1230, Summer

After several sessions doing an actual adventure, we return to the normal Ars Magica style of skipping across seasons of time in a single session. We finish Spring, head through Summer and get to the end of Autumn.

We also decided what had happened during my maga character’s quest at the end of the previous year. It involved her experiencing her first Twilight, and starting down the path for the Criamon Mystery Cult.

Jack – Spring, 1230

We head back to the covenant of Crun Clach, reaching there in the evening. After some knocking, we are let in and allowed to stay for the night again,. Maedbh and Caitlin settle down to a long discussion about what has been happening on the Isle of Arran.

Caitlin is particularly worried by the use of human sacrifice on the island, as well as the fact that there were two different rituals being done, which may have been competing with each other. Human sacrifice implied non-hermetic magic. Their discussion seems to go on well into the night, long after I decide to make my excuses (not that anyone notices) and head to bed.

The following day, we head back to our own covenant.

Pisciculus ex Criamon – Spring, 1230

I spend the season studying our new book on Mentem. Full of illuminations, and made from the finest materials, it is a book that is a pleasure to read. I also have time to reflect on the trials I went through at Fingal’s Cave, my first step towards unlocking the mysteries of my cult.

We hired a boat to cross the sea from Oban to the Isle of Mull. It was a short trek by foot to the other side of the island, where we hired a second boat to get us to the Isle of Staffa. My grog found a good place to land the boat near the south end of the island, not too far from Fingal’s Cave. It was raining heavily as we landed, and the wind was getting up. I left the grog to look after the boat, and headed carefully along the rocky shore, aiming to arrive there must after dawn.

In the dark light of the storm, the cave looked different. More real, its true aspects boosted by the presence of a strong magical aura. I am unaffected by the cold, but there is a real risk of being swept out to sea. The moment I set foot inside the cave itself though, the wind and waters calm, and the sound of the storm outside becomes muffled. Echoing out of the back of the cave are other sounds though layered on top of the muffled sounds of the storm. There are voices, distant and garbled. There is a Genius Loci here, a spirit that dwells in a place as a guardian.

I slip into the water, and let the current carry me deeper into the cave. There is a pattern to the voices and the storm, which mingle into a soundscape that becomes like a maze, part of the Enigma. Trapped in the Enigma is the spirit of Broichan ex Criamon, one of the early Criamon magi to come to Loch Leglean. He is trapped in the cave, stuck within Twilight. I enter Twilight with him, and together we navigate the riddle set by the Genius Loci.

I awaken later in the day on the rocks outside the cave. My back burns with the feeling of a new tattoo – a river representing the flow of time along my spine. I have helped the spirit of Broichan find Final Twilight, and also overcome my own fears about entering Twilight.

On the boat back to the mainland, our grog mentions that my Tattoos look different. They seem to shift and change over time. Not fast enough to notice them changing, but hours or days later they are different.

Pisciculus ex Criamon, Summer 1230

I spend the summer setting puzzles for myself on the nature of Twilight and the Enigma. After my experiences in the cave, I feel that I better understand the nature of the Enigma.

I will need to have a much better grasp on the wisdom of the Enigma if I am to further proceed down the path of House Criamon.

Jack, Summer 1230

I head out along the roads between Glasgow and Edinburgh, finding mercenaries and others who frequent the edges of the law. My aim is to seek out new contacts for the covenant, and hopefully also find some allies who may be willing to help us if we need it.

It’s also good to make my name known, so that others may be willing to provide help to me as well. There is a lot of discussion about undead up north, and a help a few of the more seasoned mercenaries dissuade some younger men from heading off to join the King of Scotland in his wars. A couple of the seasoned vets look like they could be promising recruits for the covenant.

Pisciculus ex Criamon, Autumn 1230

In order to put my new found knowledge of Mentem to use, I spend the season inventing a new spell – Trust of Childlike Faith. This spell as a limit of Eye, as many Mentem spells do. With my ability to vary formulaic spells though, I should be able to modify it to extend to the range of my voice, or simply to a touch upon a target.

Pisciculus’ encounter with Twilight gave her enough warping points to give her a Warping score of 1. It also gave her a reasonable number of experience points in Enigmatic Wisdom, though not quite enough to go up a level, hence spending a season practising.

She obtained a Twilight Scar, which I decided would give her varying tattoos. One of the reasons for this is that I’m playing with the Midjourney consist character feature, but it’s really bad at keeping tattoos consistent. So this seems like a good in-game reason why her appearance may change slightly.

Samuel Penn

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