool of his murder. I tried to convince Theo to cancel the thanksgiving service, but it was politically impossible. In the end, despite knowing that such an act might one day lead to accusation, I lent my brother the Pallio Pulmo. The cloak, gifted to me by Oratio many years ago, contains an enchantment to turn aside an unseen blade.

In the end, however, aid came from an unexpected quarter.

Two days before the celebration, a group of ‘scholars’ turned up asking for an audience with the Princess Royal. Not certain who these individuals were, I donned Lludd’s armour before the meeting – concealing it with the enchantment which makes it appear as a simple tunic. To my surprise, these scholars were Quaesitor Pravia, Maga Sallustria and Magus Fulvius from Eurus Aquilae covenant. It appears Magus Landoddwyn had arrived with Volutus’ news and, after conferring for a time, the two Primi had decided to take whatever action was required to ensure the plot against Theo failed.

I summarised the political situation to my sodales and was taken aback by the response. It seems that when House Tremere decides to take action it is bold and decisive. Quaesitor Pravia explained that she possessed a spell called ‘Gift of Plain Speaking’ which, if she was able to make eye contact with the target, would force them to speak forthrightly and truthfully for a time. Each of the major players in the battle against the Scots would be called forward during the ceremony, to give thanks to God and – traditionally – say words of praise to the King for leading such a successful campaign. Pravia’s plan was to ensure that these words would express York’s true feelings towards Theo.

York was not the only conspirator at the court, however. Fulvius counselled that leaving York’s allies unmolested might lead to another becoming the figure-head of the rebellion. After all, he noted, the Templars couldn’t care less about which noble took the throne or whether the rebellion succeeded as planned – they merely wanted the opportunity to land their forces in England and take the battle to covenants within Stonehenge. For this plot to fail, it was not enough that York was brought low – but that the rebellion was prevented entirely. I listed some of the key nobles that the King’s spies deeply suspected of treachery – Duke Edmund of Norfolk, Earl Henry of Chester, Earl Martin of Somerset, along with the barons Cecil of Bridgewater (though his son, Sir Cyril, was not in attendance), Robert of Wolston, Andrew of Peterborough and Thomas of Wakefield.

If one of the ring-leaders could be made to talk, then evidence against some of the lesser nobles would justify their arrest after the event, but Edmund of Norfolk – whilst not as charismatic a figure as York – could potentially provide a banner under which rebels could flock. Sallustria quizzed me about Edmund and how he would be likely to react following York’s arrest. My feeling was that he would be shocked and afraid at such an event, and wise enough to get away from York before seeking any action against Theo. Sallustria had some ideas about this, explaining that Argentius, Llandoddwyn and Eremon were waiting nearby and ready to assist with whatever plan we devised. She suggested that they plan a ‘riding accident’ for the Duke as he travelled south after the ceremony via Doncaster. I half expected Pravia to raise issue with this plan – but it was clear from the expression on her face that the Code was not going to prevent them taking the actions they deemed necessary to protect the Tribunal from the Templars.

Pravia disguised herself as one of my ladies in waiting, whilst the others returned to inform the Primi of the plot. I must confess to feeling both a great sense of relief but also unsettled by the direct action we planned to take against some of the most senior nobles in the land. However, as the saying goes – ‘needs must when the devil drives’ – I had no doubts that the events on the continent, the deaths at Durenmar, the murder of magi and the destruction of covenants, awaited the magi of Stonehenge if we failed.

I busied myself with the spies – still seeking some evidence strong enough for Theo to take legal action. They discovered that Thomas had received letters from his cousin in France – the content of which were seditious enough to justify his arrest. They also had a promising lead against Robert, but news of the investigation in Wakefield would likely arrive well after the celebratory mass. I also busied myself with anxiety about the contingent of clergy and monks accompanying the Bishop – using my contacts in the court to ensure that they had no access to Theo or any of his house knights before the event.

The morning of the thanksgiving ceremony found me a wreck of tension, having not slept the night before. I’d burnt many candles reviewing plans with Captain Walter de Bosse and Sir Francis Dyer who Theo had nominated to organise the security around the event and the arrests which would follow York’s denouncement of the King. Theo appeared infuriatingly relaxed – his banter reverting to our childish youth; ‘Why should I worry? I have my sorceress sister and her friends watching over me’ – then laughing as I chided him. We are alike in many ways, my brother and I. I appreciate more fully how annoying my light-hearted interjections must sometimes be at council.

For all this fretting and worrying, the events of the day went entirely to plan. Shortly before the ceremony, as the assembled nobles gathered in all their finery, I attended the court to speak with them and give my personal thanks for the service they had given Theo. York responded with all expected courtesy – including polite acknowledgement of my lady in waiting.

I’d worried that Pravia’s spell might cause the Duke to speak too honestly before the ceremony – revealing the enchantment – but our timing was good, for the nobles were immediately gathered into the great hall. There they listened as the Bishop conducted mass and blessed the King (a very carefully worded benediction, given my brother’s ex-communication), before being invited to approach.

York was all smiles as his turn came. He thanked the Bishop for the service and praised God for the victory – though his smile fell sharply as he spoke next. He started by acknowledging Theo’s good strategy in the siege, but then confessed that he had hoped that his army had been broken seeking to overcome the fortifications. A pyrrhic victory would have served him best, for then Theo’s tired and broken army would have been in no fit state when he raised his banner against him. He cursed Theo – saying he was hated by God and the Pope – and admitted plainly that he wished his death and planned to rally his troops against him. The hall listened to these words in shocked silence – as it eventually dawned on York what he had revealed. The Duke cast around with a moment of panic in his eyes, but fatefully decided there was no way to retract his words and instead drew his sword and cried ‘Death to the King!’ before lunging towards the throne.

De Bosse and Dyer did not hesitate in their response. The Duke was intercepted before he’s taken a pace towards Theo – and in the confusion and outcry, their soldiers moved swiftly through the crowd to take custody of York’s fellow conspirators.

I wondered then if there might be bloodshed as York’s allies found themselves at sword-point and their leader bundled to the floor. Theo then addressed the assembly – and I genuinely forgot how good he is at this – his words cutting across the hue and cry, bringing the room to silence and restoring a semblance of calm. As the soldiers led the prisoners away, I took the opportunity to spirit Pravia out of the castle.

The politics following York’s arrest were complex – but over the next weeks we managed events at court. There was word at one point that Sir Giles of Sheriff Hutton was seeking to gather troops from amongst York’s loyal knights to raise an army to free his liege lord, but the King’s agents were well ahead of these plans and Giles was confronted by forces led by de Bosse – at Stamford Bridge where long-ago Godwinson met Hardrada in battle.

It appears that Duke Edmund suffered an accident as he passed along a woodland road between Pontefract and Doncaster. The group’s horses were frightened by the sudden appearance of a wolf in the treeline, and Edmund’s bolted away. According to report, as the horse crashed through the trees, Edmund was thrown from his saddle and impaled on a broken branch. His companions quickly rallied their steeds and rode after him, but it appears that the splintered bough had pierced Edmund’s heart and they were unable to save him.

Over the next weeks, it seems that York was encouraged to give up the names of many involved in his conspiracy – this testimony, along with the investigations by the King’s agents – provided a strong case against those arrested at the ceremony.

As the season drew to a close, the court prepared to return to London; Theo eager to be reunited with his son, Uren – also called Urbanus – now 14 years of age and to be knighted this midsummer’s eve. I agreed to travel back with him and assist Master Stoke coordinate investigations and arrests against the newly-named traitors and their confederates who were not in York.

As court made its lengthy preparations to move, I was able to slip away and make the journey to Eurus Aquilae – first to thank the council for its aid in dealing with York, but also to pass along news of the events following. Llandoddwyn had returned to Cad Gadu, but Argentius was able to reveal his hand in the accident suffered by Norfolk. Whilst earnestly grateful, I confessed my disquiet at how much had changed and how directly we were now prepared to act in mundane affairs. Argentius dismissed such worries – arguing that for the Order to survive, many of the old traditions of the Order might not.

Indeed, he went on to suggest that he and Llandoddwyn planned to raise a motion at next year’s tribunal: That a longevity potion be created for Theo.

From Bridgewater, Jari was able to contact one of Philip’s spies – a man named Laurence Cottely who works in the castle kitchens – and discovered that Cyril had already left with men-at-arms to find out why his men bearing the letter were overdue in their return, and report of the barge bearing dead bodies washing up at Ilchester. It seemed clear that he would likely discover the deaths of his messengers, so Terentius and Meliorax travelled ahead to the site of the ambush last season. There they discovered the barge and the body of the solider on the bank were missing, and found tracks of riders heading onwards towards Ilchester or Sherbourne.

From their camp north of Bridgewater, the magi led a small party south along the river – following the trail to the town of Sherbourne. Jari, Terentius and Meliorax approached the manor house on the far side of the town, to ascertain whether Cyril had made contact with the Bishop. As they approached the manor, some magical effect revealed them – Terentius, in the form of a raven, was surrounded by a bright aura of starlight, and Jari too noticed a subtle haze of light around his invisible form.

The shutters of a window – where Terentius had perched seeking to spy within – were suddenly thrown open revealing the silhouette of a figure, and the magus found his Parma Magica assailed by a spell. The enchantment – perhaps similar to ‘Agony of the Beast’ – was cast upon Terentius and by virtue of their familiar bond, Meliorax was also struck by crippling pain. First Meliorax and then Terentius fell from the sky, impacting the ground with a sickening crunch. Jari managed to use a spell to break the magician’s arm – but the signs of alarm within the manor suggested imminent pursuit. With no hesitation, he sped over to scoop up the injured birds before high-tailing it as fast as he could away from the manor before the knight and his allies could act.

Terentius’ injuries were terrible – his arm and his leg appeared broken in the fall, he would not wake and his face was deathly pale – and Jari grew concerned for his life. Fortunately, it appears that Meliorax possesses some magical charm – for after plucking feathers from its chest and placing them on Terentius, his state appeared to stabilise. Jari used this opportunity to transform into a hound in order to travel swiftly to fetch his companion Eric – who is an exceptionally skilled healer and chirugeon. Whilst able to fetch aid, it seems that something went awry with Jari’s magic – for he found himself unable to transform back into human form for some time after.

Even with Eric’s expert help, Terentius’ injuries still rendered him incapable of pursuing the knight and his allies. Using a potion imbued with the enchantment, ‘Leap of Homecoming’, he travelled back to the covenant – where Pyrrhus was able to cast ‘The Incantation of the Body Made Whole’ to fully heal his wounds. Pyrrhus agreed to accompany Terentius back to Bridgewater. To overcome the difficulty of transportation, it appears he used a potion to transform into a mouse and Terentius, in the form of a raven, transported him across the Bristol Channel. The fear was that the knight of Bridgewater and Bishop of Sherbourne might escape to bring word of the interception of the message – and perhaps word of the rebellion – to their fellow conspirators. That certain death would surely have befallen Pyrrhus had the raven faltered and dropped him, demonstrates both the desperation and the urgency with which my sodales treated this matter.

The magi regathered in the camp beyond Bridgewater and sought to regain ground in their pursuit of our enemies. However, by the time they had managed to return to Sherbourne all signs pointed to the group having left – heading north towards Wells.

With Jari still stuck in the form of a hound, greatly curtailing his ability to use magic – and Pyrrhus unable to travel swiftly – the magi decided split up. Terentius and his familiar would continue to track the knight and his party, whilst Pyrrhus and the captain would return to the covenant via Bristol. Jari and his companions would remain at Bridgewater – keeping watch in case the knight returned.

Over the next day, Terentius was able to follow the trail of the horsemen as they made their way with haste through Wells and Bath, eventually tracing their flight to Bristol. After checking that there was no sign of them leaving the city, he took a room in an inn overnight with the intention of watching the docks. It was whilst watching for the group attempting to seek passage that Terentius spotted Pyrrhus and Captain Merrick making their way along the dockside.

Whilst looking to passage across the channel, Pyrrhus discovered that a ship travelling to Chester had taken on a number of passengers and their horses. The magi correctly guessed that this was the knight, Bishop and their party – and arranged to take passage over to Chepstow on the same vessel.

Faced with no choice but to battle aboard the ship, the magi and the captain laid plans to set fire to the sails and launch a surprise attack. It sounds like it was a desperate battle, but between Terentius’ arrows, Pyrrhus’ flames and Merrick’s stalwart defence of the magi, the knight, Bishop and their magician were eventually defeated. It seems that the nobles and the magician had some enchantment upon them which meant the first attack that struck them appeared to harmlessly pass through them. Whilst this frustrated Terentius’ initial attempts to slay them with arrows, it appeared that subsequent strikes – with arrow or flame – were not similarly diverted. Regrettably, the captain and the crew of the ship were also slain in the fight – the ship blazing and sinking as it drifted with the tide within the Bristol Channel.

After returning to the covenant, Terentius resumed his search for the Master in Gloucester and Pyrrhus his studies. Fortunately, with the turn of the moon, it seems Jari was able to resume human form. Volutus also returned from his informal Redcap duties in time to make some study – reporting that the councils of Trevalga, Carrion Moor and Narwold had been warned. Of Narwold, he also mentioned that they sought some method by which they could investigate the nearby University at Cambridge. The council agreed to create some counterfeit letters of introduction to make this easier – which Jari travelled to deliver to them later in the season.


Once again I was absent, but the remainder of the council met at the beginning of summer. At the start of the meeting, Pyrrhus offered to step down as Princeps and allow a fresh election now that more magi had returned. However, he was persuaded by his sodales to wait for my return so that the full council might have their choice. This he relented to do – thus led the remainder of the meeting.

It seems that rumours of events in York had been heard in Gloucester, and Terentius was able to relate that the Duke had admitted treason and been arrested, and that Theo was returning to London. He also reported that the student, Martin, whose guise Pyrrhus adopted when he killed the bursar in the King’s College, has been hanged for murder and witchcraft. Thomas Oakhampton is still wanted and there is a warrant for his arrest. Jari also brought news that Narwold intended to investigate Cambridge for any clues about Master Maudit – who remains missing from Gloucester.

With the immediate threat of Templar invasion apparently receding, Jari announced his intention to begin the long process of binding a familiar this season. His sodales advised him to delay for a further season – given the possibility that invasion could still come – but Jari could not be dissuaded. Let us hope we have all done enough to secure him a peaceful year in which to complete the process.

As covenant service, Volutus agreed to extract vis from the aura – to ensure we had enough to re-cast the Aegis next year, and potentially start to replace the items lost over the course of the last year. These items include – Tiarnen’s cloak which granted the wearer the ability to fly; The Inquisitor’s Pouch, an invested item which allows the user to read minds, obtain arcane connections, and hear words spoken at a distance; Filwyr Rhwyma, which possessed a healing magic which could be enhanced with vis; and the Wand of Crackling Flames, which conjured spears of fire.

I returned towards the very end of the season. As well as helping Theo deal with the after-math of York’s arrest and coordinating with the King’s agents in accumulating evidence and rounding up co-conspirators, I also – more happily – attended the knighting ceremony for my nephew over mid-summer. Theo has also formally named Uren as heir to the throne.

It was good to spend some time with my nephew – and he is understandably keen to see his sister. Now he is of age, Theo suggested we arrange an opportunity for him to visit Lydney at some point over Autumn so he and Eleanor can spend a little time together. I think it’s a good idea, and am reminded of when Theo requested to do the same when I was still apprenticed to Lysimachus – though will check that no one at council feels there is good argument against such a plan.

From what I hear, the season passed peacefully within the covenant. It also appears, with the arrest of York, the death of Norfolk, and the rounding up of many traitors, that no banners of rebellion were raised during the summer – and that there has been no sign of invasion. Who knows how long this peace will last – but for now, at least, we appear to have discovered the threat and acted in time.

Let us hope that next time we are as vigilant, determined and fortunate!


With Jari sequestered in his sanctum binding his familiar, the rest of the council met at the beginning of autumn. I related the events which had occurred in York and the on-going efforts of the crown to round up the remaining rebels: Henry of Chester and Martin of Somerset are being held in the tower of London with their trials scheduled for later in this season. Cecil of Bridgewater and Robert of Wolston had been killed whilst trying to flee to France. Andrew of Peterborough had eventually surrendered after a short siege of his castle by the Earl of Gloucester’s forces. Thomas of Wakefield had gone into hiding, though the King’s agents appeared confident they would eventually track him down.

However, whilst this represented a considerable victory for the Order, Terentius reminded the council of how close we came to disaster and the need to remain vigilant. Volutus concurred arguing that our escalating actions within the mundane sphere may mean that our enemies may also become bolder – including former magi who had sided with the Pope in the crusade against the Order. We discussed the on-going threat of assassination attempt against the King and all at council were mindful of the risks of allowing a conspiracy to grow unchecked within our Tribunal.

Terentius reminded us that Tintern Abbey was one site we believed to be closely connected to this conspiracy and Pyrrhus agreed to start making an investigation of the site. He would pose as a pilgrim and seek to obtain arcane connections within the abbey.

In the meantime, we heard that Narwold covenant was seeking to investigate Cambridge University – where Master Maudit was said to have lived before moving to the King’s College. I also related the efforts of the King’s agents to investigate Hereford and Oxford.

Our discussion turned to the activities we would undertake over the course of the season. Having lost so many magical items over the last couple of years, Pyrrhus will open an enchantment as preparation for imbuing spells to probe a target’s mind with questions as covenant service this season. We also discussed the situation in Mynydd Myddyn and the otherworldly storm brewing within the regio. Terentius will take some time this season to make a sortie into the regio as well as check whether there are still hunting parties from Skenfrith in the woods beyond – and advise our allies at Lydney whether it would be safe to venture to the region to seek out their kin.

Lastly, I mentioned that my Nephew, the crowned prince Uren, would be travelling to Lydney this season with the intention of spending some time with his sister, and my apprentice, Eleanor. No one at the council objected to this reunion.

A few days into the season, Pyrrhus returned from Tintern Abbey and reported having successfully obtained arcane connections to one of the cells, the great church situated at the site and the midden. His explanation for the last of these was that perhaps monks involved in a conspiracy might use the site to conduct their discussions. Whilst these connections might allow our spy masters to watch and listen in on activities within the abbey, one problem is that the monks frequently speak in Latin – a language neither understands. Pyrrhus was unable to obtain a connection to the gatehouse – which might have afforded the opportunity to see who comes and goes to the abbey – but believed it would be possible to sneak back to the site at night and take one from the wooden gate later in the season.

Later in this season, I travelled down with Eleanor to the manor house close to Lydney to meet with my nephew. The journey down was straightforward – my apprentice clearly excited to see her brother for the first time in over 5 years. Arriving at the manor, we were admitted by Master Philip and quickly led through to the great hall where Uren was waiting for us. Our introduction to the crowned prince was conducted with formality – and I sensed that Eleanor seemed somewhat disappointed at this reserved ceremony. However, once Uren’s servants and guards had been dismissed, the young prince was able to relax and the two siblings were able to enjoy one another’s company without having to worry about the conventions and decorum of court.

We stayed in Lydney for just over a week, during which time I was also able to spend some time with Uren and get a measure of the man he is becoming. Like Eleanor he appears to have a great care for animals – appearing to enjoy the company of his dogs and attending to the horses rather than leaving such work to the groom. In conversation, he struck me as more pensive than my brother – not given to his father’s habit of dismissing serious matters with light-hearted asides when in relaxed company. He is not dour however, and I saw him and Eleanor laugh often at some joke or amusement in their conversation. Speaking to his tutor, Master Grove, it appears Uren is diligent in his studies and listens carefully to advice he receives – he has a wise head for such a young man, his tutor claimed.

Eleanor was sad to leave, but had clearly enjoyed spending time with Uren again. I promised her that in a year or two, I would take her with me when I attend court in London – so that she could spend some extended time with her father as well.

After the tumultuous events at the beginning of the year, I was grateful that this season came to a close with no further events of note.


Our council met with Jari still absent, beginning the third season of the rituals to forge bonds with his new familiar. Pyrrhus reported the retrieval of arcane connections from the abbey, but also the language barrier which limited their usefulness. It also emerged that both Lucky and Vasile are becoming advanced in age and a new apprentice spy master should be sought. We should consider teaching their replacement Latin as part of their training and induction into the role.

Terentius also related his trip to Mynydd Myddyn. The woods which approach the borders of Skenfrith were quiet – with no sign of concerted hunting parties searching for wolves. Later, he was able to relate this fact back to our allies at Lydney and believes they likely sent a contingent of their group to meet up with the Old Ones soon after.

As Terentius was exploring the deeper forest towards the veiled hills, he encountered three of these giant wolves himself. Once again, they reacted cautiously – but without aggression – and he was able to speak with them. It appears that the strange power has waxed within the regio and the Old Ones now rarely venture within. They described that the aberrant, melded creatures created by the Shining One now dominate the forest to the extent that even they were forced to move with great care and avoid attention. However, they agreed to show Terentius a route they used into the regio and accompany him within for a short time.

They led him along a forest track winding beneath the tangled boughs – until they appeared to pass through the boundary of the regio. The forest within now appeared even more dense and ancient than before – and might be difficult to traverse quickly even in the form of a wolf. They kept to the edge of the regio and Terentius used arcane connections to scry upon some of the locations we have visited in the past:

The lake appeared silent and deserted, though the damage caused by the dragon had long since disappeared. Rather than new growth, the replacement trees appeared as old and established as any of the others in the forest; crowding together in a thick knot of ancient forest and their thick roots now extending to the water’s edge.

The old tower was almost entirely swallowed by the trees and undergrowth – what little remained of the upper floors now collapsed under the weight of the stout tree growing through the walls.

Most disturbing was the extent of the eerie, silent storm ranging over the north-western part of the regio. Once confined close to the hill our history says was the site of a great barrow, the strange flickers of black lightning and swirling clouds now extend over a much greater part of the region – perhaps over all of what was once called the ‘Awakened Forest’.

Terentius was not able to stay for long before the Old Ones sensed something approaching. Given these giant wolves appeared afeared of whatever creature might approach, he wisely travelled back with them into the mundane part of the forest.

Our council discussed these findings and considered ways in which the growing power within that place might be investigated. Volutus – with his interest in Twilight – appears best qualified to lead such work. He speculated that he might be able to create a spell which kept him anchored to the mundane level of the regio - allowing him to travel more safely to the site of the storm. Pyrrhus suggested using the spell ‘Glimpse through the Mystic Veil’ to observe what was happening within – though I warned that such a spell might connect the caster to whatever wild magics flow within that place and leave them vulnerable to the forces of Twilight.

It was clear that there was no swift method for safely learning more about the storm, though Pyrrhus appears convinced that the Templars removed something from that place which has allowed this ancient magic to flow into the regio – perhaps even the object which dampens magic and is now used as a weapon against the Order. I personally doubt this: Had our enemies gained possession of the weapon from a location so close to us, I suspect they would have attacked the covenant rather than transport it all the way to Iberia to test it. The possibility could at least be investigated, however, and I committed to looking through the various pagan stories and tales in our library to see whether any clues might be gleaned about the nature of the barrow within the regio.

About a week into the season Magus Gaines visited, having recently returned from Verdi covenant where the Mercere seek to restore something of the network of communication across the remaining Order. He reported that the Domus Magnus of House Guernicus had fallen, though it appears the attacking forces had not deployed the weapon which unbinds magic. The few magi still resident at Magvillus clearly felt they had little chance of defeating the mundane army brought to their gate and fled – presumably leaving the libraries of law to fall into the hands of our opponents.

He also brought news that Prudentia’s claim as Prima of Flambeau has been contested by some of the members of that House within Iberia. They have allied with some of the magi from other houses – including Ex-Miscellaneans and Criamon sympathetic to the Moorish forces in the region – and fight a guerrilla campaign against her and the Templars she has aligned with.

Lastly, he reported that a line of communication with the Greater Alps Tribunal has been opened – and that several of the covenants within that mountainous region have been contacted, including the Domus Magnus of House Criamon, The Cave of Twisting Shadows. Volutus appeared keen to take this opportunity and spoke at length with Gaines after the meeting regarding making a journey to that covenant next year.

Accompanying the Red Cap was a magus who had travelled from Verdi seeking membership of the Tribunal; Magus Naevius filius Archimagus Thacius discipulus Verditius. Our council had previously sent word via the red caps that we sought a new member of our council, and so we extended an invitation to stay at Severn Temple. He appears a mild-mannered man, with a great interest in the tradition of Verditious Magic related to imbuing intelligence into inanimate objects – a particular specialism of his Pater. At first I wondered whether his courteous demeanour might act as a shield for a more scheming personality. However, over conversation it became apparent that his good manners were genuinely enough and that he was prepared to speak plainly and offer unpopular opinion. Indeed, he confessed to me that he would have readily condemned the Tribunal generally and my actions specifically some years ago – though the attack upon Durenmar and the events of recent years had radically reversed his opinions. By the end of the season I was convinced that he would make a good addition to our council – his talents and skills clearly have potential, and I think his willingness to speak honestly but express himself with courtesy will make his voice a constructive one in meetings.

The season and the year came to end with no further matters of note to report.