Ritual Circles – 1096
The major ritual circle of Albion is the Wellspring of Life at Eaton, the most powerful ritual circle in the known world.
From the first Gathering the Lord General of Eaton has been Keeper of the Wellspring. Geographically the Wellspring is only slightly nearer to Eaton than Norhault, but Norhault has been, until recently, notoriously unstable in terms of who controls it (Caledonia or Albion) whereas Eaton has always been Albione. It therefore makes sense that the Mages picked on the more stable of the nearest places to help run and man their most powerful circle. Also, the path through the mountains at the end of the Vale of Eaton is easier between Eaton and the Wellspring, than Norhault and the Wellspring.
Next down from the Wellspring, are the two large circles at Winchester and Warwick. Winchester is the capital of Albion and therefore was probably chosen as such because it has a large circle there. Warwick was once used as a staging post to get troops and supplies into York when Golgamoth attacked.
The other two large circles in Albion are to be found at Elf’s Rest near Huntingdon (into the Greenwood about 10 miles from Huntingdon) and Stretton about half way between Gloucester and Hereford.
Stretton is just a small village with a single inn (the Mage’s Staff) which has sprung up around the circle itself, to provide shelter and sustainance. As it is only half a day from Gloucester, Stretton is often referred to as Gloucester Ritual Circle. It became notorious at the Harts Moot of 1098, as the place where Lady Katherine’s renegade unseelie fae killed several notable Harts (and members of other factions), including, who was the Gloucester circle’s resident ritualist at the time.
Elf’s Rest was so named because the Elves in the Greenwood always used to stay the night there, rather than travelling on to Huntingdon to see Lord General Hunter. No wild animals ever disturbed them there and eventually one of their mages thought to investigate why.
Albion has many minor ritual circles, mainly in rural areas. These are as follows:
Forest Glen, between Loxley and Ellenbrook
Two Rivers, between Leeds and Naseby
Marchwood Keep (this is why the Keep was built away from Marchwood Village)
Havoc (in the hills going towards Norhault slightly)
Fryston between Chelmsford and Ely
Iver in the woods (near the river) between Colchester and Buckingham
Finmere, on the North Western shore of Finmere Lake
Sherburn Keep (this is why the Keep was built right there)
Norhault (situated in the Mages Guild there)
Sarnia (the Island off the coast of the County of Marchwood)
The normal flow of power within the land means that sometimes, for reasons unknown, the power within circles dies. They can also be destroyed by direct magical means.
Past battles, notably in 1096, left Albion with dead large circles in York and Bristol. Another large Circle which has been derelict for years is at Kingsfield, as the result of another battle.
There used to be a minor circle at Trell but it fell into the bog. The marsh land around Trell is ever changing and gradually the land shifted, the bog grew and reclaimed the circle. There is also a minor circle at Worcester which has not worked since a ritual to try to resurrect Rioc (Corvus’ mother) went horribly wrong, killing the ritualist and most of his group and doing nothing to help resurrect Rioc. Finally there is one at Strong Oak which a few generations ago was deactivated by the Lions in an effort to stop the Bears raiding over the border to take the circle. It was left too long before they tried to reactivate it, so will no longer work.