To those living in the wilds, along the fringes of the so called civilized lands, tales of the Great Circle are nothing new. Although each land has its own twist in the telling, its own wrinkle in the cloth, the Great Circle has a home on each of the great continents of Urth. In Haelos, legends grow of a being known as the Green Lady, a living embodiment of the continent itself. In Pan Orda, one cannot help but hear whispers of the fearsome Thorned Prince. Dreams of the beautiful Twin Flowers come to the Mindori beyond the Shimmering Spires. The peoples of the changing lands of Kentogen speak of Many Skies whose leaves blow on the Changewinds. In Koth, only the longest lived of the elfin people still speak of the legendary Knotted King, first of the great trees whose roots run through many realms. These beings of power and prestige are but some of the legends entwined in this tale.
Ancient lore holds that the Great Beasts and the ancient Spirit Totems joined forces with fae under the Green Throne to form this powerful alliance. Some call the Green Throne the ninth realm or the ninth court. Across the Urth, People of the Hides revere this mythical power through their bonds with the animals of their lands and the spirits they call upon. Among the Kentogeni, it is said that the lost Keepers serve this mythical organization as do the Orunum, the powerful animal spirits that wander the unseen lands. Even the kindari define themselves by their Enech, a spirit mark upon their face, which is said to denote their deep bond with certain natural spirits.
These are the immortal beings rumored to be members of the Great Circle:
It is said that the most powerful of the Green Fae are the Arboreans and the most powerful of the Arboreans are the Treants, mighty spirits of the forest that manifest in the trees themselves. The greatest of their number make up the Everwold, the eternal forest, watching and nurturing the living land and those spirits that call it home.
The Great Beasts
It is said that there are animals, so perfect in their form that they represent the purest physical specimen of that creature. The Great Beasts roam the untamed lands of Urth, keeping the line of their kin strong and defending the Green Lands.
The Ancient Spirits
It is said that there are animal spirits so old and wise, so powerful and pure, that they represent the very idea of the creature. Some know these beings as Totems. Be they the first animal spirits, the manifestation of a collective animal life force or something more, these beings reside in the realms of spirit, guiding and advising those that walk their path. There are different names for the realm of the Totems across the peoples of Urth, the most common being the Igohido of Kentogen, the Reveries of Mindor, the Endless Lands or simply the Unseen. Many debate whether the realm of the Ancient Spirits is in the lands of Nod or if the Endless Lands are in the Spirit Realms.
Not all members of the Great Circle are rumored to come from such powerful stock. Other tales are told of mortals that serve this legendary group.
The lines of Pastors are said to work closely with the Treants of the Great Circle, helping to care for the living lands and watching over the wondrous flora of Urth. Guides are believed to serve the Treants and Pastors, helping to protect the mythical Wolden, Dryads and other beings of power throughout the Green Lands. Tenders might be mystical farmers, cultivating, harvesting and guarding all of the greenlings.
Legends of Keepers are strong on Kentogen where it is said they once ruled over all of the Clades of Changelings in the times before. All of the lands have tales of mortals that work with the Great Beasts themselves and the fauna in their territory. Venerers are said to watch over the animal lords and ladies, scions of the Great Beasts and other creatures revered in the Green Lands. Tales tell that Swains serve as shepherds and alphas, guarding local herds and packs.
Perhaps the most is known about the enigmatic line of Speakers. The Kindari, the Errock and the People of the Hides each have stories of their clansmyn that work with the Ancient Spirits. The Mindori also speak of the creatures found in the Reverie during meditation and dreams. Among these people, it is said that the lines of Speakers communicate for the mighty Totems themselves, teaching, advising and aiding those that share their bond. Singers aid the incarnates, physical creatures that are said to channel the Unseen, while Minstrels foster the qualities of the spirits in man and beast alike, bringing both closer in the great Green.
The Guardians of Tribe
Members of the Tribe of the Moon say that their brethren who bear a green mark work closely with the Great Circle, helping to protect their secrets, treasures and members.
The Champions of Tribe
Ancient Tribe lore speaks of a mark given by Lunimar, the Green Lady or a being known as the Shaman. Tales tell of those who possess a gold outer crescent having the power to transform themselves into powerful creatures of the Green.
Why join the Great Circle?
- You believe that all life is undeniably linked together, from the plants of the green lands to the animals of the wilds to the mortals of the Urth and the spirits of the lands beyond.
- You have heard tales of the ancient Green Throne, the great power of nature, all but lost in the world today. You serve that ancient power and carry that lost memory.
- The Guild of Foresters is a poor reflection of the ancient powers that exist in the primeval places of Urth. Such forces are not to be bound to the will of Koth.
- Koth is monolithic, leaving no room for freedom, individuality or harmony. Other governments are too swept up in their wars to understand their own people and their relationship with the Urth itself.
- The mystery of the Green calls to you. Someone close to may claim to be of one of the great lines. Perhaps you encountered an unusual animal or even heard the voices of the green yourself.
Whispers about the Great Circle?
- Yes, there was once a great power known as the Green Throne. It was destroyed long ago, before the time of mortals. Those that now follow in its wake are little more than savages attempting to resurrect a dead power as their own.
- The Great Circle is ruled by powerful Fae that seek to invade our realm and take it as their own.
- Beware those who claim membership in this ‘organization’. They practice blood sacrifices, savage customs and fae magics. Supposedly the Boki follow this strange cult and look at the atrocities they commit! Remember the Green Fires?
- The Great Circle seeks to topple all of the governments of the Urth, plunging us back into the darkness of the times before.
- The Great Circle is a front for Kentogeni, Greenskins and Hidesmyn. They use it to recruit unsuspecting or uneducated citizens and shift blame for their activities.
Who’s Who in the Great Circle
According to hearthtales of the Lochlands, the ancient Lord of the Thornwold took the form of a crimson bloodthorn tree of immense size and power. As one of the Great Circle of Haelos, he stood tall beside the other treants, totems and great beasts of the greenlands for ages. Long ago, a conflict arose between the elves of the Wyldwold and the denizens of the Thornwold. It is said that Bloodroot rose up against his fellows in the Great Circle and waged a devastating war with the Night Troll Ru’Dath as his champion. Blood and rage swallowed health and harmony until the King of the Elves met the Night Troll in battle at Darkclaw. When the battle was done, both warriors fell. In the aftermath, the Circle rose up against Bloodroot and his Wold, cutting him down. But the orcs that rose from the ashes of the Thornwold, the Boki, weened on the sap of the bloodthorns themselves, grew fierce once more and brought the spirits of the strong and worthy to the living root. After so many years, it is said that the Thorned Rage once again speaks…
Kerryl Moonrunner (The Dark One)
Perhaps the most infamous Dark One to ever walk the Urth, Kerryl Moonrunner was banished by the Great Circle of Haelos many years ago for crimes too heinous to record for fear that others would emulate his actions. Dark Ones are beings that have been banished by the Great Circle, having their names and lives struck from all records, past, present and future, living and dead. Known now as “The Dark One”, he continues to accomplish feats of terrifying effect such as creating alpha Thropes, described as men who walk as beasts and beasts who walk as men, severing the connection of dryads from their liferoots without killing them, enslaving mortal, beast and wold to his will, incarnating local totems and even returning the dead to life.
A dwarf with strange hair, said to be like long needles of pine, and green markings wanders the Quills. Some know this dwarf as Greenbeard and among the People of the Hides he is a legend. Whispers speak of him as the Pastor of the Pines, a powerful leader of the Great Circle of Haelos. Many simply believe him to be a mad old dwarf that has ruined his locks through contact with some disease, alchemy or magic. Whatever the case, Greenbeard is known as a master of Alchemy, though his methods are a bit unconventional by Imperial standards, his results are as undeniable as they are strange. Rather than use glass, sponges or cysts, Greenbeard delivers his alchemy with pine cones. As a further testament to his abilities or madness, he appears to remain free in the heart of Rhahael. Some believe that Greenbeard is in league with Primal Goldeneye or one of his inner circle.
The Wild Prince
Rumors tell of a thrope with the power of a great beast. Kin that walk as beasts are nothing new, although rare in the Empire proper, many thropes walk in the living lands of Kentogen. Stories say that the Wild Prince is a Kin that holds the power of a great wolf of Haelos. His pack roams where it wills and he chooses only the strongest to join. Old ones say that the wolves that hunt with the Hunter in Green were once members of the Wild Prince’s pack.