The Fidouyr

The Fidouyr (roughly translating to the Great Grove of the Earth) is an organisation of druids that spans the entire Moonshae Isles. Split into Rings that tend to the people and nature of each island, the Great Grove of the Earth is dedicated towards preserving the Balance and the Earthmother, allowing all to live within the bounty of nature and not exploit it to the ruin of the natural world.

History

The Great Grove of the Earth has its origins in the llewyrr’s arrival on the Moonshae Isles when their instruction at the hands of the LeShay began. The LeShay taught them about the Feywild and the Earthmother and her Children, and how the llewyrr should try to limit their impact on the Moonshae Isles.

The LeShay are alien, enigmatic, fey creatures and the llewyrr could not comprehend all that they had to teach. In time, the LeShay departed and later the ffolk arrived, and the llewyrr became teachers to the new arrivals, instructing them in a concept known as the Balance; something they interpreted from the LeShay teachings.

The first ffolk to study at the hands of the llewyrr were welcomed into Synnoria, and when Chief Deric stole the heart of Herene Reredine and Laranlor Kaminas sealed Synnoria, those students who had lived among them for decades (known as the Dervynddur – seekers of knowledge) were allowed to stay and finish their training.

By the time of Kazgoroth’s return in 201 DR, the Dervynddur were ready to return to the ffolk. As Kazgoroth’s firbolg allies and drathak hordes assaulted Synnoria, a number of elves were sent into hiding on other islands via the Alamtine Trail, the most important went in secret with the Dervynddyr as guards. It was one of these groups who hid Allisynn Reredine (younger sister of Herene) among their number, and who were rescued by King Cymrych Hugh when the drathak attacked them.

The alliance between the Kingdom of Callidyrr and the elves of Synnoria began with the Dervynddur and Allisynn Reredine. Together they helped Cymrych Hugh travel to Synnoria using the secret Alamtine Trail and beseech Laranlor Kaminas for aid in defeating the drathak.

In return, High King Cymrych Hugh gave the freedom of the Moonshae Isles to the Dervynddur (for they were no longer allowed to return to Synnoria), and tasked them to work with the ffolk to keep the Balance and safeguard the future of the islands and its people.

The Dervyndd established the Fidouyr (the Great Grove of the Earth) and setup Rings on each of the individual islands. Over time Dervyndd became corrupt to Druind and later Druid (as they are known today). Over the course of centuries the Druid of the Fidouyr have kept the ffolk of the Moonshae Isles as true to their traditional tribal roots as possible so as not to plunder the natural world around them.

The Ring of Norland and Norheim were the first to fall, followed by the Ring of Oman. The Ring of Alaron is now all but gone, having been slowly replaced by the Church of Chauntea, and the Ring of Snowdown is similarly declining due to the depredations of evil cultists from the mainland. Only the Rings of Moray and Gwynneth remain, and only Gwynneth has any strength left in it.

Organisation

Headquarters: Varies, Moonshae Isles

Members: 285

Hierarchy: Fluid

Leader: Varies

Religion: The Earthmother

Secrecy: Low, the druid move freely and openly among the ffolk, but their bases are often secluded and remain unknown to any but the membership of the Fidouyr.

Symbol: A ring of trees all connected by their roots.

The organisation of the Fidouyr is as changing as the seasons. Each Ring has a Great Druid who is chosen annually as leader by the membership of the Ring (usually based upon wisdom and ability). The Great Druids rule as a council of sorts, each with an opposite number (Norland and Snowdown, Norheim and Gwynneth, Alaron and Moray) with Oman sat in the middle.

The leader of the Fidouyr is known as the Grand Druid, and has the ultimate power over every druid on the Moonshae Isles. Every 3 months the mantle of Grand Druid passes to another Great Druid, except during the period of a full moon when the opposite Great Druid becomes Grand Druid. During the days of Midwinter, Greengrass, Midsummer, High Harvestide, Feast of the Moon, and Shieldmeet the Great Druid of Oman becomes Grand Druid.

Over time the various Rings of the Fidouyr have collapsed, now only Gwynneth, Snowdown, and Moray remain and thus during the period of a full moon the title of Grand Druid passes to one Ring while during Midwinter, Greengrass, Midsummer, High Harvestide, Feast of the Moon and Shieldmeet the title of Grand Druid passes to the other Ring.

Below the Great Druid is little distinction between membership, all are awarded the title of Druid once they can master their first animal form and from that moment are eligible to become Great Druid, providing they can command the respect of the majority of their peers. Those that have yet to achieve their first animal form are usually called by their name or by the name of a young animal (foal, calf, child, kitten, etc).

Dogma / Motivation / Goals

The Druid of the Fidouyr seek one thing, to maintain the Balance, everything else is secondary to that goal. The concept of the Balance is an idea inherited from the llewyrr of Synnoria (who in turn learned of it from the LeShay) and teaches that the Moonshae Isles are alive and the magic of the Druid, the Moonwells, even life itself is derived from the Earthmother (a term given to the collective living Moonshae Isles).

Maintaining the Balance requires that all the living things of the islands should be looked after; the animals, the plants, the fish, even the geography (the mountains, river, soil, etc). The Druid teach the ffolk to live in harmony with the land, building alongside rivers and in vales, using discarded wood and loose stone to make buildings (rather than logging or mining), hunting the weak and dying animals, harvesting plants in cycles to benefit the soil.

The Druid in turn use their magic and that of the Moonwells to benefit the ffolk and help them maintain the Balance  (curing diseases, increasing crop yields, purifying water, etc).

Membership / Recruiting

The Fidouyr recruit new members from among the ffolk, usually selecting those young individuals that show a special affinity for the natural world, or particular gifts (such as wild talents) that may aid the Fidouyr in future. Additionally the Fidouyr take on orphans, lost children, and other individuals that may no longer be able to function in ffolk society (amnesiacs, mutes, etc).

Apprentice Druid are free to leave the organisation whenever they wish (having learned little more than herblore, agriculture, animal husbandry). Those who master the skill of transforming into their first animal form are given the title of Druid and must take a vow to serve only the Earthmother, which also requires the Druid to remain chaste.

Those Druid who seek to leave the Fidouyr have their belongings confiscated and are enspelled to remove all knowledge of the Fidouyr’s secrets.

Allies

Guardians

The Fidouyr (end the llewyrr before them, and the LeShay before that) have selected a variety of exceptional beings to act as defenders of nearby Moonwells. These defenders are known as Guardians, and while they are not part of the Fidouyr, they are usually intelligent enough to recognise that the Druid help maintain the Moonwells which provide power to the Guardians.

Grunt: Grunt is the Guardian of the Great Grove of the Earthmother; the largest and most powerful of the Greater Moonwells on Gwynneth. Grunt is a cantankerous, ancient brown bear of huge size and strength. He is friendly with his local druid (Genna Moonsinger) to a point, but does not appreciate too much intrusion into his territory.

Grunt spends much of his time sleeping within the boundary of the Moonwell (on the artificial island crafted to house the Great Grove of the Earthmother), and the Moonwell has granted him a long life as well as strength many times that of a normal bear (equal to or even greater than the bjornyr of the northern islands).

The Fidouyr believe that Grunt is a descendant of Darvyr the Dire Bear, and he was selected as Guardian for that reason. Grunt, however, has no care or comment on the topic of his ancient ancestry.

Newateroon (Neutral, Faerie Dragon, Faerie Dragon 10): Newt was first encountered by the Fidouyr in 561 DR, frolicking amid the ever expanding Fens of the Fallon. Apparently fascinated by the diverse wildlife in the region, he was persuaded to act as Guardian for the corrupt Moonwell known as the Darkwell, to replace the great bear now horribly twisted by the corruption of Kazgoroth.

Enemies

To the Fidouyr, all who threaten the Balance are considered enemies. The norl in ages past were treated as enemies, as much for the rampant slaughter of Druid of the Fidouyr as for the wars they waged endlessly against the ffolk. The norl nowadays are content with their lands, raiding occasionally but otherwise eking out a living from fishing and subsistence farming, thus the Fidouyr leave the norl alone.

Foreigners from the mainland are considered one of the greatest threats, caring nothing for the land or living things beyond what they can exploit for material gain. Cultists of evil religions (the Cult of the Grasped Talon or the Cult of the Bloodied Horn) actively seek to despoil the land with vile necromancy and other evils. The Druid of the Fidouyr invest a lot of time into monitoring these evil groups and helping the ffolk combat them.

The Fidouyr have long considered Kazgoroth to be the greatest evil of the  Moonshae Isles and the biggest threat to the Balance. Most consider Kazgoroth to be long destroyed, but the Great Druids are ever watchful for his return.

In truth the most dangerous enemy the Fidouyr have is what many Druid consider to be their best ally, the Earthmother herself and her Children.

Important NPCs

Antola Pilark (Neutral, Halfling – Lightfoot, Magic User 5): Antola Pilark is the Great Druid for the Ring of Alaron. He has seen the Ring of Alaron continually diminish as it is infiltrated by priests from the Church of the Great Mother, while his loyal Druid have disappeared or died in accidents. Antola has withdrawn the Ring of Alaron to the depths of the Fairheight Mountains where he waits for better times.

Brianna Moonsinger (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 9): Brianna Moonsinger was the eldest of the Moonsinger twins, a family line (despite the Fidouyr vow of chastity) known for producing powerful and long lived druids, and twins. She held the title of Great Druid of the Ring of Gwynneth longer than any other druid in the history of the Fidouyr, and even the reigning Grand Druid would bow to her counsel no matter the date or season.

Danrak (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 1): Danrak is a relatively recent addition to the Fidouyr, having been sent to the local druid at the tender age of 8 after uncontrollable convulsions and prophetic visions. The druids have been unable to control either his fits or his dreams and so he has been sent to the elves of Synnoria for healing and training.

Deirdre (Good, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 1): Deirdre is an idealistic young (relatively; for a druid, at 30 years of age) druid who tends to one of the Lesser Moonwells in the settlement of Dynwall (such Moonwells were created by the Fidouyr). Deirdre longs to do something useful and prove herself against a great challenge like the heroes of ages past, however she fears the time of such heroism is long over.

Edric (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 2): Edric is a stout man of middling years who tends to a Moonwell on the north eastern border of Llyrath Forest, but in reality spends much of his time in the settlements of Kingsbay and Horstall. Edric rather enjoys the luxuries of urban living, despite the toll these luxuries are taking on his now ample frame.

Eileen of Aspenheight (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Expert 1): Eileen is still an apprentice among the Fidouyr; she can change her shape into a robin but has not yet mastered this form and is unable to remain in animal form for very long or with consistent successful transformation.

Eileen tends to a Moonwell on the western edge of the Myrloch Vale in a region known as the Toadstool Thicket. She has been allowed to do so because she is nearly a full fledged Druid, and is regularly monitored by Genna Moonsinger (her senior mistress), but also because the Toadstool Thicket is deemed safe compared to elsewhere as the firbolg avoid this region.

Gadrric of Deepglen (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 2): Gadrric is an old Druid approaching 49 years of age, who has tended the the Sidhe Pool and the surrounding area of Deepglen for 31 years. Gadrric can often be found by the shore of the Sidhe Pool, especially during moonlit nights, he spends this time in communication with the elf spirit trapped in the Moonwell. Gadrric has secretly fallen in love with this ancient spirit, and longs to find a way to release her, or join her.

Genna Moonsinger (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 7): The Great Druid Genna Moonsinger is the younger of the Moonsinger twins (by several minutes), the latest in the long line of the Moonsinger family (flagrantly ignoring the vow of chastity all Druid of the Fidouyr must take). At 128 years old she is one of the eldest Druid ever to serve the Fidouyr, and certainly the oldest Druid currently serving

Gwendolyn (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 2): Gwendolyn of Dynloch Pass is the eldest druid in the Ring of Gwynneth (except for the unnaturally long lived Moonsingers). At 86 years of age she is content to sit in her cave and watch travellers who pass through one of the secret ways of Synnoria, providing advanced warning to the llewyrr of those who make it through the first layer of Synnoria’s defences.

Isolde (Good, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 3): Isolde of Winterglen is among the more powerful druids of the Ring of Gwynneth. She is a stern woman who is used to dealing with the dangerous and capricious fey creatures of Winterglen.

Kile (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Human 1): Apprentice druid

Lorn (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Human 1): Apprentice druid

Mikal (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Expert 1): Mikal is an apprentice druid who was entered for his natural ability to speak with animals, and his special affinity for bears.

Quinn Moonwane (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 5): Quinn Moonwane of Llyrath Forest is one of the most respected and powerful members of the Ring of Gwynneth, who would have held the title of Great Druid if not for the Moonsinger family’s power and unnatural longevity.

Ryder Greenleaf (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 1): Ryder Greenleaf is a loner, even when compared to other Druid of the Fidouyr. He tends to a Lesser Moonwell on the far western shore of Gwynneth, north of the norl settlement of Storaad. He shuns contact with almost everyone, preferring to spend time in his animal form (which is a tree), communing with nature and meditating.

Trahern (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 2): Trahern of Oakvale tends to one of the southern woodlands of the Myrloch Vale that border (and are gradually losing ground to) the Fens of the Fallon. He is of middling ability and no ambition, desiring freedom from his life of endlessly serving nature.

Waine (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 2): Waine is a former apprentice to Isolde and has recently become a full-fledged Druid upon mastering his first animal form; a sparrow. He is serious, like Isolde, and has chosen to remain in Winterglen and tend to one of the Lesser Moonwells in that fey and mysterious forest.

Spheres of Influence

The Ring of Alaron: This Ring of the Great Grove of the Earth was at one time the second largest and powerful ring in the Moonshae Isles, based out of the primeval Dernall Forest. Since 467 DR, the Ring of Alaron has come under pressure from the organised religious practices of tethyrian migrants, primarily the worship of Chauntea and her wandering priests (of the True Shaper sect).

Gradually the Fidouyr began to decline in influence on Alaron as the illuskans established Gnarhelm (and drove the druids from that territory), and the tethyrians achieved dominance over the native ffolk with the accession of the Carrathal Dynasty. Since 1240 DR the Fidouyr lost considerable ground to the more vigorous Church of the Great Mother, and by 1320 DR had completely vanished from the society of Callidyrr as a series of disappearances and accidents befell its remaining membership causing the Great Druid Antola Pilark to withdraw its remaining power in secret to the depths of the Fairheight Mountains.

The Ring of Snowdown: The Ring of Snowdown had been in gradual decline since 467 DR, for the same reason as the Ring of Alaron as wandering priests of Chauntea came to the islands and began to compete with the druids for the same place in society.

In 1276 DR the Ring of Snowdown suffered a catastrophic decline in membership when the Cult of the Bloodied Horn slew the Great Druid and half the membership of the Ring (the cultists were all hunted and slain in revenge). Now there remains only a single member of the Ring of Snowdown, and he has not yet achieved the title of Druid as he has not performed his first animal transformation yet.

Resources

The druid of the Fidouyr have all the resources of nature at their disposal. Their magic and skills allow them to call animals and fey to their aid when needed, while the wonders of nature allow them to craft magical items without resorting to the traditional (and expensive) methods of enchantment.

Magic

The druids of the Fidouyr have the magical traditions of several different races at their disposal. From the llewyrr they have learned ritual magic and inherited some teachings of the LeShay, while the firbolg have taught the druids rune magic, lastly the ffolk themselves had their own magical traditions before abandoning the lands of Ebenfar and fleeing to the Moonshae Isles.

Animal Tongues: The Druid of the Fidouyr are able to communicate with a variety of intelligent animals; birds, bears, wolves, etc, using their native language (usually involving vocalisations, body language, and the more complicated language of smell).

This ability is most often used to communicate between far off Druid and other Rings by using birds, dolphins, or whales (fish it would seem, are not intelligent enough to remember a message for more than an hour) to travel quickly around and between the islands and relay messages.

Skinwalking: Druid of the Fidouyr possess the ability to transform themselves into the shape of other animals, and use the capabilities of those forms to better defend themselves and nature. The llewyrr also use this magical ability for more mundane uses, and it is believed the Fidouyr acquired this knowledge from the elves.

Totems: The Fidouyr have learned the art of crafting totems to call upon the powers of powerful fey creatures. Certain materials, carvings, inscriptions, and fetishes hold great attraction for the mysterious fey, by making a totem keyed to a particular fey creature, the druids can form a pact with this creature and use its powers in times of need.

Magic Items

The Moonsinger Tree: This leather bound book is the definitive work on the Fidouyr as penned by Genna Moonsinger. It details the rites and history of that organisation as well as a number of useful spells and lessons on druid abilities. The book also details the family tree of Robyn Moonsinger going back as far as the Moonlight Dancers of ffolk legends.

Changestaff: A minor magical boon often gifted to apprentice druids when they achieve their first animal form. A changestaff is created by placing recently fallen sticks into a Moonwell and leaving them for a month, during which time the Moonwell sustains the wood and keeps it alive.

Upon command the druid can make the changestaff assume an alternate form (this is often a randomly different form for each stick and may relate to which creatures bathe in the Moonwell during the time the changestaff is submerged). It is rumoured that incredibly powerful versions of changestaff can be created using trees grown at the edge of a Moonwell and fed by the waters of the Moonwell.

Runestick: These sticks are made of a single piece of oak, maple, or pine, about 12 inches long, wrapped in holly or mistletoe, and carved with magical runes. The runesticks are then bathed in the waters of a Moonwell in the light of a full moon for 3 days, after which they are imbued with a random magical power (identifiable by which combination of the runes glows), or the druid may cast a magic power into the runestick while it bathes in the Moonwell (and the runestick readily absorbs it).

The knowledge of creating runesticks is a secret unique to the Fidouyr, but is only possible due to their alliance with noble firbolg tribes of the Myrloch Vale (such as the Wild Hunt), from whom they learned the secrets of rune magic, which when combined with other magical skills learned from the elves, allowed them to create magical items without magic intensive enchantment processes.

A runestick may possess a single magical power that can be used like a spell of up to 3rd level (or more if a higher level spell is cast into the runestick during its creation). The wielder of a runestick may unleash this power like a wand, after which it crumbles to dust. The runestick crumbles to dust in the light of the next full moon.

The Staff of the White Well: The Staff of the White Well is an ancient arteface formed from the wood of the Guardian of the White Well. It can manifest a number of spells, including call lightning, wall of fire, earthquake, etc. It protects the bearer by draining magic used against them. It can also change into a large, animated tree that obeys the commands of the bearer.

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