Circle of Eight

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This exceptionally powerful group is a political body of wizards who work to maintain a balance of power across the whole Flanaess, so that states can formulate heir own policies without interference or Fear of invasion and conquest by ourside Forces or empire-building neighbors.

In the mid-500s, a Wild Coast wizard named Mordenkainen quietly began to confer with several sorcerers in the Greyhawk area about the possibility of forming a group dedicated to the preservation of the Flanaess from external threats. This group became known as the Circle of Eight, an outgrowth of an earlier group of eight powerful individuals formed by Mordenkainen known as the Citadel of Eight, said to be headquartered in the Yatil Mountains at Mordenkainen’s retreat. A few of the members of the Circle of Eight have been publicly named, such as Bigby and Tenser. The latter was already a semiresident of the Domain of Greyhawk, as he had taken control of an ancient castle on the southern shore of the Nyr Dyv near the city. Two other mages known to have joined the Circle were Bucknard (who vanished in 579 CY and was later replaced by Jallan;) and the ancient mage Leomund, an immigrant from the east who retired from the Circle in 576 CY and has been little seen since. Otiluke replaced him later that year.

The reasons for the creation of the Circle of Eight were many. The Hierarchs presented a growing threat to the safety of the north, and their network of spies and assassins had to be defended against Equally troubling were a number of evil cults arising in supposedly safe areas such as Verbobonc and Furyondy; a continuing threat from the morally decayed but militarily overwhelming Great Kingdom and several power-mad wizards and priests of the time who saw Greyhawk (like Iuz before them) as a gem to be plucked for their own or shattered under their heels.

Mordenkainen and his two groups soon had notable results. They quietly directed, in part, the downfall of the Temple of Elemental Evil 569 ci in Verbobonc, foiled Iggliw’s conquest of Oerth in the 570s, disrupted plots of the Homed Society and Iuz, and puformed other deeds too numerous and sensitive to mention, often by arranging for adventurers to take up these causes as their own. A major consequence of this groups use of adventurers to investigate a certain area or perform a given task was a sudden boom in the exploration of the ancient cairns in the hills around Greyhawk, with the discovery of several new burial sites in the Abbor-Alz that were named the Star Cairns. Greyhawk Castle was again the scene of determined exploration by seekers of treasure and magic, and the City of Greyhawk saw a flood of would-be heroes fill its streets and taverns, spending wildly before they departed on their expeditions and returning (if they came back at all) with strange tales and bizarre threasure that drew even greater crowds. The seeking of treasure in Castle Greyhawk itself had unintended consequences. Iuz was suddenly freed from imprisonment in the dungeons under &gig’s old aide in 570 CY, to the great consternation of those in Greyhawk who saw the half-fiend briefly when he emerged. The entire Circle of Eight was slain by an agent of Vecna.

The famed Circle of Eight was re-formed in 586 CY, with the addition of the Umst archmage Wames Starcoat, an elderly Baklunish sorcerer from the Sultanate of Zeif, and - to everyone’s surprise - a powerful elven wizard from the Yeomanry.