The Arzhela Campaign
A Detailed History of the Circle
The Sacred Circle of Six is a cabalist organization of wizards, those who interact with the Numenera as arcanists and perpetuate the obfuscation of the workings of the ancients and the power they derive from them.
The Sacred Circle was incepted when eight wizards each came into the possession of a shard of a single powerful artifact. In searching for the other shards, each found the other eight wizards. Initially they bordered upon mutual destruction but one of the most powerful among them, a man named Axudrias, proposed an alternative. Axudrias suggested that instead of potentially destroying each other and the artifact in the course of their fighting, that these wizards should each compete to determine what the exact nature of the artifact was. The first to discover the truth of its original design would be declared its true holder. All but one of the nine agreed to the challenge. The wizard Humiar refused to join in the pact of non-violence and absconded to a secret location.
Some years after the creation of the pact, the wizard Fyni asserted that he had discovered the truth of the artifact’s design but before he could reveal his discovery, Humiar was upon him. The foul wizard had been secretly spying on those who had joined in the pact, building power and waiting for the moment when one had discovered the device’s function before striking to kill all of them. Humiar murdered Fyni and stole his design for the artifact. Next he attacked Axudrias, and left him nearly for dead, but the others of the pact joined in defense of Axudrias and together they killed Humiar. Fyni’s designs were lost in the battle, but the other six in their victory over Humiar conjoined to discuss what Fyni’s discovery could have been. In doing so they exchanged their independent discoveries made over the course of the years, and found power and new discoveries in their conversations, though none was able to guess at what had been lost in the battle. After this the wizards determined to convene yearly to share what knowledge they had gained, if not about the artifact, at least about the other aspects of the Numenera and of magic. They forged a chamber out of the location where they supposed the artifact to have originated from and there they entombed the shards of the artifact that had been held by Fyni and Humiar alongside Fyni’s body.
Eventually it became evident that none of the original wizards would discover the truth of the artifact in their lifetimes and so each took on an apprentice. Thus began a great line of master and apprenticeship that for a time brewed some of the most powerful wizards the land had ever known. The Sacred Circle came to rule the land for hundreds of year, but when the new gods began to appear they were driven underground by persecution and threat from a great power, as well their need to keep knowledge of the artifact hidden from the deities.
During the course of their reign, each lineage of the Circle became associated with a creature that represents the common traits of its members.
Axudrias’s lineage became known as the Xi-Drake Line. Wizards of the Xi-Drake lineage are known for their intelligence, logic, dedication, and honesty. During the ruling era of the Circle they often opposed the choices of the Sarrak which were commonly oppressive and exploitive.
The Sarrak line is known for members who seek control above all else. This lineage was often in primary command during the ruling days of the Circle, and although the Circle has been removed from power, the Sarrak have continued to sit on the ruling council in secrecy.
The Varakith lineage is known for its foul tempered and dangerous wizards. They have never broken the pact but the other lines are always watching, waiting for the day that one of the insane Varakith can no longer contain their bloodlust. They are also the only ones of the Circle to dabble in necromancy. The Varakith apprentice must challenge and defeat his master in order to ascend in the lineage.
The Seski lineage is so called because of their absolute devotion to the Circle. Of course throughout the ages their have been those wizards who have broken the Codes of the Circle but never once has it been a Seski. In fact they often act as the enforcers of those codes and since the fall of the Circle to Arslahan they have also acted as protectors of the Circle, often working in tandem with the Spiders to ensure that it remains hidden.
The Spider line houses secretive and chemically oriented wizards. Members of this line will moonlight as assassins who may even still be hired by the noble houses of the land. It is said they have a generations long alliance with the Sarrak. Additionally, the Spider lineage is the only one in which a master will take multiple apprentices. A single master will take seven apprentices, and when the master dies, an assassin war breaks out between the apprentices to see who will become the next master. Whoever lives claims the title.
The Nevajin wizards of the Circle are not truly a lineage at all. Rather,the second master of this lineage discovered a secret to if not immortality, significantly lengthened life. He shared the secret with his apprentice and now they work together as equals, taking no further apprentices. They are the wizards of the Circle most focused on discovering the secret of the artifact.