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Author Topic: Druidic Orders (rework)  (Read 3847 times)
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Pikel Thunderstone
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« on: 25 October 2005, 18:11:00 »

Overview: Druids are one of the most mysterious known orders in Sarvonia. The common populace knows very little of the druid’s beliefs, thus they are often misunderstood. This of course has sometimes led folk to occasionally mob together and harass or even harm druids who live near them, although this is growing less and less common.

Druids as a whole are people who believe in the existence of so-called “Primal Spirits” or “Essences”. They are convinced, that such an essence is a vital part of any “being” (thus the name essences), be it an element like water, wind, earth and fire or life forms like those of plants, animals or even sentient beings. They claim, that through the use of their magic they are able to come into contact with the essences of any being and even gain power about it. Each druid is specialized in “contacting” one type of these essences'.

Appearance: Druids have no real uniformity when it comes to physical appearance, but they do however tend to follow to a certain extent the general habits of their tribe or race. Virtually all races and tribes are represented in varying degrees through the druidic orders, although some races, such as orcs and the minor races, are represented far less than those of the main races. Age also varies greatly, although children are next to unheard of. Children only appear as the offspring of two druids, usually in druidic communes. The children of course, are too young to be able to use Druidic magic, but they usually take an interest in it, and learn it once they are old enough.

The Druids also do not possess a dress code by any stretch of the term. Their clothing varies depending on the climate (warm clothing for cold, not so warm for hot, covering of skin in deserts). There does seem to be a similarity that many druid’s hold to, although not consciously, and that is this: Druidic clothing tends to be cheaply made and oftentimes dirty. The reasons for this are simple, druids usually have neither the money nor the inclination to buy new clothes or clean the ones they do have. The people who become hermits often find that they do not care what they look like, for very few people will ever see them. Thus, why take time out of one’s day to clean one’s clothes.

A good many druids have lost all roots of their tribe in the ways of clothing. For instance, Green druids can oftentimes be seen wearing clothes made of leaves and vines, while Gray druids will sometimes wear animal skins, although they obviously would not kill any animals to make such clothing, and instead use already dead animals. Of course, this is all assuming that the druid even wears clothing, which is not to be assumed. In fact, climate permitting, many druids shed their outer accoutrements and just are in the nude.

People: Druids are perceived by the rest of the world to be secretive, loners, and show little care for non-druids, and all of this is true, to a certain extent. While not outright secretive, druids do keep to themselves, away from the main populace, sometimes being mistaken for Greylers. If asked questions, they will answer them truthfully should they want to talk at all, which is definitely a not a guarantee. The exceptions to this rule are the Black druids, but they have every reason to be secretive. And while some druids are loners, there are sometimes druids who gather into small groups, or sometimes even small communes, helping each other survive. It is a definite fact however, that druids, for the most part, care very little for the world outside druidism. They view most non-druids as ignorant people mindlessly going about the end of their lives, fulfilling little to nothing in that span. Thus, they have little respect for those of the non-druidic life. They spend the most their time either doing what they need to survive, or if they live near other druids or civilization of some sort, they may spend what little free time they have with their druidic brethren.

Druids, with the exception of Black Druids, view themselves as the protectors of the natural world, and more specifically, the protectors of their element. They believe that nature is the most important aspect of the world around them, and it should be protected at whatever cost to people. What they do, they do for the greater good of nature and their element, NOT for the greater good of the people living with nature, although they rarely, if ever, go out of their way to harm non druids. The exception to this is the Black Druids, who extort from their element, rather than protect it.

Beliefs: The druidic belief system is based on their belief in essences, the souls of the world. They work their magic through these Essences. They meditate, concentrating on the essence, and finally merge their essence with the essence of their choosing. The druids believe that one's magic is proof of their love for their particular element, and thus, only those who learn their magic can become part of their order. To learn their magic, one must find a druid, who will only teach it if the druid believes the hopeful has the personality and love for the element to master such power. The druids believe that if one is close to these souls, then one is closer to one's own soul, and thus one is closer to one's self.

Druids do not believe in an afterlife, rather, they believe that when they die, they will be returned to the earth from whence they came. They believe when something dies it doesn’t truly die; it merely changes form. This is because of their belief in Essences. Their beliefs go as follows: Essences are born and die at the same time as their corporeal counterparts. When a rock is split in half, its essence can be said to have “died”, but in it’s place, are two completely new essences, one for each half. Thus the essence did not truly die, it merely changed form. That is their belief. When a tree dies, it’s essence dies, but in it’s place is the essence of a dead tree, as opposed to a live one. Thus it can be said to have changed, but is not truly dead. Thus the Druids do not fear death in the ways that many other people do, for they merely view it as a change; one they understand and hold no fear for. When they die, their essence will merely change to the essence of a dead body. The dead body will rot, and become the essence of soil. Thus, the druid has gone back to the Earth.

This Belief system is basically the same throughout the druidic orders. The only real difference is the choice of essence group with which the orders merge.

Territory: Druids can be found virtually anywhere on Caelereth. They are found mostly in Northern and Southern Sarvonia, but most orders can be found in other places, although they are too rare to really count. Water druids can be found almost anywhere, for the often travel on the sea. Druids of a particular order are most often found in their favored environments, while Black druids can be found mostly in sizable cities and towns. Few druids would live in a barren hill land (with the exception of a few earth), while literally dozens or even hundreds could be living in a large forest in a mountainous region. It all depends on if a Druid would WANT to live there.

There seems to be anywhere between several dozen to several hundred druids throughout Southern Sarvonia. Note: This is the rough estimate of this compendium writer, and thus might be fairly accurate, or extremely wrong. The wilderness of Northern Sarvonia prohibits even a rough estimate of how many there are, although due to the vast amounts of wilderness there, it would be safe to assume that quite a number live there. It is thought that there are druids outside the Sarvonia continents, but this compendium has no record of them, thus, no amount can be given for them.

Coat of Arms/Sign: Each of the orders, with the exception of the Black Druids, has their own separate sign. This is usually carved on trees large enough to be noticeable, or shown through placed rocks. Sometimes, although rarely, you can see them done more elaborately, such as an Earth druid shaping a rock into their sign, or a Green druid doing the same to a small plant, but again that is quite uncommon. The signs are used to show other druids that a druid is already residing in the area. Druids know the signs of the other orders, and sometimes people living in communities near those of the druids learn a few of them as well, (a hunter would know the sign of a Gray druid, should he come upon it).

Joining: The very first part to becoming is the actual decision. If one were interested in becoming a druid, one would already have an interest in a particular druidic field. People do not go to a druid and say "I want be a druid." and not know what element they are attached to. They have to have a love for their particular element, or a druid would never mentor them. This occurs at many ages, but most often at the early stages of adulthood, when young people try to find themselves.

To join the druidic order, one must first find a druid. Druids are taught through a Mentor/Apprentice relationship. One who wishes to be a druid asks the people living in towns neighboring areas that might hold a druid of the order they want to join, and form there, physically search them out. This is assuming the would-be druid doesn’t already know the existence of a druid, for if they love the element to the degree that a would-be druid would, then they would probably live near it, and thus, another druid may live near the soon-to-be apprentice as well, although this is not always the case. Thus, a person who wants to be a plant druid would live in a forest, and chances are, so would an actual plant druid. The druids figure that if one is not willing to put in the time required to find a druid, then they lack the patience required to learn druidic magic.

Once an apprentice has learned how to merge his essence with that of his element, then he is no longer an apprentice, and is fully apart of the order. Black druids do not use this system however. They are far too distrusting for apprentices. The one and only way to become a Black Druid is to be a druid of a different order, then figure out how to merge with sentient being essences. This will probably require sentient “test” subjects, those of whom survived are usually mentally deficient the rest of their lives.

Druids generally do not join more than one order, although it has happened in the past. The reason for this is not for lack of ability (One can learn to merge with all things if one had the time and inclination to), but for lack of motivation. A druid (with the exception of Black) joins his order for love of the element of that order.

Organization: Druids are one of the least organized orders in Caelereth. Their orders have no hierarchy to speak of, the orders rarely meet with each other, and never have a complete meeting between the orders, although the latter may happen at some point, should there require the presence of all the orders. Of course the Black druids would not be invited to such a meeting.

However, there are sometimes organized groups within the orders. When small communes are formed, working together is required to keep said commune running and surviving. The organization doesn’t take place in actual leadership; the group merely works together to keep the commune going. Everyone has to do the job required of him or her. The jobs are usually chosen via ability, volunteering, or merely at random.

Druids sometimes issue calls to the rest of their order, for various reasons. They do this the long way. One druid tells another druid, those two tell two more, those four tell four, and thus does the words spread. This usually takes several months and the entire order is of course not convened, but a fairly large gathering is usually gathered. Of course, this is all assuming that only one druid sees the problem. If in the very unlikely event that something happens that would affect all druids of an order, and they all know of it’s coming, then they all meet at the designated meeting place, with no need of the call.

Orders: There are seven orders of druids. The Black druids are not actually an order, but they will be mentioned here. Those not of their order typically refer to them by the colors, while the order itself refers to itself by the element. Black druids always blatantly deny that they are Black druids.

Gray or Animal Druids – The Druids of animals are found amongst almost all races, although Eyelian humans have a particular affinity towards the calling. They are usually loners, although sometimes, small groups are formed. These Druids can be found anywhere working with the animals they love, and sometimes they are hired by very rich lords to manage their menageries. However, should the lord mistreat the animals in his menagerie, the druid may oppose it and attempt to free the animals. As children, these druids are often sensitive to animals, and may prefer their pets to other company. Should the call of their order be issued, the Druids gather at the secret place near where the Tree of Life was believed to have burnt and discuss the reason for said meeting. Should there be some form of disaster among the animal community, such as the existence of a cruel zoo or the mass poaching of a single species, the Druids may launch a brief attack to dissuade any further interference. These Druids are usually calm, and are as patient as only one who works with animals can be, but their ire can be quickly earned with the mistreatment of an animal. There have been tales of the Gray druids merging physically with their animal friends, and becoming half man, half animal. These transformations differ depending on the animal merged with, but it is often used to defend the druid home, for it costs the druids life to accomplish such a feat. Their sign is that of a simply drawn quadruped.

Green or Plant Druids – Made of mostly elves, with about a fourth being human, these druids usually live in small groups or communes within forests, although every once in a while you'll find one working in the employ of some lordling as a Master Gardener. These druids believe that true beauty can only be approached using the endless patience of the natural world, and believe that trees epitomize this. If it is necessary to defend their home-forests, there have been confirmed reports from several witnesses (and victims), that the Green Druids can merge themselves with a tree to form what the Plant druids call the half-tree, half-man Krói'lón, or War Dryad. These creatures may stand over four and a half peds, are capable of uprooting themselves and using their roots as weapons, and generally hold their own against any given small army. Tragically, the Green Druid must sacrifice their life to give the tree their mind for a mere three days. Those who do so are honored by placement in the Hall of Guardians, a building located in The Almatrar Forest that's inside is lined with the statues of these valiant Druids who gave their lives for their forests. This hall is also the place where the druids call them to meet in times of need. Their sign is that of a four limbed tree, and is usually carved into the ground, or made with rocks, so as not to hurt a tree.

Blue or Water Druids – These druids can be found near any large body of water, although they are obviously most found at sea. Some can also be found in the northern parts of Caelereth, where there is a lot of ice. Made of mostly humans, with a few elves and dwarves, these druids are renowned for being incredibly random, showing all the unpredictability of the waters they work with. They are almost entirely made up of loners, although there is an occasional ship on the sea made of completely of Water Druids. They may be calm and serene, then immediately change to savagely angry, or even violent. They may aid a person one minute, and start creating a whirlpool directly beneath them the next. Should their call be issued, the druids meet at Tyrling, a large island in the middle of Eight Winds Bay in North Sarvonia. They have been known to sell their services to a fleet of ships, causing them to be nearly invulnerable on the water. Their sign can only really be found on ships in which they have joined on a permanent basis (or at least as permanent as a chaotic druid can be), or on trees near large lakes and rivers, and it is that of three curves depicting waves.

Brown or Earth Druids – Typically dwarven, but a human can occasionally be found among their ranks, Brown druids work with the earth and rock. Earth Druids are often loners or in small groups, although the occasional small commune can be found. These druids are usually calm and steadfast, like the element with which they work with. Some of the druids may be responsible for the great dwarven architecture in their under-mountain strongholds. The druids will sometimes call the rest of the druids to Poc-RotRum (See History) should there be something wrong with the element of Earth (which is quite a problem indeed). Every once in a while, a Brown Druid may be found in a farming community, enriching the soil and guarding the land. These druids may be found in combat, and will wield boulders and subterranean spikes to utterly crush those who attack them. These druids do not frequently work with the Green Druids, but there may have been a few that worked together to form some of the most beautiful gardens in Santharia, the Gardens of Santhros are believe to have been created by such a duo. A few of the exiled Hand Psyrpents can also be found in this group, creating awe-inspiring works of art from the bowels of the earth. Should they feel the need to sacrifice their lives for something, the brown druid's have the ability to completely merge with the earth, making the bodies formed completely out of rock. This ability is called Sfomm-Kereen, or stone baby, and it costs the druid their life. Their sign is that of a lone, triangular mountain.

Red or Fire Druids – Made up of mostly humans, these druids are the people who work with the essences of fire. The Red druids are the most community minded of the druidic orders. They tend to not be loners, but actually stay together relatively close to each other, in communes, or in their temple. Their call sends the druids to The Temple of the Flare somewhere in the Ráhaz-Dáth near Strata, which they guard zealously. This call is issued far more often than the druids of other reasons, and what they discuss in these relatively frequent meetings, nobody is quite sure of, but theories have been made, too many to state here. These Druids are so random, they seem more like beasts than humans. The red druids have the ability to Firedance, allowing them to become flame for a few days, after which, they die. Their sign is that of a three-flamed fire.

White or Wind Druids – Wind druids are so rare, it was not known until recently that they even existed. Made up of mostly elves, the druids of the winds can often be found in deserts, valleys, and canyons, and are all loners. The White druids are even more isolated from society and other druids than other druidic orders, but they don’t mind. The Druids of wind are the smallest of the Druid orders, including the Black druids. The reason for this is not the difficulty in being a wind druid, but the difficulty in joining. Most wind druids are incredibly aloof, and thus rarely take apprentices. Thus it the order has grown at an extremely slow rate, or most times it grows none at all or even shrinks, for Wind druids rarely take apprentices. They just don’t care. Their symbol is that of two intertwining vertical lines, like a twister.

Black Druids – Black druids are the druids that deal with the essences of sentient beings. They use their power for control, and nothing more. They merge with an essence of a sentient being, and from there control how they think. A good many are insane beyond function, for in merging with a sentient essence, the druid sometimes gains memories or knowledge. Gaining to many bad memories can be very bad for one’s mental stability, and some Black druids lose their sense of identity in the merger. Black druids are usually people who have been harmed by other people. Such as Jerick Marconni, the first known black druid. He was originally a gray druid who was saddened and angered by the existence of a zoo, yet can do nothing about it, for the order will not rise against the zoo. Jerick then learned black druidism as a last resort, and brang an end to the zoo, through merging with the owners essence, and having him shut down the zoo. From there, the now Black druid, Jerick, could control other people as well. At first he believed that he is doing it for the good of animals, but even that goes away, as he lost mental stability. This is a story told among the druids, to warn others that black druidism, ven if you think it is good for your element, ultimately turns out disastrously.

The other druids know of these druids only through tales told by older druids, some even believe that black druids are merely rumor, although they most druids acknowledge that it is possible for such people to exist, for sentient essences are existent, they just believe that nobody would use this power out of personal gain, as opposed to love. Such naiveté is rare though.

The Black druids are, obviously, found in much more populated area, although few people know of their power, or even their existence. Most major cities are home to at least one Black druid, although they are always hiding their gifts. Black Druids almost always use their powers to further their own ends, and thus, they are usually selfish, power hungry, and extremely intelligent. There is not even a semi-organized order of Black druids, for they are loners. The reason for this is good. If such an organization were found by the other druidic orders, it would be wiped out. The other druidic orders believe it is evil and wrong to enslave people the way Black druids do, and that it is wrong to use one’s gifts to extort from one’s element, as opposed to protecting it.

History: [Incomplete]

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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 1/11/06 20:42
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Pikel Thunderstone
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« Reply #1 on: 25 October 2005, 18:12:00 »

Poc-RotRum will be explained later once i have spoken to other developers about...where it goes.

Also, to administration, I would like the pictures that are already with the Druid entry to remain with said druid entry.

The druidic abilities of firedance and War dryad will be edited out or kept depending on how the druidic magic goes.

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Edited by: Pikel Thunderstone at: 10/25/05 7:41
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« Reply #2 on: 25 October 2005, 23:52:00 »

As for red druids, I don't think orcs will work. You could have an orcish race that has magic that is very similar to the druidic one, but mixing orcs and humans is problematic I think. Unless they are Volkek-Oshra, but I don't see how they ever will become druids, since they are all raised 'the Ximaxian way' and don't really wander outside Ximax.

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Pikel Thunderstone
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« Reply #3 on: 26 October 2005, 17:20:00 »

Took out mention of Orcs and Halflings. These races WOULD probably so rare among druids that they not worth mentioning.

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« Reply #4 on: 26 October 2005, 19:01:00 »

If it's possible, perhaps you could elaborate a bit more on the Druids' ideology.
As the entry is now, I can see Druids doing their stuff, with or without magical aid. The orders are divided upon their magical characteristics, but perhaps you could make the philosophical/religious differences more clear.

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« Reply #5 on: 26 October 2005, 23:55:00 »

Hiya Pikel!
I'm still too occupied to do a thorough check, so a few hints only.
- You need a more general description of the druids, you can't jump into the orders at once, they should be listed at the end. That doesn't mean to go to deep into magic, that has to be an extra chapter.
- You don't need to integrate this Aeruillin desaster, for it will probably not fit anyway in Aeruillin history. We can add always something like this, when the great lines of Aeruillin history are complete.

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« Reply #6 on: 27 October 2005, 08:45:00 »

Ok, I took a look at what we have so far here, so some comments from me:

- I agree with Talia that before you describe the orders there should be more on the druids in general.

For example a section called "Appearance", where you give us an idea what these guys wear, if they are often bearded, young or old, if there are males only or have women as well etc.  Even though the various orders might have considerable differences the main things should be pointed out here.

The a section with "Description" should follow, describing in general what druids are (things you sketched in the Overview), whether they live in groups or are solitary figures, what kind of races they belong to etc. Are they religious or do they see nature as their religion? Or does the one not contradict the other? I see you've removed all religious references - would be good to have an explanation in this respect in the main description. And where do they live? Are they usually calm or can they become agressive? etc. - Then you can progress with the orders, and the reader will already have a general idea before he gets to the details.

- Territory section would also not hurt. Do they live in whole of Caelereth, independent from any kingdom or provinces borders in Santharia?

- Don't forget to put in the secondary names in the captions, e.g. "Grey or Animal Druids" as we already have done on the site. Makes finding stuff much easier.

- Grey Druids: "at the secret place near where the Tree of Life was burnt" Well, you could only say that where it is believed that this happened. Nobody knows for sure where that is.

- As you're reworking the entry I suggest to add some relativism. For example at the Green Druids you shouldn't describe it as fact that they change into War Dryads, but that there exist many stories and even confirmed reports on that. But basically you shouldn't see it as proven.

- The term "elven palaces" also should be changed, because a palace is something human and doesn't fit to elves. As we're drifting here with the Green Druids in a mythical field, this Hall of Guardians could be a light-elven building perhaps.

Will check more later.


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« Reply #7 on: 27 October 2005, 09:33:00 »

Ahhh! Art did my work! Nice! :D  

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« Reply #8 on: 27 October 2005, 15:42:00 »

Thankies for the comments everyone :d

@Theo: Will do.

@Talia: I never really liked this blip of history, i just thought i should put in in cuz it was in the original. No prob taking it out.

@Arti: thanks for the run through, will edit sometime tonight or tomorrow.

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« Reply #9 on: 28 October 2005, 05:36:00 »

Nuriya Marid


Some more thoughts about the orders in generally:

- You mentioned, that grey druids are drawn to animals in their youth, what about the others?

- How does somebody, young or old, get to know, that he might be happy being a druid?

Some proposals:

-  All druids are generally able to merge with „something“ - but they are really good with one kind of „element“, attached to it.

- Children or young adults (when do they know, what they want - not before the begin of puberty as in Ximax and with clerical magic as well?) could not know, to what kind of druid they should go, but look for one, regardless which order, and after their initial training, they get to know, what is the easiest for them.

- A problem: The „High Druids“. Nice, that you looked for different names, BUT, you describe the druids as loners mostly, people who want to have their peace mostly - why should they subdue to any of their kind? Why is there a need to have someone like the high druid? It makes only sense, if he has a network of informants, so that he gets to know, if somewhere is a problem which might interest him.
Why should the others find his choice of his successors good? A more democratic approach would fit better, I think - maybe the „high Druid“ has to proof his abilities?
A next problem in this context are the distances. you  said somewhere, they are rare - how rare? How many per... (10000 squarekm). For it would take first ages to spread the message to come to a meeting, and then it might take months, if not years to gather. Take into account, that Santharia alone has a length of rough 5000 strals or so.
Maybe (proposal), you don‘t call the druids for a meeting, but they gather  at a fixed time at a certain place (every three years or so, not all need to come, if they don‘t want). There they could choose a high druid - if necessary, if a task has to be fulfilled which NEEDS one, needs cooperation.

***Astropic of the day***
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« Reply #10 on: 28 October 2005, 16:49:00 »

About the High druids....They are not a real position of authority, they are only there to represent the order in inter-druidical meetings. They are there to make sure that whatever is being discussed, their order isn't left in the deep end.

The call thing is only used in the utmost emergencies, with the exception of fire druids, who aren't loners anyways. Meeting once every couple of years is pointless, very very few druids wouldn't show up, so if an emergency did occur, they would miss it.



As to the motivations for learning, I iwll mention it in entry in more depth.

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« Reply #11 on: 28 October 2005, 17:46:00 »

Well, but my points of the difficulty to meet are valid nevertheless, for if a necessity occurs to meet - they can't gather quickly. And how can somebody represent people he not even knows? How does he get to know, what they are wanting? He can represent the interests of his order only, if he knows what the others want.
How often do you imagine them meeting? (all orders?)

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path   that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Pikel Thunderstone
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« Reply #12 on: 28 October 2005, 18:16:00 »

ALl orders have never met. ever. it has never been required.

and the high druids dont represent the people of the order, merely the element. For instance, if there was something wrong with the Essence's all over Caelereth (dont know HOW, just IF), then the Grey high druid would make sure that the solution was not harmful to animals.

and emergencys of the magnitude that would require a large meeting are "emergencies" (note the quotation marks). much like global warming is an "emergency". It is a serious problem, but they have time to fix it. Most other problems are fixable via individual druids either fixing it themselves, or gathering a small force to help them fix it.

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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #13 on: 28 October 2005, 20:31:00 »

I still agree with Talia here. The High Druid thingy is interesting, but it doesn't really fit with how the rest of the Druid Orders are organized.
There's no actual organization at all, so it's hard to maintain a figurehead.
Moreover, you say yourself that on "ordinary" occasions, a normal Druid would be just as able to represent his/her element. And I suppose that in the case of some really big catastrophe, more Druids would gather anyway, and the need for a representative would than be met automatically.

As it is now, these High Druids serve no other purpose than being available for some event that might never happen and even if it does, they're not thát particularly necessary. I don't think that would be enough "purpose" for such a thing as a High Druid to come into existence.

KR,
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Pikel Thunderstone
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« Reply #14 on: 30 October 2005, 08:14:00 »

After thinking about it, i do realize that the "call" part is not logical. Why would the high druid know about it first? Any druid can make the call. thus that responsibility will be destroyed.

but i am remaining firm on the representative part. In the event of some huge, possibly never to happen, catastrophe. The high druid would meet with the other high druids.

The reasoning behind this is simple: yes, other druids would be willing to represent, possibly even many druids. But THAT is the problem. Much better that a decision that helps all elements be figured out between 6 people than 300. And if no high druid were in place, then there may even be fights over who gets to represent the order.

The high druid is not a hierarchy position. He has no more power over the order than anyone else. He is ONLY there in case the catastrophical, possibly never to happen, event occurs. The druidic orders developed this as a "JUST IN CASE" position.

What? Why must we speak of my profession? Come, let us have a drink. - Pikel

Pikel

Edited by: Pikel Thunderstone at: 10/29/05 22:16
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