Druid's Handbook for Amia
Oarthias on Druid Lore
What Are Druid Circles:
The druidic circle occupies a unique duality incorporating elements of the tangible and intangible. The term, circle itself, refers both to a particular group of druids as well as their spiritual gathering place. Originally, the circle only described the physical site where druids performed their religious rituals, deriving the name from its circular configuration. Whether it consists of a copse of trees or massive stone monoliths, the circle represents nature’s ceaseless pattern of birth, life, death and renewal. Eventually, the druids also adopted the title, viewing themselves as an embodiment of life’s endless cycle. For druids, the circle is hallowed ground.
There is always one large Grove for every so many miles of land that serves as the main grove, a head quarters of a sort, surrounded by "smaller groves” fairly spread apart that still serve and fall under the larger grove.
In the large grove the young druids are taught and trained, meetings will take place here, and also the ceremonies are also performed here in a secluded section of the grove in which no visitor may enter or lay eyes upon, here the powers of the god are stronger then anywhere else in the area and here the enemy could cause the most damage. (On Amia this would be the Duir’s grove)
Now a grove usually serves the god/goddess that has claimed the area to protect. Often there are struggles as there is always another god that wishes to claim the area for its own. Here on Amia though there doesn’t seem to be a dominate god so the Oakmist Vale Grove is a neutral grove in which followers of all the gods of nature may gather. Now the god with the most followers in the grove would be the one with the most power there in that grove. The leader of the Grove would also most likely be a follower of the god with the most power but that may not always be the case.
The smaller groves are really small areas in which individual druids live while they tend and protect the land that they have been assigned to. They spend most of their lives secluded from the other druids and civilization in general but will attend ceremonies and meetings held in the larger grove that they fall under. The druids in these areas will protect, tend to their area as they believe, but will always contact the larger grove for council for the larger matters and dangers.
“Initiates” or Priest’s of Nature: Any druid under level 12 and those that have not taken their trials yet. Their responsibilities to the Grove is to tend to the growth their and the animals that enter the Grove seeking refuge do to illness or injury. They are kept out of the ceremonies and Council meetings until they have proved themselves and ascend to the rank of Druid. They usually are taken under the wing by one Druid that sees something in them worthy in them until they ascend.
Druid: Upon reaching 12th level druid (on Amia shifter levels can count towards this as well), a character receives the official title druid after completing their trials proving themselves worthy to the gods and the others in the circle. Now they are expected to help to aggressively root out emergent threats to the wilderness within the domain. They also now attend the High Council meetings of the circle and always act based on the needs of the circle as a whole. The Arch Druid here asks them for advice and sends them on missions for the good of the circle.
Selecting young people to train as druidic candidates constitutes a major responsibility of Druids as well. Each year druids pick a single most worthy of their advanced students to bring into the circle and take under their wing to train in hopes that they will one day be worthy of ascending to the rank of Druid as well.
Archdruid: Archdruids concern themselves more with maintaining the balance of Nature; making sure no one alignment or ethos comes to utterly dominate the domain. Archdruids also spend time training to step into the role of High Druid. To accomplish both these goals, they devote much time to travel, ensuring their familiarity with the geography –human, natural, and magical- throughout the domain.
High Druid: (Not a PC position) The High Druid has the same power as Archdruid over the circle. In addition to this, this figure has the job of maintaining harmonious relations among all the druids of the circle –preventing factional battles and infighting. The High Druid also can impose the ban upon those that offend the circle. The ban is then voted on by the council.
Grand Druid: (Not a PC position)The Grand Druid is above all Druids in the world. First and foremost, the Grand Druid acts as a politician, responsible for keeping harmony between the High Druids of each domain and between the various druidic branches.
The Grand Druid also rallies the circles against the rare global threat to Nature of the cosmic balance. Not an easy task as many circles fiercely cherish their autonomy, believing that each one should remain self-sufficient and not meddle in other domains’ affairs.
Hierophant Druid: (not a PC position) The hierophants make up a unique part of the druidic order. Some even go so far as to say they are the Order, and that the other ranks represent mere practice for hierophant status.
Hierophant Druids live as free agents. They are encouraged to respect the Grand Druid, but need not obey the druidic leader’s mandates nor operate within the borders of any circle. Few ever settle down in particular groves; many become famous wanderers, some even visiting other planes of distant worlds. They often travel about in disguise, using their appearance alteration powers. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they always aim to promote the ethos and values of the druidic order.
Unlike lesser druids, hierophants typically have a global perspective and agenda. They concern themselves with the rise and fall of empires, the migrations of peoples, and the growth or extinction of species, and the role of each race in the destiny of the world. Some devote their lives to a particular cause, such as reclaiming the forests of a continent infected by evil, or acting as the personal nemesis of a being whose actions threaten the world’s balance. They are notorious behind the scenes manipulators.
The Shadow Circle: (needs to be DM approved if they allow it) A secret society of druids within the larger druidic order, the Shadow Circle accepts members who see Nature as hostile, cleansing force that ensures the survival of the fittest. According to their philosophy, civilization –especially the building of towns and cities- has weakened humankind and many demihuman races.
((working on a lot more sections of how druid/groves funtion I have a huge amount of info I am organizing from all sorts of sources so be patient please :) ))