On the Shoulders of Heroes
Nature has an ancient influence over the lives of all living beings. No wonder some of them decide to embrace and serve nature as a druid. These powerful spellcasters draw their power from the goddess of the earth, Gaea. They spend a great deal of their time by themselves, or with covens of other druids, on the outskirts of civilization. All druids have in common that they respect the circle of life. If nature is threatened, or its creatures hunted, wrongdoers might cross the path of an angry druid. But nature has a dark side as well and some druids take their power from decay instead of life.
Some druids find reasons to venture into the world. Some just enjoy seeing as much of it as possible, others go in find of the despoilers of their realms, or on missions from their coven or deity. Although rare, some druids take up professional adventuring as they find out their magic is much valued by adventuring parties.
Wisdom determines how strong the druid’s connection to Gaea is. Both strength and constitution helps druids shine in combat. Charismatic druids have greater influence over their bond with natural allies.
A druid must always be neutral, neutral good or neutral evil. Their close tie to nature dictates that they at least remain partially neutral in matters of good and evil. A druid is trained to walk the middle road. Lives of men are short and fickle while the world must be preserved for future generations.
All druids draw power from nature and the great goddess of nature, Gaea. Some worship Ilmatar or Mielikki as well. Although not technically clerics, these individuals do draw some of their power from these goddesses.
The Druidic tradition is ancient. The first people always had a close tie to nature. Elves especially developed a bond with the world around them, and organized themselves to become early druids. The druidic profession is considered a sacred one and the covens share a secret and ancient language. When the humans arrived on Bellög it did not take long until the religion of Gaea and Mielikki became intertwined. Through the ages the druids have still traditionally embraced Gaea, ignoring the human and dwarven tradition. The divine spellcasters that worship Mielikki are not considered druids, although a hand full have been allowed to join covens on occasion.
Becoming a Druid
Druids are taught by powerful master druids, who are traditionally female. Although men can theoretically obtain the rank of master, none have managed to do so of yet. These masters often surround themselves by students in enclaves hidden deep in the forests. Hermit druids, sometimes named Recluse Druids, are not uncommon, but much less likely to accept a student. Students must often pass a test before being allowed into a circle of druids. This test can be anything, from finding the hidden enclave and begging for a chance, to fasting for seven days and nights. After student is often initiated into the circle, they are granted a young animal companion which they must raise. Learning the skills to become a druid takes up to ten years of intensive study.
Gnomes have a slightly different branch of earth druids, which have a different role in their society. The Pake’s, or Fathers, are an important part of the tribe. Often they either lead their people or take roles of trusted advisers. A Pake has the right and duty to choose and train at least one apprentice, who stay apprentices to him until his time in this world ends.
Druids are most common among elves and half-elves. Gnomes, with their close tie to Gaea, have their own covens of earth druids, which are traditionally lead by Pake’s, Fathers.
A druid makes a valuable ally to adventurers. They have the power to navigate the wild, access to divine magic and loyal animal companions. Most druid adventurers value all life, especially that of their close allies.