The Circles of Northern Cormyr
The Circles of Northern Cormyr
Since the fall of the Primordial, the North of Cormyr has become a wild land with few settlements and the wilderness has reclaimed much of the land. Fearing the growing monster population and local wildlife, people tend to stay close to one another with settlements only expanding beyond their own borders a little at a time. The Wyvernwater has now doubled in size, creating vast areas of swampland but too isolated islands and areas now divided by strong water currents. With such rapid change in nature, druids have found themselves overwhelmed with threats against the balance. Whilst a druid may be sworn to the balance, a druid is in the end humanoid and thus flawed in their thinking. Thus each druid's view of what is an act of balance is differ from each area. What may be considered a important threat in the King's Swamp, does not at all interest the druids of the agricultural areas or even the city. There has been words of internal conflict among the druids, even words of war. Yet so far, these claims remain as rumors.
The circles located in Northern Cormyr have rarely more than three to five members, with exception for the Blackbloods whom are well known for having dozens of lycans under their control. All circles except for the Blighters answer to the Guardian of the Hullack. They are reluctant to accept any wayward druid into their circle. Should a druid show a common interest of theirs or promise as Guardian of the Hullack, one of the circles may change their mind.
Located in the King's Swamp, this circle is known for it's strong connection to Talona. They are commonly hostile to outsiders, only said to wander near the roads when the fog is as thickest over the swamp. The members of this feared circle range are said to range vastly in race and some even claim to have seen hagspawns, werespiders and even spider riding goblins in the circle. Farmers nearest the swamp often pays a tithe to Talona, in hope that the Spinners will spare their family and harvest from disease and rot. It is said that if a farmer fail to pay their tithe, a thick fog will creep over their farm and infect everything in its wake with the wrath of Talona. They are well known to come in conflict with the druids of Eveningstar, the Harvesters of the Sun and Earth.
Harvesters of the Sun and Earth
An nontraditional circle, if one could even claim it to be one in the first place. The harvesters serves Lord Winter, a woman known to be one with the land of Eveningstar and reborn by Lathander's phoenix itself but controversially not a druid. Thanks to their relation with Lord Winter, they too enjoy a favourable relation with House Paertrover and are known to aid the house in caring for the Purple Dragon steeds. This "circle" is mostly made out of druids or clerics of Chantea and Lathander, working together to balance the agricultural land surrounding Eveningstar. Still, what this "circle" is most well known for it's endless bickering and internal conflict over the most minute detail. This obvious weakness, has lead to the Spinners the neighboring druidic circle in the King's Swamp, to attempt to claim the Southern land of Eveningstar as their own. So far, only the strength of Lord Winter's connection to the land has stopped the Spinners from claiming the land fully.
Known for their trickery, love of mind games, cruelty, riddles and fey pacts. The howlers rule the Bospir Maze, Eastern Wildlands and Eastway with a charismatic smile. Lead by a pair of love struck women, an mischievous werefox and an fey-touched elf. Both equally powerful druids with a love for manipulations and games. Their family clan "Brownfox" officially run the "Bounty Hunter" competition. As well as the keep of the Bospir Maze, a play ground for feys and druids alike. In the maze the Unseelie court trick adventurers into risking their lives, loved ones and even souls in a gamble for the promise of treasure. For this circle, life is a cruel game where you must always be a step ahead to avoid being the one trapped. Despite all the fun and games, they combat the advance of the Helmlands daily and always seek new ways to halt the spread.
Based in the Redwood and Outset, these blighters are sworn enemies of all the other druid circles, even the Talonites despite them. Their goal is to have the Helmlands spread across the entire North of Cormyr, they are at war with the Howlers whom are currently their biggest threat. To battle the druids, they under direct control of the Hierophaunt on Vorenthia's Isle. Whilst the relationship between the blighters and the Hierophaunt is strained, but both hold enough hatred towards Arabel to enable them to look beyond their differences.
An vicious lycan pact with monstrous creatures such as orcs, ogres and other beasts too found within the ranks. They are lead by the infamous werewolf Blackfur. They are mostly worshipers of Malar, famous for their bloody rites of sacrifices at the Falls of the Tumbling Stars located in the Northern Hullack Forest. The Blackbloods terrorize the hills surrounding Moonsearide, the Tilvergap and the Northern part of the Hullack Forest. It is not unheard of for the Blackbloods to specially target larger caravans or groups, making them the bane of Lord Lhal and House Beorhtre whose assets often suffer from their vicious assaults. The pact find strength in the sheer number, however due to their vicious ways and eagerness for a bloody hunt, they are not known for their intelligence. It is often said, that the Howlers find it most entertaining to make a fool out of the Blackblood. However, should the Blackblood get a hold of a Howler or any other by passer the story will end most brutally.
The Cobbled Circle
After the fall of Hardcastle, the Cobbled Circle could no longer merely "loiter" in the Citadel. Settling in Arabel North, the gnome lead circle settled down in the gardens of the growing district. There they began offering their service as gardeners, farm advisers and vermin experts. Since most of the inhabitants within Arabel, North are either dwarves, gnomes or halflings, this is too reflected in the circle which rarely find any member above four feet tall. Despite their success within Arabel, many of the circles outside the Hullack Forest, no longer consider the Cobbled Circle an druidic circle and instead consider them traitors of the oath. Despite the insults, the Cobbled Circle is a ever growing circle with many rich members.
Guardian of the Hullack
Gain alliance with one spirit, and another spirit shall become your enemy. For no Guardian will ever gain the approval of all spirits, ever again.
The Hullack Forest is a vestige of the ancient forest of Cormanthor, once the realm of the elven empire of Cormanthyr. It marks the Northeastern border of Cormyr and the Dalelands. It is the most primeval forest in Cormyr, steeped in vast swathes of unexplored territory and rich in spiritual energies. The forest took its name from the legendary human druid of Eldath, Hullack Elf-Friend. It is said that his spirit still lived on in the forest after his death, manifesting himself to seekers of lore or fighting those who would desecrate his home. While it was dismissed as legends or folktales, the story goes that Hullack granted his powers to a chosen mortal to serve in his stead and guard the spiritual power of the ancient forest.
Many have claimed to be such, either by accepting Hullack's blessing or by wresting it from him such as Araevin Alenuath, Helmar Bloodchurn, Raghat Jotuman or Emil Wyvernspur. However, it is only after the cataclysm that Hullack Elf-Friend and other guardian spirits of the forest have begun to openly manifest themselves and grant their powers to a chosen mortal Guardian. The reasons for this are widely speculated, but none know for sure, apart from suspicion that the mineral Mythalite, which is called the Spirit-Stone by forest dwellers, is somehow involved; Either actively or passively. It is however, now known that certain mortals who gain patronage of the spirits may accept the role of Guardian, sworn to protect the spiritual power of the sacred forest against all intruders, given power by the spirits themselves. Guardians may command the spirits, and all supernatural entities in the forest are subservient to them.
Updated to reflect the completion of the Arael story line.