Age of Worms
The ring of crumbling menhirs on the bluff overlooking Diamond Lake is a remnant of the ancient Flannish druidic culture that once inhabited the region. They too came to the hills for the ancient cairns, seeing them as monuments to great ancestors of the invisible past. Although modern Suloise and Oeridians displaced the native druids over a thousand years ago, pockets of indigenous architecture and culture remain. Foremost among these near-forgotten practices is veneration of Beory, the Oerth Mother, and her son Obad-Hai, the Shalm, the brooding patron of wilderness and natural order.
Druids of the Grey Circle and rangers who honour the Old Faith routinely congregate in great moots three hours northeast of Diamond Lake, at an ancient megalithic structure called the Bronzewood Lodge. Devotees of Ehlonna and the elven pantheon are welcome at these meetings, if a bit gruffly, but all other attendees must be invited personally by someone already within the circle of trust. At these great moots, the woodsfolk observe rituals from long ago, celebrate with great contests of strength and wit, and debate policy regarding the natural affairs of the region.
A small permanent community inhabits the Lodge itself and the wooded copse surrounding it. Perhaps thirty assorted druids, rangers, and scouts protect the sacred site and keep watch on the nearby roads and valleys. Occasionally, they step in to rescue a traveler from some natural menace, but just as often they warn explorers to stay on the roads and let the wilderness take care of itself. Their leader is Nogwier, an aged proponent of the Old Faith who strives to keep the focus of his community on preservation of a near-extinct way of life and away from anger at the Free City and its operatives in Diamond Lake, whose avariciousness continually rapes the land. Nogwier urges cautious cooperation with Lanod Neff via a former Bronzewood man named Merris Sandovar, who now works as the garrison’s chief scout. Nogwier’s health is starting to deteriorate however, and many fear that his successor might take an antagonistic stance against the machinations of Greyhawk and Diamond Lake.