Ore Island

Spring 1223 A.D. Part 3
Forward to Tintagel

The covenant is in disarray. Sopinka has left for purposes unknown to the rest of the covenant, and Bran has set out to follow him.

As they had alrady planned Cassandra soon left as well to seek out Falkes de Breauté, with only braveSigurd as companion and guard.

Sopinka’s journey was initially swift and save for the rain and the cold reception from every person he encountered, uneventful. The taciturn mage managed to eek out travel despite the curse of the Gift and soon reached Exeter, followed in secret by Bran, who used his ability to shape-shift into a bear to great advantage.

From Exeter, he travelled overland past the great Dart Moores and Oakhampton Castle. Near the former, he encountered again a strange Imp who warned him of an Infernalist trying to kill him, and the succubus who would try to either seduce him or destroy him through other methods. At Oakhampton he warned the local clergy about this rising demonic threat and then moved onward.

Finally, at Tintagel, the ruined castle presented a challenge. Magic and effort finally revealed a Regio, and within a giant edifice of Stone, a tower with no doors or windows. Unable to unravel any further Mystery, Sopinka sat to wait, knowing someone would show up soon enough. Bran was revealed in this situation but still kept himself to the periphery of the area, ever watchful.

Cassandra met with Falkes in Exeter and, per their plan, left the city to meet up with him later at a Shrine to St. Bartholemew. . Cassandra and Sigurd were accosted by servants of Hubert de Burgh, who they dispatched, though not without Sigurd taking some nasty wounds.

Met by Falkes they travelled on in secret, eventually reaching Tintagel. Cassandra used her second sight to reveal the Regio, and the waiting Sopinka, though this has not been revealed to Falkes. Bran circles the encampment of Falkes’ men, waiting for something, fi not even he knows.

Spring 1223 A.D. Part 2
Falkes the Fox?

As was agreed upon at the last Covenant Council Meeting, Sopinka journeyed to meet with Falkes de Breauté and give him the councils answer and an explanation; No.

After travelling overland with a party of several grogs, including John Carpenter and Black William, Sopinka finally met with Falkes for what was a somewhat tense and drawn out meeting. Falkes was visibly disappointed that the covenant had decided not to help him, and in the ensuing conversation revealed himself to be far more knowledgeable about the order of Hermes than the Covenant had first imagined.

Returning to the Covenant, Sopinka shared what he had learned and the Covenant spoke anew. They had learned through Falkes that Fornax, a member of the Blackthorne covenant, had been seen in communication with Hubert de Burgh, a powerful rival to Falkes, and the kingdom of Englands Justicar. This could very well mean that Blackthorne, or at least Fornax, was violating the code already, placing the covenant in a serious bind.

It was eventually decided that Cassandra would covertly leave the covenant to go and join Falkes and help him. Reasoning that she could be denied as a rogue if things went south, and that the power at play here could not be trusted to mortals.

Sopinka violently disagreed with this course of action and left before the final decisiion was made, travelling himself towards Tintagel and the stories resting place of Excalibur.

Spring 1223 A.D.
Falkes and Maids

The winter raged on with sleet and rain, storms and ice, that turn the covenant into a virtual prison. Siffed of Nigrasaxa stayed for some time with the covenant, exchanging texts and solidifying an alliance between the two young covenants. Bargains were struck to support each other in the tribunal; with specific intent towards secure local magical resources to the respective covenants.

Winter came to the end, the covenant filled with perhaps a tad bit of mystery and joy as Sopinka demonstrated something of a softer side in helping to deliver Carol’s second son, Stuart.

The peace of the covenant was not to last long, for a messenger arrives from Falkes de Breauté. The messenger brought forth the ring Cole had made for Falkes, along with the message that Falkes wanted their help. He believes he has uncovered some sort of new evidence about Tintagel, the birth-place of the legendary King Arthur, that may lead him to Excalibur.

The covenant concluded that the only reason for some-one like Falkes to pursue this legendary sword was as a play for the throne, and though it wouldn’t violate the Hermetic code, it would likely lead to a great disruption and involve them in things that would lead to the codes violation. They thus fudged their response, coaching it in vague terms and obfuscation.

It was than they realized that with the messenger possessing the ring, it was possible it was used against them. With Cole absent they had to rush to understand the rings powers, and to try and understand how they would deal with Falkes. It was decided, despite him originally washing his hands of the whole matter, that Sopinka would journey with the messenger and try and both suss out Falkes’ intentions and also make the covenant as distant from it as possible.

Winter 1223 A.D.(Part 4)
Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble

The continued quest to find the potentially murderous monk and his fellows took Cassandra and Sopinka, along with a group of Grogs, deep into the Dartmoor.

This Cold, Wet, Foreboding place is nowhere for civilized man nor beast, and was cloaked near perpetually in Mists as the party worked it’s way ever on, trusting to their tracking ability and the magic of the Magi.

Bursting from the Fog was one of the Warriors they had been tasked with finding, and yet something was strange. HIs mount was mad, frothing at the mouth, and the man himself seemed beyond reason; wailing and screaming, even after he was unhorsed. Sopinka used some of his magic to try and uncloud the man’s mind, finding strange echoes of unusual magic there.

Once done the man seemed to recognize some of the party, especially Cassandra. His interrogation revealed him to be the member of a new religious order, devoted to the destruction of ‘Witches’ and only peripherally sanctioned by the church. They had apparently encountered a Witch at a stone monolith some ways on, and she has ensorcerled him.

They let his horse run free and left him to fend for himself in the Moor, while they headed onward. At the Monolith they found the body of the monk they sought, dead for some time. Sopinka’s ability to speak with the dead proved useful, as they could bargain with the dead monk. Trading information for a promise to bury his body in holy ground. From this they discovered much about the man’s order, but also a little of the witch, who revealed herself, shape-shifting from a snowy owl that had perched on a nearby rock.

Wary of this strange hedge-witch, the members of the party organized a loose alliance against this new religious order, which seemed to plague the Folk Witches as well as the Order. Only time will tell if truth was told within that ring and if the alliance will hold.

Winter 1223 A.D.(part 3)
Maleficos non patieris vivere

Cassandra and Sopinka, along with an assortment of Grogs including Black William and John Carpenter, travelled north, through the murk and cold of a Devonshire winter, to the small village of Chudleigh to investigate the murder of the Wise Woman Edna.

Their investigation revealed a women who seemed to possess some knowledge of magic, a hedge witch perhaps, for they found some sort of magical powder in her small house, and evidence of other magical dealings. Sopinka’s magic was able to extract faces from blood left at the seen of her murder, perhaps from her murderers. Interviews with the village priest and other villages revealed the village had been visited by a Strange, Red-Haired Monk some short time before Edna’s murder. That he was attended by two armed men on horse-back, and that they left travelling north.

Thus began a path of tracking their progress through the Shire. From Chudleigh they travelled across country to a Priory near Bovey. The White Monk’s there were off-put by Sopinka’s manner, but because they had seperated earlier, Cassandra’s party was recieved in much better spirits. This led them to the discovery that the Monk and his two warriors had probably left into the Dartmoor, for word of witches near standing stones within that cursed place.

The party thus started to follow the path laid down some days before, and warning was given them. For a Demon named Vinoculus, an Imp of some sort, confronted Sopinka with warnings about both witches and other enemies he had. Saying that the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Wisely Sopinka refused the creatures help, and yet they could not avoid the ominous implications of the creatures ravings.

Winter 1223 A.D.(part 2)
Curious Allies

The Celebration of first the Winter Solstice and than Christmas brought joyous occasion to the Covenant. A year that had both tribulation and bounty comes to an end with feasting and presents and frivolity. Even Bran, the usually silent magus of the house, got into the spirit by drinking more than a few grogs under the table. Sir Oswald Blackbanner gave his son a fine horse to further his education, as a knight and lord is expected to ride into battle. By the proper new year the party of the Blackbanners had left, having given his blessing to the training of his son’s magical senses, and good feelings all around.

Other mysteries and mischief continue. Cassandra found a strange plant, made entirely of Ice, outside her door Christmas day. The strange gift seems to keep growing, but it posses a puzzling mystery. Mary Faire continued her pursuit of Sopinka, with similar results. It remains to be seen if the flaxen haired serving maid will redouble her efforts, or change the target of her amorous advances.

As the weeks passed into the heart of winter, pelting rain and the occasional belt of snow, the covenant was greeted by the arrival of an old man from Nigrasaxa. Or at least so he appeared. At council, it was revealed that the raggedly appearance of the old traveller concealed with tattooed visage of Siffed of house Criamon. He brought with him a new text for the library, though more troubling was tales of a hedge-witch he found hung from a tree on the road from Exeter. Bearing the same markings and method of execution that befell one of the covenants original members. Sopinka and Cassandra begged indulgence as they set off to investigate what they could of this mystery.

Winter 1223 A.D.
Alliances bear fruit, both sweat and bitter

The covenants turb, now tested in battle, and made wary by knowledge of the covenants enemies, greats the cold rains of winter almost fondly. No campaigns will be fought in such weather and perhaps some peace may be found over the season.

With frost touching the ground and the Winter Solstice upon them the Covenant, and the Mages, take stock of what has been wrought. Their alliance with Falkes de Breauté has resulted in a surplus of coin and a prosperous year, yet also a letter in which the High Sheriff speaks obliquely of something in Tintagel only the mages could help him with.

The Aegis of the Hearth renewed for a year, matters of the coming magus from Nigrasaxa, as well as the approach of Sir Oswald Blackbanner for Christmas occupied much of the council meeting.

The same day the good Knight arrived, bearing gifts, food and fruits for the Christmas celebration and eager to see how his son had been faring. His talk with both Cole and Cassandra led to his seeming support for training the boy in the second sight, as he hopes his son will one day replace him as a responsible noble.

Fall 1222 A.D.
A Bastard in more than Name

The Grain has grown long, and a slow chilll builds in the South of England, and yet the Covenant faces greater dangers than the coming winter.

Cassandra, with help from Cole, was able to demonstrate that indeed, Henry does have the gift of secondsight. What the covenant, and more importantly his father, will do with this knowledge is hard to know, and something that the covenant can at least put to the side until Christmas.

In the meanwhile however, something darker is afoot. Geoffrey the Bastard, bastard son of Eudo de Vannes, appeared at the Inn, bringing with him a couple of men and asking questions about the Lady Cassandra and William Whitelocke. This news soon reached back to Whitelocke, who set Black William to work, monitoring the roads to see if this scoundrel and bandit would return.

Soon enough he did, with a half-dozen men on horseback and another dozen men. Alerted, the Covenant was able to evacuate the village and set up a trap for the men. A combination of Bran’s magic, the skill at arms of the Turb and the Captains leadership brought down the attackers, letting only a couple escape, and felling the Bastard himself.

Brought to the covenant, Cole’s mind magic was able to discover the truth, and Whitelockes failure to more generally alert the covenant brought up. A council meeting recommended commending the Captain for his defence of the village and covenant, but reprimanded him for not letting the mages in general know everything there was to know. It was agreed a more specific system, in which it would be the obligation of everyone to make sure the Speaker of the council was informed of all general matters, rather than any one particular mage, would be instituted.

The council finished in conversation, wondering what could now be done about Baron Eudo, and what retribution would follow from the death of his bastard son.

Summer 1222
Books and Plots and Sealing Wax

Fields now show Amber stocks of Wheat, Oats and Barely. Gardens sprout with hops, turnips, vegetables and herbs. The fishermen have had a good season and all seems well.

Cassandra continues to be occasional plagued with strange visions; one set around Sopinka, seeing him do literal battle with some dark robed mage. This vision shows this mage using a dagger, a robe covered in snakes, and an inverted cross with a strange asexual demonic figure on it as metaphorical ‘weapons’. As the battle rages the two of them are seemingly consumed in flame.s

While pondering these Visions Cassandra has more immediate matters to concern herself with as becomes further a more integral part of the covenant. The young Henry Blackbanner has asked for her to train him in the second sight he claims to possess. The covenant has agreed that she should at least test the boy to see if he does possess this sight. Though since his Father is coming to stay for Christmas this year, it was agreed any manner of training would be held off at least until than.

Lastly Cassandra seems to have earned herself some measure of loyalty from the out of time Norseman Sigurd. Though his English is poor, he seemed to convey an offer to protect Cassandra if she would protect him from the Fae.

Cole and his entourage returned, with news about negotiations with other covenants. Much debate in the council than ensues, mostly about the offer from Nigrasaxa, which was very generous in terms of their own library, but came with it an offer of negotiating Ore Islands entrance to an alliance against Blackthorne. It was eventually decided that they would accept the offer and sent a missive for the covenant to send their representative to Ore Island to consider the nature of such a future pact.

Spring 1222
Bear Caves, Mayday Malarky and a Quest for Texts.

Fall passed into Winter, and Winter finally breaking into spring with no further word from the Faerie lord. Unknowing if such a being even reckoned time as do humans, the Covenant turned back to order, fish, wheat, vis and now Timber.

The finances of the Covenant seemingly secure, though all concerned about what might come from their bargain with Falkes de Breauté, the new matter before the council was their library resources. Though the covenant possessed a number of important and worthy texts, their range was somewhat limited and many within the covenant desired a broader library to further their magical research.

It was agreed that after the Mayday Celebration, Cole, along with several grogs, would travel to the Covenants of Nigrasaxa, Libellus, and Schola Pythagoranis to seak to bargain for books.

The Mayday celebration, with it’s cakes and Maypole and Mayfaire Queen, went on quite well within the covenant and the nearby fishing village. Though it began perhaps a strange tale; Mary Faire had apparently set her eyes on one of the mages, strangely enough Sopinka. While his initial social ignorance kept anything from coming of it, Mary was not one to be so easily dissuaded and wound up in a compromising position in the mages bed. With a, some would say strange, level of chivalry, Sopinka used his magic to keep the girl asleep and than had Matilda deal with the matter as gently as possible. Though only time will tell if Mary has given up her aspirations on the Mage, or will turn her attentions and ambitions to another.

The last matter was one for Magus Bran. Wondering the woods as a bear, he came across a cave he had frequented many times before. Some shift in the rocks, an early spring flood or some such, had caused a portion of wall to come loose, revealing a deeper cave that smelt of antiquity and bear. Exploring within he discovered a strange Magical Creature, a Bear of Virtue, whom he calmed and engaged with. She showed him to a strange Magical Regio on which strange elaborate paintings covered the walls and strange edifices and statuettes littered the floor along with countless bear bones. A new source of Vis was of course a benefit to the covenant, but Bran seems interested in gleaning something more from this strange cave.


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