"The Great Wheel must keep turning"
The Circle is an informal alliance of mighty wizards, dedicated to maintaining balance in the world, and not allowing any particular nation, power, or faction to gain dominance. When evil is ascendant, they will side with the good, when good threatens to overwhelm all, they will indirectly support evil.
The Master of the Inner Circle: Bigby, Mordenkainen, Drawmij, Nystul, Otiluke (whom just replaced Leomund), Otto, Rary, and Tenser.
The Inner Circle has influence beyond their seeming numbers, as each member has agents in various parts of the Flanaess, high and low, near and far. There is little that escapes their notice, or is above their subtle (or not-so-subtle) influence.
The Circle of Eight's longevity and resilience are largely due to its secretive nature, and the near-autonomy of many of its members. The Circle has "cells", each belonging to a particular member of the Inner Circle, plus lone operatives throughout the Flanaess, although they interact and share information with one another as the needs warrant. The Circles ideology is grand, and its members pride themselves on their integrity and dedication in maintaining the balance in all things. Agents of the Circle do not seek power or glory, only a careful balance in all things.
Agents of the Circle are trained to act alone and depend on their own resources. When they get into scrapes, they don't count on the Inner Circle to rescue them. Nevertheless, these Agents of the Circle are dedicated to helping one another in times of need, and friendships between agents are nigh unbreakable. Masterful spies and infiltrators, use various guises, secret identities, and magic to form relationships, cultivate their information networks, and manipulate others into doing what needs to be done. Although most agents prefer to operate in the shadows, there are exceptions.
The beliefs of the Circle of Eight can be summarized as follows:
Quietly gather information throughout the Flanaess, discern the political dynamics within each region or realm, and preserve the balance of power by all means. Act openly as a last resort. Thwart any extremes and any power, government, group, leader, or creature that grows too powerful, and aid those of lesser power.
Members of this faction will not normally be members of the Inner Circle itself, which is reserved to the mightiest mages of the Flanaess. All other members will be their agents. They will maintain a completely ordinary façade, and most will go their entire lives without anyone suspecting they were passing along the information to the Masters of the Inner Circle. Although most Agents of the Circle are tied to a specific member, they will sometimes share their agents among themselves, depending on the specific talents necessary for the task-at-hand. Missions can range from conveying a message to infiltrating a cult to procuring a rare component for a magical experiment; the possibilities are quite endless.
Agents of the Circle utilize the standard 5-rank structure, with each Master forming the apex of their own mini-faction within the Circle. When dealing with Masters other than your own, your Renown points are effectively reduced by 25%. The Masters would be above this rank system, each having a renown of 100 or more.
Agents of the Eight:
There is no single identifying symbol used by the Circle of Eight. Agents use their Masters' sigils as appropriate.