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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2014 :  16:53:26  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Found this list of druidic circles floating around the net.
quote:
Here are the ones that Im aware of.
D = Disbanded
A = Active

Battledale Seven (Cormanthyr, D)
Shadowdale Circle (Cormanthyr, D)
the Talkers to the Trees (Cormyr-Kirinwood, A)
the Knightswood Nine (Cormyr-Knightswood, A)
The Emerald Enclave (Turmish and Chondath, A)
The Nature Seekers (Underdark, A)
Circle of Seven Daggers (Daggerdale, A)*
Tall Trees (High Forest, A)
Unnamed Circle (northern foothills of the Rauvin Mountains, A)
The Circle of the Sheaf (Raven's Bluff area, A)
Dusk Circle (Westwood, A)

* From the Northern Journey mega-adventure



Anyone know a good map or description of any of these? Especially the Emerald Enclaves of Turmish and Chondath and the one in the underdark are of interest to me.

Perhaps we can forge one of our own while were at it aswell.

I like to get a sense of the current political state of Faerunian druids. Perhaps you guys have a few thoughts at how druids were organised at the onset of the Spellplague, during and after? We can see from the Sundering and onwards the Emerald Enclave seems to have become the clear winner of the druidic orders, having become very prominent amongst the adventuring companies all across the Realms.

I recall reading the enclave was actively sending envoys to other circles. It seems they managed that political coup with brutal efficiency.


My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4772 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2014 :  06:28:12  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Emerald Enclave was detailed in the 2E "Vilhon Reach" accessory.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2014 :  15:21:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lands of Intrigue had a lot of Menhirs (Stone Circles), and most of those have druidic circles attached to them.

Menhirs seem more prevalent in the south and east (from the Unaproachable East all the way to the coast of Shou-Lung), which I always found odd. The only other area (I think) where you can find them (in numbers) is in the Moonshaes - otherwise, 'the Heartlands' don't seem to have any, that I can think of off the top of my head.

I suppose, due to their 'prehistoric' nature, one might assume its because humans are fairly new to The Heartlands (comparatively), there wouldn't be any truly ancient ruins built by them (except for a few rare exceptions, like the Citadel of the Raven). You'd think Elves would be connected to them (since Fey are usually associated with them), but they are not.

I am starting to think Menhirs may have been an 'early man' attempt at re-creating the 'fairy rings' of the Fey, which themselves may have been an organic way of creating something akin to Moonwells/Pools of... (which I think predated the Creator Races - they are definitely Pre-Sundering).

Anyhow, all of those things - any 'holy site' connected to nature - would probably have a druid circle attached to it, even if it was just a small one. I haven't read the Moonshae novels in a really long time, but those druids seem to like the Moonwells a lot, IIRC.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Dec 2014 01:26:59
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2014 :  19:17:58  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Moonwells are a cool way of explaining grove sites as some kind of sponateous vigorous energy that wells up along waterflows from the earth. When properly tended by druids I'd give the pools of radiance the powers to spontaneously awaken plants, produce goodberries, control temperature and winds and provide sweet waters. These tend to become small groves of 60ft to 400ft radius, with plants growing in concentric circles around an open center for meditation, with usually the moonwell nearby.

I think the list above represents greater groves (400ft+) that have been tended for over a couple thousand years, and subsequently have greater power in their nature blessings. Unless they are disbanded, in which case they gradually lose their powers. I'm thinking powers on the level of spontaneous reincarnations, climate control, "beastspeak" zones or growth of forbidden fruits like ambrosium.

As of 1374 DR I'd give the (Active or Disbanded) groves the following status/powers. Its defenders (if any) will on average be of medium to high level.

the Elven Woods/Cormanthor


Battledale Seven (Cormanthyr Forest, D)
fading Lesser Grove / sweet waters


Shadowdale Circle (Cormanthyr Forest, D)
ancient faded Lesser Grove with Stone Circle/ control temperature - speaking menhirs


the Talkers to the Trees (Cormyr-Kirinwood, A)
unknown/ unknown


the Knightswood Nine (Cormyr-Knightswood, A)
recovered Greater Grove with running moonwell/ reincarnation - beastspeak zone


Circle of Seven Daggers (Daggerdale; Spiderhaunt Forest, A)
contested corrupted Greater Grove/ hungry trees (evil treants) - bountiful (both posioned and "goodberry" fruit) - prophetic dreams


Falls of Tumbling Stars (valley in Thunderpeaks, eastern Cormyr, D)
reclaimed Greater Grove of Mielikki/ whispering leaves - healing waters


Gulthmere Forest/Chondalwood



The Emerald Enclave (Turmish and Chondath, A)
ancient Grand Grove-isle of Ilighon/ ancient awakened trees - calm emotions - scrying pools - feyportal menhirs - stone guardian menhirs


The Nature Seekers' Grove of Renewal (Underdark, A)
ancient Greater Grove/ earth power (+2 cl for earth spells) - reincarnation - sweet waters - feyportal "menhirs"


the Nantarn Council's Emerald Grove (Serôs, under the Sea of Fallen Stars, A)
Greater Grove of Eldath/ unknown


Hill of Fangs (West of Westgate, most southern of seven hills to seven lost gods, D)
abandoned ancient Greater Grove of Moander/ stunted growth - sickening grounds - haunted


the High Forest/Silver Marches(Luruar)



Circle of the Stag (the Unicorn Run south of the Star Mounts, A)
Greater Grove of Mielikki/ awakened trees - bountiful (fruits of love) - eternal spring season - sweet waters


Tall Trees (Teuveamantaar, High Forest, A)
Greater Grove/ awakened trees - blinding spellwards (as Holy Aura) - scrying pools - bountiful (sap of barkskin & merciful weapon)


Glade of Life (the North-High Forest, A)
unknown Greater(?)Grove of Mielikki, Chauntea, Lurue and Eldath/ unknown


Unnamed Circle (the Cold Wood; northern foothills of the Rauvin Mountains, A)
unknown/ unknown


Grey Druids of the Undermoor (under the High Moor near the drow city of Eryndlyn, A)
fading Greater Grove of Ibrandul/Shar/ eternal season (fall) - whispering rapids (fascinate until starvation) - bountiful (fruits of know direction)


Crimson Grove (Silver Marches' Moonwood, D)
fading contested Greater Grove/ sweet waters - healing zone (double natural rates)


The People of the Black Bloods 'Claw Hollow' (Silver Marches' Moonwood, D)
numerous fading Lesser Groves / Lesser Sanctuary of Malar eternal fall season - protective aura vs good


Warren Wardens (Silverymoon, A (mostly halflings))
Greater Grove of Yondalla/Chauntea/ unknown


the Circle of Silver's Silverglen (Silverymoon, a regional alliance of northern druids from Leaflords Host, Crimson Grove, Silverglen & Warren Wardens, A)
unknown/ unknown


Leaflords Host (Silver Marches' Moonwood, D)
fading contested Greater Grove/ sweet waters - whispering leaves


Unnamed Circle (alliance led by the Hybsil archdruid Five Point in presumably the Lurkwood, the North, A)
unknown/ unknown


Unnamed Circle of the Woods of Turlang (verdant alliance led by the Treant Grand Druid to the Upvale in northern reaches of High Forest near Hellgate Dell/Keep, A)
Greater Grove of Mielikki/ awakened trees - abundant growth


Moonshaes



Corwell Firth (Ruins of Caer Corwell, next to Kendrick' Castle, D)
Greater(?)Grove of Earthmother-Chauntea with Moonwell/ unknown


Mirror Lake (southern Fens of the Fallon, the Highlands of Gwynneth, A)
unknown/ prophetic daydreams (whispering waters at dawn)


The Grove of Meditation (southern peaks of Cambro Mountains on Gwynneth) Mountains, A)
unknown/ enhanced concentration (elven related spells at +2 CL, easier learning of those spells)


Singing waterfalls (created by the run-off from glaciers high in the Cambro mountains, D)
unknown/ singing waters (enrapture humans until starvation)


the Rawlinswood/Forest of Lethyr



Circle of Leth or Blightlords of Talona
(Dun Tharos, Rawlinswood of the Great Dale, in the southwestern valley of the Giantspire Mountains, D)
abandoned corrupted Living Forest Fortress of Silvanus/Talona/ massive growth - stunted growth - bountiful (fruits of detect traps) - reincarnation zones / sickening grounds - fouled waters - hungry dead trees (raised evil treants) - haunted - demon infested


Lyons Oak (south of Icehilt river, Impiltur, A)
ancient Greater Grove of Silvanus/ awakened tree - bountiful (fruits of heroism) - beastspeak zone


The Circle of the Sheaf (Raven's Bluff area, A)
Greater Grove of Chauntea/ bountiful (fruits of glibness)


Other regions



Deeping Caves (vine choked gully in the Kryptgarden Forest, A)
lesser grove & draconic lair/ chlorine haze (exhaustion inducing, dc 14) - corrupted Unseelie and Seelie Fey - poisoned waters - massive vines growth


Dusk Circle (Westwood on the Sword Coast, A)
unknown/ unknown


Duskwood Dell (east of Eshpurta river, Amn, A)
waterfalls of tributary form a reclaimed Greater Grove of Eldath/ sweet waters - healing waters - scrying pools


Elah'Zad (the middle of a series of desert springs, Anauroch, A)
ancient Greater Grove of Eldath / Selune/ prophetic daydreams (females only) - sweet waters - control winds


Old Oak Dell (Forest of Tethyr, Tethyr, A)
ancient Greater Grove of Silvanus/ awakened tree - animal trance songs - calm emotions - bountiful (fruits of longevity) - prophetic dreams



Edit: redone with active/disbanded status (A or D)
& added some info

Edit:: added Moonwoods Claw Hollow and Crimson Grove, added magic fruit effects to bountiful power

Edit::: some changes to Claw Hollow

Edit:::: Added the lost grove built over Dun-Tharos & Glade of Life of Lurue, Chauntea, Eldath and Mielikki

Edit::::: Added more structure by including Faeruns 5 major druidic zones and more groves on the Moonshaes

Edit:::::: Included the Circle of the Stag & Undermoor groves; updated Tall Trees

Edit::::::: Added Deeping Caves and unknown circle led by the Hybsil archdruid

Edit:::::::: Added Turlang and his verdant shenannigans; updated Five Point the Hybsil druid

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders

Edited by - Bladewind on 23 Feb 2016 17:30:57
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2014 :  19:33:32  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Somewhere I've seen reference to a Druidic Cirlce near Silverymoon I'm assuming part of the Moonwood, and possibly other woods as well. The name escapes me at the moment but I will update the post when I find it.
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2014 :  21:25:24  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The following groves I could determine from Faiths and Avatars. I'll add them to my post above.

Old Oak Dell (Forest of Tethyr, Tethyr, Ancient)

Lyons Oak (south of Icehilt river, Impiltur, Ancient)

Falls of Tumbling Stars (valley in Thunderpeaks, eastern Cormyr, recently Discovered)

Duskwood Dell (east of Eshpurta river, Amn, Ancient)

Elah'Zad (the middle of a series of desert springs, Anauroch, Ancient)


My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2014 :  01:19:15  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found this here: http://www.realmshelps.net/faerun/lore/rand/silverorg.shtml

Druids of the Silver Marches
It comes as a surprise to no one that the Silver Marches area is a stronghold for good druids. The followers of Mielikki maintain strongholds in Silverymoon and in the eastern edge of the High Forest (a sacred grove known as Tall Trees). The folk of the Silver Marches respect good druids, but they don't expect the nature priests to get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the communities unless doing so supports or affirms their religious convictions. Evil druids and their destructive tendencies are feared, especially when they associates (as they so often do) with bands of evil humanoids. Druids also congregate in small groups known as druidic circles, which is a reference to the natural life and death cycle. One can find a druidic circle located beneath the northern foothills of the Rauvin Mountains, where the border of the Coldwood meets the rising high ground.

There is also this from here: http://silverymoon.thyle.net/netbook/chapter3.html


The Circle of Silver
The Circle of Silver is an alliance of druidic groves in the Moonlands. Founded in the Year of the Harp (1355 DR) by the Argent Watchers, the Circle of Silver has grown to include druids of many faiths and races. The elven and half-elven Leaflord's Host, the Crimson Grove of the Moonwood, the Keepers of the Silverglen in Silverymoon and the halfling Warren Wardens all count themselves as members of the Circle, as do a number of individual and solitary druids in the areas around the Moonlands. The Circle of Silver works closely with the Heralds and the Harpers; indeed, several members of the Circle are known to wear Harper pins beneath their robes.

The membership of the Circle has recently been decimated by ruthless attacks from a group of evil Malar-worshipping lycanthropes calling themselves the People of the Black Blood. The surviving druids have retreated from the Moonwood to regroup. Rangers and others are petitioning the High Mage for assistance in dealing with this new threat, though Taern has not answered their call as yet.

There clearly are NOT canon sources but is good stuff none the less.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2014 :  18:19:44  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Claw Hollow in the Moonwood is a lycanthrope stronghold, it is not a druid grove in any way shape or form. To my knowledge it's never been mentioned as a druid grove in either canon or non-canon sources. The People of the Black Blood are an evil Malar-worshiping cult of lycanthropes....they are not druids and do not maintain any groves.

What IS mentioned is the Tall Trees, in the eastern High Forest, and the "Circle of Silver", an alliance of goodly druidic groves throughout the Silver Marches.
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2014 :  19:31:46  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with your assesment, but I deem Malars strongholds as important enough enemies to druidic activity that I will still include them whenever possible in this study. Same goes for strongholds to the dieties of Fury, local shrines to lost powers (such as Herne or Ubtao) and natural occuring moonwells.

So I intend to leave the Claw Hollow on the list, as I see Malar worshippers as being able to tend to their 'clawed territory' in their own way, resulting in hallowed druid groves within them becoming corrupted. Claw Hollow might have been a former grove, but years of bloody Malar worship and unattendedness causes its powers to fade or corrupt into twisted forms of 'nature magic'. If a group of determined druids are able to fend of the lycans and malarites around Claw Hollow, with enough patience and care, the area could harbor sacred groves again. I'll adjust the terminology in the above post to make this more clear, though.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2014 :  19:39:45  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's pretty clear in the canon. Claw Hollow is detailed in Silver Marches starting on page 124. Of the 75+ residents, ZERO are druids, one is a 6th level cleric of Malar. Hardly high enough to unhollow anything, or corrupt anything. As written it is merely a lair with several small crude altars to Malar. The lone undead guardian is a gargantuan zombie that was created by a now dead mage in another part of the Moonwood and lured to Claw Hollow by the lycanthropes. Clearly there isn't enough clerical or druidic power at the place to make it anything more than a glorified colony for lycanthropes.

Additionally, in other areas of the source book, it states that not all the residents are worshippers of Malar. Some are simply searching for a place where lycanthropes are accepted, rather than reviled.

Obviously you're free to make up whatever you wish about it. I'm not trying to disregard your fantastic creativity, just trying to point out that this at least is pretty clear in the canon.

Edited by - Cards77 on 07 Dec 2014 19:42:40
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2014 :  20:17:59  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some explanations of the corrupted or blessed powers follow here.
Blessed Powers
Beastspeak Zone
Animals wandering past this groves borders gain the ability to speak and understand druidic while in the grove. Animals summoned in this grove arrive with one extra animal.

Bountiful
The grove has a tree or plants whose fruit or berries have a magical effect when eaten. In a given year, 1d6 fruits or 3d6+20 goodberries ripen, each with a distinct appearance to set it apart from common fruit or berries (lustrous golden apples, for example). Goodberries each heal one hp. The magic fruit's effects are equivalent to one of the following: potion of animal control, of heroism, of longevity, of detect traps, of love or of glibness

Awakened Plants
A number of plants (2d10 individual or 1d4 swarms) in this grove have been granted semi-intelligence as tiny plant creatures (4HD; ac 12 [dex -2, nat +2, size+2), able to create an entanglement effect as an attack (as the spell)).

Awakened Tree
A single tree has gained intelligence and wisdom (2d6+6). Treat as a permanent rooted Changestaff spell, with 3 to 6th druid levels worth of spellcasting.

Corrupted Powers
Beguiling
Creatures passing the groves borders must save vs mindeffecting spells or become a sanctuary guardian for the duration of the beguilement effect and as long as they remain within the groves area.

Stunted Growth
All plants here show oddly shaped growths, the twisted branches and trunks leave the area with a sinister appearance.

Poisoned
Plants (and some animals) produce sassone leaf residue (contact) and fruits produce black lotus extract (ingested) poison.

Eternal Season
The grove is locked in a perpetual season, never changing in its climate.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders

Edited by - Bladewind on 07 Dec 2014 21:04:31
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1137 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2014 :  21:29:50  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found another interesting conteder for a place that would influence druidic politics. The Old Owl Well, once a strategic watering hole suggested by the Terraseer to the then ascending netherese magocragies, now a netherese waterpump-ruin capable of working 20 gallons of water from an aquifer 5 miles below. Seems like a place that would be an affront to druids.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2014 :  04:39:11  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Somewhere I've seen reference to a Druidic Cirlce near Silverymoon I'm assuming part of the Moonwood, and possibly other woods as well. The name escapes me at the moment but I will update the post when I find it.



I just discovered the Council of Pines, based in the Moonwood, near the village of Berlingford, in the adventure "Forest of Blood" written by Wil Upchurch featured in Dungeon #103. I will post further details, if there are any, when I finish reading.

Depending on the outcome of the adventure the Circle was nearly wiped out by followers of Malar, however, if the heroes prevail, the Council of Pines, slowly rebuilds.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 12 Dec 2014 05:27:57
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2014 :  01:39:59  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Somewhere I've seen reference to a Druidic Cirlce near Silverymoon I'm assuming part of the Moonwood, and possibly other woods as well. The name escapes me at the moment but I will update the post when I find it.



I just discovered the Council of Pines, based in the Moonwood, near the village of Berlingford, in the adventure "Forest of Blood" written by Wil Upchurch featured in Dungeon #103. I will post further details, if there are any, when I finish reading.

Depending on the outcome of the adventure the Circle was nearly wiped out by followers of Malar, however, if the heroes prevail, the Council of Pines, slowly rebuilds.



Thanks for that. Very good. I've been using the "Circle of Silver" in my game with my druid player but I'm interested in any details you may have.
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2014 :  02:12:04  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
'Fraid that's all there was to it. I can provide the name of the sole remaining druid, who, if saved, rebuilds the circle, but that's about everything. That adventure and the following one (The Twisted Run; Dungeon #129) involve the machinations of Anth-Malar, His Chosen, so obviously the Council, moreso than others, is dedicated to the eradication of the blacktooth strain of lycanthropy, the Bloody Ravager and His Chosen's minions (including a night hag, an azer sorcerer, evil druids, rabid blink dogs, a psychotic dryad, special lycanthropes, and a Beast of Malar (from Monsters of Faerun)). PM me if you would like further details.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 13 Dec 2014 19:50:45
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2014 :  20:53:16  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hrm is that Berlinford even Canon? I can't find it on any map or anywhere except in that issue.
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2014 :  20:59:52  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ask Markus. What I can tell you is that it is an FR adventure. Not sure of the canoninity(?) of Dungeon adventures. I would be inclined to say yes, but what do I know?

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 13 Dec 2014 21:13:24
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2014 :  00:31:01  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Ask Markus. What I can tell you is that it is an FR adventure. Not sure of the canoninity(?) of Dungeon adventures. I would be inclined to say yes, but what do I know?



My approach was always to treat the Dungeon adventures as canon, unless they can't be reconciled with other sources. (And most of the time, there's a way.)

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
533 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2014 :  01:08:17  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Ask Markus. What I can tell you is that it is an FR adventure. Not sure of the canoninity(?) of Dungeon adventures. I would be inclined to say yes, but what do I know?



My approach was always to treat the Dungeon adventures as canon, unless they can't be reconciled with other sources. (And most of the time, there's a way.)

--Eric



Interesting. I haven't seen it on ANY map, and certainly not on Markus' map. Nor Mike Schley. Not that I'm an expert but I'm certainly no novice. Nor have I seen the town mentioned anywhere else.

I'm not sure what "Forest" the adventure refers to either. The only forest "north east of the Moonwood" is the Night Tree's. There certainly isn't any town near there.

Edited by - Cards77 on 14 Dec 2014 01:09:52
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Taurendil
Seeker

Chile
43 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  15:40:27  Show Profile Send Taurendil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Question guys. I would really appreciate your opinion.

One of my players (the druid) wants to "contact the local druid" (funny as it sounds), and the campaign is currently at the Shaar.
By the characteristic of the region I think A LOT of people of the nomadic tribes qualifies as a druid. I mean, lot of herbalists, hunters, tribe sages/chiefs, even centaurs of the zone.

Do you know of any prominent druid? Do you think there SHOULD BE a prominent guy, given the characteristics of the place? Or it's just a common sight, the guy who protects nature.

- Ideas desordenadas sin RPG en específico www.juegoconamnesia.blogspot.com (Spanish)
- Des idées en vrac pour n'importe quel JdR www.jeudeloubli.blogspot.com (French)
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  17:36:54  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taurendil
Do you know of any prominent druid? Do you think there SHOULD BE a prominent guy, given the characteristics of the place? Or it's just a common sight, the guy who protects nature.

Nothing has popped out on my searches regarding druids and the region. Sorry, I'm not very helpful there.

The second one is multi-part. Do you think your druids would like to have people come seek them out for information on how best to exploit an area? Sapient beings turn to druids whenever they want information or to tap divine power to their own ends. Centaurs, gnolls, elves, wemics, halflings, humans, giants, dwarves, and all the rest look at nature as something that needs to be bent to their will with only degrees of magnitude separating their rapacious manipulations of the natural order. What type of druid wants to deal with that? I think only a druid who has dedicated himself to the lost-cause of educating the unenlightened or resigned to keeping ever smaller areas of territory "virgin" would ever allow themselves to be known as "the local druid."

I would take this as an opportunity to add bold colors to your game. They want the "local druid?" Have the locals recoil, making warding gestures against evil with their hands, and saying "we do not seek such terrible things." The players are going to press and the locals will tell them where to find this druid on condition that the players immediately leave unless their association be known and a terrible curse comes down on all their heads instead of just the PCs. Then, true to their word, the locals treat the PCs as untouchables that are shut out of their settlement until they bring back some token of good will from the druid to prove that the PCs are not harbingers of doom for their folly. This kind of set-up should make your players sit up and give them an idea that your Forgotten Realms is different from any bland D&D cookie-cutter setting.

The Shaar seems to be more vibrantly wild and feral to let a meek interpretation of "druid" to thrive. You have more than enough justification to go hog-wild. The druid might be an evil gnoll with an appetite for humanoid children that needs to be slated before he helps the PCs (call him "Dingo" for a more tongue-in-cheek approach). A wemic druid could simply stalk and attack the PCs to kill them unless they fall into the appropriate position showing submission to an alpha - even after that he will not talk beyond his own questions and will lead the players to doing their own tasks instead of telling them the information or how to do what they are requesting (think Mr. Miyogi from Karate Kid). A halfling eco-terrorist could be fun who demands the players destroy wells, crop fields, domesticated herd animals, or buildings before he will lift one finger for the PCS. A jaded human hunter might throw your players for a loop as he espouses his druidic ideals of the apex predator not being the prettiest animal but the meanest with the greatest will to survive and he wants the players to prove it by hunting a beast and bringing it down with their bare hands. A violently xenophobic centaur druid who must be coaxed with honey wine and treated with deference or he will take offense at any real or imagined disrespect to drive off the PCs and create woes for the nearby civilized people (unless he is too drunk/hungover to carry through with such a threat). A thri-kreen druid could be suspended in webbing by giant spiders (like in Krull) and will only let those petitioners that he believes will help the causes of his views on nature leave unmolested by the spiders.

Pie's the limit. And why should there be only one? Maybe they migrate around. An Avariel (winged elf) who calls no place home and is difficult to find to the point that only random chance will have the PCs find him and his lack of material possessions matches his zeal for expensive offerings be burned as sacrifices to the deit(y/ies) of nature.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Demzer
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Posted - 14 Mar 2015 :  14:59:58  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taurendil
Do you know of any prominent druid? Do you think there SHOULD BE a prominent guy, given the characteristics of the place? Or it's just a common sight, the guy who protects nature.



You can check the Bloodwalk novel from The Wizards series. There are some examples of the Ghedias "witches", human shaman-like nomad druids of the northern Shaar, at the border with the Border Kingdoms (Shandophyn's Reach, Qurth Forest). If i remember correctly their magic has some ritualistic aspects, with lots of herb burning, circle-dancing, singing, trances and a secret language. Beside doing common druidic stuff (change weather, protect from some spells) they manage to summon huge battlebriars (3E MM III).

Also, in that contest, the Ghedias are the "preservers of the old ways", in opposition to the encroaching urbanization from the Border Kingdoms and organized faiths.

Edited by - Demzer on 14 Mar 2015 15:01:56
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Mar 2015 :  15:47:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my mind, any druids on the Shaar would be tribal shaman types, with maybe one elder druid who left his tribe and now lives alone in a somewhat isolated area. I don't see any kind of druidic hierarchy there, but the elder druid would be widely respected by the others, who would defer to his wisdom.

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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

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Posted - 15 Mar 2015 :  11:09:46  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's likely I'm approaching this from the wrong angle but, please, hear me out anyway. The veneration of nature deities is not the sole right of druids as there are no bars on clerics and religious orders of priesthoods dedicated to the gods of all aspects of nature. So, why are the druids different with discrete powers and restrictions on their conduct? Though not directly said and without any sort of mechanic (just flavor text), druids are to the wild what clerics are to civilizations - guides to the flourishing of their charges.

Where does that leave our druids? All forms of civilization are threats to the wilderness. Anywhere that a civilization takes root kills/drives off dangerous flora/fauna, encourages beneficial flora to grow while weeding detrimental organisms, domesticates pliable fauna, rearranges natural terrain to suit its will, and consumes resources in greater quantities as it grows. I don't think a druid would want to have anything to do with civilizations, even neolithic ones, because civilization is anathema to the wild; however, the druid is a paradox because without civilization the druid cannot come into being.

Rituals, lores, cognizance, and the environment to spawn an individual and nurture him to acquire those things are byproducts of civilizations great and small. Without a civilization there cannot be a druid. If the druid is the "guardian of the wilderness" then from what does the druid guard the wilderness? Take away the civilizations (encompassing all manners of intelligent beings that act on their environments from human farming to goblin scavenging, and giant engineering to halfling wandering) and what existential threat is there? Without a civilization there is no need for a druid.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone but, with the descriptions they are given and the clear separation of abilities between clerics & druids of the same nature deities, it seems to me that the iconic druid is a misanthrope. If the natural world suffers no compulsion for the ethics of law vs. chaos and the morals of good vs. evil then what does it lose from the absence of the civilizations that labor under those intellectual maladies? Without intelligence and the powers derived therefrom, what would extraplanar beings gain from meddling with the wilderness of the Forgotten Realms? So why would druids ever be involved with even tribes of any type of people? Answer: the druids that do still labor under the the moral and ethical constructs of their upbringing and exposure to the world outside their druidic point of view.

Civilization is a siren's call to druids luring them back with temptations counter to their teachings and rife with beings behaving badly (whatever form that may take). Druidic circles may have a purpose, whether designed or happenstance, to strengthen the resolve of druids in the face of civilization through a social community. The push and pull of virtues to vices, the alignment extremes out of sync with the unaligned wilderness held to be an ideal, and the notions that all aspects of all cultures are profanities visited upon the natural world would make for some interesting NPC creation in non-traditional settings. At least, that's my take and advice for you to make a fun, off-the-wall personality that your players are sure to remember.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Taurendil
Seeker

Chile
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Posted - 16 Mar 2015 :  12:37:10  Show Profile Send Taurendil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the help guys! The game session went great!

Finally I sticked with the general nomadic approach, with a lot of druidic shamans on the tribes, but also added (or "stole") SaMoCon idea of an eco-terrorist druid (I made it a loxo hermit, who burns the crops and settlemente that adventure too much into the wild areas). The character didn't want to mess around with him.

He even got a glimpse of the mysterious Ghedias (thanks for the reference Demzer), just a name and rumours, but he was intrigued and promised to research after the ongoing mission.

- Ideas desordenadas sin RPG en específico www.juegoconamnesia.blogspot.com (Spanish)
- Des idées en vrac pour n'importe quel JdR www.jeudeloubli.blogspot.com (French)
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SaMoCon
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Posted - 17 Mar 2015 :  06:20:51  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Taurendil, if you take anything I post to the boards and apply it to your games then I'm happy to have been of assistance. The notion of a loxo hermit destroying fields and buildings encroaching on the wild makes me smile. But now I am thinking about the druid circles. What does a circle do? I am not talking in terms of mechanics but in purpose within the context of the Forgotten Realms (and perhaps the larger D&D multiverse).
quote:
So why would druids ever be involved with even tribes of any type of people? Answer: the druids that do still labor under the the moral and ethical constructs of their upbringing and exposure to the world outside their druidic point of view. Civilization is a siren's call to druids luring them back with temptations counter to their teachings and rife with beings behaving badly (whatever form that may take). Druidic circles may have a purpose, whether designed or happenstance, to strengthen the resolve of druids in the face of civilization through a social community.

Up until that point where I asked then answered a question for druidic association I had a clear line of thought before derailing when trying to bring it back to the druid circles. The only logical connection I have been able to make is an equivalent of Civilization Addicts Anonymous. I want a better reason than that and it is just not coming to me.

The other classes and orders have very clear reasons and goals for their social groups which are in line with their personal goals and conclusions. Wizards gather to pool resources for research and gain power. Clerics gather to manage temples and/or direct flocks to empower their god(s) and themselves. Fighting men of all stripes gather to advance their martial techniques and practice their fundamentals by training/sparring with novices. Thieves gather because of the protection afforded by running with a gang and the more steady income provided by sharing the income of multiple operations. These are not the only reasons for the stated associations to exist but they are ready reasons I came up with on the spot to explain why senior and junior members would join and/or continue to congregate.

Could the circles be site-specific, tied to a location of greater importance than the fraternity of druids? If the area is sacrosanct then is the circle a membership of defenders determined to prevent that <node/cairn/menhir/wooby of significance> being despoiled by intelligent beings. A circle of this type is an obligation though the methods of its defense are dependent upon the ideologies of its members. Two questions immediately form in my mind that must be answered in tandem for this to be true. The primary focus of joining the circle is to protect the circle's object but why would a druid do so? A PC druid adventures and may encounter such a circle that is dying out - why would the PC druid not join the circle if all other reasons were eliminated from the argument?

Are the circles replacements for temples? Establishment of a circle is done by a <insert flavor-text for high level> druid who gathers lesser druids into a rough semblance of order for regulating the proper veneration of nature and induct new recruits into his ideal of naturalism. Essentially this is just copying the ecclesiastical orders and making... almost no changes, now that I think about it. Okay, no temple and no flock, but what else is different? And do druids actually need this organization? Yes, it provides lackeys for the higher end and training for the lower end; however, it doesn't resonate with the color provided on druids.

Are the circles a means for the "Global Brotherhood of Monocultural Druidism" to monitor and deal with unbalanced threats upon the wild? Since druids all have a secret language, their all supposed to be frat-brothers, and they have expectations for being tapped to serve the Grand Poobah as well as petitioning for help, then it would only make sense that there is a world-spanning secret society. Maybe the circles are like company stores specifically set in locations to best enact the will of GBMD Incorporated (a humorous, yet apt, description). Members of the circles are inducted into this Illuminati and their servitude is necessary for maintaining the status quo of the world in accordance with the wishes of the higher ups. The placement of the circles would have a greater meaning as well as their "staff" as long-term moves in a much larger game of strategy. Loyalty to the cause may be the primary factor for induction and may explain why a PC druid never knows about this shadow organization. Is there any canon materials to support this, because I have nothing other than conjecture in a vacuum.

Is there something I am missing that would help explain circles better? For example, why would a PC druid want to form a druid circle? Temples, weapon schools, monasteries, colleges, guilds, gangs, and the rest have ready explanations that make sense in both game and world simulation terms. So, what for do druid circles exist?

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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