There are those who feel the call to nature, a willingness to protect nature in all its forms, an affinity for the energy of their environment and usually an ability to partake in it as one of its own. For those that have been called into this, there are group of like-minded and able beings whom are known simply as Druids , the keepers of balance within nature.
Not only do they take on a responsibility helping their chosen environment and the flora and fauna that reside to help keep a kind of balance, they also develop relations with other groups in their territories as needed, striking agreements on urban encroachment and poaching, or taking drastic measures to ensure the protection of the balance of the very environment they protect.
Druids achieve their goals through being empowered by nature in some form, usually magically. Their natural magics can mimic strong occurrences to their natural environments (sandstorms in deserts, moving trees in forests, etc.), as well as grant the ability to shift into the forms of creatures native to their home environment. These provide an overall ability to defend and observe their territories.
Every fifty years or so, druids are known to retreat to a hidden, private place to enter a hibernation-like slumber for up to five years. Of course, anything that threatens their areas will wake them from their sleep, often to the ruin of whoever awakened them.
Becoming a Druid
There is no single way a person becomes a druid, and varies from region to region of the world.
Though the most common beginning is that each druid before they found their calling always felt some kind of pull toward nature and a connection with the flora and fauna of their homeland. Some even had begun showing an ability to demonstrate powers that are related to the environment and the very essence of nature.
From there it Sets place the many paths one can discover; from wandering out and finding scared areas of the druids of the region there where one may have to past some tests to begin their tutelage; others may do their journey to druid completely alone, relaying on the call of nature to guide their develop; then some may be fortunate to have a fellow druid see their potential and extend an invitation to trial; and much more. For a druid is not only called to nature, they are also shaped by nature in many forms.
For more information on becoming a druid, please refer to specific regional groups of druids and how to join the organization.
Common Vaxian Shape Shifting Druid Forms:
Forest: Direwolf, Owl
Mountain: Cougar, Hawk
Desert: Fox, Buzzard
Plains: Fox, Owl
Arctic: Polar Bear, Eagle
Sea: Shark, Osprey
Underground: Spider, Bat
Vaxian druids come in several varieties all centered around the environment and climate in which they mainly live and work. This often leads many Vaxian druids to also gather and work in groups called circles. A reflection on the central belief on a kind of circle of life, a symbol of balance, and the other magical representations a circle has within the world itself.
There are circles of druids scatted all around the continent of Vaxia, and even a few druids that have chosen to remain solitary in their practice. Each circle and independent druid are responsible for their immediate areas.
Each major region usually has some sort of obelisk, structure, or shrine of unknown origin that serves as a focal point of all natural energies for that region. For this reason, druids may gather or take respite at these landmarks on the full moon, solstices, and equinoxes throughout the year. Should two druids of a region need to meet, they may meet at their focal points. Shrouded in mystery, however, outsiders may find that they go in circles trying to find these druidic zones; only by invitation will a non-druid be allowed into their glades, hollows, or caves.
Where their territories meet with cities, towns, or other such "civilized" gatherings of people, Druids attempt to establish contact with the leadership of such places to reach agreements of mutual preserve. Mainly, this involves city dwellers to not poach or over-hunt particular animals, help contain fires before they spread to the land, and repel invaders who are intent on destroying the land. In return, the druids ensure that livestock for farmers' and cities' livelihoods aren't pestered frequently by predators, advise leaders on sustainment measures and farming best practices, and act as lookouts on their borders for encroaching enemies that prove a threat to them and allies.
The Council of Thirteen is a political alliance of all druid groups within the Vaxian Continent The thirteen seats are filled by chosen representatives of not only circles but the independent druids as well, to ensure the best reflection of all regions of the continent. This Council is responsible for more major political relations between non druid and druid groups as well as providing a way for all druids of the continent to be able to communicate and call for extra assistance as need be.
Ramsalon Druid Circle
The Ramsalon Forest is home to the Ramsalon Druid Circle a local group of druids who preserve and protect the forest and mountains. The Arch Druid Animus leads the Circle. The other Circle members are considered High Druids. Druids of the forest who are not actively a member of the Circle are considered Forest Guardians, a role not necessarily limited to those who would call themselves druids but instead open to any interested party dedicated to the protection and preservation of the forest and its inhabitants.
- Arch Druid: Animus
- High Druids: Isiala, Shaora
Druids of the Underground are often referred to by those outside their order as 'deep druids.' They manage the strange ecosystems of the Underground in much the same way their surface counterparts maintain the forests, deserts or oceans. Many surface druids consider deep druids to be dangerous due to their familiarity with (and tendency to emulate) the highly predatory creatures and plants of their regions. Among the deep druids, some claim to 'hear a calling' from deep within the earth, and undertake pilgrimages to the deepest depths they can find in order to get closer to 'the song.' Many of these pilgrims are never heard from again, and of those that are, most are no longer coherent or rational upon their return.
Common Candenordian Shape Shifting Druid Forms:
Forest: Grizzly Bear; Brown Eagle
Mountain: Dire Goat; Snowy Owl
Desert: Sidewinder; Sandy Kite
Plains: Lion; Peregrine Falcon
Arctic: Polar Bear; Gyrfalcon
Sea: Orca; Gull
Underground: Rock Digger; Eyeless Aerodramus
The druids of Candenord are highly varied, especially due to some of the sudden and drastic differences in the environments and climates of the continent.
Many Candenordian druids organize themselves in what they call spirals. For the belief of the Candenordian druid is not only about protecting and maintaining the existing balance of nature, but that nature is always changing.
Spirals are not associated with just one region, but rather the collective regions of where its members come and go from. As many of the peoples within the lands of Candenord are also migratory and always moving to survive some of the hostile areas. This also leads to some druids to stay with their non druid family groups as well. Acting as the voice of the spiral to those groups, and advising in that capacity. Though there are some druids that may associate with a spiral, but remain completely independent and live a solitary life, especially for those in a kind of pilgrimage in some of the more hostile environments of the continent.
Candenordian Druid Council
The Candenordian Druid Council is the association of esteemed and chosen leaders of spirals spanning the entire continent, and make up the governing body that confers on matters of natural importance. They are also the Ambassadors to each of the major cities, providing council, guidance, and judgement to ensure the protection of nature from the ravages of humanoids, while at the same time protecting the habitations from looming natural threats. They also act as protectors and escorts to those that migrate constantly across the continent, helping find or provide food in sustainable manners. In a way, they ensure a more strict sort of balance between the urbanizing tendencies of the humanoids and the harsh and unforgiving environment around them. The Council meets twice a year, or, in dire emergencies when summoned by any of their number. Unlike their Vaxian counterparts, the Council's members are expected to be among the people of Candenord, available to assist and oversee as needed. As spirals may change, evolve, and expand or shrink, the size of the Council adapts accordingly, and so it is difficult to pin an exact number on them at any given time.