Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
I haven't had time to read through much, just wanted to say this is an impressive amount of content. Well done!

Regarding putting together a sourcebook, the only thing I can think is to abstract out some of your timeline. Put some room for interpretation in there, unless a specific event or fact is really important to lock down.
Thank you! Though I am currently laughing as I'm about to explain. While I was writing this, my latest group got a tradition going of reading through and reacting to the latest additions to the document. A near universal question was for more details! To which I replied exactly as you wrote! If I put everything in, then there is no room for interpretation!

I obviously agree this is an unwieldy document that couldn't possibly go in a source book as is.

So, I'll just put up for now a couple of lore pieces from in-universe perspectives that I wrote over the years for my players' benefit.

About druids:
The Disciples of the Old Faith
Reference sources on the Ancient Druidic Traditions
by Decius Valerius Scipio, Curator of the Imperial Library of Argenta
The fifth of Starfall, five hundred forty five of the Imperial Age

Under the auspices of his Imperial Majesty Gniuso Festiusin Musylva, his lordship
Galerius Firminus, senator of the people of Aselalia Praant, has commissioned this work, as
a guide to imperial envoys in their dealings with the primal traditions and practices of
several cultures of the world.

A major part of the research is based upon the writings of captain Gaius Caepio
during his years of captivity in the hands of the Hrodgeir rebels. As such this document
begins with his account, specifically his conversation on the subject with Borthomar
Giantsbane, a druid of great influence in that rebellion.

“[...] and though the rebels agreed that I was an imperial observer on the situation
unfolding for the past years in Hrodgeir they refused to release me. Instead I was brought
blindfolded into a northern camp hidden inside the wooded valleys of the Glittertind
mountain range, though I never managed to fathom my exact locations. My wounds
treated I was left for the most part to my own devices, with the occasional visit from one
rebel chief or another asking questions pertaining the involvement of our empire to the
Hrodgeir leadership; questions that I refused to answer on account of my principles.
After almost a week I was given the freedom of the camp, but no more. I quickly
realized that it served as a hospital for the various rebel groups and was guarded by bears
and wolves and strange diminutive creatures, the size and shape of halflings, but with
elvish features on their oversized heads, and wild orange hair obviously dyed and kept
pointing at the sky, with excessive use of animal fat. These fur wearing, battleaxe
wielding barbarians all answered to the leader of this camp, a mul by the name
It was with him that I managed to build a friendship over the years, though his wild
ways were off-putting at first. And though he seemed as wild and barbaric as his
diminutive cohorts, he was in fact a well travelled man that had trekked across the world
and even in the Feywild, in search of balance, before the affairs closer at home put an end
to his journeys.
Once he warmed up to me he talked at length of his adventures in far off places, and
the reasons he was set on this path at a young age, as a means to control the curse of
lycanthropy he was afflicted with. Of particular interest were his descriptions of the Old
Faith and the way the various Druidic circles communicate and congregate over long
periods of time and great distances.

According to Borthomar, the Old Faith has a very rich oral tradition, but little of it
is written down, but rather passed from master to initiate. Their history spans millennia,
and the Druidic circles claim to be older than the organized worship of the divines. Whether
this is true or not I cannot say; their practices though seem to indicate their origin long
before civilisation took hold in the hearts of men.
The Druidic circles are varied, each focusing on some specific aspect of the
relationship of nature and thinking people, yet all sharing a common goal of maintaining
balance in the world. Yet, this isn't a creed like that of our own church of Bahamut, but
rather a set of ideals that promote the coexistence with nature. It is hard to completely
grasp what each circle is exactly about; it certainly is something that is inherited from
master to initiate, but the teachings of each are so esoteric that only people fully immersed
their whole lives in them would comprehend.

Borthomar found his master a druid belonging to the circle of the Shepherd in the
Feywild at a young age as he was seeking ways to control his curse. He was chosen as an
initiate along with several other, and it is my understanding that this was normal,
though only very few would succeed in mastering their druidcraft. It is possible that other
master might choose their initiates differently; that is something that is more than
possible, considering the isolation of druids.

Yet, for all their separatism and isolation, there are several traditions and meetings
that have carried down across millennia to this day. There are four yearly celebrations,
Imbolc on the day of Winter's Solstice, Beltane on the day of the Spring Equinox,
Lughnasadh on the day of the Summer Solstice, and Samhain on the day of the Autumn
Equinox. If possible, druids that leave in relative closeness together gather upon these days
along with their initiates, or if they have some standing with the local community lead
the locals in ritual celebrations.

There is however a gathering every seven years; preparations for the event start well
over a year in advance, with animal messengers sent out to inform fellow druids of the
location it would be held. Those that can attend do so and that often means traveling for
months to attend. It is a week long ritual of renewal and meditation that gathers
hundreds, if not thousands of druids. The gathering, Ceilidh as is known, is a massive event
for druidic circles, as it is the main way that the dispersed druids keep in touch with one
another and learn of the concerns of other druids. It is also a time where new initiates are
chosen and often time initiates are exchanged.

Borthomar also talked at length the two Ceilidhs he attended, one as an initiate and
one as a druid during his time in the Feywild. When asked about the location he refused to
answer, only saying that it was not the same and it never is, nor that it is always in the
Feywild. He then went ahead to talk about his adventures with Havoc company and the
liberation of Tal en'Sul [...]”

About piracy:
Excerpt from Bloody Waters
“Bloody Waters: Piracy in Middle Ocean & the Sea of Bones”,
by Plato Puglisi, published 560 IA

[…] The chaos prevalent in these affairs came to an end with the
rise of captain Shil Yargo, who with the monetary support of House
Dreygu of Deliverance, took control of several disparate pirate groups
and in the year 512 IA defeated Swordhorn's Raiders, capturing the
flagship of the raiding and slaving fleet and expelling them from the
island. And though order was established, piracy went on, this time
under the near exclusive control of Shil Yargo, who brutally
punished those that broke his rules or didn't pay their tithes to him.

His chance to further establish himself came later that year,
with the Rysnen empire's invasion of Giant's Peninsula. Though the
details of the agreement remain shrouded in mystery, Shil Yargo and
his crews gained pardons for past offences, in return for their services
in the war. Though the blockade of occupied Stormreach proved of
little worth and was broken easily, Shil Yargo utilised the open ended
Letters of Marque he received to continue attacking ships under
banner of the golden phoenix for a decade, establishing himself as a
pirate king.

However, this golden decade came to an abrupt halt when the
empire, tired of the loss of trade in the region, sent a small flotilla to
deal with the situation, a flotilla commanded by none other than
inarguably the best military commander in the world at the time;
Lucresia Imscari. And the mere fact that Shil Yargo managed to
maintain his life and control of his pirate fief for all the decades past
that crisis is a testament to his sharp mind and even sharper skinning
blades. [...]