Radulfus' journal

mlxiii: A deal with the Celts has allowed me some time and space about what to do next. I keep asking myself "what am I doing here?" but no answer comes. Indeed I think that it must have been madness to leave the covenant in the first place and in truth I do not know what drove me. I could not sleep in the covenant any longer, for fear that the dreams that plagued me at night would become the reality of the day. I keep finding myself imagining Beortmaer's death by my own hand, and some of these imaginings had crept into waking life. Yes, it is for the good of the covenant that I have left. But what covenant can survive now that only one magus resides there, and given what I have taken, what resources to survive with? No. This is the best path. My fears might have driven my hand to strike against my sodalis. His safety now, at least, gives me comfort.

I have begun constructing a new laboratory in the foothills below the celtic encampment. I have brought three trusted grogs and Helfgaer, my shield grog and consortis, to this place. With trade and assistance from the Celts I can prosper here I am sure.

Two seasons have passed, I think. At least two seasons work has been done in setting up a laboratory with some of the equipment I stole - nay, took! for it was rightfully mine under the charter - from the covenant. I ventured with a band of warriors from the village to investigate the pool and it's serpent inhabitant. I shall look towards learning some of the Aquam spells in due course so that I may investigate further. Helfgaer caught one of the grogs, a ruffian called Lockner, stealing from our food supplies. I was struck with such rage that I killed him with fire. Afterwards I was shocked at what I had done. I am cursed still I fear and my sleep, after a brief respite, has been plagued again by dreams this last week.

My dreams have become so terrible. I see myself with the face of a horned skull. When I am alone my shadow seems to whisper things to me. I think my lack of sleep is affecting me.

mlxiv: By God! I grow weary of these foolish Celts. Having been confined for many months reconstructing my laboratory I ventured out to collect some vis from the surrounding area as I have done so many times on covenant service. The fool guide realised I had visited the barrows and brought back armour from the buried dead there. It had not been easy as I neglected to bring the Torc with me when I left the covenant. This barbarian told the druid and the high chief, thus they have refused me further aid claiming that I betrayed their trust. Idiots. At least my search for vis was successful. I was able to obtain plentiful supplies of Terram and Animal. I shall have to explore more widely when I have finished constructing my laboratory.

I am afraid that Beortmaer will tell lies about me, about what I did at the covenant before I left. He never used to go into the treasure room, but now he's on his own what will he discover?

It is only the work in my laboratory that allows me to track either day or season in this regio. Outside the regio I believe it is nearly two years since I came here, but it is hard to tell for I know not with what true relation time in here passes. I guess it must be nearly the end of the year.

mlxv: I have killed Helfgaer. I awoke from a terrible dream and found that he was dead and that the other two grogs had fled in terror. They cannot get too far, I suspect they have bargained for shelter within the celtic encampment. I am sorry for Helfgaer and I have placed his body on the work table until I can retrieve the grogs and have them burn him.

I've had a better idea for Helfgaer. I know the ritual and I have the vis. Whilst he will not be as useful as he was when he was alive, at least I'll still have a servant.

The two grogs are now returned, though I had to use spells to encourage them to come back. The damned Celts spotted me leaving and sent a warband after me. I warded them off with fire, but I fear no more dealings may be had with them. I have to watch Bradoc and Edwin like a hawk, and I have taken to shackling them to the bed at night whilst I sleep. I have the animated corpse of Helfgaer watch over them during the day. Fear will ensure their servitude I'm sure.

mlxvi: I am running short on food and because I cannot trust those two bastards to go hunting I was forced to undertake a raid on the village. I managed to snatch some supplies, but not enough to last me long. I dreamt last night I was their king. In truth I need servants and I think if I can slay their chief I could take over the village. I will need to kill the druid as well of course, but I will enjoy that.

It's the Tribunal today and I know that they will be whispering lies about me, trying to make it look like I stole from the covenant. They'll have Magi looking for me for sure by now. The Quaesitor will start sniffing around the covenant and around my sanctum. Well, I left a little surprise if anyone starts poking around my sanctum! I hope it is Dafydd who tries to get in there. I'd love to see the waiting spell go off in his smug, self-satisfied face.

Bradoc has died. I think he took his own life, the coward, so I have now two dead to watch one living. My hunger is such that I must raid the village almost every week to gain new supplies. I have decided to take the village by force, but I fear their number will overwhelm me.

mlxvii: I have done a deal for control of the village. My shadow has seen to it that the druid and the chief will not contest my right to rule. Now, at last, I feed my hunger. I have no more need for Edwin, so I added his corpse to those of the others. Whilst I have the vis I can increase my army of the dead.

I have killed and animated a number of the large wolves which reside in the forest. The Celts are even more scared of them than they are of me.

I am so bored. My studies proceed too slowly and I am too tired and hungry to concentrate. I make sport with some of the villagers by having them contest with my undead servants.

I was clever to come to this regio, the Quaesitor will never find me here. Even Dafydd only ever came here once. I'll have to think about some defences for this place, just in case they do come.

mlxviii: I awake today to look upon my village in chaos. A few of the Celts took up arms against me during the night, so I have taken their women and sons hostage. I have set them rebuilding the damage they committed and have killed and reanimated their leader as a lesson to them all. Why should I live in such ignoble circumstance? Forced by distraction from my important work by these undisciplined fools. I have animated a great bear to guard my sanctum from intruders. I sense them all plotting against me.

My shadow has suggested that I could return to the covenant and obtain more men to aid me here. The sickly Celts have deteriorated in number and I have had several killed for attempting to escape. I don't have the vis to raise any more of them as servants, but my shadow has been able to help there. I now have a dozen undead eyes to watch the villagers, and several of the beasts to guard my sanctum. I am tempted to have done with it and slay the lot of them.

The constant crying of the women keeps me awake at night. Don't they understand how tired I am, how hard I have to work? I kill a couple of them and their children to make the point. The whimpering seems to soothe my head.

mlxix: My hunger has forced me to farm the Celts. I can drink their blood like any milk and even make a feats of their lambs. I keep them safely penned up because some of the men that escaped have attempted to raid here to release them.

My sheep are becoming sick and I am concerned as to what I shall do for food when they are all dead. I think of that fat Beortmaer back at the covenant with food and wine. I have a good mind to slit his throat and I entertain myself with that thought.

I dreamt of home last night. I saw the tiny village of Lydney and watched the people there farming and the children playing. I could hear them laughing and singing and I was filled with such feelings of lust and anger that I woke up. All I can feel is my belly aching with need.

One of the escaped Celts tried to break into my room last night, clearly intending to slit my throat with a knife. I don't know how he got passed the guard, but he ran straight into the watching ward. I laughed when I realised what had happened. The fool had delivered himself cooked! If I had enough vis I could probably trap all the renegades.

mlxx: I have not eaten for so long that I have become weak. The villagers are all dead and though their numbers fuel my army, they cannot hunt or farm to provide me with food. Even the ones that escaped no longer raid here, so my army cannot find them to hunt them. My shadow has promised to show me a way to fill my aching belly, but I do not know whether I can do what it wants. I cannot stay here, even the dead judge me with their eyes.

My shadow and I are to return to the dean. I think of the feast I shall have on my return. That bastard Beortmaer thought he was pretty clever tricking me into leaving everything there. That weak fool will be like a fish out of water. I'll show him. I shall hunt him and gut him like any other fish.I'll rip open his belly and feast on his bleeding heart.

I shall be glad to see the back of this accursed regio.