In the 3rd Century AD, most of the Pantheons of Gods were in open warfare with each other. The Theoi were at the height of their power through the Roman Empire's expansion, and in open warfare with the Neter and the Aesir.
In the midst of this all-out war, the Great Sage and Druid Merlin allied himself with the Enlightened people called the Milesian and together they enacted the Concordat of Stonehenge with the help of the Illuminati and the Cabal.
With savvy alliances with Mythborn and Enlightened throughout the World, Merlin arranged for his allies to have the ear of most Kings and Emperors, holding a leash to stem the tide of bloodshed. Eventually, Merlin's greatest accomplishment was gaining the respect of the Gods themselves as a neutral party, and the drafting of the Concordat of Stonehenge setting the boundaries for Gods' influence in the World.
Merlin's network was however broken apart upon Merlin's disappearance, and forced underground by Godborns intent to ensure the Gods were the ones guiding humanity.
In the middle ages, the remains of the alliance became a united force, acting in the shadows, protecting mankind from hostile beings such as titanspawns. Hunting down abominations and defending the innocent wherever they went, what was to become the Circle of Merlin was not a fixed organization, travelling where they were needed on the threads of Fate.
When the industrial age hit, and with it the fall of the olden ways, druids and knights were forced to adapt. They began to expand and structure, meeting new cultures and other druids and knights from all over the world. In the great Council of 1897, all the Great Knights and Circle Elders assembled in Broceliande, the enchanted forest. There, they took a name honoring the one who originally led to them being brought together : Circle of Merlin.
Since then, the Circle has been active in many ways, from ecoterrorism to NGO’s, from peacekeeping forces to titanspawn hunting expeditions. It’s versatility and sheer number has made the organization particularly powerful and noticed for those who know how to connect the dots. Merlin was wise and powerful, and his organization is an extension of this power.
The Merlin is the leader of the Circle. When his time comes, he names a successor that becomes the new leader. The successor can be anyone from the Circle. He is however usually young and promising in terms of knowledge and magical affinity. However, ambition is a fatal flaw to any future Merlin and the successor usually does not expect it. Still human (not a Great Sage like the first Merlin), the current Merlin is no match for a God in raw power… though he has no fear of Godborns.
Merlin leads the Round Council, a gathering of 12 Great Knights and 20 Circle Elders. Each member has a say and all decision have to be made with at least 22 votes. Merlin himself has no votes but can veto any decision, except unanimous.
Even though this system might be the cause of dissension and intrigue in a typical human organization, the Circle of Merlin is so united that almost all its decision are unanimous. Merlin knows how to keep everyone happy, and constantly guides rather than leads. Make no mistakes, he controls the Circle very firmly, but his influence is gentle and subtle.
Circle Elders come from various ancient druid circles from many traditions. They are usually old and traditionalist, sometimes a few centuries old. Mostly druids, they worship nature in all its forms and usually lead a force of a hundred to a thousand druids. They form the backbone of the Circle of Merlin, managing its funds through the business of rare plants or food, guarding its forests and hiding its traces. They usually use Earth Invokation, Wyrdseeing, Necromancy, Shamanism, and sometimes some forms of Hematurgy. They are also the most proficient users of Kannagara(apart from mythborns). Recently, Technodruids have been actively trying to enter in the Circle of Merlin. Their progress-embracing ways have been seen as a threat to most members of the Round Council, but the recent ascension of Cernunnos, a vocal proponent of Technodruidism and a God in very good terms with the Circle, has given the sect a seat at the table.
Great Knights lead a small contingent of soldiers and warriors called Castles, divided in squires, knights and paladins to about a hundred strong. These organization are belligerent and form the armed hand of the Circle. Through vigorous training and the use of strong Geas (and bit of Epic Physiology), knights of the Circle are a force to be reckoned with. Though they have a natural proficiency for the longsword, they don’t despise technology as much as druids. Each Great Knight takes up the name of a famous roundtable knight and his Castle fits a specific purpose:
- Galahad’s Castle hunts down Titanspawn, especially from Patala and are known for their strong Geas.
- Percival’s Castle gathers relics and protects sacred lands from outsiders.
- Gawain’s Castle specializes in training the best duelists and assassins.
- Lamorak’s Castle specializes in brawlers and street fighters, meddling with the lowest class of the world.
- Bors’s Castle is made of wanderers. Travelling the land, they form an information network and keep the legend of the benevolent knight alive.
- Tristan’s Castle is made of diplomats that discuss with Godborns, Gods and mythborn. They even have an embassy in Fairie.
- Geraint’s Castle are the closest with druids. Its Knights can all use some form of druidic or white magic.
- Gareth’s Castle is humble and cunning: its knights are experts at infiltration and information.
- Bedivere’s Castle is constituted of craftsman. Their weapons and armor provide the rest of the Circle, using contemporary or ancient methods.
- Kay’s Castle specializes in Epic Physiology and are the less subtle of knights, finding the enemy and crushing him head on.
- Gaheris’ Castle is all dressed in black. It acts as an internal police, tracking moles and assuring loyalty to the Circle.
- Arthur’s Castle’s members are leaders. They act as manager when Circles and Castles work together and generally have a large vision of the Circle of Merlin. Arthur is usually the one that leads the debate at the Round Council, under the watchful eye of The Merlin.
- Lancelot leads a secret Castle, even within the Circle, whose role is known to no one but Great Knights and the Merlin.
- Alexandr Kovalev, The Merlin