Circle of Jocelyne

I was looking for a new type of friend and/or enemy for a new campaign, and the Circle of Jocelyne developed over the course of a few weeks.

Circle of Jocelyne

The Circle of Jocelyne formed two thousand years before the first War of Rendelshod, the creation of a group of secular savants who eschewed the gods in pursuit of knowledge. The Circle secretly invited the most prominent intellectuals to join their group, which focused on amassing knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

Decade after decade, century after century, the Circle continued its mission of accumulating knowledge. Its libraries grew, expanded, and expanded again. Mindful of the losses that wars and turmoil produce, they built multiple fortified libraries and duplicated information against unexpected catastrophes, both natural and inflicted by sentient beings.

During the early centuries, the Circle made numerous attempts to shape governments by sharing knowledge with carefully selected leaders. Although the effort was somewhat successful, all too often a formerly well-grounded leader was seduced by power or a need to impose their will on others for the others’ own good. After a number of spectacularly ugly failures, one which resulted in the destruction of a Circle library, the Circle withdrew from politics and focused on its core mission.

Remaining hidden, the Circle was very rarely known by anyone outside of its membership, and was considered a legend more than anything real. They avoided politics and focused on expanding knowledge, including mundane and magical research.

However, time proved to be the one enemy they could not avoid or defeat. As each member aged and died, their accumulated individual knowledge and experience was lost. While information was saved and protected, the experience in research and using that knowledge was lost. Some magics could extend life a few score of years, but that merely delayed the inevitable.

The Circle expended tremendous effort to investigate many avenues for  extending life. Experiment after experiment failed, some tragically.

Among the worst of the failures, the Circle is  believed to have produced the first lichs. This effort proved to be simultaneously a great success and their most dismal disaster. The success was that it worked — those who survived the transition experienced an existence centuries longer than mortal life. However, the selfishness required to make the transition to undeath meant the survivors lost their belief in the in the Circle, and some actively opposed their former brethren. This resulted in hidden wars that lasted centuries.

Nearly twenty centuries of effort finally produced a suitable result — the fah’amiga.

Normal mortals would never accept the solution, but the mystics of the Circle found the result satisfactory.

Accepting that modifying their mortal bodies would not work, the Circle produced new bodies, a sphere about two feet in diameter with six many-jointed legs for movement. The body has a single eye, a small mouth, and four slender tentacles, each three feet in length and tipped with six slim “fingers”, tentacles a few inches long that allow delicate manipulation of objects.

At a point where a mystic’s natural body was failing, a fah’amiga would be created and the consciousness transferred to the new receptacle.

One caveat is that the recipient of the transfer must be a fairly powerful spell caster, as non-spell casters and those with insufficient power would either fail to transfer or the new body would die within hours.

Since the creation of the first fah’amiga, all members of the Circle focus part of their effort on developing enough magical power to enable them to survive the transfer.


Frequency very rare
No. Appearing 1d12
Armor Class 0
Move 240′
Hit Dice 9 to 16
% in Lair 25%
No. of Attacks 2
Damage/Attack 1d4, 1d4
Special Attacks spells, charm, chameleon-like
Special Defenses spells, regeneration, immune to poison
Magic Resistance Standard (see below)
Intelligence High to Supra-Genius
Alignment Neutral (Lawful)
Size M (5′ Tall)
Treasure varies

A fah’amiga has a spherical body roughly 2 feet in diameter. Six legs sprout from the top of the body, so that the body is suspended beneath them. The legs each have 7 omni-directional joints which are tipped in claws. They can move rapidly in even rough terrain, including half speed up near vertical surfaces. If a ceiling is sufficiently rough, they can move at quarter speed across the surface.

The body has a single eye about 3 inches in diameter, with infravision and ultravision to a range of 120 feet. A small mouth beneath the eye has teeth that resemble a human’s – they are omnivores, capable of digesting most plant and animal matter, and are immune to normal poisons and diseases.

The mouth is capable of forming sounds within and beyond the range of human vocal cords. However, they typically use a limited telepathy that allows them to communicate with creatures of Animal intelligence or greater to a range of 60 feet. If there is no common language between the fah’amiga and another creature, general feelings and emotions can be exchanged. A given fah’amiga may know 4d4 languages.

Fah’amiga are resistant to mind-affecting magics. With respect to such magics, treat them as having 25% magic resistance. If the resistance fails, they gain a saving throw against magics that normally allow none, and gain +4 on saves versus spells that do allow saves.

The body and legs are covered with an armor-like chitin that provides a very good defence against most weapons. If their eye is threatened, they will close the eyelid and use their telepathy on creatures in range to “see” around them, using the creatures’ eyes.

Their bodies regenerate, although they will be extremely hungry when recovering from damage. The rate of regeneration is 1 hp/turn and they will regrow lost body parts. Legs will regrow in 3d6 days as will the eye. The tentacles regrow in 1d4 days. Note that the loss of 2 legs will not appreciably slow movement, but the loss of a third leg will reduce movement to 50%.

Fah’Amiga avoid physical confrontations and prefer to avoid any type of fight. They will use their speed to disengage when possible, then spells, and finally using their claws as a last resort – in any round they may attack with two of their claws.

They have a chameleon-like ability to change color in 1 round so that most creatures will have a 1 in 12 chance of spotting an unmoving fah’amiga. Please note this depends on their surroundings and the light levels. In 2 rounds they can adjust their apparent body temperature to match their surroundings, effectively hiding them from infravision.

Each can cast Charm Person or Animal 3 times per day. This spell resembles the 2nd level druid spell Charm Person or Mammal, although it works on most creatures. Note: Creatures with a magic resistance of 5% or greater are immune. Affected creatures will treat the fah’amiga as a trusted friend or ally and will accede to most reasonable requests.

All fah’amiga are spell casters, using versions of common spells that require only verbal components. The most common type of ability is magic-user, and the least common is cleric or druid. It is believed that one or two gods whose sphere of influence is knowledge may support the Circle. Their clerics and/ or druids may be members but do not promote worship of their god within the membership.

The minimum level of spell casting ability is 9th level, and there is no known maximum. Given that the bodies are immortal unless killed by damage, many older members of the Circle are arch-mages and the like.


The Circle has many strongholds which they call “libraries”. Each Library resembles a mixture of fortress and mundane library. Built in remote places, Libraries are difficult to approach, a large part of their defense.

The center of each location is a collection of materials including samples of items (this part resembles a museum), scrolls, books, and Storage Crystals. Surrounding the collection are laboratories and research stations, and the remainder of the fortification is a small city.

The staff in a Library typically includes at least half-dozen fah’amiga and many dozen researchers and archivists. At least half of the researchers and archivists have some spell casting ability in all known areas, e.g., magic-users, illusionists, clerics, and the like.

The city part of a Library has everything a typical small city might have, with the exception of inns. Visitors are typically members of a different Library and either stay with friends or relatives, or use a dormitory maintained for visitors. All types of trades and skills are present, as are entertainment such as musicians and actors.

The Libraries stay in constant contact with each other, using magical means. It is common for the residents to visit other Libraries, also using magical means. This establishes a wider community and avoids inbreeding, both physically and mentally. In many cases, the residents of a Library have lived there for generations.

Note: Each Library has been imbued with magical protections. With the exception of a few carefully selected rooms, any type of translocation (Teleport, Dimension Door, etc.) fails to function, although the caster expends the spell. Tunneling spells such as Passwall also fail, and the entire library is cut off from the Ethereal Plane. Preparing a new Library can take a decade of magical preparation to establish the protections.

The Circle employs agents and scribes in many cities and larger towns. Their job is to acquire information and to copy it to scrolls, and many do not know they work for the Circle. The scrolls are taken to the Libraries, assembled into books (where appropriate) and most of it is transferred to Storage Crystals.

Storage Crystals

One goal of the Circle is that each Library contains copies of the materials in all other Libraries. In addition to books and scrolls, the the favored medium is Storage Crystals, small pieces of corundum about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Depending on the quality of the stone, one may store the equivalent of 1,000 to 10,000 pages of information.

A Storage Writer and the spell Storage Crystal Writer are used to embed information within a crystal. This device is a book-shaped translucent mineral about 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 2″ thick.

A Storage Reader is used to view the information on Storage Crystals. Each reader is a cube-shaped white mineral about 6 inches square with an indentation on the top. When a Storage Crystal is placed in the indentation, am image of the information in the crystal appears in the air above it and hand movements are used to page through books and roll/unroll scrolls. No magical ability is required to use a reader.


Over the eons, the Circle of Jocelyne has developed numerous enemies.


Most gods ignore the Circle, as the Circle does not interfere with how the gods’ devotees worship. The Circle never speaks against reverence of the gods; they simply ignore the gods and continue with their mission.

The exceptions to this are gods that abhor learning and knowledge – they may have a special hatred toward the Circle. These gods rarely have large groups of believers, but those small clusters often track down and destroy fah’amiga where possible.


The first lichs were created by the Circle, and as previously noted, rebelled against or actively opposed the Circle. While they caused significant short-term damage, the lichs are individuals with no organization, so as each lich was destroyed or lost its eventual battle with time, their fight died with them.

However, the writings of these early lichs survived and surface periodically. Some individual lichs and groups of undeath worshipers oppose the Circle, although their exact reasons for doing so are lost to the sands of time, e.g., they may not have a real understanding of why they oppose the Circle.

It should be noted that a tiny number of exceptional lichs are members of the Circle, although in all cases they passed into undeath before joining the Circle.

Splinter Groups

During the near 9,500 years since the end of the original Wars of Rendelshod, countless individuals and groups have left the Circle. The reasons for leaving are legion, although typically involve losing dedication to the mission, or they develop a desire to go in a direction different from the Circle.

The Circle may attempt to talk members into remaining, but once the decision is made, the former members are allowed to leave in peace. The one condition is that those leaving must not opposed the Circle in any way.

Some leaving the Circle form their own groups. In general, the Circle leaves splinter groups alone as they fail in time, with only a handful lasting more than a century as the originators die off and their successors lose the flame of desire.

The secret of creating the fah’amiga is known by only a few and is carefully guarded; none with that knowledge are allowed to leave the Circle. Early failures in the search for extending life and dabbling in politics taught the Circle to protect certain secrets. Even the most dangerous groups will die off in the long term as the members die.

In general, the Circle ignores such groups as much as possible, since few pose a real danger, as judged by the Circle. However, some groups prove highly dangerous through arrogance, malevolence, or a thirst for power. These groups are destroyed without mercy.

The Tagata’Fili

The Tagata’Fili are leaders in the arenas of arrogance, malevolence, and a thirst for power.

This group firmly believes that they should not stand on the sidelines – they should lead civilization. Knowledge should be used to provide strong leadership for the weak, whose place is to support the strong.

They have worked for centuries to overthrow governments and place their puppets in leadership. They have been successful in some cases, and learn from their failures.

The one reason the Circle considers them a danger is that they have mastered the power of extending life. While they failed to acquire the secret of the fah’amiga, the founders had enough background knowledge to produce their own replacement bodies. The name of the group and the name for their replacement bodies are the same: Tagata’Fili.

Compared to the Circle, the Tagata’Fili is tiny, having at most a dozen full members at any time. Power struggles are relatively common and they prove to be their own worst enemy.

They typically have a single fortress, which is ruled with an iron fist by the strongest. Their arrangement resembles the Fah’Amiga, although it is a mockery. The researchers are not allowed to leave while alive, the guard complement is often charmed, and the support personnel are slaves.

Over the centuries the Circle has defeated and destroyed the Tagata’Fili numerous times, but like cockroaches, the group reappears eventually. Their writing are scattered and even when an instance of the Tagata’Fili is wiped out to the last man, a century or two later an overly ambitious person finds the writings and begins the cycle again.

The founders are long dead, but each new leadership proves deadly. The current leader is named Taita’ileaga, and she leads a group of about a dozen lieutenants.


Frequency very rare
No. Appearing 3d4
Armor Class 4
Move 150′
Hit Dice 5 to 14
% in Lair 25%
No. of Attacks 3 to 8
Damage/Attack 1d3 each
Special Attacks spells, charm
Special Defenses spells, regeneration, difficult to surprise
Magic Resistance Standard (see below)
Intelligence High to Supra-Genius
Alignment Neutral Evil
Size M (5′ Tall)
Treasure varies

The tagata’fili have a globular body something like that of the fah’amiga. However, all similarities end there. Three eyes are spaced around the center section of the globular body, allowing it to see in all directions. A human-sized mouth is below one of the eyes, and defines which direction is “front”. Like the fah’amiga they can digest most materials, although they do not have a resistance to poison.

Three thick walking tentacles, each about 3 feet long, support the body. An additional three to eight thinner tentacles are spaced around the top section of the body. Each sprouts from a large lump on the body and is 2 to 3 feet long, ending in a mouth full of sharp teeth. The lump contains a brain. These mouths can bite and speak, but are not for eating as they do not connect to the stomach.

The body and tentacles have a thick, rubbery skin that provides a good level of protection to the flesh beneath. They regenerate at a rate of 1 hp/turn and they will regrow lost body parts. Leg tentacles regrow in 3d6 days as will the eyes. The mouth tentacles do not regrow.

Like the fah’amiga, only a spell caster of at least 9th level can have their mind transferred into a tagata’fili. Lesser spell casters do not survive the transference and the body dies.

When a tagata’fili is created, it has 1 mouth tentacle. The mind of the recipient is transferred from their old body into the new one, entering the brain under that tentacle.

Within the next week the minds of up to two additional spell casters can be transferred to the body. Each addition adds another mouth tentacle, and the brain at the base contains the transferred mind. Each year another mind can be added, up to a maximum of eight.

While the first mind transferred must be a powerful spell caster, all subsequent additions will be a lesser spell caster, ranging from 3rd to 8th level.

The most powerful spell caster in the tagata’fili will be the dominant mind. It controls all others and will not permit a more powerful caster to be added to the gestalt.

The eyes spaced around the body make it difficult to surprise a tagata’fili, which is normally 1 in 12. Each tentacle mouth can bite, although only 3 mouths can attack a single opponent.

However, the true danger of a tagata’fili is its spell ability. Each mouth can cast 1 spell each round. Each mouth has its own spell list as it is the mind of a spell caster, so a given creature can cast numerous types of spells each round, including magic-user, illusionist, and cleric. Individually they are among the most dangerous of creatures.

Note that the destruction of a mouth tentacle kills the brain associated with it. If the master brain is killed, the next most powerful spell caster assumes control, although a span of 1d3 rounds is required for it to impose its dominance on the others.

New Spells

Storage Crystal Writer

Type Alteration
Level 1
Type Magic-User, Illusionist, Cleric, Druid
Casting Time 1 segment
Range Touch
Duration 10 rounds + 1 round/level
Area of Effect special
Components V, M
Saving Throw N/A

This spell copies information from a sheet, scroll, or book into a Storage Crystal, using a Storage Crystal Writer. The material components are the material(s) to be copied, a Storage Crystal, and a Storage Crystal Writer. None of the components are consumed in the casting.

The caster places the material to be copied on top of the Writer, inserts a Crystal in the slot on the side of the Writer, and casts the spell. It takes 10 seconds to copy the equivalent of a page into the Crystal, and as each page completes a faint chime is heard. The spell copies 6 pages per round up to the duration of the spell.

When the last page is copied the chime takes on a different, deeper tone. If the spell has duration remaining, a new item may be placed on top within 1 round. Note that the time used to place a new item on the Writer is part of the overall duration. If new materials are ready, this change takes only 10 seconds.

If the duration runs out before copying completes, the spell can be recast within 1 day and the copy will begin where it left off.

The caster must remain within 10 feet of the Writer, and is aware of how much of the item has been copied, how much space remains on the Crystal, and how much of the spell duration is left.

At any point the caster can stop copying and mentally command the Writer to remove any duplicates in the Crystal, and sort the contents, and produce a table of contents. This process requires 1 round for every 1,000 pages in the Crystal.

New Magic Items

Storage Crystals

Storage Crystals are small pieces of corundum that are enchanted to store written materials. Each crystal is formed into a rod about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch in diameter. One end is flat while the other is gently pointed. Depending on the quality of the stone, one may store the equivalent of 1,000 to 10,000 pages.

The construction and enchanting of these crystals is known only by the Circle of Jocelyne.

A Storage Writer and the spell Storage Crystal Writer are required to add information to a crystal.

Storage Writer

This item is used to embed information within a Storage Crystal. This device is a book-shaped translucent mineral about 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 2″ thick. One side has a hole about 3/4 inch deep in which the pointed end of a Storage Crystal may be placed. Materials to be copied are placed on top of the Writer and the spell Storage Crystal Writer copies 1 page or similarly sized section of scroll every 10 seconds until all material is entered.

Storage Reader

This item displays the information on Storage Crystals. A reader is a cube-shaped white mineral about 6 inches square with an indentation on the top. When a Storage Crystal is placed in the indentation, am image of the information in the crystal appears in the air above it. While the images cannot be touched, hand movements can be used to page through books and roll/unroll scrolls. No magical ability is required to use a reader.

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