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arsmagica:twilight-saga:two

Twilight Saga: Chapter Two

The magi are now in control of their own lives, and what is more, they have a wondrous new covenant all of their very own. Having been able to copy most of the books from the Broken Crown - mostly due to Aelfric having been too preoccupied to stop them - they are not short on books, and neither are they short of mundane resources. The main problem will be the severe lack of vis.

The main theme is the survival of the new covenant in the vis poor Stonehenge, possibly coming into conflict with other covenants over rights to various resources. There is also the question of who the Keepers were, and what it is they locked behind the gate on the lowest level of the covenant.

Spring

The magi set out for the Hibernian Tribunal at Circulus Ruber. The Tribunal sees the trial of Caecus of Tytalus, who was overcome by demons when his covenant, Ashenrise, was almost destroyed by them.

No proof is found that he broke the code, but he declares his intention to leave Hibernia to get away from accusations and painful memories. The remaining members of Ashenrise are allowed to dedicate themselves to finding ways to combat the infernal. The magi of Stonehenge are fined 25 pawns of vis for causing trouble in Dublin, both amongst the common people and the Norman nobility.

Summer

Spent in quiet study at their new covenant.

Autumn

Spent in quiet study.

Winter

Journey to the Stonehenge Tribunal, where the Covenant of the Smiths of the Keepers is declared an official covenant of Stonehenge. Miriam of Tremere is brought up on charges of destroying a magus' ability to work magic, in regard to her destruction of the mind of Asling. She is found guilty, and cast from the Order.

1201 AD

Spring

There are some problems with one of the resident spirits in the covenant, which causes some minor damage. Magnus investigates some goblins he found when they first moved in. He finds that they are tending small stone trees which produce terram vis. The goblins are convinced (via spells) to move to the covenant, and their trees are dug up and moved to the highest level aura of the covenant.

Summer

A couple (out of seven) goblins die, their trees dying with them. A couple of dead bodies turn up in the cave where the entrance to the covenant is located. They have signs of being ritually sacrificed, and it is first believed to be the work of Carreg Cennan, out to discredit the covenant. After some examination by Hareb, it is decided that the knife cuts occurred after death, and look more medical, than ritual. Magnus and Leri track back to a nearby village, and find Nimin, a magus of Ex Miscellanea who has been performing medical research. She is a self-styled Necromancer, who is convinced to join the covenant. She destroys some of the destructive spirits in the covenant.

Autumn

Spent in quiet study.

Winter

Spent in quiet study. At the end of winter, Nimin is found to be a man, who had been under the effect of a Muto Corpus spell for the past year.

1202 AD

The year is spent in quiet study.

1203 AD

Spring

After Felonious peers into the mortal minds of the mundanes living in the covenant, he calls a council meeting to accuse Magnus of withholding important information about events in Leri's past, notably those concerning diabolic influence, and consorting with a magus previously marched for diabolism. After a long discussion, it is agreed that Leri can stay, but Magnus should have informed the council of what he knew.

Felonious travels to the Gates of Adamus, where he finds a woman called Dierdri, who has just given birth to a dead child. Investigating peasant rumour, he finds out that she has done so for the last four years, has never been with a man (mortal or otherwise), and that the body of the child has four pawns of Corpus vis within it. He promises to take her back to the covenant, away from the local Priest who accuses her of wrong deeds.

The old faerie pool of Ursal is investigated next, but it is stagnant with no signs of the Kelpie. The ruins of Broken Crown covenant are empty, with the old source of vis destroyed.

Next, is London, where Felonious talks to Aelflaed, and confronts her with the fact that he knows she is Scarabae, and wants to know more. She denies it at first, then resents his knowledge, and says that he cannot be trusted with the knowledge. He tries to give his own background, but is stopped when he mentions the Smiths of the Keepers. She seems to have knowledge of the Keepers, then uses magic to read his mind, though is thwarted by his familiar, Archimedes. Aelflaed calls upon a ghost to dispose of the owl and Andros. Andros is killed, but Archimedes escapes. Ignoring his pleas for friendship, she mind rapes him, and pulls out knowledge of the covenant and himself. When she has finished, she slays him with Perdo Corpus magic. Attempting to slay Archimedes, she fails, and collapses into Twilight.

The owl flees to Thames Covenant, and relates the events. The magi there send a message to the Smiths covenant to warn them, and three of them (Faron, Reila and Udaet) travel rapidly to Aelflaed's house to apprehend her. They are met by Aelflaed, who attacks them, slaying both Faron and Reila before Udaet is able to take her down.

Archimedes dies a few days later.

The Smiths of the Keepers hires some guards and servants for the covenant, as well as obtaining persuading Michael, a hedge wizard at Oxford University, to become their librarian.

Monks turn up at the covenant to request the presence of the magi at Amesbury Abbey, where the Abbot wishes to meet with them. The Abbot knows about them, though seems to believe that they are scholars of a sort. They are, however, on Church lands, and he demands a sum of five hundred pounds to be allowed to stay there. The money is to be used to build a chapel for some Templars.

The Templar Jacques de Bouillou and Hareb become friends, sharing a common interest in God.

Summer

The magus Ingrat of Blackthorn visits the covenant, saying she is about to leave for a long trip around Europe, and wanted to pay her respects to the new covenant first.

Fenaris and others visit an old magical site known as Wayland's Smithy, while trying to find out more about his sword Blood Fate. A regio is found, in which live many sleeping dwarfs, who say they await the return of the master smith Wayland. Apparently their women folk were taken by a dragon, that lives under Cadbury Hill. The group promise to try and free the dwarfen women, and manage to enter the regio under Cadbury Hill at mid summer's eve. A dragon is discovered there, and after a hard battle, is slain. The women folk are returned to their people, while some of them return with the magi to live with them.

Autumn

The Red Cap Raymond joins the covenant, as does the new librarian, Michael, who is a Natural Magician.

Winter

Uneventful.

1204

Spring

Julia ex Jerbiton of Voluntas covenant visits, in order to trade for books and vis.

Summer

Fenaris and Hareb plus several companions, the Templar Jacques and Marcus of Thames Covenant set out on a trip around Europe, to seek knowledge of the Scarabae. They visit Vespian's Rest, where Justinian does what he can to aid them. They get a cold reception at Valnastium, where payment is demanded for any aid they request. At Venice, they meet Mercator ex Tytalus, who is beaten by Fenaris in a contest of arms, after he refuses a certamen contest. They obtain a book which mentions the Scarabae and Keepers. Heading on to Durmitor covenant in the Transylvanian tribunal, where they have heard the Tremere there are researching into vampires, they find only mindless blood sucking undead. The Tremere claim little knowledge of more intelligent vampyres.

Autumn

Continuing their travels, in Rome the Templar finds a church official in the Vatican library who has heard of the Scarabae, but the book he saw the reference in appears to have vanished in the last couple of years. He thinks it was last used by a Hypatio, who donated an excellent book on mathematics to the library. The magi think that possibly Hypatio is the Hypatia mentioned in Aelflaed's diary. They return via La Rochelle to talk with Gervase about the Scarabae found there. Eventually, by the end of the season, they get back to their covenant.

Throughout their travels, Jacques - who had accompanied Hareb because of a previous promise to protect her - finds out from Hareb more about their mission, and the Scarabae. There is some friction between the two concerning how to deal with the Scarabae. Marcus comes very close to simply killing the Templar on occasion, but is willing to trust Hareb's judgment on him.

Winter

Spent in quiet study.

King Richard is killed in a hunting accident in Normandy, and John becomes King. Eleanor of Aquitaine dies a month later. After the death of his mother, John grows far more attached to his wife Isabelle.

1205

Spring

There is a severe winter all across England, which is followed by famine later on in the year. At the covenant though, life is pretty uneventful until the end of the season, when the Templar Jacques informs Hareb that he is taking the information on the Scarabae to the Grand Master Templar, since he believes a crusade against the Scarabae is required, and that Hareb and her kind are not doing enough. Hareb tries to convince him otherwise, but his mind is made up. She informs Fenaris what is happening, and that she is going to kill him before he can tell anyone, but Fenaris is not convinced that she is capable of going through with it, so sends word to Marcus at Thames.

Failing in a last attempt to convince Jacques not to tell anyone, Hareb waits outside the Templar's chapel, planning to ambush him after he leaves. She falls asleep soon after dawn though, not waking until the afternoon. Hurrying after him, she catches up with him at a village some time after nightfall. Watching from the woods around the village, she sees a group of armed men attack the village, and burn the inn the Templar is in. He valiantly attempts to defend himself, but is finally brought down. The attackers steal his armour, plus anything else they can find in the village. Following the attackers, Hareb discovers they are possibly from Brittany, and may be followers of Arthur. Before they can reach the coast (after several more raids), they are caught by English knights, and either captured or killed.

Summer

The season passes without incident for the magi, though the end of Summer sees the arrival of Nuribn Azif al Sayid, a Malmaluke from Egypt.He was sent here by a lady of Egypt whose brother was freed from slavery by Hareb while she was in Italy a year ago.

There is trouble for King John in Brittany, when Arthur tries to make a claim to the throne. King John, accompanied by Isabelle, travels to Brittany to deal with his nephew. Arthur is captured, and though John wishes to have Arthur killed, Isabelle talks him unto letting him go, and extracts a promise from Arthur to serve John.

Autumn

There is a severe thunder and lightning storm all across England, and the following morning, giant footsteps are found everywhere. In a village near to the covenant, a giant hammer is buried in a shattered tree. Magnus and Raymond retrieve the weapon, and take it back to the covenant. Investigation shows that it belongs to a giant who appears to live in a cloud castle. The magi decide not to pursue the matter further.

Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies. The Church tries to elect Stephen Langton as successor, but the King refuses to accept the choice.

Winter

Several apparitions are seen in the woods around the covenant by some of the Covenant's mercenaries. Magnus checks through their minds to see what exactly they saw and discovers that one, William is being paid by the Abbot of Amesbury to pass on information to him about the actions of the magi. This revelation prompts a scan of all the grogs minds, and a second grog (Stephen) is found to be passing information on to someone on a yearly basis. Magnus performs a raid on the Abby, to find out what Abbot Peter knows. He and another monk - Brother Andrew - are holding a lot of evidence on a lot of people, in preparation for blackmail. They have circumstantial evidence that the 'scholars' are up to unholy practices, but are currently sitting on the information. The Council met and discuss the problem and decide not to act as they would need the Covenant's Perdo specialist Hareb, who is in Wales.

While trying to find physical evidence of the visions, Magnus discovers that someone (a villager named John) has gone missing from the village of Figheldean. Following tracks from the village, he is led back to a cleared area in the woods where a man has been sacrificed, and several large holes cover the ground. Following the tracks of many people, Magnus is led back to the burning Templar Chapel, which is desperately trying to fight off a horde of undead. He finds the man named John, watching from the shadow. An attempt to read his mind is stopped by powerful magical resistance, and Magnus flees back to the covenant. Moravia, Fenaris and Azif, plus several grogs, travel back to the chapel with Magnus. The survivors of the chapel have locked themselves in the tower, and the magi dispatch the zombies without too much difficulty. Magnus captures John, who is trying to hide, and Moravia destroys the chapel's alter. When the survivors come out of hiding, they are at first thankful to their saviours, until Moravia comments that God has obviously cursed the place. One of the men-at-arms takes exception to this (the Templars themselves are currently away), and demands that Moravia leaves. She responds with insults, which are met in turn. Eventually, he tries to forcibly evict her, but Azif steps in, and he and the other grogs are ordered by Moravia to kill all of them, which they do - even the servants who surrender.

Meanwhile, Magnus and Fenaris find out that John had been possessed by a spirit named Norsan, a druid of old. He knows little, except that Norsan has a hatred for a woman named Britta, and also John's wife Sarah. On getting back to the covenant, the grogs are a bit shaken by what happened at the Chapel, as are the Magi as one of the witnesses to the incident was William the Abbot's spy whom the Magi now resolve to get rid of. Fenaris travels to the monastery to report to the Abbot what happened at the Templar Chapel, giving the story that it was attacked - probably by bandits - and that he and his companions were too late to save anyone. The Abbot sends some people to investigate, and though few bodies are found, and nothing appears to have been stolen, nothing incriminating is discovered.

The following night, an assault is made on the covenant by several dozen undead. While the grogs hold them off, Nimin dispatches most of them with a powerful Dust to Dust spell. Moravia's mind is taken over by Norsan - who has found a new host body - but not understanding her capabilities, she is merely made to sit out of things. Fenaris slays Norsan's new host, and Nimin expends all of his vis to cast a spontaneous Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit, destroying him.

The bodies are cleared up, and things are returned to normal at the covenant, except for a small incident involving too much strangely potent (Muto Aquam) alcohol, a string of extreme good luck for the grog William in some gambling (Creo Imagonem), and a knife fight between the grogs in which William is killed after being accused of cheating (Rego Mentem). It was all most unfortunate.

The magi find out that several more people have gone missing from the village of Figheldean, including John's wife Sarah, whose body is later found by the magi, at the site were the second group of dead were raised. The Abbot sends word to William to report on events, and finding that he is dead, is convinced by Brother Andrew to sent a report to someone, to have a full investigation performed. The Abbot, unwilling to have people snooping around in case his tolerance of the 'scholars' (for reasons of personal gain) is uncovered, sends a letter to Duncan, a priest at Sarum, who is treasurer at the cathedral, and also being blackmailed by the Abbot. The magi discover this information in time (due to Magnus' use of Peering into the Mortal Mind), and they send for Hareb to help them erase Duncan's memory of the letter, and take care of Peter and Andrew. The following morning, the monks at Amesbury discover Andrew and Peter in bed together. Brother Andrew is dead, with no physical signs of cause of death, and the Abbot seems to be insane. The Prior, Luke, has the events covered up, the Abbot taken care of, and takes over the running of the monastery. Due to his apathetic nature, Prior Luke does not investigate matters further, especially since no one else in the monastery knew what was going on.

1206

Spring

Spent in quiet study.

Summer

At the beginning of Summer, the magi follow the grog Stephen to his yearly meeting point, with a man named Jonathan. His contact's memory of the conversation is altered slightly, and it is found that he contacts someone at Bristol. Magnus and Hareb fly to Bristol, where the contact is found, and it is discovered that he reports to Blackthorn Covenant.

Later, all the mercenary grogs are paid off and sent packing, at which point they are murdered by Hareb, and their bodies and possessions destroyed.

Later that season, word reaches the Covenant that a great fire has swept through the library at Thames covenant, destroying the majority of the library. The fire started spontaneously, but no sign of its cause can be discovered.

Fenaris sends Raymond to Hibernia with the vis fine for the trouble caused in Dublin 7 years ago.

Autumn

Two Seekers turn up in Amesbury, searching the library of the Abby. They are Alphonus and Tabitha, and are invited to the covenant when the magi hear of them. They are seeking signs of the Old Ones in the far north. They have heard of another place associated with the Keepers - the Keeper's Library in Constantinople. They are shown the Codex of Air, which they volunteer to reconstruct using ritual magic. The magi keep everything else they know secret from the two Seekers. The Seekers do mention that texts similar to the Codex of Air (though nowhere near as complete) can be found in the Keepers Library.

Winter

Spent in quiet study.

1207

Spring

The end of spring sees another tribunal at Blackthorn Covenant. There is the minor issue of White Rocks raiding Red Eyes covenant using mundanes (Red Eyes is told to do whatever it wants to the raiders, but no charges are pressed against White Rocks). The new covenant of Voluntas puts forward a case to be made an official covenant of the Tribunal. It is a hung vote, mostly caused by Moravia voting with Blackthorn against Voluntas at the last moment. The vote goes to the Praeco, who votes against Voluntas.

The ritual of The Shrouded Glen is cast upon the covenant, in order to better hide it from the outside world.

Summer

Mostly spent in quiet study.

Stephen Langton is made Archbishop of Canterbury, against the wishes of King John.

At the end of the season, Belars finishes invention of a spell to repair the mind of Asling, who has spent almost the last ten years mindless. The spell is cast upon her, and her mental faculties are recovered.

The spell is also cast upon Vardulf. Moravia tries to befriend him whilst he is recovering, but does so showing no respect for his status as a powerful wizard, so he attempts to eat her. Magnus talks to him, with somewhat more success, though Vardulf tells him that if he sees Moravia again, he will kill her. While Vardulf is sleeping over the next few days, Magnus reads his mind, and finds out about the events of his life, especially around the time of his imprisonment here. He also discovers that Vardulf believes himself to be immortal - his soul is kept outside his body in an amulet hidden on the Isles of Orkney, and damage to that is the only way to harm him. Moravia goes missing, and is last seen flying northwards.

Autumn

King John as Langton and all the monks expelled from Canterbury Cathedral. John and Isabella have a son, who is named Henry.

Life at the covenant is quiet, except for a brief trip to Cad Gadu to enroll Vardulf into the Order as a member of House Ex Miscellanea.

Winter

It comes to the attention of the magi that someone had been causing trouble in Amesbury. A strange man, hunched and obviously tainted with evil (according to the monks) came asking about the sleeping god. He was dragged into the Church, which he resisted vigorously, and refused to acknowledge God. Upon his body was a birth mark, in the shape of a scarab beetle. He was thrown in a cell, but by morning he was gone, with no sign of how he escaped.

1208

Spring

A message, which is later found to be fake, is sent from King John to Pope Innocent, declaring that John has decided to abide by the decision of the monks at Canterbury. They try to return, but are thrown out again, and Innocent declares an Interdict upon England.

Asling organises a party at the covenant to celebrate Beltine, inviting most of the magi of Stonehenge. Burhes from Lombard Covenant in Hibernia turns up, as does Silis. Llew from Blackthorn, a couple of witches from Lychira, and a smattering of other magi from across the Tribunal - mostly Merinita and Ex Miscellanea arrive also. It is highly successful, but is unfortunately seen by a mundane who reports it to the Abbey. The monks come to investigate possible pagan rituals, but are convinced that nothing untoward happened, and they return quite happy.

It is around this time that Melangell and Nimin, discover a shared interest in necromancy, and spend quite a bit of time together.

Summer

It is discovered that the vis sources normally collected from Cadbury Hill have already been harvested when Hareb goes to harvest them. She tracks the vis to a healer named Richard of Lisbon, magus Ex Miscellanea. He did not know the vis belonged to the covenant, and had fled down this way after his apprentice had been slain by a Marcel d'Orve - a magus of House Criamon who was marched for diabolism almost twenty years ago, but has never been found. At that time, he travelled with Leri, now wife of Magnus, and Richard claimed that he was seeking a woman named Leri.

Autumn

Spent in quiet study. The covenant of Red Eyes is raided by mundanes sent by White Rocks, who are slain by the magi there.

Winter

Spent in quiet study.

1209

Spring

King John argues with William of Scotland, over the ownership of castles. Cambridge University is founded by students from Oxford, after the temporary closure of the latter University.

The magi make a trip to the Golden Dome covenant in Constantinople, where they speak with the Seeker Valens ex Bonisagus about gaining access to the Library of the Keepers. After presenting some items of interest to him, he writes them a letter of introduction, and informs them of its location. Once there, the magi are able to browse the library, and discover various texts which are of interest to them.

Summer

Spent in quiet study.

King John marches on Scotland, and King William of Scotland surrenders. John calls for a big meeting at Marlborough, where everyone swears fealty to the King and his Queen, as well as their son Henry. Soon after, he again kicks out the bishops from England, and is himself Excommunicated.

Autumn

The Bjornaer Gathering of Twelve Years is held.

On his return from the gathering, Magnus visits the dragon Ingiga, and though the exact details of the meeting are unclear, he does return with a large stone - the key of Earth, as well as an inscription which may be a map.

Raymond ex Mercere is assaulted on his way back to the covenant by a group of men armed with magical devices. He is almost slain. On investigation by the magi, the men were brigands, who stole the items from a noble woman they had raped and killed some days ago. She was Annette, daughter of William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. Her body is found by Magnus, and her spirit questioned. She tells him that her father employs two artificers, named Caletus and Flavia, who gave her these things. Hareb takes the information to Quaesitor Marcus at Thames, and he and Udaet investigate, finding that the two in question are Tytalus magi, who are operating in flagrant breach of the Code. They are told to remain at Schola Pythagorus covenant at Cambridge until the next Tribunal. Asling organises another party at the end of the season, which is smaller than the first, and goes unnoticed amongst the mundanes.

Winter

Richard, second son of King John and Isabella, is born.

Julia ex Jerbiton, of Voluntas Covenant, goes to Norwich with her apprentice and some companions, and is not heard from again.

A dead cow, heavily mutilated and laying at the bottom of a tree, as if it had fallen from the sky, is found by a grog. Investigation shows that it came from the village of Chisenbury, where all their cows had been killed the night before by unknown forces. They had scars upon them as if by some huge beasts, as well as lesser wounds by knives.

The following night, six dolls of human flesh and bone are nailed to the doors of six of the homes in Chisenbury, and the night after that, while Hareb and Moravia are staking out the village, giant wolves with cloaked riders fly down upon the village, trailing fire from their paws. Both magi move in for a closer look, but Moravia is noticed, and almost killed when one of the wolves tramples her. Hareb saves her by breaking the wolf's legs with magic. The wolf slays its rider, who has fallen off, and the wolves retreat. Moravia uses 'seven league stride' to get home. Three men had been slain in the village, but all six riders had been killed by Hareb, though all the wolves escaped. The souls of the riders have already gone by the time anyone can try to contact them.

Two nights later, four wolves and riders attack Figheldean, but are driven off by the magi, though not before the wolves set fire to the village. This time, the riders are captured alive, and when interrogated, tell their story.

They were a group of bandits, led by Scarface, who had run across a group of three young children about a month ago. They attempted to kill them, but their leader, Thomas, summoned some hounds of Hell which instead slew some of them, until they agreed to follow the three. I actually wasn't that bad, since with the children and the wolves, they were able to act with impunity against anyone. A few days ago, they moved to the village of Orcheston, where they torture, rape and murder the adults there. The assaults on the villages was Thomas' idea, to spread fear amongst the adults. Thomas always had a book with him, which he read from often. Both Scarface and Thomas had left for somewhere, but the other children were still at the village.

The magi travel to Orcheston, and take out the guards without too much hassle. Moravia, who was charged with capturing the two children, delays the carefully orchestrated plan by investigating the cottage where the village children are held captive. Hareb is forced to act herself, in order to save a woman from being raped with a flaming branch. However, the outlaws are slain, and the two children are captured alive, without any survivors from the village knowing what happened. Moravia returns from Orcheston with one of the other children - Eleanor a young girl of six.

From the minds of the children it is found that Thomas had introduced them to methods to get what they wanted, soon after he had (unknown to everyone else) murdered several people from their home town of Warminster. He had a book, from which he had learnt everything, which he said had been given to him by a beautiful young woman named Melusine about six years ago. Since then, they had all committed atrocities, and dragged the outlaws into their game as well. Scar and Thomas have gone back to Warminster to meet up with someone called Simon.

Hareb, Fenaris and Magnus travel to Warminster, to find a large Perdo Mentem affect on the place, with everyone acting listless. The church grounds, now within an infernal regio, are entered by Hareb, who spying a young child with a book, a heavily armoured man, and Scar (hanging above the alter, dripping blood across the floor, which forms flaming occult patterns), casts a powerful Perdo Corpus spell, slaying all within. The floor beneath Thomas collapses into a flaming pit, which engulfs the entire church. Hordes of tiny, screaming imps flee the church out into the night. Back on the mundane world, the church sinks into the ground, and there is no sign that it ever existed.

A final exploration of Warminster by Magnus shows that the people are confused, and have great difficulty remembering what happened. He uncovers some letters addressed to a Simon le Mort ex Verditious, one from Ingrat of Blackthorn, the other from a Melusine. The handwriting of both letters is identical.

1210

Spring

Heavy taxes are laid upon the Jews in England.

Several of the new goblins grow sick and die, leaving thirteen pairs who seem ravenously hungry for vis. The stone trees start growing, entwining their branches together.

Summer

King John conquers Ireland. The female goblins grow weak and sick, and eventually die. The males place them in the central trees, which have formed a sort of cocoon.

Autumn

King John invades Wales, and conquers it, after surprising the bulk of the Welsh forces in their camp asleep. The male goblins die, as do most of the trees, leaving four trees supporting a stone egg, within which is contained the bodies of the female goblins.

Winter

At the end of Winter, a baby dragon hatches out of the egg. Magnus and Asling argue over who should raise it, with Asling winning out. Moravia leaves the covenant for a few days, to visit the other covenants of the Tribunal, leaving her apprentice Eleanor in the hands of Anna.

1211

Spring

A meeting of the council is interrupted by Leri, who brings in the dead body of her son Galric. He has been murdered by Eleanor. She is slain in a fit of rage by Magnus. Summoning her spirit reveals that she had been hearing voices in her head for the last month or so, who tell her of the Light bringer, and performing his will. She took out her revenge for what had happened to her back at Orcheston on Magnus' son. Analysis of her memories, and from evidence found in the surrounding area, suggests that the instigator was Marcel d'Orvo, a renegade magus and diabolist who Leri used to be a companion to. The Quaesitor Marcus is informed, and other magi, including Arch Mage Galerus ex Flambeau and Udaet ex Flambeau turn up to try and locate the marched magus. During the burial of Galric Marcel attacks the magi with ape-like demons and large wyverns, who carry off Leri and Hareb. The apes are dealt with, though with a huge loss in the life of the fey who had gathered for the funeral. Magnus and Azif catch up with Leri, who is being held by Marcel. Azif is entangled in vines, while Marcel and Magnus discuss the situation. It is then that Leri who is really Vardulf changes into a bear, and rips into Marcel. Magnus follows suit, and the rest of the Flambeau turn up and flatten the area with destructive magic, taking out the last Wyvern. Marcel is killed, his soul taken to hell.

In the aftermath, Moravia and Magnus come to an agreement about the events, and neither press charges against the other. Magnus claims that he had just taken Galric on as an apprentice, so both had lost something of equal value, and the real culprit was Marcel, who is now dead.

Hareb, Magnus and Fenaris travel to Dunwich covenant to investigate why none of the magi there have been contactable for the last year. They find the place flooded and devastated, with torn and half eaten bodies, including that of two of the magi - Donicus and Caewlin. It was as if a large bear like creature had come through, tearing open the stone walls and eating anyone it found. Some enchantment upon it seems to have prevented any harm coming to it from weapons, and anything magical was taken. Talking to the spirits of the magi reveal that Estrith, a third magus of the covenant, was investigating a new cave which had opened under one of their local underwater vis sources.

Hareb, Vardulf and Magnus investigate the new cave. While Hareb and Magnus argue over who is to proceed first, Vardulf (in the form of a shark) swims in, and the others follow. Some way in, a large shape swims from the shadows and attacks Vardulf, leaving him incapacitated and bleeding. It then attacks Hareb, but it's huge claws are unable to do much damage through her magical protections. However, neither Magnus nor Hareb are able to hurt it much through its thick scales, and Hareb's death spells are useless against it. Eventually, Magnus takes it down with a lightning bolt, which also harms Hareb and Vardulf as the electrical charge passes through the water.

They drag Vardulf back to the beach, but neither are able to help him while he is in shark form. Magnus flies back to the covenant to try and get help, leaving Hareb to guard Vardulf that night. Such a guard was not unwarranted, since a second beast comes upon the two, somewhat larger than the first, and very very angry. Hareb runs, and when she returns she sees that Vardulf has been taken, and there is no sign of the second creature.

Fenaris and Hareb try to recover the body of Vardulf the following day, tracking the second creature back to the deepest pit of its lair. Remains of his body is found, but there is no life left in him. There is also no sign of the creature, and the two make a hasty retreat before she returns.

Later investigation shows that the location of Vardulf's soul item can now be divined, since his magical resistance no longer prevents it. The gem his soul resides in is broken and dull. It would appear that even a gruagach's immortality has its limits. The soul item is given to Asling to remember Vardulf by.

While the Dunwich incident was proceeding, Asling was following up a rumour in the area about a couple of green skinned children who had been found at Woolpit near Ipswich. She discovers a group of people living in a magical regio, filled entirely with a huge forest - called by its inhabitants the Forever Forest. They say that it has connections to all forests in the world. Apparently, a while back, strange people came and took away part of their forest, corrupting it by speaking strange words and making funny shapes with their hands and arms. They made a great white tree of stone. Moravia takes over the tuition of William of York, the apprentice of Julia of Voluntas Covenant.

Summer

All is quiet at the covenant.

Some fisherman go missing off the Sussex coast, and there are stories of some terrible sea beast stalking the coastal villages.

Thinking there is a link between what Asling found last season and what is at Stonehenge, the magi try to investigate Stonehenge again. Asling sings the same songs that the trees in the Forever Forest sang, and the trees are peaceful, and do not attempt to stop them. Eventually they come across the white tower wreathed in fire, and enter it, battling some stone golems that are there to guard it. On the floor is inscribed “Blessed be Earth and all who serve her” in Latin. A symbol - a merged male and female sign - is also inscribed here. The only interesting contents of the tower is a stone slab on which lays a corpse. A silver bell hangs by the head of the corpse, which Asling rings before anyone can do anything. The sound of the bell seems to fill the air of the entire place.

Autumn

Arch Mage Galerus ex Flambeau declares Wizard War on Robert the White ex Tytalus, for his continued harassment of Red Eyes covenant, and his failure to come to a peaceful settlement.

The magi travel to Iceland to seek out the fire giant Hrulgar, who is said to possess a ship capable of travelling everywhere, and whose head can see all ways into magical realms. With these they hope to be able to find the halls of the dark elves, and follow up the clues given in the Codex of Air.

On the way there, they stop off in Scotland, and are attacked in the night by a large group of outlaw mercenaries. Moravia, who was supposed to be on watch, is caught unawares, and is mortally wounded. Her apprentice, William, is slain. After the atackers have been dealt with, Hareb yanks the arrows out of Moravia in such a way as to kill her.

The rest travel onwards to Iceland, where they find the lair of Hrulgar and his sons. A fierce battle ensues, in which the giants are slain. They take Hrulgar's head, and after some false starts, find a way to sail his ship. They sail to Norway, to where the entrance way to the halls of the dark elves is supposed to be located. Without further investigation though, they are unable to use the head in a way to allow them to sail into that realm.

Deciding to spend the season in their travels, they travel down to Constantinople, in order to locate the place shown on the map which was found on Ingiga's box.

The place is found, though it is guarded by some spirit creatures which come close to killing several members of the group. Within the place is found a crypt containg the bodies of 23 leaders of the place.

At the very bottom of the place is found a library, which contains copies of the four Codexes (written in Greek), an authority on the history and philosophy of the Keepers, and full texts on four Mercurian rituals. The magi return to their covenant to digest the new information that this brings.

arsmagica/twilight-saga/two.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/01 14:31 by sam