When one thinks of druids, the Eldeen Reaches immediately come to mind. Indeed, this wild land supports many druids of differing sects. But the druidic traditions of harmony with nature and, especially in Eberron, defense against corruption are not confined to the Reaches. Any culture that is close to nature or to land with extensive undeveloped regions is
likely to support druidic traditions.
Druids exist all across Khorvaire, and the other continents have their share as well (though less is known about them). In addition to the wild defenders most people think of, there also exist druid sects dedicated to the destructive aspects of nature. Although their followers are grim and dangerous, such traditions are not usually evil. Other druids do follow a dark path, incomprehensible to most, that honors ancient horrors or alien environments, seeking to change the very face of Eberron.
Certain druids do not distinguish between the Material Plane and any other. Far from being “alien” and “outside,” to them all the planes are natural parts of the whole of existence. Other druids, generally those of extraplanar origin, are dedicated to the primacy of their home planes over all others. Agents of these outsider sects are drawn to manifest zones on Eberron, where they try to strengthen the planar connection, or even try to create new manifest zones.
Druidic doctrines are simple and unadorned. They each have one overriding goal or approach, which can be stated in few words in each sect’s entry. Differences are for conclave discussion, not scripture parsing or proclamation from superiors.
Druid sects do not have holy symbols in the way that clerics understand them; each adopts certain marks or objects that identify members to one another. These individual features are described in each entry. Nor do they use prayer in the way that more formal religions do; conversely, ritual forms a much greater part of religious life for the sects’ followers.
Most druidic traditions place little emphasis on the fate of the soul. They are by definition concerned with the worldly; life itself is sacred. Tacit in most sects is the concept of reincarnation, a belief that life is a finite quantity that reappears in the world in a new form after the old one ends. Druids honor the spirits of creatures killed for food so that they will not seek revenge in the next life; they aim to disperse souls that were responsible for crimes against nature, to be reborn in scattered, mindless form. Some sects do have more developed ideas about the afterlife, and these too are presented in the appropriate sections.
Druid sects in general do not interact with other types of religions, except those that pose a direct threat. They believe nonhostile faiths are artificial constructs irrelevant unless a convert wishes to abandon them and follow a more natural path. Still, the various druid sects have firm attitudes toward one another. These impressions are presented in each sect’s description.
Druids do not keep a calendar in the way of more formal religions. The rhythms of sun and moon, the change of seasons—these are the natural accompaniment to life. Each sect observes these moments in their own way. Frivolous distinctions such as naming festivals and counting off days are not important to them.