Scribed by Jari

Spring 1304AD

What happened at the first meeting of the year was relayed to me by Terentius as Volutus and I had not returned from the faerie regio in time. Alas this means I can’t give the reported events my usual guarantee of truth.

Anyway, plans were discussed, or may not have been discussed depending on your views on Terentius’ propensity for deceit, concerning the raid into Tintern planned for Summer, though little of consequence was decided as council wished to wait for the arrival of Constantine and Durius to set firm plans.

Rarely one to let a trail grow cold, our resident bloodhound Terentius next asked about winkling out the priest from St John’s in Gloucester from his bolthole of the Bishop’s house in Hereford. Hypathia advised caution, noting that sending the King’s agents into an influential bishop’s home could cause ructions with the church at a time when they’re not needed. The agents continue to keep a careful watch on the place and Hypathia was confident that sooner or later the priest would emerge and could then be safely and discretely apprehended.

After that slight rap on his inquisitive nose, Terentius turned his attention to following up on the fire and murder in Westminster Palace. Hypathia recalled that the spy had been looking at shipbuilding records and given the timing was probably part of some pre-invasion planning. A sensible enough motive if you ask me, not that we have any further leads to go on anyway.

Terentius moved doggedly on to the whereabouts of the infernalist who had burnt the monastery outside Abingdon some years back. Holy Isle has said that they have lost the trail and the last reported trace was more than 10 years ago now so we have no means of detecting any magics from that time so it seems there is little to go on here too. Of course the possibility exists that there could be more recent traces to be found, though it does seem like a bit of long shot. Terentius believes it would still be unwise for him to visit Avebury to check, which is probably sensible given all his previous escapades concerning the Great Hunt. I imagine I’ll probably get tasked with going along at some point, which sounds like an interesting if slightly nervy season for I still well remember the fight with the demons inside the nearby manor house.

The only other thing discussed as a matter for the council to consider during the year was Hypathia’s suggestion that we continue to assay the aurae in and around Mynnydd Myrrdin, which we will do between us.

Lastly, and somewhat embarrassingly for our council of the wise, it seems that with the magically puissant Volutus abroad, no one present had cast the ritual of the Aegis of the Hearth before. Terentius, bold as ever, offered to cast it. Naïvius displayed what was, depending on your views, either prudent caution or rank cowardice by retreating to his sanctum during its casting (which passed off without incident).

Volutus and I returned a mere week into the season and we held an informal council meeting and discussed what we had learnt in Gofannon’s realm, as has already been eagerly reported in Volutus’s journal last year.

Jari’s private journal
I wrote that we discussed what we had learnt in the faerie regio but that is a lie, something which Volutus is surprisingly good at! When Gofannon appeared from out of the quicksilver lake, he spoke first to Volutus, stating“We have met before”. As I looked on in bemusement at this claim and Volutus uncertainly dissembled, Gofannon grew impatient and demanded somewhat angrily that Volutus use his true name. This was obviously a somewhat unexpected turn of events but not half as unexpected as the answer that Volutus gave, “Magus Criamon.”

As I struggled to contain my astonishment, Volutus explained that he bears a fragment of Criamon’s soul. I still find it quite incredible as I write this record but the reaction of Gofannon and Volutus’ reluctant acknowledgement seems to leave little room for doubt. How extraordinary! It seems that even the dullest magus is capable of containing quite amazing secrets.

Gofannon said that he and Criamon had spoken before on the nature of the First Ones. Ever one to reinforce his age and authority over mere mortals such as we (possibly just me), Gofannon added archly that our small minds couldn’t comprehend the old time, from whence the First Ones came, much as we can’t truly comprehend Arcadia. He then offered to take us down to a scrying pool deep within the regio, perilously close to Arcadia and bade “Criamon” look into the bowl – the light from which shone with frightening power to my faerie senses. As Volutus peered into the bowl I felt a wave of twilight wash over me, though I was able to maintain control over my Gift, though it was enough for me to hastily decline Gofannon’s offer for me to look into the bowl too, something he deemed wise.

On discussing what had been seen there, Gofannon revealed that Criamon had been taught much by one of the First Ones, noting that “You may not remember but I do”. Quite how that works chronologically I’m not sure as to my understanding, puny, mortal and small as it is, the First Ones have been away from this world for much longer than the start of the Order so presumably Criamon saw it in some sort of vision of the past? Or it is possible to travel backwards in time to witness such things? Aristotle argues that time is motion without beginning or end, which obviously suggests that such motion could well be circular, though he also believed it was infinite so it’s not the only interpretation. It seems that the great philosopher was wise enough to not have been too definitive on this tricky subject. Augustine made the interesting case that time is nothing in reality but exists only in the mind’s apprehension of reality, but he and later philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas argue that time is finite, which seems to be more about introducing a creation story into the structure of time than anything reasoned from first principles. Frankly the more I think in such a subject the less unreasonable Gofannon’s snide remark seems. That said, it doesn’t make being seen as a significantly lesser intellect any the easier to take and with such in mind, I have resolved to show some more empathy to Volutus in future.

Doubtless all too aware of my occasionally less than discreet nature, Volutus was keen to discuss the matter as we walked back towards the mundane world. I told him that I was perfectly prepared to lie and deny all knowledge of his ‘situation’ in return for being kept fully up to date of all the interesting facts and updates relating to it. We danced around the mention of blackmail for the sake of keeping the conversation civil, but we basically came to an agreement that if I keep my big mouth shut, Volutus will keep me informed of his adventures and twilight exploring.

Obviously to maintain my cover I’ll have to be ruder than ever about Volutus’s capabilities in public, but maybe I should be more careful not to rush to snap judgements about people in the future. It really is true what they say, dull waters do run deep.

Back at the covenant I was waylaid by Pyrrhus about his acquiring Turold’s broken sword from Erik. I’ll spare you the details of the back and forth but in the end a three-sided deal was done between Volutus, Pyrrhus and I, which resulted in Erik giving Pyrrhus the sword and me owing Erik a season, which he wants me to spend composing his saga. A more interesting three months than being Volutus’ assistant for sure! Pyrrhus’ problem is not entirely gone away with his acquiring the sword, for it is still broken and thus I very much doubt it could be seen as being fit for a wizard knight.

Anyway, Volutus said that he would spend the remainder of the season studying Mynydd Myrddin, while I shall go to visit Llyr’s court. After eventually corralling Races the Wind who was in one his Mad March moods, I cast the Voice of the Lake and asked the Lladra to bear me and my companions to Llyr’s court, which she gladly obliged. I experienced a weird sensation of rushing water, of being rushing water I should say, then emerged dry in the court. It was superficially much alike to a mundane noble’s court though with many differences to the keen eye – glassless portals looking out into the open sea, with fish swimming past, being perhaps the biggest give away.

In the court, the Lladra appeared not in her watery form but as a noble lady with dark hair and a fine blue-grey dress. Curiously, Eanfled’s fur was more grey than white.

Jari’s private journal
I really must investigate Eanfled, if he can be persuaded to stay still for long enough. He is clearly a rare and interesting creature and if he truly is a ‘wizard fey’, as Marissa once suggested, in the same way that church fey are church fey, then he may offer some insight into the overlap between the two realms – at least as Bonisagus’ system would describe them.

I saw Nimue, standing alone, off to one side from the throng of courtiers and moved cautiously to speak with her. Nimue’s cold matter of factness was much more frightening than any bluster I have encountered amongst the fey, though she possesses not the raw inhuman power and disdain of Gofannon. I spoke with her a little about the Shining One but she provided little new information.

I was then granted a personal audience with Llyr, a much less intimidating meeting than with Gofannon or even the Erequith, but alien and inhuman nevertheless. He told me that the fey have met in council and that the Shining One is quiescent for now, but they fear that if it flexes its power, they may feel forced to retreat through the Silver Gates and close them behind them. They hope that this will perhaps hide them or more likely just buy them a little time, though the concept of the fey “buying time” seems a little curious. Indeed, the more I reflect on it, the more unlike the fey it seems to suggest such a tactic. Are they speaking truly or trying to goad us into action using language they think we will understand?

Llyr said that the Shining One cannot be bargained with, though it might be possible to speak with it and perhaps even gain some insight into its desires. He warned that the mere act of talking to it could draw its attention, though I’m not sure how one could have a conversation without the attention of the other party. Yet his core point stands, any interaction with it could be extremely dangerous and have implications for more than just the person speaking.
As to why the Shining One has returned, Llyr could offer little wisdom for he said that it is a puzzle to the fey, noting only that “a door long shut has opened” but he does not know how or why. Llyr did offer his power to help with it if it were needed, he also asked me to pass on his surprise to the Queen about no council being called. I can just imagine how that’ll sit with Hypathia.

Before I left, I asked after Marissa, which in truth was my primary reason for visiting the court. He confirmed what I feared, that Marissa has given up her mundane ties and now travels the deep currents of the seas.
The Lladra bore me back to the covenant without incident and I was pleased to find that only two weeks had passed. I relayed what I had learnt to an informal council and Hypathia’s eyes rolled much as I had expected when I relayed Llyr’s message about the calling of the Queen’s council.

Jari’s private journal
Volutus really is full of surprises these days, if I had not known the full extent of his secrets I would never have guessed them from the performance he gave when Terentius asked him about his abilities. I’m going to have to pay extra attention to make sure he’s upholding his end of the bargain and telling me everything that’s going on.


Showing the characteristic empathy and situational awareness of a Trianoman, Volutus began the proceedings by providing us all with a little light relief from thoughts of impending doom at the hands of either the Templars or the Shining One as he relayed a comic tale of magical mishap and hermetic hamfistedness in his laboratory resulting in an ignoble failure to develop his intellego vim spell.

Less entertainingly, the English armies are being hard pressed by the French on the continent so a relieving force will be sent and Hypathia is trying hard to persuade King Theo not to lead this himself. She fears that he will be much more vulnerable to assassination, whether by hermetic or mundane means, on mainland Europe.

Hypathia relayed news of her travels abroad, where she spoke with the magi of Narwold who it seems have precious few mundane interactions themselves. So, guised as a scholar from Kings College Gloucester, she briefly visited Cambridge University where she was glad to find little seditious sentiment, but rather a misplaced optimism that the new pope will revoke the excommunication this land benefits from.

Jari’s private journal
At least I hope it was Cambridge, but it may have been Oxford. I confess I was thinking of which of the new crate of Italian wines that have just been delivered from my vintner in Chepstow to try first but I’ve gone with my best guess as I wouldn’t want Hypathia to think I wasn’t paying eager attention to her tales of scholarly adventure.

Volutus suggested, and council agreed for it was a fine idea, that we set a longer-term spy plan and sponsor a local lad to be educated first at Kings College Gloucester and then at Oxford. It will take a few years to come to fruition, but he will have a near-impeccable cover from which to report from that place.

There then followed a very tedious and pedantic discussion about following the letter of the Charter between Volutus, Terentius and Naevius concerning vis distribution and how free the council is to distribute it as it sees fit. I really can’t be bothered to go into the fine detail other than that it seemed an utter waste of time, other than for those speaking who have an especial love of their own voice – bit of breathtaking hypocrisy from yours truly on that last point I recognise! It then was confirmed in point of fact to be an utter waste of time when Volutus delivered a decisive put down that conclusively brought the argument to an end. Did our Bonisagus do so through indisputable logic? Or perhaps a devastating rhetorical flourish? Or did his superior intellect highlight a fatal flaw in his opponent’s arguments? Sadly not, for he simply stated that he was speaking as a Quaesitor on a point of law and thus his was the only opinion that mattered. What nobility.

Jari’s private journal
The more I get to know Naevius the less I like him, he really is a pompous, pedantic arse and frankly I'd rather share an evening talking with Volutus than him. But he's certainly shaken up the somewhat comfortable council dynamic quite nicely. I'm not sure I like the direction he may try and take us at all but the ride is part of the fun I guess. Interestingly he got very cross indeed when Pyrrhus went off on one of his tangents about this being the end of the Order, I’ll have to remember that for future discussions when he might need distracting from the subject in hand.

With the argument behind us, we moved on to future topics, namely the forthcoming raid on Tintern. On the unspoken but fairly clear grounds that I'm pretty much the only one who wouldn't be happier pulling their own teeth out rather than talking to Liberata, I agreed to visit her to agree terms on what exactly would happen to any prisoners we obtained. We had all been half-expecting Liberata to produce some sort of tricksiness and claim the prisoner for her own but she was, superficially at least, the soul of reason. She said that they would be our prisoners and we would be leading the interrogation. She then gave me a tour of the dungeons and special windowless cell at Blackthorn, describing the shackles with a powerful Perdo Vim enchantment against magic and the permanent fifteenth magnitude Ward Against Demons set into the floor. It was all most impressive and she seemed most confident that it would be proof against any escape or rescue attempt. I thought it imprudent to mention Caelestis at that point.

On the journey home, I stopped by our camping spot near Mynyyd Myrddin and saw to my disquiet that the phenomenon appeared to have grown in strength since my last visit. I could sense waves of twilight as I stood and watched, they were subtle but perceptible even at that distance and I could see flickering shadows of light over the hills out of the corners of my eyes. Races the Wind said it felt like a storm to him. When extended my perception to that granted me by my faerie blood I could see that in addition to the waves of flickering starlight I had seen before, to the NorthEast of the hills there was a crack of black lightning. This was followed by a wave of starlight and shortly after I felt the slight eldritch tickle of twilight. When casting a simple spell like Eyes of the Cat soon afterwards I sensed that my control over the spell was slipping a little. Not enough for it go awry but enough to send a cold shiver down my back. Needless to say, I did not camp there overnight.

Durius and Constantine arrived two days later and we set about putting our Tintern plans into action. Such plans as we had made regarding the raid and prisoners and the like sadly proved to be of little use for misfortune struck before they could be put into action. Terentius and Meliorax were somehow spotted by the Abbott as they made a final reconnaissance of the compound. Terentius' familiar was once again afflicted with an infernal effect akin to Agony of the Beast and once again plummeted to the ground and was sorely wounded. This time it appears to have been cast by an imp that Terentius espied upon his hawk's back. Although he was able to rescue Meliorax, with the element of surprise lost it was decided it was too risky to attempt the raid. Instead a watch was set the next dawn to look for any seeking to escape. Alas that we did not act faster for it seems that the abbot left on “urgent business” before the sun rose.

Terentius set off on his trail but even with his preternaturally sharp senses the trail went cold at Usk with our dogged Tremere still half a day behind. It is highly likely that the 'bay mare' the abbot was riding was in fact some sort of internal creature given the speed it moved in the hours of darkness. We thought it likely he was heading on to a port but further searches in Cardiff, Newport and beyond turned up nothing. Durius meanwhile snuck into the abbot's chambers but found naught of interest save perhaps a feather from his pillow.

Following on from our failure to track the abbot of Tintern through South Wales it was agreed that I spend the rest of my season’s service familiarising myself with the countryside and to pick up a little of the Welsh language.


News from the Concilium Quaesitori was the first matter for discussion. Sadly, it seems that the longstanding champion of the ‘Stonehenge Experiment' Faelon has suffered a major twilight and was unable to attend. The Tremere had cheerier news, reporting that they had killed two templars near Carlisle.

Gaines, who I think was attending as a Quaesitor but possibly as a Redcap, I confess I've lost track a little of who is and who isn't a Quaesitor these days, gave a report on news of the Order from the continent. It was predictably bleak, Black Road and most of the rest of the covenants in Normandy are gone, there is civil war in Iberia between the traitor Prudentia and those opposed to her, Rome is deserted save Magvillus, Loch Lagleann is fairly hale but there are reports of growing numbers of templars there. Of the cheerier bits of news, while Transylvania is cut off it still functioning and Crintera is now restored.

The main news from the Concilium was that that deeply respected body has recommended that magi currently unable to join the house of their choice should be able to join the Order of Hermes, without being a member of a House. Such a ruling would likely require several covenant charters, though not ours, to be rewritten.

Next, the convoluted and long-running saga of how best to approach the matter of the vis sites at Witherendun was finally resolved, with two new resolutions passed that satisfied both Terentius and Naïvius.

After some discussion about how best he could extricate himself from his unwise bargain with Gofynnwy, Pyrrhus announced that he would be venturing to the village of Oxted to look for Sir Edward Raine, his heir or his grave. Sir Edward Raine is, or more likely was, a magus who dwelt outside of covenant and held mundane noble title, hence Pyrrhus reasoned that the sword Sir Edward bore must by definition be worthy of a wizard knight. It sounded like the least worst option I’d heard and I agreed that it might just be enough. Pyrrhus will take ship to London with Terentius, with our Flambeau heading thence to Oxted and our Tremere off to Witherendun to further explore the lands thereabouts on service to the covenant.

After the council was concluded, I sent a letter to Phaedra via Gaines, telling her of the sad news about the passing from mortal life of Marissa. Although her strong faerie ties meant she was not the warmest of characters in her later years, she was a great mentor to me and I will miss her. I think the tribunal is diminished without her too, for she was a member of Stonehenge for many years, having joined back in 1172, originally as part of Narwold, before moving to Solis Castle and then Carrion Moor. While the dark currents of the oceans and the Court of Water were perhaps her primary focus, she was nevertheless a close friend of the Archimagus Tiarnan and a good ally of Severn Temple over her long years too, aiding the covenant in our investigations into Glastonbury and the fey sorceress.

Jari’s private journal
I am not the sort to shed tears but nor do I take comfort from the fact that a faerie version of Marissa dwells within the deep dark currents of the oceans. Just as the faerie who bears the guise of Tiarnan is clearly not the same individual as the mortal magus, nor do I expect the Marissa I knew to still exist, some essential part of her is gone and the faerie version of her is something to be wary of, as with all such immortals.


Princeps Pyrrhus had not yet returned from his quest to seek out the sword of Sir Edward Raine, but with my anarchistic interpretation of our Charter having been summarily slapped down by Quaesitor Volutus, the council was not steerboardless but was led by our Deputy Princeps, who else but Volutus! Another excellent example of the fine democratic standards within the Order.

Terentius made report of his investigations of the land around Witherendun, the site itself being quiet with no sign of spiders or any disturbance. He told a sorry tale of lost grogs and how he had become the second cannibal to sit at our council. Ever a fine shot with his bow, Terentius had hunted and slain a silver-furred deer that smelt of magic and having used a spell to concentrate the animal's vis into its antlers he served the rest of the body up as a tasty roast venison dinner. Unfortunately, this bold culinary choice went awry when the remains of the deer's corpse turned back into that of a red-haired woman and Sergeant Noah and Frey transformed into silver-furred deer and promptly ran off at high speed into the woods. He tried to retrieve the men, but even when he was able to track one down and attempt to talk to it using Tongue of the Beasts he had no response, it seems that the man’s mind was also transformed. Other than this misfortune, Terentius also found a pool with what he believes are magical fish, but was unable to catch any in either human or seal form. In the end, he was able to return with a ripe harvest of berries worth almost a rook of perdo vis and the deer antler contained 5 pawns of animal.

Flushed with pride, Volutus then revealed that he had finally developed his spell to enable him to walk through the lower levels of a regio without passing through and he announced his plans to test it this season.

Sadly, such pride was misplaced, for he returned four weeks later in more subdued mood. He reported that when testing the spell in the lower levels of the Grey Hill regio, as soon as he crossed the first regio boundary there he dropped straight into the regio inside the centre of the hill. The aura there was of the seventh magnitude and it seems there is a quite extensive network of caves there, though the going was far from easy and in the end he had to use Petrus' dagger to Rend the Mystic Veil to get to a lower level from which he was able to scramble out into the hillside. His face bore a weak smile as he said that he’d rename it as an exploration spell.

Jari’s private journal
Oh, how I laughed!

Pyrrhus returned three weeks into the season. He wasn’t keen to yet share what had happened as he went straight back to his laboratory though I sense he was not unhappy with how things had gone. I could say that was down to my well-honed skills at reading the subtle nuances of facial expressions and body language but in this case it was more the fact that he hadn’t been seen screaming at any servants or throwing fire at anything.

At mid-winter the Tegid Foel appeared. Although everything was ready, I was perhaps a trifle too relaxed and almost ruined everything straight away as I’d forgotten that I wasn’t part of the Aegis ritual so although I invited him to enter the covenant it nevertheless repelled him. Whoops. He was not best pleased, but fortunately I was able to swiftly quench both his ire and thirst with the offer of a cup of mulled wine while we waited for Pyrrhus to come along and invite him in. The actual visit then passed uneventfully though it seems that the annoying rat from the tower is still present and frustrating him.

He left behind a fair quantity of vis, in the form of junk from the tower, 3 verdigris-stained bronze coins containing 12 paws of terram vis, a split and rotten haft of a poleaxe with 4 pawns of perdo vis and the delights of a bag of human teeth with 6 pawns of corporem vis.

Thus my current spell recording our history here comes to the end. Looking back, it was an interesting year with the deeds of some of the magi being at odds with traditional expectations. Namely, a Bonisagan failing repeatedly to properly invent an intellego vim spell, a Tremere becoming a cannibal and a Flambeau appearing to solve a tricky faerie bargain with cunning rather than violence. Strange times indeed!