Scribed by Husam

Spring 1268 AD

We began our first council of this new year, absent only Justinian who had not returned from Magvillus, with a short discussion on Snig’s End. Since our visit I have taken the opportunity, whenever I have had a moment to do so, to utilise the Mirror of Far-Seeing to observe for any signs of activity at that fell place. I reported that there had been no such signs but we agreed that we should continue to observe and visit when we can, for the journal records many instances of diabolic activity at that place and we are still no closer to discovering where the White Lady and her servants have made their home since fleeing Bristol.

Lysimachus informed us that he had successfully crafted an enchanted item that will speed our production of high quality paper. Given this I suggested that for my service to the covenant this year I might seek to further our trade links, seeking out buyers for this new product. I believe that there will be interest amongst the scholars of Oxford University where we have some dealings already and we also agreed that we should make arrangements with the King’s College, although in such a way that Lysimachus’ role is unknown. I suggested that I would undertake this task in the autumn and the Pontifex agreed. Erla also had suggestion for how she might provide service to the covenant, utilising her and Blanche’s skills with herbs to create poultices of healing that our grogs could carry with them. It seems that between them they can create more than one such potion with an effect akin to the spell ‘The Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch’ but without the requirement of vis. The council was unanimous in support of this activity but also intrigued at Erla’s suggestion that she might be able to craft a brew that can restore the vigour to a man’s limbs. With such being particularly difficult to achieve under Hermetic practice we again supported efforts to do such in the future, although it is understood that there will be a need for some experimentation to achieve such a brew. I am glad that the efforts that Erla has been making with the herb garden are now being recognised for the valuable service that I have long believed them to be. Astrius has promised two seasons of service following the binding of his new familiar and said that he would extract vis from the aura this season and in summer look to create an enchantment that can establish a false memory in a man’s mind.

It was agreed by all that Lysimachus’ service should be to learn more regarding Myddyn, for while I am sure that all have their own reasons none of this council wishes to see any harm befall our sodalis’ apprentice. There was some discussion as to profitable paths that he might explore to achieve this and Astrius offered to try and make contact with the Anu and see if it knows what is happening. It is also possible that the Lladra or some other denizen of the faerie courts might know what is happening and I further reminded my sodalis that I expected Magus Lluddwyn to visit us during the summer season and he has claimed to know many tales of this legendary wizard. Lysimachus agreed he would pursue the mystery in that season as he planned to travel abroad in Autumn, making petition for use of the ship. Astrius also asked him if he could procure a copy of Roger Bacon’s new work for our own library and it seems that this will not be difficult. Lysimachus informed us that he would be providing his apprentice with her tuition this season.

Our council concluded with the usual distribution of vis and coin.

Early in the season the redcap Acerbia visited Severn Temple, accompanied by another magus who introduced himself as Naeus, a follower of Criamon from Literatus covenant in the Rome tribunal. We discovered over dinner in the evening that this magus had travelled to Stonehenge in search of a covenant to join, having been inspired to this decision after a vision he received within the Cave of Twisted Shadows. He is interested in the nature of time and said that he perceives that the past and the future are meeting in confluence in some way within this tribunal. He told us a little of himself and his art and it was clear that some of my sodales were interested in his studies and perhaps what he might bring to the covenant. Thus it was that he was invited to remain at the covenant until the end of the season to give us all an opportunity to learn more of each other.

Acerbia of course had also brought news from both within and without the Order. For the former we were told that at Durenmar, the celebration of the half millennial of the Order of Hermes was attended by the Primi and many of the Archimagi. Of particular note was the attendance of the new Prima of House Bjornaer, Hastia. Lysimachus later told us that he had heard that Hastia was a moderate voice within the House and Acerbia’s report was that she has agreed to submit herself for questioning by the Quaesitors, although she will not answer questions on the shapechanging magic of her House. However she will answer questions about the shapeshifters, and this may mean an end to the persecution of House Bjornaer. Closer to home Theophilus has arranged another symposium on magic to take place at Blackthorn in autumn of 1270. I understand that both Lysimachus and Astrius have been invited to speak. Without the Order there was news that there has been a treaty between Alfonso III of Portugal and Alfonso X of Castille which has fixed the borders between the two realms. Emperor Baldwin of Constantinople has gifted Achaea to Charles I of Sicily in the hope that it might restore the Latin empire. More disturbing news from Rome was that the Inquisition has formed in the city under the authority of the Pope, whereas it has previously only been found in France. I wonder what heresies they seek in the heartlands of the Catholic faith.

About one month into the season Justinian returned and swiftly asked for a council meeting. His journey to Magvillus had been difficult due to a storm in the Bay of Biscay and the pursuit of Moorish pirates following his passage through the Pillars of Hercules. The latter it seemed had been aided by what is likely to have been a Djinn, but it appears that this spirit could be successfully bidden through the use of Mentem magic and thus was Justinian able to stay its hand before dismissing it. After he arrived at Magvillus he was quizzed by Primus Guernicus as to why he wished to be the Quaesitor for House Corpus Domini and as Justinian described the conversation it appears to have been quite heated. The Primus apparently wanted a strong prosecutor within the new House rather than someone to act as its Patronus, and took issue with how much Justinian understood of the magic of that House. In truth if I believed for a moment that was his true purpose I would be delighted but our suspicion is that his desire to veto the request of the Primus of that House lies only in his desire to have his own man within it, another former member of House Guernicus called Salonius, formerly Albertus, and from Crasimere Covenant in the Provencal tribunal.

Following Primus Guernicus’ decision to veto his appointment Justinian chose to make a pilgrimage to Rome before returning to Salerno to catch the ship back home. When he reached that city however he met with Ptolomaeus who had heard of the veto and travelled to speak with him. After some discussion they decided to tackle the objections of Primus Guernicus by training Justinian in some of the so called devotions of the Septim Sancti that they practice, commencing in the summer at Laycock Abbey in these isles. Unfortunately it seems that Justinian then decided to discuss our suspicions regarding the journey that Hadrianus made to the south of France three years ago, about half a year before this Magus Salonius changed House. Unsurprisingly Ptolomaeus asked why these suspicions existed and it seems that Justinian handled these questions no more adroitly, telling his Primus that he had been forbidden from speaking on the subject by this council. Justinian was asked to speak with us that we might consider our reticence, for otherwise his Primus will make enquiries of his own. Our fear is that Hadrianus becomes aware that we have linked him to Salonius as this will clearly reveal that we know of their conspiracy and are actively looking into it. If Ptolomaeus is part of the conspiracy then Justinian has already placed all within this covenant in grave danger. If not then a way needs to be found to stop him raising his suspicions with the same ill outcome.

As we discussed this matter, with the argument at times quite forceful, it became clear that we had to hope that the latter of the two possibilities was true and thus consider the risks involved in telling Ptolomaeus why he must not pursue this matter. Eventually Astrius asked Justinian to draw upon his power of divination and determine what the consequence would be if he told his Primus the truth about Hadrianus. Thus it was that we retired for the night, returning to the council chamber the following morning to see if any path had made itself clear. Justinian told us of a dream he had that night where he saw a dove sitting in a tree, watching over a flock of sheep in a verdant pasture. He espied that one of the sheep was a wolf clothed in a fleece and as he did so a large hound came from the trees and spoke with the dove. The dove then transformed into a hawk before flying down and revealing the wolf, whereupon the hound tore the wolf’s throat asunder and left it dead on the ground. The hound did not stop there though, but attacked and slew all the sheep until none remained standing. Justinian said that it was not an easy vision to interpret but he believed the dove represented a leader, the sheep represented those who were innocent and the wolf signified a traitor. The hound he believed was one who hunts wolves. There was much discussion about the meaning of this vision with several proposals put forward but none either wholly convincing our council or appearing to be a good outcome. Thus it was proposed that Justinian meditated upon another question; what would be the consequence of not telling Ptolomaeus the truth about Hadrianus.

Again we adjourned and reconvened the following morning. Justinian revealed another dream to us where he had seen a noble court with a throne in the centre. A monk entered the room leading a man towards the throne but also a noble entered and he too led another, an old man. The two argued before the old man took the seat. Justinian then espied through the windows of the court that a forest was in flames with the birds and beasts driven away in panic. A woman then stepped forward, a queen of some kind with a different agenda to those already seen. As she approached the old man upon the throne a knife appeared in her back and she collapsed to the floor. Justinian believed that the throne represented the vacant position for Quaesitor of House Corpus Domini and that the men might represent himself led by his Primus and Salonius led by Primus Guernicus or Hadrianus, with the latter being the one to take position upon it. The forest might represent the pagans or the land and the queen might be either of those who perhaps might claim that title within these isles. While as before there was clearly much ambiguity in the meaning we agreed as a council that this was perhaps more clearly a fell result and thus after some time we reached the decision that we would tell Ptolomaeus the truth about Hadrianus. It was agreed that it would be best if Astrius shared the task with Justinian however for his words might hold greater sway when trying to impress upon the Primus the danger of the situation.

[Husam Al’Alim’s Private Journal: When Justinian told us of his decision to join this Christian House I said then I would judge him by his actions. I do not believe, as once I did, that he has been pulled in to support of the Brothers in Christ but it is clear that he is a fool who fails to recognise the weight of the conspiracy within the Order of Hermes. I see little hope in either of the visions that he presented to us and I wonder whether he has already swayed the battle against us through this deed. Surely my sodales must now see the danger that comes with sharing our suspicions and intelligence with this man.]

At the equinox Astrius made journey to the Heart of the Forest but it was a different experience than that he had encountered before in that place. Instead of speaking with the Anu it was another of the Pagan spirits that contacted him, one Lugh, reportedly a god of war. He told out Pontifex that he must prepare for the war that is to come where battle will be brought against the enemies of the old gods. One questioned on the matter of Myddyn and Emma he grew angry and accused the legendary wizard of interfering with his plans and attempting to become like the old gods themselves. He told Astrius that he should slay the wyrm within the Crystal Caves and that he would aid our sodales in this task. Lysimachus responded to this news with sensible caution, noting the fact that it appears many people and entities want some part of Emma for their own ends. It was agreed that Astrius would speak with another of the pagan spirits in summer, the Morrigan that he is closely aligned to.

Lysimachus himself responded by speaking with the Lladra the following day and it seems that she transported him to the faerie court of water where he spoke further with Llyr and the lady Nimue. They had a different take on the actions of Myddyn, believeing him a good man with good intent although ambitious and sometimes attempting deeds that outstrip his abilities. Nimue said that it was her belief that the wizard is preparing Emma in some way for the future problems she may encounter but doing so in secret so she does not have such great power before she is ready for it. Llyr believes that Lugh’s words were biased by the fact that he has still not forgiven Myddyn for stealing his Sun Spear, a powerful magic weapon, many centuries past. Lysimachus reported to this after he returned to the covenant about a week later, and said that he needs to find a way to speak with Myddyn himself and will continue to work on this problem next season as agreed.


Our council began with further consideration of the difficulty that Justinian has caused us. It was agreed that our sodales would not discuss the Crown of Math or Emma with Ptolomaeus. Erla then brought a charge of Excordis against Justinian which he acknowledged for the just accusation it was. After a short discussion the matter was put to a vote and only Lysimachus voted against with even our sodalis who was accused of being without wit voting for the motion. He asked whether he might be permitted to follow his summer studying the Septim Sancti by remaining in Laycock Abbey for autumn continuing his novitiate. The council was not prepared to commit to such in advance however and bade him return at the end of this season. It was also agreed that the decision on the application that Naeus has made to join the covenant would be deferred to the next council and that the young Criamon would be offered access to our libraries or a laboratory this season.

A short while into the season Astrius returned from Laycock Abbey and spoke to those of us still within the covenant about the conversation that had been had with the Primus of Corpus Domini. The Pontifex reported that Ptolomaeus appeared to listen with an open mind to what he was told concerning the conspiracy within his House and the wider order. He even questioned whether it might be Maga Prudentia that had formed some relationship with the group of custodies within the Brothers in Christ sect that he had the gravest concerns about, those Templars that resided within Portugal. He assured my sodales that he would not break the confidence he had been asked to keep as there was not the evidence that would allow for formal action to be taken, but said that he could not ignore what he had been told. He said he needed time to consider our intelligence but in the meantime would continue to champion Justinian as his candidate for his House’s Quaesitor, and that he would be the vessel through which any further communication from either party might be relayed.

After speaking with us Astrius pressed on to the faerie forest to speak with the Morrigan concerning Lysimachus’ concerns. She also expressed her opinion that the wizard was not an evil man but her concerns were that his ambitions were likely to harm those who had dealings with him, citing the former magus of this covenant Theo. She said that it was likely that the tongue that Emma has been speaking was the very language of magic that was involved in the creation of the world and Astrius said she was concerned that such power was too dangerous to be found in the hands of mortals. She feared that there was a risk that it could drive the bearer of the crown mad and that a person so afflicted might lead to the end of magic itself. This is perhaps why Gofannon and Nimue were once so set against the sorcerer Mydynn in the past and she also suggested it was why not all of the pagan spirits supported Theo when he first set upon this path. She suggested that we should drive away the wyrm for Emma’s sake but did think it possible that we might be able to speak with Mydynn through the creature. Lysimachus himself had decided to continue his investigations by travelling to the region near Glastonbury and missed this conversation.

The season passed peacefully at the covenant although as agreed Magus Lluddwyn visited us around the midsummer. At a feast Astrius regaled him with his tales of the Picts, a tale that has certainly improved over the years that he has told it. In return our guest was glad to tell some tales and of his own and also entertain us with his music. His first tale concerned a chieftan and his sons, and a daughter of quicker wit than them all who became a Queen of great renown and it seems that there is some magic in his craft for many of those that listened were moved to great extremes of emotion as he wove his words and the magi present felt a gentle pressure against our Parma Magica. Astrius then asked if he had a tale of Myddyn and he told us one from the time before the coming of Arthur. In it the young man was exposed to a series of challenges by a man named Afagdu who was his enemy, but in every case he turned the situation to his benefit until he eventually managed to wrest an ancient magical staff from the man himself. I am not sure that the tale shed any light on the predicament involving that legendary sorcerer now, but again it was well told with a touch of magic sweeping much of the audience along.


Worryingly there was still no sign of Lysimachus as we met at the start of the new season and our council swiftly agreed that we should make some expedition to see whether he was in some difficulty, particularly given the travails that I once experienced in the faerie Castle of the Dark Waters that lies in the vicinity of the magical regio he had sought out. I was happy to volunteer for such a task and the Pontifex said he would also come. His absence also meant that once again we were unable to consider the petition for membership of Magus Naeus but when he was informed he said was prepared to wait another season and he was once more granted access to our magical library.

Justinian then spoke concerning what he had learned of the Septim Sancti. He said that there was a central theory surrounding the seven branches of so called devotions and that he had been studying that along with his own personal focus on Damnat, which is concerned with exorcising ghosts, demons and faeries. He said that the study was unlike our own art in that it was through prayer that the devotions were granted although he reported that as of yet he had not been granted any of such. He again requested permission to return to the abbey to partake of further novitiate study and this was granted to him. He also reported to us that he had had no further discussions with his Primus concerning the conspiracy that we have revealed.

Myself and Archimagus Astrius travelled to the marshland that lies around the hill at Glastonbury and soon after we arrived heard someone splashing through the waters calling out for Lysimachus. We swiftly identified him as the faerie knight Sir Maurice and he told us that he had been travelling with our sodalis when Lysimachus became lost, travelling between the boundaries of the region that lies about the place. He agreed to lead us to the Castle of the Dark Water and once again we found ourselves travelling through the mists that lie prevalent throughout that night shaded realm. Sir Maurice determined that he would take a direct approach to the problem and striding ahead of us he beat his fist upon the gates to the castle and demanded to know where the wizard was. Despite issuing several challenges he received no response and he then turned his efforts to attempting to charge the gates down. The timbers would not yield under his assault so I cast a spell to allow me to part the boards but swiftly dropped it when faced with two spear wielding fae stationed upon the other side. Bidding Maurice continue his assault to maintain a distraction myself and Astrius then made our way to the small door, set some way around the wall, that Maurice had previously aided my rescue through. We were able to gain entry and Astrius quickly slew a guard stationed within the kitchens beyond. It was agreed that I would scout ahead and I was able to make my day down the dark corridor, passing further guards, one of whom I was forced to slay to continue. Eventually I reached the door of the cells where I had been held when captured in the past. This was guarded by another two faeries whom I was able to best. I found Lysimachus lying badly injured within, bound in a hair of the dark enchantress that I was able to remove before stabilising his wound. I fetched Astrius who was able to effect a temporary healing spell restoring our sodalis back to sufficient health to make his escape. We also chose to free two other faerie captives within the dungeon, although one was wounded in the process of removing his manacles when the Archimagus’ magic went astray. As our party returned we encountered further guards and while able to fend them off we were unable to maintain our stealth, with a sonorous bell soon starting to ring throughout the fortress. It was not enough to prevent our escape however and we made our way back to the marsh beyond, espying briefly the enchantress herself upon the walls but unable to take action against us.

Guided by Sir Maurice we were able to take ourselves to a place of safety back upon the mundane level of the region and while we waited for dusk, and the need for Astrius to use vis to fully stabilise Lysimachus; injuries he told us his tale. As he had become separated from Sir Maurice passing through the region boundary he had been attacked by a giant snake whose bite bore a venom that greatly weakened him. While he fought it off, and two of the enchantress’ faerie guards who had been drawn by the disturbance, he was unable to repel that dark fae’s magic and he was rendered insensible. Much as I had done many years before he awoke in a dark cell and in his efforts to escape he was badly injured, close unto death. He reported that he had lost the Sapphire Blade but we decided not to attempt to recover it at this time. As dusk fell Astrius was able to work his enchantments and Lysimachus then told us that he had agreed with Sir Maurice that they would both travel to the crystal caves to speak with Myddyn. We agreed that he would travel back to the covenant with us so that he could replenish his supplies and that he would meet the faerie knight at Mynydd Myddyn.

As had been agreed at the start of the year I then continued to Oxford where I was able to further strengthen our trading relationships. I have established the source of the paper that we produce as being imported by the merchant ‘Thomas’ from France to Bristol and then sold by his agent ‘Michael’ to the King’s College in Gloucester and to Oxford University. While I was there I heard that Pope Clement IV was reported to have died but that no successor had yet been declared. There were also rumours that the city of Antioch has fallen to the Mongols.

Lysimachus returned briefly to the covenant with about a month left of the season before he headed off to spend some time at King’s College.


The council began with Lysimachus telling us of his further adventure at the Crystal Caves. Meeting with Sir Maurice as agreed the two headed into the caves and with the aid of a summoned elemental was able to make his way to the same point as he had previously reached with Arcanus. This time he pressed further, following a deep rumble in the stifling tunnels. He believes he passed through another level of region before coming to a large cavern with a large pool of clear water. There, coiled amongst broken shards of crystals at the edge of the lake, lay a large black scaled wyrm. As they entered the creature regarded them with a single open eye and our sodalis addressed the creature as Myddyn. The creature responded in a tongue that Lysimachus could not understand but which the faerie knight could and he translated as best he could to allow a limited conversation. It was clear that Myddyb was speaking through the creature for as well as warning Lysimachus how dangerous a place he stood in he spoke of ancient magic, although sadly the concepts were above Maurice’s ability to translate. Lysimachus then experienced some kind of magical vision where he found himself in a building that he identified as built around the spring near our covenant, although in a time or realm where our buildings did not exist and where a mist hung low upon the ground and bright stars shone in the sky. He identified the building as of a style that predated the arrival of the Romans upon these shores and said that he saw offerings lying around the spring. Into this scene came Myddyn, not as the young or old men that he has previously taken form as in his dealings with Lysimachus, but rather as a man in his prime. He said that he was in a hurry as the stars were aligned in such a way that he must perform a ritual to prevent disaster befalling his friends, but tarried long enough to discuss Lysimachus’ apprentice. He could not answer questions about his future, as he has not yet lived it, but he believed that he was probably teaching her something of great use to her but which he might believe she is not ready to know at this time. He was apparently intrigued that the Crown of Math was involved for he said that while he had heard of the artefact he had never seen it. After their brief conversation Lysimachus was woken by Sir Maurice who told him that Myddyn in the guise of the wyrm remembered the conversation that he had just had and had spoken to him more about magic that he could not understand. He had also been told that they had already tarried in the caves for longer than a Moon and they agreed to depart.

Lysimachus said that he planned to return as soon as he could with some potions to allow him to speak with the creature and gain a better understanding of Myddyn’s purpose. I was able to provision him with some of these as I still had a small stock from our journey to Tomar and he determined that he would journey there immediately after our council. He also told us that in his time at King’s College he had arranged for a copy of Roger Bacon’s magnus opus to be made for our own library. Our sodalis also volunteered to pay reparations for his loss of the Sapphire blade but we all agreed that such was unnecessary. Indeed it is my belief that we must need have a reckoning with this faerie enchantress who has now held captive two of our number, and in time I am sure we will return it to our possession.

After patiently waiting for so many seasons Magus Naeus was finally able to make his petition to join our covenant, having determined that he wished to do so. He told us that he wished to follow a path that was both philosophical and practical. He is strongest in the arts of Vim, Rego and Imaginem and said that his pater believed that he had some innate magical affinity with time, those things that occur other than in the present. He was very interested in some of the magical sites that lie about this covenant, particularly the Grey Hill. Challenged on his religious beliefs by Justinian he said that he believed that the God of Abraham was the one true god but that he held to no zealous religious practice. It was clear that all our council had spoken with him previously during his stay, and it was perhaps unnecessary for him to orate so extensively, but following his speech he was swiftly voted upon our council.

[Husam Al’Alim’s Private Journal: While it is clear that Naeus is a well learned man, and has both a patient and polite demeanour, I can’t help but wonder whether he brings sufficient to this council to justify the resources that he will take. From my previous conversations with him he has a tendency to get lost in reverie and can be quite disjointed in his speech, to an extent that I find quite frustrating. Nevertheless it was clear that my sodalis all wished him to join our council and my objections were in truth not sufficient for me to stand against their desire.]

Justinian suggested that for his service he create a device with an effect akin to the spell ‘The Sailor’s Foretaste of Morrow’ for the ship, and as he also offered to provide the vis for such the council gladly acceded to his suggestion.

The season passed quietly with Lysimachus returning to us after a week to relate the tale of his most recent visit to the Crystal Caves. Following our council Astrius had decided that he would accompany him so the two of them made their way to that place and once again used a summoned gnome to guide them to the large cavern where the wyrm resides. Astrius told us that this was the same spot where our former sodalis Tiarnan met his end and I sense that it still holds grim memories for him. Using the potions that I had provided Lysimachus was able to speak with Myddyn who once again warned him that he should not be in that place for it held great danger. However he was prepared to discuss further his activities in the dreams of Emma. He said that the spell that he had taught her via Lysimachus was old, wild magic that reaches deep into the land and that having awoken it she is vulnerable to those who might manipulate it. She needs to learn control for her own dreams can reach out and be made manifest, shaping the world in some way. He claimed his tuition has been carried out in secret because he had made many mistakes himself during his life and that to learn such control was the process of many years work. He fears that if she is aware of just a part of what he teaches she may make mistakes of her own upon the way and thus does not want her to understand the whole until she is ready for such knowledge. He fears that if the magic is left uncontrolled the presence of the wyrm, called by her own unconscious mind, would be just the smallest part of what she might bring forth. There are many dark things that lie deep in the realm of magic, some of which would be dangerous to her, and others dangerous to man in general. He said that his teaching would not drive her mad but that the creatures of the deep realm might do so if contacted. By casting the spell she is already upon a path and it is one that she can not turn away from. It is his hope that she holds true to the goodness that he and Lysimachus sense in her and thus will in future guide the magic, rather than it guiding her.

He said also that the Morrigan was mistaken and that the otherworld lies far deeper than even that part of it where the old gods dwell. He reiterated that they do not always hold the interests of man at heart and that she may fear that Emma is more powerful than her. I understand that there was some friction between him and Astrius, related in some way to Astrius’ druidic practice, but my sodales were not more forthcoming on this. Myddyn bade my sodales not to return again to the cavern.