Lore - Circle Orboros

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The Circle Orboros are an ancient order of druids dedicated to the Devourer Wurm, Caen's primordial god of chaos and the wild, destructive aspects of nature. They name this serpent Orboros. The blackclads have existed since before the rise of the earliest human civilizations, composed of people sensitive to the magic of the wild, and they channel this power in service of Orboros and themselves. Menoth—the great hunter, creator of humanity, and the god of civilization—is the ancient enemy of Orboros and hunts the Wurm across the spiritual world of Urcaen. The Circle believes that the inexorable spread of settled nations and industry has strengthened Menoth and weakened the Devourer. If this continues, Orboros may stir and return to wreak utter devastation on the world. Thus, they make war upon civilization itself and strive to preserve the wild spaces of Immoren.

Druids of the Circle display their natural magical talent while young. This wilding is an aptitude for wild magic and an affinity for nature. Largely the province of folklore in most of Immoren, such people are actively hunted in the Protectorate. The Circle always senses a wildling's awakening and attempts to abduct them, but this is not always possible. Druids with the proper affinity learn to control various natural beasts, the warpwolves (twisted creatures the Circle creates), and the stone-and-wood Wold constructs unique to their order. They also call upon the willing warriors of the Wolves of Orboros, humans living in wild areas with a long history of fighting for the Circle in return for protection, and the savage Tharn tribes. Once human worshipers of Orboros, the Tharn are now a race of shapeshifting, heart-eating barbarians capable of transforming into monsters.

The Circle opposes all human nations, seeing them as the agents of Menoth and destroyers of the wild. The blight of dragons is an unnatural power corrupting anything it touches, and thus they also hunt and kill the minions of dragons (Cryx and the Legion). The Circle sees the Skorne's mortitheurgy as little better than blight, arising as it does from the energies of death, and their civilization as no better than any other, making these two implacable enemies as well. Though the Circle manipulated their Trollblood "allies" for many years, the blackclads' ill-conceived assassination attempt on the upstart Chief Madrak Ironhide (to replace him with a more malleable chief) ended this association and also resulted in the death of some very senior druids. Ironhide subsequently declared war on the Circle. Now the druids find themselves beset on all sides, but they remain confident. Their order has survived untold millennia of upheaval. Now they will show all of Immoren why they should fear to go walking in the wilds.

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