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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3177 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2015 :  09:31:33  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you are thinking far too much about druids.

Like all things in life the circle is as much a product of human nature as it is about preserving nature.

Humans like to ensure they have a legacy beyond their own brief lives, they also desire company (even though they might say the opposite) and they want to either build or destroy.

Accomplished druids gather lesser druids about them to continue their own legacy by teaching others in their ways, and in doing so have some human company and build an organisation.

However that of course is not he official reason why druids build circles. Druids are dedicated to preserving nature so when they find a site of natural significance they want to protect it and preserve it.

In ages past before the Era of Humanity druids probably just wandered around acting as midwives, medical professionals and wilderness experts. As urbanisation and terraforming started altering the natural world, the druid circles are formed to preserve those places of uniqueness.


At least thats how i play it. You have a circle of druids. When members have learned all they can they split off to form their own druidic circles and train students of their own.

Unfortunately in the modern age humanity is not quite so interested in the natural world as were the elves or other races. The number of students is less and less, they have many more threats to face and so the attrition rate is higher and now is approaching the rate of recruitment so druid circles are diminishing.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2015 :  12:45:43  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

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?



Very apt question...

If one looks at the druid community, it is apparent that the Grand Druid (level 15+) of a natural world is considered the alpha, the one who is in power to keep all the others in line. He seems to be charged with overseeing ALL druidic activity in the world. He is advised by 9 archdruids (level 13+), who each have given up their position in their area (and their druidic circle) to do so. The grand druid is activly represented by great druids in the geographic areas around the world, divided by climate/continent. It seems common for the Grand Druid to have three active arch- druids that are not tied to a specific circle. These guys are often ininvited guests at the scattered circles around the world.

Druidic orders seems to be strictly a top down driven. But in practise the power of a Grand Druid is in constant flux, largely dependant on the amount of competition amongst his underlings. At any moment a challenge can be issued to rise among the ranks. These are fought (often to the death) by hand to hand combat or spell battles.

So knowing who (or what) is the Grand Druid at a particular time can give a nice idea what the focus of druidic activities is going to be. Interestingly, grand druids are known to relinquish their positions in search of higher mysteries becoming hierophant druids, causing immediate political turmoil in the lower ranks of the druidic order. It is a mystery what the goals of hierophant druids are.

More to follow...

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2015 :  15:40:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always thought that battling to the death was an odd way to become top druid. Plenty of animals battle for dominance, without fighting to the death. You'd think that intelligent nature lovers would have a better method than throwing down Highlander-style.

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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2015 :  15:56:09  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A hybsil druid named Five Point is named as "the leader of the second largest druid circle in the northlands." More specifically he's in the Silver Marches somewhere. Scribes more qualified than I can determine which one is the second-largest.

Monsters of Faerun pg 61
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2015 :  20:16:22  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Continuing my thoughts on the politicing amongst druids after perusing 2nd editions complete druid's handbook.

Druidic circles are often organised by the specific type of wilderness its members have vowed to protect, with forest druids usually claiming positions of political power. They see the cities in most areas of Faerun encroaching on their domains, harken to the extend of their domain in the past (West Faerun was once a single megaforest) and so claim the decline of their forest domains as the most pressing cause to pursue for the druidic circle as whole. Those in favor of this make sure that the great druid of the area is a forest druid, make alliances with eachother to ensure positions of power are more readily given to those who hail from forest domains, and generally make sure the allied lesser domains (usuelly plains, swamps and sometimes jungle) concerns are heard but dont dominate the circles agenda.

A typical circle's team of Archdruids and its Great Druid try to maintain the balance, keep themselves as well informed about their domain as they can, and actively defend against threats within their domains borders, both supernatural and mundane. Archdruids have the power to issue a call for a Moot at any time, but these are usually held at least twice a year for the whole druidic circle.

Great Druids have additional political power: they can Ban indiviual druids, certain areas or whole communities whithin their domains. This means that those people are cut off from communication and contact with the druidic circle and its allies for a period (usually at least ten years). My suspicion is that most cities in West and North Faerun are under this Ban, for affronts to nature done in the distant past. Only recently the Emerald Enclave branch within the larger druidic community has been trying to lift the Ban and start the dialogue with kings and barons in their domains once more.

Dissent within the Order is usually dealt with with a Ban aswell, though lessened in length depending on the offence. The Bans is also a tool to reprimand actions that are within the ethos of a circle, but that offended the archdruids interests somehow. A single druid might have overreacted on a trespass of his grove by a local hunter and killed a family in that village. The village might have a contract with one of the archdruids, and he could see the offending druid banned and exiled for a single season for it.

Challenges are overseen by the Great Druid during a Moot. Though tradionally lethal spell or claw-to-teeth battles, less severe forms (a competitive Hunt for the greatest beast for example) are used aswell. The physical challenge to rise in power is deemed important as it keeps those within the druidic orders inner circle vigourous and honest. Its hard to maintain cordial relationships with those you know who will one they try to eat your face in single combat, so most high level druids are obvious in their ambitions and show as much strength as they can when confronted with eachother. This keeps the higher echelons from the hypocrisy and behind-the-scenes maneuvering that most Faerunian faiths have to cope with, enabling high level circles to act with surprising unity and swiftness for an organisation operating on their scale.

Its a Grand Druid's job to keep all of the Order in line. Only she has the power to point a new Grand Druid, no-one can challenge her through combat, but she can elect to step down after at least four years of active duty, hand picking a succeror as she does. A Grand Druid usually travels from Great Druid to Great Druid during this time, but is more often represented by three specially selected Archdruids from over the world who get to travel in her stead. These Emissaries are both welcomed and regarded with suspicion on arrival.

Stepped down Grand Druids become Hierophants, the freelance wild cards of the druidic Order. They can do whatever they personally want, and most travel to unknown lands or start planeswalking.

I dont know if its canon, but I suspect the Grand Druid of the 14th century (2nd and 3rd edition FR) to be a traditional forest druid of Silvanus, with Emissaries of Mielikki, Chauntea and Ubtao. Around the tail end of the century the new Emerald Enclave movement led by its great druid of caused unrest amonst the numerous faltering circles across Faerun. By the next century the new Grand Druid is probably from the Emerals Enclave. I think the practical aid the Emerald Enclave could give has forced the traditionalist, hardliner druids to concede most of their power, and that they went 'underground' somewhere around the middle of the 15th century. They probably have started to organise themselves in a shadowy counter movement, that upholds that civilisation should be halted or outright removed to maintain the balance.

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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2015 :  10:41:11  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, in a way, there is an emulation of the pecking order and domination conflicts seen in social animals that is married to the goal driven agendas of reasoned intellect. This is more fascinating especially since it is not human-centric reasoning as the driving force. The description you give, Bladewind, makes me think of the pack and tribe motifs from White Wolf's Werewolf the Apocalypse. Only a druid that proves himself stronger than the current leading druid can change how the circle goes about its primary business. Until then, the "alpha" druid leads and all those below him follow. All actions of the circle great and small are the equivalent of holy writ and only a successful challenge proves that the god(s)/will of nature endorses the changes to be made.

Now this is more exciting stuff! The reason to join a circle is more like a call to arms against those forces destroying the balance of nature and a belief that the circle leader is right in his efforts to pursue those ends. The reason to challenge is to right a perceived wrong and the motivations are more than just displaying physical prowess but to prove religious zeal. But in this is also the reason for a PC druid to be able to wander willy-nilly - not having a ring to join because there isn't a leader he can follow or a temporary ousting for not being traditional (read "strong") enough.

Frankly, this is far better for druids than the perception of hippie nature-lovers and flower children that seems to be imposed upon them or the wise-old-man-of-the-woods and truth-speaker-for-the-world roles as which druid NPCs are often typecast. Vibrant, blooded, devoted, and wary - how often has a druid been depicted with any of those adjectives or played as a wild animal barely containing himself? The druid circle's description seems to promote the more aggressive and savage personalities over those who enjoy tea parties and believe in peace at all costs. I like this untamed version very much.

It would also stand to reason that druid circles are as much placed to oppose a vector of destruction as they are placed to safe-guard an area of importance, depending upon the doctrine of the current Grand Druid (GD). An aggressive GD would organize new rings or even move existing ones into areas to deal with the greatest sources of threats while a passive one may do the opposite by ordering rings out of areas of conflict to protect places of importance instead. The emphasis on forests may only be due to the prevailing "alphas" and current run of GDs having that ecosystem as common ties instead of any inherent politics and pride. I'm not suggesting that there isn't any politics and pride at play but that these have far less influence in a "might makes right" hierarchy.

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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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3177 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2015 :  11:09:50  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do find it hard to believe that there is only a single grand druid in the whole of Faerun (unless i greatly misunderstood what i was reading).

I think that is a holdover from 2e and the style of that system to appoint titles to a character dependent upon its level.

Personally i think there is one grand druid in each region (typically with only one druid circle per region, but if a newer circle moves in and is not friendly then hostilities may ensue). The leader would be called a Grand Druid but that title should not define the level of the character.

Having the Grand Druid appoint a successor and step down to become a hierophant makes perfect sense, but again should not be level dependent, especially since a druid need not possess levels in the druid class (or even spellcasting ability), just a devotion to nature. And remember that character classes are for exceptional individuals only so not many people will ever take the druid class, most would be commoners, adepts, or experts.

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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2015 :  08:41:06  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Likewise, Dazzlerdal, I find it hard to believe that druid circles are mostly filled with non-druids. Communication within druid society was aided by the use of a secret language common to all druid circles, Druidic, which is not allowed to be taught to non-druids. That is in the core rules as well as the canon of the Forgotten Realms. I even think that civilized races would be in the minority of the total druid population considering that giants, monstrous humanoids, magical beasts, fey, and savage humanoids all have druids among their numbers. Now I don't have proof to back this up, but the verbiage tended to paint the druids as exclusionary which I also took to mean that the default druid circle is closed to those not ordained into their mysteries.

Then there is also the idea of where druid circles would be. How many of them would be in crop fields, on major roads, or located in towns? The ones we can agree are statically placed are in areas of importance to the wilderness, most likely virgin territory or areas where civilization has been ruined and overtaken by the wild. Druid circles in other places let's just remove from the argument for now. These remote circles are inaccessible to those who cannot fend for themselves in nature which eliminates commoners whom have neither Knowledge Nature nor Survival as class skills. Without the class skill or divine magic to heal then even minor injuries and illnesses could kill people so woefully inadequate to the challenges of surviving in the wilderness. Only the Expert has the access to the skills and the skill points necessary to pull off living on the frontier but how many of those would relegate themselves to being subsistence hunter-gatherers living as a permanent underclass to the druids? If they had the religious zeal to do so then would they not become druids?

Turn the situation on its head and you will see that even a 1st level druid is superior to all other classes, PC & NPC, for surviving in the wild. They quickly gain the abilities to be unhindered by all terrain that would slow or stop all but higher level rangers and are untraceable to even these peerless trackers. Once a druid can wild shape they have no need of the things civilization offers (food, shelter, safety in numbers). What other people would want to live for weeks, months, and years surviving on whatever food maybe hunted or foraged, with no access to spices or refined cloth, and without stuctures to house bedding or hold their stuff? And all this while being on the precipice of starvation and death when civilization has solved those problems just on the other side of the frontier? Maybe those commoners, experts, and adepts might be in whatever community the druid or druids in question deign to visit, advise, rule, or terrorize but I don't see them as members of a default setting druid circle in the wilderness like the druids.

Bladewind said his source was 2nd Ed.
quote:
Continuing my thoughts on the politicing amongst druids after perusing 2nd editions complete druid's handbook.

But you are correct that there is not one Grand Druid, as Faraer related back in 2004.
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

Faiths & Avatars:
quote:
All faiths that include druids among their clergy maintain their own separate druid hierarchies. That is, each religion has its own druids, archdruids, great, and grand druids. Great and grand druids of a particular faith are singular beings, and each directs activities for druids of his or her faith within a 500-mile-radius of his or her home. Each is entrusted with the organization and protection of the circles and other druidic shrines within that domain. Interfaith relations between different druidic religions in the Realms are fairly cordial. Conflicts between the faiths are settled through negotiation or, failing that, ritual or personal combat.

The precise borders of a great druid's domain are nebulous at best, but there are five known major regions within Faerūn. The first and eldest is on the southern shores of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and includes the Gulthmere Forest and the Chondalwood. The second is located in the scattered remains of ancient Cormanthor, ranging from Cormyr to the Moonsea, and includes the ancient territories of the Elven Court. The third is located in the North. It is based in the High Forest but includes all other forests and woods in the area. The fourth includes all the Moonshaes, and the fifth encompasses the Forest of Lethyr and the Rawlinswood, the forests surrounding the Great Dale. Other such regions undoubtedly exist.
Vilhon Reach refers to the 'Grand Druid of Toril'. If we make that Faerūn, then there are grand druids of Chauntea, Eldath, and Silvanus (Mielikkian druids haven't yet developed a full hierarchy). Earlier sources that give us, for instance, a single great druid of Cormanthor and nine druids (including Mourntarn) under him/her don't mention the multiple hierarchies which give me, at least, a sense of overcrowding, which isn't too druidic. But it's hard to see how senior druids of multiple gods would coexist otherwise.

None of the PHBR or DMGR series are or were officially Realmslore, though the Realms has followed them in a few cases.


In fact, the thread was called The Druid Order(s) in Faerun

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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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2015 :  22:54:21  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found some more groves I added to the list. Namely the grove-keep grown over Dun Tharos and built by the Circle of Leth in the Narfelli demonhaunted Rawlinswood of the Great Dale.

Kinda hard to miss but definately not a natural grove, this living fortress-grove once showed the magical might and power of the local circle, led by a Nentyarch (Archdruid of the Great Dale) who proved his magic could contain terrible evils, even demonic infestation. It got besieged by Blightlords of Talona and is demon-infested once more.

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Druidic Groves

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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2015 :  23:54:13  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

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.
Your list is useful.

Thanks for putting it together.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2015 :  12:40:47  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No problem, I still haven't gotten the big picture of druidic politics down to my liking, but with help I'll get there.

I'm gonna include the five major regions (Gulthmere Forest/Chondalwood; the Elven Woods/Cormanthor; the High Forest; Moonshaes; the Rawlinswood & Forest of Lethyr) Faraer listed in 2004 into the list, and perhaps see if we can guestimate the strength of the druidic presence within those regions by looking at the amount and activity of its groves.

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Druidic Groves

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Gurgle Gobblespit
Seeker

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2015 :  17:50:41  Show Profile Send Gurgle Gobblespit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've always thought that battling to the death was an odd way to become top druid. Plenty of animals battle for dominance, without fighting to the death. You'd think that intelligent nature lovers would have a better method than throwing down Highlander-style.

It could be a very odd way of emulating Darwinian selection, which if course is "natural". In order to preserve the authority and sense of order at the top, there must only be 1 living top Druid at any given time. Allowing the defeated rival to survive could allow him to become a troublesome rebel or subversive later on, which would really mess up the order of things.

In the animal kingdom, sometimes animals will kill or even eat weaker rivals, supposedly helps to keep the species strong and coherent. Although I never really understood the logic as to why the female black widows had to eat the males after sex.

Hmmm, neat idea. I think I will introduce some small odd shamanist society in a corner of my D&D campaign world where the Top Shaman has to consume the body of the defeated rival.


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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2015 :  20:41:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gurgle Gobblespit

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've always thought that battling to the death was an odd way to become top druid. Plenty of animals battle for dominance, without fighting to the death. You'd think that intelligent nature lovers would have a better method than throwing down Highlander-style.

It could be a very odd way of emulating Darwinian selection, which if course is "natural". In order to preserve the authority and sense of order at the top, there must only be 1 living top Druid at any given time. Allowing the defeated rival to survive could allow him to become a troublesome rebel or subversive later on, which would really mess up the order of things.

In the animal kingdom, sometimes animals will kill or even eat weaker rivals, supposedly helps to keep the species strong and coherent.




But even in the animal world, battles for dominance -- even leadership of the pack/herd -- don't necessarily end in death. Sometimes one backs down and stays part of the pack in a lesser position, sometimes the loser is driven off but left alive...

And those conflicts are often over mating rights, anyway.

It just seems weird for defenders of nature to pull the "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" routine -- it doesn't matter if the challenger wins or loses, that's one less defender of nature. And because they were battling for the top spot, that's one less flippin' powerful defender of nature.

And with that much power, there's pretty good odds of collateral damage.

So two folks that are formidable guardians of nature come together in a purely (demi-)human conflict, possibly cause collateral damage to the very lands they're sworn to protect, and the outcome is that there is one less powerful guardian of nature, thus making it more likely that nature will come to harm.

And this is why this has bugged me since I first saw it in the then-new 2E PHB.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 28 Sep 2015 20:43:03
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2015 :  01:51:41  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Gurgle Gobblespit

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've always thought that battling to the death was an odd way to become top druid. Plenty of animals battle for dominance, without fighting to the death. You'd think that intelligent nature lovers would have a better method than throwing down Highlander-style.

It could be a very odd way of emulating Darwinian selection, which if course is "natural". In order to preserve the authority and sense of order at the top, there must only be 1 living top Druid at any given time. Allowing the defeated rival to survive could allow him to become a troublesome rebel or subversive later on, which would really mess up the order of things.

In the animal kingdom, sometimes animals will kill or even eat weaker rivals, supposedly helps to keep the species strong and coherent.




But even in the animal world, battles for dominance -- even leadership of the pack/herd -- don't necessarily end in death. Sometimes one backs down and stays part of the pack in a lesser position, sometimes the loser is driven off but left alive...

And those conflicts are often over mating rights, anyway.

It just seems weird for defenders of nature to pull the "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" routine -- it doesn't matter if the challenger wins or loses, that's one less defender of nature. And because they were battling for the top spot, that's one less flippin' powerful defender of nature.

And with that much power, there's pretty good odds of collateral damage.

So two folks that are formidable guardians of nature come together in a purely (demi-)human conflict, possibly cause collateral damage to the very lands they're sworn to protect, and the outcome is that there is one less powerful guardian of nature, thus making it more likely that nature will come to harm.

And this is why this has bugged me since I first saw it in the then-new 2E PHB.



I'll first point out that it's stated personal combat is a last resort after all other methods fail. It also doesn't specify 'to the death' in all the sources.

I totally agree with your reasoning. Let me just play advocate here.

I personally LOVE the duels to the death for Arch Druid/Grand Druid.

It adds an incredible twist to a class that is often seen as sort of fluffy, and even pacifist.

While you're mostly right about intra-pack hierarchy, what you say only holds true for certain species...and it only holds true for animals (more or less).

Your reasoning is sound, under the assumption that animals and humans are equivalent.

I do not ascribe to that, for these reasons:

- Druids by and large are solitary. They do not often live in close proximity or in groups of more than 1-3, except maybe in really big groves. Therefore, the survival of a given individual druid is much less dependent on the strength of the rest of the Circle. Only in times of great crisis would they be that reliant on each other (Moonshae trilogy comes to mind).

- Humans and animals are very different. While many animals are content to accept a new (and lesser) social status (and usually have no choice), humans more than likely would not. While a wolf pack may drive off, kill or even accept a member that loses a fight for dominance, humans have the propensity to plot revenge, undermine authority, and in general do things that may endanger the overall security and strength of the Circle for years to come (even possibly turning evil). Humiliation in front of ones peers for example.

- Many mammals do all kinds of heinous acts to improve their social status, remove potential rivals, etc. One example I can think of is where male bears will kill and eat the offspring of a female bear (even if they are his own), in order to bring her back into estrous so he can in turn mate with her.

I can see the reasoning why a duel to the death may be necessary to preserve the integrity of the circle. Otherwise, you would eventually have a circle with several members who have been found wanting, have been demonstrated as not strong enough to lead, may even be questioning their faith, harboring massive resentment, plotting revenge etc until they die since Circle membership is for life no?

This would also serve to eliminate repeated challenges of the Grand Druids authority. You better be DAMN SURE you can win. If there is a lack of consequences for challenging the top druid, infighting could be constant and drain the circles strength, weakening it and allowing threats both internal and external opportunities to strike.

Just another perspective. I use the duel to the death in my games.

Edited by - Cards77 on 29 Sep 2015 02:00:48
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2015 :  05:09:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, another difference betwixt humans and animals that must be noted: humans are much better suited to simply going someplace new to live. I would expect that finding a new place in need of a druid would be preferable to removing a druid from a place for something as artificial as ranking in a hierarchy.

To each his own, of course. I'd personally ignore or make very rare the duels to the death for rank.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 29 Sep 2015 14:10:38
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Duneth Despana
Learned Scribe

Belgium
243 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2015 :  12:49:30  Show Profile Send Duneth Despana a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can add the Circle of the Stag and the Gray druids of the Undermoor to your list.

« There is no overriding « epic » in the Realms, but rather a large number of stories, adventures, and encounters going on all the time. [...]. Each creative mind adds to the base, creating, defining, and making their contribution to the rich diversity of the Realms. [...]. But Ed built the stage upon which all the plays are presented. Thanks Ed. » -FR Comic no.1
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2015 :  00:54:35  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It might be preliminary but I'm beginning to think I see some the struggles unfolding in the regions activities of the major druidic areas.

The Elven Forests are being staunchly defended within Cormyrs borders with the druids abandoning some major groves in Cormanthor. The North has consolidated its druid activity in the High Forest, with powerful groves active to the south of the Star Mounts while Silverymoons circles are battered by Malarite lycantropes. The Moonshaes has a large amount of (waning) groves and are its druidic circles are struggling with evil forces bent on fouling their waters, only Gwynneth remains largely untainted. The Broken Cirlce of Leth has lost a major grove, meant to contain demonic threats, to blightlords of Talona while some of the more powerful Silvanite druids hold somber moots at the Lyons Oak, contemplating how to reverse the fates of so many circles in their dwindling war-torn region. Tethyr has been largely under a Ban, with only the Old Oak Dell holding some of the longest standing groves of Faerun, defended trough an intricate web of talking menhir stones. Most of the Sword Coast & Amn might be under a Ban as well, as druidic activity is minimal. Their groves are smaller, more scattered and often encroached by in hostile territories on all sides.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
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Posted - 22 Oct 2015 :  14:00:18  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kryptgarden Forest is interesting in that it is largely dominated and corrupted by Claugiyliamatar or Old Gnawbones (pg 19, Dragons of Faerūn), an ancient crone of a green dragon-druid. Her cavernous valley part of the forest is stalked by hobgoblins of the Zartruss Clan, dark fey and worgs in her employ. Its also rumored that a tribe of advanced thri-kreen protect the deepest parts of this labyrinthine maze of duskwood and oaken trees.



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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2016 :  22:24:55  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found these awesome Perilous Gateways articles by Jeff Quick. Gonna update the Druidic Groves list after their perusal.

I immediately found Turlangs story interesting. Turlang, the Elder Treant, is behaving quite erratically concerning Hellgate Keep, having enveloped the Fiendish Node by extending the High Forests borders far around it. This tale shows the influence the non-human perspective can have on druidic politics.

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Edited by - Bladewind on 22 Feb 2016 22:27:22
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 23 Feb 2016 :  12:44:28  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's an old article with extra lore about druids. For example:
quote:
Each of the various nature faiths, including the churches of Chauntea, Eldath, Silvanus, and Mielikki, have their own druidic hierarchies, including Circles, Initiates, Druids, Archdruids, Great Druids, Grand Druids, and Hierophant Druids. Thus, for example, there are four Great Druids of the North at any given time, each of which venerates one of the aforementioned powers.
- Mintiper's Chapbook - Part 7: Gildenfire by Eric L. Boyd

Which is also one more reason why the Emerald Enclave is not a proper circle by any standards.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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moonbeast
Learned Scribe

USA
254 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2016 :  14:32:06  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

There's an old article with extra lore about druids. For example:
quote:
Each of the various nature faiths, including the churches of Chauntea, Eldath, Silvanus, and Mielikki, have their own druidic hierarchies, including Circles, Initiates, Druids, Archdruids, Great Druids, Grand Druids, and Hierophant Druids. Thus, for example, there are four Great Druids of the North at any given time, each of which venerates one of the aforementioned powers.
- Mintiper's Chapbook - Part 7: Gildenfire by Eric L. Boyd

Which is also one more reason why the Emerald Enclave is not a proper circle by any standards.



I'm reading my 5th Edition PHB as well as the Adventurers League rules regarding the Five Factions… and indeed the Emerald Enclave was never described (in 5e at least) as being a druidic circle. It clearly states that the Emerald Enclave is also a network that includes Rangers, Barbarians, nature-lovers, and other non-Druids.
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2016 :  17:54:12  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice find TB!

Regarding the Emerald Enclaves changes, I agree that they have reached beyond being a druidic circle only. But I think the 'inner circle' on the 'isle-once-more' of Ilighon still remains run by its three Grand Druid rulers.

I can understand their urgancy and the need for 'pragmatic' measures when given that their isle had been smack dab in the middle of large geographic changes due to the lowering of the water tables of the Inner Seas. Ilighon reconnected to the mainlands of Turmish and Chondath during a large part of the 15th century, extremely upsetting ecologies and weather patterns.

After the spellplague there was a large period were the grand druids of several faiths turned to quite extreme measures as well (such as declaring crusades on the plaguechanged lands and pilgrimages), with some of them spectacularly failing their goals and dooming smaller circles to abandonment as a consquence. Gonna have to come back when I found the source...

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Edited by - Bladewind on 23 Feb 2016 17:57:31
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Cards77
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USA
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Posted - 24 Feb 2016 :  18:09:41  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Kryptgarden Forest is interesting in that it is largely dominated and corrupted by Claugiyliamatar or Old Gnawbones (pg 19, Dragons of Faerūn), an ancient crone of a green dragon-druid. Her cavernous valley part of the forest is stalked by hobgoblins of the Zartruss Clan, dark fey and worgs in her employ. Its also rumored that a tribe of advanced thri-kreen protect the deepest parts of this labyrinthine maze of duskwood and oaken trees.



How exactly is it corrupted? WHere is the source for the thri-kreen?
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2016 :  15:56:21  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For the thri-kreen I mainly took liberties with the lore bits found in Lost Empires of Faerun and Dwarves Deep that mention a rumor of the advanced erect insects being spotted in a citadel deep within the Kryptgarden by a raving madman. He claimed the insect-men hurled spears and magic at him from 500 paces away, and possessed means of camouflage and misdirection (probably magical). They could very well be spell-weavers if you prefer that to a tribe of advanced kreen.

The D&DNext Adventurers League adventure 'Corruption in the Kryptgarden' details the corruption. Its mainly caused by the legendary green dragons mere presence (as described in the 5e MM) while the Darkfey/unseelie influence is caused by Old Gnawbones tenuous alliance with a newly arrived Unseelie Verdant Prince (MMIV), King Witchthorn. This results in thorny thickets (1d6 damage per square of difficult terrain traversed) growing within a mile near the Deeping Cave (Claugiyliamatar's moss-draped lair), causing the small animals and birds to act as scrying foci for the green dragon crone, and the (sometimes caustic) fogs drifting from her valley to induce fear. Certain fey tend to behave more unseelie like when nearly completly covered in the stringy strands of sickly green moss-creep that grows from the gulleys fed from the ancient green dragons lair or the damp fogs that it generates.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1359 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2016 :  15:57:11  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But kreen are mostly desert species. They like it dry.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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