Scribed by Cynfelyn

Spring 1205 AD

Although Medius's death is already a matter of record in this journal, I too wish to express my sorrow at his loss. Medius was a dedicated, sincere and courageous man who will I fear be greatly missed by not only the covenant, but also the tribunal and the wider Order.

The first council meeting of 1205 began with a discussion on the whereabouts of Marius. While the mundane news we have heard strongly suggests that he is in Normandy fighting with King John’s forces, there is no indication that the war will be resolved any time soon and, as Tiarnan reminded us, the King’s Council is due to be held this midsummer. As there was little we could do to contact Marius, Tiarnan moved matters quickly on to the coming season. Both he and I will be abroad helping with the Quaesitorial investigations into the UnNamed House presence on the Welsh coast. This will leave Cormoran as the sole magus within the covenant and my giantish sodalis will busy himself furthering his apprentice’s studies.

With the season’s activities set, Tiarnan asked for the concillium’s wisdom on a dream he had had concerning Maga Marissa, whose grievous spiritual injury at the hands of the UnNamed House remains unhealed. In the dream, Tiarnan found himself standing in a misty featureless land where he could hear Maga Marissa calling out for help and direction. Unfortunately there was little firm counsel we could give, save that it sounded like some part of the Otherworld, though Cormoran stated that she could not be within Arawn’s realm for she was not dead.

A week or so later, Tiarnan and I met with the rest of the Quaesitorial party on board Solis Castle's ship, the Endeavour, berthed at Chepstow. Led by Senior Quaesitor Serenia, with Quaesitor Faelon from Hibernia also in attendance, the other hoplites were Praefecta Orlania, Magnus and the Magi MacKeidh and Geddyn from the newly reformed Holy Isle covenant. The journey by ship to St Davids was uneventful, but as we neared the area where the regio in which the UnNamed House ship might be lurking it was decided to drop anchor and wait for dawn. The next day, a couple of hours after sunrise, Serenia and Faelon scanned ahead using 'Sense the Elusive Boundary' or some enhanced Guernican version thereof and found the regio. Those able to see inside it saw a large spire of rock, utterly devoid of the seabird nests that crowd every inch of the nearby cliff faces. At its base was a crude wooden anchor point, with rusting metal rings driven into the rock. There was no sign of any ship, so, cautiously, the captain took us in.

Once inside the regio, Serenia spotted a further regio boundary a little way beyond the spire. However, as the shallow waters between the spire and the shore were littered with sharp rocks we could take the ship no further. Leaving Geddyn and Magnus to watch over the ship, and with a grog and I rowing, Tiarnan, Orlania, Faelon and McKeidh set out in a large rowboat. Faelon and Serenia espied a series of caves set into the cliff face, with a small crude stone jetty at the base of one and even what appeared to be roughly hewn steps leading from the jetty to it. We rowed on through the regio boundary into what Serenia believed was an infernal regio of the third magnitude. As we passed into the deeper regio, from my position as one of the oarsmen I watched as the ship faded from view. Although I have had the good fortune to emerge unscathed from a fair number of such dark places I could not suppress a slight shiver as the Endeavour faded from sight.

We covered the fifty or so paces ‘twixt the ship and the cliff edge swiftly, bending our backs to the oars, all too aware of our vulnerability in the small rowboat, especially if the sea serpent that attacked the Severn Boar were to appear. All was quiet though as we moored up on the rough jetty, leaving the grog and Tiarnan to watch the boat and the sea thereabouts. The remaining five of us headed up the steps and into the cave, Orlania at the front and me guarding our rear, with McKeidh and the two quaesitori inbetween.

The cave itself had clearly been magically shaped and inside were a dozen smooth steps leading down to a large wooden door set with rusted steel bracing. There were no magics nor regio boundaries by the door and McKeidh reported that there were no fell spirits watching so Orlania used perdo magics to rot the door. Beyond was a large, roughly circular room, with a crude fireplace at its centre, the smell of smoke still lingering heavily. Faelon quickly spotted a ‘Watching Ward’ set just beyond the doorway and we carefully picked our way past it, squeezing alongside the cave wall as we entered the room. Mouldy old straw bedding lay scattered across the cave floor and while the lack of fleas or similar vermin suggested that the bedding had not been used for some time I was able to find a single human hair which I handed to Faelon for future use.

There was just one further exit from this room, a short twisting passageway leading deeper into the cliff. The passageway ended in a door, much as the first, and this was duly destroyed in the same way. As before there was a 'Watching Ward' set just beyond the doorway, but once again we were able to slip by it. Judging by the warped wooden bookshelves and faint marks on the floor, it seems not an unreasonable assumption that this final room once served as a laboratory. In any event, it had been cleared thoroughly enough that we were unable to locate any form of arcane connection to its previous occupants.

As we were searching there was a sudden loud crack from outside that reverberated round the stone walls of the cave. Fearing that we were being assailed from without or that the cave complex was in danger of collapse, we hurried out. However, in her haste the Praefecta accidentally tripped one of the wards and the resulting explosion of conjured flame was powerful enough to flatten McKeidh’s parma and singe his beard, though fortunately that was the extent of the damage that it wrought to our party.

The threat from without was not the returning UnNamed House ship, but rather the sea serpent, which had destroyed our rowboat and swallowed whole the unfortunate grog waiting within in. The thunderous noise had been magic from Tiarnan to alert us. Orlania was quick to take charge of the situation, setting Tiarnan to conjure the illusion of a dolphin in the water to try and lure the beast to the surface once more. The ruse was successful, but despite the creature’s great size, almost fifteen paces in length, it moved with frightening speed and while Orlania was able to hit it with a bolt of lightning, both of mine went wide. Tiarnan reported that the serpent was circling a little way off the shore, a little more wary than before, but he was nevertheless able to repeat the trick and draw it back in for another attack. This time both Orlania and I were able to send lightning crashing into its scaled flank and this time, as it disappeared back below the waves, there was a distinct patch of black blood floating on the surface. With his perception unhindered by the waters, Tiarnan was able to watch as the creature turned and swam into the sanctuary of its lair, a partially flooded cave a little way off from the cliff face jetty.

Tiarnan and I waited outside lest the beast return while the others went back inside to ensure that nothing had been missed. They were gone perhaps an hour or so, Faelon grimly clutching a silver coin that he recognised as coming from Dublin. Of the creature there had been no sign. Orlania was reluctant to leave the sea serpent alive, lest it recover from its wounds and pose a threat to our ships in the future. After some discussion I agreed to join her in venturing into the cave and finishing the beast off. Wounded or not, we both knew that it was a dangerous task. From what I know of such aquatic wyrms, its magical power must have been at least akin to that of the eighth magnitude, possibly higher still. A fearsome creature indeed.

With the spell 'Lungs of the Fish' cast upon us, and led by Tiarnan and Kai in the form of dolphins, we swallowed our fears and swam in. The water was cold and dark and for a good way we could see little in front of us, when suddenly we saw a pair of dolphins coming towards us at high speed. They swept past without slowing and, knowing what must be hot on their heels I kicked hurriedly to one side as I began to mentally incant the formulae for creo and auram. If the sea serpent had been alarmingly fast lunging out of the water, it was quicker yet in it and its jaws missed Orlania by mere inches. With the beast's scaled flank only a pace or so in front of me I let fly with all the power I could muster, though the effort was great as I was unable to use either voice or gesture in my incantation. There was a similar flash from Orlania and I sensed the creature convulse with pain. A second and a third bolt from the Praefecta rendered the great serpent still and lifeless, clouds of black blood oozing out from the rents in its scaled hide.

As Orlania and I swam wearily back to the others, Tiarnan swam deeper into the cave to see if there was anything of interest but found naught but a charnel house of decaying bodies and bones. Back on the jetty Orlania was able to conjure a pair of coracles which we used to return through the regio boundary and safely back on board the Endeavour. Magnus and Geddyn told us that from their perspective we had been gone some three weeks. The captain wasted little time in setting sail and we quickly left the regio, sailing once more into the waters off the southwest Welsh coast, the spire fading from sight as we did so.

Once out of the infernal regio, the mood onboard the ship noticeably lightened. However my good humour at the death of the beast that had caused Medius's demise was quickly tempered by the news that Faelon had found a flickering black flame sigil inside the caves. I had known that Ieuan’s return in some form or other was likely but had hoped that we would have a good few more years to prepare for it. McKeidh said that as a spiritwalker Ieuan might be able to possess bodies, those of men only temporarily, but animals for much longer. Was he thus possessing the serpent when it attacked the Severn Boar? I shall have to look to my arts to try and ensure that if such happens again our defences will not be found wanting.

[Cynfelyn's private journal. On the way back to drop off the magi at Holy Isle I was approached by Magnus who offered gruff but sincere apology for misjudging me over the Ethiopicus issue and my subsequent resignation from the house. A few days later, Orlania also spoke to me, describing how Motus had bested Periculus in the 'Test of Flames', having first declared in front of the whole house that Periculus was no longer fit to lead it. Orlania went on to say that I had been right about the Ordo Ethiopicus and that she had been bidden by Primus Motus to offer formal apology from House Flambeau. Furthermore, I had an open invitation to return to the House and, were I to do so, would regain the title “filius Garius”. Somewhat taken aback, I was nevertheless gladdened to hear her words for Orlania's censure had been one of the hardest things to face in the whole sorry affair. I know I once vowed in these pages that Astrius was gone forever, but with this news I now wonder. The scars left by Drudwhil's death yet remain, despite the Anu's solace, but although I will never forget him, nor the manner of his demise, let us see whether the binding of Maelgwyn assuages the remaining grief.]


Although Marius was not present for the Summer council, a rider bearing Welsh colours delivered a message expressing his “urgent intent” to return in time for the King’s Council on midsummer. After a brief discussion about the reemergence of Ieuan and the implications for the covenant, we proceeded to plan our seasons. Cormoran will extract vim vis, Tiarnan will study from some personal vis and I shall construct an item for the covenant that enables the caster to heal others, permanently if desired, with the ‘Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch’.

A few days before midsummer the guests began to arrive, though there was still no sign of Marius. The Welsh nobles were the first, Ydnoc, chief advisor to Prince Aeddyn and the Princes of Gwynedd, Cardigan and Glamorgan, each with a sizeable retinue. Then came the two archimagi, Jolyon and Sylvania. Next were the faery contingents: the Erechwydd, whose arrival was presaged by snow clouds and came with 6 ice goblins and 2 giants; Prince Dralolo of the tritons, representing the Court of Water; Iago the centaur for the Court of Wood; and, lastly Sir Turold for the Court of Stone. The day before the council a large oak tree planted itself by the spring and magus Llandolwyn emerged.

With all the invited councilors now arrived and midsummer scant hours away there was however still no sign of Marius and no obvious way to contact him. Tiarnan set about urgent diplomacy to keep all the factions happy, no easy task given the range of characters present. A great feast was set for Midsummer’s day to try and forestall questions about when or indeed whether the ‘King’ would be present which fortunately seemed to work fairly well. By dusk, time and my good temper were both rapidly running out.

Finally, less than an hour before midnight, a profusely apologetic Marius arrived and the council was swiftly convened. Marius made a long speech about how he was determined to set borders and rights and responsibilities throughout Wales to prevent conflict between mundanes and faeries. Over several hours he set about dealing with previous areas of discord and with only slight disagreement from the respective sides managed to secure what seemed to me at least to be a workable accord. It was obvious however that Marius had thus far avoided talk of how he would enforce similar such deals with members of the Order of Hermes. His solution to this trickier task was that he would strive to ensure that tribunal law was upheld and would prevail upon the Archimagi Jolyon and Sylvania to aid him in this, through certamen if necessary. So far as I could tell, that was essentially that. The various parties departed over the next couple of days, seemingly content with the outcome of the meeting.

Marius stayed for only 3 days before heading off back to France, though not before giving us the good news that our newly commissioned ship would be ready by the end of Autumn. Cormoran left with Llandolwyn to study more of the “old ways” though as he returned but a day later I am not sure exactly how much he was able to learn.


Marius was back for the autumn council and he recounted the mundane goings on that had kept him abroad for so long. He had been asked personally by King John to command the armies fighting to retain the French city of Rouen and the surrounding lands which are apparently too wealthy for John to lose. The king is under great pressure, both militarily and politically. Taxes are high to pay for the war, but simply pulling back from the lands the French are attacking will not allow him to easily reduce the tax burden for the lands being fought over provide more income than the whole of England. Losing this income may cost him the support of many of his barons. As there seems to be no clear solution to this problem, other than to defeat the French, the war seems likely to drag on.

With this in mind, knowing how much of his time will be called on through his role as High Prince of Wales, Marius requested that he be allowed to “opt out” of motions requiring unanimity at council. Any initial disquiet at such a ruling being made, or indeed Marius asking for one, was dispelled by a careful reading of the charter which appeared to indicate that Marius simply has to inform the Pontifex and leave a proxy vote in his hands. Marius will check this interpretation is correct with Senior Quaesitor Serenia.

Tiarnan then us of a troubling piece of news he had received from the Erechwydd. The faery Queen of Snows told him that there was a “shadow” in the cave of snakes, a long-lost source of perdo vis in the lower levels of the faery forest. Tiarnan added that Theo had once said that the cave leads to the realm of the faery 'Queen of Snakes'. The Erechwydd claimed not to know the nature of this shadow as no snow can reach inside, though she did offer an alliance to deal with the threat. Quite what her motivations in all this are as yet unclear, but Tiarnan believes the threat posed by the 'shadow' is real.

On the night of the equinox, Cormoran performed a ritual to seek information from the Morrigan about the nature of the shadow but it appeared to be ineffective. However, on the next night I was woken by the covenant alarm and reports of a demon in the woods. After rushing out, sword in hand, I discovered that the 'demon' was in fact one of the Morrigan's cors. While a false alarm it was nevertheless pleasing to see how quickly the turb had roused itself.

Knowing the nature of cors as messengers, Cormoran and I headed out of the main gates and in the shadowed edge of the treeline met with Beddwyn. The Morrigan’s witch claimed that message had been sent the previous night in response to Cormoran's invocations but had gone unanswered so she had been sent in person for the news was important. The 'shadow' has passed on from the cave but not before it had been identified as Ieuan. The Morrigan had not been able to track him as he left, suggesting that he travelled through the dark tunnels that lie beyond the cave and into the realm of the Queen of Snakes. That serpents are associated with the infernal, along with bats, rats and the like, is likely to be no coincidence. Although the ‘Queen’ herself is unlikely to be directly affected, some of her ‘subjects’ may have been dominated by Ieuan. It seems that while the fey are immune to the false blandishments and temptations of hell, they are vulnerable to being dominated by those wielding infernal magics.

Beddwyn warned that Ieuan may seek to harm the King, that is to say magus Marius, and take the Crown of Math from him, leading the land into corruption and war. Beddwyn said that Ieuan was still weak but his spirit was hale and he was clearly setting his plans anew. We must be sure we are ready for him when he comes.

The next day, the turb was set to a thorough sweep of the covenant and its grounds for any and all serpents. Aided by Cormoran’s casting of ‘The Hunter’s Sense’, all that was found was one small grass snake. While that probably harmless creature was quickly slain, we should ensure that we are alert to the possibility that Ieuan may send much more dangerous snakes against the covenant in general and Marius in particular.

Magus Alannus of Mercere came bearing news a couple of days later. There have been further bandit attacks near Bridgnorth. In late Spring, despite the presence of five of the Earl’s soldiers, clad in chainmail and armed with crossbows and the like, the tax collector’s caravan was ambushed and all were slain. The defeat of such a large and well-armed group seems to me to be a clear indication that we are dealing with more than simple brigands here. Have the Fells returned to these shores? Previous suspicion that it could be the knight of Bridgnorth’s own doing seems now to be most improbable as Alannus informed us that the knight stood to lose his lands over the losses if they are not resolved. He was able to pinpoint the likely location of the attack, some four leagues out from Bridgnorth along the road to Kidderminster. To the west of the road at that point lies the Wyre forest, to the East wild scrubland and woods, the perfect spot for such an ambush and for dishonest men to hide out. We shall have to mount an expedition to investigate. Alannus agreed, saying that Blackthorn will be investigating too so we exchanged names of key mundane contacts in the area to avoid any unfortunate mistakes. The council also took the decision to await Marius’s return before investigating directly.

Alannus also bore further word on Holy Isle’s recent investigations. They have traced the arcane connection found in the cave to the East coast of Hibernia and are currently pursuing the trail there with the help of Cliffheart covenant.

Of other hermetic news, the Praefecta has petitioned the Praeco for a formal investigation of Bly Wydden, fearing, based on the documents recovered from St Davids, that it did not simply drift into winter. Ponrius, who dwelt there before becoming Praeco, is apparently considering the matter.

A few days before the Winter council Marius returned, arriving at Blackney with our new ship the “Severn Star”. Like its predecessor the Severn Boar, it will be based out of Caerdydd. He has found a captain for the vessel, a gruff but experienced sailor named Gerard, who is not concerned about dealing with wizards.


With taxes still punitively high and cash flow problems stemming from the loss of the mine and set-up costs of the new one, the winter council began with a discussion on our financial state. It was agreed that our new ship would be expected to provide a steady income stream for the covenant, though it would of course still be expected to call at Blackney for the first week of every season. Other fresh income sources agreed on were: alchemical glass dyes, Constantius being confident of replicating Robert’s work in this area; and, a cider brewery based in Lydney, for which Cormoran was set to craft an enchanted barrel for the creation of ‘applejack’ a purer and stronger, and thus more valuable, variant on cider.

On a more positive note, Tiarnan reported that while on his travels at Carron Valley covenant in Loch Lagleann, he was approached by two newly gauntleted young magi regarding membership of Severn Temple. As both sounded like interesting candidates he invited them to come and visit us next Spring. Magus Idolon, a Tytalan, has some non-hermetic gift with spirits and Magus Fabius of House Verditius has been taught his pater’s intriguing-sounding breakthrough of “minor enchantments”.

Tiarnan set himself the service of crafting an item to cause a wave to form and propel a ship forwards, though given it was his intent to first investigate the cave of snakes that may yet have to wait.

With the meeting concluded, I was able to recast the ‘Aegis of the Hearth’ without issue and thence retreated to my sanctum to finally begin the binding of my new familiar Maelgwyn. I can only hope that times will not be as eventful in the covenant as was the case when the late Medius bound his familiar a few years ago!

Scribed by Cormoran


I step in to write the journal on a cold winter because Cynfellen had to bind his new familiar, a hound he calls Maelgwyn. Cynfellen has already scribed the council meeting and so all I will do is record the season's happenings as reported to me.

Tiarnan and his small group of Fae and Fae touched mundanes went into the faerie regio to investigate the cave of snakes where it was rumoured that the renegade Magus Ieuan had visited. He made his way skillfully through the faerie regio treading lightly upon the ground and as he approached he saw with his faerie eyes a couple of ice goblins keeping watch, he quizzed them about what was inside but they knew not or if they did chose not to tell. Then the winds picked up and a flurry of snow moved rapidly over the landscape till it came close to the small group. From this flurry the Erechwyth steps as she had sensed Tiarnan's presence as he had walked upon the snow. She asked Tiarnan if he was willing to ally to go into the cave and he stated in the affirmative not really trusting the snow queen's reasons. The Erechwyth informed him that Ieuan had moved on but some corruption was left. Tiarnan instructed Eanfled and Bodkin to remain outside the cave and ventured in with the white queen and some minions. As they went inside the hissing sound became louder and they rounded a corner to see a huge pool with a waterfall creating the snake like noise. The Erechwyth touched the water with her little finger, smiled and slowly at first but with gathering pace the waters around her solidified in icy stillness. The frost reached out and the room fell silent as even the waterfall was frozen. With a crash the waterfall exploded into a million shards of flying ice and Tiarnan was lucky not to have been speared by the missiles. The reason the waterfall exploded outwards became instantly clear as a huge serpent dashed across the ice towards the Fae group. It was 25 feet long from tip to tail and its body was wider than a man, but on its approach Tiarnan noticed its eyes had been clawed or cut out and it seemed as if the faerie beast had been corrupted.

Tiarnan, thinking the beast might have wit, tried a Muto Mentem spell but this had no effect. The Erechwyth went with a direct frost attack and tried to target the creature's head. With this signal the minions of the Erechwyth assaulted the mighty wyrm, but its scales proved an effective defence to their clubs and swords. The serpent rose up and bit down hard on an ice giant, injecting a green venom into the tall warrior. Luckily, though, its constitution seemed immune to the venom and it carried on assailing the beast. Tiarnan then caught the serpent's tail in webs and the Erechwyth attempted to freeze it once again. With the serpent slowed Tiarnan then thought to attack the creature with a blast of water, but this would have proved ineffective if the Erechwyth had not frozen the water as Tiarnan blasted it, turning a powerful wash of water into a torrent of icy missiles. The serpent, stung by this new attack, turned on Tiarnan and the Erechwyth. Seeing the beast's approach, the Erechwyth called ice around herself to protect her. With the spell of freezing dropped, Tiarnan ineffectively blasted the hose of water over the serpent's head. A giant standing athwart the serpent's tail smashed down with all its might and cracked several scales, and at this the serpent turned and nearly took the giant's arm off in reprisal. This saved Tiarnan as the serpent would have attacked him next unless the brave giant had not attracted the serpent's attention. The Erechwyth, now no longer under threat, released the ice from around her and refroze the blasting waters; at the same time the serpent rose up and lunged down on a black knight, its fangs finding purchase under the breast plate of the Fae knight and cut him in half. Although it appeared a victory for the serpent it had made a fatal error as it had exposed its belly. Seeing this weak point, the white queen directed everyones attack onto it. Tiarnan webbed the creature again to force it to expose the soft underside, and with all now assaulting the weak point, the creature rapidly fell to the joint assault. As it fell down onto the ice sheet, Tiarnan threw himself aside to avoid the fall but a knight was not so lucky and had its legs crushed.

With the beast dead, Tiarnan and the Erechwyth went further in the the queen of snakes' realm and had an audience with her. During the audience it was discovered that Ieuan took three snakes but for what purpose is not known. It also appeared that as a mortal had helped the Erechwyth she now claimed that cave of snakes as her territory, as ever when mortals interfere in the wars of the Fae the effects are magnified.

The rest of the season past uneventfully with myself creating a device freeze a barrel of cider to create applejack, the powerful spirit.