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The Celebrants' Circle
- "Sorcerers? Nah. A self-respecting sorcerer would never have made the Spirit-Lashing Ward within ten feet of the Ghost-Striking Diagram. I'm convinced this stupid group has no idea what it's doing, and is therefore not worth my trouble. Honestly. Are they trying to attract spirits of discord?"
- ~ Black Lark's Song, thaumaturge, hired to examine the abandoned headquarters of the Celebrants' Circle
- "By all the gods, what in the world happened to her entr -- oh, there they are ...."
- ~ a mercenary in Radiant Spear's company
The Celebrants' Circle is one of those few secret societies whose membership has remained unknown, even after the society itself was discovered. Soon after the Great Nexus Fire burned down most of the city, leaving Brookside untouched, the neighbourhood experienced an unexpected surge in property values -- the inhabitants of the city had seen just what fire could do, and there was an eager migration to places considered safe. Habit, however, proved stronger than the instinct for security, and most of those who migrated to Brookside left when they became impatient with its lack of proximity to the city's centre and major neighbourhoods. Still, for a short time it experienced a renaissance, and that was when -- in a previously unknown and neglected building -- the headquarters of the Celebrants' Circle were discovered.
It was a small, rickety, rundown place, with little to see save on the top floor. There, in an airy studio with grimy windows, were found no fewer than three altars, stained with the blood of minor sacrifices and wreathed in flowers and herbs. Magical diagrams crisscrossed the floor, and one book of occult significance was discovered (a minor treatise on spirits). There was an unsigned letter left folded within the tome, addressed to one Avid Amber, that discoursed on the blessings that could be had from a god of the forge. From all this, it was gathered that the Celebrants' Circle is devoted to something to do with magic, and probably with spirits, and possibly with evil and wicked sorceries of doom; but no one really knows what it is, how long it has been in existence, or who participates in its strange rites.
It is known that it still exists, though -- for now that the society is no longer a secret, the Celebrants' Circle has occasionally done public things by means of hired intermediaries and unsigned messages. For example, their petitions to the Council of Entities regarding the Shrine of the Forgotten were always discovered on the relevant secretaries' desks early in the morning, with no evidence of who brought them. These petitions were well-reasoned and polite, asking only that the gods of the Shrine not be deprived of their proper worship; after the Council wholly ignored no fewer than three such requests, the Circle stopped sending them.
These days, few attempt to discover the Circle's membership or purpose. The Council of Entities had several thaumaturges and other magical beings examine the site when it was found so long ago, but they reported no traces of demonic or otherwise "evil" Essence -- merely, they said, life-Essence with a particular tendency towards creation and growth. This apparently satisfied the Council, which has put forth no further investigation; and the people of Nexus soon settled down and largely forgot it as well.
Perhaps the Circle is composed entirely of crackpots; if so, most agree that it's not worth bothering with. If it's made up of sane men and women, well, fine for them -- but your average good and honest Nexus citizen (or something) knows that meddling with Strange Forces leads to a bad end more often than not. And whatever it is that the Circle actually does, it seems clear that there is some form of meddling going on.
- The Shrine of the Forgotten is actually the grave site of a legendary hero, and for some reason the Emissary wishes to disturb the hero's ghost. The Circle is composed of the last of the hero's descendants, worshipping his memory and trying to make sure that his remains are properly honoured.
- The Celebrants' Circle is a tiny branch of the Cult of the Illuminated, made up of their greatest and most potent savants.
- The scandalous activities over at the Stone Pine Marsh have everything to do with the Celebrant's Circle. Victrola Flardun was the head of the Circle herself, and it's in total disarray at her loss.
The true purpose of the Celebrants' Circle is that of resurrecting antique and forgotten gods; its core consists of scholars and thaumaturges, but there are over two hundred members and a good portion of them are just smart, ambitious people. Many members are motivated less by conviction or faith than by the knowledge that such gods, when returned from obscurity, are frequently extremely grateful to those who brought them back. (The favour of a god, even a minor one, is no small thing, and can often raise one from rags to riches -- or do better.) They seek to uncover old altars and worship at neglected temples, and sometimes intervene to try to save cults that are not quite dead, but dying. The members have only recently realized the danger of fooling about with such powers; Radiant Spear, a renowned mercenary leader and member for years, was found dead recently in very horrible and public circumstances, with the emblem of the Circle sliced into her forehead. Circle leaders believe that this happened because the ancient rival of a god that she was attempting to revive noticed her actions and took offense. What effect this new knowledge -- and warning -- will have on the society remains to be seen.
Hey, I was really tired ::looks ashamed:: when I read this, and I accidentally read the secret. :( I'm sorry. - Morpheus
- Aww. It's okay. The secret isn't that important. Just treat the secret I have here as another rumour.