The Circle of Masters, also known as the Circle of Nine, were the rulers of the Kingdom of the Thaumaturgs. The Circle was led by Prime Minister Surin, who claimed that it was the sacred trust of the Thaumaturgs to destroy Kallor.
The nine Grand Masters of the Mysteries were obsessed with penetrating the secrets of life and death. They often assigned important earthly tasks such as generalship to lower Adepts so that their pursuits would not be interrupted.
The Circle of Masters sent the Army of Righteous Chastisement, ostensibly as an invasion force, but actually as a distraction into the Himatan, so that they could themselves move into the Himatan undetected and reach the Temple of Light, where they wanted to bring down the Green Jade Banner in the sky, which was like a meteor, onto the Malazan World in order to destroy Kallor.
They were thwarted by Saeng, the Priestess of Light, at the Temple with the help of Pon-lor, an apprentice Thaumaturg mage, and Osseric elsewhere, resulting in minimal destruction so that a repeat of the debacle of the Crippled God did not happen again. In the process, all of them died, four killed by Pon-lor, Prime Minister Surin perishing at the hands of Hanu, and the rest destroyed by Saeng.
- Three others, one broken in mind, the other two dead at the hands of Pon-lor
- The remaining four were all consumed by the energy they were trying to re-direct on to Kallor, caused by their interference.