How Her Story Became His....
Legends lie and folklore fools. And sometimes they do it so well, that even those who fabricated them fall for it as well. Such is the case with the Druids.
Humans given the gift to shapeshift into beasts and command nature their whim and yet they were the bastions of peace and friendship? Caryll would tell you a different story. Born into a clan of all female druids, she learned to be fierce and ruthless with her power. Strength begets strength. Before she was sixteen she was a fierce weapon, an arrow waited to be released on their next target. But this is not a past the Circles would want you to remember.
Ruthless monsters, devoid of humanity. They descended on the mortals like ravenous beasts. They were warriors that wanted for nothing. They could demand that the harvest yields, command their prey to the slaughter. So what of humanity? Pliable like the land and yet they bore less fruit.
Caryll was as brutal as any of them. The tribe that she oversaw, doing so even at the very young age she was, served more as entertainment than anything else. At one point they evern tried to assassinate her while she was sleeping. Needless to say they failed, but as punishment she forced the entire town into a week long slumber where their dreams were filled with torture and despair. They would never raise arms against their queen again.
But even when subjected to this, the druids allowed something to grow in man's heart without their noticing. They saw the benefits of their situation, they adapted and learned how to thrive even under the crushing boots of the druids.
The human tribes under their occupation would pay tribute to the Circle. Food, supplies and reproductive assets. But they also saw a possibility. The Daughters of the Thorns had destroyed any who dared opposed, by removing the weeds the crop was flourishing. Without highwaymen, bandits and the like, trade between these tribes could be done safely and securley. With this growing economic power, these tribes developed into towns which in turn meant they could easily supply the Circle and focus on their internal needs. And thus in time, the tribes and towns became thankful, they turned to the cirlce for guidance. And such the image of the druid, from ruthless barbarian was forever changed to guiding teacher. For many this was a difficult adjustment but being so young she adapted and was able to merge her two upbringings.
Caryll, indeed all druids, viewed humanity as children in need of guidance, she couldn’t see how these frail people could defend themselves against claw and fang, demon and fey. No, they needed the Druids. She would enjoy her shifter abilities; a Druid could be anywhere and see everything. In Caryll's territory she frequently took the form of a red dragon, soaring through the skies to remind her subjects of the simple truths. You live because we allow. And yet in all their might and power, they didn't see the dark clouds approaching.
She was still young, not yet twenty-one when the skies tore open and the Fey war began. It was a bloodbath. The Druid's with all their supposed might and power were seemingly helpless agains the endless waves of creatures that poured from the forests. Caryll would lead campaigns against the Fae only to be pushed further and further back. Alliances were made in this time, between the circle and other groups such as vampires, werewolves and witches and perhaps the tide was turned ever so slightly.
In an act of desperation that would see Druid's lose a great deal of their power for centuries, they created magical barriers between the material plane and the Faewilds. The ritual once completed, didn't end the war in a swift and dramatic flare but rather left the Fae without power or a means of retreat and thus made them far easier to kill. While this was a victory, in the sense the fae were killed and locked out, it was a loss in every other way. The druid population was reduced to a fraction of its size. As they lost their numbers, they lost power and the ability to project that power and so people slowly began to lose the fear and respect that they previously held.
The Druid’s could not have man believing that they were weak and thus they forbid the recording of history of this time. A druid inquisition spread throughout Europe, destroying any reference to the war and killing any who refused to be silent. Caryll knew that this was simply the final nail in the coffin for them. Man had not only seen that the circle was weak, but that they desperate too. Gone were the days where they could show their power and become feared and respected, now their actions reeked of a need to survive. The age of man had begun, and they would be left behind. Yes the supernatural community was far more powerful, with dark magics and strength unrivaled by humanity but in their arrogance humanity had grown in number and intelligence. They learned our every weakness and exploited them. How quick the might fall.
As with all supernatural creatures and beasts, the means of survival was locked hand in hand with remaining invisible. Let ourselves fall into myth and become forgotten, for man would begin to hunt down any that questioned their superiority. And so she would survive the second war, a war that would last for the rest of her life, a war humanity would simply identify as ‘witch-hunts’ yet targeted man, beast and all other creatures alike.
She survived this war, alone and with others depending on the needs of the moment. Though as time went on she became more reclusive, there was something in her bones that told her to be alone. Something that told her, it was her time. And it's funny really, you live for hundreds and hundreds of years and yet when you see your last on the horizon, you discover you never had enough. Of all the things that could kill her, it would be age.
No it won’t.
Caryll was a warrior, and a fighter, she saw superior to mortals and she wouldn't fall the same way they do. She delved into a side of Druidry that she did not know existed, the darker side of nature that revealed more than she could have believed. Like Pandora, she had opened a box that now she could not close. What started as a means to give her more time, opened a door into a vast library of knowledge and power that must be explored before her time could end. But her magic spell, her fountain of eternal life, would remain her closest guarded secret until either her death or until all magic leaves this world.
She had discovered that using the spores, she could transfer her life energies into a second body. Provided the individual did not have the magical defences to combat her, she could impose herself on another being. As time passed and her understanding of this power grew, she was able to create her ‘Garden’ and in so doing could perform a combination of true polymorphing and spore control to create vessels for Caryll to inhabit.
In truth, she never died. The body, mind and soul remains preserved in her 'Garden', for without it she could not control her new forms, her puppets. And yet, though they be puppets, each is as independent and free thinking as her. And it would be with Him that the strings were finally turned.
He was not the first puppet, the process was arduous and required many successive attempts before a seemless transfer was achieved. He awoke with different feelings and even though she and he shared the same memories, he came to different conclusions. Where a hunger for bloodshed and dominance once ruled, he now saw how disparate and desperate his kind were and saught a way to help them. To say he severed her control would be poor wording, he simply ignored impulse. Where his mind whispered one thing, he would ensure to act differently.
Slowly, he would feel her influence less and less. Though it would take years, he would eventually begin to feel like his own person without any sign of being her. With this new freedom he'd begin looking to help those in need. He worked with covens, packs and even hunters in the role that a Druid is seen to hold. That being one of negotiations, avoiding conflicts and bringing peace.
He was noticed. So many times by so many people. Hunter groups that didn't want peace but complete genocide wanted him gone, some supernatural groups saw his actions as potentially making them weaker in the long run. But despite this, he continued to do as he must. But, he was noticed by a Warlock called Nathan. At first the two had an uneasy alliance, Nathan claimed ownership of a house locked within a Fae realm that very few could access and Caryll needed someone to send those who could not fend for themselves. With time they trusted each other more and more.
Though he didn’t intend to join the house, it just kind of happened over time. Together they were able to bring this pocket realm into the material plane, making it a location where people could stay for extended periods of time and a place that could be built upon. Though in so doing, they brought attention to themselves from beyond this realm.
It would be at this point that an enemy he long forgot resurfaced, an Archfey he had fought in that awful war all those centuries ago. These fey are not like the others, they’re not flashy beings with spells and superior duelling and technology. They’re gods among cattle. This was not a fight that he, nor any of his kind could possibly win, but he knew what could be done, a tried and tested technique. Seal off the Fey wild and reinforce the boundaries so that they can’t return. But the fight would come at a cost, firstly without him being part of a Druid circle the only person he could entrust with the task of monitoring the barriers was himself. The house was also destroyed which in the grand scheme was nothing because Nathan…
So in turn, he would take up the mantle of caretaker for the house. Because the only person he could entrust with the task, was himself.
Nathan had left the house in Caryll’s care and so he gained some control over the micro-realm. The house didn’t offer much in terms of new abilities or powers. Namely, the owner can summon a door anywhere in the world at will and they can also seal it away, ensuring that no more doors appear and that if you were to enter the physical property, you would instead find an empty and decrepit building.
It took a long time for him to rebuild the courage to open the doors. There was always an excuse. It needed rebuilding, it needed decorating, I’m not ready, I need to learn but it always came back to that one point. I’m not him. Even with the image, the mind was not the same.
Species: Welsh Human Archdruid
- True Polymorph / Wild Shaping:
- The ability to change shape and form to match any animal or creature that they understand or have observed indefinitely.
- Beast Dominance:
- An Archdruid can dominate the mind of a lesser creature to serve their will. While in most situations a druid can simply request aid and it will be given, sometimes action must be demanded.
- Converse With Nature:
- This grants the wielder to either tap into the recent experiences of a plant or creature, or in the more literal sense, speak with them.
- Spore Mother/Circle of Spores
- This is not a single ability, but instead the school of Druidism that Caryll adheres to. Those who follow this school find beauty in the cycle of life to death and life again. The power of the spores to take dead material and turn it into vibrant life and vice versa. It is a pathway to many abilities, some consider to be unnatural.