Silva Media Nocte

Silva Media Nocte ('the Grove of Midnight') is a hermetic covenant in the Hibernian Tribunal. It is situated near Tara Hill, which bears the Stone of Destiny where the high kings of Ireland were crowned. While the Hibernian praeco resides elsewhere, the Grove is home to the Tribunal's presiding quaesitor, who has been unable to travel for some years. That, and its central location, make it the current meeting place of the Tribunal.

Location

Close to the Stone of Destiny, there lies a barrow known as Dumha na nGiall ('the Mound of the Hostages'). The barrow features a stone-lined passageway leading several yards into the mound. The passageway faces directly east, allowing the sun to shine in on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. It also functions as the entrance to two different regios.

The Grove of Dawn

Normally, an explorer entering the passageway would find themselves led to a faerie regio, known locally as the Grove of Dawn. Inside the regio, the mound appears to enclose a vast space filled with tall, majestic trees. The ceiling appears very distant, and glowing like the night sky immediately before sunrise.

The Grove is inhabited by a variety of faerie creatures, though noble faeries are almost unknown. This changes at certain times of the year, when the court of a great satyr claiming to be the Faerie King of Meadh arrives, bringing with it bacchanalian revelry that can last for days, before disappearing as quickly as it arrived.

The Grove of Midnight

Should an explorer enter the regio during an equinox, however, they would find themselves in the magical regio of the Grove of Midnight. This appears very much like the faerie regio, though the night sky is dark. The moon dominates the sky, swollen to five times its normal magnitude. Because of this, many details can be observed on the moon's surface that would escape a more terrestrial observer.

While the Grove of Midnight is not normally directly accessible from the mundane world, it can be left via a path lined by standing stones. As the traveller progresses down the path, the stones merge until they become the solid stone lining of the passageway. Such a traveller can return via the Grove of Dawn, in which three faerie frogs hold the secret to making a draught that makes the imbiber experience visions (sometimes sweet, sometimes frightening) before falling into a deep sleep. When the sleeper awakens, the 'sun' has set, leaving them in the Grove of Midnight. Not even the covenant's magi can say whether the faerie draught itself transports travellers across the regio boundary, or whether the faeries use some other power to achieve the effect.

The Groves are one of the few known examples of faerie and magical regios coexisting so closely. This has drawn several magi of House Merinita interested in studying the interaction between the Magical and Faerie realms.

Inhabitants

Notable inhabitants of Silva Media Nocte include:

  • Bramman ex Merinita, Pontifex of the covenant and frequent guest at the table of the Faerie King of Meadh
  • Inkyrius ex Criamon, the presiding quaesitor of the Hibernian Tribunal, who lost his legs some years ago and now moves around with the aid of an enchanted chair.
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