Circle of Eight
A group of wizards dedicated to the preservation of the balance of power between the forces of Good and Evil, Law and Chaos in the Flanaess, ensuring that one does not dominate the other for an extended period of time. Despite claims to the contrary, the Circle of Eight does not rule the Free City of Greyhawk, though some of its member have simultaneously been members of the City’s Directing Oligarchy, Greyhawk’s governing council.
Despite the organization’s name, the Circle of Eight actually has nine members. The Circle always consists of eight powerful wizards and their leader, Mordenkainen the archmage. The Circle was formed at some point after 561 CY, and was dissolved in 576 CY. Its initial membership was Mordenkainen (its founder) and Bigby, his apprentice. They recruited Robilar, Riggby, Yrag, Tenser, Serten, and Otis. The group eventually dissolved for ideologizal reasons because of grudges between members, or because of outright death in the case of Serten. When an emperor far to the north slew enough mortals in his kingdom to attain godhood, Tenser said he must be stopped, and the Circle did not agree.
The Circle was re-founded in 571 CY by Mordenkainen, from the remnants of the Citadel. The exact make-up of the eight has changed over time and has continued to remained somewhat of a secret to the general populace of the Flanaess. One of them has moved to a tower in the Bright Desert, others are still reputed to be in Greyhawk, and Tenser was last heard of living on the Nyr Dyv.