Entry in the 2006 Nexus Organizations Contest.
"Once I wore robes of white,
But now I’ve seen
That Krynn cries for a champion
To make her green
Tempered by sorrow,
I’ve learned a new knack;
Know that Finkle, now of Green Robes,
Has finally come back!"
The story of the Circle of the Living Krynn actually begins with Finkle of the Green Robes. After his reappearance on the Plains of Dust, Finkle spent some time traveling in the Plains of Dust around Duntollik before moving north; all the while preaching his quasi-religion to any who would listen, and using his sorcerous powers to help the land. Occasionally Finkle would take on an apprentice and 412 AC he met a young Lemish woman named, Meriette Freyorn.
Meriette was a mystic naturally gifted with the ability to see and communicate with spirits. Although he could not train her to use her mystic abilities, he did find a devoted pupil in his desire to make Krynn green. Meriette hung on every word that Finkle spoke aside from the parts about it being "Solinari’s will". She truly took Finkle’s message to heart and firmly believed that it was not Solinari, but Krynn herself that not only provided her abilities and those of Finkle, but also provided everything people of the world would ever need. Eventually Finkle moved on. Meriette stayed behind and began to gather like minded souls who would work to make Krynn green.
Meriette set up a small commune in the Southern Darkwoods near Caermish. One of her first pupils was a young woman named Charyss Whitemantle. Charyss was a talented plant mystic and completely devoted to the ideals espoused by Finkle and Meriette. Over time eleven other women would travel to the commune seeking to learn from Meriette. Things went on like this for months. Unfortunately Lord Tyrian heard about the commune and sent his goons to break it up.
The lord of Lemish had sent several envoys to the commune in the past demanding payment for the right to practice religion and magic in Lemish. His envoys were rebuffed. Lord Tyrian vowed to crush the commune as an example to other religious groups. He would have no religions in Lemish other than those he sanctioned (and that paid him a hefty fee for allowing them the privilege). He ordered a detachment of the Lemishite Guard to raze the commune and put the women to the torch.
Fortunately for the Circle, one of their members was a sorceress with the ability to predict events. Lydia Stromwell of Walmish saw the approach of the guardsmen in a vision and immediately informed Meriette. Gathering up what they could carry, the women fled into the night. When the guardsmen arrived the commune had already been deserted. They dutifully razed the commune, though were unable to complete their task, much to the ire of Lord Tyrian.
For many years the Circle of the Living Krynn lived a nomadic existence, moving from place to place. The group never stayed long in any area. After a few months of living in an area one of two things would happen. One, the townspeople would be whipped into a frenzied mob by some fanatic who either desired one of the women and couldn’t have her, or felt that their group was blasphemous and sought to stamp it out. Two, agents of Lord Tyrian would discover the group and seek to return them to the less than tender mercy of the cruel Lord of Lemish. Neither of the options encouraged long term residence in an area.
The Circle of the Living Krynn nearly broke apart during the four years leading up to the War of Souls when magic was being drained. It was only the leadership of Meriette that kept the group together and even then some members departed. Thanks to her ability to see spirits (even without magic) Meriette was able to inform her sisters in the Circle about the spirits of the dead draining their magic. Meriette and those that stayed with the Circle were steadfast in their belief that Krynn would provide. Their faith was rewarded when magic returned at the end of the War of Souls.
Nearly a year after the War of Souls the Circle of the Living Krynn relocated to Palanthas; possibly the most progressive city on Ansalon. Meriette used most of the Circle’s remaining wealth to purchase a manor house said by many to be haunted. She and her group amazed the population by conducting a séance and cleansing the house of the lingering spirits within. Shortly thereafter Meriette made the decision for full visibility of the Circle of the Living Krynn, reasoning that people would be less apt to fear the group if they knew more about it. Meriette made it clear, via several articles in the Palanthas Herald that their Circle was always open and even went so far as to invite people to attend events. The Circle even opened a mystic shop operated right out of Winegaard Manor. So far the strategy seems to be working.
"Krynn cries out for a champion to make her green. Trust in the world; she will provide all that we need."
This is the main goal of the Circle of the Living Krynn. They seek out areas of the world that have been harmed and attempt to restore them. The Circle makes good use of circle magic to increase their abilities and allow them to pull off things that can only be described as miracles; such as cleansing the long haunted Winegaard Manor.
One of the things that initially drew the Circle of the Living Krynn to Palanthas is the presence of the Shoikan Grove. Even though the Tower of High Sorcery is no long there, the Grove persists. Even now the Circle is making plans to heal the blight that is the Shoikan Grove and return it to its original state.
Headquarters/Areas of Influence
The Circle of the Living Krynn currently resides in the city of Palanthas, in Winegaard Manor, an old manor house they cleansed of the spirits that had infested it for centuries. They have traveled all over Solamnia, never staying long in any one place.
The Circle of the Living Krynn is led by a Witch Priestess, a role currently filled by Meriette Freyorn (female civilized human Spiritualism mystic 6/witch priestess 4), though all members may freely speak their minds and expect the Witch Priestess to consider their words. It is widely known that Charyss is being groomed to take over when Meriette steps down.
The Circle of the Living Krynn respects anyone with a deep reverence for nature and the desire to live in harmony with it. They venerate all of the gods, including the gods of evil; seeing each as performing a necessary role in the cycle of life. The gods of good encourage growth, the gods of balance ensure the continuance of what is, and the gods of evil bring decay allowing new life to spring forth. Although they venerate the gods; they Circle worships Krynn directly.
Lord Tyrian of Lemish is the main enemy of the Circle of the Living Krynn. He longs to find and slay the members of the Circle of the Living Krynn, especially Meriette Freyorn. Anytime he hears of the Circle of the Living Krynn, he dispatches bounty hunters for the express purpose of capturing Meriette and returning her to him. He leaves it up to the bounty hunters to decide what to do with others found in her company.
Currently the Circle numbers 13 members. Over the years, old members have departed and new members have taken up the call of Krynn. All of the group’s members are currently female and have been since the group’s formation. The Circle does not discriminate against men; however none of them have joined as yet. Since taking up residence in Palanthas, the Circle has been more open with the populace. Meriette figured rightly that people fear what they don’t understand. By allowing people open access to Circle’s activities, it had considerably diminished fear of the group.
There is no specific form of dress for the group outside ritual. Inside the ritual space, the Circle members disrobe, believing it opens a clearer channel to the voice of Krynn. This may be disturbing the first time an outsider witnesses it, and has resulted in angry mobs in more traditional societies.
Joining the Organization
To join the organization one simply approaches a member of the Circle and asks them to sponsor her. The member then conducts a lengthy interview to determine the petitioner’s reasons for wanting to join. If the circle member deems the petitioner worthy she is accepted for the probationary period of one year. During this year the petitioner is expected to reside with the group and learn the lessons they have to teach her. One day, after the end of this year, a ritual is conducted in which the petitioner is either accepted into the group (if she has mastered the lessons and theology of the group) or is given her release.
Costs and Benefits of Membership
It costs nothing to join the Circle of the Living Krynn, though circle members are expected to share what they have with the other members. Being a member of the Circle of the living Krynn is like being part of a family. All that a member needs is provided; including food, shelter, protection, and companionship. To stand against one circle member is to stand against them all; as long as the member remains true to the Living Krynn.
Acts of violence against the natural world, coveting things needed by another member or the group as a whole, betraying the circle to its enemies, and other such activities result in expulsion from the Circle and being considered "dead" by the remaining members.