Gendin’s Journal – Circle of Jocelyne

a page from the journal of Gendin, son of Arissa and Temone of the dwarven Clan Gilderlo

Author’s note: Continents such as Trivana are considered “worlds” by their inhabitants, while the world is referred to simply as GeKeb. The point of view of Gendin is limited by his people’s concept of the term world, and his understanding of what GeKeb is.

Circle of Jocelyne

February, 1444 AWR

My knowledge of the Circle of Jocelyne is mostly through my association with Pua, a Fah’Amiga, although I gleaned information from other Fah’Amiga, and from other sources that know of the Circle. Circle members are reticent to discuss some parts of their history, but I’m a skilled interrogator, and decades of association enabled me to pull together the facts I used for this journal entry.

Oddly enough, the Circle is not well known, although the organization has existed since before the First War of Rendelshod.

Where to start? This Circle of Jocelyne and the Fah’Amiga are an involved topic. I suppose it makes the most sense to start with their early history, the creation of the Fah’Amiga, and then recent history.

Note on calendars: None recall the calendar system used prior to the First War of Rendelshod, not even the gods. Certainly it was based upon some momentous occurrence, but I have found no record of it.

The term After the Sack of the Northern Kingdoms (ASNK) came into usage shortly after the first war ended with half the known gods destroyed and the Lords of Rendelshod losing to the demon lord Jxtl and condemned to unending undeath. Other worlds I have visited have (or had) similar calendars based upon this far reaching war of the gods, although these worlds are not familiar with Rendelshod and use other terms of meaning to them.

In the year 7926 ASNK, the god Patah used the Rod of Seven Parts to end the Second War of Rendelshod, and coincidentally, the Lords of Rendelshod reassembled and defeated Jxtl. Within a few decades the terminology After the Wars of Rendelshod (AWR) came into vogue, and ASNK fell into dis-use.

The current year 1444 AWR coincides with 9370 ASNK, although very few use that dating system.

Side note: Although I have no evidence to provide backing, I strongly suspect that the two efforts of the Lords of Rendelshod occurring along with the ends of the Wars of Rendelshod is no coincidence. Other worlds record auspicious events occurring simultaneously with the ending of the wars, so it feels strained to call this “coincidence”.


The Circle of Jocelyne, named for the founding archmage, was formed roughly two thousand years before the first War of Rendelshod, when the Lords of Rendelshod were a force of stabilization across Trivana. The organizers were scholars who eschewed worship of the gods of that time in favor of the pure pursuit of knowledge. The first goal was the accumulation and preservation of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. There was no political agenda, and the gods were ignored simply because they were a distraction from that primary goal.

A great Library was built in the northern foothills of Mount Thunder, and it was the sole location for the first few centuries. The Circle was secretive — not because of any nefarious reasons; they were pure scholars and wanted no distractions. As such the Circle was almost completely unknown.

The Circle employed agents in many cities, agents who often did not know who they really worked for. All types of knowledge and research results were funneled back to the Library, where a growing horde of scholars and researchers organized the information with respect to the already voluminous store. This consumed most of the manpower — only the finest scholars continued lines of research.

An unremembered war threatened the Library’s existence, so a new effort was undertaken — to replicate the Library so the loss of one to calamity or at the appendages of adversaries would not destroy their efforts. This took decades to accomplish, and every century (or so), another Library was created until a dozen existed. At first, all were in Trivana. Later they moved to other worlds to reduce the risk of loss. Destruction of one Library would little diminish the stored knowledge, and each Library had a secondary goal of ensuring all other Libraries had a copy of its information. A tertiary goal was the creation of new Libraries.

During this time each Library formed a city around itself, with all the professions and services any city would have, but focused around supporting the Library. Becoming a librarian or a researcher was the ultimate goal of most inhabitants, and the recipient of the most esteem.


While the originators were not political, later generations sought to shape and direct governments by sharing their knowledge. The scholars believed that carefully selected leaders could use that knowledge to benefit all citizens of each nation.

This plan initially worked as expected, as enlightened leaders used the Circle’s knowledge to forge political wins, and in most cases did exactly as the Circle forecast.

However, the benefits were realized only in the short term, as other leaders were seduced by power or their own need to impose their will upon others. There were several spectacular failures, including the complete destruction of the original Library.

This debacle caused the Circle to withdraw from politics the refocus on its primary mission. Unfortunately, unscrupulous leaders attacked known Library locations, and several Libraries had to be abandoned. The original Libraries were moved to remote locations, and all new Libraries were hidden.

Early Failures

The Circle leadership realized that its biggest obstacle was time. Regardless of what they accomplished, their members aged and died, and with them died the accumulated experience. Knowledge was preserved, but the experience was lost and transmitting that experience was, at best, imperfect.

The extension of life because an added focus of the Circle, consuming about half the available resources.

This produced benefits, including adding decades of extended good health to the shorter-lived members, such as humans. This was enjoyed by all members of the libraries, not just the librarians, researchers, and leadership. However, as beneficial as this was in general, it did little to solve the problem of loss of experienced members; it merely delayed the problem a few decades.

This line of research produced the first lichs. The effort proved to be both their greatest success to date, and their worst failure ever. The success was that it worked, extending the existence of those who “survived” the transition to undeath by centuries.

The failure was that the selfishness required to make the transition to undeath meant the survivors of the change mostly lost their belief in the Circle and its goals. Some simply departed, while others actively opposed their former brethren and this resulted in hidden wars that lasted centuries.

The Circle proved more resilient, and the original lichs eventually lost their battle with time. Unfortunately, enough lichs recorded the process used to translate themselves into undeath, and these writings survived them, so lichs and cults devoted to undeath have been an ongoing problem. None last long, as the Circle views time, but dealing with lichs and cults is an ongoing effort.


One line of research accepted that extending the lives of the original bodies had strong limitations, so one research group focused on creating new bodies of greater durability and longevity. Shortly before the first War of Rendelshod broke out, the first Fah’Amiga was created. Yes, this effort took the most part of two thousand years.

The Fah’Amiga have a spherical body about two feet in diameter, with six legs sprouting from the top, so the body is suspended. Each leg has seven omni-directional joints and is tipped in a single claw. They can move quickly in rough terrain, including half speed up vertical surfaces, and if the surface is rough enough, they can cling to ceilings.

There is a single eye about three inches in diameter that can see in light spectrums beyond that of dwarves and elves, and below it is a mouth that resembles a dwarve’s mouth. They are omnivorous and can digest most plant and animal matter, and are immune to most poisons and non-magical diseases.

Spaced around the body are four slender tentacles, about three feet in length, and each is tipped with six slim tentacles, each about three inches long. These resemble fingers and act in that capacity.

While the vocal cords can speak in normal tones, they have a limited telepathy that enables them to communicate with creatures of at least animal intelligence. If there is no common language, they can share images, emotions, and general feelings. The Fah’Amiga I have met all spoke at least ten languages.

Librarians and researchers train for decades to develop magical power — most study wizardry, although other disciplines are followed, and some few clerics and druids are members. For those who achieve name level, when they near the end of their natural lifespan, they undergo a process that migrates their consciousness into a newly created Fah’Amiga. The transference rarely fails, although when it does both bodies die. Even if the transference succeeds, the original body dies. It is a one way trip.

The Fah’Amiga are virtually immortal, immune to aging and disease, but susceptible to violent death and starvation. Their ability to survive on most organic matter makes starvation unlikely. The fact that their bodies and legs are armored protects them from violent attacks, while their rapid movement and magical powers (which vary by individuals), and highly trained survival skills avoid or defeat most dangers.

Having worked with Pua, the Fah’Amiga I associate with, I am used to their form. I cannot say I would want to spend eons in one, but for the Circle members, it is a avidly sought goal.

Pua is a relative youngster at six hundred (or so) years of age. That time is counted since her transference. She declines to speak of her original race, so I have no idea what her life span was prior to that.

I have met other Fah’Amiga who are thousands of years old. While I have not met them, a very few remember the chaotic years following the end of the first War of Rendelshod. To the best of my knowledge, none who became Fah’Amiga prior to the end of the First War of Rendelshod still live. It’s not spoken of, so I have no idea what caused their demise.

Enemies of the Circle

The Circle has numerous enemies, but short term and long term.


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

Unfortunately the writings of some of the early lichs survived, and have been propagated. Most current lichs have no knowledge of the Circle, but a few individuals and cults of undeath actively oppose the Circle. I find it interesting that most of these individuals and groups don’t know why the oppose the Circle.

Oddly enough, the Circle includes a few exceptional lichs, although all passed into undeath before becoming members.

Splinter Groups

The Circle has existed for over 11,000 years, and countless individuals have left the Circle. Why? The reasons are like grains of sand on a beach — loss of belief in the mission, desire to follow a different philosophy, and sometimes simple greed.

Those desiring to leave are counseled, but once the decision is made, the former members are allowed to leave peacefully. The only condition is that they may not disseminate information about the Circle, and they may not actively oppose it.

Inevitably, some form groups on their own. The Circle leaves splinter groups alone if they are peaceful. History shows that these groups fail in time, most fizzling within a decade, and very few lasting more than a century as the originators die and their successors lose the path.

One caveat — those who become Fah’Amiga are not allowed to leave. As part of the process, those qualifying to become Fah’Amiga are counseled that the transference binds them irrevocably to the Circle. Leaving the Circle is forbidden, and any attempting to do so are brought back or slain.

Note that since the first war of Rendelshod, only a select few Fah’Amiga know the create of creating their immortal bodies, so that secret is protected.

Without the secret of creating Fah’Amiga, all splinter groups fail with time. While the Circle ignores most splinter groups, a few that pose real danger (as the Circle sees it) are crushed without mercy. While the Circle considers itself from normal life, they claim a responsibility to see that their knowledge is not abused.

While this sounds very high minded, I suspect that the Circle acts to protect itself by preventing the formation of groups that can activity oppose it. They have one failure in that respect, the Tagata’Fili.

The Tagata’Fili

The Tagata’Fili are the roaches of the Circle’s world. No matter how badly they are crushed, some survive and rise up again later.

The mantra of the Tagata’Fili is that they, and they alone, are fit to rule all lesser beings. Their knowledge and power makes them the obvious ones to provide strong rulership for the weak, whose sole place in the universe is to serve their masters.

In some places they take control of governments directly, while in others they work in secret and place puppets in power. Eons of failures taught them hard lessons.

The one way in which the Tagata’Fili differ from all other splinter groups is they have mastered a method of extending life. While a far cry from the Fah’Amiga, their artificial bodies (called Tagata’Fili) live for centuries. While this puts them on par with lichs, their ability to work in groups makes them far more dangerous.

While the numbers of the Fah’Amiga are legion, the membership of the Tagata’Fili is tiny, roughly a dozen members at any time. Power struggles are common, and for the losers, the result is death. Tagata’Fili are their own worst enemy, for which I am thankful.

It is believed they have a single fortress, ruled by the strongest. Their situation is a mockery of the Fah’Amiga, resembling a very dark version of it. All inhabitants — researchers, guards, and workmen — are slaves. Once entering the fortress, the only way out is death.

The Circle has completed destroyed the Tagata’Fili numerous times, but as I said above, they eventually reappear. Sometimes a single member survives to rebuild, but often an ambitious and unscrupulous person finds their writings and makes their own version, beginning a new cycle.

Dealing with the Circle

Generally speaking, the members of the Circle are kindly and pleasant people. I have a long-standing association with Pua, and have met nearly a dozen others, and find them to be single-minded in their pursuits, but not offensive or unpleasant.

However, anyone who makes themselves an enemy of the Circle will find that the Circle rabidly protects its own. Active enemies will be destroyed, and they keep a watch on those they believe may be hostile.

As noted, their primary purpose is collecting and preserving knowledge. This includes the acquisition of unique artifacts, especially enchanted items. The Circle sees no difference between a typical item and one that most sentient races would call “evil”. The Circle will seek to acquire an evil item for study, while knowing that the item may be very dangerous.

Groups that seek evil items with the goal of destroying to sequestering them may find themselves at cross-purposes with the Circle. Such conflicts may turn violent, and the Circle will seek to slay any who seriously harm or kill their members, regardless if the Circle started the conflict or not. With respect to this, the Circle should be treated with caution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *