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"They have the learning, and dedicates who are more open-minded with regard to unique cases. They have the best mages south of your own university."
—Dedicate Superior Wrenswing of Stone Circle Temple, refering to Winding Circle Temple[src]
Winding Circle
Type Temple
Location Southeast of Summersea on the shore of the Pebbled Sea in Emelan
Size Size of a small township
Terrain Forest, gardens, fertile
Bodies of water
Marine Life
Location Information
Established Unknown
Official Language
Religious Head
Residents Temple dedicates, novices, students
Religion Living Circle
Patron God
Law Enforcement
Major Events Pirate Attack of 1035
Blue Pox
Architecture Circular walls, done in the style of Emelan
Port Cities
Major Cities
Major Roads
Notable Buildings
Government Initiate Council of Winding Circle[1]
Head of State
Main Industry
Trade Partners
Bibliographical information
Circle Universe place
First Mentioned '
First Appeared Sandry's Book
Latest Appearance The Will of the Empress
Last Appeared '
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned Battle Magic
Only Mentioned '

Winding Circle is a temple of the Living Circle religion in Emelan southeast of its capital Summersea, on the shore of the Pebbled Sea. The temple community is connected to the city by Temple Road[2]. It is known for its competent mages and its open-mindedness concerning new or unusual things. Its library is also quite famed[3]. Thus Trisana Chandler is sent there when nobody else knows what to do with her and her peculiar magic with weather. The Dedicate Superior of the temple is Moonstream. She is in charge of everything concerning the temple and its inhabitants.

The temple rivaled with University of Lightsbridge in the renown and quality of its mage-teachers. In respect to this the temple community is known in as distant places as Yanjing and the Blaze-Ice Bay.[4] Winding Circle was the home of at least four great mages: Dedicates Frostpine, Crane, Rosethorn and Lark. Dedicate Superior Moonstream, First Dedicate Skyfire, and Dedicate Gorse are also possible great mages, and there are a number of unnamed senior mages who might be as well. Niklaren Goldeye is also a common visitor and spent four years there teaching.


The temple grounds are enclosed by a twelve-foot-thick[5] and twenty feet high[6] wall with a walkway. Every four hundred yard a tower rises above the wall[6]. It is built in a crater left by the impact of a meteorite[7], thus forming a bowl. The stones left of the meteorite can be used for powerful magic, allowing the mages of the temple to anchor the protective spells for the temple[7]. Large amounts of coal can be found in the ground beneath the temple but because of the layers of protection also embedded into the ground the coal isn't mined[8].

The centre of the temple forms the Hub, a great tower with a big clock on the top. A spiral road leads through it, which is also the reason for the name of the temple. There are also many straight paths which cross the spiral road[9].

Within the temple grounds there are four individual temples: the Water Temple in the west, the Earth Temple in the north, the Air Temple in the east, and the Fire Temple in the south. The woodshops and forges are located between the Fire and Water Temples[10], and the physical training school--run by the Fire Temple--is located between the Fire and Air Temples. The loomhouses are located near the Earth Temple, directly across from Discipline Cottage[11]. There are also guardhouses in the southern part of the temple grounds.

The temple is protected through a spell-net, that encircles it. It is woken by a tune and shows any raiders or pirates an hallucination, thus incapacitating them.[12] In 1035 K.F. the net had already been in place for around four hundred years, providing efficient protection for the temple ever since.[13] It took damage after the earthquake in early Mead Moon of 1035 KF. Thus Frostpine and his students Daja and Kirel set out to mend it, although their efforts were interrupted by the pirate attack. Besides the spell-net other spells for protection are on the walls, gates and nearly every other part of the temple.


In 1035 KF Winding Circle was the object of a pirate attack. Although the temple community in itself wasn't very rich, they had several valuables which the pirates desired. They included centuries old spell-books teaching things as how to make rubies from blood or diamonds from coal. There are also bespelled weapons and other devices in the temple, including a mirror that lets even non-mages see things and spy on anyone. The pirates had also planned to sell the mages of Winding Circle as slaves, as mages are the highest priced slaves of all and there are ways to hold a mage without making him incapabable of using his magic.[14]

Everyday life

The temple also houses children. They live in dormitories which are divided by sexes and run by dedicates. Noble girls live in the Pearl Cup dormitories[15].

Oil treated with herbs, not the bad smelling animal fat used in the Mire, was used as fuel for lamps in the temple city. Briar Moss had to treat the oil with the herbs during his first months at Discipline.[16]

Temple inhabitants wear robes colored according to their temple association. Novices wear white robes[17].



  • Crane - First Dedicate of the Air temple.
  • Gorse - runs the Winding Circle kitchens. His temple affiliation is not known, as his robes are so stained and scorched their color is unrecognizable. Gorse and Niko met while they were both imprisoned in Yanjing.
  • Henna - healer who dies of the Blue Pox, the first death among temple dedicates
  • Lancewood - responsible for the carpenters of Winding Circle[18]
  • Quail - responsible for Pearl Cup dormitories; lectured Sandry about her hands, which were rough from needlework;[15]
  • Skyfire - the First Dedicate of the Fire temple. He is a former general who dedicated himself to the service of the fire gods upon the death of his wife, and in charge of the Temple Guard
  • Staghorn - Water Dedicate; responsible for the girl's dormitories;[19]
  • Vetiver- First Dedicate of the earth temple, and Lark’s former teacher.
  • Watergrass - responsible for the potters in Winding Circle[18]
  • Withe - Water Dedicate working in the kitchens under Dedicate Gorse[22]


  • Comas - ambient thread mage who becomes Lark's student after Sandry, he has debilitating shyness.
  • Kirel - novice of the Fire temple, a non-mage and a blacksmithing apprentice. Frostpine's first apprentice.

Notes and references

  1. Council is made up entirely of mages.
  2. Briar's Book, Cp. 1 (p. 4; Scholastic paperback)
  3. Sandry's Book, Cp. 4 (p. 71; Scholastic paperback)
  4. Briar's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 128; Scholastic paperback)
  5. Sandry's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 43; Scholastic paperback)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 4 (p. 61; Scholastic paperback)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 6 (p. 116; Scholastic paperback)
  8. Sandry's Book, Cp. 12 (p. 226; Scholastic paperback)
  9. Sandry's Book, Cp. 4 (p. 54; Scholastic paperback)
  10. Tris's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 120; Scholastic paperback)
  11. Sandry's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 144; Scholastic paperback)
  12. Tris's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 34; Scholastic paperback)
  13. Tris's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 35; Scholastic paperback)
  14. Tris's Book, Cp. 10 (p. 183/184; Scholastic paperback)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 4 (p. 60; Scholastic paperback)
  16. Briar's Book, Cp. 1 (p. 8; Scholastic paperback)
  17. Briar's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 134; Scholastic paperback)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 9 (p. 162; Scholastic paperback)
  19. Sandry's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 41; Scholastic paperback)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Tris's Book, Cp. 1 (p. 3; Scholastic paperback)
  21. Tris's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 18; Scholastic paperback)
  22. Tris's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 135; Scholastic paperback)