Summer 1224: Just how things should be
I have been busy moving apparatus about my room. Little alteration is required from the arrangement I used last season to distill vis as service but there is sufficient modification required for Summer to make it an interesting task. I am making careful notes. This vis will be the first I have extracted for my longevity potion. It is vital that I am not interrupted as I must have the full three pawns.
Joach is about to set off with Zane, Garth and the vis detection wand. He is sure to come back with something, and I do so hope it is vis of the types we lack. Iuris Perita is distilling as service again, so we can anticipate a couple of pawns there. The most interesting project as service this season is Speculor's work to produce a Liber Quaestionum on Intellego; such a pity that council voted for an apprentice's introduction, but perhaps we can trade it for something useful such as Perdo or Herbam.
I met Magus Speculor in the Council chamber this evening, as I often do, and he had good news. The pedlar, Jourdain, came by bringing several interesting items including a good range of coloured inks. Fulk, the illuminator, selected several powders which, Speculor hopes, will allow him to produce multi-coloured illustrations and decorations in our books for the coming year. I must say, he has made a very nice job of my Aurum book. The pedlar also had a sample of reasonably good vellum, which he says he can get more of if we wish to pay for it.
The merchant Bertrand came this way. I sent word to enquire whether he had seen anything of Elise Ex Miscellenea, filia Hadis; he had not. It is some time since we wrote inviting her to take up residence in our tower at St.Brieuc and I fear that the letter has not reached her.
The grogs are under instruction to bring to the tower any root vegetables grown in the vicinity of the tower that have an unusual shape. This summer there were several such, and I was delighted to find that 3 contain Corpus vis.
I have had a fascinating discussion with Magus Speculor about the book he is writing. I was curious to find out what aspects of the Art of Intellego he had picked to concentrate on in this work for apprentices. Unsurprisingly, his choice did not entirely accord with my own. There is no doubt that his understanding of the subject exceeds my own, as yet, though I am not sure his grasp of Magic Theory is quite what it might be. I feel sure he actually tried to catch me out in this area, but I saw the snare and evaded it.
As our conversation was drawing to a close, we over-heard a couple of the servants talking and learnt that Sir Achilles has appropriated some of our grogs again. Something about Plaintel was the only excuse I could discover. Whatever the reason, he must be warned again about over-stepping his authority, and if he has just taken them for vain show, I shall be very displeased indeed.
12th September: Birth day
The general orgy at the mid-Winter feast only produced one pregnancy this time. I was very curious to see what the baby was like, and whether it would be a girl, like all six born last year. Just as last year, it was a normal birth, a normal child, and female! I foresee some problems if our villagers and grogs produce nothing but females; perhaps a spell is needed to deal with this.
I am delighted that the equinox has arrived without there having been any disturbance to our routine of quiet study. I have my three pawns of Vim vis carefully sealed in glass ampoules and there are two pawns from Iuris Perita's efforts to add to the store. It is most unfortunate that Magus Joach has returned without anything to add other than a few local folk tales which led to nothing. He had the wand with him, too. I hope its enchantment is not fading. Perhaps he found it got on his nerves so badly that he did not keep it close to hand, which is another good reason for having Speculor invent a new spell for the task.
I had expected that today the carpenter Pierre would be able to erect the staircase I asked for up the cliff face in the regio. Alas, there were difficulties. We now know that the entrance to the magical regio around the menhir has a ceiling at the height of the top of the menhir. This is interesting, and something we much investigate further, but it had the unfortunate effect of making it impossible to carry the planks of wood through. At least, it was impossible with the planks as they were but Magus Joach used Muto Herbam to shrink them for long enough to have them carried around the menhir.
I suppose I would have done well to give Pierre some idea of what he would find once we had walked around the menhir. The scene inside the regio was so unlike the glade he was accustomed to that it took a few sharp orders to get him into motion. He seemed to be in something of a daze as we traversed the long grassy path to the foot of the cliff. Once there, I urged upon him the need for haste and some hours later, the staircase was assembled. It was most vexing to find that he had not made any allowance for the uneven-ness of the ground and the slope of the cliff face, which resulted in the top of the stairs being nowhere near the symbol carved in the rock. I would have been cross but he is such a likeable fellow that I could not blame him entirely for the failure. Pierre tried to persuade me that a simple ladder would have been much more suitable but I did not feel that such a thing would be at all safe to use. It is for grogs to follow orders, and I instructed the carpenter to take all the necessary measurements such that he can bring more wood and helpers, if he must, to complete the task next Spring.
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