|The Social Organizations: The Circle, Conlan's Band, The Watchers|
Primarily centered in the wilderness of Taus, the Circle holds nature and the natural world above the laws of civilization and humankind. The Circle is organized loosely around communities of druids. In each major forest across the realm, the Circle has established a Hallow led by a High Druid. Smaller groups of members, called Circles, are under the jurisdiction of the closest Hallow. The entirety of the Circle is headed by the Grand Druid who oversees the Grand Hallow near the city of Hallow in Taus.
Revering the wisdom of Aurasan, the first Grand Druid, the Circle aims to keep nature's delicate balance. Unfortunately, as the cities and towns grow, the harder the Circle's duties become. Though a grudging respect is paid to the needs of civilized humanity, the Circle strive to slow urbanization, to protect natural resources, and to prevent the waste of the land, air, and water. Generally, those of the Circle usually shun towns and cities preferring to remain out in the wild beyond walls and gates.
Membership is almost entirely by invitation only though petitions have been accepted on occasion. Members tend to be specialist mages concentrating in the favored Arche of Air, Animal, Body, Earth, Plant, and Water. The Arche of Fire, Mind, and Spirit are shunned by the Circle. The Circle live by the words of Aurasan and the honor and respect for the land found in the following verse:
Let live so that the sky grow dark only with storm,
Furthermore, Circle members shun great weapons, heavy armors, and large shields.
To become a member of the Circle, the character needs the following requisites (calculated for Rule of Knowledge):
FAVORED LORES: Animal Lore, Plant Lore, Mineral Lore
Druidspeak is the spoken and written language of the Circle. It is a magical language and only members can speak it, write it, and understand it. All spells given to members are written in Druidspeak and can only be copied by members. The skill Read Magic and the spell Translation do not translate Druidspeak.
The Druid's Stave is the most prestigious of magic items a member can receive. It marks the member's full status as a druid of the Circle. A padded-weapon stave of no less than five feet in length must be made and it must be covered in green cloth and decorated with runic designs. The staff must bear the symbol of the Circle. The Druid's Stave counts as a magical-damage weapon. The druid must call "MAGIC" and the stave's damage when using the stave. As the druid gains in rank, the abilities of the Druid's Stave increase as well. The Druid's Stave is considered a personal item and cannot be taken, stolen, or used by anyone other than the Circle member.
Conlan Brightarrow made safe the forests of Taus during the first Age of Heroes. He is considered the Realm's greatest hunter and swiftest tracker. He believed that humanity could live in concert with nature taking only what was needed and paying respect and honor in return.
During a time when the city of Hallow was in danger, Conlan led a band of woodsmen in the city's defense. He was rewarded by the Circle with a bow made from the wood of a bright lumen tree; its magic caused the arrows to glow like moonlight and always strike true.
To this day, long after the death of the hero, Conlan's Band still marches the forests of Taus, Ursia, and have spread north and west into Lacia and Eldun. They serve as protectors of the wilderness and strongmen of the Circle upholding the beliefs of Conlan Brightarrow. Conlan adhered to the tenets of the Circle, protecting the land, the wood, the water, and the beasts. He also lived by the beliefs, "A hunter earns respect equal to the respect he gives his prey," and "Life should be lived like the bend of a bow," and "A wasted shot is a wasted life."
Furthermore, Conlan's Band members shun great weapons, heavy armors, and large shields.
To join Conlan's Band, the character must submit a petition often with the endorsement of a member of the Circle and meet the following requisites (calculated for Rule of Skill):
FAVORED LORES: Animal Lore, Mineral Lore, Plant Lore
Similar to the bow awarded the hero Conlan Brightarrow, the Ranger's Bow is made from the wood of the bright lumen tree. Gaining the Ranger's Bow signifies the character's full-fledged status as a ranger of the Band. The magic bow shimmers slightly with pale light and should be represented in game by a bow wrapped in a bit of green ribbon decorated with runes of magic. The Ranger's Bow empowers the character to invoke the spell Light three times per day. Furthermore, arrows fired from the bow are momentarily enchanted and inflict magical damage. The player must call "MAGIC ARROW!" when firing the bow. The Ranger's Bow is considered a personal item and cannot be taken, stolen, or used by anyone other than the Band member.
The Watchers of the Circle
The Watchers are a small group within The Circle whose purpose is to keep vigil over the lands protected by the druids. Silent, secretive, and elusive, the Watchers tend to the lore, the history, and the interests of the Circle. They are the emissaries of the Grand Hallow, the messengers of the forests, and the spies of the Grand Druid. Their job is to observe, remember, and record all that occurs in the natural realm. Their job is to preserve and enforce the will of Aurasan and to uphold the ideals of the Circle.
To better accomplish their task, the Circle granted the Watchers the ability to shapeshift, to become a creature of the wood. Such magic allows the Watchers to remain hidden though nearby and always waiting.
Most Watchers begin as initiates to the Circle. A member whose talents lie in the magics of the Arche of Animal and who prove their dedication to the interests of the Circle are selected to serve as Watchers.
Akin to the Circle, Watchers shun great weapons, heavy armors, and large shields.
To become a Watcher, the character must meet the following requirements (calculated for Rule of Knowledge):
The full description of the Watchers can be found in the full-version of the Archaea sourcebook.
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