Icon: High Druid
The High Druid is the champion of the resurgent Wild, and the spiritual and magical leader of spirits of nature and the elements that were chained by the Empire but are now working themselves free. She might be the great force that shakes the Empire to pieces, or she might be the hero who destroys the destroyers and points to a new way to live.
“There’s a place for your roads and your cities: hunched tight to the shores of that weird tamed thing you still call a sea.”
For the first time in ages, the High Druid has established her environs within the bounds of the Empire, in the Schwarzwald close to the center of the Empire.
The High Druid conducts sacred rituals from the age before the gods or the worlds. With these rituals, she calls up the mighty powers of nature. Druids everywhere, in turn, gain this power through allegiance to her.
It has been a long time since there was a High Druid who lived anywhere near the Empire. So far as anyone knows, the Druids have been strongest far to the North. But this new High Druid, a young elven woman, was born in the Empire and has turned the Schwarzwald into her place of power. Her influence is being felt in all the other wild spaces, with effects ranging from increased growth of impassable forest to vastly increased amounts of game in the forests, schools of fish in the Midland Sea, and flocks of birds migrating across the land. Even Imperial officers admit that the High Druid’s influence seems to make the Empire’s lands in the region around Schwarzwald healthier. Of course, they are also rightly concerned that it’s a region that would not mind shaking off the Empire’s cities, farms, and crowns.
Adventurers & the Icon
Many rangers and druids have a relationship, one way or the other, with the High Druid. The High Druid herself may or may not be sending agents into the field. Certainly various high-power druids who respect the High Druid are using resurgence in wild power to pursue their own conflicting agendas. Some of these powerful druids have hired adventurers, and others have responded by hiring adventurers to destroy their rivals’ hirelings.
The High Druid is a force unto herself. She is figuratively half-sister of the Elven Lady, but there’s more sibling rivalry than love.
The High Druid challenges the Emperor’s authority in the territory she has colonized. The Sorcerer Supreme has been restraining the tempestuous forces of nature to protect civilization, and the High Druid can feel it in her bones.
There usually is a High Druid. Sometimes there are two, but not for long. The High Druid’s affairs mostly concern the wilds, and civilized people know little about them.
The True Danger
Everything will be all right unless the Emperor and the High Druid truly go to war.