Age of Worms
Portfolio Natural Phenomena
Holy Symbol Mistletoe
Favored Weapon Staff
The Old Faith is the chief druidic order in the Flanaess. Its Grand Druid claims authority over the whole of the Oerth, though other druidic orders exist in other lands. Though strongly associated with the faiths of Beory and Obad-Hai, the Old Faith also encompasses other deities, principally those concerned with natural phenomena. A quartet of gods representing the seasons is common, though the identities of these deities vary from culture to culture.
Adherents of the Old Faith hold trees, particularly oak and ash, and the sun and the moons as sacred. Druids of the Old Faith believe they must protect trees, plants, and crops from destruction; to a lesser extent, they protect their human followers and animals as well. They recognize that humans, humanoids, and animals need food and shelter, and don’t begrudge them the right to hunt or practice agriculture if they do so responsibly. Druids of the Old Faith may not destroy woodlands or crops, though they may work to change the nature of these things if they feel it is worth the effort to do so. For example, an Old Faith druid could cleanse a corrupted wood of its evil taint, but the Old Faith is strongly neutral in alignment, believing that Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos should exist in balance. The Old Faith holds itself aloof from worldly affairs, being primarily concerned with the cycles of nature: life, death, and rebirth. They view all things as part of a great cycle, with Good and Evil only temporary phases. Only when the cycle itself is threatened do they feel called to action.
Old Faith’s Priesthood
Druids of associated deities make up the priests of the Old Faith. Druids of the Old Faith prefer to live in sacred groves, in small, simple houses built of logs, stone, or sod. At higher levels, they generally dwell in building complexes in woodland areas.
The Old Faith’s lowest-ranked clergy are known as Aspirants, who seek admission to the order. Next are the Ovates, who read auguries and perform minor administrative tasks. Next are the Initiates of the First Circle, followed by higher ranking Initiates of the Second through Ninth Circles. Above these ranks are those who have the right to the title of Druid. There are only nine Druids to each region. Above the nine Druids are three Archdruids, who answer to the Great Druid of their region. Admission to the ranks of Druid, Archdruid, and Great Druid is only granted via trial by combat. It is said that above the Great Druids stands a single Grand Druid, whose dominion includes the entire Oerth. Former Grand Druids are said to make up an inner circle of ascended mystics known as the Heirophants of the Cabal, though their existence is not remarked on outside the Old Faith hierarchy.
The sun rises and the sun sets, the two moons dance across the heavens, and the seasons pass. Since the earliest days, the druids of the Old Faith have watched the Eternal Circle of Nature. They know the ways of nature and the mysteries of Oerth, but they are not its master. Instead, they are servants of nature and tend to the needs of the land and its creatures. Only the foolish would underestimate their power for they have mastered the secrets of the world itself.