The Keys of Solomon
The magi spend the summer doing research and discussing their future plans. The result of reading through the Keys of Solomon is that though it teaches a form of Divine Magic, it is probably not much use now that God has gone away.
Letters are sent to Benzigotrin ex Criamon at Doissetep covenant, to find out whether he has recovered from investigating the elemental stone, and to Isabelle Stabilis ex Jerbiton to see if she has any further news on what is going on.
The Redcaps bring a letter for Quaesitor Columbanus from the Bishop Fulk of Pavia, who has been a long term friend of the magus. It mostly contains bad news, but contains some interesting information.
My dear friend Columbanus,
Despite all that has gone before, I have always held out hope that things could get better. But now most of that hope has gone, and I fear that God has truly left us forever. The influence of Hell grows almost daily, and now walks openly amongst us, not even pretending to hide its nature. I fear that this may be the last letter that I will be able to send you. The Pope has begun the purging of his enemies through the cover of his ‘Inquisition’, and our Diocese is undoubtedly on his list.
It would appear that the Arch Mage Ameritus is but another pawn of Hell, and he stands beside the Pope along with Adalricus Ambrosius. Together, they seek out those who would oppose the New Order, and remove them. However, it seems that even the powers of Hell have things to fear, for there are rumours of another power that gives them pause. Its agents move amongst us like shadows, mostly unseen and unheard. What they seek is unknown, but they seem to seek it west of the Pyrenees.
So far, their master goes nameless, though many labels have been applied to him. The Bad God has been used, or the Blind One, or even the Fool. I saw a seal once, used by a monk in the Vatican. It was a lion in a serpent, with Coptic writings upon it, and gave the monk access to parts of the Vatican library none are normally permitted to enter. Later, a colleague said that this was one of the dark agents that so terrified our new masters.
It seems that they have requested all the Coptic writings from the library. It is an ancient form of text, a mixture of Greek and Egyptian I believe, and used by some early Christian sects. Why they seek it I don’t know, but writings in that language seem to be important to them. Regardless, they have taken everything that the Vatican had. Whether they wish to deny it to others, or need it themselves, I cannot say.
Even in the deepest darkness though, some still hope for light. Myself, my hope has been extinguished, but others say that the return of Christ that was spoken of in these last few years is true. There has been a prophecy (there are always prophecies, especially in times like these) that Christ will return with the Mother of Kings and illuminate the darkness. Christ will need to be quick though, for the prophets say that we do not have much time left. Without a God though, I do wonder where they are getting their prophecies from.
I do not think I will live to see the End though, however it turns out. We have not been quick to follow the Vatican’s demands where they have conflicted with the Gospels, and I expect his Inquisitors to arrive any day now. Regardless of what lays beyond now for me, I hope that I have lived how Christ would have wanted.
May you find something to light your way,
The Most Rev. Fulk Bishop of Pavia