Help me think of interesting druid order for Cauldron region


Shackled City Adventure Path


One of the players in my campaign is a druid who learned basic druidic skills on his own after being forced from his home town into the wilderness. He has started to inquire about druids and druidic orders or organizations in the area and I wanted to have him learn about some kind of druidic order or organization he can join or work with.

One thought is to have the druids be part of the Striders of Fharlangh, but though I can see druids allying with the Striders, I think maybe they'd have their own more purely druidic order. I'm thinking the druids in the region would be an ancient order that's been around for hundreds or thousands of years, founded by the elves in the area.

I can't remember reading about any druid order or organization in the SCAP. Any thoughts about what goals, size, level of involvement, etc. that such a druidic order might have? Would they be aware of the Cagewrights? Would they care? Would they only care if and when they learn of the planned Ritual of Planar Junction which would wreak havoc with the natural order?

Maybe these druids were around during the time of Surabar Spellmason and the first planar junction, and helped close the planar junction to stop more demons and demodands from entering the world. Maybe they know that in the past the demodands seemed intent on infecting people with their fiendish seed, but don't know of any purpose for that.

Any suggestions for what the druid goals and knowledge are, and how much or on what condition they'd share it with the player character?. And what, if anything, would they ask the character to do on behalf of the druid order?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What you could do is to adapt the Gatekeepers from Eberron to your campaign, "a druid sect dedicated to protecting nature from the unnatural,fighting aberrations and guarding against extraplanar invasion and the release of ancient evils".

Being an old order (15.000 years in Eberron :) ), they would fit into the Surabar Spellmason-storyline, and yes, they could be aware of the cagewrights and should be determined to stop their sinister plans. Naturally they could work with the Striders of Fharlangn to destroy a common enemy.


That's a good idea, and along the lines of what I want, I think. This order could have been the ones keeping track of the natural planar junction that naturally happens every 500 years, bringing the Abyss, Carceri and this part of the Prime Material plane "closer" to each other for a few days. The Cagewrights' Ritual of Planar Junction is meant to increase this effect in order to tear the planar boundry, releasing the demodands (and Adimarchus wants them to do this because it also will weaken his prison by bringing him "closer" to his adopted home plane, thereby restoring enough power to create a "leak" in his cage.)

While I don't think I'll have the druidic order know about the Cagewright's plan at first, they'll know about the cycle of planar junctions and that 500 years before, this was the event that allowed a horde of demons led by Nabthatoron to enter the Prime, and also allowed many demodands to enter the world infect humans with their fiendish descendants.

Maybe the druids even know about the prevalence of half-demodand and half-demon creatures in the area (which also helps explain why there are so many darned tieflings in the Adventure Path), though they have no idea that some of them can be used to create the Ritual of Planar Junction.

Now I need a cool name, symbollogy, headquarters and such for this order. I think I might name them in Elvish the "Ohtarin nor Morannai" (the Guardians over the Dark Gates).

I think Shensen will be a member of this order or be aware of them, but she has joined the Striders because the druids are too passive for her taste.

The druids generally don't get involved in most events because they stay in the background, watching the signs, observing and keeping track of those with fiendish ancestry, researching prophesy and studying the stars, guarding spots where planar boundries are weak, studying and documenting the great planar cycles, and trying to keep nature from being corrupted by planar influences. Maybe sometimes they hunt down the worst of the planar invaders that wreak too much havoc with the natural order. But they would see such "mortal" concerns as evil organizations, corruption in human cities, etc. as too mundane for them to waste their time with.

The Striders are concerned with more everyday concerns such as humanoid threats, the Cagewrigths, etc.

So for my druid player, at first he might be frustrated with failed efforts to get this order to help, but eventually, when world-shaking events start to unfold, the Ohtarin nor Morannai might have the information (and the interest) to be a powerful ally, at least by supplying valuable information.


I think a druidic order is often much more interesting when led by non-humans, and even non-elves. For example, a Treant druid could certainly shapechange into a demihuman creature, couldn't he? I seem to recall an adventure in a past Dungeon magazine that had a circle of druids led by a gnoll...

As for headquarters, do druids really need anything more than a clearing? If necessary, there's always your good ole' fashioned circle of stones.

Be wary of making them too powerful though, because then it begs the question of how involved do they get in saving the city of Cauldron once demons begin the invasion?

Sovereign Court

Urthblade wrote:

I think a druidic order is often much more interesting when led by non-humans, and even non-elves. For example, a Treant druid could certainly shapechange into a demihuman creature, couldn't he? I seem to recall an adventure in a past Dungeon magazine that had a circle of druids led by a gnoll...

As for headquarters, do druids really need anything more than a clearing? If necessary, there's always your good ole' fashioned circle of stones.

Be wary of making them too powerful though, because then it begs the question of how involved do they get in saving the city of Cauldron once demons begin the invasion?

The gnoll you're talking about is named Mardack and he leads the council of thorns.(Dungeon#85, Unnatural selection)

Have you considered making the Druids former members of the chisel? The group's recent shift from doing good to lining their pockets would be a good reason for the Druids breaking away from them. Nidrema can be their patron.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Would you mind saying what setting you are using and where you are placing Cauldron? That could make a difference, though I like your idea of a 500 year planar cycle. If you take a cue from AoW, Cauldron is near Kyuss' former metropolis of Kuluth-Mar. I can see druids being interested in keeping the "unnaturalness" of Kyuss, the spellweavers, etc. hidden and repressed. Maybe the area has always been a focus for unusual activities that they would like to prevent happening again.


I'm using the Greyhawk setting for Shackled City, with Cauldron set in the suggested location between the Hellfurnaces and the Amedio Jungle. I'm going to look over some of the large scale Greyhawk chronologies to see what other major planar disruptions might have occurred over the past few thousand years that the druids would have been concerned about.

The five hundred year cycle was not my idea, actually. I think I got it from these boards (can't remember which thread though), but I thougth it was a great way to explain the connection between the spellweavers, the Demonskar, Nabthatoron, the Abyss, Carceri, Adimarchus, the Cagewrights and the demodands behind them, etc. The story, in my campaign, will go something like this:
1) Spellweavers, at the peak of their plane-spanning magical empire, try a massive planar experiment in a magnitude never before conceived, which would congerge all planes of existance together (or something like that). This experiment goes terribly wrong, destroying all spellweaver cities throughout the multiverse in one massive explosion (the one near Cauldron becomes the Demonskar rift).
2) The massive interplanar catastrophe creates a weakening in the boundry between Carceri, the Abyss, and the Prime Material in the vicinity of the Demonskar and Cauldron. This boundry between these planes grows weakest every 500 years or so (or whichever number of years puts the next event at the current time).
3) During the last weakening of planar boundries, Yeenoghu sent his minion, Nabthatoron, with a demon horde to wreak havoc on the Prime, but Nabthatoron was defeated by Surabar Spellmason and the people of Redgorge.
4) During that same weakening when Nabthatoron arrived, demodands infiltrated the Prime and spread their seed among the mortals, creating half-fiends from whom the Shackleborn are descended.
5) The cycle is now approaching the great weakening of the planar boundries again. The demodands have commanded the Cagewrights to use the Ritual of Planar Junction during this time to puncture completely through the barrier with Carceri, releasing a demodand horde into the Prime.
6) Adimarchus has infected some demodands and Cagewrights with his madness, and stands to benefit from the Ritual of Planar Junction, because it will weaken the boundry between his prison in Carceri and Occipitus, allowing him to draw more power from his domain which he can use to weaken his prison.
7) Once his prison is weakened after the Ritual of Planar Junction, Adimarchus becomes able to exert much more influence on the Prime and on Occipitus. Perhaps, until he is killed, the boundry between planes will remain weak because his will maintains the link, and havoc will continue to spread from the planar junction in greater and worse ways until Adimarchus is slain (or at least until he is freed).

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