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 Post subject: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:28 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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So I was assuming that druids were looked at askance, and possible burned as heretics since they are primal casters in this edition rather than divine. But then I read the description of the Sickle of the Might Oak (pg 86 FiMR) where it discusses Saluwean druids being part of the Legion of the Might Oak, and mentioned, "Lebuin val'Dellanov, archdruid of the Golden Boughs of Saluwe." Considering that the Golden Boughs are sacred to Saluwe, the Church of Saluwe has a significant presence there, and the archdruid is a val'Dellanov, I am lead to assume there is an official relationship between the druids and the Church of Saluwe. Additionally, considering that they serve openly in a Saluwean legion, they can't be hunted by the inquisition.

How well integrated are (at least some sects) of druids into the Church of Man? Are there any other gods that have druidic sects besides Saluwe? Does Belisarda have druids?

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:17 am
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I think it's been pretty clear that Henry doesn't want Saluwe Druids categorized as divine magic.
Because they are not divine they are not part of any of the Churches.
Just because these druids worship Saluwe doesn't mean, that the magic they use comes from their worshiping or faith, like a Priestess' of Sauwe does.
There are a couple articles on the forms that discuss the various ways to channel magic in the world and while we never go a clear answer about Druid magic, it is not divine.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:24 am
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I figured that they draw their power from nature, but since Saluwe is the goddess of nature, so far as the church is concerned they're drawing power from Saluwe.

You know. As long as they actually worship Saluwe in appropriately orthodox ways.

We have a druid in my home game. I've been running it that most commoners (who have no experience with spellcasters beyond maybe a low-level cleric) get freaked out if he starts casting stuff (or wild shaping, I've had a few people accuse him of being a demon or a werewolf), but when he explains he follows Saluwe, oh, okay, you're some kind of Cleric then.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:55 pm 
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The relationship between the Druids and the Priest(ess)hood is. . . complicated.

Overall, there is nothing specific which PREVENTS primal casters from being loyal worshipers of the Gods (capital G, note). The Druids of Saluwe' are an all MALE order, because the Church of Saluwe' in ALL of the Known Lands refuses to teach men the cants (divine spells) of Saluwe', in much the same way that the Temple of Illiir will not teach women their cants and divine spells. The cultural forces are that the two priesthoods are 'married', and all women go to one, and all men go to the other. The Druids, then, were male worshipers of Saluwe' who made deals with nature spirits to gain powers for whatever reason.

Now, as stated in the original Players Guide to Arcanis, there was an active war between the divine worshipers of Saluwe (the women) and the primal Druids. The priestesses claimed that the Druids worshiped "evil elder gods" and not Saluwe' herself. In their mind they 1) worshiped a false god, and 2) were breaking the 'proper' social order because men cannot concievably understand the nature of Saluwe'. She is the goddess of life, birth, nature, etc. and men are simply incapable of understanding this in their theology.

Eventually, a treaty was signed and the priest(ess)hood acknowledged the role of the Druids of Saluwe' (at least a specific sect of them) who operate as the stewards of the Golden Boughs. They worship Saluwe', but work through the spirits of nature, likely (I cannot say for sure as it has not been explored in canon) because they view these nature spirits as Her servants.

Now, this isn't to say Saluweans are good with Druids, because outside of the few 'official' points they are viewed as heretics for worshiping the 'wrong' gods. Henry has previously posted a entry on Battle Mages of the Coryani Empire and stated a lot of them are actually PRIMAL casters and not Eldritch, as making pacts and deals with nature spirits to gain power is not uncommon in the world, but these mages are not 'official' battle mages and are viewed with suspicion by the church. However, since they are comrades in arms of their fellow Legionnaires, most people in the legions turn a blind eye to the source of their mage's magic if they use it to protect their comrades.

To other gods, the only two other deities that would have 'official' druid orders in theory are Jeggal Sag for the ssethrics, and Belisarda for the elorii. The Cult of Jeggal Sag has long been the domain of druids in 3.5 and Arcane: Primal in ARG, so it makes sense they'd be open for Druids for ssethric races. Belisarda is more complicated as she is very specifically a Goddess of Life rather than a Goddess of Nature, and the whole eloran church is not structured the same way. In the past you COULD be a druid of Belisarda (in the 3.5 days), but this may not hold true in 5e. In ARG, Henry has previously stated that the elorii church does not particularly like primal casters either for various reasons, and as such there are few if any eloran shamans (though there is nothing mechanically preventing it from happening).

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:24 am
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The clergy of Yarris also had Druids among them in the old PGtA. Is that still true?

The PGtA also implies that Druids were now accepted, at least officially, religion-wide by Saluweans.

"For many centuries, the Black Druids and the Saluwean clergy fought an internecine war which finally culminated when the Anandi Superior and the Revelator (the leader of the Druids. The meaning behind the title has been lost to the ages) made a truce and adjudicated the responsibilities of each sect, declaring that each were one half of the whole." (PGtA p. 64)

But your post suggests that is only true of the sect that acts as wardens of the Golden Boughs.

The player at my table is a Druid who worships Saluwe from the Faerdwalden in Milandir. Would this then make him a heretic according to the Mother Church? What about the Milandric Orthodox Church?

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:07 pm 
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See this original ARG posting from Henry:
viewtopic.php?p=18649#p18649

There is also a current Year 2 softpoint dealing with the issue (our group is currently in Encounter 2; hope to finish it this week's session).

How this will play out for 5E rules will be a while.

Short answer: If you are Male and a Druid class, be prepared to defend yourself against the Inquisition for any *perceived* heresy.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 6:35 pm 

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Sorry,

You are incorrect with your last line. As explained in the mod we are currently doing, by the inquisition commander, the Mother Church fully accepts the druids due to the treaty.

It is the the female priestess of Saluwe that have the issues with the male druids

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Taffy wrote:
Sorry,

You are incorrect with your last line. As explained in the mod we are currently doing, by the inquisition commander, the Mother Church fully accepts the druids due to the treaty.

It is the the female priestess of Saluwe that have the issues with the male druids


I think the church may agree to the presence of druids, but that doesn't mean they're OK with spellcasting druids. After all, anyone specializing in tending a grove can be a druid, but to be a spellcaster you have to have made a "deal," so to speak. So if you openly cast spells as something that can only be explained as a primal caster (male saluwean, etc) or get caught (claiming to be a priest of Yarris but a priest catches that you aren't) then you still might be caught and burned. Remember, there are a lot of people in any organization that don't have the magical abilities, and that is still "legal" in the eyes of the church.

But it still seems like there are a lot of little things in canon sources indicating at least tacit acceptance of druids, at least by the Saluweans.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Druids
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:38 am 
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In the old campaign Druids were considered divine casters and were at least somewhat prominent in several nature oriented temples (Belisarda, Saluwe & Yaris) as well as the disciples of Jeggal Sagg.

In the current campaign Druids are primal casters which puts them OUTSIDE the Eloran and Mother Church.

No priest or priestess of the Mother Church is going to be entirely comfortable with Druidic magic; and actively proselytizing for "the spirits" is either paganism or heresy. (Blasphemy either way) That is to say it will potentially bring the Inquisition down on you if you are in areas where the Mother Church is in control. Matriarch Elandre is not known for her sense of humor...

As I understand it the eloran faith would be a lot more tolerant of "elemental worshipping" humans. Druids *might* get support from the laerestri or Seremas. On the other hand Henry has stated elsewhere that eloran society "looks down on" elorii who choose primal casting. See below.

As I understand it the Disciples of Jeggal Sag are primal casters and an accepted if politically marginalized group within Black Talon (and perhaps Ghost Scale) society.

The issue is further convoluted because there is an organization that calls its members Druids as a RP matter w/o necessarily actually being part of the D&D Druids class. Those "Druids" are all male guardians of wild places and are more like caretakers or temple guardians then D&D spellcasters. They are a small sect within the Temple of Saluwe. Though it's possible (probable?) that some of these "Druids" are secretly Druids.

So...As Cody said. It's complicated.

My take aways are:
(0) Druids are not empowered by the Gods, and their spells do not require faith/belief in the Gods.
(1) "Human" Druids from the Blessed Lands, Hinterlands or Westen Lands probably operate fairly openly and don't pretend to be part of the Mother Church. Though they may (or may not) hold the PoM in high regard, or even serve them as lay followers.
(2) "Human" Druids from Coryan, and to a lesser extent its successor states, face serious persecution when they operate openly. Most would use their powers with caution or clandestinely.
(3) While Elorii society might favor humans who "almost have it right" by worshipping the elements, they looks down on elorii who choose to be primal casters. On the one hand "MOM" is like the primal spirit for the whole world...so please explain why you didn't choose to be a divine priest of Belisarda? Or on the other hand their arcane Elder casters command the elements...so please explain why are you "wasting your time" bargaining cajoling and wheedling with them?
(4) Ssethric Druids that are the Disciples of Jeggal Sagg are accepted and unchanged.
(5) The average person can't tell the difference between types of spell casters. So you can claim to be something you aren't and get away with it at least some of the time. But you probably aren't fooling many (any) members of the clergy.

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