By OddHat

It started with the Master, a killer who sought to atone. The first Circle shone brightly, and died. Now the New Circle stands against the forces of Occult Evil.

"To be the Light in the darkest night"

Part of the sacred duty of the Knights of the Jade Lantern

About the Circle
Some New Circle members are mystics. Others are people touched by the supernatural. As a group, they have been organized by the Master to protect humanity against paranormal threats. Their primary enemies are Demon and the Circle of the Scarlet Moon, but they have also stood against an endless list of monsters and arcane villains. The current membership is actually the second New Circle. Earlier members of the Circle have either moved on or fallen in battle.
The Circle And The Mystic World
Much of the time, the members of the New Circle study magic at the feet of the Master, and teach those that the master considers to be worthy. A surprisingly large number of mystics have studied with the Circle. The New Circle will also provide help and support to those that have been touched by magic, and to young mystic heroes just starting out. Finally, the New Circle represents a source of expertise on the supernatural for the meta-human community.
The Circle And Other Organizations
Individual members of The New Circle are encouraged to maintain cordial and productive relations with UNTIL, PRIMUS, SAT, and any hero team that requests their assistance. However, the questionable legal status of the Master stands in the way of establishing more formal relations. The New Circle has an extremely good relationship with the Trismegistus Council, and has from time-to-time acted as an enforcement arm for that body.
The Circle And Geography
The New Circle is currently based in Boston, MA., operating out of a quite ordinary looking brownstone just 10 minutes from Harvard Square. Previous headquarters have included New Yorks Central Park and Philadelphias University City. Generally, the Master encourages his students to maintain their own residences, and insists on relocating if and when he feels the presence of the New Circle has started to endanger those nearby. The minimal funding needs of the new circle are met by contributions from group members, primarily Athenian and Night Hunter. The Master has also been willing in the past to provide financial support for his students.
The Circle And Opposing Evil
The New Circle may learn of a mystic threat through the Masters guidance, Night Hunters contacts and investigative skills, Always memories of the many futures, contact from the Trismegistus Council, or contact from groups and individuals requesting their help. If for some reason the New Circle is not currently at full fighting strength, it may turn to other Super teams for aid, including those that have received help from the New Circle in the past.
Using the Circle
All members of the New Circle come with their own plot seeds, and any one of them might turn to your players' characters for help if the New Circle itself were unable to handle a situation directly. The New Circle can also serve as a support team, as a group of experts to be called in when faced with a magic related problem, and as a source of magical training. They can also be used as a source of enemies for heroes that appear to have crossed the line, or as romantic interests and rivals.
The Circle
Detailed below are HERO System writeups for the New Circle, a group of Mystic Heros.
350 point versions
Always (Character File)
The Man Who Saw the Future -- ALL of them
Alan is both a primary front line combatant and a key information source for the New Circle. He is also in some ways the moral guide of the group; his unique perspective on time leaves him well able to anticipate the consequences of a given course of action. Alan does not just remember one possible future, but every possible future, making his precognition progressively less useful the further forward he looks. His memories of the past are if possible even more confused, and he is sometimes unable to differentiate between what happened and what might have happened. Still, he is sometimes able to warn the group of possible dangers well before they occur. Alans role will not shift over time, though he will become more desperate to stop the dangers he sees coming.
The Master: Alan holds the Master in the very highest regard, having never seen a future where the old man did not make the right choice.
Legend: Alan has seen Legend protect the innocent in a thousand possible futures, and hints of futures where Jack turns dark. It is Alans belief that Jack will choose the right path, and he has come to rely on Legend both for physical and moral support.
Night Hunter: Alan fears that Night Hunter will give into his darker impulses, and does all he can to help him towards more positive paths. He will follow Night Hunters lead in combat. He likes NH on a personal level, and is a fan of his books, especially the ones he is less likely to write.
Athenian: Agatha sometimes frightens Alan. There are many possible and likely futures where her quest to free Athens leads to an invasion of Earth by Skarn or Tyranon. Alan tries to urge her away from those paths. He is aware that she does not like him.
Light: Alan finds May restful in much the same way he finds Legend restful; May is very unlikely to change for the worse over time. Alan does not try to change May, but will sometimes try to draw her out of her shell. His acceptance of May as she is will lead to greater closeness in their relationship.
Athenian (Character File)
Holder of the Athenian Dream
Agatha serves as the teams primary brick, and shes good in the role. She is also very useful as the public face of the team, and is able to move easily in the highest social circles. As time goes on, her network of social connections will eventually prove at least as valuable to the team as her considerable brawn.
The Master: Agatha sees the Master as a means to an end, a useful contact. She understands that he has been doing Good since long before she was born, but the Dream of Athens will not let her completely forgive a man who was once a leader in a conquering Imperial army. The fact that Athens itself played the role of conqueror more than once softens these feelings, but they are still there.
Legend: Agatha finds Jack attractive on several levels. His idealism appeals to her, his physical power is useful both in current conflicts and as a tool for the eventual realization of the Dream, and he looks very good in a suit. He is also absolutely reliable, a rare trait among the people in her life. Over time, as the Dream grows stronger, she will find it more difficult to see him as more than a tool for the liberation of Athens.
Night Hunter: Agatha respects Night Hunters value as an information source, and deeply respects his knowledge and tactical acumen. She will come to rely on him to guide her in combat, and to think of him as the key tactician for her eventual army of liberation. She will use flattery and mild flirtation to manipulate him over time, which will likely damage the relationship.
Always: Agatha dislikes Alan, but tries to mask it. She is not without sympathy, but his personality is very difficult for her to deal with. Her attempts to influence him are all but useless, and she finds his frequent warnings against her plans vexing, especially as they are so often correct. In time she will come to treat Alan as a makeshift oracle, an information source to be exploited rather than an ally.
Light: Agatha views May as an equal. Both of them come from a background of privilege, both felt stifled by the expectations of their families, and both experienced an unexpected transformation. If Agatha sees Legend as a possible consort and Night Hunter as a general, she sees Light as a Priestess, one whose power and wisdom will be key to victory. Their relationship will remain strong even when the dream of Athens becomes overwhelming.
Legend (Character File)
Warrior, Scholar, Healer
Legend has in the past acted as the team scout (his senses come in handy) and as aerial support, having the ability to attack effectively both close and at range. He has also served as one of the public faces of the team. Legend is currently "on leave", serving the Trismegistus Council in Millennium City.
The Master: Legend sees him as a father figure, and a deeply respected one. He understands the history of the man, but feels that this is proof of the possibility of redemption.
Night Hunter: Legend considers NH to be excessively violent and a potential danger to civilians. However, he also recognizes the value of NHs detective and street skills, and his near encyclopedic knowledge of Supernatural creatures. As time goes on, and NH obtains his bases and vehicles, Legend will come to rely on his resources to solve problems that direct force cannot.
Athenian: Legend finds Agatha physically attractive, and admires her poise and power. He considers her to be a true heroine. However, as the Dream of Athens becomes stronger, and Agatha grows progressively more obsessed and manipulative, Legend will grow concerned. At first he will embrace her decision to abandon her dual identity, but he will eventually see it for what it is; another step into her complete focus on freeing her alternate Athens from Skarn. He may draw back emotionally.
Always: Legend feels pity for Alan, and will come to admire Alans steadfast commitment to do what is right as well as urge those around them to embrace their best natures. He will also come to count on Alans precognitive abilities, which may cause problems.
The Light: Legend admires Mays steadfast devotion to her duty, and her vast flexibility impresses him a great deal. He is well aware that she is the most magically adept of the team, and will offer her as much encouragement and support as he can. He will become progressively more concerned about her inability to relax and trust herself and others, or to allow herself to grow emotionally.
Night Hunter (Character File)
The House of Crystal (Character File)
He Who Monsters Fear in the Dark
Night Hunter serves as the teams primary detective and researcher, and is also the best at figuring out and applying odd vulnerabilities and susceptibilities when facing occult foes. His enhanced senses are of great value here. He is a poor front line combatant and knows it, and will try to act as a tactician and sniper instead. As his collection of combat capable vehicles grows he will start using them to help support the team where possible.
The Master: Night Hunter deeply respects the man who taught him magic, but was shocked and disillusioned when he learned of the Masters actions in Korea and China during WWII. That the Master himself feels deep shame for his past deeds helps, but in the end NH has not been able to forgive his teacher.
Legend: At first Night Hunter dismissed Legend entirely, considering him long winded and slow witted. Eventually Night Hunter became impressed with Jacks versatility, and with his sincerity. As Jacks power grows, Night Hunter will start to hang more and more complicated plans on Jacks ability to take and dish out damage.
Athenian: Night Hunter recognizes obsession and manipulation when he sees them, and he will never completely trust Agatha. However, he is well aware of just how effective she can be in combat, and is more than willing to use her as the point for an assault. He is also not immune to her charm.
Always: Night Hunter genuinely likes Alan, valuing his efforts to do the right thing no matter what and understanding better than most the kind of emotional pain Alan must deal with. Night Hunter is also well aware of the tactical value of having access to a precognitive speedster.
Light: Night Hunter finds May extremely attractive, both physically and emotionally, and is aware that May does not feel the same. He also admires her versatility, and will frequently hang plans on her ability to come up with just the right effect. As time goes on he will become less emotionally involved with the young Jade Knight, coming to view her as a professional colleague rather than a romantic interest.
The Light (Character File)
Jade Knight for a Modern World
"May", or Chang Mei-Wa is the most flexible member of the New Circle in combat, and the most able magician. She will usually use invisibility for cover, and concentrate on disabling whichever foe the other New Circle members are facing. May is also an expert in several fairly specialized areas (Planar Lore, Chinese magic and monsters) and will take the lead when dealing with problems in her specialties.
The Master: Mays relationship with the Master is complicated. He was the only man who could teach her how to fully exploit the power of the Crown of Jade. He was also Japans most powerful Shinto Mystic during WWII, and one of the participants in the Japanese massacre at Nanjing, during which as many as 300,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered. The 122nd Jade Knight died trying to protect those civilians, slain by the Master. May tells herself that it was a war, and that terrible things happen in war. She knows that the Master has worked to atone for his role in those six weeks for more than fifty years, and she respects the man that he has become. Yet, he was once a killer of innocents, and the slayer of a Jade Knight. May does not forget that, but she tries to understand, and to forgive.
Legend: May is fond of Legend, seeing him as living in a way that echoes her own code of the Jade Knights. She also respects his power and flexibility, and trusts his judgment. She does not harbor romantic feelings towards him; that is a side of herself she has suppressed completely since becoming a Jade Knight.
Night Hunter: May respects Bob as a tactician, and appreciates his investigative skills and knowledge of the occult. She is aware of his feelings for her, but cannot return them. Bob reminds her too much of her sad, mad brother Kar-Wai. May is more likely to turn to Night Hunter than any of the others for guidance in combat.
Athenian: Agatha is Mays closest friend. May respects the Athenians dedication to the cause of Justice and to the liberation of Athens, and is more than willing to support her, within Mays own oath as a Jade Knight. May will often devote time in combat to disabling Agathas foes long enough for Agatha to finish them off. As Agathas network of social contacts grows over time, May will feel slightly jealous, but will suppress those feelings. She will also grow concerned over just how far Agatha will go in her obsession over the Dream of Athens.
Always: May cares for Always, seeing him as a trusted older brother, and becomes angry when he is treated with less than what she sees as the proper respect, especially by Agatha. Sometimes Alans efforts to draw her out irritate May, but that does not interfere with their friendship. May will often turn to Alan for advice on issues she would never discuss with the others.
Auxillary Members
Haunt (Character File)
Death is not the end
Kanae (Character File)
Beautiful Terror of the Sea
Silence (Character File)
Enigma Incarnate
750 point versions
Provided below are higher powered versions of key members of the Circle, representative of either themselves many years later, or for use in higher powered campaigns.
Always (Character File)
The Man Who Saw the Future -- ALL of them
Athenian (Character File)
Holder of the Athenian Dream
Night Hunter (Character File)
Avenging Angel (Attack Craft) (Character File)
The Hunting Lodge (Character File)
He Who Monsters Fear in the Dark
The Light (Character File)
Jade Knight for a Modern World
Provided below are significant opponents of the New Circle.
Chang Kar Wai (Character File)
Sinister Master of the Sacred Blade

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