The Circle of Eight
The Circle was founded in 571 CY by Mordenkainen, from the remnants of the Citadel of Eight. The exact make-up of the eight has changed over time and has continued to remain somewhat of a secret to the general populace of the Flanaess.
Among the group’s original members were former Citadel member Bigby, as well as the wizards Bucknard, Drawmij, Leomund, Nystul, Otto, and Rary. In 574 CY, Leomund left to explore other planes of existence, and was replaced by former Citadel member Tenser.
In 576 CY, Otiluke, president of Greyhawk’s Society of Magi and member of the city’s Directing Oligarchy, joined the Circle. In 579 CY, Bucknard mysteriously disappeared, and was not replaced until 581 CY, when Jallarzi Sallivarian became the first woman to join the Circle of Eight.
Later in 581 CY, nearly six months after Jallarzi joined, the group met with tragedy when all its members, save Mordenkainen, were slain by Halmadar the Cruel, a former Shield Lands tyrant under the control of the fabled lich Vecna, who had somehow achieved godhood. Mordenkainen responded by assembling a group of adventurers to thwart Vecna’s plans, and was able to recover the remains of his allies and clone them. The cloning took some time, which could otherwise have been used to prevent the Greyhawk Wars.2
By 584 CY, the Circle was fully restored and working toward an end to the Greyhawk Wars. On the eve of the day when all parties involved were to sign the treaty bringing the wars to an end, Otiluke, Tenser, and Bigby discovered a plan by the Circle’s own Rary to slay all the assembled diplomats via a great magical trap. Unfortunately, Rary witnessed their discovery, and a great
magical battle ensued, resulting in the deaths of Otiluke and Tenser, and severely wounding Bigby, who was unable to pursue Rary as he escaped. Word later came that Rary’s allies, among them former Citadel member Lord Robilar, had ensured Tenser’s and Otiluke’s deaths by destroying every clone they had prepared for such an incident. Rary and Robilar fled to the Bright Desert, southeast of Greyhawk, where they established the Empire of the Bright Lands.3
By 586 CY, the Circle had returned to its full membership of eight plus one. Though Tenser had been returned to life, via a clone he had hidden on one of Oerth’s two moons, he had no desire to rejoin the Circle. In his, Rary’s, and Otiluke’s place stood Warnes Starcoat, Alhamazad the Wise, and the high elf Theodain Eriason, the Circle’s first non-human member.
Alhamazad the Wise
Bigby (is now a recluse)