Description of Habitat and kingdoms where found.
Druids are descendants of the children of the ancient dryads and their male human partners. The Dryads themselves have not emerged from their trees for many generations, no druid or human alive has ever seen one. Most Druids live solitary lives within the independent community of Deepwood. They practice a natural form of magic and live in harmony with their surroundings.
Because the dryads were from all over Ga’leah and had been many different kinds of trees the Druids are a mixture of dark and light skinned individuals. Druids tend to be slightly taller than the average human and their limbs are slightly longer as well, but proportionate to their tall figures. All Druids have bright brilliant green eyes that change with the seasons much like the trees. In spring they are a light or fresh green growing darker in the summer. In autumn their eyes are amber in color with flecks of brown, gold, or red. Then in the winter a Druids eyes become grey.
Druids keep to their own and live in a large tribe in Deepwood. Rarely do they venture out into the outside world and therefore are considered to be isolated and secluded. The leader of the Druids is a co-partnership between the High Priest and Priestess. While it is typical it is not required that the High Priest and Priestess marry one another. However, there have been very few instances where this has occurred as the two are often chosen because of their soul compatibility as the Druids say. The two each have an apprentice that will take their place. The apprentices are chosen from among the ten-year old Druid children. These children will leave their family and go to live with the High priest and priestess in their hut.
The people of Deepwood have a very nature-oriented and religious culture.
They have three major laws.
- Do not seek to cause harm to another out of sense of vengeance, or just violence for the sake of violence. The only acceptable times to be violent towards others, are in times of defending yourself, and your home.
- Do not hunt for the sake of the hunt. Hunt for food, and for leather, to clothe yourselves, but never for the sake of sport.
- Above all else, do not mock the Gods, or turn your back to them, for they are the source of our fortune, and are to be praised.
Beyond their laws, are also allowances. They do not turn away a person from a task for anything short of utter inability to complete it. Among their midwives are men skilled in the arts, and among their fiercest warriors are females.
Stones and Deepwood
The forest is filled with stones, and within these stones resonate power, fueled by their people. The first of these stones were placed by the initial settlers - the ones who came, returning from their banishment, and as the community grew, more were set into place. The current custom is that a stone is placed upon the birth of a child, by the parents. At the age of ten, a child places their first stone, and then from then on for various life milestones, including Handfasting / Marriage, childbirth, reaching a high position among the people, and the family places a final stone for the dead.
This final stone is placed beneath the pyre that burns, and is removed from the ashes, and set outside the home.
The stones themselves serve as border markers, as well as a sort of security fence - the power within protecting the people from many catastrophic events, as well as smaller issues. Some things are allowed to happen, however, even within these protective borders, to allow for learning experiences.
The people of Deepwood burn their Dead. The body is but a vessel for the Essence that shapes the Soul, in their eyes, and thus upon Death, is burned. The Pyre is lit by the oldest surviving, able bodied family member (or spouse, in applicable cases) of the opposite sex. For example, a father would light the pyre for a daughter, or a mother for her son. The community gathers, to mourn the loss of a member of their people, and they are reminded that the Gods smile upon them. As stated above, within this pyre is the final stone placed for that person.
Animals of Deepwood
Because of the culture of Deepwood, over time, the creatures of the forest become accustomed to the humans in their midst. They may still be spooked by the hunters, or even just casual walkers by, but for the most part, they trust the people connected to the Land.
Beyond those animals, many of the people of Deepwood have animal companions - tamed and trained to their every service. These could be of any breed or class, so long as there is a logical reason. Dog, Cat, Bird, Reptile, Amphibian - literally anything that isn't nonsensical for forest life. These creatures are loyal, but for the most part simply creatures, though they seem to lead long lives with their chosen Master or Mistress.
Gaia was part of the four elemental fae who were part of the original eight faeries to be created. When the faeries lost the war against the gods and were being placed in Allutheria three of these four fae ran off. Etain the elemental fae of water was the only of the four to go into Allutheria willingly. Ashbel of fire ran and finally disintegrated into salamanders to escape the Greenman forever. Aeolus became the four winds to escape imprisonment. Gaia managed to escape the Greenman for a time planting seeds throughout Ga’leah. She came to a part of the Yarrow where she etched into stones Olwyn’s (the Mother of Magic) ancient language and it served as extra protection for that part of the forest. These seeds she planted grew into trees and out of these trees sprung the dryads. The dryads were eventually hunted by humans and so they all came to live in the protected part of Deepwood. Here they lived till they desired to have children of their own and so went out into Ga’leah and found men whom left the world behind to come live with them in the Deepwood. These dryads married and had children. These children were called the Druids. Eventually these dryads having seen so many lovers and children pass took to the perimeter of Deepwood where they returned back to trees and served as added protection for Deepwood. The Druids have lived in Deepwood for centuries now outside of typical Ga’leahan society.
Druids reproduce the same as humans, however, it is more common for Druids to have twins or triplets. Druids have been known to reproduce with outsiders as they call them, but generally the outsider is out of the picture or is brought into the tribe. If a Druid mates with a regular human the child will have very weak magic. However, this child if raised in the Druid tribe were to grow up and mate with another Druid their offspring would be stronger than them as the human blood would be further diluted.
Druids are only able to use nature magic. They are able to manipulate water, earth, fire, and air. Druids are strongest with earth based magics and weaker at the other three, especially fire. They are able to draw energy from these four elements but if given the choice a Druid will favor the earth before all others. Druids, unlike Witches, are able to conjure and use magic without speaking an incantation. They are great herbalists and create a great deal of salves, ointments, unguents, and potions.
A Druid can live no longer than 200 years.
Druids weaknesses range as vastly as any humans and are only limited by the Druid themselves.