Scribed by Lothar

Spring 1103 AD

It was a cold and quiet night on the eve of the council meeting. I was sleeping in my lab as usual, its bare walls barely able to keep out the piercing wind. I was covered in my furs, snoring the night away, when I was awakened by a cold chill that ran up my spine. Looking around I saw at the bottom of the bed a darkening shadow creeping slowly up towards me. It gripped my legs with the strength of a bear and slowly started to strangle the life out of me. I summoned up my strength and with a yell threw off this shadow being. It fled from me obviously afraid of my excessive strength and went hunting weaker prey. I leapt up from my bed and ran to the main tower where the other Magi were sleeping. As I passed the stable I heard a horse whinny in panic and turned to protect it. There standing by the stable was a grog being attacked by the shadow. He was obviously close to death so I decided to tackle him down, hoping that my might would again scare the shadow away. It worked and when the grog had caught his breath back I sent him to raise the Guard. The Guard and I searched out for the shadow but it sneaked up on me and leapt out, obviously trying to take out the biggest threat to itself, but Aelfwold helped me scare it away. Thurstan the Castellan awakened and called the rest of the magi. Four of us assembled in the Great hall, but Varsavia did not turn up so Turold went into her lab to see if she was all right. Varsavia lay there, eyes open staring up at the ceiling in terror, totally comatose. Ceadwith the healer was called for and took her body to the infirmary. As there were no further sightings of the shadows the alert was called off. Various magics were cast on Varsavia’s body to determine what ailed her, but there seemed to be no active magic that had caused this ailment. Idris using his second sight spotted Varsavia’s spirit crossing the veil, leaving a silver cord attached to her body. We decided there was nothing to be done for that night and so returned to bed.

The next morning Ruaridh flew to Morstow covenant to ask for aid. Returning with a Magus called Lazarus (a mentem specialist) who demanded 20 pawns of vis if this was a wasted journey. He proposed to open a gate in veil, with Idris using his second sight going through to get Varsavia’s spirit. Eanfled being Varsavia’s friend and Ruaridh being the most powerful magi were to escort Idris. They equipped themselves with magical items.

Lazarus started the ritual burning, a rook of Vis being required to do so. A dark gate opened, beyond lying a forest, dark and brooding, It was night beyond the veil and a cold breeze came through the gate. The group (Idris, Ruaridh and Eanfled) proceeded through the gate and following the cord soon disappeared from sight. It soon became so dark that Ruaridh had to light a torch to see by. Then they came across some huge spider webs and looking up saw a Giant spider rapidly descending. Ruaridh cast Incantation of lightning at it and badly hurt it, but it landed near him and then bit him. He screamed in pain as the venom raced around his system. Luckily for him Idris got a lucky shot on the spider and killed it with his longbow. Then Eanfled spotted another spider and panicked, running into a web and becoming caught up in it. Ruaridh cast Incantation of lightning at it, but the magic crackled around this obviously magical creature. The spider attacked but missed and then fell to another bolt of lightning.

Back by the Gate several spiders started to approach. I stepped through with some grogs and Thurstan, transforming into bear form and charging the spiders. Some grog’s fired bows to no effect and one grog actually fled in fear. The spider was obviously scared of me and sprayed me with its web. They might hold a man, but they have no hope of holding me in bear form so I tore into the spider killing it very quickly, though only after it had sprayed me with some of its poison, stinging my eyes. At this point I must say that Thurstan was by my side at all times proving that he is a mighty warrior with a Lions heart. Another spider approached but this time we were ready for it. The archers hurt it with arrows and as it reared up to spray Thurstan and I with web, I ripped its innards out with one well-placed bite. Then a scream came from behind us. Lazarus was weakening so we hurried back through the gate and just got through before it slammed shut with a bang.

Eanfled, Ruaridh and Idris closed on the heart of the forest and then entered. Each had his own experience in the heart which they were reluctant to describe to me, and must have been very traumatic for each of them. A while later they each emerged, Eanfled with the shining spirit of Varsavia with him. Then they silently moved through the spider's wood hoping against hope that they would not be seen.

Lazarus summoned up his energy and opened the gate again and the brave expedition came through including Varsavia’s spirit. Then Lazarus pushed the spirit back into Varsavia's body and she awakened. We thanked Lazarus for his time and effort and Eanfled, Ruaridh and Idris agreed to write up their experiences as payment for this act.

The following morning we met each other in the normal fashion and then described what had happened during the night. After these long talks we decided that as covenant services Idris and Lothar should seek out the Heart of the Forest to determine its evil. Idris and I then had an argument about where to search. It seemed to me that Idris was trying to keep me out of the South of the forest, so being my stubborn self I told Idris that I would go where I wanted. We also discussed what arts and techniques we would be studying that season. A few of us decided that this year we would practise magic against one another and I agreed to join this group.

The next day Idris and I went searching in the forest for the Heart. Idris reported that he could find nothing, but I was more thorough and talked to Wyn Urddawl. He knew nothing, so using my skill with the beasts of the wood I started quizzing them, and after a week or so I had success. I had found an area that I knew the Heart was in and reported this fact to council. Then I started to explore this area in detail. The Heart however had strong magics that were obviously corrupted, for they sought to block me at every turn from achieving my goal.

The corrupted Heart must have sensed that I was close for it sent a Demon out to stop me (or maybe it was the demon who was corrupting the Heart). This foul beast was man shaped but evil beyond imagining; even now long after the event my mind recoils in horror from its visage. I was in bear form and so charged the demon showing no fear of its evil powers. We fought back and forth, sometimes I having the advantage, sometimes it. Each time I bit it fiery blood burnt my mouth and sprayed in my eyes causing extreme agony, but by then the blood lust was upon me and the only way I was leaving the clearing was victorious or dead. Then I slipped and it almost pulled my front left leg from its socket leaving me almost dead. But almost dead is not actually dead and with a final roar I clamped my massive jaws around his arm and flicked and tore and crushed until I suddenly felt no resistance. The demon staggered back, acid blood pouring from its stump of an arm looking shocked that a mortal creature could best it. It then turned and fled screaming in pain, I was too injured to follow and finish it off, being able only to roar out in pain. Idris, being in the area, heard my screams and ran to the covenant for help. Eventually they arrived and made a bier to carry me back to the covenant where I was tended in the infirmary. The rest of the Magi then decided in council what to do and decided to investigate the Heart. Entering they found that the corruption was gone and when Ruaridh cast magics there he was blinded for 3 days because of the power of the place.


We discussed the fight with the demon and its repercussions and what to do about the glade but nothing was decided. The main point was that the demon was now loose in the forest and patrols were informed of this. The council then decided to go to the glade and investigate it. Once more, because of magics beyond Lothars control, he could not enter the glade, but those who had previously entered the spirit world had no problem entering. There they found that the infestation of evil was gone and although it would take time the heart would recover. Later in the summer some Welsh rebels arrived in Blackney and were recruited as grogs although there was discussion about how they might affect our relations with the English if it became common knowledge of their location. Ruth the singer arrived again and Varsavia was pleased for she will sing for the Ruadan again. One night when I was in the tavern drinking and singing with my normal skill, I noticed some friction between the Welsh grogs and the English grogs. I do hope that nothing will come of this and that the sergeants can work it out between them.


Because of worries over who had been in the Heart, it was decided to invite Jania of house Quaesitor to investigate the goings on there. It was also decided to send Thurstan to Bristol to recruit some Grogs as we were showing some weaknesses in the defence of the walls. The Redcap Stassius arrived and brought us much news.

"Black Hugh has forayed into Normandy with a force of arms to suppress the revolt by his uncle Henry. The King of France has rejected Black Hugh's gold and sent troops to assist Henry. Hugh has returned to Winchester for the Winter in order to gather a greater number of men and intends it is believed, to return next year. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been found murdered in his bed. It was believed that he intended to travel to Rome to protest the King's actions to the Pope. Pope Paschal has requested that Hugh visit him in Rome to explain the death of his embassy. Magi from Cliff heart have carried out some reconnaissance of Ashenrise and discovered that there does appear to be some activity at the site. They were attacked by some kind of demon that the Flambaeu magi successfully drove off. It is feared that whoever Occupies the site is growing in power. Prirnus Flambaeu has bestowed the title of Hoplite to three magi within Stonehenge, Caisus, Orlania and Venius of Tremere. They have been instructed to assist Holy Isle in their investigations. Ponrius of Btywyddyn has reported that he believes that in Autumn 1101 there was a meeting of some of the unnamed house at Y Llethr in Wales. There are strong traces of magic having been used in the area and reports from local villagers of strange creatures pursuing men near to their settlements on that night. Lamark's request to his prima to intercede upon the matter of infernal counsel to the King has been refused, saying that she cannot interfere with what is effectively a Tribunal matter."

After the Redcap had given us this dire news we retired for the night. A few days later Ruth and Varsavia went into the faerie regio to sing for the Ruadan’s tears. A tax demand from the Reeve arrives which we decided to pay so as to give ourselves peace. The shadows came again, bothering the grogs during the night, and seemed to be coming from the graveyard, though this may just be an entrance through the aegis for them.


The Ruadan came for Ruaridh and took him to the faerie regio, once there demanding that he worship her. Ruaridh, never being one to bow down before anyone (his best feature in my opinion), refused her. At this she went into a fury and predicted a battle that would cost us dear and Ruaridh left the regio as fast as he could. There have been reports of the Demon again prowling the woods and it took a young girl from our village of Blackney. We decided to garrison the village to make the villagers feel better.