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Iuris Perita agreed to do covenant service for this season, but no-one had any suggestion as to what she might usefully do. So much effort had gone into copying books for trade and in accumulating vis recently that no thought had been spared for what could be done if there was sufficient vis to spare for enchanting an item, or if there might be time to research a useful spell. Consequently, Iuris Perita was asked to hunt vis. Speculor intended to continue his study of the primer in Vim. Joach also had time to himself, but did not request a book.
Council formally approved a deal that had been agreed upon a few days before, following an exchange of letters with Elise. Her initial request, brought by Bertrand towards the end of August, was that she be allowed to borrow the book 'The Regio in the Head of Man' for another season in exchange for a payment of vis, and she had made it sound as if she was proposing to offer just a single pawn. This may have been a misunderstanding, since Iuris Perita, Speculor and Joach considered such a poor offer something of an insult or a jest. They were not adverse to acquiring more vis, of course, and proposed that she pay three pawns of Vim vis or two pawns of any other kind. She accepted and offered two pawns of Herbam, which were very welcome, so it was a formality at the meeting to agree to the loan of the book and that it be delivered by Bertrand as soon as possible.
Lady Helissente had a daughter at Harvest Moon, and there is no doubt at all that the child is at least half fae for she has green eyes, nut-brown skin and on her head, tight little curls like young oak leaves. Her mother seems entirely happy with the child. No doubt Sir Achilles would like to be rid of it, and we can probably arrange that once it reaches an age for apprenticeship. Jimena tells me that the birth was as uncomplicated as she has come to expect for the Harvest babies, and that this was just as well since Iuris Perita and Speculor insisted on being present for the event. I hear that Speculor cast spells on the child the moment it appeared, but it can hardly have been necessary to use magic to know that it has strong faerie blood. There were three other baby girls born at Harvest moon, which this year coincided with the equinox, which I am sure makes them all extra-special in some way. Whilst paying my first visit to the new baby at the manor house, I informed her ladyship that I shall be requiring the services of her nurse maid in spring, so she has plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
The harvest here was gathered while I was away. The weather was wet right through summer and into autumn, they tell me, but thanks to The Bountiful Feast and our friends the field fae, Caribet's harvest was good. There were three golden acorns harvested from Quercus' oak at the edge of the east field. This year, Speculor told me, he visited the tree himself every day while the acorns were developing, and made sure to remind the grogs on guard what had happened last year, which must have scared any that were inclined to treat their duty lightly.
Two of the hunters who came to spend winter with us last year have returned - Tudwal and Derv the story-teller. Sir Achilles seems happy to have them stay as long as they contribute to the food supply. As I do not have any work in hand at present, I have made a point of joining the group under the big oak tree in the evenings, where Derv tells the old stories. I intend to continue enjoying his tales for as long as I can spare the time. For one thing, I might pick up some useful ideas for story-telling myself and, since his stories often mention the fae and unusual creatures and special places in Brittany, I may pick up some hints of places worth visiting and places best avoided. Helissente is there most evenings too, with Rubea and the new baby in Amelle's charge. A third hunter is staying, named Aignam, but I have not heard anything much about him and have only seen him in passing.
It was time to consider what to do about Alacritas. In my discussions with Letitia it had become apparent that I could not realistically expect to be able to take Alacritas as a familiar now that she had been penned for so long in a circle of warding. Releasing her was not a simple matter, though, as I greatly feared that she would cause damage and upset my sodales if let lose anywhere in the vicinity of Caribet. The best thing, it seemed to me, was to take her back to where she came from, but that is too far, and I could not ask a Redcap to take her. So, the next best seems to be to take her to a faerie area far away from here and set her free there.
I took Alacritas to Quercus' hill the day before yesterday. It seemed far enough away, and should be a pleasant environment for her, I believe. He did not object to this new resident - at least, I say 'resident' in the hope that Alacritas stays there and does not reappear here again to cause havoc. Quercus was delighted with Helissente's child and we talked for a long time about the baby and some of the things I had learnt while with Letitia. I hope that I shall see Alacritas again as I shall undoubtedly visit Quercus.
The wet weather continues and everything seems to be damp. I hear that a lot of work has gone into making sure all the roofs of our buildings are in good condition, and the barn in particular, so I was a little surprised to receive a request from Sir Achilles, asking me to consider taking action to save our grain supply as I did last year. I remember how unpleasant it was when I lost control of the magic whilst trying to dry out the grain in St.Eloi but I have now devised a better method and agreed to do as Achilles asked. I took Julius and Ignatius, carrying a few things for me, and went to our huge barn. I then took my time preparing a small stone bowl with some dry twigs and grass in it, which I ignited and then I poured water from a large jug over my head so that I was drenched, and after that I cast the necessary spell in such a way that the effect would last as long as the fire was kept burning. I rather liked the idea of keeping the fire burning in the barn, but this idea was not popular, and it was a little risky, so I had my grogs convey it carefully to the council chamber where it was set in the hearth and fed with dry wood. It will be the duty of the servants, under Jehan's eye, to keep it burning.
Galliene, now Lady of the Manor of St.Eloi, has been pestering Achilles about the state of the grain stored in her barn, and he has been to ask for my help again. I was not enthusiastic about doing anything, partly because it involves casting spells in the village where the influence of the Church makes it harder, and partly because Iuris Perita would not approve. However, I decided to do as he asked for both the villages, since it would be a dreadful nuisance if the people of Ploeuc and St.Eloi ran out of food and came begging from Caribet. I used the same technique of lighting a fire so the spells should last throughout the winter provided Galliene can ensure they stay lit, since I left them in her care.
Fr.Edwin brought over a letter for me this evening, which he had been handed when saying Mass in Ploeuc this afternoon. It was from Galliene, thanking me for saving their grain, which was kind and thoughtful of her. I am glad I helped, but hope that Iuris Perita does not find out about it.
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