[="Kgauck"]Kgauck[/] » [="Kgauck/Class"]Kgauck/Class[/] » [="KGauck/Druid"]KGauck/Druid[/]
Druid is a term for priests of Erik. It describes anyone who primarily serves Erik, regardless of character class. Druids might have the druid class, be a druid variant, such as Seidhr, be a cleric, a bard, an artist, scholar, expert, adept or ranger. Such characters are primarily servants of Erik, and their attire, personal behavior, loyalties, and commitments demonstrate that.
The word "druid" means "knower of trees." Trees contain different magical attributes, and druids come to know these which allow them to achieve magical effects, cast spells, and so on. Druids act as priests, poets, diviners, teachers, judges, and wizards, all as part of their duty to the Rjurik people. Druids had no exclusive authority in these areas, for other characters can do these things too. But the Rjurik regard the druids as wise and mysterious. Regular people do not understand the druids and most take comfort in that, for the druids puzzle out the mysteries of the world and acquire a very dangerous wisdom. Without the full wisdom of the druids, knowledge of some of these mysteries is something better left alone.
Druids speak in parables, riddles, and rhymes that confuse the normal person, but are designed to offer insight to those with the right frame of mind. It was this special frame of mind, the ability to riddle out secrets, decipher parables, and arrive at understanding that the druid seeks in his students. Thinking this way is how the druid thinks about the world. Druidical knowledge is less a body of doctrine than a method of reasoning.
This way of thinking is one of the reasons druids have a special language. It is more than just a special vocabulary, but also a riddling way of speaking that would be undecipherable if spoken in plain Rjuven. Using tree knowledge, special words, references to famous poems or scriptures, and organizing one's thoughts into riddles is the source of the security of the druids' special language.

[top]Career of the Druid

Druids begin as initiates and study for seven or more years before they can take the Ordeal of the Skald. Initiates are best described as members of the scholar, artist, or expert class. Any class is possible, but the ordeal of the skald requires passing seven DC 15 tests without failure, so abundant skill points in the the areas of Knowledge, Perform, and Diplomacy is a benefit. Those who are destined for leadership are often nobles.
Characters might start as initiates almost ready for the Ordeal of the Skald, or they might have already completed the test.
Druids then continue as skalds for a period of years. Many druids become skalds and never seek to advance to the higher mysteries of the druidical order. Skalds know a great deal of history and poetry, and can generally be relied on for their knowledge of law and religion as well. Skalds are considered capable of riddling out the mysteries of the world of men, but are thought to need further instruction in matters of secret teaching concerning magic, divination, and the Shadow World.
Skalds dwell mostly in the world of men. As patron of the Rjurik people, Erik calls some of his druids to be skalds and serve the kings, jarls, and community of men as skalds.
The stereotypical druid, out in the woods, perhaps caring for a stone circle, is probabaly an ollave. Most druids do not pass this rank. Ollaves have gone beyond understanding men to the more sophisticated mysteries of nature and the supernatural. As such they can function as intermediaries between the human and the divine. They are more priestly than bards, have access to more potent magic, and have the ability to perform various forms of prognostication. Though they are very capable in all areas of druidical knowledge, many ollaves choose to specialize in one particular area, such as religion, law, divination, teaching, nature, the shadow world, or leading the community of druids. All of these subjects were considered riddles or puzzles. For instance, the druid who serves as a reservoir of the law considers questions of justice, guilt, innocence, and equity to be riddles and the best answer to that riddle would be their judgment.
The few druids who are so esteemed by their peers as the most wise and learned are acknowledged as Druids. Such druids know the deepest mysteries and become so remote, strange, and wise that they can actually become frightening to regular Rjurik. Such characters would be high level and might have a prestige class, and so might wield powers which are well beyond what most people have ever encountered.

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