To Tribune Boustaphan, Gigas.
Exploration of the Necropoli
As instructed, I have carried out a reconnaissance of the two sets of barrows located close to Nova Castra.
The Western Necropolis consists of 15 barrows, arranged regularly in a 3 x 5 block. The site has a magical aura of the second magnitude throughout. Many of the catacombs appear to have collapsed in on themselves, and the local plantlife is sparse and there are no apparent burrowing animals. The central barrow is covered in a strange grass, which Intellego Herbam revealed to be a single plant usually found in the Loch Leagan tribunal. I enclose a sample with my letter, which I believe should last as an arcane connection for several months. This barrow appears to have been the site of a considerable magical battle during the timeframe of the previous covenant, with considerable effort being put into trying to blow up the end of the hill.
The Eastern Necropolis is considerably larger, containing over a hundred barrows. The magic aura is predominently of the second magnitude, but varies in places and by time. I have located four key features of interest.
There is a faerie regio in one of the southern barrows, which can be entered by touching the light which sometimes emanates from the central coffins. Within the regio humans take on the appearence of a child, although this appears to just be an illusion. There are a number of "children" within the barrow, some of whom are ghosts and the others illusions cast over skeletons. The central fae is a puppetmaker and story-teller. Exiting the regio is a simple matter of passing into the shadow of a natural object. Mobile puppets appear to "live" in the barrow in the mundane world.
There is an infernal aura of the first magnitude at a spot in the north-eastern area of the barrows. Present at the spot is a hermetic device with an enchantment in in which detects when humans are present and then creates a warning message in Latin to attempt to scare them away. Underneath the device is a hole, and there are the tracks of mice sized creatures in the area. The local hills are less uniform in shape than in much of the rest of the necropolis, and one hill has a concave shape with carvings on it.
Towards the east side of the necropolis are five barrows radiating from a central point. At this centre is an unfinished barrow, containing an empty bier. The magic aura here is of the fourth magnitude. The tomb itself is around 1,500 years old. The floor of the bier is covered in carven runes, centred around the bier. I enclose a copy of the runes. Fray of Bonisagus, to whom I showed the runes, noted that the runes included Mercurian influences, but that these were peripheral to the main rune language. When I attempted to cast an Intellego Terram spell on the barrow to discover whether there was anything more to its structure, I instead received a vision of a grand statue inside a pentagonal room, each wall containing an archway guarded by a warrior. After the vision had faded, I noticed that one of the runes are glowing, and on closer examination appeared to be a runic representation of the completed building plans.[strike]Note that the room itself as it stands is square, so[/strike] I speculate that [strike]the pentagonal shape of the room with[/strike] the archways denotes some link to the five surrounding barrows - the walls as they currently stand do not have them. This theory is lent weight by the fact that my spellcasting attracted the attention of ghosts from the surrounding barrows. These ghosts questioned me as to whether their king has come, whom I assume to be the intended occupant on the bier. I intend to attempt to discover more information regarding this king; however tracing his body currently seems a difficult task, as there is no obvious arcane connection to use unless his gravesite should serve as one.
At the south [strike]east[/strike] west of the camp is a large barrow with a second magnitude aura. The barrow itself seems to be completely indisturbed, but contains a number of ornate sarcophagi. I attach a copy of the symbols I found on the sarcophagai. I experienced a premonition that disturbing a sarcophagus would result in the dead rising and actively resisting the invasion. Given the complete lack of disturbance of the tomb, I speculate that attempting to dig into the mound might also provoke either a reaction from its occupants or trigger a regio opening. The tomb itself appeared to be around 1,300 years old. There were no magic items apparent in the tomb.
As mentioned above, a new magus has arrived at the covenant named Fray of Bonisagus, from the Stonehenge tribunal. He is a specialist in Muto transformation magic, and has expressed an interest in taking commissions from the House. I have seen him cast such spells of his own design of sixth magnitude.