Situated in the run down Aasvogel Ward of Hahvrensburg, the Knitting Circle is a small and rather elite social club composed entirely of eccentric, influential, and often mysterious women. To commoner on the street, the Circle is no different from any other small social club such as the Mitoyen Street Bully Boys, a street gang of hooligans or the Society of Constantine Gardener, a small group of gardeners who meet to exhange tips on growing bigger tubers. The truth is far more conspiratorial.
Under the aegis of the Orthodox Western Church of the Kingdom of Trinistine, magic and its various societies, structures and paraphenalia are not only not socially accepted, in some regions they are considered crimes. Located in the West, Hahvrensburg has no official Mage’s Guild and workers of the arcane arts keep a very low profile or end up as examples in the hangman’s noose or on the chopping block. The worst of offenders, more often than not women convicted of being necromancers are burned alive and their ashes drowned in vessels of holy water.
The Knitting Circle is the ‘Mage’s Guild’ of Hahvrensburg and to the distress of male wizards and sorcerers, it is a female only affair. To become a member of the Knitting circle their are four criteria that have to be met. First and foremost the applicant must be a female. Secondly is the ability to perform magic of any non-clerical stripe. this is an important distinction since it would be easy for demonic aspected ‘clerics’ to join the circle for the purpose of corruption. The last two requirements are a basic ability to knit or perform some sort of needlework, and an ability to keep secrets.
The Circle was founded during the turbulent adolescence of Hahvrensburg, a time of rampant growth and influx of new blood. By keeping its membership small and avoiding magic enforced oaths, the circle was able to avoid the various purges of the later years. This fate was not shared by more boisterous groups such as the Mendicants of the Mind, the Ecstatic Dancers of Isis, or the bloody handed Nyir Hannin Society. The annals of the Circle have been purged a number of times. The Circle has no interest in keeping records of what influential wives, concubines and spinsters have been in it’s ranks. This also helps shroud the Circle in it’s own mysteries.
Abigail Blutcher - the wealthiest of the Circle, and it’s host. Abigail is a mildly competent sorceress, her specialty being in enchantment and illusions. She is not the head for her skill, but for the fact that her husband, Vernon Blutcher, is an important member of the meat packaging guilds in the Mitoyen Wards. With that level of wealth and influence, Abigail is able to do things without drawing undo attention to herself, such as renting halls for Circle meetings, arranging for strange deliveries at odd hours and keeping peculiar company.
Eset D’Vassago - The house of Vassago is an old and hoary one, intertwined with necromancy and magic like an oak tree festooned with spanish moss. Another thing that is rank in the Vassago family tree is incest. Eset’s father also fathered her mother before getting her with child to birth Eset. Pale skinned and raven headed, Eset looks the part of the mortician cold necromancer. The stars also favor her as she is the seventh child of her mother, and her mother being the seventh child of her grandmother. Eset escaped this incestuous relationship after she murdered her father/grandfather with black magic when he came to her bedside to beget the next generation. She is cold and has many secrets.
Antoinette D’Ligier - As beautiful as Eset is dark, Antoinette is every inch the noble lady. She favors solf pastel colors and silk dresses, though she has no claim to nobility most assume her to be a disenfranchised noble and ask no other questions. The truth would chill them to the bone, her father is actually a demon-prince who sired her from one of his female cultists. When she was born, the demon-prince stole her eyes and now carries them as a fetish to increase his own powers. Antoinette is blind, but through an odd formation of syneasthesia, she can hear and feel colors by touch as well as being able to sense the location of objects. She is able to get around without a cane or servant at her arm, so few think to ask why the lady in the pink silk wears such a large hat to cover her pretty face. Her magical fortes are summoning and casting elementally aspected magics.
Amaranth - From distant Zehin, Amaranth is a pale and almost ethereally beautiful woman with strawberry blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. While Antoinette is outgoing and almost boisterous, Amaranth seems almost pathologically silent. She is competent at enchantment and dream magics, though most of her efforts are concentrated on blocking out the dreamtime emissions of the Black Demon calling her back to Zehin.
Desidera Aalbach - from a disposed noble family from the highlands of Middle Tresserhorn, Desidera is a woman on a mission. She escaped to Hahvrensburg after her family was removed from power and decimated by a brutal coup de tat. She has since worked to find a champion and gather forces to her to regain her lost throne and restore what remains of her family. To this end she has lent her talents to the Circle in exchange for protection from those who would have her hang and to learn more of her own capabilities.
The use of the Circle is as a non-standard mage’s guild. The requirments are difficult to meet in the standard male fantasy, while the NPCs who make it up could very well populate a male fantasy. It is all to often that PCs will completely upstage every aspect of a game, joining the ranks of the nobility, breaking old injustices, upsetting the gods and generally saving the world. In this instance they are exposed to a thing they cannot possess or take control of, unless your group is a bunch of savvy sorceresses. When confronted with non-members, the Circle can quickly change the topic in dropstitches, knots in embroidery and other minutae that would drive the average swashbuckler mad in two turns.
In Accordance With the Prophecy - The PCs are busy hunting for a magical dingus in the city that is required to prevent something really nasty from happening. Problems arise when the would be inspectors and heroes keep finding these meddling women are always a step ahead of them. While there is a potential for magical conflict, this should be more along the lines of rivalry that true hostility.
For Safe-Keeping - A magic user has vanished in Hahvrensburg and the powers that be have hired the PCs to hunt out the renegade and have him put to the sword. Can the PCs sniff out the rogue mage, and can they perform their task when the rogue turns out not to be a foul and derelict demonmonger but a petit and beautiful woman?
Power Overwhelming - The PCs, in desperate need of allies, accidentally discover the Circle and have to convince these cagey women to come out from hiding to help them defeat magical threat X. The Circle has the ability, but has no desire to unmask themselves as magic users, who are commonly reviled in the Hahvrensburg and the greater part of the Midlands.
Secret Endeavors - One of the above Circle NPCs hires the PCs for a task, it could be as mundane as working guard detail for Blutcher, or as dangerous as hunting out a demon cult that Antoinette has located that might have knowledge of the whereabouts of her pilfered pupils.