Forest Druids are powerful spellcasters who become stronger and wiser with age. Situated in the High Forest of Erendorn, they live in small huts fashioned from unearthed stone and vines. Their great leader is over 900-years-old and he alone possesses a unique and powerful ability – but it comes at a cost.
The Forest Druids of Erendorn
Beneath the bright canopies of Erendorn’s High Forest, a community of Forest Druids lives in total balance with the flourishing nature around them. This race can feel the life of the earth pulse beneath their feet and among the trees that surround their humble settlement.
The Forest Druids live a shamanic existence that is in complete synchronicity with the Forest’s cycles. Everything they do is a communion with nature: when they are hungry, they eat what the Forest grows; when they are thirsty, they drink from the running rivers; when they are sick, wise healers use their knowledge of herbalism to concoct potent, holistic remedies; and when they need clothing, they fashion them out of the surrounding flora.
The spirit of the Forest echoes in the patterns of Druidic life. Even their appearance is a reflection of the Forest. Heavy vines interweave with their hair, tree roots wrap around their arms or legs like frozen snakes and flowers adorn their crimson robes. This race has lived harmoniously with the world for thousands of generations. They are the sages of the Forest, the protectors of the natural world and, most notably, the knowers of magic and enchantment.
A Race of Powerful Spellcasters
There are few creatures in Erendorn who have witnessed how the Forest Druids live. Because of this, stories told of them are often shrouded with mysticism and hearsay. But of one fact, everyone is certain: the Forest Druids are a race of naturally inclined spellcasters and are capable of great magic.
While there are varying degrees of skill within the race, every Forest Druid is an innate magic user and the powers they use are rooted in the forces and spirits of nature. While many powerful spellcasters have emerged from the Forest Druids, there is said to be one who can harness a pure, untapped source of power that makes even the greatest spellcasters of Erendorn wonder – but this information has been protected for centuries and remains hidden from those outside the High Forest.
Hierarchy Among the Forest Druids
Forest Druids can live for hundreds of years and they become stronger and wiser with age. It makes sense, then, that their hierarchy is dictated by age. The older a Forest Druid is, the more esteemed they become. Elders are incredibly powerful and respected within the community because of the years they have dedicated to perfecting their magic and sharpening their knowledge.
The Druidic Circle
With their interests aligned solely with the natural world and its inherent powers, the Forest Druids possess great knowledge of the universe that can be traced back to the Old Times. The Druidic Circle is one of the most respected groups within the Forest Druid community, comprised of wise Elders who are dedicated to preserving their race’s ancient knowledge of the earth and its spirit.
It is the responsibility of The Druidic Circle to not only organise the ongoing study of nature, but to also ensure that their wisdom and teachings are passed down to the younger generations.
The High Forest of Erendorn
The High Forest of Erendorn is a viridescent overgrowth of great towering trees and mesmerising wilderness. Forest Druids aren’t the only race native to this region. Among the teeming creatures, enormous Rockbark Treemen are said to roam these woods as mischievous Sprites flit between the thickets and Blue Melmees watch from their treetop homes.
The settlement of the Forest Druids is the perfect balance between buildings and nature. The High Forest that contains it breathes a bright, magical light into this place, and the Forest Druids themselves utilise their surroundings to create a thriving settlement that is as part of the forest as the trees themselves.
The Forest Druids’ Settlement
Forest Druids live in a large, circular clearing bordered by enormous trees that keep them hidden from view. A natural river flows through the centre of this settlement and bridges made from braided vines arch over it. Nature is the architect here, forming accidental paths and structures that meander randomly through the land of the Forest Druids.
They live in hand-built, humble houses that are stacked haphazardly on top of one another – and they are not always aligned properly, with some sitting at different angles to others. The walls are made mostly from unearthed stones that have been cemented together with thick layers of mud. Heavy ivy crawls up the walls of these houses, entwining with flowering plants and ferns. The ivy is so dense in some places that you can’t tell where one house ends and another begins. The roofs are also so overgrown that they look like small, elevated gardens filled with unkempt greenery, birds and small fauna.
But the houses of the Forest Druids aren’t just houses. They form an interconnected metropolis above the ground. Whether they’re next to, opposite or diagonally across from each other, every stack of house is connected by long bridges made from vines and natural wooden slats. These, too, are overgrown with iridescent flowers that weave through the vines and grow between the gaps in the wood.
The Sacrality of Trees
One of the reasons why, thousands of years ago, this race was led by its ancestors to the High Forest is because of the importance that trees have in the Druidic traditions. The Forest Druids consider trees as sacred bodies that provide them with protection and guidance. To them, trees are the most ancient beings of Erendorn and, therefore, the embodiments of its wisdom and meaning.
The ancestral Forest Druids realised long ago that living in the enchanted currents of the High Forest would bring their race closer to the deepest meaning of life. Over the generations, the Forest Druids have become kindred spirits with the trees that surround them and have even been privy to the secrets that they carry through the Forest. But their most worshipped trees lie just beyond the main settlement in the heart of the High Forest.
The Nine Deeproot Trees
The heart of the High Forest is the most ancient, most revered part of this entire area for two reasons. The first is that from this place was born one of the largest, most enchanted forests in Erendorn. The second reason is the circle of the nine enormous trees that surround a reservoir of pure water and reach so high into the sky that no one knows where their tops end.
These are the Nine Deeproot Trees, grander than any monument and as integral to the Forest as sunlight itself. Their eternally entwining roots run so deep into the earth that they stretch beneath nearly half of Erendorn as they penetrate the underwater caverns of The Deep, from which they draw their sustenance.
The Nine Deeproot Trees are the lifeblood of the High Forest, but the Forest Druids’ connection with them isn’t just dictated by worship. Floating in the middle of the pure reservoir that the Nine Deeproot Trees encircle is a small piece of land no bigger than a large boulder. Wild plants sprout between the blades of grass and around the small hut, fashioned from bamboo sticks and ivy, that sits in the very middle of the alluring islet. This the home of the Grand Druid Kal’velar, leader of the Forest Druids and the oldest, most powerful of them all.
Grand Druid Kal’velar
At over 900-years-old, Grand Druid Kal’velar is the oldest Forest Druid in Erendorn, making him the appointed leader of this race. But despite his age, Grand Druid Kal’velar is the most powerful member of his race with the ability to harness a certain type of magic that the rest of Erendorn has only heard of through rumours.
Kal’velar is the only Forest Druid in the history of Erendorn who is able to draw power from the High Forest itself. This is the greatest source of power a Forest Druid can wield, making Kal’velar’s capabilities a dangerous talent if their secrets are learned by those with an impure heart. Using this unique ability, Kal’velar is able to summon enormous amounts of power from every living organism in the Forest. From a single blade of grass to mighty bears and lofty trees, all of this energy can then be used in an awe-inspiring display of inconceivable magic.
However, while this kind of power is incredibly advantageous when it comes to the protection of the Forest Druids, it comes at a cost nonetheless. Whenever Kal’velar summons magic in this way, the Forest weakens. Growth halts, many plants begin to die and, depending on how much energy is required, great levels of destruction can occur throughout the High Forest. From destroyed habitats to devastated greenery, the ruination caused by Kal’velar’s summoning spell means that he never uses this kind of power unless dire circumstances necessitate it.
The secret behind Kal’velar’s incredible ability has remained cloaked in mystery since its earliest conception many hundreds of years ago. No one, not even the Forest Druids, has ever known how he is able to summon such powerful magic in this way, and Kal’velar continues to guard this secret even after all these centuries.
The Forest Druids of Erendorn are an integral part of the High Forest’s ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t adventurous. While many continue to live in accordance with the ancient teachings, many individuals leave the High Forest with the desire to learn more about different terrains, races and creatures. These Forest Druids often end up exploring the dungeon depths that crawl beneath Erendorn’s surface, and the things they encounter in those subterranean tunnels are the furthest thing from their haven in the High Forest.