[Note: Not canon unless GM says so]
3 January 1220
Four mages responded to a request from Fionn ua Bonaosagus to join the covenant at Iniscrabhall.
The mages are:
Áine cultus Bhéardaoiteas
Iohannes de Ragusa
and Concaid ’O’Corrain of Bjoernaer
They met at the Mercere house of Leth Cuinn to travel to Iniscrabhall.
The redcap Cian the Bold came as a guard, and Morran was the lead grog.
It was rainy and cold, so Aoife cast Cloak of the Duckfeather on all the party and animals.
Some brigands showed up partway along the route, but Iohannes used an array of Imaginem magic to solve any potential issues. The party stayed overnight in a fishing villiage.
The next day, attempting to cross the River Bann at a toll gate some soldiers stopped the party, but it was quickly determined that this group was from Iniscrabhall. Lead by Cass, the captain of the guard, this crew were doing…‘fundraising’.
The party learned of a secret method, that shall not be disclosed here, to access the island of Iniscrabhall in Lough Neagh from the land shore of the lake near a small hamlet of Marghery that services the covenant – without having to walk through the freezing water of the submerged causeway. The soldier and doghandler Connor accompanied us across and introduced us to Dubhgal the Black, who manages the mundane aspects of the covenant.
The party were then introduced to Fionn, a somewhat disheveled, insipid monk-like figure, who was the sole remaining mage at the covenant. The main building of the covenant is a two story stone building with five lab and sancta plus living quarters and a council chamber.
On the ground floor, Aoife took the sanctum of Augustus an Flambo, Aine took the sanctum of Octavia ua Treameare, and on the top floor is Fionn’s sanctum, Iohannes took the sanctum of Ros an Flambo, and Concaid took the sanctum of Niall cultus Bionaere
An evening’s introduction dinner was held, and a number of important issues and points were discussed:
- The original founders of the covenant get an extra vote according to the covenant charter (i.e. Fionn), there is no provision for ties
- There are two sources of vis – one is Saint Patrick’s Tree, which is an end of winter task to collect apples that fruit out of season. The second is magical eels that are trapped by the covenant fishers to the east along the shore of the lake, back over the Bann. There is a stone formation called Saint Patrick’s Seat near this tree and the causeway to the mainland that is a minor pilgrimage site as a detour off Saint Patrick’s Way
- The whereabouts of the other founders of the covenant are unknown, and Fionn assumes they are no longer alive. Fionn stated he was at Vigil at the time, and it had been some time since he had seen Niall anyway. The others left but did not return.
- Ros has a deal of some sort with a fire spirit
- There had been a war of some sort – the covenant had ruffled some feathers, took something from a giant. Now dead, the giant’s body was stolen and used to found a short-lived covenant at Blackhall near Balur’s Eye. That covenant had some other problems a season before the ones here at Iniscrabhall
[NOTE: details of these covenants were later discovered to be incorrect: Blackhall is far to the west of Lough Neagh somewhere in Ui Niall country and is built in Balor’s Eye. There is a now ruined covenant at Giant’s Cove, which is in the hills of Beaghmor, to the west of Lough Neagh]
- The Redcaps of Leth Cuinn have always assisted the covenant.
- Vigil is some distance away to the Northwest near the coast, generally good relations
- We try not to upset blackhall
- There is a faerie court in the centre of the lake
- There is some sort of monster in the lake, Fionn never saw it, and suspects it is dead
- Some texts were cleared out during the investigation into the covenant member’s disappearances, and these texts were not returned.
- The island and lake have further magical connections that permit rapid travel from Iniscrabhall to the far shores of he lake.
- Niall had a second sanctum somewhere
6 Jan 1220 – An expedition to secure the vis from the eels
A party of Aoife, Concaid, the head fisher Calbhach depart. Notice that some of the eel traps have been torn opened, always when people crewing the traps are momentarily distracted, or an animal opens them. The fishers noted this started around a year ago. Fionn informed the party that Niall had previously been in contact with the fae of the lake.
Domhnall was on watch most recently. On quizzing domhnall, Aoife manages to terrify Domhnall with an off the cuff joking remark.
While all the fisher’s knives are found so that they can be checked as to whether they were used to cut the traps, Concaid and Aoife challenge each other on how far they can throw a rock skipping across the lake, because this is definitely a worthy use of magical abilities. Aoife wins the resulting certamen and casts a spell to make water run out of Concaid’s nose until sundown. Nothing of note was discovered about the knives, until, through the power of mead, Una the Fisher and Finniane the Fisher recalled that Finniane’s knife had been caught in the net and had been unable to be retrieved, and Una had also had a knife stolen by a magpie the previous winter at the cove where the eels are found.
7 Jan 1220
At the eel cove, Aoife caught sight of a water rat jumping out of the water, grabbing Calbhach’s knife, and jumping back into the water. The shape was identified as a faerie through Aoife’s second sight, determining that this was a trickster puca. Cass talked to the faerie using mead as an offering. Ten minutes later a path of frost appeared on the lake, and a single imposing blue figure rose out of the lake and approached on the path of frost.
The fae lord is Ámhra, son of Arolghul. Aoife talked to the prince explaining what we were after, but failed to observe proper etiquette. Amhra noted that lesser fae have responsibility for looking after stocks of eels. He noted that Niall had had a treaty with the fae, but did not provide details. He also stated that the fae were seeking the return of their white horse, and he would send an emissary with some details about the horse. Perhaps an arrangement could be come to.
8 Jan 1220
An inventory of the covenants resources were taken, and Niall’s sanctum was investigated.
There were a bunch of hidden stash spots- Niall was clearly secretive. The sanctum seems somewhat suspicious, but there wasn’t any further info to be gained here. It was noted that if Niall was alive, he no longer has a token for the covenant. Concaid morphed to a wolf and smelt the room, noted some old scents, a somewhat animal scent, nothing beyond this. The rooms stockes were bare as Niall clearly was only restocking his alternative sanctum.
We found an old love letter from between Augustus and Octavia.
10 Jan 1220
A redcap, Eisten showed up. The mages asked about the books taken by the Quasitors and wrote a message to go to them (Concaid wrote the letter)
Eisten noted that the redcaps keep a distance from the lake fae. Apparently the faerie court is in six parts, and the king has half a dozen children
The English; there’s a bit of turmoil, there was a furore at the last tribunal. Eisten’s cousin spoke out about the English, which Leth Cuinn do not approve of.
Elk’s Run: noted that this was an excellent kennel, but that it was difficult to get breeding hounds out of them.
11 Jan 1220
Aoife, Cass and Concaid went to Leth Cuinn,, met a badass faerie called Úathch. She is the wife of the covenant leader and an excellent martial trainer. Is the granddaughter of Nuadh and Badhbh.
She noted that the horse wanted by Amhra could be the Horse of Aengus. She also noted that she had met Niall once around 7 years ago, and that there was a spear, of ashwood and silver, that could pierce the hide of any beast. This was an ungainly weapon – it belonged to a giant, but was sized for a human.
At this point, Concaid left the covenant, seeking to work at Elk’s Run. Another mage who had expressed interest in the covenant was invited to join, Rodhri of Criamon. Aoife had met Rodhri previously in Wales
20 Jan 1220
Rodhri arrives at the covenant via a magical boat from Leth Cuinn and is given information on Irish wizarding law, the Coill Tri, the fae, and the requirements for covenants in Ireland. Most of the mundanes had an adverse reaction to Rodhris blatant gift.
The remainder of winter:
Aoife collected the Herbam Vis from Saint Patrick’s Tree (4 pawns of herbam vis)
Iohannes toured around the lake and went to the towns of Antrim and Portadown on the way.
Two leads were found on the horses:
- There is a white/ghostly horse that has been seen around Beaghmor
- The stables of John de Lacy, the Norman lord currently in Antrim, apparently have an unusually spirited white horse.