Scribed by Hypatia

Spring 1297AD

Hypatia's private journal:

I was in London when, towards the very end of the season, news first arrived that Philip of France had joined the Crusade against the Order. The presence of a crowned head means many more nobles will flock to the banner – it also means that France’s significant military and economic might are now arrayed against us. The news that reached mundane circles obviously contained nothing about the destruction of Durenmar. Given the visions and omens which warned of these events, I fervently hoped that the warnings would cause events to turn out differently. In the end, they did not. Our council was at least spared the grief of losing Volutus – and from him we were able to learn something of the horror of the attack.

Philip’s involvement in leading the Crusade caused deep disquiet in Parliament, and I know that Theo received several delegations from concerned parties arguing that the difficulties involved in rewriting the Great Charter were small concerns compared to the risk of standing in the way of a Holy War. It must have been extremely difficult for Theo to justify his defence of the Order – from a mundane perspective it would make so much more sense simply to cast us to the wolves and avoid further escalation of the row with Rome and provide France more allies in its war with England. Yet, without hesitation he did defend us; most magi will never know the grave political risks he took in doing so.

However, when Theo first suggested his meeting with the magi of Stonehenge, I must confess I thought it was a terrible idea. Whilst he’s greatly skilled in matters of politics and an accomplished negotiator, Hermetic politics is unlike anything he’s experienced before. One difficulty is that – unlike civil or ecclesiastical law – he lacks a deep understanding of The Code by which to articulate his proposals. His stipulation that I would have no direct involvement in these negotiations seemed further ill-advised. I appreciate why he wishes any future arrangement not to rest on my shoulders – it’s not only brotherly concern, but given the scale of the problems also his desire to have a direct understanding between the Order and the Crown. However, not being there to advise or smooth over any misunderstandings I felt would be a mistake – I could imagine him being rudely cross-examined by Liberata or being overruled by Faelon on some point of law and the whole endeavour ending poorly.

When my sodales suggested that they meet with him and discuss anything which might be brought to Tribunal – I was grateful and relieved. I trusted all of them to give him a fair hearing, but also to judge the wisdom of his proposals before putting them to the Tribunal. When they returned from Lydney, I was obviously keen to hear their thoughts – but the decision to wait until council means I have had to exercise patience!

Hypatia’s Journal

Two matters dominated discussions at the spring council. The first related to Theo’s visit to the Dean last year – whether my sodales were persuaded that some debate or proposal should be set before the Tribunal next season.

Terentius spoke first and appeared greatly persuaded to support Theo’s suggestion of greater cooperation between the Order and the Crown: When the Crusade turns its attention to England, he argued, it shall involve a combination of mundane and supernatural threats – and that whilst Theo can contest the former through force of arms, he has no defence against the latter unless the Order becomes involved.

Volutus was cooler in his support. He readily accepted that the threats to the Order meant he personally found some arrangement an attractive proposition. However, whilst these were exceptional circumstances, he was also deeply unwilling to see The Code cast aside in order to capitalise on such an arrangement.

Pyrrhus surprised everyone on the council – perhaps even himself – with the force of his views: He argued that the world had changed and the stipulation in The Oath not to interfere with mundane affairs was no longer relevant now we were at war with the Church. Carried along by his passionate rhetoric, he went on to declare that the Order had fallen and that we should turn our attention to creating a new order, with new laws and a new name, here in Stonehenge.

Jari spoke last and, perhaps because of Pyrrhus’ outburst, presented his arguments in a deliberate and balanced way. He warned that anything we do which appears to bind us closer to the Crown would increase the likelihood of further splits within, and condemnations from, the wider Order. However, on balance, he suggested that with the Order in disarray we should focus on our survival above worrying how this will be received on the continent. He argued that the way we present Theo’s approach will determine the outcome at Tribunal and, as Theo had not specified a proposal for the Tribunal to vote upon, it fell to us to decide whether to offer this as a debate or formulate a proposal ourselves.

In the discussions after this round of impressions, it was felt that a specific proposal put to Tribunal would be more likely to lead to positive action than merely suggesting a debate – however, given the likelihood that there will be widely differing views about what the extent of any cooperation should be, coming up with such a proposal would be difficult. The council determined to revisit this at the council next season – magi were asked to bring ideas for specific proposals to the table.

It was also noted, that our ability to successfully propose a motion would be influenced by whoever becomes Praeco of the Tribunal. There are obvious questions around the technical legality of the emergency Tribunal – given there is no senior Quaesitor to call it and the ordinary notice period has not been respected – however, we might anticipate that the standing traditions of Stonehenge will apply and that there will be a vote to select one of the three oldest magi wishing to stand for the position. The second discussion at council involved working out who might be eligible and what their election might mean for our ability to advocate Theo’s approach to the Order.

Having recently returned to Cad Gadu, Llandoddwyn is by far the oldest – no one appeared quite sure how old he actually is, but it must be well over 400. However, there may be a question regarding his status as a member of the Tribunal – given he was declared dead. We might reasonably expect Faelon to make a ruling on that at the start of the proceedings. However, I am less sure whether he would wish to stand. Having talked to him at length last year when I visited Cad Gadu in autumn, I gained a sense that his return is only temporary – and that at most he would see himself in a caretaker role rather than for the long-term. The next oldest are probably magi of Holy Isle: Faelon, McKeidh and Geddyn. Whether any of them would stand is open to doubt – given none of them have put themselves forward in the past. The same is true for Marissa of Carrion Moor – who must be of a similar age. Jari felt it very unlikely she would put her name forward. Constantine and Liberata of Trevalga are also of similar age – and both would be likely to stand. Terentius believes that Constantine is likely to maintain support for Julius’ policies – so it’s likely we’d get a sympathetic response to any approach for a debate. With Liberata it is harder to guess.

Beyond them, there are older magi at Borri Tor: Voressio, Palius and Emerius. No one is quite sure how old Eremon, the Bjornear at Eurus Aquilae, might be – but he’s likely quite senior. Outside of covenants, there are some magi of considerable age – but uncertainty about which might still be alive prevented much analysis. Magi like Lluddwyn and Hywela must be quite old – though whether they would even attend Tribunal was open to doubt.

Our council also discussed activities for the season. Of note: Volutus intends to travel to as many covenants as he can to gain a sense of how magi might respond to Theo’s approach – to help us better formulate a proposal or debate next season. Terrentius also plans to briefly travel back to Marlborough at the start of the season, to better understand what is happening in the town.


Our meeting began with news from members of the council and started with the investigation of Marlborough by Terrentius and Jari last season. They arrived in the vicinity of the village to discover plague fires burning and rumours in a nearby village that the knight’s son had died in a recent accident and that Sir Gregory had locked himself away in his manor. The two magi examined whether there had been any activity around the church in Marlborough, but found no evidence of diabolism. Their attention turned to the manor itself, which they infiltrated by night.

Within the manor house, Terrentius and Jari were confronted by a number of infernal spirits. Two were successfully dispatched using potions of ‘demon’s eternal oblivion’ – one of them possessed a burning whip which might have caused the injuries to corpses in one of the houses Terrentius investigated. The fact that two potions needed to be used suggests their might was between the 5th and 8th magnitude.

Sir Gregory appeared to be under the sway of these demons and was alerted to their presence within the manor. Fortunately, the magi were invisible but Jari was forced to break his leg as he swung his sword wildly in the narrow corridor. Making their way into the bedroom, they confronted the third of the demons. A hostile enchantment, similar to ‘Passion’s lost feeling’, managed to breach Jari’s parma magica and he attempted to take a potion of ‘leap of homecoming’ (though this appears to have failed in the hostile aura). Terrentius was able to strike at the demon with the last of the potions, but this was not enough to destroy its presence, and the two magi were forced to make their escape via the bedroom window.

As a council we speculated on the causes and the consequences of these events. It seems that – possibly a few years ago – someone caused a number of infants within the village to be replaced with infernal changelings. The witch of Avebury appears to have become aware of this act and been ‘kidnapping’ these changelings – presumably to prevent them maturing into the murderous spirits and killing the families. The death of the witch had meant that three of these spirits had survived to wreak the plague and misfortune on the village.

The purpose of releasing these spirits is not clear – but the object may have been control of the nearby, powerful pagan site at Avebury. The scale of this enormous circle and the magnitude of the magical aura suggest its importance. We don’t know the perpetrator of all this, but one suspicion is that it is the same individual responsible for summoning demons in Abingdon. This turned out to be a member of the unnamed house, with a sigil of rotting flesh. The council agreed to share news of these recent events with the magi of Holy Isle in attendance at the Tribunal later this season.

Volutus continued sharing news – relating the discussions he’d had with magi across covenants regarding the approach by Theo last year. This was swiftly interrupted by Pyrrhus – who suddenly wanted to talk about the tower in the faerie regio recently occupied by the Tegid Foel. He asked Jari whether restoring Turold’s sword and offering it to the Tegid Foel might be a way of securing the tower for the covenant once again – but Pyrrhus did not know whether this might anger the court of stone. Jari clearly didn’t think this was a good idea – and suggested we wait to see whether the Tegid Foel visited the covenant to attend a feast before exploring more reckless ideas.

Volutus resumed by explaining that he’d managed to visit each of the covenants in Stonehenge other than Eurus Aquilae. Of the magi he spoke to, most expressed enthusiasm for at least some arrangement which would allow sharing of information with the Crown. A number of magi expressed caution regarding the extent to which this might start to involve us in mundane affairs – and were clearly conflicted as to whether short-term decisions which might practically help our survival might one day be condemned by a Grand Tribunal. There were also a few who appeared out-right hostile to the idea – for example Voressio of Borri-Tor appeared staunchly against any ties between the Order and the Crown. However, the balance of opinion – Volutus suggested – appeared in favour of taking a gamble on cooperating with Theo given the dire situation for the Order at the moment.

The next order of business was articulating proposals we could bring to the emergency meeting of the Tribunal later this season.

Hypatia’s private journal

The debate regarding the proposals we might put to the Tribunal was initially a poorly focused one – dominated by extraneous issues and unhelpful suggestions (mainly from Pyrrhus – who appears unable to prevent random thoughts from immediately exiting his mouth). These ranged from whether we should declare demons as enemies of the Order to whether blatant magics would be acceptable on a battlefield when arrayed against the Templars.

For a while I despaired that we’d ever be able to focus ourselves sufficiently to propose something concrete and positive to the Tribunal – as my suggestion of appointing Magistrates was dismissed in favour of discussion regarding whether we could define what ‘interactions’ would be permissible with the mundanes, the status of the Church within England, whether the Tribunal would be considered legal by the wider Order, or what the definition of a ‘friend’ versus an ‘ally’ of the Order might be. I confess I lost patience eventually.

This frustration was almost certainly because I perceive such high-stakes attached to the imminent Tribunal and the need to propose something that magi around Stonehenge can rally around that might allow us to coordinate more with the Crown. In the end, my impatience was uncalled-for however. Eventually, Volutus brought the discussions into focus and the proposals which we articulated were genuinely sensible ones which I think have a good chance of carrying Tribunal support.

In a lengthy – and not always good humoured – discussion, the council eventually identified three proposals we felt would facilitate greater cooperation with the Crown, and win the support of many magi: The first related to allowing magi and covenants to share information with the Crown for the defence of the Tribunal – the second the election of Hoplites who could interact with the Crown for the defence of the Tribunal – and the last to declare Theo an ally of the Tribunal. We also discussed some of the likely procedural elements of the Tribunal and how we best approach the task of getting the proposals on the agenda.

A number of the council indicated that they intended to journey to Blackthorn a few days before mid-summer – so arrangement was made to travel up together. The first half of the season was otherwise uneventful – Volutus and myself working together to create potions of ‘The Seven-League Stride’ as covenant service whilst the others focused on personal studies.

Hypatia’s private journal

Marcellus visited me to begin negotiations with the Crown regarding his breakthrough in the production of steel. I’d been briefed by Pyrrhus in advance that his expectations were high – a royal title, a manor house, a generous annual pension, and possibly some ‘priceless’ gems. I was also aware that he might struggle in his interactions with members of the court; given that he’d been kicked out of the King’s College due to his condescending self-importance and belief in his essential superiority to all other scholars.

Before putting him in touch with senior nobility who might agree his price, or sending him to London to work with the Crown’s artisans, I set myself as a small test of his ability to reign in his vanity sufficiently to make such an arrangement work. He utterly failed.

He began with a flattering, slightly fawning, air – thanking me obsequiously for sparing the time to speak to common scholar such as himself. When I mentioned the good things I had heard regarding ‘Marcellium steel’, he responded with exaggerated false modesty – describing his breakthrough as a mere trifle, the smallest step forward in the art, and only a fraction of the great works he hoped to accomplish in the future. This struck me as an odd gambit in a negotiation (given the high price I’d been led to believe he would ask for such a ‘trifle’ – what on Earth would he demand for future work?) – so I gently tested him by taking him at his word, and expressing regret at any misunderstanding I might have had regarding the quality of the steel he was able to produce.

I’d expected some backtracking, a switch from a smarmy attempt at decorum to either boasting about the quality of the steel or perhaps (I hoped) a more open and honest discussion regarding its capabilities. However, it seems that – unlike his steel I hope – his conceit is extremely brittle. Against all etiquette, he dismissed himself from my presence and left declaring that no further negotiation could be had on the matter.

Had he behaved like this at court in front a senior noble with infinitely less tolerance for eccentricity, I fear he might have ended up in the stocks! I do wonder whether he had been drinking, but he appears completely unsuitable for royal appointment.

I informed Pyrrhus of the outcome and apparently they had some sort of argument later that day. Given that both men appear possessed by deep pride and great insecurity, I am frankly surprised they don’t bicker constantly! We’ll have to find another way to induce Marcellus to share the fruits of his work.

We arrived at the Stonehenge Tribunal and found it awash with fears and speculation regarding the Templars and rumours that Thebes intended to vote on a proposal to secede from the Order of Hermes. The council was able to speak to some of the key figures who had gathered at Blackthorn – identifying that Llandoddwyn, Constantine and Liberata were most likely to be the candidates for Praeco. Indeed, this was the choice presented to the gathering when the Tribunal met in session. Faelon called upon each to make a short presentation, before adjourning the meeting for a vote.

The choice was an extremely difficult one: Llandoddwyn might appear to be a simple choice for me – given he is likely to become Primus of Ex-Miscellanea – however, I am unable to shake the impression that he never expected to return to Cad Gadu or involve himself in Hermetic politics after disappearing for so many years. I question whether truly he has the spirit and will to lead the Tribunal through what will likely be the most tumultuous and difficult period of its history.

Constantine might also appear a fairly safe choice – though not knowing who the next Primus of Tremere will be, or whether he will be prepared to stand against them on policy or dutifully support any new direction his House takes – undermined his candidacy. Terrentius related that Ymata, one of two magi likely to take leadership of the House, has very different priorities to those promoted by Julius. Putting all our faith in House Tremere risks our politics potentially becoming dominated by quite conservative voices at a time where radical thinking and new approaches are needed most.

Liberata of Tytalus spoke persuasively in her presentation to the Tribunal – and of the three appeared to articulate a better understanding of both the mundane and Hermetic politics. Her slightly nefarious reputation and the impression of her behaviour at the council of Trevalga given to us by Terrentius, didn’t inspire whole-hearted confidence in many – though Jari keenly professed his support. In the end, her radicalism and political independence from House Ex-Miscellanea and Tremere persuaded me, rather reluctantly, to vote for her. She carried the vote by a small margin and Faelon confirmed her as Praeca at the end of the first day.

Liberata was very supportive of our request to make our proposals to the Tribunal. However, she started the next day with Acerbia relating news from the wider Order and some proposals of her own.

The senior Red Cap reported that House Mercere now estimates that some 150 magi died in the destruction of Durenmar, but that more survivors had come to light in the time since the attack. It appears a number of magi left the covenant shortly after news of the Templar movement had come to light; they think as many as 36 magi may have survived, though only Volutus and magus Altius of Mercere appear to have escaped the assault upon Durenmar covenant itself.

Irencilla covenant was attacked a few weeks after the fall of Durenmar, though it is believed that the three magi who had not attended the Grand Tribunal were able to evade their attackers. At Trianmore and Turris Acontiarum, all nine of the resident magi are believed to have been slain. The covenant of Fenghald was also attacked by a group of Teutonic knights, however though the covenant was razed to the ground the magi appear to have escaped unharmed.

The crusader army is said to be making its way south – and its anticipated target is Valnastium, the Domus Magnus of House Jerbiton.

The covenant of Lapid Cruddas – the closest neighbour of Valnastium in Provençale and a potential target for the crusade on route to the Domus Magnus – has been evacuated. In Rome, the covenant of Vardian’s Tomb has been abandoned for fear that it will be attacked by Papal forces and supporting Italian nobles. In Iberia, the covenant of Palençia – which apparently lies close to the region of Portugal controlled by the Templars – has surrendered to the Pope.

Two magi of House Flambeau have declared their status as Prima of the House: Archimaga Isara has called for a defence of Valnastium and announced a House meeting at the covenant for the beginning of next season. Her rival is Maga Prudentia of Duresca covenant.

Archimagus Contusus has been named Primus of House Mercere. Harco covenant continues its efforts to maintain communication between covenants, houses and tribunals, assisting displaced magi who have arrived at the covenant, and coordinating efforts to gain intelligence on the Templar forces, the Crusade and wider mundane politics. House Bjornear is expected to announce their new Primus imminently.

Thebes Tribunal has called an emergency meeting in Constantinople next season. Fears of drawing crusaders back to the city, and echoing the split in the Roman Empire, has led to call to secede from the Order of Hermes and found a new Order of the East.

Following the loss of Praeco Rochus and the two quaesitori of the Tribunal, Quaesitor Faelon has been asked to preside at an emergency meeting of Loch Leglean next season. It is expected to be poorly attended as there are many rumours of wizards with clan ties fighting outside of the code.

Hypatia’s private journal

Prudentia of Flambeau is a name known to this council. She is believed to be one of the three magi (along with Primus Calpurnius (formerly Hadrianus) and Quaesitor Salonius who have been sighted in Rome) who murdered my Grandfather, stole the Crown of Math, and orchestrated the assassination of my father. I fervently hope that Archimaga Isara’s brave decision to defend Valnastium doesn’t leave Prudentia in charge of House Flambeau.

Liberata presented a number of proposals to the assembly: A motion to declare the Templars and Teutonic knights enemies of the Tribunal – which comfortably passed. A motion declaring that members of House Corpus Domini are banned from residing within the Tribunal, and must receive permission from the Praeca in order to visit Stonehenge – which passed by a narrower margin. Finally, a motion that magi displaced from other tribunals seeking to reside within Stonehenge must first receive permission from the Praeca. During the debate it was clear that the Tribunal was unwilling to hand quite so much power to Liberata – and the motion which passed was altered so that it required a Tribunal majority vote to allow residency.

Volutus then represented the council in proposing our three motions. He’d discussed with Liberata whether to present all three or pause between each proposal for debate and a vote before introducing the next. Liberata was of the view that presenting all three might lead to fairly unfocused discussion – and suggested proposing them consecutively. Whilst there was some debate in each case, there wasn’t as much as I’d expected. I strongly suspect that Volutus’ efforts last season had given most magi time to mull over the relationships we might have with the Crown – and the news Acerbia reported underlined why we might seek such – so discussions weren’t as heated or divisive as I’d first feared.

The first proposal was passed with a very comfortable majority – it seems that the idea of sharing intelligence with the Crown which might help us to defend the Tribunal was a popular one. Our second motion was amended – removing the requirement of a title of Hoplite, and simply allowing all magi and covenants to interact with the Crown to defend the Tribunal. I was initially worried that this more liberal wording might not gain the support of more conservatively minded members of the Tribunal – however, it passed, though with a much narrower majority than the first vote. The last motion – on declaring Theo an ally – generated surprisingly little dissent and a comfortable majority voted in favour.

Pyrrhus had apparently approached Liberata to make an announcement regarding his formulation of black powder and the invention of Marcellium Steel. I was a little surprised – given how badly the negotiation had gone earlier in the season – when he offered these secrets to any members of the Tribunal who wanted them. Unsurprisingly, several magi indicated enthusiasm to learn more themselves or for the recipes to be available to alchemists amongst their covenfolk. Hopefully, Pyrrhus will be able to honour his offer – and convince Marcellus to share his secrets.

Liberata closed the meeting with an announcement that the next Tribunal will be held at mid-summer of 1299. Under ordinary circumstances, holding another meeting so soon might have been controversial – but given the pace of events at the moment, there was no dissent from the gathered magi.

The remainder of the season passed peacefully. The only piece of important news was that Volutus successfully reached an agreement with Marcellus – to obtain the secret of his steel formula for the Order.


Compared to the lengthy meeting last season, our autumn council was quite short. There was some discussion regarding how best to capitalise on the motions passed at the Stonehenge Tribunal, and I agreed to use this season to start arranging contacts between the King’s agents and covenants or individual magi who wanted them. As Jari and Terrentius prepare for their expedition in autumn next year, it was decided not to pursue further exploration of Mynydd Myddyn this season – instead they will focus on learning spells which might assist them. Given our desire to potentially create more magical items, Pyrrhus agreed to extract vim vis for the covenant.

Later in the season, Acerbia visited to being further news of events across the Order. The covenant of Valnastium has fallen to the Templars and it is believed that Archimaga Isara was amongst those slain in the assault. Given the Domus Magnus had significant – and importantly – mundanely constructed defences, there was a question as to how the Templars had so quickly overwhelmed the defenders. Harco’s investigation implicated two magi – Iuventia and Laelius of Jerbiton – who are accused of betraying their Oath and leading the attackers through a secret network of tunnels to enter the castle. From there, it appears the infiltrators were able to open the gates and admit the invaders within. Without magic or walls to defend them, it appears that the assembled magi and their grogs were swiftly overcome by superior numbers.

The outcome of the Thebes Tribunal was also announced. By a very narrow majority, the magi assembled at Constantinople voted to leave the Order of Hermes and found a new order. Magi within the tribunal will be drawing together a new ‘code’ for this Order of the East to be ratified in two years’ time. Magi resident in the Tribunal who wish to remain part of the Order of Hermes have been given this period to relocate.

Prima Prudentia has been recognised by the Flambeau of the Iberian Tribunal and now appears to be uncontested leaders of the House. She immediately moved the Domus Magnus to Duresca covenant.

In other news, Magus Durlag – formerly resident in Novgorod – has been named as Primus Bjornear. There were also notices of House meetings: Tremere in Spring 1298 and Ex-Miscellanea in Spring 1299.

In contrast to these terrible events, the rest of the season passed peacefully in Severn Temple.


We met for the winter council and I related my efforts from last season to link up covenant spy networks with agents of the Crown. Other than Cad Gadu and Blackthorn, I was successful in completing these arrangements – and I offered to finish this task, and start look into arrangements for magi outside of covenants as part of a service next year. I also announced that I intend to take my niece, also named Eleanor, as my apprentice next year. There was no discussion or debate regarding either of these announcements.

Jari and Terrentius will manufacture potions and enchant an item as covenant service this season. Pyrrhus will scribe copies of the recipe for black powder in readiness to share them with other covenants.

Early in the season, the magi of Holy Isle visited to report on how their investigation around Marlborough had concluded. It appears they were able to dispatch the last of the demonic presences in the manor house – though it appears the knight is still recovering from his broken leg and keeping to himself. Hopefully, now the diabolic influence has been banished, he and the village will make something of a recovery soon. They also undertook an investigation of Avebury – though did not enter the regio.

Faelon strongly suspects that the same individual responsible for the attack at Abingdon may be responsible for the events at Marlborough – though he admitted that they had been unable to locate any sigil to confirm this. The target of the attack was likely, in his view, to be the pagan site within the nearby forest and he advised that we keep an eye on Avebury – perhaps seeing whether we could locate a source of vis and claim it as a site for the covenant. We will also pass this information on to our contacts amongst the King’s agents – in the hope that news of any suspicious events will reach us quickly.

At mid-Winter we were visited by the Tegid Foel, who attended our regular feast held at this time of the year. Fortunately, we had laid in extra supplies of food and drink for our guest for – true to the descriptions previously in this journal – he feasted from dusk until dawn. During the feast, the faerie said little but acknowledged each of the magi and briefly answered any direct questions put to him. As the sun rose, he finally put down his knife and pushed back his trencher – and left as peacefully as he had come. He did, however, leave us a ‘gift’ of odd pieces of bric-a-brac. Presumably these were items from his tower – and with luck they will contain some vis.

As ever, the covenant was bound with a deep frost and heavy snows for the remainder of the season. The year came to an end with no other event of note to report.