Scribed by Naevius

Spring 1307AD

  • The shade of Magus Volutus appears at the spring and relates messages to members of the council.
  • Three members of the council make a perilous journey to Tomar to retrieve the corpses of Lysimachus and Husam.

It appears tradition for magi contributing to the journal for the first time to introduce themselves or reflect upon its history. Traditions represent the foundation stones of the ethos and culture of a covenant – therefore, I shall humbly note a brief record of how I came to join this council.

My Pater, Thacius, was a demanding but not especially cruel master. I recall the years of my apprenticeship as lonely and often hard years – punctuated by what felt like brief periods of tuition and service in Thacius’ laboratory. Sheltered from the mundane and Hermetic politics of the time, I had no idea how desperate the state of relations between Houses and Tribunals, or the growing threat that temporal and religious powers were becoming. My awakening to this state of affairs was a rude shock; I passed Thacius’ gauntlet and joined the council of Potestas Covenant in the Rome Tribunal in the same year that the Pope excommunicated the Order of Hermes.

As a ‘Probatio’ member of the council, my position was only little elevated to that of an apprentice. My ‘sanctum’ was little more than a sleeping space and I was required to fulfil seasons of service to senior individuals on the council in order to earn access to the libraries or a laboratory. Despite the wealth of the covenant, which had two smaller covenants ‘Sub Tributo’, I had almost no access to personal vis or monies. However, I knew nothing better and considered myself fortunate that, in perhaps as little as 50 years, I would enjoy ‘Seniorus’ status on the council and begin to reap the rewards for my services and patience.

All of this changed in 1296, of course, when the Templars attacked the Grand Tribunal. All of the council - save magus Henricus of Jerbiton - were slain that night. The following year, Henricus travelled to Valnastium amid rumours that the Templars were planning to attack. Alone on the council, one might have imagined that I would have revelled in the opportunity to access the library and covenant resources, but at the time, we were under almost constant attack. Historically, our covenant had allies amongst the Ghibellines who support the Holy Roman Emperor. With the excommunication and the loss of the senior magi, the Guelphs – supporting the Pope – took opportunity to seize our local villages, strike against our allied nobles, and eventually launch raids against the covenant itself. Within two years, the once prosperous covenant had become desperate and starving. Many of the grogs and covenfolk deserted – and the prospect of repelling future attack became remote with what few remained.

In the spring of 1299, with rumours starting to circle that the Templar army was moving towards the Rome Tribunal, I made the decision to leave. I gathered what goods and vis I could transport and used a large portion of the covenant’s coin to secure passage to Verdi covenant. I cannot say the departure was heart rending – despite having lived there since a young child, Potestas never felt like a home to me – but it was difficult none-the-less. On the journey, I was betrayed by the ship’s captain – my consortis, Casimiro, was murdered and I barely escaped, eventually washing up in a row boat with the last two grogs of my company on the coast near Taranto in the Kingdom of Sicily. From there, we traded what we had managed to bring with us as we trekked over-land, sleeping rough or in barns, until we reached the covenant of Fiore. The magi took us in, but that Roman culture of exploiting those in a weak bargaining position meant I ended up having to trade my masterwork, the service of my last two grogs and most of the vis to secure passage to Verdi.

My arrival in Verdi preceded the exodus from Harco and influx of other magi displaced from their covenants on the continent. I was not considered accomplished enough to join the council – even as Probatio – so instead gave up the last of the vis from Potestas to secure some accommodation within the covenant. Over the next couple of years, dozens of magi sought sanctuary at the Domus Magnus Verditius and it became the acting base for House Mercere. Conditions were relatively safe though crowded – and the prospects of study or experimentation were virtually non-existent.

Over this time, I think I gave up hope for the Order – with the fall of so many Domus Magni and the succession of Thebes it seemed all was lost. However, news from the West would trickle in – that the Tribunal of Stonehenge had an alliance with the English King and actively looking to recruit magi. This seemed remarkable in the light of the calamity on the continent, but many of the other refugees spoke poorly of the tribunal: Accusations that all our troubles had started when the magi from that part of the world had attacked the Templars – that their interference in mundane affairs had caused the Pope to excommunicate us. Others disagreed though; the Stonehenge Tribunal appeared to have the right ideas and perhaps represented the best hope for the survival of the Order. I found myself decisively swayed by the latter position and determined to find a way to travel to West.

Little did I anticipate, when I finally left Verdi on a Red Cap ship in 1302, that within five years the covenant I’d joined would itself become the focus of Templar aggression. That we survived is entirely due to the sacrifices and commitment of the magi of this Tribunal – Praeca Liberata, Constantine, Durius and our own magus Volutus. Indeed, it is regarding the fate of Volutus where the events of the season begin.

Since the battle with the Templars last year, there had been a question as to whether Magus Volutus would return from Twilight or whether he was lost forever following his intervention in the battle. This question received an answer the night before our spring council meeting.

I had been asleep for several hours when news came that the ghost of our sodalis had been spotted near the spring. Along with the other members of the council, I headed out into the freezing, night air to investigate this report. The translucent figure certainly bore a likeness to the missing Bonisagus – yet the reaction of Hypatia, and particularly Terentius – made me wonder what exactly Volutus had become or what this entity truly was. Later, Terentius described how Volutus had appeared to his magical sight: As a dark, twisted rent in the very fabric of the world. Hypatia described an overwhelming feeling of dread and horror – much like her impression in proximity to the regio of Mynydd Myddyn. This was no ordinary ghost it seems – but some terrifying shadow of our former sodalis, a shade from the realm of twilight.

This twilight shadow told us that Volutus would not be returning, but had agreed to become the servant of the ‘Shining One’ and was seeking to pacify the magical tempest which has been growing within that regio. It claimed that this was the price for destroying the weapon of our enemy using some magic born of twilight itself. It revealed that this weapon had been a fallen star – some piece of the Heavens beyond the Lunar sphere which not only resisted magic, but could unmake such within its vicinity – and that Volutus had somehow used twilight itself to rend the fabric of the world so it no longer existed.

The shade also indicated that Volutus had left a letter for us all in the antechamber to his sanctum and that it bore personal messages for each of us. Given the admission that it was in the thrall of the nightmarish entity within Mynydd Myddyn, I dared not trust any words it might share. Terentius would also not approach the shade. The other members of the council, however, approached one-by-one to hear its words. Having imparted whatever messages it brought, the shade departed – and the council retired to the covenant.

The letter was retrieved and read to the council by Terentius. In my former tribunal, it was common for disputes and arguments to surround the death of a magus, with rivals making claims – and frequently engaging in certamen or even Wizard’s War – for rights to goods or chattels. As the last will of Volutus to the council, I will attach the letter here for the record – lest any other contest our claim:

To the Magi of Severn Temple Covenant,

My Sodales,

I write this in the clear knowledge that the challenge that we now face may one too great for us to overcome and I cannot know whether all those of you that I have shared my time at this council will still live. Yet it is my belief that we shall prevail, that all the visions that I and others have had are of this one moment in time, a moment where those who have sought to rip magic from this land will find that they have sorely underestimated our art and our will. Alas, I am certain that there will be a price to pay, and all that I have learned tells me that this is a battle that I will not be returning from. Perhaps that is for the best; the power that I intend to bring against our enemies is one that to my mind is too great for any one man to wield. Yet wield it I will. I know that you have doubted many of the things that I have revealed to you in recent times, and it neither surprises nor saddens me that this is the case, but I do believe that I have such art to strike a decisive blow and that I shall be able to find the moment in history where I can unmake their weapon and yet not tear further upon the threads that have become so frayed as a result of the agency of wizards.

As you read this know that I wish you well, and that I hold no regrets for what my fate has brought me. The ideals that led to the foundation of the Order of Hermes are one that I have held dear for many years but my time at this covenant has shown me why they are so important and why the Oaths that we swear are more than mere words spoken from long tradition. You have been my family for more than half my lifetime and I have learned so much from you all.

I have entrusted the care of Sander, my apprentice, to my Pater and he has agreed to continue his training in the event that I do not return. My valuable you will find buried in a chest behind the barracks, a pace away from the symbol of my House that I have inscribed upon the wall of that building. Within you shall find that of my vis which I have not borne with me – 6 pawns of Creo, one of Rego, a rook of Corporem, two pawns of Herbam and a further four of Vim. I have also placed within the coin that I have been saving for many years in the hope that one day O might sponsor a covenant within this tribunal and that amounts to the sum of 7,507 pennies. All this I leave to the council of Severn Temple to do with as it will. I also leave within a map that I made of the caves within the Grey Hill that lie at the 7th magnitude. This I leave to Terentius for I know that such things will please him.

I shall end this letter now for it is harder to write than I expected. Know that I remain forever your sodalis.



Magus Volutus, filius Praesulis, discipulus Bonisagus

I’m somewhat loathe to record them, as the visions granted by this twilight shade may yet come to cause us harm. However, despite my personal misgivings, I shall attempt to faithfully relate what was discussed at council.

At the council meeting the next morning, Hypatia revealed the private message that the twilight shade had shared. It claimed to know the location of the bodies of her pater, Lysimachus, and magus Husam: Spiritually imprisoned within a catacomb beneath the fortress where they had fallen just over 30 years ago – the Convento de Christo in Tomar, within the Kingdom of Portugal.

She announced her intention to travel there immediately in order to retrieve and return their bodies. Unsurprisingly, her sodales counselled caution – but she could not be dissuaded. The shade had revealed that, following the death of the Grandmaster and so many of the knights, the fortress was only lightly defended. She believed that this state of affairs might not last long, for rumours of the Templars’ difficulties with the French King might mean many of the remaining knights of that Order might retreat to Tomar – bolstering its defences and making such a mission even more perilous .

Given there was no way to apparently persuade her against the plan, the Magus Pyrrhus volunteered to accompany her. Terentius also appeared minded to go – despite his reticence to trust the words of this twilight shade. Retrieving the bodies of the fallen is widely known as a tradition of his House – and I suspect this tipped the balance against his natural caution.

Magus Pyrrhus related the message he had been given – that at some point in the future he would be offered a powerful gemstone, a ‘blood moonstone’ – but that it carried some dreadful curse and that he should refuse it. Magus Jari also revealed what words had been shared with him – that the powers of the Erechwydd and the Nynniaw were in contest for the silver gate and dominion over the faerie regio. He was told that one of us would come into the possession of a wand – made of bleached wood with the appearance of bone, with dark red sap running like marrow through its core. The shade had warned him that it would be better for all if this wand never fell into the hands of either faerie lord.

There was also discussion about the Tribunal meeting to be held at Blackthorn next season. Beyond speculation regarding who amongst the aged might stand for the position of Praeco, we considered how the events of the battle might be related to the gathering of magi. The shade of Volutus had requested that we downplay his role – for fear that other magi, whether intrigued or desirous of such power, might seek out the ‘Shining One’ within Mynydd Myddyn. Hypatia was also keen not to have the assembled magi dwell upon the ancient magics she had wrought within the Heart of the Forest. There was broad agreement within the council that – whilst the facts would be reported truly – the precise nature of such magics (or speculation about such in the case of Volutus) would not be volunteered.

After discussion regarding threats to the covenant, covenant services, personal activities and training, and the usual dispensation of vis and coin from covenant stores, the meeting came to an end. Thereafter, Hypatia, Pyrrhus and Terentius laid plans for their journey to Portugal – taking with them several items from the magical stores to aid them in their hazardous endeavour. The three magi left for Chepstow after the re-casting of the Aegis of the Hearth.

The season within the covenant passed peacefully – with no visitor or event of note to record here. We were relieved when, towards the end of the season, our sodales returned to the covenant with the bodies of Lysimachus and Husam. It seems that the enterprise had been successful – though not without difficulties. Funeral pyres were constructed for the two former magi of the covenant - and all members of the council attended. Hypatia – the only one of us to have known them – spoke, quite poignant, words for each as part the ceremony. The event was not without some tension, for I noticed that magus Terentius appeared aggrieved with magus Pyrrhus – and the two magi were not talking.


  • The events at Tomar are recounted by the returning magi.
  • The Tribunal of Stonehenge is held at midsummer and Magus Voressio is elected Praeco.

The reasons for the friction between Terentius and Pyrrhus became apparent when the tale of events was discussed in full at the next council.

Mindful that an English ship might come to the attention of any Templar agents, the three magi travelled first to London and sought aid from the King’s agents. They successfully obtained forged documents identifying the ship as a Flemish trader, a fair quantity of Flemish silver, and found the services of one Jean Chaloner – a man originally from Flanders (a country also recently at war to defend themselves from French ambitions). He would pose as the captain of the ship - temporarily renamed, ‘Dolfijn’ - for the purposes of the mission.

From there, they were able to utilise the ship’s enchantments to make swift pace across the Bay of Biscay and travel along the coast of the Iberian Peninsula to Lisboa. Making port, Hypatia secured the purchase of three horses so that the magi could continue their journey overland. The ‘Dolfijn’ was sent away – to return in a month – to avoid suspicion which might be aroused by a lengthy stay in port.

It seems that posing as Flemish merchants may have avoided the attention of any Templar spies, but have drawn the interest of brigands. As the three magi travelled north, diverting around the salty marshlands near the mouth of the Ribatejo, twice they were followed by such rogues. The first time, as they made camp beyond the town of Alenquer, the second near Santarem. Each time, the magi were successful in defeating the threat – though Pyrrhus was forced to use blatant magic on one occasion. At the time, they were concerned that these men were spies of the Templars, but their behaviour appeared inconsistent for such agents. Hypatia speculated, given that the Templar Order was dedicated to protecting the roads for pilgrims, that the loss of so many knights from the region had led to an increase in banditry. Either way, it was apparently undiscovered by the enemy, that the magi approached Tomar.

The land around the river becomes more fertile – with orchards and small farms populating the broad valley – as the road approaches the Templar stronghold. The town of Tomar was described as a small, bustling, market town – nestled across the brow of a steep hill. From the town, a single bridge spanned the steep cliffs which separate it from the Convento de Christo.

Making camp some distance away – away from the influence of the dominion – Terentius and his familiar mounted a series of aerial surveys of the area. It seemed that the shade had been truthful about one thing at least; there appeared to be very few men guarding the stronghold – and these appeared sergeants and squires rather than knights of the Order. By night, Terentius was able to get close enough to peer into the magical realm to see if there were any signs of infernal guardians. He spied troubling shadows around the quarters of the Grandmaster within the cloisters. However, around the church and the approach, he saw nothing that caused him worry.

The magi had discussed several approaches to the Templar fortress – but posing as the individuals who occasionally delivered supplies by wagon appeared too undermined by the need to speak the local language and the danger of casting spells to disguise themselves within the dominion. Instead, the three magi waited for an overcast night to fly over the walls and infiltrate the compound via the gardens which lie near to the gatehouse. From there, they were able to make their way to the doors of the church. Once inside, they located the route down to the catacombs below – though Terentius reported that he dispatched an infernal, imp-like spirit watching over the entrance. The dark cellar-space had a low ceiling supported by squat, stone columns, with a number of sarcophagi both along the walls and standing within the catacombs. Towards the back of the space were a number of shelves containing books and scrolls – and what appeared to be an altar of some kind, covered in a red cloth.

However, as they entered, the magi triggered some kind of protection – four of the sarcophagi opened and undead, armoured knight rose to assail them. Terentius was forced to defend himself until Hypatia successfully cast a ward to protect against the infernal. This spell appeared to keep these enemies at bay – allowing Pyrrhus and Terentius to dispatch them with fire and Perdo Vim magic respectively. However, both magi described some malign influence interfering with their spells – more than once, their magic appeared misdirected, on at least occasions twice striking Hypatia rather than intended targets.

With the last of undead guardians destroyed, the magi swiftly searched the space for the bodies of Lysimachus and Husam. Terentius identified three tombs which – to his magical sight – appeared bound in chains of shadow. Using the diamond-tipped wand, they were able to suppress this infernal enchantment – and using the spell ‘Unseen Porter’ open each of the sarcophagi.

They uncovered the preserved corpses of Hypatia’s pater and the magus Husam – but also a third body, dressed much as a monk. Believing this individual to be Ptolemaeus, the former Primus of House Corpus Domani, the magi determined to take all three cadavers along with them. Terentius used Muto Corporem magic to shrink the forms of Lysimachus and Husam so that Hypatia and Pyrrhus were able to transport them, and carried the body of Ptolemaeus himself out of the catacombs.

As they arrived back in the church, they became aware that their battle with the undead had alerted the defenders of the fortress. Setting down his burden, Terentius was able to bring a number of these guards down with arrows allowing Hypatia and Pyrrhus to use spells to carry themselves aloft with winds. However, even as the last defenders were retreating, Pyrrhus surprised his sodales by casting a Perdo Corporem spell to destroy the corpse of Ptolemaeus.

Pyrrhus accounted for this decision by arguing that Terentius would have been unable to carry the body in the form of a raven (his method of flight) – and would have been essentially stuck in the compound or forced to set down the corpse in order to make his escape. Therefore, rather than leave the body of Ptolemaeus behind, he thought it wiser to destroy it. Terentius – clearly still furious – said he’d had the whole situation in hand and would have extracted himself easily enough via the gateway bridge into the town. Clearly, the body of the former Primus would have had value – not only to vindicate those magi who attacked Tomar 30 years ago, but also potentially providing intelligence about our enemy – however, given the desperate situation, none argued that Pyrrhus should be sanctioned for his action.

The magi returned to their camp and eventually headed West with the bodies – having carried message to the captain of the ship to meet them in a cove close to the settlement of Nazaré. The journey back was uneventful and, as has already been recorded, the funerals of Lysimachus and Husam were conducted upon their return to the covenant.

There was no significant discussion at council following this tale; our sodales had ventured into the stronghold of the enemy and retrieved the bodies of two former members of this council – a righteous and heroic deed! However, the argument between Terentius and Pyrrhus soured what might otherwise have been cause for great celebration.

Instead, Jari related what he had discovered about the strange, gold casket retrieved after the battle with the Templars, using the ritual ‘Greet the Maker’. He had been granted a vision of a great, golden idol – of a winged man with a serpent coiled around his legs – and a king forcing his people to bow before this statue. Those who refused were apparently cast into magical flames and burnt alive – yet three individuals who refused and were cast into these flames emerged unharmed. Following this event, the idol was melted down – and it appears some of this gold was used to forge the casket. Jari was unable to date the construction of the vessel – though guessed it was far to the East, perhaps the lands of Persia, and must be many centuries old. The image of the idol bore strong resemblance to the figure on the casket – though what this means was not clear, nor did it grant us much further insight into the nature of the weapon, save that it too must be ancient and it is very unlikely that it came from Mynydd Myddyn (as Pyrrhus had often speculated).

Following the council, there were no events of note before the gathering of magi at Blackthorn for the Stonehenge Tribunal. Shortly after we arrived, Pyrrhus was approached by Primus Llandoddwyn who requested that we consider an application to join our covenant by a recently sworn maga of Ex-Miscellanea. Branwen filia Deana has apparently been trained outside of covenant and knows very little about the workings of the Order of Hermes. My attempts to converse with her were limited by the fact that she speaks no Latin and I barely have much English. However, in deference to the aid the Primus has recently given us, we agreed that she can travel back with us after the Tribunal whilst we consider her application to join the council. Hypatia also had some news as well – apparently after invitation last year, she has agreed with the new Primus to join House Bonisagus. Henceforth, she shall be known as Hypatia filia Lysimachus discipulus Bonisagus.

The first matter for discussion was the election of a new Praeco. Though by far the oldest, Primus Llandoddwyn declined to stand for the position – suggesting that he did not expect to be spared the ravages of twilight for much longer. Another Ex-Miscellanean, Lluddwyn, was apparently entitled to stand – but her absence from the Tribunal was taken as also declining the honour. In the end, Quaesitor MacKiedh, Primus Argentius and the magus Voressio were the candidates the Tribunal would select from. Each gave a short speech in support of their candidature.

MacKiedh argued that, with the defeat of the Templars, our troubles were only just beginning – the source of this threat was the infernal magi of the Unnamed House that he has dedicated much of his life tracking and hunting down. With the chaos within the Hibernian and Loch Leglean Tribunals, he believed they would become bold – using our lack of coordination and unity to strike deadly blows against the remnants of the Order.

Argentius did not disagree that the Unnamed House were becoming a renewed threat to the Tribunal – but argued that tensions between Tribunals also meant a threat that conflict between magi of the Order was becoming a genuine danger as well. In addition, he pointed out that – even with the loss of the Templar’s weapon – that the Church and the military monastic orders still posed a serious obstacle to restoring some semblance of the Order upon the continent. In addition to bolstering the resources of Holy Isle, Argentius committed to rebuilding the strength of the Tribunal through the re-founding of covenants within Stonehenge.

Voressio took a different tack – arguing that whilst many threats were arrayed against us, there was significant risk that the Order lose its purpose as it tried to deal with them. The core purpose – he argued – was to allow magi to peacefully pursue their arts and goals; and that this principle was at threat from the constant war-footing offered by the other candidates.

It struck me that Voressio made an important point about the future we are trying to build. There’s no doubt that we must contest any threats to the safety of the Tribunal – but if this is our only goal, then the Order were seeking to ‘save’ might be lost in the process. I suspect Argentius would have made a worthy Praeco – but I leant my support to my fellow member of House Verditius. In the end, Voressio won the vote by a narrow margin and was elected Praeco of Stonehenge Tribunal.

Over the next couple of days, news was presented to the gathered assembly and some votes were taken. First, we heard report of the conflict between the Scots and English. It seems that the Scottish army – led by Robert De Brus – has successfully defeated the English in several battles and had captured the city of York. The circumstances of these victories has been suspicious, however, and magi from Borri-Tor and Eurus Aquilae have been investigating whether magic has been used to aid the Scottish advance. Quaesitor Pravia of Tremere reported that evidence of magic and Heremetic sigils had been found: It appears weather magics were employed to provide the Scots with advantage over the English in the field – two sigils were detected, one of salt-laden winds and another of the growth of moss. In the siege of York, it appears that magic was used to help the Scots infiltrate the gatehouse and assassinate the English general, Sir Ralph Astley. The sigils of dried blood, splintered stone and bloodshot eyes were identified around that city – including upon the corpse of the general, whose blood had been slowed and then stilled in his veins in a manner that looked like poison.

Whilst the names of the individuals were unknown, Senior Quaesitor Romanus ruled that – given the alleged crime had taken place within Stonehenge Tribunal and that the presence of a Hermetic sigil was sufficient to ‘identify’ the magi involved – that the Tribunal was within its rights to decide whether a breach of the Primary Code had been committed. He noted that a vote which declared the actions of these magi to be such a breach would result in the Tribunal declaring a Wizards’ March against these individuals. Alternatively, if the vote did not pass – a separate charge under the peripheral code could be considered, with a wider range of penalties potentially available to the Tribunal to vote upon.

There was discussion about whether a vote which led to Wizards’ March might risk escalating potential conflict between the Tribunals – and a suggestion that, given the Tribunal had voted in support of the actions taken against the Dukes of York and Norfolk only a few years ago, that the charge of ‘interfering in mundane affairs’ was no longer such a straightforward matter.

It was a difficult question, but I felt a charge under the Primary Code was the correct course of action. I know some might argue that a less direct response would be preferable – but to my mind, alternative approaches (such as lending counter-magical support to English forces, or seeking to negotiate with the Scottish wizards) would have further embroiled this Tribunal in that mundane conflict. Indeed, I was not alone in thinking this, the vote came down in favour of the charge under the Primary Code: The Tribunal ruled that the individuals responsible were now both expelled from the Order of Hermes and subject to a Wizards’ March against them. The Praeco instructed the Senior Red Cap, Gaines, and the Senior Quaesitor to make approach to Bucholly Castle to see whether the names, houses and covenants of these individuals could be researched from that Tribunal’s records – and to inform them of this Tribunal’s ruling.

The next day, Magus Terentius recounted the events of Templar attack on Severn Temple. There were some questions about the magic that Volutus had used and some interest in the actions of Hypatia within the heart of the forest, but no accusations were raised or votes required of the gathering. The Praeco commended all the magi involved in the defence of the Dean – especially those magi who had given their lives in the defence of the Order. With the Templar weapon destroyed and their strength broken, it appears that military order now has much less support from Rome to protect them from King Philip of France. We were told that the French king has borrowed vast sums of money from the Templars to pursue his war against England – money he would not be keen to repay if there was an option to simply destroy his creditors.

There was also discussion about the identity of the third corpse found within the catacombs. Hypatia gave testimony that she had recognised the former Primus Ptolemaeus, and Pyrrhus created a detailed image of the cadaver from memory using illusion magic – which several members of the Tribunal agreed bore his likeness. Voressio decided – in the absence of the body to confirm it – that the Tribunal would vote to decide whether it accepted the testimony offered in support of identification. By a fair margin, though with many abstentions, the Tribunal voted in support of the claim that the third corpse located in Tomar was that of Primus Ptolemaeus. Voressio accepted this vote – pointing out that it had significant ramifications, both for the justification for attacking Tomar and in the specific case against the former Primus of Ex-Miscellanea, Olafsson, who had been renounced by the Iberian Tribunal for his part in the raid. Regrettably, without a Grand Tribunal to decide on which incompatible Tribunal ruling should stand, this decision is likely not enough to have the Wizards’ March against the former Primus overturned.

On the last day of the Tribunal, a formal case was heard against the Maga Druscilla of Narwold covenant. As had been previously reported, the maga had been dealing with a merchant within the town of Market Harborough. In seeking to defraud this merchant, she had cast the spell ‘loss of but a moment’s memory’ – but the effects of the spell caused a number of individuals to be stricken, falling into a permanent sleep or losing their minds altogether. When she was arrested by guards from the town, she had revealed her membership of the Order of Hermes – and message from the Crown had been received via the Red Caps asking the Tribunal to deal with the case (as I understand is the arrangement with the King under the great charter). Druscilla had claimed that some third party or supernatural agency had been responsible for the harm which befell the mundanes in the marketplace. Romanus reported that the case had originally been allocated to Volutus to investigate – but given his fate in the battle of the Dean, the case had been re-allocated to Quaesitor Bodric of Carrion Moor covenant.

Bodric related his investigation – where he had used magic to search for sigils or sign of spells which might explain the events in the market. He had gained access to one of the corpses of the stricken, but found no evidence of any spell upon their person other than the sigil belonging to Druscilla. He had also searched for sign of magic upon Druscilla herself and within the market place, and also used the ritual ‘eyes of the past’ to review events from several different vantage points. In the end, he ruled, there was no evidence to suggest that third party had interfered directly or indirectly with events. He believed that Druscilla had cast the spell she had intended, but the most likely explanation is that something went awry with the magic as they interacted with the dominion aura of the town. Druscilla was insistent that she had felt nothing untoward when she cast the spell – no sense of the magic slipping out of her control or hint of twilight. However, it is not always the case that such impressions are received when our magic goes awry – sometimes the interactions with hostile auras can be subtle (even if the effects are less so).

Jari contested the ruling, arguing that if faerie magic had been involved that the quaesitor has no qualification or capability to detect such. Bodric accepted that he knew nothing of faerie magic – but that the Hermetic spell should have revealed something, a presence of magic at least, even if the character or nature of the magic was unknown. He reminded our Merinitan that his ruling was that there was no evidence of such a third party – and that the Tribunal would therefore have to decide whether Druscilla’s claims were likely to be true.

When pressed by the Praeco, Romanus ruled that Druscilla’s actions could be considered a breach of the Primary Code. It appears that the consequences of the action (rather than the intentions behind it) bear great weight for such a charge, especially in light of the fact that her membership of the Order was admitted. Voressio called the chamber to recess to consider the charge before voting.

It was a weighty decision – a spell going awry within the dominion could happen to anyone, and the maga had not intended any harm to the merchant or the others afflicted by the – however, there was no arguing with the harm which had befallen the mundanes within the market place, or Druscilla’s casting of the spell, or evidence to support her claim that some other agency had involved itself. At the last, she had not been defending herself or seeking to protect another – but simply didn’t want to pay for one of the gemstones she wanted. It was a tragic sequence of events that followed, but one might argue that she retained culpability for needlessly instigating those events none-the-less. I, along with about a third of the Tribunal members present, cast my vote in favour of the charge.

Despite a number of abstentions – the balance of the vote went in her favour, however. There followed a discussion relating to a lesser offence under the peripheral code – and a vote which supported this charge. Druscilla was bound over to her covenant for 3 years, charged never to return to the town without Tribunal approval, and fined 3 seasons of service to the Tribunal. Druscilla was extremely fortunate to come away with such a light sentence – I can’t help but reflect how different the attitude to her plight would have been within my former Tribunal.

After our safe return to the covenant, accompanied by Maga Branwen, the remainder of the season passed without incident.


  • Terentius reports that the Old Ones have taken up residence in the regio near Huntley Hill.
  • Jari investigates an oak tree which appears to be a pathway to the magical realm.

The council meeting began with Pyrrhus calling for any news, however Hypatia interrupted with an addition to our agenda – to consider the application of Branwen to join our council. Pyrrhus allowed this interjection, but the proposition was swiftly rejected by Terentius – who argued that he’d barely had an opportunity to speak with her and wanted to make a better assessment before he would even consider allowing her to join. Therefore, Pyrrhus decided to offer her the continued services of the librarian in teaching her Latin and revisit this decision next season.

The council meeting continued with news from Terentius regarding investigation of changes within the forest. As agreed in a previous council meeting, he reported that the ‘Old Ones’ – monstrous wolves which recently appeared within Mynydd Myddyn – have now moved from the forests close to Skenfrith to a regio near to Huntley Hill. They claim the regio as their territory but will not attack mundanes or magi so long as they give a wide berth to that region of the forest. In return, they have apparently agreed to keep a watch on the forest and alert us to any intrusion. Most of the council seem content that they will keep to their word on these matters.

During the rest of the season, Terentius made survey around the edge of the newly expanded forest. He found that the magical aura within the cover of the trees has waxed – generally areas have risen in magical power by one magnitude. Within the regio now claimed by the Old Ones, the strength of the magical aura has risen from the 4th to the 5th magnitude; the mossy pool where we obtain vim vis each year has risen in strength from the 2nd to the 3rd magnitude. Indeed, even quite close to the edge of the forest, where the aura was once of the 1st magnitude, it is now of the 2nd.

He also inspected an area of the wood named ‘the dell’ where records relate the presence of an infernal regio. The place now is ringed with trees (planted over the years by many magi from the acorns granted by the heart of the forest) – which appear to be suppressing or confining the influence within the dell. However, Terentius could see – between the trunks of the trees and their close knotted branches – something of the shadow still dwelling in that place.

One curious addition to the forest was also reported. On his way to the gorge where the Old Ones now dwell, Terentius happened upon an ancient, twisted oak tree. Something about the presence of this place drew his attention – and the Old One which accompanied him described it as an entrance way to the ‘Path of Shadows’. Hypatia apparently recognised this name – saying it might be similar to the doorway, created by the Magus Petrus many years ago – which acts as a passageway to the, what she called, the spirit realm, but others here call the ‘magical realm’. Quite how this realm is different from a high level of a magical regio is far from clear. However, she explained that the ‘Path of Shadows’ or the ‘Paths of the Dead’ are apparently roads or routes which ghosts, spirits and the like may travel within that realm. She hinted that she could travel these paths herself – but that such journeys were potentially very dangerous. She also claimed that the pagan spirit, Morrigan, watches over these pathways close to our covenant – making approach difficult for any troublesome or infernal spirits which might attempt to reach this place.

Later in the season, Jari went with Terentius and Hypatia to attempt to speak to the tree using Intellego Herbam magic. He reported that the experience was unusual – normally such conversations may take several hours to complete, so slow is the language of trees, however this tree appeared very awake and aware of the world around it and the discussion took less than an hour. The tree claimed that it had always been within this part of the forest – and gave no explanation for why we had not encountered it before. Jari described the tree’s attitude as sceptical towards wizards – and shared a warning it gave about trying to access the pathways it guarded. Our Merinitan enquired whether anyone had recently travelled these paths – or used it as a doorway between the worlds. It was apparently guarded in its reply – claiming that one person had passed through, but would say nothing as to the identity of this individual other than the fact it did not consider them a threat to the forest.

Other than this event, nothing else was reported of note over the course of the season. By the end of Autumn I was successfully able to transfer the old and somewhat exotic laboratory equipment once belonging to Volutus and set it up in my Sanctum. Though it will take many years to figure out the purpose of these esoteric and unfamiliar components, I am assured by sodales with similar sets from the original covenant that eventually the quality of these pieces will be of great assistance to my laboratory work.


  • Maga Branwen of Ex-Miscellanea joins the covenant
  • Hypatia reports King Theo’s return to England and news of King Philip’s betrayal of the Templars

Our council business began with the formal vote to offer maga Branwen membership of our council. Much as my own admission to the covenant, there was no discussion of offering anything other than equal status – something unthinkable in the Rome Tribunal, especially for someone who barely speaks Latin and knows so little of the traditions of the Order. However different to the conventions often found on the continent, this is a fine tradition in my opinion – far less rigid and hierarchical and a tradition much more in keeping with the spirit of the foundation of the Order of Hermes. Branwen accepted and signed our charter (in the strange writing form she uses, apparently named ‘Ogham’ – some archaic alphabet innate to these lands and parts of Hibernia, I’m told). The rest of the meeting was frequently interrupted for either Pyrrhus or another of the council to translate discussion into English for her.

Hypatia reported some mundane news from her time aboard last season. King Theo has returned to England having secured the lands around Bordeaux from French aggression (for the present at least). She believes it likely that he will travel with this armies north next year – seeking to repel the Scottish forces holding York and force them back across the border. It seems the King’s agents have some suspicion of magical involvement in their recent defeats. The infiltration and opening of York’s gate and the death of Sir Ralph both appeared to have been questioned by the King’s spies – however, they are not certain that magic was involved and Hypatia has not revealed what we discussed at Tribunal.

It seems that the rumours earlier in the year were true and that the French king has found a way to renege on his debts to the Templar Order. Apparently the King has had them accused of magic and heresy, and over the course of a single day coordinated arrests up and down the country – taking the opportunity to seize their assets in the process. It appears, this has occurred despite previous support from Pope Clement for the Templars. The Pope, who was originally from France, is apparently very unpopular in Rome and depends very much on Philip’s support. It seems that Rome has thrown the Templar Order to the wolves now that they have outlived their usefulness.

In addition, Philip of France has also seized assets and expelled the Jews from the country – further filling his coffers. Hypatia suspects that Philip will continue to press his claims on the continent against Theo – plus likely provide support to the Scots who are providing a second border for the English king to fight upon. Even without the involvement of Hermetic Magi from Loch Leglean, it seems Theo will be hard pressed over the next few years to hold on to his kingdom.

Jari reported on his investigation of the ancient oak tree discovered in the forest. Council discussion did not add much to his analysis – but leaving it alone seems a wise course of action. Terentius also reported that the heart of the forest gave up an extraordinary quantity of vis last season – not merely the 10-12 pawns of vis traditionally harvested from the place, but as much as three rooks! Along with the increase in magical aura, it seems that the forest is continuing to change as a result of the ritual Hypatia performed last year. Some of the ramifications are only just coming to light – and she believes it possible that other changes may yet manifest. So far, at least, these changes appear to be beneficial to the covenant – but whether all will be so remains to be seen.

As covenant service, I will travel up to Blackthorn with works to transcribe in return for two, seventh magnitude spells we agreed to trade for at the Tribunal meeting. Jari will venture into the faerie regio to see whether any changes have been wrought there since the casting of the ritual which awakened the forest. Given the veracity of the information given to Hypatia, and the twilight shade’s warning given to him, it seems likely there will be a power struggle between the Erechwyth and Nynniaw. As covenant service, he hopes to get a greater understanding of what the current status is within the regio and assess whether there are any potential threats or implications arising from it.

After the meeting, I travelled up to Blackthorn and spent the season in the Great Library. Other than some good company and interesting discussion over meals with Daedalus and occasionally Suffucius, there was little to report from my season. It appears Voressio has not yet decided whether he will reside at Blackthorn. Suffucius is of the opinion that the hassle involved in moving his laboratories may mean he decides not to make the move – though whether he decides to move the Domus Magnus of the Tribunal to Borri-Tor is yet unknown.

I returned towards the very end of the season to discover that Jari had safely returned from his foray into the faerie regio. I look forward to hearing what he’s learnt at the council meeting tomorrow.

Thus ends my period as scribe for the time being. Benedicto habitantibus!