We return to the covenant of Druids’ Dale during Autumn 1223, where we get healed up and finish off our studies. Pisciculus has a medium wound, so needs to spend some time recovering with help from Aodhan who turns out to be an excellent healer. She had planned on reading the book on Intellego, but the adventuring XP for the season was enough to get her up to an Intellego of 12, which was the maximum that the book could provide.
Having to choose between training XP and adventuring XP means that there is no way to develop side skills such as languages or area lores without fully dedicating time to it. For a skill like language, which needs to be up at a level of at least 3, this can mean an entire year at least dedicated to learning it.
I’ve decided that it would be easier for Pisciculus to use magic to communicate with people. She already has Thoughts Within Babble, which allows her to understand others. It doesn’t allow others to understand her though. By extending the range to Eye (from Personal) using her flexible formulaic magic she could give locals the ability to understand her.
Alternatively, she could extend Posing the Silent Question to be Concentration duration, allowing her to read their minds. Both have the downside of possibly scaring any mundanes, but at least she’ll be able to communicate with people.
In winter, Pisciculus studies our book on Imagonem, though it’s another book that only grants her a single extra point.
At the end of winter it is time for ageing rolls, and we realise that one of our grogs – Hamish – needs to make one. In fact, he’s needed to make one every year he’s been with us. On the ageing check I roll a 1 on a d10, which was good until we realised it was a stress die, so we need to roll again and double. The next roll is a 10. Not good.
He suffers penalties to most of his characteristics, and suffers an ageing crisis, being bed ridden for a month. He survives, but is definitely the worse for wear.
- The Loch Leglean Tribunal will be held this year. A key moment will be the recognition of Druid’s Dale as a Covenant in good standing of the Order of Hermes.
- A disturbing story has arisen of an outbreak of what Southerners are referring to as ‘witchcraft’ near Berwick. Apparently a group of men and women have been indulging in a perversion of traditional fertility practices mixed with worship of an evil spirit to whom they swear fealty. The local authorities appear to be unconcerned but the peasantry are disturbed (Via Aidan).
- A number of longships were spotted off the shores of the Orkney islands recently. They were sailing with fully filled sails against the wind. There are dark mutterings amongst Orcadiants of “the order of Odin” and much tutting and shaking of heads.
- Life in the village of Woodsend is returning to normal after the defeat of a creature known to the locals as “The Norman Beast”. The Beast had besieged the village for two weeks, damaging their crops, eating livestock and some of the villagers. A mysterious group of travelling scholars intervened and defeated the beast in what a surprisingly well-fed local source described as “A clash of titans, so it was”. The locals tell of a huge creature that would leap 50′ into the air to crash down upon its foes and impale them on its dreadful spines. A spokesman from Horsingas has commented that the Slaughter of the Norman Beast is a fine omen for the future.
- A village near Spean Bridge has been found smashed by repeated hits from what is thought to be a boulder or boulders. But strangely no boulders are to be found at the site. Apart from the devastation, two sets of giant humanoid footprints were also found, leading off into the highland wilderness.
- Bards throughout Scotland are up in arms as a number of their profession have been chased out of villages on the borders of the highlands. Curiously only Bards introducing southern musical styles to traditional repertoires have been affected. Wiser heads have suggested that the deeply conservative farming folk “Don’t approve of all that fancy Norman messing about on the Lute”. A few rumours of Bards being placed in Sacks and thrown in rivers have not been confirmed.
Pisciculus spends the season studying the book Generationem Spontaneam, gaining a couple of points in Creo. Jack meanwhile discovers that Rohna is pregnant, and invites her back to the covenant to live with him as his wife. She is a skilled weaver, and will probably be a useful asset to the covenant.
The highlight of Summer will be the Tribunal which is being held at Loch Leglean covenant near Loch Eive. Possibly concerned that our naivety could cause trouble, Alexandra goes over some of the things that she expects to be happening there.
- There will be the official accepting of Druids’ Dale covenant into the Tribunal.
- The covenants of Crun Clach and Horsingas will no doubt be having arguments and competing for influence within the Tribunal.
- The two northern covenants of Arbroath and Winter Wind have been causing trouble for each other, fighting over magical resources. They will probably be bringing complaints to be voted on.
Other than that, it should be relatively straightforward since for the most part this isn’t a particularly political Tribunal. As far as Alexandra is concerned we can vote our conscience since the covenant doesn’t have any strong political leanings at the moment.
All of the magi of Druids’ Dale will be heading up to the Tribunal, and it will be our first chance to meet many of the magi of the tribunal.