The Druids of Mundia

I’m writing the final chapters of Vaetra Unleashed, book three of The Vaetra Chronicles. As I approach the conclusion of this three-and-a-half year writing challenge, I’m both disappointed to put my story world to rest (for a while, anyway) and excited about the idea of beginning a new project.

Vaetra Unleashed is, without question, the most detailed and complex of the trilogy. (I hope that turns out to be a good thing.) One of the complexities is that book three expands upon how the druids and spirits influence human society in the Tanes Empire, where The Vaetra Chronicles is set.

Druids and the spirits play a huge role in Vaetra Unleashed. That means I had to sit down and come up with an entire religion and religious organization oriented around the worship of the spirits. I naturally borrowed from real-world and fictional examples, but I believe the end product is uniquely mine.

To whet your appetite for the story to come, I thought I’d share some of the details of my druid-related world building. What follows is an overview. I may provide additional details in future articles.

Religion in Mundia

Religion in the land of Mundia is based on a belief in the spirits. Druids are the keepers of this faith and the spiritual advisors to all who worship the spirits.

The druids believe that the spirits are the souls of our ancestors. They watch over us and guide us. (A common druid salutation is, “May the spirits guide you.”) The spirits serve the five Greater Spirits (aka Spirit Goddesses), who in turn serve the Mother Spirit of Mundia. All spirits seek to preserve the health of the Mother’s land, waters, and living creatures.

Druid Organization and Facilities

Over the centuries, the druids formalized spirit worship by establishing temples and shrines where worshipers could gather and hear the guidance of the druid priests. As congregational leaders, the priests acquired influence and power that the secular governments were forced to respect.

Druid organization eventually evolved into a structure called The Hierarchy. At the top of The Hierarchy is the Archdruid. The Archdruid is the liaison to the King or Emperor who rules the country. Under the Archdruid are the High Priests and Priestesses, who control druid activities within an assigned region of the country. Each temple is the responsibility of a local priest (or priestess), who reports to the High Priest(ess) of that region. Druid regions do not necessarily follow the boundaries of the country’s subdivisions such as provinces and states.

In addition to the priesthood, the druids have two martial branches, collectively known as Defenders of the Faith. The Defenders are subdivided into the monks and the rangers. The monks are responsible for protecting the temples and the priests. The rangers rove the countryside, watching for activities that threaten the well being of the spirits and carrying messages between the various druid facilities.

In most countries, including the Tanes Empire, druids establish refuges, which protect large areas of land from the depredations of human civilization. Within a refuge, druids frequently allocate space for a preserve where priests, monks, and rangers are trained for their duties.

Druids, the Mundane, and Sorcerers

The majority of the mundane (non-sorcerer) population believes in the spirits. Non-believers generally keep quiet about their lack of faith and even attend temple to avoid potential difficulties.

Although druids have their own form of magic that depends upon vaetra, sorcery is considered sacrilege because it is not guided by the spirits. Sorcerers are prohibited from entering any consecrated location, such as a temple or refuge. Many sorcerers believe in the spirits, but thanks to the druid attitude toward sorcery, few are worshipers.

The Druids and Spirits in Vaetra Unleashed

I won’t spoil the story for you with details, but I will say that the spirits and the druids are the source of more trouble for Jaylan and Sulana. But they are also the source of several important solutions.


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