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Speculor and I were up at dawn. We met in the glade just outside the tower, where Speculor cast a spell to test the local aura. As usual, it was a fifth level magic aura. I was rather surprised that he thought of making this test but, as it turned out, I am very glad that he did. Together we then walked along the path through the forest towards Caribet village but the village and the fields around it had disappeared. It did not take Speculor long to locate the regio boundary surrounding the fields and we crossed it together. For far too long now, these fields have taken on the Dominion aura of the village and I have been longing for the magic aura that covers the forest round about to reassert itself over the fields. Today we discovered that the Dominion aura has been supplanted, but by a faerie aura of the third magnitude. I began to catch sight of the tiny field fae, peeking out from the vegetation. This was very exciting indeed. I went first to look at Quercus' oak tree, which was looking magnificent, and under the shade of its branches the faerie aura was a little stronger and the field fae were much in evidence there. I tried talking to them. They seemed happy, and willing to talk about trivial, immediate matters but I doubt that they took in what I was saying when I encouraged them to come to the mid-Winter feast this year. They nodded and smiled, but they have hardly any concept of tomorrow let alone half a year away.
Then I went to where I planted the acorn, but there was still no sign of any growth and the aura was the same as that of the fields. I began to wonder whether the influence of the magic acorn had diffused out and, at this special time of year, grown strong enough to overcome both Magic and Dominion auras. We walked a little way into the village and were not surprised to find that the church had disappeared, just as it used to do at mid-summer. There we met our parish priest and, unfortunately, he had a visitor with him, also in clerical garb. Edwin introduced the visitor as Fr. Julian of Ploeuc. This Julian is not used to the Gift, of course, and showed no inclination to linger in conversation with us, which was probably just as well. He looked very nervous, peering around him in some alarm, so I assume that, like us, he could see the field fae.
Council met briefly after dark. I think I noticed a raised eyebrow or two when I let it be known that I would be studying from the Animal primer. I have neglected this Art but after my early experiences with Alacritas, I can see that it would be useful to have at least a basic understanding of it. Of course, I soon discovered that she was only a cat in looks, not in nature, so Animal would not have affected her, but the lesson is still valid. I was not the only one opting to study an unexpected Art - Joach asked for a text on Ignem. Speculor was more predictable; he will continue to study Mentem. Fulk will illuminate the Primer in Vim.
Late in the night, the aura around the village changed again, to a slightly higher level. The regio around the menhir expanded at dawn and covered the glade with a Magic aura of level seven, as usual. As soon as we were satisfied that vis collection there was in hand, Speculor and I went towards the village where we found that it was now covered by a faerie aura of fifth magnitude. This was delightful - everything was as brilliant and vivid as for a magic aura of the same strength, but here was an air of playfulness, and not just amongst the very-visible field fae.
Quercus arrived, in his role as Lord of the Forest, half as tall as an oak and resplendent in majesty. I joined the crowd around him while Speculor went to ensure that the grogs whose duty it was to collect the droppings from talking animals in the forest could get from the village into the magical part of the forest. This required them to cross a regio boundary which was hard to locate, so they had to have Speculor to take them and fetch them back. I was very glad that Speculor did not require my assistance because I would have found it very hard to leave Quercus. It was rather annoying that he paid so much attention to Fleur and Rubea, who he sees very often, but it is understandable.
Speculor remembered to retrieve the villagers from the forest before it got dark. At sunset, the aura over the village changed again, dropping to level four, but that is still very good. I do so hope that something of the fae remains over the village once this special time has passed.
I woke under the oak tree, where I had fallen asleep while listening to stories late into the night. The aura under the oak was faerie level four, while that over the fields and village had dropped to level three. There was still no sign of the church. At sunset, there was another change, as the aura over the village remained faerie but fell to level two and the church reappeared. The aura under the oak was still faerie level four, but Quercus had gone. I was able to find my way from the faerie regio into the magic part of the forest, which was under its usual level two magic aura, and thence to the glade and the tower. I shall write to Gwénolé, Bouvignolus and Letitia who all, I am sure, will be fascinated to learn of the faerie auras that we have experienced here this solstice.
I am very disappointed. It seems that all our efforts in obtaining the faerie acorn cup, using vis to grow a magical acorn and then planting it have produced only a temporary effect. It was a very pleasant few days under the faerie auras, but it is now all gone. Around the time when Edwin was saying Mass in the village church, the aura over the village switched from faerie level two to Dominion level three, which spread out over the fields as a Dominion level two aura. Now there is no sign of the field fae and it is only comfortable under the great oak tree.
Speculor is keen on moving the church, isolating it away from fields and village. We spoke of dismantling it and moving it stone by stone. I have considerable sympathy with this view but, unless we can stop the villagers praying and living Christian lives in their own homes, saving all that sort of thing up for when they visit the church, I doubt it would help much. I am reminded of the village of Sommerberg in the Harz where there was no sign that the Church had any influence and faerie was strong.
Speculor and I have agreed that we should make careful record of the fluctuations in the auras and regio boundaries around our home. He has been making great use of Intellego Vim spells and has plotted the boundaries in sufficient detail that he was able to create a most astonishing image of the tower, the surrounding forest, the fields and the village, so it looked as if we were all flying high above it. As we looked, he made the boundaries shift to show the way it was on each of the four nights and the three days over the solstice. The images were so perfect and so pleasing that we considered how much time and effort and vis it might take to create enchanted parchment such that one could bind pages into a book that would, on command, replay the display he had given to us in the council chamber today. Alas, it is much too costly to do at present. Instead, I shall write a Tractatus during autumn of this year to present his findings and put them into context with supporting explanations from the theory of magic. I shall leave some pages blank in the hope that magical images may be added later. Council has agreed that the composition of this important record will count as service.
We went on to consider what we might do in order to try and ensure that there is a faerie aura over the village and fields at mid-winter. Without the field fae at the feast, it has become more of a duty than a pleasure to attend. While I myself always took care not to drink much of the wine once the fae had tampered with it, and some of the excesses of bawdy behaviour amongst the peasantry brought on by drinking the wine were quite unpleasant, it did bring us some very interesting visitors to the high table, and the Muto vis we distilled from the dregs was as welcome as the vis gifts brought by Hermetic visitors. Also, there have, of course, been no fae-touched baby girls born for a couple of years now. This may not be entirely a bad thing. The oldest of them is still hardly old enough to be taught anything useful, and there are so many of them all requiring special attention at once. None have as yet manifested any interesting or useful talents or abilities to distinguish them from any other little girls. And how we are to find husbands for them all in years to come, I cannot imagine. Anyway, Joach, Speculor and I would be glad to find a way of making the village at mid-winter attractive to the fae, and we will try to find a way to bring this about. My first attempt will be to try and get the priest to say Mass somewhere else during the weeks leading up to the winter solstice, and I think I shall start by asking for Constantine's help in persuading him.
I have been out most of the day. I was at first reluctant to leave my studies, as this book on Animal is very well written and proving more enjoyable than I anticipated. Indeed, it is rather a pity that the excellence of the presentation is applied to a relatively unimportant subject. I was persuaded to leave it for a short while by Speculor. I am not at all sure that Iuris Perita would approve of what he has done or what I have done to assist him, but by the time she finds out it will be too late. The Lady Galliene of St. Eloi used to be a servant of some sort to Speculor and he has a soft spot for her still. At her request, he has been hunting around St. Eloi to see if he could find any trace there of silver in the rocks. The only reason I have heard why they want silver is to pay for paintings in the church at Ploeuc like the ones we have at Caribet. While Speculor would, I am sure, be very careful to avoid any hint of interference in Church affairs, I can see that he would be attracted to something that makes use of images. This does not explain his actions satisfactorily to me. I was worried that he might draw too much attention to himself if I did not agree to help him out once he had found a potential source of silver in the rock at the side of a valley. It should have been quite easy for me to cast a Rego Terram spell to cause a large part of the side of the valley to slump down as if it was a natural land slide. I thought for a moment that it was going to move the wrong way so as not to look natural, but it collapsed into the valley bottom as I hoped. Now the silver-bearing rock is exposed, Speculor assures me that he will use no more magic there.
Jimena tells me that she has been to the manor in St. Eloi to assist at the delivery of a baby boy. Sir Yves has an heir now, which should please him and Sir Achilles. They are to name the child after Achilles, which is proper and predictable. She also said something about the parish priest at Ploeuc, who also serves St. Eloi, and how he has a sadly mistaken view of us. It seems he is not convinced that we are reputable scholars. I do not think this matters much, as long as he keeps his misapprehensions to himself.
In hopes that it is the magic acorn that brought about the string faerie aura over the village at mid-summer, I have today transferred one pawn of Herbam vis from one of the golden acorns we harvested from Quercus' oak into the acorn cup, so that a second magical acorn will develop ready for planting before autumn is over. I am optimistic that the effect will strengthen with each acorn we plant so that the faerie aura will endure longer.
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