Scribed by Volutus

Spring 1303AD

I am laying my quill to this journal in the winter of this year having been away from the Stonehenge tribunal for many months. My sodales have appraised me of the events of this year and I shall endeavour to record the events to the best of my understanding, setting them, as is customary, by season so that they may more easily be followed by the reader.

With Jari still secured in his sanctum, undertaking the last season of his familiar binding ritual, our first decision at the council of Spring was to invite Magus Naevius to stay as our guest for another two seasons, given that I at that time expected to be away until the end of Summer. I had spoken to him on several occasions over the winter and found him to be interesting company, quite reserved but passionate about playing a part in the preservation of the Order of Hermes, and it seemed that the opinions of my sodales were also broadly favourable. He had expressed a firm interest in joining this covenant and it seemed fair that he be given access to our mundane library and the tuition of our librarian in the English language should he so desire it.

Pyrrhus instigated a short discussion about our next courses of action regarding our enemies and the threats that we face but there was little new to say that had not been discussed recently. I confirmed that it was my intention to take the recent advice of the Redcaps that a window of opportunity has arisen for travel to the continent and that I would therefore be heading to the Cave of Twisted Shadows where I had good indication that there might be something more that I can learn with regard to my studies in Twilight and where I might possibly garner some further insight into the nature of the Shining Ones. Pyrrhus has agreed to accompany me and he arranged for Terentius to wield his sigil on his behalf at the Stonehenge tribunal in Summer. The council also agreed that we might be accompanied by Captain Merrick, perhaps the only one of our turb who is suited to such a journey.

Hypatia announced that as she commonly does she would spend the season at court in London, an action that our council is more than content to count as a service both to us and the wider tribunal. Terentius was to remain within the covenant studying from personal vis and I understand that the season passed entirely uneventfully at Severn Temple.

Our party made our way to Chepstow where we met with Magus Altius, who had also kindly agreed to accompany me on my journey, and boarded the Mercere ship the Morning Star where we were met by Captain Johannes, a man of Ghent. The ship itself was not as large as I had expected and in outward appearance was quite shabby, but the lie of that was soon revealed by the fair quarters within and the good progress we were able to make when beyond the sight of land. We reached Verdi in four weeks whereas such a trip might normally be expected to take half as much time again, our journey aided by both magical enchantment and the large number of crew that meant the ship was never at rest. The journey was not entirely without incident however. While sailing at night through the Gap du Vert which lies off the coast of Brittany a thick mist rose in the sea and the crew spotted some creature approaching through the water which they referred to as a sea witch. Fortunately, my sodalis Pyrrhus was awake at the time and he was able to cast magical fires that were sufficient to cause the creature to turn tail and threaten us no more. A few nights later I was on deck when strange lights appeared in the sky off the French coast as we passed along the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It seemed to me that they formed a pattern that was vaguely familiar to me, and I sensed that this was a good omen that suggested that we would encounter a giant the following day but that we need not be afraid. So it came to pass for that next day, as we came to the Pillars of Hercules that guard the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, a giant fish that the crew identified as a Whale breached the waters and as it did so scattered many smaller fish that we were able to gather in nets, providing us with a goodly quantity of fresh food without the risk of setting ashore on the southern edge of the Iberian peninsula. Finally, towards the end of our journey when just a few days from Verdi, a ship was spotted wrecked upon some rocks near a small group of islands and close by a boat with perhaps three survivors which was in grave trouble in the roiling sea. After a few moments of discussion, we agreed that despite not knowing who these men might be we should not sail past and leave them to certain death. Unfortunately, our attempts at rescue did not go well and at one point I feared that Captain Merrick would be lost as he fell from the rowboat that we sent and was caught in the turbulent sea himself. Despite my best efforts I could not get a rope to him and there was an element of good fortune that he was able to get himself within reach on the upturned boat and await a second rescue from the crew of the Morning Star. Sadly, two of our own sailors were lost along with the three men we had tried to end and those last few days passed with something of a mournful air aboard the ship.

Verdi covenant lies upon a large island named Sardinia and consists of a valley surrounded by seven hills, upon each of which sits a great tower that acts as the home to a magus of the covenant. There were many other magi in residence however for it is clear that Verdi is acting as a significant haven for those of the Order who have been driven from their own homes. We were met by Magus Diogenes of the covenant who listened carefully to my request for aid in my onward travel and agreed that he could help. Within a few days he had arranged for us to be taken to the southern coast where we would meet with a member of a religious sect called the Cathars who I learned are identified as heretics by the Roman Church and who have suffered greatly at their hands over many years. Due to their oppression it seems that they have established a number of secret paths through the region, with safe houses along the way, and for a sum of coin would be willing to escort us and help ensure that we encountered as few of the mundane folk as possible. Magus Diogenes himself requested no payment for his aid and it is clear that House Verditius are making great efforts to help hold the Order together. I was also able to get news of my pater who is currently in the lands claimed by the newly found Order of the East making efforts to negotiate with them. By all accounts there are very few of my House known to survive and of those the smaller portion is of those of us who follow the teachings of Trianoma. I cannot deny that I considered then whether I might be better serving the Order of Hermes by working across the continent but in truth it remains my belief that our future is tied with the tribunal of Stonehenge and that is where I am most needed. In those few days at Verdi I was also able to speak with Magus Cyrus who acts as the commercial interlocutor of that covenant. I had brought a significant quantity of vis with me and I was able to trade that for items that will surely be of benefit to me in the future.

A few days later we were landed upon the mainland and there met our guide, a man named Robert of Tortona. We had been instructed to inform him that we wished to travel to the place where prayers go which lies in the Alps near Lake Constance. He knew of the place and we were able to negotiate a fee of 2½ pennies for each day with the journey expected to take a few weeks, with travel mainly in the evening and at night. We stayed in barns and shepherd’s hits, with our guide negotiating upon the way. I had been advised by Diogenes that Robert knew that we were most likely esoteric scholars, but he did not raise the matter upon our journey and the journey passed relatively uneventfully until we reached beyond the snow line. There Robert told us that we would have four days travel along a secret path through the mountains, a cobbled road but so rarely used we would travel during daylight, before another week would see us to our destination. He also advised us that some who had travelled the road had reported hearing strange sounds but dismissed this as superstition, perhaps brought about by the somewhat unusual nature of the trail.

The road did indeed arise from nothing, the cobbles reminiscent of an old Roman road. At the end of the first days travel we came to our camping point, marked with an old stone upon which it looked like there might once have been an inscription of some sort but now so weathered we could not read it. That night I took the last watch alongside Robert and I did indeed hear some sounds coming from the darkness although they were very faint and my companion did not hear them himself. It seemed to me that the sound was of footsteps marching along the road and a distant fanfare of trumpets blowing. The following morning Pyrrhus said that while he had taken a short trip along the road to raise his Parma Magica beyond the sight of our guide he had found what looked like soot along the road but that he did not believe that it had arisen from any sort of flame or burning. I accompanied him back to the point but when we arrived there was nothing there. The following evening we reached another camping point marked with a stone and on this one some of the writing was legible. It was written in Latin and appeared to be a name, Lucius, the number seven and included the words consul and victory. Making some examination while Robert was otherwise engaged we identified that there was some magic upon the stone although we could not cast spells to identify of what nature it was for to do so would certainly have drawn the attention of the Cathar. That night Robert alerted me that he thought that he had heard a sound as if arrows had been fired in our direction but there was no sight of any such and there had been no clatter that would surely have accompanied a missile striking the rock behind us. At that point he confided in me that he had been advised by others that he should always make camp within the vicinity of the stones and that four such were set upon the route, each at the end of a days travel.

On the third night the stone we reached was more clearly inscribed and we were able to translate it. It read:
Lucius Furius Purperio, Consul two times, Praetor seven times, erected me to celebrate his victory over the Carthaginians.

The fact that it was legible was not the only difference with this stone however. A deep crack ran through it and we could detect no indication that it held any enchantment. With the clear indication that the stones had been acting as a ward against spirits of some kind we revealed something of our mystic practices and I chose to use spontaneous magic to erect a 2nd magnitude ward against spirits. We also agreed to take just two watches that night, rather than the four we had been using, so that if we were assailed we would have more of us available to raise an initial defence. And attacked we were – during the first watch the lanterns we had set about our camp began one by one to extinguish themselves and barely a moment after those of us who had been sleeping were roused we heard ordered commands and from the darkness around us a number of pilums were hurled in our direction. My ward must not have been of sufficient strength for they passed through it and with a distinctly physical presence in this world we were either struck or they rang loudly as they hit the rock. From out of the night five skeletal figures emerged, equipped with large shields and short swords, wearing armour in the Roman style. These animated corpses fell upon us and the battle initially went ill for us with Pyrrhus unable to get a spell away and others falling back from the assailants blows. I did not see exactly how it happened but in those early exchanges Magus Altius was struck a fatal blow. Even now, many months after the event, I feel a great sense of guilt for his loss. He had no need to be on this journey, save that I had asked for assistance, and after all that he had endured in previously aiding me to escape Durenmar it is tragic that he fell in such a way. A man of great duty and honour he will be a sad loss to his covenant, this tribunal and our Order. Shortly after this disaster the tide began to turn as Pyrrhus cast great gouts of fire against our assailants and I was able to restrict their movement by summoning grasping hands of earth from the ground. Eventually they were all slain, but I was perhaps the only one who had suffered no blow whatsoever and it is fortunate that some of my companions were magically warded against such physical blows for otherwise our losses may have been far greater. Strangely Robert did not seem unduly concerned about the overt display of magic that we had demonstrated. I did not press it at the time but later I learned that he knew far more of the Order of Hermes than Diogenes had suspected (and that Magus will be considering what to do with that information for it seems possible that there may be an alliance to be struck with these other enemies of the Catholics and their infernal allies).

The last day upon the road passed quietly and the stone on the final night was imbued with the protections that had failed the previous eve, although the noises of long-ago battle could still be heard faintly during the hours of darkness. As Robert had said it would it took us another week through the more level ground among the higher reaches of the mountains before we came to a great number of steps cut into the stone, with hundreds of coloured flags flying on each side, at the end of which lay the entrance to the Cave of Twisted Shadows and the end of our long season of travel.


The council at Severn Temple was attended by Jari, Terentius and Hypatia, with my sodalis’ new familiar Races the Wind also attending for the first time. Hypatia brought news that it had been reported that the Pope had died. No successor had been announced at that time but given the number of Templars appointed as Cardinals by that man or the demon that had replaced him the concerns as to who might succeed were obvious to all. Sadly there are no Cardinals from England so no indication at that point of who might be best set to take the role. The King has been strengthening both his Navy and the coastal defences of England as well as looking to reinforce his continental holdings in anticipation of future attacks. My sodales also discussed what they expected to be raised at the tribunal, and what they might wish to raise themselves, but it is easier that I record those events as they occurred rather than the conversations held in advance of them.

All three of my sodales attended the tribunal, accompanied by Naevius who had to present himself for approval before that body if he was to become a resident of the tribunal. As it happened that was the first action of the meeting, and the Praeca spoke warmly in his favour before the vote was comfortably passed. The Praeca then announced the agenda for the meeting and over the next two days some key topics were discussed and decisions made. The first topic concerned the plot raised against the King of England last year and the actions taken by members of the Order of Hermes to thwart it. My sodales spoke first concerning the events already recorded in this journal and then Pravia and Argentius filled in some more detail about what had occurred in York. Both Ereman and Llandoddwyn were involved directly in the death of Duke Edmund of Norwich and it seems that there was some discussion within the hall regarding the brazen nature of the intervention although none spoke in opposition to what was done. Following this tale Romanus, with further insight provided by Argentius, spoke a little of the disorder within Loch Leglean and also of the Templar presence there. The Praeca raised a motion that our tribunal’s investigations into our enemies, and our actions in response to that intelligence, should not be limited to the borders of the Stonehenge tribunal. There were perhaps two magi who abstained but all others voted in support.

The next proposal raised came from Llandoddwyn. He spoke eloquently about the importance to our tribunal of King Theo and suggested that given the youth of his heir we should provide him with a longevity potion. Again there was surprise among those present but certain caveats were added to the motion. The intention is to provide the King with perhaps a decade more than he might naturally achieve and it will be couched to him in terms of being a health tonic rather than a potion to prolong his years. This vote was significantly closer than the last but in the end was carried and Hypatia will assist with the process of implementing this.

Primus Argentius raised the next issue. He wishes to support the founding of another covenant within the tribunal, somewhere relatively close to Narwold so that covenant has better local support. The covenant will be resourced by the wealth of House Tremere and the tribunal supported a survey being made of potential locations before a final decision is reached at the next tribunal. It appears that we will be making further assay of Witherenden as a possible location with the former site of Oakham Vale also a strong contender.

Praeca Eloria spoke next regarding the matter of apprentices and how membership in Houses might be ratified given the extreme variations in status of our structures at the current time. She stated that she believed any solution must take account of the right for Magi to choose their own House if they could negotiate such membership. Llandoddwyn stated that Ex Miscellanea remained happy for any to present themselves as a candidate for membership. After some discussion it was agreed that Romanus would convene a meeting of the Concilium Quaesitorii next summer to consider the question and formulate a proposal in advance of a tribunal meeting the following year.

Finally Terentius provided an update to the tribunal regarding the state of affairs at Mynydd Myddyn but he later reported to me that there had not seemed to be much interest among those in attendance. The rest of the season proceeded peacefully for my sodales.

At the Cave of Twisted Shadows we were greeted by a gatekeeper who named himself Syon, an animated statue or Golem hewn from red stone or clay and who might have stood as tall as nine feet. He arranged for quarters for my sodales as I met with Maga Narkissa and then spent the remainder of the season in study with her. In addition to aiding my own research she reported that her own studies had identified that the Shining Ones were creatures from before the time of the Gods, something she referred to as the Protogenoi, and which have existed in the stories and legends of many different religions throughout history. Her belief is that all magic originally derives from these beings, either through lineage or via teaching. She did not believe that their motivation was discernible to us and that their nature is not as simple as a divide between good and evil. She thinks that it might be possible to communicate with them and possibly even learn from them, but that such an approach clearly carries a grave risk and requires significant preparation.

While there I also learned that there is some political upheaval within House Criamon with the position of Primus or Prima not yet having been resolved and that this could lead to some difficult and dangerous times ahead for that House.

Volutus’ Private Journal
Within Narkissa’s sanctum was a painting of black lightning which seemed familiar to me, calling to my mind something of the vision that I had when I was exposed to twilight on the Grey Hill. After our discussion about the nature of the Shining Ones she bid me look at it again and asked me what it represented. As I studied it further I realised that it was a map and with that came the realisation that, as I had suspected, twilight is not merely a state that magi might enter but a place with a physical presence, perhaps akin to Arcadia or the Otherworld. With her assistance I spent two weeks making a copy of this map and while it will take many years to truly gain an understanding this is a significant step on my path. Following that she invited me to enter deeper into the cave, to walk the spiral that all members of House must tread. I can not entirely recall how long the journey took for we passed through more than one regio boundary and time is fluid in that place but eventually we reached a chamber within which was a mummified corpse wrapped in cloth and lying upon a dais. She asked me what I saw but I could not at that point discern what she was referring to. She seemed disappointed for a moment but then revealed that this was the corpse of Criamon himself and she bid me to touch the body. Cautiously I reached out and, in an instant, felt myself transported, rushing through a void before I saw before me a great storm with a vast serpent above tracing the symbol of infinity through the sky. There was a mountain and I climbed it, passing in to the storm itself, and heard myself calling out, ‘I am ready’. The serpent looked down and from its maw a bolt of black lightning struck down, splitting me in an instant into six different pieces and heralding six visions that might have come to me sequentially but might as easily have been experienced simultaneously; in truth I do not really have the words to explain the sensation.

In the first vision I was on a hillside where I met a tall woman who welcomed me with a smile and a warm greeting. She led me within a house where she fetched refreshments while a man came to me and spoke of the secrets of the Parma Magica. As we talked further I found myself explaining as best as I could the nature of the Enigma and realised that we knew each other. This was Bonisagus and Trianoma and it seemed to me that their relationship was akin to that of lovers rather than colleagues. Bonisagus then asked me for advice about what else he needed to do to perfect his theory of magic and I suggested that he leave space within it for it is not and could not be perfect.

In the second vision I found myself in a tower with two guards and a tall wizened man whose manner was proud and imperious. He demanded that I tell him whether the Holy Spirit derives from the Father or from the Father and the Son and I answered that it was the latter.

The third vision found me high on the walls of a great city. Approaching on a wide river was a fleet of vessels with dragon head prows and as they drew to the side burly warriors armed with sword and axe made their way ashore. I was asked my a nobly dressed man whether we should seek to acquiesce to these Northmen’s demands or resist and risk losing all. I said that we should resist at all costs even if it risked everything burning.

I found myself dressed in a silk robe with fine slippers on my feet in the fourth vision, hosting a visiting prince to whom I acted as chief advisor. He had a tale regarding the usurping of his throne by his brother but that this impostor had no validity as he had previously murdered his brother. He asked what he should do and I advised him that he should demonstrate to all that he was the better man to hold the throne.

In the fifth vision I faced a Master of Philosophy questioning me with complex riddles. The last that he challenged me with was that there is a house, a man enters it blind and comes out seeing. The first answer that crossed my mind was a library but not all books speak truly. I said it was the world, in my mind thinking that we are born knowing nothing but at the end we know much about both the joy and misery of life, but he seemed disappointed with my answer.

Finally I found myself on a white horse in a strange forest above an oxbow lake in a great river. I entered a glad of trees, the entry to the covenant of Severn Temple. There I met with a man who looked like a monk, a friendly looking woman and an aggressive man, who I knew were Oratio, Hypatia and Terentius but also did not know, who asked me what I really wanted from this place. I answered that I wanted to make a difference to the world.

Once more I found myself at the edge of the storm and Narkissa’s hand resting on my shoulder. She told me that when the time came Criamon was not ready to die and so he shattered into six different pieces that he might live multiple further lives. As the vision faded and I found myself once more in the crypt she asked me again what I saw and as I looked I realised that the mummy on the dais bore a strong resemblance to me.

Narkissa said that I was Criamon and that if I wished to claim the leadership of the House she would support me, despite the danger that such a challenge would lead to. I said that I had no intention of making such a claim and thanked her for her time for it seems that I had been in that spiral for many weeks and realised that I wouldn’t get back to Severn Temple until the end of autumn at the earliest and must begin my return journey. I do not know what to believe regarding what I saw for it seems to me that her tale is quite fantastic. Perhaps what I have seen is a metaphor or a parable that I must spend time to decode.

Narkissa also claimed that I had a powerful affinity with twilight and would be able to travel there without risk of shortening my time on earth as long as I entered there willingly rather than as the result of a magical mishap. If true this will make further investigation of Mynydd Myddyn possible with appropriate precautions but there is further study that I will need to make before I accept that this is the case.

Towards the end of the Summer Narkissa arranged for a guide to return with us to the old Roman road in the mountains and to use an item to protect us at the broken stone until a repair had been made.


At the council of Severn Temple there was apparently an argument initially about whether Terentius was still acting as deputy to the Princeps based on Jari’s interpretation of the charter. Eventually it was agreed that they could manage without such a role being formally acknowledged for one council. There was then some extensive discussion about what actions to take over the course of the season. Terentius was keen to make further exploration of Witherenden on behalf of his House but there was an argument as to whether there was any point to this at this point given that as the site would only be viable if we relinquished our claim upon the vis sites we have registered the whole council would need to discuss it. After a while it was agreed that this could wait until next year. Terentius wanted Jari to undertake an investigation of Oxford University but Hypatia argued that this would better be held until Pyrrhus had returned and that it was more important that Jari visit Erechwydd’s court in winter. After another argument Jari said that he was happy to perform two seasons service this year and would do both.

Our spymaster Lucky also had some news, reporting that while there was no open sign of the priest from Gloucester in Hereford there were suspicions that he might be hiding among the Bishop of Hereford’s household in the country. Our sodales did not believe they had the necessary art to kidnap the man should they be able to find him and Terentius said that he would learn some spells that might be able to help in such an attempt.

It was agreed that at the start of the season Terentius and Jari would visit Tintern and look to make a little more study of what is happening there and secure some additional arcane connections to the ones that Pyrrhus collected last year.

The two magi, accompanied by their familiars and Jari’s two consors, made their way and established a camp nearby. Initially they took some arcane connections from the hill above the abbey where we will be able to better view the comings and goings from that place. They then infiltrated the walls of that place and Jari found that there were active magics, non-hermetic in nature, upon one of the arches that lead into the cloisters. Terentius then made a study of the arch using his gift of the second sight and saw strange lettering whch he perceived as written in shadow. The aura detected as that of the Dominion but he thought that the writing was reminiscent of the infernal script found at Huntley Priory and described long ago in our journal. Returning to the covenant they discussed their findings with Hypatia and it was agreed that this finding was suggestive that there might be a senior member of the diabolic conspiracy present at Tintern. With the same difficulties of kidnapping such a man as identified for Hereford it was agreed that Jari would not travel to Oxford but would also spend time learning a spell that would aid such an endeavour.

Over the course of the season some further careful study was made at the abbey and the same script was discovered on each of the four arches into the cloisters and also on the doorway and narrow windows of the tower that lies in that courtyard. Terentius’ familiar also reported seeing shadows moving around within that tower. There were some visitors to the abbey over the course of the season, appearing to be pilgrims, and it was also noted that there were night time patrols within the grounds made up of two monks, always one senior and one junior member of their order.

The journey back to Verdi for Pyrrhus, Merrick and myself was similar to the outward one, though on this occasion we were protected throughout our journey on that high Roman road. In Verdi I notified House Mercere of the sad loss of Altius and was able to speak once more with Diogenes. He arranged passage for us on another Redcap vessel, the Pelican and with our journey home seeing no significant events we returned a couple of days before the end of the season.


With all members of the covenant present we commenced our formal council with a decision on Naevius’ application for membership and with he still keen the decision to accept him was unanimous. I then spoke of my journey to the Cave of Twisted Shadows and the information that I had learned. We are all agreed that further investigation of Mynydd Myddyn is necessary and I am keen to see whether some of my new understanding of the nature of twilight will make this easier.

Next we discussed Terentius’ desire to investigate Witherenden further but this led to something of an argument amongst us. Naevius was surprised that we were discussing the possibility of giving up registered vis sites and it led to a debate about whether our charter permitted us to do such. There was then quite a heated exchange between Terentius and our new sodalis with each affirming their right to veto any changes to the charter. Pyrrhus wisely realised that there would be no purpose in continuing the discussion at this point and moved the agenda on.

We spoke for a short while about the Praeca’s instructions to the quaesitorii to consider how to manage the question of apprentices and Houses. Pyrrhus reaffirmed his oft expressed belief that the Order of Hermes was over and that there should be a new order founded in this tribunal and Jari then suggested merging Houses with a succession of ridiculous names. The entire discussion added nothing to aid the deliberations I will be part of next summer and fortunately ended quite swiftly. Hypatia was able to confirm that she has spoken with King Theo and set the matter of his ‘health tonic’ to him. He has provided a sample of his blood which has been sent to Cad Gadu.

We discussed the matter at Tintern and it was agreed that Terentius would inform the Praeca of the matter. He left for Blackthorn shortly after the council concluded and spoke with Liberata. She is known to have some expertise in the occult and she suggested that it sounded like some kind of watching ward that was seeking to identify the presence of magic. When Pyrrhus spent some days there he took the precaution of having no spells upon his person, not even raising his Parma Magica, and with his gentle gift it is possible that he has not been so identified. She suggested that such a ward might alert an infernal spirit or demon and given the sighting of Meliorax Virtus this might well lie within the tower. She informed Terentius that should we capture anyone we suspected was a diabolist that there were cells deep within Blackthorn that could suppress the magical abilities of anyone held within. Despite her notoriously difficult relationship with him she recommended that Constantine might be a good magus to speak to due to his mastery of Rego and Corporem. The magi we might turn to for aid in the north of the tribunal are currently occupied making further investigations in Loch Leglean so we will need to rely on ourselves and our local allies. On his return we discussed this news at an informal council. We identified that the two best options for entry to the tower were to travel without magical protections or items or to see if a ward against the infernal might be able to suppress such a ward as it passed through it. It was agreed that we would speak with Constantine but also suggested that Durius might be worth contacting given his reputation for fighting magical enemies. We also need to try and work out who might be in the tower. There are three floors within and thus we think it likely that it is the home to the Abbot and up to three of the more senior monks who would attend upon him. Terentius travelled to Trevalga a little later in the season and spoke with both the magi. Constantine can apport himself and others and can cast multiple simultaneous spells to render people asleep. Durius said that he could conceal himself and two others from enchantments that might detect them, seemingly including those of infernal origin. Both said that they would be available for such a mission in Summer next year and it looks likely that it will be Terentius who will accompany them into the tower.

For his service Jari travelled to the faerie regio with his usual entourage to speak with Erechwydd about the presence of the Shining One. It seems that the beings presence is well felt among the fair folk as they have agreed to set their enmities aside while this threat persists, a threat that she perceives as greater than the plots of the Church or the Infernal. Apparently Gofannon, who is the oldest of the fae in the lands about, has said that the presence in Mynydd Myddyn is one of the first ones and that its power is growing. The powers of all the fae combined will not be able to counter it and that it will do what it will do, whether that be to teach, enslave or both. Erechwydd said that the faeries plan a great council to discuss this and asked that Jari invite Hypatia, as the Queen of the Land, to attend. She also suggested that we could speak with Gofannon to learn more.

Jari departed the court, although he suspects he might have made a small error in etiquette as he did so, returning to the covenant just after midwinter. Hypatia has no intention of calling a Queens Council or attending any other such gathering, fearing the consequences of binding herself to any decisions made. It was agreed that it might be worthwhile speaking with Gofannon however and given that I was also on covenant service this season (extracting vis from the aura) and had some learning regarding the Shining Ones I was asked if I might travel to his court with Jari. I agreed and thus we made our way to the cave of Gofynwy the faerie smith. He said that he would bear us across the bridge to the Halls of the Undermountain but in return demanded as a price that we return the gem that he had crafted for Pyrrhus and bid him return with that part of his bargain that our sodalist owed. Given that we know this has not been resolved we were both reluctant and I was minded that we cancel our journey but the smith then made it clear that if we did not do so he would merely deliver it himself despite the call upon his time. Thus we agreed that we would take it on his behalf and inform Pyrrhus that he had a year and a day to conclude the bargain.

Gofynwy bore myself, Jari, Races the Wind and Eanfled across a bridge the width of a hair, and hanging over a chasm which plummeted so far the bottom could not be seen, before leaving us to make our way down the roughly hewn tunnels. There we were led by strange stone faeries to Gofannons Hall, a large cavern filled with stalagmites like columns, crystals that reflected the light of our lanterns so that we could see throughout and with a small, perfectly still, silvery lake in front of his throne. He recognised us though expressed his disappointment that the Queen had not chosen to come. He said that it was hard for him to speak to us of the First Ones due to the nature of our minds but agreed to show us a vision of the Shining Ones, although there was risk in doing so. All but Jari’s familiar agreed that we were prepared to take the risk and thus we followed him down a set of stairs into the darkness below, a journey that felt like it took like a full day. He said that we were travelling to the edge of this world and the beginning of the summer lands. Eventually we reached a cavern, with limestone strands stretching from floor to ceiling like a maw, within which was a smooth white bowl sitting upon a rock pedestal. I agreed to see first and was beckoned to look into the perfectly still water within the bowl. A single ripple appeared as I glanced in and my vision began. I found myself staring into a maelstrom within an impossible void and surrounded by rings of water, earth, air and fire. From this chaos I could see points of light appear, looking like stars, even as the rings resolved themselves into the world – the earth falling beneath the air as the water filled deep channels and the fire resolved itself into great mountain ranges. The lights were not all of the same size but revolved around the earth, life springing from their path. I saw grass appear, bushes and trees grow, worms and then greater and more noble beasts roaming the land. Among the lights some were larger than others and it seemed that they were directing the smaller forces as they worked. One of the smaller lights tried to move away from its orbit but a larger one drew it back and consumed it, its uniqueness snuffed out as it was drawn to the larger force. Elsewhere the same was happening but then my vision ended and Gofannon spoke to me, telling me that he had been one of the smallest points of light that I had seen. Jari said that as he was watching me stare into the bowl there was a glow from the receptacle and a crackling of what he perceived as twilight surrounded me and was reflected in my eyes. He chose not to view the vision himself and Gofannon then told us that the one that has returned to the world could swallow all. All of his own power and might is as nothing compared to this being. The important question is what the Shining One wants. If it seeks to bring back the first age then the world will not be one for faerie or mankind; it will eat its own children as it has in the past. He said that while it could not be defeated there might be a way to trap it or bar its way into this world, but he offered no suggestion as to how this might be achieved. He said that the fae can not defeat it but if they believe that it brings ruin they will retreat beyond the silver gate to buy themselves a little more time before the end. With that we returned to the cavern and granted leave to depart, returning a few days after the start of Spring.