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The Scotish Expedition

Pages from the Journal of Nestor Bromios

Translated from Greek and Hindi

July 1559

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[Elizabeth's England is an Alternative Earth Setting run by Ian Osmond under GURPS where the Ritual Magic system and mystical forces are at work. It ceased following the original timeline of historic Elizabethan England during the end days of Mary's reign thanks to the intervention of player characters that softened the effects of the transition from a Catholic to a Protestant ruler once again. History is now on a new path, and the characters continue to influence it.]

Sections in Italics are originally set down by the character in Hindi, the rest as Greek.


July 2nd 1559.

I begin this volume on a Sunday afternoon while staying at the Welborne Estate some two days travel from London (when the roads are in a dry condition, as they were when we left). Here I have been reunited with my companions for an official journey into Scotland to assess the situation for Queen Elizabeth.

As always, this record is supplemental to my official documents and road books, and is intended for the eyes of my beloved wife Prapti, any children the gods may bless us with in the future and any future students who may have interest in my travels and experiences who understand my teachings. They will avoid my detail work in regards to analyzing the state of England's roads, a log of which will be filed with Doctor John Dee, and the more complex mappings and custom information regarding the Scottish people and their state of politics, which will be delivered in proper protocol form to the Queen herself. They will deal with indelicate matters at times, and will be blunt in regards to impressions, events and persons, and thus must not fall into the hands of those who might use the information to cause harm.

We arrived here on Saturday, Prapti, myself, and Master Welborne's Servant Leon upon the horsecart, and the six mule caravan handlers (drovers) with their twelve beasts carrying the iron trade goods we shall be selling along our path for coin and supplies. Our journey was relatively uneventful, with dry roads and no major delays or obstructions and no sign of notorious Highwaymen such as the infamous Black Fox that have raided groups on the roads near London in the past.

We were greeted by servants of Lord Welborne, who assisted us in getting the beasts and their cargo safely tucked away in a barn and paddock, and in bringing our personal wares to the quarters that had been prepare for us. Afterwards a grand repast was laid before us on the dinner hour, attended by all the members of the household, family members in residence and my companions who had arrived ahead of us.

Our companions consisted of Lady Natasha (previously of the Court of the Czar of Russia), Master Wellbourne (Baron of the Cheynies and heir to Lord Wellbourne), Lord SummerIsle, Sir Edward Garbald, the Faerie Ambassador Goodfellow and Master Wellbourne's personal servant Leon. All are expected to accompany me on this journey, while the caravan shall only be accompanying us as far north as the English Border at best.

Queen Elizabeth had presented me with heading this expedition some five days ago, and preparations during this time had prevented me from starting this volume sooner. We had only been back three days from our diplomatic mission to the court of Faerie when the Queen decided to send us upon the mission. Although officially it is to observe the political state of Scotland, and with a minor secondary function to inspect the work of the road surveyors in each Parish upon our route to ensure that the Parliament's Act of 1555 is being heeded and is not just another expense upon the Queen's coffers without results, there is actually a deeper reason behind our departure from the court (possibly two).

In the days after our return there was some animosity between Sir Edward and Lord SummerIsle, which lead to the issuance of a challenge by Sir Edward and a duel with Pistols between them at dawn. I observed this event myself, and it was clearly a matter of a need to settle honor, and neither appeared to truly have their heart in the activity. Neither was shot in the process of the single exchange of shots, but it was evident that it settled for them the matter.

Unfortunately the issuance of the challenge, and the choice of seconds, and the public nature of the event in a delicate circumstance lead to some embarrassment for the Queen. Additionally it appears that Sir Edward challenged Lord SummerIsle for both a matter of personal honor against him and a matter of personal honor in the actions of him under orders of the Queen on our mission to Faerie (and thus a matter of honor against the Monarch). Baron Welborne and Ambassador Goodfellow acted as "seconds" to Sir Edward and Lord SummerIsle which caused some displeasure towards them by the Queen as well.

The challenge issuance occurred at a Public Inn, known as the Grey Hound in the rooms of Lord SummerIsle, and involved Sir Edward with Baron Wellbourne entering the rooms unannounced when Lord SummerIsle apparently was entertaining as guests Lady Natasha and Ambassador Goodfellow to make his challenge. Details here are sketchy, and second hand since I was not present, but it appears that the three were involved in some form of Union of Shakti (though of course whether in her aspects of Uma or Gauri, or in her aspects of Durga and Kali is not known). Interrupting such, and doing so in order to make a challenge of violence, could not help but provoke Lord SummerIsle and Ambassador Goodfellow, and of course annoy Lady Natasha. The problem of course comes from some staff and patrons of the Inn passing nearby observing and overhearing the events in part quickly lead to rumor that reached the Queens ear, and if she had not acted in some way to show her displeasure would have disrupted the peace at her court.

So, I was assigned to act as the chief organizer, information officer and "cool head" to guide the rest Northward and hopefully quench the more hostile of their passions so that when they return to the court in a few months they would be assets rather than liabilities to the Queen as they were before.

I also believe that our absence is timed to avoid contact with Sir Francis Walsingham, an ally said soon returning from France, who is said to be a strict Protestant and key to her needs to expand security within the court. Walsingham, it is said, holds his faith in higher importance to his Monarch, and might find the presence of so many foreigners and practitioners of unusual faiths and arts a threat to that faith. By sending away some of the more public and unusual folk it will give her some needed time to soften him to such, and if we produce valuable information regarding her potential rival and enemies we might prove that we are of more use than risk to her majesty.

(Or maybe she wants to hide our involvement to keep Walsingham himself from growing too powerful? She has certainly kept our activities and involvement a secret to her secretary William Cecil, who handles her current official information agents. Only Dee has been kept informed of our actions at the Faerie Court, and even he was kept in the dark as to the diplomatic mission Sir Edward and Baron Welborne took part in earlier this year that apparently prevented a treaty being signed between the French and Spanish.)

We shall be departing North in the Morning, hoping to connect up with one of the major "highways", the local term for the ancient roads constructed by the Romans. These are most interesting in regards to their construction, and are as useful today as they were when built hundreds of years ago. If only England had ready access to the materials used to create them, then the road situation could be drastically improved throughout the country. Unfortunately it requires the digging of massive trenches six feet in depth or more and the construction of a great wall within the confines of the trench sealed together and topped by a mixture called concrete that includes volcanic ash as part of its binding (unavailable in England, imported by the Romans), and then filling in the trench around the road. Travelers are thus riding along the top of this buried wall, which is extremely hardy to the elements even over centuries.

Goodfellow (the Ambassador prefers not to use his title or personal name in public) and Sir Edward have spoken of acting as outriders for the Caravan, to announce our coming to the villages ahead and to help book lodgings at Inns along the way. Baron Welborne's father, Earl Welborne, has been good enough to lend his campaign tent and two smaller tents to act as shelter in our travels where no Inn exists or when we cross over the border (as it was reported by Dee's sources that there are no Inns and almost no roads across the Scottish interior). Goodfellow and Sir Edward apparently will be in disguise as entertainers, to help reduce our visibility and thus allow us to gather information more freely as we travel.

This means that Prapti, Lady Natasha, Leon and myself will be passengers within the Horsecart most of the journey (though Lady Natasha has a horse and may ride alongside as she chooses) and I should have time to discuss with the Lady matters of the world and arts fantastic. (Calling them otherwise in earshot of the uneducated might bring up fears of heresy, witchcraft or other foul deeds, since even simple mathematics can put fear into the hearts of these superstitious folks after the religious turmoil that their previous monarch brought upon this land). She has also offered to tutor me in her native language, Russian.

Leon is simple, but his master's own practices in the arts fantastic have taught him to keep a blind eye and deaf ear to such things, and is trusted to not gossip or endanger us one and all. He seems a competent, if slightly skittish, servant and I hope that one day I might find a lady's maid for Prapti of equal skill and temperament when we have acquired better funding for our household. His skills with handling the animals and the wagon have proved effective, and I have expanded my own knowledge in such things simply by having observed him on our previous mission and hope that I might learn some new concepts in this regards from him as we travel and I take turns with him at the reins. One can never have too much learning, for learning is the one thing that cannot be done to excess in a lifetime.

I prepared some protective spells and useful charms for myself, Prapti and in some cases for Lady Natasha, Leon, and the Baron. Lady Natasha also prepared some of her own protections, to deal with the weather conditions we might encounter that she would find fatiguing.


July 3rd

We headed out early in the morning and made Dunstable by lunch time. There we discovered the local Inn was in a distressed state regarding its supplies, as the local Miller had been slain, and his mill taken over by the persons who had killed him, who were holding it still. After eating a meager meal of stew and oatmeal bread, Lord SummerIsle, Baron Welborne, Lady Natasha and myself went to investigate the situation with the Mill.

Lord SummerIsle and the Baron went into the Mill, while Lady Natasha and I retrieved two of their horses (a third fled) to prevent escape. They made quick haste justice upon them, with but one survivor. Bedford lies within Edwyn's father's lands, and thus Edwyn handled the problems with the survivor and getting him dealt with, carrying out a public hanging. (A barbaric concept of justice, where the criminal is strangled on a rope from a tree while onlookers evidently cheer his demise as the life's breathe is taken from him slowly and painfully).

We kept the two horses and their gear, with the Baron's permission, to act as spares for our journey.

Robert the Drover reported a few minor sales while we were there from the iron goods.

Lady Natasha is slowly teaching me her native Russian, thru her equally good skill at Greek as we travel.

We reached North Hampton by evening. The Inn there was inadequate, with but a single private room (which the Baron took for himself and his servant) but we stayed there in the common room.

We sold off 2 mule's worth of goods, and 1 drover returned back to London.


July 4th

Mid-afternoon we reached Coventry. Some of the drovers went off to Rugby to sell goods, while we decided (thanks to worsening weather) to stay in Coventry overnight. The group stayed at different Inns, with Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha at one, the drovers at another, and the rest of us at another of good quality. This proved a good choice, rather than press on, as two hours after sunset the skies opened up with a deluge reminiscent of Monsoon season.

I took the opportunity to create a charm for the Lesson of Tandu.


July 5th

Now at 6 mules 3 drovers as we depart for Nottingham, with a minor stop in Leicester where we sold more goods. We passed thru Sherwood Forest and stayed at Nottingham overnight (though accommodations were more limited so some of us had to stay in the common room). Throughout the day Lady Natasha had continued her lessons for me in Russian, expanding my vocabulary in both simple words and complex phrases of a colorful nature.


July 6th

Lady Natasha continued her teaching of the Russian language as we traveled, but became less coherent as the morning dragged on as she began to drink deeply of her alcoholic beverages. We made good time and reached Lincoln by noontime, where we ate, cared for the beasts and the merchant drovers carried out some additional business of selling off the wares.

The Innkeeper spoke of the Baron's "foster brother, Prince of Massarato Italy" as having passed through the day before. He described a man fitting Sir Edward's appearance. The Baron asked me not discuss this revelation when I questioned him on this, perhaps because of the business of the inn.

A local gentry sent a bottle of wine to the Baron, to thank his family for their having been entertained by his "foster brother" the night before.

According to a local tradesman, "The Prince" and his servant (who fit a description of Goodfellow) were slightly overcharged by the innkeeper for being foreign, and that they paid even more than asked in generosity.

The meals in general appeared to be twice expensive as expected (a shilling each) and it appears that this was a deliberate miscalculation of the bills in order to compensate for some claimed loss of profit by the thievery of one of his staff, or so was rumored by the locals. This sort of price gouging borders on the criminal, and I've made sure to include it in my log for Dr. Dee so that the Queen's representatives might later investigate and perhaps prevent further financial distress for travelers on her roads.

We had but 4 mules worth of goods to head North with us for the last leg of our merchant journey, but the 3 drovers and 2 mules without packs would continue with us for the richer market in York.

Just as we headed out the Baron attempted to make magical communication with Sir Edward, but broke contact quickly at Sir Edward's command (who seemed to be in a bit of distress). I suggested that he warn Lord SummerIsle that there might be bandits or some other problem ahead to be aware of more than normal as we head along.

This later appeared to be a false alarm, that they were already in York (a fair sized city) and they didn't explain to the Baron too much what had caused the previous broken contact under distress, but obviously were no longer distressed. They gave him some directions for us for lodgings and commerce when we would arrive.

Around 6 in the evening we found a victulating house to stay at overnight. The drovers camped outside while the main party took the three available beds for the night. The food was bland, but palatable.


July 7th

Breakfast was pretty much from our ration packs (fruit, oatmeal etc.) as the victulating house was not licensed to handle breakfast. We traveled until about 3 pm when we came in site of the city of York. The Baron rode ahead, to find the Inn that Sir Edward and Goodfellow had recommeneded and were evidently staying at, while we continued on with the drovers at our usual pace.

Once in the city Robert Drover and his men went off to find the blacksmiths to sell our remaining Iron stock and Lord SummerIsle accompanied us in search of the Inn.

We had a minor mishap with a tactless and dishonest local urchin who we asked for directions (and whom we paid 6 pence to for such). This caused us to become somewhat lost. It was at that point that the Baron contacted Leon thru some magical means he has, and Edwyn spent some time in this communication giving some directions. Following these proved to be less than useful, getting us further lost in the maze of streets.

So the Baron came to find us, and it took over an hour for us to reach the Inn. There we broke company, with Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha leaving to find a more expensive Inn, and the Baron and his servant leaving similarly for a different Inn. I arranged a room and bath for Prapti and I and had a long chat with Sir Edward and Goodfellow.

We discussed travel plans and problems to deal with, and Sir Edward explained his deception of claiming to be the Baron's foster brother. They were, in turn, given information about my impressions and comments overheard from the various locales they had encountered along the way (including to their performance efforts at Inns etc.).

Around 7 pm Robert Drover and his men arrived and we concluded our business, collecting our funds from our various transactions. Robert agreed to return the horse and cart for me to the livery back in London, for use of the cart. We traded one of the spare horses to them for a pair of the mules to aid our baggage train. In thanks for their services I bought them dinner, and Robert bought us all a round of drinks.

The money from our business was considerable, and mostly in 20 Shilling Pieces (Gold), for ease of transport..

Lord SummerIsle returned alone while this was going on, and Goodfellow and Sir Edward took turns entertaining the patrons of the inn with song and stories.

We spoke afterwards and after much debate planned that we would do shopping the next day. Lord SummerIsle would look into purchasing a firearm for the trip, and would acquire a keg of gunpowder that could be used for making fireworks or grenades. I would handle purchasing goods for the trip, and would plan on using a cover story of traveling to Scotland to purchase alcohol to sell back in England.

Among our discussions a reference was made to sheep that caused the English members of the party (except the Baron) to burst out laughing. Goodfellow explained afterwards that Scotchmen evidently are reputed as regularly practicing a form of bestiality with the sheep that they herd, and that they were more likely to do such than to perform acts of pleasure with their wives. I suspect this is highly apocryphal, but it would explain some of the animosity between the two kingdoms, if they spread this kind of rumor about each other.

We retired for the evening to our various rooms and inns, planning on meeting together at 7:00 in the common room to head on a shopping trip.

It rained overnight again.


July 8th

Most of the morning and early afternoon were spent shopping for various and sundry items for the journey. I spent most of this in the company of Goodfellow. I passed on to Sir Edward 20 shillings from the trading. I also gave Goodfellow an equal amount for the use of his horse and his efforts at preparing the markets ahead of the drovers. Eventually we met with Edwyn, and we passed on to his servant Leon seven of the 20 shilling coins (to cover his initial investment and his profits from the enterprise).

Among the things purchased, besides various foodstuffs, included:

A copy of the Book of Common Prayer Good material to disguise my religious standings
Fodder & Trail rations for the animals
Extra Rope (2 lengths of light 50' rope)
Spare Ink & Quill
Hatchet
Whetstone
A dozen Candles
A Hooded Lamp with Oil
An Obvious Small Lockbox To fool Thieves & Robbers
An Oilskin Sack
Walking Boots for Prapti

Goodfellow also had us stop at an establishment where he could reserve a bath for the next morning large enough for two. We discussed this for a bit, evidently it was an establishment of pleasure, a brothel as they are often called here. The bathing facilities bear some small resemblence to that of a Turkish bath, but he had specifically asked for no attendents. I started to ask about whom he planned on sharing it, but this lead to a discussion of Lady Natasha's recent health and condition of overindulgence of alcohol and I never did get back to the original question.... I suppose it was for him a delicate matter, but I suspect that it was not Lady Natasha (who appears to spend her time as of late with Lord SummerIsle) who would be sharing the bath. I wonder if he has found some new paramour here in the city that he has not mentioned, or if there is a more sensitive situation involved that he doesn't want discussed.

We returned to our Inn to take of the days large meal, and Goodfellow again performed for the patrons of the Inn to some profit for him. He seemed in reasonable voice and spirits.

Evidently Lord SummerIsle and Sir Edward made some personal purchases, including some armor for the journey, taking to heart the warnings I had made of the potential risks of bandits or an unfriendly reception from those between here and the nearest Scotish Town. Hopefully Lord SummerIsle remembered my request for the gunpowder.

I recorded the events of the day so far while sitting in the common room while Goodfellow performed entertainments for the midday meal patrons. I will continue them tonight or in the morning when I have time for such again.

During the afternoon I did some more food shopping for the trip, including a bushel of wheat for making bread or flapjacks from. From the farmer I bought the wheat from I got good directions to travel north to Durham, which should help our travel to the Scottish border.

Afterwards I returned to the Inn to spend some time with Prapti.

That night, with her permission, I practiced my ritual of dreamwalking to enter into Prapti's dreams, and this proved quite successful and even pleasant for us under such controled conditions. We were able to converse and carry out interactions within our dreams, and retain knowledge of what had occured upon waking.


July 9th

Being a Sunday morning I continued to maintain the local customs and attended the local Protestant church services, and let Prapti catch up on her sleep. Goodfellow headed off to his reservation with the brothel. It appeared that he left with Edward, but whether they were both heading there or just in the same direction I know not.

After the services I took a few minutes to chat with the local residents, getting some report on local markets and more information about road conditions and weather expectations for the next few days. This also helped with my presence being memorable, and thus to enforce my illusion of following the local religion.

I helped Prapti with the final packing of the mules & horse. We purchased 4 ceramic carafes from our inkeeper, two filled with his apple cidar, and two empty (for making into explosive devices to startle horses). The lockbox was prepared, with some small coinage, rocks and spare lead shot for Lord SummerIsle's pistols, to act as a distraction for possible thieves.

Shortly before our departure an official, wearing mail, entered the Inn and spoke with Lord SummerIsle. Evidently he had had a run in with some local thieves the night before and left five of them dead. After explaining he had been attacked and defended himself the watchman departed.

We then headed out of the City towards Durham.

Evidently Edwyn's Spirit familiar, a falcon, caught him a rabbit along the way. I had not realized a creature of spirit could act in this manner and it leaves many unusual metaphysical questions to vex us in the future. A spirit that can attack, kill and carry the body of a natural animal as if it were itself a natural animal is highly unexpected. I suspect there is more to this creature than meets the eye, that it is something much greater that has been bound to a lesser task by either an accident of circumstance or to fulfill some goal of its own that remains hidden.

We camped near sunset, in an area next to the road that had been used regularly by others for this purpose. It appeared that rain may be coming, so we erected the tents and moved the baggage into the large pavillion tent. Leon prepared food for all. Lady Natasha seemed to have recovered from her failure in moderation, though she remained rather untalkative.

For some reason the sleeping arrangements appeared to be rather complex, but eventually were figured out. Prapti and I shared one of the small tents, Edwyn and his servant the other small one, and the rest shared the large one.

It rained about midway thru the night, leaving everyone slightly wet in our tents, and ensuring that we would have a cold breakfast.


July 10th

It continued to rain. At about 6 am we spotted a rainbow as we headed off. By noon the rain had long stopped and things dried out. We consumed some of our supplies that didn't need to be cooked so that we could set more miles behind us.

The day was rather quiet. That evening, at the meal, we discussed methods of preventing the tents from becoming so wet, in case of another storm in the future. I thought that by camping on top of a raised area and digging a small earthworks around each tent we might block the entry of groundwater into the tents.


July 11th

In the morning neither Edwyn nor his servant Leon were in their tent. Eventually Leon returned and said his master had "gone for a walk". During this time I asked Prapti to make some flatbread, and she showed the rest of the party the technique (although the cooking over a wood flame instead of hot coals made the first batch less than perfect). Eventually Edwyn also returned, looking a bit out of breath. For no apparent reason he had made his wilderness excursion unarmed.

Edwyn and Edward sparred with each other while we got the animals ready to travel. We then headed on and reached what is known as Hadrian's wall by noontime.

The wall stands some 20' high, but parts of it have been savaged by the locals for foundation stones (including a wide opening where the farmer's road passes thru). It's wide enough for five people to march abreast across its top, and there are archway gates that allow passage thru it every few hundred yards. From its top Goodfellow could see the town we were told of to expect on the other side of the wall, an hours travel away.

Goodfellow and I chatted along the way, primarily about his interest in Turkish baths and their risque reputation, and how they compared with how old Roman baths that were still in use were designed and the common ettiquetes involved. He has some small interest in the architecture and engineering involved, but was extremely interested in the activities that take place in such locales. Unlike most of the English folk I've encountered he seems unfazed by discussions of the more intimate aspects of life, and when Prapti joined us in the conversation he showed no sign of surprise and treated her properly as an equal in the discussion.

Of our companions he has been the one to treat Prapti with the most respect in this way. I suspect that women in the Court of Faerie are given more equal footing than they are in the English Court. Perhaps this may change as the Queen stabilizes her position and her influence over the English Noble houses improves. Still I find Goodfellow can be a breath of fresh air in regards to open mindedness.

There is some growing tension between Edward and Goodfellow, though the cause and the direction that they are going with it remains a mystery. I don't know if it is caused by their extended time alone on the road, and some incident of which they will not speak or from some philosophical or romantic dispute, I know not. One moment they appear as close as brothers, and in the next they are short of temper and seeking to put space between themselves, only to fall in again with each other a few hours later to begin the cycle anew. There is some conspiracy between them of which neither will speak, and which may hold sway over our future activities. The question is, will we be able to rely upon them if we find ourselves in danger?

We reached the walled town of Newcastle by five. We found lodging at a fisherman's home, as there seemed to be no true Public House or Inn within the walls. We brought the baggage in and the animals were penned in behind the house. We had an interesting conversation about the local situation, including the rather unusual laws against singing and other musical entertainments after nightfall.

The fisherman (called Michael) seems a bit obsessed with the risks involved to life further north. Evidently there is a definite problem with bandits and other ruffians who steal livestock and burn crops in the fields. My worry about security seems to be one that is well founded, if his personal woes are typical of the people who live in the area.

While the fisherman was off gathering some of his friends for a proposed party (by Goodfellow and Edward) so I asked Edwyn to assist and act as a guard while I placed my Obscurity spell over the building, in hope of protecting it from notice by the watch or any other local officials that might be by during the night.

The spell worked quite well, but then weakened. It drew attention and some ire from Lord SummerIsle, for no apparent reason. He complained at me and returned inside, so I asked Edwyn about the Lord's reaction. His only explanation was that Lord SummerIsle was difficult to cast on (and evidently near) from his experience on preparations on our journey to Faerie.

The fisherman returned with four companions (introduced as Walt, Chuck, Ned and Rob) for the party, hard working folks. Goodfellow began his performance after we had re-entered the house. The fisherman introduced them, that three of them were expert brewers, and one was an accomplished singer. They performed while the dinner was held, and left a half hour or so after dark was well set upon us (around 9pm).

I settled our luggage to devise Prapti and myself some privacy and laid out our bedding. The fisherman left his bed, which Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha took, and slept upon the floor. The rest slept on bedrools upon the floor near the fireplace.


July 12th

We rose at dawn, around 3 am. As we arose and dressed and otherwise prepared ourselves for the day, there came a knock at the door of the house. An armed noble was at the door, whom the fisherman let into the house. He proved to be Baron Hunsdon (Henry Carey) the Queen's Warden of the area (the Eastern March). The fisherman proved to be in his employ to watch and alert him of strange and unusual persons passing thru. I introduced myself as a merchant to Baron Hunsdon). He recognized Lord SummerIsle and after introductions did also know Edwyn and his family. He suggested we accompany him to better accomodations to converse in private, and had footmen outside to assist us in packing our animals.

I rode in his fine open carriage, along with Prapti, Lady Natasha, and Lord SummerIsle. Leon rode on one of the footman mounts upon the vehicle, since his footmen were attending our pack animals. The rest rode their horses along.

We reached, around 5:30 am, a larger walled city, which turned out to be also called New Castle (or the City of New Castle, whereas the other was the Village of Newcastle). The rough passage which we had referred to as a road from our departure of York and thru the Wall, evidently only went to the Village and avoided the much larger city entirely. This apparently is because New Castle is best reached by sea instead of by land, and most of its business comes in that way.

We arrived at the Baron's home and were shown into his main hall, so we could sit by the fire as the castle was somewhat chill. We unveiled the layers of truth that were necessary to acquire his confidence, though only as far as that we were on a mission for the queen to investigate the recent quiet inside of Scotland's borders.

I do not approve of lying generally, but do believe that occasionally it is best to omit certain facts from individuals for their general peace of mind and continued prosperity. Taking caution in protocol when dealing with persons unknown, especially government authorities, is a means to maintain one's honor and reputation while protecting those around you.

Truth when revealed, is like an onion. It has many layers, and each layer should be revealed in its own time and in its own fullness. Telling Baron Hunsdon that I was a merchant enroute to buy alcohol was of course true, as I do indeed plan on doing so and to turn a fine profit on such in sales when we return to London.

Telling him that I had been commissioned by Dr. John Dee to report on the conditions of the roads and the work of those who were safeguarded to maintain them for the Queen was of course also true (and I did accept a shilling from Dr. Dee to cover expenses occured by such work). Telling him that I was in charge of the responsibilities and reports of our mission was also true.

Then, of course, revealing the deeper layer of truth, that we were also expected to return information regarding the silence of the Scots in general, when the time was appropriate and not at first was reasonable protocol. Reveal truth slowly, and stop when it appears that the listener is satisfied so you do not overhwelm them. Like a pilgrim they should expect to have to search for truth, and seek its deeper levels.

Obviously the Baron must have had some understanding of this, since the Fisherman Michael did so treat his own truths when dealing with us, and thus to treat him thusly in return was fair and reasonable on my part. That's also why I did not reveal the next layer of the truth, that Lord SummerIsle, Lady Natasha, Baron Welborne, Sir Edward and Ambassador Goodfellow had been sent on this mission not just because of their aptitudes but because of their causing some scandal and thus displeasure in the Queen's Court. Baron Hunsdon did not need this deeper layer of truth to ease his mind, and may have actually found it disturbing to his own viewpoint of the world and progression thru life and along the wheel of reincarnation.

We spoke at great length with him regarding the local situation, his recent coming into the position he holds (Warden of the English East March), and whether his appointment meant that Queen Elizabeth was truly interested in maintaining the peace of the border or had sent him here as some form of punishment. Strangely none of my companions sought to console him or convince him that it was not a form of punishment, but since this was the first I had heard of Lord Hunsdon this may have been to avoid lying to him or perhaps to avoid dishonoring him in regards to his position.

English concepts of honor can be rather strange to one from my background and viewpoint of the world. They are still a relatively young nation and much of their culture is in a formative stage when compared to older civilizations like Greece or India, and thus subject to change and whimsy. This can be both a good factor and a bad one. It makes them more open to ideas than older European nations like those on the Continent, but the influence of those nations on their cultural values can undermine their ability to become truly free thinkers and advance towards enlightenment. I can only hope that I (and others of my ilk, such as Goodfellow) may change their way of thinking over time, and that my students will one day find refuge for their philosophical ways of life here in the far future.

He went on to explain the truce days when the six local march leaders, three English and three Scotish (of which he is one) gather to exchange warrants for arrest and such. He believes there is something odd going on, since he has very few to present, and that there have been no major raids into the marches on any side this time, not since before he became warden.

He also told us about a nasty pamphlet by John Knox, which he produced a copy of, which ranted against the rule of women as being unnatural and a violation of the laws of god. Knox is a Protestant Preacher of the Puritan sect, and the pamphlet is published in Edinburough. We discussed ways of possibly discrediting the man if necessary, if it had any connection to investigating the silence of the clans. Knox evidently wrote his pamphlet before the passing of Queen Mary, but its publication was nearly simultaneous with the coronation of Elizabeth, so it is hard to tell his true target (or if it were actually the Queen of Scotland he wished to take aim at, or her mother the regent).

As we spoke word came that Knox had just been elected to the Scottish Parliment, thus adding complication to some frivolously stated plans by Lord SummerIsle to consider silencing the author by force.

Baron Hunsdon promised to deliver to me a written list of the various clans, known current heads and any hereditary rivalries between them that we might use to play one against another if necessary. He also allowed me to copy his local maps to speed our travel plans. The maps are significantly inferior to the quality of the ones that Dee had given me access to in regards to the parts of England closer to London, but I can take these rough works and use them to help me form a more complete map for our use as we go that should expand my own considerably for future reference.

It seems that our best route would be to head to Edinburough, gathering information and continuing our disguise of being on a buying trip of alcohol and other local products.

The Baron struck me as a capable and intelligent man, versed in the concepts of intrigue and using resources made available without risking his existing power base and security. He has few servants, and probably insufficient manpower to protect his home in the event of a large force of raiders attacking. I believe he relies upon a very small network of informants to provide him with foreknowledge to avoid serious losses by moving resources out of the way.

Afterwards we went into the city, where I purchased a bushel of coal (the main export here for hundreds of years) for my fireworks experiments and potentially building fires. The locals claimed that there are places North of here where they have neither wood nor coal for fires and burn dirt. This folk tale obviously is intended to besmirch those more Northern Scotish folk, much like the sheep stories. It might be intended to show them impoverished and worthless, or it might be to infer that they are resiliant and capable of survival in ridiculous conditions, or it might (as I would suspect) infer that they are in league with unnatural Spirits and Powers of the kind that the People of England believe their God's nemesis demon is associated with.

We returned to the castle for mid-day food and planned to eventually spend the night.

Lord SummerIsle, Baron Edwyn, and for a while Sir Edward, went off to practice with weapons for a while in the afternoon, and Goodfellow evidently spent more time exploring the city. Lady Natasha had taken to her room and didn't want to be disturbed. Perhaps she is again feeling a need to breach concepts of moderation with strong drink, or maybe she is involved in some personal rituals.

I took this time to be alone with my beloved Prapti. We spent some time examining some of the lesser known Asama in the Anaga-Ranga, finally settling into the comfortable pleasures of the Bhramara which we had explored in our love making so many times before.

We also took some time to continue her ritual studies and a short game of chess.

Afterwards, with Prapti's help, I cast a spell of Curiousity on the lockbox for a day, to practice and verify the effects. This produced some wonderful insights between us on the value, mechanics and nature of locks. We spent some time disassembling and reassembling it, and going over the various design possibilities that such a device could possess.

This of course lead to a better understanding of the nature of the similarities between locks and keys and the nature of physical Banha's, and the unlocking of the energy and pleasures within our bodies thru various means. We explored a number of possibilities in the process and eventually fell asleep. We managed to miss the evening meal entirely, but no one apparently took note of our absence from the hall, and thus no social offense occured.

I produced three pages of design notes during the evening for possible lock systems that are not included here but put aside with some of my design notes for the carriage I hope to build. Perhaps I will find a skilled worker of metal to put some of these into design for me that I might market them to merchants in need of protecting their wares.


July 13th

The next morning we arose and packed. Goodfellow and Edward were again as close as brothers, but seemed to have had little sleep over the night. Perhaps they had spent the night in deep conversation and found at last a solution to the differences that had caused strife between them the last few days, or maybe their cycle of activity had simply reached that point on the wheel again. Only time will tell.

We left, heading North, presuming that following the Coast would lead us into the Eastern March and eventually to Edinburough. The weather grew colder as we headed northward. We lost the road after a few miles, as it had been but a rough farmer's track. Afterwards we saw no sign of human habitation for many hours.

While we traveled I spoke with Goodfellow for a time, discussing a great number of things about my past travels. We also spoke for a length about my involvement with Prapti, about arranged marriages within the Hindu culture and its comparison to how marriage is dealt with in the various European countries (where most arranged marriages are found only among the noble houses to form alliances and seal treaties). We also talked a bit about the caste systems of India and how they affect marriage customs.

It seems that the Fae have few in the way of marriage customs, beyond that of its rulers. That there are rarely permanent (or long term) alliances or relationships, and that these practices are a bit in the way unusual and mysterious to Goodfellow. Although I like to think of the Fae as just being yet another foreign culture, each time I speak to Goodfellow about it, they seem all the more unusual and having as much in difference to everything I know about humanity as they have in common.

Lady Natasha seemed to be feeling better, and more coherant, but rather intolerant of loud noises or long conversations. I fear she is facing the other side of a lack of moderation. She did speak for a bit with Prapti about a number of personal things.

Around noon it began to rain, and this became a downpour. I stopped to place a temporary Protection from Elements upon myself, as the cold was bothering me when compounded by the rain. This spread the party out a bit in the process, but made things far more comfortable.

By sunset the rain had stopped. We found a hilltop and set up camp. Lady Natasha helped getting the coal fire started with some magic, and Edward and Lord SummerIsle gathered some driftwood from the beach to dry out and burn. Goodfellow put together a reasonable hot meal from some of our vegetable supplies.

Edward tried out our concept of castle engineering to the campsite, making a miniature earthworks and moat trench around each tent in case of more rain.

Lady Natasha and Edwyn decided to cast a Protection from the Elements spell upon Edward, Leon and all the animals of the party, but both times this failed. I suggested to Lady Natasha that this may have been caused by local spirits, and that offering them a libation the next time might solve their displeasure. She agreed, and she and Edwyn may try again in the morning.

I spent a few minutes organizing and transcribing my notes for the day and then curled up around my beloved (and quite tired) Prapti for sleep.


July 14th

A strange incident occured in the middle of the night with Edwyn. Much of the camp was awakened by him, and we discovered him on the bucking back of Edward's horse. He managed to hang on for a short while and then gracefully dismount. What exactly had occured, we could not get him to explain, but I suspect that there was some strangeness about him. Perhaps he had somehow disturbed the local spirits more than I thought, and they were taking revenge on him thru the beast. Anyway, no harm was done beyond the waking of everyone up.

In the morning Goodfellow prepared breakfast, including a lot of flatbread for us to eat for the later on the road. Edwyn cast a Protection from Elements on himself, Leon, Lady Natasha's horse and his horse successfully this time. I placed another twelve hour protection on myself. We then struck camp, and headed North.

After Edwyn went to scout ahead we had a long conversation regarding the night before. It turns out, according to my companions, that he has a problem with sleep walking and his encounter with Edward's horse was the result of such. The others were trying to come up with a sleeping arrangement for the tents to prevent him from wandering far. Lady Natasha and I discussed magical means of solving his sleep problems, at least temporarily.

I believe that someone who suffers from sleep walking, is generally acting such for one of three reasons. They may be under some form of magical spell that is compelling them to go someplace, they may be trying to go someplace they feel obligated to go to, or they may be trying to run away from something they want to avoid or fear. Lady Natasha and I doubt that someone with such an affinity for magic (and such a wide collection of enchanted items) would be under a spell that was not of their own making. This leaves trying to get somewhere, but his wanderings have been apparen tly random in direction, or running away from something.

So, I conclude he is indeed trying to get away from something for some reason, and thus just so long the direction is away it doesn't matter which way he goes. The next step is to eventually test this hypothesis, by observing his dreams undetected magically while he sleeps and see if whatever he fears appears in the dreams. We'll need to wait until we are in a more secure locale to perform this experiment.

We discussed various methods to restrain Edwyn's movements, only to discover that, according to Leon, his family had tried many such things before unsuccessfully. Edwyn does possess remarkable agility, both from natural and supernatural sources, and no barrier or simple bindings have stopped him in the past, not even a three story drop from a window or any known shackles and restraints.

This might be a future use for some of the complex lock designs I came up with in my night of unusual inspiration with Prapti and the lock box, if we can find a way to apply it to a more personalized restraint that does not leave the wearer discomfortable.

Eventually Lord SummerIsle came up with a concept to try: the tying of seashells to the tent flaps at night to make noise and hopefully wake Leon if Edwyn went out while sleepwalking. He gathered such from the beach and presented them to Leon to so attach when next we made use of the tents.

The weather continued to be bothersome, with a strong cold wind picking up.

We sighted a small village around 4:00 in the afternoon. As we came up upon it, there was a loud gunshot from the closest building. It proved to be a musket fired by a local woman, who seemed threatened by our prescence. In the process Lady Natasha was thrown from her startled horse, but we managed to keep the rest of the animals calm.

Lord SummerIsle and Myself approached on foot and assured her (and the half dozen approaching men from the fields)that we were not raiders but simply traveling merchants, in need of fresh water for our animals. This seemed to satisfy her and we went about accessing their stream for this purpose.

While this was going on Edward decided to bathe in the stream, and that is when I noticed that Edwyn reacted considerably to this, moving as far as he could away from the area (and from both the stream, the armed men and Edward).

It was then that the evidence of the moment hit me. Edwyn does not wear or carry or use a firearm. He had begun to act unusual back during the day of the duel, and had gone to great effort to avoid coming in contact with the weapons and to get a Second second to stand in his place in case they had to use the guns. His nervousness around Lord SummerIsle (who is traveling with pistols) and with Edwyn (who now carries a pistol for this mission) makes his fear of such more obvious. Perhaps THIS is the cause of his sleepwalking?

We spoke for a bit with the locales, and convinced them of our innocent intentions. They extended to us their hospitality, and we discussed the village's lack of a name. Since they did not have a name for it, I decided to call it "Clearwater" on the map, and noted the population (about 12 adults and some 20 to 30 children of various ages; Piggot, Knotty and Basset familes) for Dee's log. They invited us to share a meal with them, and we did so.

I took some time to discuss the local needs in goods, and discovered a need for pins and needles for sewing. I was then told of how they heat their homes and cook, on a material they called "peat". This proved to be a naturally aging mixture of grass and vines and other vegitation in an area that was a swamp or marsh part of the year, which they burned. They also used dried sheep dung for heating fires. This must have been the source of the stories I had heard back in New Castle of people burning "dirt", since the peat is cut in squares from the dried swampland.

Their furnishings were little more than cut stone for seating and tables, a sure sign of their extreme poverty and the lack of resources to work with. That the Queen has subjects living in such squallor bodes ill for the state of the country, and speaks heavily of the need for setting reforms into place to ease the burden upon the lower classes to avoid possible rebellion in the future against what must seem to them impossible living conditions.

I also found out that they had a need for a loom in the village for turning wool into cloth. If they had such they could keep more of the raw wool they produced for their own clothes, and get a better market exchange for their products. There may be some business prospects here for the future, though it would require much bartering.

Goodfellow appears to have, with his performing at the meal, acquired an admirer in the form of one of the young women of the locals. I hope that this does not lead to complications for us in the long run.

I worked with Leon to set up the tents for nights lodging, and Goodfellow joined us. I discussed my theory about Edwyn's apparent fear of firearms, and he provided additional information that appeared to match with that being the cause of his sleepwalking incidents. He agreed that I could indeed be right in my analysis of the problem's cause. We decided it best to keep the firearms undercover when possible around him, and to not store the gunpowder in the same tent as his to ensure that its smell did't stimulate his brain in the night. He'll of course continue not to share tent space with those who have firearms (or in my case its fixings) to help keep him restful in his sleep. The sea shells were added to the tent flap for his tent just in case, as previously planned.

We modified the sleeping arrangements for the night, with Prapti and Lady Natasha in one of the smaller tents, Edwyn and his servant in the other, and the rest of us in the large tent with the supplies.

During the night Goodfellow was experiencing some sort of nightmare, one that simple methods of normal intrusion failed to awaken him back from. Since no one else was capable of acting, I chose to act, for fear that he might harm himself, or that he might be under some sort of magical attack.

Important Margin Note:

If Goodfellow is still alive when you read this section of my journal, I hold you the reader as a point of honor not to in any way exploit the information herein to cause him harm or embarrassment over the event recorded here nor to speak of it to others.

As a student of mine you must understand the importance of ethics in the usage of magic and of keeping one's word of honor in all things.

It is left here not for its content regarding him personally, but its usefulness in regards to the use of dream magic and the nature of faeries and the effects of cold iron upon them.

So I walked into the dream realm magically to deal with the situation, and observed what may have been a reliving of a past event (or just a reliving of a fear) while he was in the court of Faerie. It was a scene of torture, where he was being forced evidently to torture one of the fae bound in a coffin-like box with metal bars that were evidently hot enough to burn (but which were not heated by any normal means, they just stood naked within a wooden rack). Several other fae of various sort were present for the event, but none acted, save one who ordered him when to begin the process. I decided after watching for a moment that I needed to interfere to wake him, knocking away the bar, getting him into a wrestling hold and disrupted the scene until he realized he was in the dream realm. I then departed on his demand, and we both awakened shortly afterwards.

His ability to take control of the dream realm once shaken from his memories of the past that were haunting him seems to reflect some matter of power on his part, perhaps normally untapped potential while awake, perhaps something acquired while he was in the courts. The level of magic we found there was exceptional to any I had ever experienced, and even common folks like Edward had managed to manifest some minor magical effects by shear will alone while we were on that diplomatic mission.

Oddly, within the dream, he was not himself as we know him, but as the boy Robin who had been gifted to the Queen of the Faerie on our previous mission. He looked even less formidable as he had then, for his fine red hair had been shaved to the scalp. This leads me to think the event I interrupted was a repetition of one that had occured during his time in the court,

This proved to have disturbed Goodfellow, rather than gaining his thanks for saving him from the terrors of the dream realm. He accused me of somehow entering into his mind (an impossibility for a mortal, only the gods themselves may read the thoughts of others, and only some gods at that!) I fear that he has been mislead about the nature of reality by someone, and thus his accusation.

He was quite angry, we had words, and then he stormed out, with a visibly shaken Edward, into the night. Edward said nothing at the time, so I don't know if he was taking Goodfellow's side in the matter or was merely concerned for Goodfellow's safety.

This all left me a bit restless, so I lit one of my candles and carried out my recording of the days events in my journal for an hour or so, until sleep crept back to call to me again....


July 15th

Dawn arrived as a drizzly cloudy begining. While others were getting themselves a breakfast, I had a long conversation with Goodfellow regarding the events in the middle of the night. He seemed quite upset still, and afraid that I would somehow exploit the information from the dream he was having and afraid that I might enter his dreams again in the future. After much heated debate I convinced him that I would not be conveying the details verbally to anyone, but I would not change what I had recorded here in my journal (but had no intention to allow it to be read in the near future by anyone who would exploit it). He also made me promise not to cast any spell upon him again without permission, even after being warned of the risks this entailed.

He implied in the discussion that he would somehow be alive a hundred years or more in the future, but I suspect that this may have been a misundertstanding of time on his part, or perhaps an expectation of his return to the Fae court where time works differently.

I placed a note in the margin of the journal back on the pages where I recorded the events, in respect to his wishes, and have left it at that.

We struck camp and headed north, with the assistance of Eleanor, the daughter of one of the locals acted as guide for us to get thru the nearest of the peat bogs so we could recognize such threats further on in our travels and survive encountering them.

Unfortunately an accident occured, John Pigot, Eleanor's father, (who was to our rear, cutting peat) slipped into the bog and needed to be rescued. Lady Natasha tried to help, but her own horse became startled and slipped into the peat. The horse screamed and Leon and I had our hands full trying to calm the pack animals. She dismounted and managed to get the animal out of the bog with the assistance of Edward's warhorse.

Lord SummerIsle and Edwyn ran back to assist John out of the Bog, and there discovered that he had been grabbed by a hand from the bog. It proved to be part of a corpse that may have been within the bog for a very long time.... a corpse that was moving!

Whether it was a spirit of the dead, trapped within the bog and unable to ascend to its next life (since it had not had a pyre)or some demon inhabiting it seeking harm, was not possible to be ascertained. I kept myself and Prapti far from the thing, and called out to Lady Natasha to burn the thing, so that whatever inhabited it would be released and cease to trouble any.

We halted for half an hour, so that Lady Natasha could perform a spell that would seperate the spirit from the corpse without the need for flame. Lord Summer Isle then insisted on carrying the unclean body with us until we could again reach the beach so that it could be burned (using driftwood). Lady Natasha handled setting it ablaze with magic, while those of us afoot continued onward some distance away.

Lord SummerIsle found a strange seedpod on the beach, about the size of a monkey's head, brown with three indentations and a husk like outershell. If shaken it made an internal sloshing sound. I vaguely remembered seeing something like this in India years ago, and mentioned how I thought it was a seed for some sort of tree. He placed it in his gear for future study.

After the body was burned, Lady Natasha had found that a strange number of large sheets of black glass like stone had appeared, which she felt had some extreme magical potentials, and thus insisted on taking a large piece with her. Prapti also agreed to its potential, but I fear that it may be tainted and linked only to dealing with spirits of the Interregnum which are best left undisturbed.

Goodfellow and Edward were impatient and traveled ahead, leaving us a safe trail ahead to follow once we got under way. Lord SummerIsle asked if I could make him a knife hilt for a piece of the strange stone, for it had proved quite sharp.

In all we delayed an hour on the beach.... I fear I will be haunted by the memory of the trapped spirit for years to come.

We headed along the beach for many hours and shortly before 7 pm came in sight of a city a few miles away, situated in a river and with a road. We worked our way to the road and made our way to the outermost buildings of the city after an hour of travel.

This proved to be the city known as Leight or Leeds (which did not exist on our maps). We found an Inn, one of two in the city, at sunset. Four rooms were available and we took them all. The Innkeeper promised us that baths and laundry services would be available on monday morning.

Because of the problems of arriving before the Protestant Sabbath, I placed an obscurity spell upon our (Prapti and I) room for a week's duration, to prevent intrusion or undue notice. We changed out of our clothes, and I dressed as somberly as I could (my Burgandy, black and white set of clothes).

We attended the common room meal, which though a bit on the bland side, was quite nourishing. A portugeese traveller, from a ship in port, was present and Edward spoke with him at great length in his native tongue.

Goodfellow received some stern words from the Innkeeper when he attempted to perform on his lute, though he failed to make too much of a spectacle of himself over it, much to my relief.

I spoke at length with a Protestant Scholar, gaining local information and additions for my maps to reach Edinbourugh. We also discussed religion and to some extent politics, and in the process I misdirected him from raising complainst about my companions, who had fallen into a complex card playing session that involved a great amount of drinking (and a few other patrons) that would have been seen as a sinful exhibition by his standards.

Prapti and I retired to our room, and enjoyed having a private night in a reasonably comfortable bed together. Our companions continued their game after we left, but the Scholar retired to his own room at the same time as we left the common room, and thus would prove no problem to them and their activities.

Prapti and I shared each other in one of the less athletic Unions of Shakti, as our prolonged travels had left my back slightly sore from strained muscles in a few places. Prapti helped me work the worse of these out with some basic manipulative techniques after we had reached fulfillment, so that I could get a restful sleep.

I really need to create some charms to ease our passage if we are to remain in this harsh Scottish weather much longer. Combined with the limited resources of the locals, and their Puritan concepts regarding to comforts of the body, I fear for my prolonged health and well being while here.


July 16th

In the morning some of us went out to the local churches to see what was being preached and said by the varius ministers. Goodfellow, Edwyn and Leon accompanied me to the nearest protestant church (the one that the scholar I spoke with the night before said his cousin was the minister for) and Sir Edward accompanied the Portugeese gentleman to the one Catholic church.

I warned Goodfellow I might try a spell or two in the church as an experiment, depending on how useful the sermon proved for information.

Lady Natasha, Prapti and Lord SummerIsle remained in the Inn, evidently behind magically concealed doors of their rooms to prevent problems with the staff.

We got a pew near the back of the church. The service involved a lot of preliminary singing, which was pleasant, and then followed by a number of sermons. The first was in opposition to the "playing of golf" on Sundays, but we didn't discover what golf was except that it was considered a sport. Perhaps it is some sort if euphenism for some other activity, or a strange sort of gambling game.

The second sermon followed much of the paphlet of Knox about the tyranny of Mary and how women should not rule. The third was regarding the selling of goods, especially pack animals, to the French soldiers and how it was somehow wrong and that it was helping the Catholic cause (and thus a sin in their Protestant eyes).

Edwyn said he had heard some folks in the nearby pews talking about the French soldiers and their transactions regarding pack animals, and the large amount of ship traffic from France in recent weeks.

After the four or so hours of the sermons, we divided company. Goodfellow went to investigate some folks who were talking about playing golf, while I headed off to speak with the scholar and be introduced to the minister (and to see if I could find out more about what was happening regarding the pack animals). Edwyn, with Leon in tow, went to talk with some of the attendees of the sermon to see what further information he could get regarding the French garrison's activities.

According to the minister, the French garrison has been buying up pack animals both here and in Edinburough, and collecting them at some camp to the North of the city. They haven't been moving them onto the ships, so it is presumed they plan on using them for somewhere on land, perhaps in an upcoming campaign. After talking for a bit I excused myself when no further information was available, and headed back to the Inn.

Once there I encountered Edwyn and we had Leon get us food and bring it up to his room (I fetched Prapti to join us) so that we could discuss what we had learned. According to Edwyn the garrison had not only been buying up pack animals, but also iron and food. I believe that this sounds like preparations for military campaign. Also the local merchants believe that it is the French who have been keeping the Clans from raiding over the past few months, with minimal losses of their troops. This may mean that they are paying them to avoid raiding, or that they have been striking at them in sufficient numbers that the clansmen simply flee. Since we passed no obvious battlefields, and heard of none where we passed thru inhabited areas, I believe the bribing of the clansmen is the most likely.

We talked about things for several hours, and then heard the return of our companions near six in the evening. We sent Leon to meet them and guide them to the room so that they could eat there and converse with us about anything they might have discovered, as well as our own information and insights.

We talked for some time, and came up with a number of possible insights and ideas as to what might be going on and where we might get involved. I developed a theory that the meeting in two weeks of the March leaders would be the most likely target for the French to act, so that they could capture all the wardens under truce (and thus in the open and not heavily armed) to ensure fast and unobserved entrance across the English border.

Lord SummerIsle seemed to believe that to take any action or to send warning would be inappropriate and that we didn't know enough to be useful. Although I could see his point of view, I have no desire to stand by trying to gather additional intelligence for long since it was obvious that the enemy would be taking action within the next two to three weeks of some sort.

Lady Natasha seemed to think that causing an "accident" at the garrison would delay any plan of the French, while I was thinking more in finding a way to scatter their pack animals (a less destructive event) to slow down their progress. Either might divert them from their plans and give us the time we need to determine what exactly they are.

Sir Edward was not much help, being definitely over-intoxicated, and Goodfellow was more concerned with his welfare than the task at hand. Edwin seemed more concerned as well that Edward might never leave his room or might become ill in it, but seemed in agreement that we would need to act with some haste if we were to either interfere or at least send warning about a possible ambush to the Baron.

The meeting broke pretty much with a plan to do further information gathering in the morning as best we could, and hopefully meet at mid-day when all would be in better shape to be involved with the discussion and decision making, and with more data to work from.

Afterwards we turned in to get some sleep.


July 17th

In the morning, after baths, sending out laundry, and breakfast, Goodfellow offered to assist me with getting rid of the rest of my backpain. He proved phenomenally proficient at this task, leaving me unmoving for quite some time afterwards, enjoying the complete peace of body and flow of energies. I highly suspect that Goodfellow has had some training in an art similar to tantra, for his movements along the energy centers of my body were much like those I was shown while in India. His hands are strong, but much softer than those of most men, being much more like Prapti's own, and thus brought both physical relief and a certain amount of pleasure in their movements.

We chatted while he did this about our plans, and he offered some insight into what we might want to do about the French garrison. He suggested that we might seek to not only disrupt them, but perhaps to relieve them of their arms and to take such back to England as a prize to present to the queen.

An ambitious idea, of course, but I have come to believe that Goodfellow tends to the enthusiasim of youth in his planning on what may be achieved. Still it had merit, and we discussed the possibility of doing such using a small fishing boat to at least move arms down to Newcastle.

Anyway, he suggested that perhaps tonight he might offer some additional assistance with my back... in a way that makes me wonder if he might have more than just massage in mind. I'll need to talk with Prapti about this...

Afterwards we gathered with the others in the room that Goodfellow and Edward have at the inn, to discuss plans. After some discussion, we decided to play to our strengths in gathering information before acting too fast. Edward and Lady Natasha had been invited by some soliders to attend weapon practice at the Garrison, so they would do so and get the lay of the land for us. They also would find out who the various officers are, so that they might be later targets for goading into duels by Lord SummerIsle.

Edwin sent his spirit falcon off to find the camp where they garrison was keeping their pack animals.

Goodfellow and Lord SummerIsle went to the docks to chat with sailors and longshoremen, and hopefully find out details from them about the comings and goings of French troops, supplies and arms to help us determine what might be present.

I would accompany Edwin as he met with a local dealer in pack animals he had met at the services on Sunday and set an appointment to meet with today. Leon would attend to the laundry, and make inquiries regarding the amount of business they were doing with the French etc. I asked Prapti to shop for basic food supplies for the trip home, and to price pins, needles, and other goods we might be wanting to carry with us for such if we returned thru the moors.

We planned to gather back together for the evening meal at the inn, and then share the details of what we discovered thru our efforts.

I spent a few minutes preparing for our trip out, including recording these pages in the journal, then headed out in my orange Portugeese attire so that I would look sufficiently foreign (and thus not suspicious as English attire would in some circles).

Our meeting with the animal dealer proved informational, in that we discovered a good opening price for a pack animal was about 30% more than what the normal rate in England had been. Additionally, by some drifting off of subject in conversation, it was revealed that distillers of alcohol primarily had their businesses outside the cities because of the risk of explosions form their equipment.

Margin Note:

Many of the cities and towns of Scotland apparently arose with the concept of building as space and the contour of the land demanded, rather then accessibility or any mathematical logic, and then the empty spaces filled in wherever they could be found, producing streets difficult to navigate and often impossible for wagon or other conveyance.

It is my firm belief that a city or town should be built up on mathematical principles so that navigation could be achieved without a high amount of effort. Land could be leveled or contoured to fit these principles and would create a longer term usability than simply allowing construction in a chaotic fashion as we have observed.

Afterwards I spoke with Edwin and suggested that we could go in search of a bookstore, to acquire more of Knox's pamphlets, with the idea of placing such at the scene of any mischief we might undertake against the French to direct them against his followers instead of ourselves. To do this we needed to find a bookstore, so it was decided to find a victulating house where we could have a bite to eat and then ask directions, as the streets were a confusing maze.

We settled on a place which was a walk-down place, the sign of which featured a sheep wearing a blue bonnet. Edwin was slightly worried about the quality of the place, but I assured him that the food had to be edible for them to remain in business.

The victulator suggested the house special, a sausage consisting of a sheep's stomache filled with a mixture of mutton, barley, onions, dill and other spices, so we ordered such along with some bread (oatcake) and ale. It turned out to be a tasty, if not heavily spiced, meal that was filling.

Halfway thru the meal Edwin stopped and seemed to be in meditation or communion with spirits. Perhaps he was giving thanks to the meal, or the spirit of the beast whoose body had provided for our wellbeing, or maybe just thanking the local spirits of the land. While he did so, I began to record our morning activities and some of my notes into the journal, which you now are reading.

Afterwards we got the directions we wanted, to a printshop with a companion bookstore, that were not too far away. The meal was a bit more expensive (2 shillings) than expected, but I paid without argument to avoid complications. The victulator informed me that the sausage we had consumed was called 'hagis', and that it is a popular local foodstuff.

We went forth and found the bookstore, where I acquired a map of the local harbor that might be useful, and a copy of the French broadsheet for their purchasing of pack animals. Edwin also acquired a copy of a book in French about a legendary English king "Arthur" which he was quite pleased with. He also acquired directions to a bookbinder, related to the store owner and the printer, to get it bound.

At the print shop I acquired six copies of the Knox pamphlet, at a fair price, for our possible use later as previously mentioned.

We then went to the binding shop, where Edwin made arrangments to have his new book ready for the next day. We then headed back to the inn, arriving in mid-afternoon. There we met up with the rest of our companions.

Edwin's spirit falcon reported in to him magically regarding the French camp some 7 miles to the North. His numbers were questionable on most things, but he did count 100 latrines at the camp, and "hundreds" of tents, and even more men (though less in the way of pack animals than there were men). No wagons or obvious field artillery was visible to the falcon, but a large number of horses for calvary.

According to the information that Lady Natasha gathered, the French plan is to move southward shortly into England and eventually to London. She had acquired a good layout of the garrison, and Edward had tallied a fair amount of incoming munitions from the Dutch ships in the harbor. Both had also noted a friendly acquaintence of their's was anchored in the harbor who's ship could be used for a fast transport to London directly if necessary.

We discussed possible plans to send messages to the Baron and the Queen, and to potentially delay the French. It appeared that Goodfellow sent off a message of some sort thru some magical item he carries, perhaps to the Queen of the Faerie court, but its content and value to our mission remains a mystery.

Our cunning plan that came from all this was to send Leon and Prapti by ship to London to warn the Queen. Sir Edward will ride to Edinburough to investigate what the Scottish Parliment and Lords believe is going on (and what side they are on) in the morning.

Lady Natasha and I went down to the docks, hired a rowboat to get out to the ship (at a cost of 6 pence), and made arrangements with the Captain. Risking his honor and discretion we explained what we needed him to do, and he was quite reasonable (asking a mere 10 shillings) as his concern in the situation was most obvious. I also suggested to him that it might afterwards be profitable to provide some munitions for England for possible short term problem solutions if the army did march South as our intelligence seems to show probable.

We returned and I prepared a map, from Lady Natasha's descriptive details, of the garrison. I created a report regarding our intelligence on the number of troops, leadership information, a copy of the harbor map (and information regarding the ships present and possible methods of blockading or interfering with additional delivery of supplies or troops.) All of this I prepared and sealed for Prapti to deliver to the Queen and her privy council. I had Prapti give me some locks of her hair, for contact spells, and switched trunks with her so that she took the false bottom trunk (with our gems, and some of Lady Natasha's Strange Glass at her request).

I loaded the mule with their baggage and we escorted them to the docks, and once again paid the rowboat to bring them, and the baggage, out to the ship (which would be leaving port by sunset). {cost for the trip another 6 pence}.

Edwin plans to ride, on the morrow, to Newcastle and warn the Baron of what we have discovered, and then return. He believes he can manage this in two days. To ensure we remain in communcation he has given me one of his rings, which acts as an anchor for a spell he has for this purpose. He mentioned that Leon also carries a similar ring for this purpose. I must remember to remove it if I am going to perform a ritual, to ensure I am not interrupted. Goodfellow also believes he can contact the Spirit Falcon in an emergency (as does the falcon) but I would not place too much trust in this, as these sorts of spirits are inevitably unreliable.

Lady Natasha, Lord SummerIsle and Goodfellow went about the city taverns and inns in the evening to locate where French officers were staying and to assess their state of readiness. Goodfellow assisted Lady Natasha with a disguise to prevent being noticed by some of the Officers that she encountered on their previous mission to the Continent regarding the treaty negotiation.

I finished the evening by recording the days events in my journal, and emptying the remaining bottles of Cider from our supplies so that they could be prepared for use in upcoming projects for making explosives etc.


July 18th

In the morning we gathered and shared information. I gave Edward 20 shillings from the traveling funds to cover expenses for his three day trip to Edinburough. Edwin and I collected the laundry and the book he was having bound at the printer's and then he packed lightly for his trip and headed on the road to Newcastle, leaving his other gear in my room for safekeeping. Each took their own riding horse, reducing the number of beasts to be cared for as well.

Lady Natasha reported that her dream visit with Queen Elizabeth had been successful, and that we were instructed to take whatever actions we could to delay any possible invadion.

The remaining four of us had a short discussion, and it was decided that we needed to do a reconnaissance on the military camp before taking any direct actions to delay or interfere with the French plans.

We went out to the camp and found an elevated spot where we could assess the situation. The troops appeared to be about 8,000 in number, and included a number of Hospilars that might prove problematic in regards to magic activity. I made a map of the layout and we decided to return to town and make a number of preparations before trying to act againts the camp.

Upon our return we stopped to visit the printer, to ask him if he knew of anyone with warehouse space. He directed us to a relative of his (Harry Johnson) who had a place down near the docks. We sought the man out and rented the rather dilapitated warehouse from him for 6 shillings for the next 4 weeks. The plan is to use the space for the party mages for a working space for the project against the French that would give us freedom to act without being observed.

Goodfellow went off to begin his campaign of rumors, while the three of us stayed at the warehouse to prepare it for magic use.

We sanctified the warehouse space to England, a process that took Lady Natasha and I two hours to achieve. We used a reproduction of my map of England, some of the bogwater Lady Natasha had preserved, blood drawn fresh from Lord SummerIsle and a Shilling coin for our symbolic focus of the ritual. We did a ritual cleansing with a broom as part of the process, which I purchased for a farthing on the street. I also set up a tarp to block any precipitation that might leak thru the ill-repaired roof, using a rope, and setting it up so that it could be easily dropped from the far side of the room onto anyone in the room's center as a kind of trap in case someone sought to interrupt us in a hostile manner.

Afterwards I placed a fast obscurity spell on the building to keep it undiscovered until we could return after dinner. We then returned to the Inn, ate dinner, gathered more supplies and returned to the warehouse.

We prepared a number of spells on Goodfellow so that he could sneak into the French camp, with Lord SummerIsle to act as a physical response if he got caught. I prepared for him a Protection of Achilles on his cloak for 12 hours. A small wooden disk with the Prisoners Charm of Ganesha (in case he got captured)and finally an Obscurity spell on him for the evening. Lady Natasha gave him a shirt of hers with a Shroud spell upon it to hide him from magical perceptions as well. He then headed off.

We continued to work to protect the warehouse space. Lady Natasha placed a shroud on the workspace against magical perceptions, and I placed a month's obscurity on it (making sure to exclude the members of our group) successfully (made by 4).

Lady Natasha and I returned to the Inn, and I spent a few minutes updating my journal before turning in to sleep.


July 19th

During the night I had an unusual dream, which I believe was the result of Edwin using his ring to contact me upon his arrival at NewCastle. He spoke to me of further details of the enemy encampment, numbers and additional information we may have gathered since he had left. His great speed was the result of riding thru the dangerous moors throughout the night, and the fact that his beast has some form of magic upon it that allows it to traverse distance in a manner far faster than could normally be achieved.

In the process of this dream I came upon a concept, that what many philosophers and magicians have called a "true name" may actually be better acheived by an algorithim or formula to represent the qualities of an individual. I must consider how to experiment with this in the future to test whether the theory is correct.

In the morning I found Goodfellow sound asleep in our bed, exhausted from his night activities. His clothes and personal items were neatly folded on a chair in the room, although they looked a bit worse for wear. I left him sleeping and went downstairs to order a bath, and to gather breakfast for the two of us. While waiting, Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha also came down, and so we gathered breakfast for us all and returned to the room I was now sharing with Goodfellow to eat, speak of how the evening adventure had gone and plan for the day. I also told them of the apparen sending of the message to me by Edwin.

Goodfellow awoke part way in to the meal and informed us of the success of his general misison, and that he had been able to gather some stones for a magical focus from the stream that ran thru the camp. He also had placed some pieces of Lady Natasha's black glass in some strategic locales, including under the Commander's personal tent. He had been able to infiltrate the camp reasonably, and got as close as the commander's tent, but had been unable to abscond with any personal items from the tent.

Margin Notes:

The Hospitalers I refer to here are members of the Catholic Military organization known as the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerlusalem, The Knights of Rhodes (from when they held control of that Island of my Homeland, but later lost) and sometimes called the Knights of Malta after they were given control of that Island in 1530 by Emperor Charles V.

According to Lord SummerIsle, who is well versed in such political matters, the Hospitalers are said to be magical practitioners. They were either responsible for the fall of the Grandmaster of the Knights Templar (and 123 other Knights of that order) in 1307 to eventual death at the hands of the Inquisition of the Catholic Church, or had heavily recruited from the survivors of that order in Mainland Europe (and thus perhaps having access to the magical knowledge of that order which was said to have committed black magic and worship of a demon/deity called Baphomet).

In either case these would be our main concern in regards to our magical activities, as they are certain to include priests or equivilant practioners of some power that would consider our actions a threat to their faith and power block.

The Hospitalers appeared to have become roused some half hour into his actions, so his magical concealment had not been perfect, but he managed to elude actual direct confrontation. Since their part of the encampment is far from the entrance by the road they were not a major threat on this occurance, but we must prepare for possible alertness in the future by them and adjust our tactics regularly.

We made plans to act again in the evening, with Lady Natasha to summon up a rain storm to affect the camp. At the same time we hoped to coordinate Goodfellow acting again in the camp to perhaps plant a few magical traps, interfere with their supplies and perhaps (if lucky) steal an all important symbolic flag from the commander's camp. To assist and act as a diversion, the plan is to have Lord SummerIsle sneak in as well and disturb their pack animals, perhaps to the point of a stampede thru the camp.

After breakfast Lady Natasha headed off to the warehouse to prepare, while Lord SummerIsle dealt with some plans of his own. I bathed, and then accompanied Goodfellow to the cleaners to get his clothes dealt with. Afterwards we purchased a pair of live chickens for Lady Natasha to use in her ritual to appease the divinity (divinities?) that she serves, as there is always power in blood magic. We then set off to deliver the sacrifice to her....along the way we were contacted by Edwin via his ring, who informed me that it had indeed been him contacting me during the dream last night, and that he would stay in New Castle until at least the next morning, when he would contact us again.

Goodfellow made suggestion of some additional materials we should pick up, including some cloth, paint and a wooden pole. I added to this a Blanket sized piece of cloth for the warehouse, a hat for Goodfellow and our cost for the lot was another two shillings.

Lady Natasha spent several hours preparing her rain spell, after having set up an arcane link between her black glass and the pieces placed in the camp, and appears to have been successful. I spent some of the time while she was casting working on my journal and records, and preparing some charms for my own use later on, including one for a Journey Thru Maya.

We then returned to the Inn for an early evening meal. Afterwards I returned to our rooms with Goodfellow.

Goodfellow made a suggestion regarding sexual activity, which lead me to discover a gap in my past life memories. That is, I had no memory of same-sex activity from my previous lives (or its usage for magical practices)and could not visualize the energy flow constructs for such. Knowing such a gap could be a problem, and since Goodfellow was experienced at least in the non-magical side of this, I decided that for the sake of knowledge and its potential to assist in the spells I needed to cast that night, that if he would teach me some of the process involved I could try to regain the energy flow concepts. I knew my beloved Prapti would understand, since it was to assist in achieving our goal and to aid me in recovering lost knowledge of my past lives.

The activity (mostly oral) proved to be most enlightening, and I realized in the process of it exactly how the energy flows must be used, and that it was simply a reversal of the roles of male and female in the sacred union. Once realizing this I could use it for enhancing the success of a spell, and did so in casting the first of the spells that I needed to cast that night.

I cast upon Goodfellow a Hasten Traveller spell, an Obscurity spell and a Protection of Achilles upon his cloak for the next twelve hours.

I stopped to record notes in my journal and found Goodfellow a bit overly curious once again about my writings, including asking me whether his name appeared in my current entry in the section regarding our activities, in Hindi.... and asked me to point it out in the script. I suspect he has some other motive in wanting to know about the details of what I am writing. Since he seems to have no head for magic of a ritual sort (and an attention span of a housecat) I believe there be some darker motive. Perhaps he has wish to have something to blackmail me with or to forge a document in the future that could somehow be used to cause me harm in some way. I do not trust him.... he was too condescending and his lack of treating acts of passion as sacred or magical on a personal level, but instead as some sort of sport or competition, makes me wary. I think I need to place stiffer safeguards on my possessions and writings, in case he has plans to steal them to incriminate me as some sort of satanic sorcerer or to use them to create some harmful documents.

One can never be sure when dealing with a titled government official as to the motives behind their actions, no matter how benign they may appear. Too often have members of my family, as well as myself, suffered at the hands of minor nobles and politicians. Until I have somehow acquired a certain amount of immunity and stature governmentally so that I may rest easier I must remain alert.

We then dressed, gathered the lock box (which Lady Natasha had requested over dinner) and headed to the Warehouse. At the warehouse Lady Natasha worked on her shrouding spell on Goodfellow, while I started working on a Slumber Charm. Unfortunately the previous activities had left me too tired to keep my eyes open, so I curled up in the blanket to doze while Lady Natasha kept an eye on the progress of Goodfellow and Lord SummerIsle on their excursion into the enemy camp.

While I slept I dreamt of when last I had worn the name of 'Nestor'. It was, by the Christian Calendar, around 37 A.D. in the Empire of Rome. I was an actor in that lifetime and for a short span a favorite of the Emperor, Caligula. Though his reign was but for four short years, they were eventful times. He was a troubled man, with a frightening past and a desire for revenge that burned in him like none I have seen since. I was in the court until he fell ill, and then, like so many entertainers, thought it best to seek travel far from the center of the empire. After his recovery he was changed.... consumed with his revenge and a form of madness of the mind as if he had been cursed. Like all his favorites, from what I could remember, this of course included sharing his bed... and so I suppose the activity with Goodfellow helped bring on the dream... awakening, as I expected, lost memories of my past life...


July 20th

Somewhere after Dawn Lord SummerIsle and Goodfellow returned to report their success on the mission. They had managed to acquire clothes, the flag, a large stack of official papers & maps and the official seal of the commander. We decided to put everything in the lock box, which I then placed a concealment spell upon (after a suggestion from Lady Natasha). We then headed off to get some food and drink and rest. Goodfellow headed off to spead some rumors, in the form of amusing songs, about the French and their new misfortunes.

At the inn we made arrangements for hot baths later in the day, ate, and Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha turned in for sleep. I retired to my rooms, to update some of my records and notes and work on some of my experiments.

Goodfellow returned an hour after we had returned to the Inn and basically fell over onto the bed in our room exhausted. I took time to work on my journal, and while doing so was contacted by Edwin. I passed along the information from the maps to him, especially the markings that had been on the French map that seemed to indicate movement plans for the truce meeting that the Baron was involved in. He let me know he would be leaving a communication ring with the Baron, and would be returning to Leeds during the day.

After he broke contact, I made this last entry, planning on putting an obscurity spell on my desk for a day and place it among the party gear, just in case someone managed to trace us and get thru our current defenses, to keep my records, maps and notes from falling into enemy hands.

I must seriously consider the possibility of spending more study time with Lady Natasha to improve my understanding of Russian, as it might work well as an obscure langauge for us to pass sensitive communications in future situations.

After a number of hours of sleep I arose, took my bath, and ate in the common room. Rumors had evidently begun about there being something strange going on in the camp. Goodfellow was back up by then, and Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha had shut themselves up with the documents from the camp to go thru them.

While Goodfellow and I were engaged in discussion, Edward arrived with news from his trip to Edinburough. We adjourned to Lord SummerIsle's room and shared the news. Edward had informed the Parliment about the prescence and size of the army, and their probable intentions. He had also evidently impressed them, as it appears that Knox has gone into hiding from this news. He also brought back the names of the clans that were assisting the French.

Among the papers Lord SummerIsle and Lady Natasha had unconvered the chain of command information of the Hospitalars, revealing to us their numbers and potential threat level to us. We decided to head to the warehouse and reinforce the defenses, and to have Lady Natasha check on the status of our previous work on the camp.

Margin Notes:

According to the French documents the Hospitalers are headed by Sir Armand Somerville. He has two officers beneath him, Sir Guy Mallory who heads their troops, and Jules Channing who appears to handle control of their magically oriented staff.

The Military side includes three training masters (who are noted as being skilled in mathematics, perhaps denoting skill at military engineering), ten sergeants, 30 lance corporals 150 men at arms. Among other things, from what we could tell, they are apparently handling the discipline issues of the rest of the troops in the camp.

The Magical side includes thirteen magicians (sorcerers?), twenty journeymen practitioners of the arts fantastic and fifteen initiatives. The number thirteen being significant, this implies a possible Satanic ritualistic practice (from what I've gleaned about this concept of Christian religion, something akin to the darker practices of worship of Kali... and which violates normal Christain beliefs of accepted practice).

Once there, after Lady Natasha set up a fireproofing on the warehouse and my designing a curse mirror to deflect enemy attack magics, a discussion ensued in regards to our future plans and strategy for our campaign to slow and interfere in the plans of the French. Besides nudging along the "rumor mill" (as Goodfellow calls it) of the populance, we tried to come up with strategies that could work to infiltrate the garrison and perhaps ignite their powder stores.

This carried us thru the afternoon, when we decided it might be good to break for refreshment and to once again see what may be going on in the town. I hastily wrote a few last notes in my journal before we broke company.

I am glad that Edward has returned, he is the clearest head among my companions, the least subject to whims of light fancy or overconfidence against our foes. He is also, I fear, the sane and stable one.

Goodfellow is unpredictable and rash, SummerIsle often appears to be willing to do that which will produce the most corpses and has no fear of it including his own, Lady Natasha may be well educated and proficient but suffers from a lack of moderation that could be our downfall (especially with alcohol, which does her no good and much harm), and Edwin's problems I have previously chronicled in these pages and need not repeat.

I dined with Goodfellow at the Inn, where we discussed possible plans. We then headed out together, in the direction of the warehouse. Goodfellow accidentally ran into a post, and was laughed at by some stranger (whom he punched and knocked unconscious in a single, formidable, blow) just as we came into sight of a French Patrol of six soldiers and something that looked like a priest. Guessing it was a Hospitaler, and the fact that they were searching the general area, I grabbed the unconscious stranger and dragged him into an alley before we drew attention to ourselves.

While Goodfellow stood watch I quickly cast a disguise illusion upon the stranger to look like he was dressed in something like the Hospitaler/Priest. As soon as I finished the spell it evidently alerted the patrol. Goodfellow made a fast departure after alerting me. I activated my Charm of Tandu and exited via scaling the wall and over the rooftops and headed out of the alley again towards the warehouse.

Somewhere along the way I evidently got noticed and followed by a different patrol, probably because of the amount of active magic I had ongoing, but they failed to find our secured warehouse and left the area.

I prepared a number of charms over the next few hours, and eventually Goodfellow, Lady Natasha and Lord SummerIsle returned to the warehouse. Goodfellow reported his own seperate encounter with one of the French Patrols which he had avoided, and that my ruse with the unconscious man had proved successful at confusing the patrol we had evaded earlier (they had taken the man into custody in his unconscious disguised form). Either they will discover he was an innocent, will think he one of their own (until they take a rolecall) or will think he was one of us in disguise and torture the poor wretch for information he lacks. I just hope he doesn't remember Goodfellow's face too well, or it may make things difficult for our Faerie Ambassador to move about freely.

Lady Natasha and I prepared some more magics, Lord SummerIsle worked on his hammock, and Goodfellow wandered off to find something to amuse himself elsewhere, probably among the taverns.

We also chatted a bit about magical theory... Lady Natasha apparently had somehow contacted the local spirits of some dead people (Or perhaps they were demons pretending to be such?) and enlisted to cause some havok with the soldiers for the next few nights. No matter the source of the aid in this case, although I'll make sure to avoid coming in contact with these new "allies" she has recruited.

Lady Natasha placed a very Successful Magic Shroud spell upon herself that blocked all known forms of magical detection to perceive her active magics, much like that on the warehouse. I must ask her to prepare a similar spell for me in the near future. Someday, after this mission is over, we must try to spend some time together and compare our knowledge of the Arts Fantastic.

We then headed back to the Inn. Enroute we encountered a writhing mound of flesh that proved to be a French patrol ingaged in some sort of sexual frenzy. Lord SummerIsle slew them all, left their bodies in the compromising condition that they were in to affect the morale and moral outrage of the Christians locally and among the enemy, and took some of their equipment and uniforms. We returned to the Inn. Goodfellow was not in the room when I returned, so I assume he had rejoined Edward in his room. I wonder what he will think about what we had found...

I finished a few last notes here, and then set out to sleep. Tomorrow I should make sure to make devotions to Ganesha and Tandu in thanks for our success to date and my continued freedom in the course of these events. Tomorrow night I should try to contact Prapti, if conditions permit.


July 21st

In the morning I broke my fast at the Inn, acquired some buttermilk for morning devotions to Ganesha and Tandu and made arrangements for a bath. I eventually met up with Goodfellow, Lady Natasha, Edward and Lord SummerIsle in the hall. We sat and talked in the common room, and Lord SummerIsle inquired of the Innkeeper and discovered that Edwin had returned this morning and was sleeping in a room after his hard ride back.

Edwin had word that the French had driven out the camp followers from the camp, along with all other non-French servants. We headed towards the warehouse, in the cool morning drizzle, after leaving a note under the door for Edwin about where we were headed.

A minor error on my part, as it had totally slipped my mind that Edwin had never seen the warehouse and had no idea where it was or how to find it.

We came near to the docks, where a boistrous crowd was shouting at a collection of soldiers that were preventing them from working on the docks. Somehow the officer in charge noticed Goodfellow and tried to have him "come with them", only to have Lady Natasha drag him off before they could close with him, and as a riot broke out between the dockworkers and the soldiers.

It seemed to have been instigated by some assistance from Lord SummerIsle, Edward, and some of Lady Natasha's "allies" (Ghosts? Demons?). In any event we got out of the area and headed again to the warehouse.

We reached it safely, without further incident, and found it as we had left it, undisturbed.

I placed an effective Obscurity spell upon Goodfellow for the day, so that he could move about and avoid mundane French soldiers better.

Lady Natasha put her shroud spell upon myself and Goodfellow for a week, to block us from being noticed by the various spells upon us. She then attempted such on Lord SummerIsle, taking great time and care to achieve success (spending some hours upon it)and this did too work well.

While Lady Natasha was at this, Goodfellow and Edward went out to see what was going on with the riot and explore other targets of opportunity to cause dissention.

Margin Notes:

The spell I refer to as "Journey Thru Maya" is one I learned while in India, and is not for the feint of heart or weak of mind, for it lays bear the nature of eternity in such a manner that can indeed overwhelm one. One takes oneself out of reality, revealing the illusion of concepts of time and space, and then returns to a locale within it. The trip sometimes is both nearly instanteous and an eternity of time, other times it may take hours or even days before one is able to return to what we call "reality". I recommend using it very sparringly and only when it is absolutely necessary, as I have no information as to its long term affects upon mind, body or soul. It may be possible that one might cast it and never return....

They returned (with a kitten for some reason unknown to me) to report a large section of the dock district was now on fire, evidently said riot had turned very ugly. Lady Natasha set up a fireproof spell over a 60 yards radius to protect the warehouse area further. There was some worry that Hospitalers might use this to figure out our locale, so I went out to set up a similar spell in another area touching the first, but interference by a local arsonist at the very conclusion of the spell caused it to go astray, reversing its intent to produce a huge fiery blaze. I used my charm of Journey thru Maya to escape back to my Inn room...

There I encountered Edwin, who had risen, and we decided a quick meal and a discussion to fill him in on events during his absence.

Afterwards the rest of the group returned to the Inn, bearing our equipment from the warehouse. We held a discussion of what had occurred and began to plan on future actions. Edwin seemed reluctant to the idea of making sure that each of our masters of the sword (himself, Lord SummerIsle and Edward) was sharing a room with one of the rest for security sake.

I took it upon myself to go off to see our "friend" the printer, with Edward in my company. My hope was to acquire a lead for a new working space, perhaps a house, cottage, farmhouse or shop. This proved unfruitful, as he had locked up his establishment and left the area in fear of the riots. We then went to his brother the printer, to discover him in the process of boarding up his establishment for his own departure. He knew of no one outside the city that we might rent from, and he himself was off to find some farmer to do so himself.

We left, thinking about the possibility of perhaps borrowing the emptied shop for casting needs if the warehouse remained to risky.

I received back from Edward 12 shillings and 5 shillings worth of pins and needles from his trip to Edinburough, as per our plans regarding possible return back thru the small village we passed thru earlier on the border.

We went back past the printer's shop, in time to observe a handful of French soliders pounding on its shuttered windows announcing they had a job for the printer. I continued on, avoiding them, while Edward slipped into the alley behind the building, where he overheard them a short time later in conversation with the printer. They had wanted a printing done that included a detailed engraving, which Edward later identified as some sort of wanted poster for Goodfellow and Lord SummerIsle. When Edward eventually caught up with me he relayed this information and we returned to the Inn.

Once there we informed Lord SummerIsle, Lady Natasha and Edwin of our findings.... Goodfellow had wandered off and was not findable to warn. Lord SummerIsle had a talk with the Innkeeper and convinced him to accept payment from him to empty the Inn of customers and to remain silent of our prescence for the next few days (some physical coercion may have been involved, or threat of such). He then went about disguising himself by shaving off the hair on his head and attiring himself in clothes that they had taken from the French soliders the night before. He went off to see if it was possible to reach the warehouse.... he returned some time later having gotten there and back again, and made suggestion that we might try to acquire a rowboat for easier access via the river.

Goodfellow returned a short time later, and we filled him in on what had been discovered. The Innkeeper, by the way, had informed his other patrons that someone had come down with smallpox and thus the need for them to vacate to avoid infection. Over food some argument occured between Goodfellow and Lord SummerIsle in regards to the usefulness of his actions and possible plans.

Other discussion occurred, and it was decided that someone should check on the flyers at the print shop and what their contents were. Edward and Goodfellow (in disguise) went forth to do this while Edwin and myself acquired from the wine shop next door 3 full and 4 empty wine barrels for 6 shillings to help with cover for moving the pack animals out of the city.

Our companions returned with the information about the flyers, which included an engraving of Goodfellow's appearance and information regarding Lord SummerIsle, including his full name, blaming him for the patrol that had been killed. The flyers were done in French, evidently intended for use by their gate guards and patrols.

Lord SummerIsle acquired directions from me to the print shop, and headed there in hopes of eliminating the flyers before they were distributed. He returned successfully, having eliminated the flyers, the plates and dispatched the six soldiers at the shop (and convinced the printer to leave town indefinitely...until the French left Scotland).

While my companions mulled over this, and began discussion of possible plans for the night, I decided to take the opportunity to record the events in my journal.

After some discussion it was decided that Edwin would magically disguise himself and head back to the print shop to see if he could ambush any additional patrols seeking to find what had happened to the soldiers that Lord SummerIsle had eliminated. Goodfellow chose to go out and scrounge up additional disguise materials for himself and SummerIsle. Those of us remaining went about securing the Inn and preparing for possible intrusion in the middle of the night.

Edwin returned with news of having killed sixteen regular soldiers, and one officer, that had been sent down to the print shop. He sustained a minor wound in the process, but nothing he needed any of us to help with.

Lady Natasha fireproofed the Inn, at my request, in case the French decided to set fire to the entire city to eliminate their problems.

Eventually all my companions turned in to sleep, and after making a few journal notes I prepared my Dream Visitation spell to contact my beloved Prapti and successfully informed her of all that was occuring in Scotland. We then spent some time practicing the techniques of what she has come to call Lucid Dreaming and using it in combination with our techniques of passion. I believe that we have made some interesting breakthroughs in this field of study, which I will attempt to record in a seperate monograph when we are living quieter lives.


July 22nd

In the morning we ate and then Edward went on a scouting mission to check the status of the city gates. As I suspected, the French had taken up control positions at each of them, with about 6 soliders (including a Hospitaler) searching incoming and departing baggage and specifically looking for red heads (and possibly their missing flag).

Edwin contacted Leon and had him deliver a report to the Queen's liason as to the effectiveness of our ongoing efforts against the French. He also contacted Lord Hunston, who informed him that Captain Jedrick, a friend of Edwin and other members of my current company, had been given command of 600 convict conscripts, 100 Infantry and 50 house calvary to reinforce and assist in resisting any French advance. These troops were enroute to Newcastle, and although not the greatest quality of troops are evidently lead by an officer whoose unconventional tactics may make them more valuable than they appear.

It is my assessment that we would be better off to temporarily divide the party, at least for a day, moving the pack animals and travel gear outside the city to establish a camp to the south on a hill where we can see it better. We should then, once outside, scout the perimeter wall and determine where there are breaches large enough for us to pass in and out, then use them for excursions within as needed. The Warehouse, since it appears to remain secure, may be used as a meeting place for those that remain within. By establishing a second casting point outside the city it would make it difficult for the enemy to determine from where magical attacks will come from. Additionally we need to prepare more magical charms and devices to assist in our actions. The real problem is to convince my companions of the validity of this path of action. They remain divided in thought and leadership, and though that could be useful since it means the loss of any one of our company will not leave us unable to act, it means that we lack reasonable coordination. Perhaps I can convince Edward of this plan, and have him persuade the rest, since he is both calm headed and has some influence over them.

After some discussion, Lord SumemrIsle, Lady Natasha and Edward went out to obtain a rowboat for the warehouse with plans to meet us up river at a spot that Lord SummerIsle described to me, where we could load the items being brought to the warehouse for the current time.

I packed together the lock box and some sacks with the needed supplies, magical paraphernalia and the captured flag (which they decided was more important as a magical tool than as a trophy). I would then go with Goodfellow and Edwin to deliver these items at the proposed rendezvous point with the rest, using one of our mules.

Enroute we encountered a large band of local Scotchmen, who we avoided confrontation with by convincing them we were looking for good spot to dump a Fench soldier's body into the river. They brought us to a spot near the home of one of their folks "Robert". Our companions came up river in their newly acquired rowboat, in time for the leader of the men to notice and thus revealed us not looking for a place for a body but what they considered smugglers.

Edward and I took the mule, after the rest left in the boat, and went and drank at "Robert"'s home, gainin some interesting opinions regarding what the locals thought of our ongoing campaign against the French. This also afforded us some future permission to use the docking area near his house for smuggling or body disposal. We then departed back to the Inn to prepare the rest of the animals for the journey out the gates with the rest of our gear.

The others met us there after we had gotten the animals ready. We ate a hearty meal and then divided our force in two. Edwin, Edward and myself would go thru the gate, while Lord SummerIsle, Lady Natasha and Goodfellow would watch us from a short distance and intervene in case of trouble.

We passed thru the gate without trouble, and headed south, eventually finding a good hillside for a camp. We established camp, setting up the smaller tents and a campfire and unburdening the animals. Edwin placed a shroud on the camp area, and I placed an effective obscurity spell on it for the next week (excluding the members of the party, of course).

Edwin, Edward and I then began a discussion of what our next step was going to be, and how we were going to assist our comrades in further annoying the French (and hopefully bogging them down even further).

Edwin and Edward were planning on heading back into the city, Edwin to the Warehouse for a casting project that needed Lady Natasha's strange glass, and Edward to attempt to bring aid and comfort to the Scotish resistors in the dock area. I prepared Edward's doublet with a night-long "Protection of Achilles" to assist him in his cause, and Edwin performed some spells upon himself (and his own horse) in case of incident with the gate gauards. They then departed the camp on their missions on foot, leaving me to my projects.

Margin Notes:

My map of the city walls showed it had six gates, all guarded. The best guarded had 8 French soliders on it, the worst but four.

At it's highest the wall stands 12' in height, and none of the "gates" actually have physical gates that can be closed.

There were 10 breaks in the wall where one could pass thru, three of these so large that pack animals could be lead thru with effort, none of which are being guarded or watched. The nearest break to the garrison is some 1000' from it.

I set about placing a "Curse Sanctum" upon the camp to protect it for the coming week, then designed myself a new "Journey thru Maya" charm for emergency use. A half hour before sunset I placed an "Obscurity Spell" upon myself for the night, created a slumber charm, and went out to map the wall of the city.

I returned to the camp with my map, made a copy, and then set out for an excursion against the gate where the least number of guards were present. It took an hour for the charm to take effect, but by that time all four of the French guards were unconscious at their post.

I took from the sleeping guards :

36s. scotish (worth 18s. English)*
4 swords (1 decent quality)
4 knives (all decent quality) [* one only]
4 locks of hair (1 from each guard for future use for spell targets)*
Small Medallion of the Catholic Saint Jude
Gold colored fancy bracelet
1 matchlock pistol (unlit) w/ supplies in wooden box
a cloak (used to bundle up the weapons)
I then left them to their slumbers, and headed off to the warehouse to deliver the weapons for Edward to use in his plan to improve the arming of the Scottish resistance. I plan on retaining possession of the items marked with a '*' and the rest I leave to Edward and my companions to deal with.

There I encountered Lady Natasha and Edward. Our other three companions were evidently away on various endeavors of their own. We discussed plans, and Edward's idea that Lady Natasha should assume the mantle of leadership of the group. I stated my acceptance of this proposal, and voiced my fear that getting the others to agree to her leadership would be difficult. I then departed, returning to the camp, and slept.


July 23nd

I arose between 7 and 8 in the morning, and noted that Edwin had returned and was asleep in the other tent. I brought the campfire back up to life and function and put together something resembling a sufficient hot breakfast for us.

Edwin and I came up with a simple plan to make full use of the fact of it being Sunday, upon hearing the sound of the bells of the city. It seemed an excellent opportunity for me to slip into the garrison and ignite the powder magazine since the number of soldiers would be much reduced for worship. Edwin, of course couldn't do this, being afraid of guns and gunpowder. While I did this Edwin would perform one of three possible functions: to release their horses and stampede them from the stable, break into the commander's office to acquire intelligence information (and if very lucky, get a chance to fight and kill the commander while he was not surrounded by guards). We cast upon ourselves Obscurity magics, and I could feel the blessings of Ganesha were strong upon me as I did so. Edwin used his rather unusual magic to reshape his appearance into that of a hideous demon in case he did engage in combat.

Entering the garrison proved no problem, though we did split up to achieve entry, as the porticulis was down and guarded from within by a pair of Halbred armed soldiers. I ended up needing to use my Lesson of Tandu charm to enter the Keep thru a third floor window, while Edwin did the same by climbing in at another point. We reunited, spoke, and split up again, with Edwin heading upward to the upper two levels of the keep and I headed downward (there were no stairs, only ladders) after we had investigated the 3rd level and its quarters for lesser officers.

On the second floor I emptied two officer's rooms of papers, and then again Edwin rejoined me. He had discovered the emergency food stores for the keep and destroyed a goodly sum of them, and then returned when he did not find other things of value to our cause. I left him to finish the ransacking of the second floor officer's rooms and headed down to the first level. There I found the Grand hall, which was empty of persons and evidently was being used to house additional soldiers at night as their bedrolls were stacked here.

I then entered into the subterranean level via a stone staircase. There I found the cool food storage, and nearby the powder magazine. The magazine was firmly guarded by four guards who seemed quite alert, so I formed a quick plan. I retreated to the kitchen stores, and took a container of grease up to the Grand hall. There I gathered a number of bedrolls, some kindling and covered them in the grease, then set it on fire, producing a smoky grease fire.

Returning below I positioned myself in a shadowed locale and shouted using ventriloquism threw my voice to the top of the stairs so it would be heard by the guards as if from above. "I got the fire started Lord SummerIsle....that'll burn the froggies out!"

They unlocked the gate of the magazine and charged up to deal with the fire, leaving a single guard behind. I stealthily approached him, having activated my disguise spell of a Christian Demon, and struck him with my staff upon the jaw twice, felling him. I then took his knife, and opened up a keg of the powder and spread it about the numerous gunstores. I then set up my pair of gunpowder carafes, set them aflame and fled to the stairs. It was then I realized I had failed to properly survey the area and had no way of knowing how to reach the porticulis and insufficient time for climbing back the way I had come. I panicked for a second on the stairs until I reached the top, and then regained my wits to use my charm of Maya and passed out of the illusion of reality....

And returned to the world a minute later at the warehouse, where I stood alone. A few moments later, after I had removed the guise charm of the demon, Lord SummerIsle entered and caught me by surprise. He informed me of the explosion that had rocked the city, and I explained that it was the garrison I had set off in my efforts, and that we could expect Edwin shortly. I had completely forgotten that we had planned to meet at the break in the city wall we had come of near the garrison, or that I had warned him that if he did not see me to assume me dead or captured.

Lady Natasha and Edward were outside watching the events from a distance, the riot having ended rather suddenly. They told me of a letter that had arrived from the head of the Hospitalers at the Inn addressed to Lord SummerIsle, trying to convince him to change sides. It more or less congratulated him on his campaign, but more or less said they were now alert and ready for him and a changing of allegience would be to his benefit.

Edwin arrived in a short time, quite surprised to see me alive, having thought I perished in the explosion since I had not met him. They showed him the letter from the Hospitalers as well and he pointed out that it spoke of "less help from Faerie". According to Edwin, that they had set up camp on the Faerie hill. Goodfellow appears to have packed his gear and left in the night.... perhaps having entered the hill before it was made inaccessible.

We packed up the warehouse supplies, using Edward's horse Veteran to help with the baggage, and retreated to the camp. We saw no sign of soldiers or the Scotch resistance on the street, nor upon the city gates.

One of the mules had broken its leg in panic from the explosion in our absence, so Lord SummerIsle dispatched it to its next incarnation. Edward and Edwin performed a magick, focused on a very old book that Edward had, to locate Goodfellow, but it found him not. This bodes well with my theory that he may have returned to Fairy, but it is also possible that the Hospitalers had captured him after his departure from the warehouse (enroute to the hill?) and had him hidden from magical search.

Lord SummerIsle seemed to be quite happy with his fate, no matter which was involved. Edward seemed most distressed over these events, because of his unsure fate. Although I can sympathize with him, I believe having seen Goodfellow in action that it is unlikely he was captured alive, and most likely he had reached Fairy or was slain by the French as he took too many needless risks. I would not be surprised though if he turned up in London when we returned, having returned from Faerie by way of the hill we originally journeyed to Faerie via previously. Only time will tell. In any case there was nothing we could do about the situation.

Lord SummerIsle then dictated to me a letter to be delivered back to the Inn for the Hospitalers by him. Lady Natasha and I cast some spells and charms while he delivered it, to aid our journey ahead, and Edwin contacted back to the Queen and the Baron regarding events. We then struck camp and I placed one last spell in place, a curiousity upon the rock surface we had been using for our casting in the camp, in hopes of it and the dead mule taking up much time on their part to see if it was another Faerie hill. Lady Nastasha and Edwin added some strange letters and symbols to add to the mystery.

Lord SummerIsle returned, and reported that little remained of the garrison, just a smoking hole, and that the riot had indeed broke, as neither side still had any heart left for the battle.

Edward chose to ride to Edinburough to notify the parliment of events. I gave him the 36s. Scotish (worth 18s. English) to finance this trip, and he would meet us in NewCastle. He would also, being some two days behind us, be able to inquire as to the results of our actions in regards to the French force. He did convey some fear that although the main force should be in confusion and demoralized, that the Hospitalers might be in pursuit of Lord SummerIsle fairly quickly.

So we headed out upon the road at 3 in the afternoon heading South with plans to reach Newcastle within a few days. Lacking a native guide it seemed best that we should hug the coastline as we traveled, to avoid mishap with the moors and other terrain problems.

About two hours later we stopped, going down to the shore line, so that Lady Natasha could cast a spell that would cause our trail from that point on to be unseen, to cause any pursuers that might come to think we had boarded a ship as part of a well coordinated plan of retreat. While she did so we had a hasty cold meal. The spell proved most effective, and we continued south along the rocky coast.

Edwin discussed along the way what manner of camping and sleeping arrangements we would commence with when we camped, and whether it would be better to try to strive thru the night with magical aid to our vision for the journey. SummerIsle and I convinced him that it would better to maintain a steady pace, stopping and resting at night and departing early in the morning then trying to travel in the darkness.

We made camp, and decided to keep a night watch (Lady Natasha, then Lord SummerIsle, then myself and finally Edwin in 2 hour watches). Edwin placed a healing spell upon Lord SummerIsle's wound, which had opened again on the trail. This allowed Edwin to avoid sharing a tent while sleeping (perhaps because of his embarrassment over his sleep walking?) Lady Natasha prepared us a meal from the supplies we had on hand that far excelled my own meager talents at cooking.

Lord SummerIsle awoke me to my watch, and a heavy rain. I rushed a Protection from the Elements upon myself before entering into the storm, to ensure that I would not develop a chill from the foul Scotish Climate. My watch was uneventful, and I turned in, waking Edwin for his watch, and turning in to resume my rest.


July 24th

We headed off in the morning and traveled further south. We stopped near the river that lead to Clearwater, where Lady Natasha again cast her spell to obscure our passage, and then headed inland along the river. The spell proved faulty, leaving a trail of dead vegitation, so two hours in we stopped and she recast. While she did such, Edwin attempted to contact the Baron, only to evidently contact our enemy's leader, the one who had sent Lord SummerIsle the letter. He didn't realize this at first and revealed our plans to travel to New Castle, and his surname to the man before breaking contact.

It was decided to continue inland to Clearwater, for safe shelter for the night to come.

We arrived safely, and I did trade with the locals. We got a supply of mutton and a barrel of Scrumpie (a local cider) for our journey and provided them sewing needles, pins, and a barrel of wine from our stores. We dined with the locals and did provide news to them of what has gone on up North. We told of some of the problems in the city, but avoided speaking directly of our involvement (no need to worry them about such things).

My companions imbued a bit more Scrumpie at the meal then my concepts of moderation perceive as appropriate, perhaps in reaction to recent events. The dark turn of fate since our departure from the city may be in some way be a reflection of the karmatic debts that they have incurred during the campaign against the French foreces, or it might be the result of some enemy action that needs to be investigated.

Edwin insisted on setting up the large tent for himself, and so I assisted him, while Lady Natasha and Lord SummerIsle set up one of the small ones for themselves. I set up the remaining small tent for myself, and then cast a Dream Sanctum to cover it and the large tent with protection for the night.

The night proved uneventful.


July 25th

We packed up camp and traveled all day and into early evening, finally reaching New Castle. The security at the castle was greatly improved, and we eventually dined with the Baron, shown to individual rooms and drawn baths. I slept well and secure thru the night.


July 26th

In the morning Lady Natasha worked a spell (which took most of the morning) to determine the status of the French Army. It appeared they were having a problem with desertion, lack of sleeping arrangements and a lack of supplies. They remain definitely disorganized and unlikely to prove a threat in the near future militarily.

Around noon Edward arrived on horse, having ridden hard from the North and hugging the coast. After he was bathed and fed by the Baron's servants. We had a formal debriefing with the Baron that evening, and he made arrangements for us for passage to London. Edward reported on his adventures, and his findings of the condition of the French army.

Edward had in our absence had an encounter with the Templars and a parly with their leadership, who did reveal at that time his knowledge of Edward's involvement in the uprising efforts. He was offered opportunity to become a member of the French Court and service therein in recognition of his cleverness and usefulness, to steal him away from Queen Elizabeth's impoverished court which he turned down. What else may have transpired, save that he did note that the Templars themselves were leaving back to France and that the remaining forces were suffering desertions, food shortages, lack of sufficient housing and supply problems that threatened its disintegration.

Our work seemed done, our expedition successful. Our only loss appears to be the disappearance of Goodfellow, which the enemy seems not to have been directly responsible for, and may have something to do with a change of influence in the Faerie Court, according to some remarks that Edward made and information he had gleaned from the Templars.

We sold off the excess animals (mules & horses), except for my horse, Edwin's and Edward's. I purchased a cargo of Whiskey in New Castle to resell in London for a good profit, and to continue to act as a disguise as to the reasons of our travel to the common folk.

Margin Notes:

Whiskey Sales earned 55s. (English) Profit over costs.

Resale of the Pack animals earned back most of my initial investment for the expedition.


July27th

We set sail on the morning tide for London on a ship. The weather remained pleasant, and the trip itself was uneventful. I spent the time working on my map notes and preparing reports for Dr. Dee on our travels, copying our maps, and made no additional entries in my journal during this time.


July 30th

We arrived back in London on Sunday the 30th. We made our way to the College Building (Previously the Inn Known as the Seven Swans), to find a veritable Jungle inside and outside the structure. It was wonderfully warm, and though the plantlife isn't Indian, it seems most comfortable and somewhat homelike. Prapti and Leon greeted us, and Edwin went to see what had become of his upstairs room. Lady Natasha and Lord SummerIsle, after examing the lower floor went off to resume Lord SummerIsle's rooms at his former Inn, and Edward headed off to check on his own buisness prospects.

It started to rain inside the inn, a most interesting phenomena with some magical influence upon it.... Prapti took me off to see the bedroom she had been using off of the kitchen.... where we fell into a joyous reunion of body, mind and spirit thru the rest of the day and well into the next.

Apparently the magics within the building that transformed it into a jungle are affecting the weather within its environments, causing a daily rainstorm near midday each day. Prapti shows great interest in learning how this is accomplished, and since Lady Natasha has some knowledge in this area that I do lack I have directed her to speak with her on the subject.


July 31th

We attended an audience with the queen, with all our members in attendence, and with Sir William Cecil present. Lord SummerIsle, Edwin and Edward were each rewarded for their service by granting them Knighthood in the Order of the Garter. Lady Natasha was awarded a small estate on the outskirts of London. Myself and Prapti were awarded an estate next to it for our services (aprox. 1/2 an acre in size). These estates were recently vacated by a member of the court who was sent to the tower and a less than honorable demise.

Edwin turned over the French documents we had captured to Sir William Cecil, so that he might perhaps acquire useful information from them (and perhaps break any coded messages within, though I suspect he may seek the aid of Dr. Dee or myself in regards to this in the near future).

We were dismissed, except Edward, who was asked to tarry afterwards for conversation with the Queen. No knowledge of what may have transpired between them has yet to reach my ears as I finish this journal's entries.


Addendum News reached me a few days after the finishing of this journal that Lord SummerIsle suffered some financial losses due to criminal actions by the chief administrator of his lands in his absence.

Lady Natasha had word from her homeland, Russia, that there may be some supernatural problem occuring that may need her eventual intervention. We are, since our return, working on coordiating our estates, developing a hedge maze the center of which we are having erected a "Gazebo" (a structure with roof, floor and seating but no walls) wherein we might perform rituals and magics.

Prapti, as always, remains most fascinated in acquiring knowledge, and is learning from Lady Natasha more about her native land, her beliefs, and magics, and we have both resumed language lessons from her so that we might better understand things, in the event that she might need our assistance in the near future. I've also asked for French lessons from Edwin, if he is so inclined, when he is around the city.

Organizing a household is proving a most complex affair, especially when one must be cautious in regards to what one reveals to others to avoid exposing one's true nature in regards to religious beliefs.

I seem to have acquired some reputation in regards to my skills as a merchant adventurer, and have been asked for advice on occasion by some members of that profession as well as approached on occasion to either become involved in a venture or two directly or to finance some ventures of various merit. I am approaching such carefully, and expanding my knowledge of the local markets.... it seems my knowledge of Scotland is of some marketable value herein.

I am also spending more time at court than before, despite my lesser station, as there has some grown interest in my opinion on various matters by some of the Queen's Privy Chamber members in regards to matters politic. I have had to learn to hold my tongue carefully among them.

Edward and Edwin appear to have acquired some level of reputation locally as well as in the court, primarily for their envolvement in the expedition's events, and that of Lord SummerIsle continues to grow at court.

I close this volume, and shall begin a new one....


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