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Posted by on 1998 Oct 26 |

Octa Speaks of the Circle’s Aims

(Crossing, Zoluren: 329 Dolefaren 355)

Octa Dias, the ancient Elothean – she claims 700 years – who leads the Circle, wandered into the Sand Spit tavern with Larnae Fenig acting as her guide. Seeing myself and Eileethan Silverchord holding up the counter, she proceeded to mumble about hunger.

After an introduction that included the purchase of a meal, members of the Circle – a group that holds ‘the Powers’ to be greater than our Thirteen, called by Octa ‘child gods’ – proceeded to meet, after a short argument where Octa’s grand-daughter, Kerenisa, walked out.

The conversation, conducted in rather vague terms and with much consultation to a broken mirror that seemed to reveal to Octa people who might be joined to the movement, was interrupted by a rather impetuous monk named Lochdonnan. Lochdonnan’s attempt at a religious dialog was a bit reversed – in an attempt to gain information, first he cried heresy and tried to provoke a show of force, then asked politely.

Me, I always thought you did that the other way around, but what do I know? My contribution was limited to suggesting that I’d rather not get in the middle, but since this was my favorite bar, I would. That and critiquing the debate in terms of artistic merit…

Eventually, the argument was settled by a brief bout of violence, and a few more shark’s eggs started Octa talking about the Circle and what they were.

The Circle worships immortal powers, as I said, and is a religious unit of thirteen members, although there can be "circles within circles within circles." Octa claims to only seek the one of thirteen, already filled, does "…not wish to make any more disbelieve in the child gods" whom Octa claims to be powerful mortals.

Octa herself is one of three survivors of a religious purge that took place twenty years after Lavinal’s Victory, where members were dragged to a killing field in Mer’Kresh, shackled to stakes and piles of wood beneath were set alight. She told of those who faith sustained while their hair, clothes and skin burned off… and of their deaths, when faith failed.

Seems to me the rings of scorched wood are symbolic of the three, mother, daughter and granddaughter, who lived through that fire.

The three who survived were brought to the Forest of Night by their enemies, and trapped inside of a tree, though the mage Sithsia had nothing to do with it.

This and a bit more came out when folks found the bar and started pouring on questions faster than a bard can pour down beer. Octa answered as many as she wished, though she’s got a sharp enough tongue, and the upside is that she claims no grand designs, no wish to usurp the Thirteen, no revolution – just the Circle, to worship in peace, although the Powers will protect those who join.

There was a bunch of questions about heresy thrown around, and her opinions were sure to rile a priest, but despite a sharp tongue and a worrisome grasp on the present, her words seem only to be of a different belief, not a need to bring it about by blood.

Bears watching, but don’t they all?