This question is less about building a character via stats, and more about integrating a character into legal play with sanctioned lore. I'm hoping this thread can help out.
I intend to play a Half-Elf Druid who survived his homelands of Rahadoum by trading in herbs, spices, and the occasional bit of healing. Unfortunately, his adventuring stories begin when he is discovered with religious paraphernalia, specifically books of healing that are endorsed by the clergy of Sarenrae. This causes him to get exiled, which is great if you need an excuse to have an out-of-place druid be willing to travel, but not so great if the only place you've ever known and felt comfortable with is off limits to you. It does make an excellent excuse for why the character does not use a "true" animal companion (it doesn't make sense to flaunt your magic in Rahadoum, even though magic itself isn't outlawed the way divine worship is) and it also gives the character a certain theme to him (as he'll focus on a flair and look that suggests "Desert Nomad.")
Are there any stories that describes, discusses, or even mentions those that have been exiled from Rahadoum, and what the process takes? If you were playing a "forced nomad druid" with a history of living in arid desert regions, what spells and flair would you use to differentiate yourself from those "forest-type druids" people tend to play? Sadly, the limitations to armor and weapons means he'll be stuck using a sling or quarterstaff the first three levels, but I'm hoping some magic ability such as summon nature's ally can help with that. "Oh hey, he's summoning jackals and crazy centipedes again, Oh dear God they're coming at us!"
And since it is arguably the one part of the game I'm least good at, if you can think of some awesome character traits that are fitting of this type of character and background, I'd be glad to hear them.
Depends on if you are still going to be in desert type terrain through the campaign.
If you are, Desert Druid archetype or Desert Domain, or vermin (centipede/beetle) companions are fitting.
I would use the World Walker Archetype, and qualify for Horizon Walker with it without Ranger levels.
It would represent someone who was having to learn to cope in every environment, since his home was lost to him, seeking to adapt to anything.
Embrace the lore of the Half-Elf more than the lore of Rahadoum as time goes on, someone who doesn't really belong with man or elf.
Even if you don't take the Desert Domain, those spells are built for the fluff you want.
I actually hadn't considered the World Walker Archetype, but that could really work well with the lore of the character while being mechanically sound. The Horizon Walker seems kind of neat, but wouldn't choosing it mean I ultimately lose out on Wildshape into a Large Elemental? Not sure how damning that would be at that level of play. I appreciate the feedback though. I know that, especially being a support character that can heal, there's going to be a lot of time (especially earlier levels) where this character is pulling his weight by being the designated Cure Stick Holder, but I know I need to plan for later levels as well.