Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition has been released! Visit www.planescape.com to purchase and check for details. Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Shadow Druids

What is the difference between Druids and Shadow Druids?

It is said that Shadow Druids use violence. Well, so do Druids. So not much difference there.

Do Shadow Druids want everything to return to a primitive, all-nature world? Do Druids just try to maintain nature as civilisation expands?

What, really, is the fundamental difference between the two?
JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 941
    @Redrake sums that up pretty well.
    Shadow druids believe in a violent struggle between man and nature, and since they side with nature, they use violence as a legal means. They also use nature as a weapon against man, e.g animals against Trademeet. poisoned brambles and such as weapons.
    Mainstream druids believe in peaceful co-existience of nature and man. This can be achieved by balance, see Jaheira. They support nature as the weaker partner to keep the scales in balance, but they do not act against man in this.
    Shadow druids use force while other druids try to educate and make people understand the importance of living in balance with nature.
    Dev6RedrakeJuliusBorisovThacoBell
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328
    One might also think that this difference makes Shadow Druids evil. It doesn't. They use violent means to preserve nature, but inherently both them and the regular druids are neutral.
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    Thanks for your inputs. Judging from the answers given, however, no one actually knows what the difference is. That said, without your help and ideas I could not have figured out the answer, so thank you!

    It seems no one really knows what Shadow Druid philosophy is, except that they "are more violent and not about Balance." Well, they could be fighting to preserve the Balance if they see that man has encroached too far on nature.

    "I think Arundel in IWD1 gives the best explanation about the fundamental differences between Shadow Druids and Druids.
    Initially the Great Oak from Kuldahar was a Shadow Druids shrine, until Tolben became archdruid. Tolben changed the nature of the shrine to one focused towards Balance and led to the founding of Kuldahar."


    What explanation does he give? What you just gave? Simply throwing the word "Balance" in there means nothing without a philosophy or an ethos to tie it to. I just gave you an example of how Shadow Druids could also say they are about Balance.

    "Shadow Druids do not want to expand the forest and are not anti-civilization. They are against civilization interfering with nature and they are basically willing to do that through evil methods."

    - For civilisation to be built, it MUST interfere with nature. It is literally impossible to build a civilisation and not interfere with nature. If a new settlement arose, it would need to tear down trees and dig up mounds of dirt, etc. If Shadow Druids were in the area, they would be angry and attack. Ergo, they must be against civilisation.


    "They do not allow people visiting their woods, they erect natural defenses to keep people away or kill them. "


    - This makes sense.

    They also use nature as a weapon against man

    - So do normal Druids.

    I would conclude that Shadow Druids are anti-civilisation and want everyone to live in nature. This is the only way their philosophy can make any coherent sense. If we are discussing Balance, and tying it into a philosophy, it would be:

    DRUIDS:

    Ethos: Believe Balance is between man's advancement and preserving the natural world (ie, a balance between "civilised" man and "natural" man). Will seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts and only resort to violence when there is no other way. When provoked, will use nature's wrath against the aggressor. Defensive mindset. Healer of the forest and the natural world. Reactive.

    SHADOW DRUIDS:

    Ethos: Believe man is a PART of nature, and civilisation is wrecking the Balance man has with nature (as an inherent part of it). Thus, they seek to wipe civilisation out, as it distances man from his own internal Balance. True Balance is achieved when natural man is in touch with himself, away from the confines of civilisation which seek to impose their will upon him and enslave him to unnatural ways of living. Will actively fight against civilisation using nature's wrath. Aggressive mindset. Fights for the forest and natural world. Proactive.

    Only in this context does throwing the word "Balance" around make any coherent sense (as Balance must be defined properly first, so we can see what Balance an individual is upholding).
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328
    To quote Arundel "Balance is the harmony that is achieved when man and nature learn to coexist, no longer contending with one another, but coming together as two parts of a whole". He means it as coexistence in the same shrine, the Great Oak, not in the world.
    ThacoBell
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    Well, there you go. Straight from the horse's mouth. Ordinary Druids view man as separate from nature (and he must learn to live in Balance with it), while Shadow Druids view man as PART of nature, and when he is "civilised" he becomes out of Balance (thus, returning to Balance means wiping out civilisation).
    DJKajuru
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328

    Well, there you go. Straight from the horse's mouth. Ordinary Druids view man as separate from nature (and he must learn to live in Balance with it), while Shadow Druids view man as PART of nature, and when he is "civilised" he becomes out of Balance (thus, returning to Balance means wiping out civilisation).

    No is not. That quote comes after you ask him what he means by balance in Kuldahar. Kuldahar is a village built at the roots of a gigantic oak tree. This also leads to a safer, warmer valley in Icewind Dale. Arundel speaks about balance needed for the man and tree to coexist in Kuldahar.
    It is not meant to refer to the world. Shadow druids cared not about the balance, they cared only about keeping people away as protection for nature.

    At no point did Shadow Druids are refering to to the Balance. They only want to protect nature, by preventing people interference.

    It's like this, if a village was near a forest and villagers wanted to cut some trees for agriculture, an ordinary druid would try to teach them not to expand too much, how rationalize the food and how to plant new trees for the old ones they cut.
    A shadow druid in turn would erect some thorny bushes to prevent people from going into forests, would call some beasts to drive villagers away (important note, not really kill them, unless they are followers of Malar and those are not really druids, but woodland priests). Of course, if they do not understand the warnings, dire events are likely to happen to the villagers, including let's say a lightning setting their houses aflame during a storm.
    Dev6Rik_KirtaniyaThacoBell
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    Right, so you agree that Shadow Druids are against civilisation.

    The reason I keep referring to balance for Shadow Druids is because they too are True Neutral, and that alignment believes in a balance of things. You can't escape that. It's the fundamental question lingering in the air. Shadow Druids believe that balance can exist only within the confines of nature (ie, civlisation itself would be a force throwing the world out of balance), while ordinary Druids believe that man and nature must exist in balance (ie, two opposing forces trying to exist together).

    Really, their view of balance is what separates their views.

    The example you provided about the villagers is identical to what I said earlier about civilisation ("For civilisation to be built, it MUST interfere with nature. It is literally impossible to build a civilisation and not interfere with nature. If a new settlement arose, it would need to tear down trees and dig up mounds of dirt, etc. If Shadow Druids were in the area, they would be angry and attack. Ergo, they must be against civilisation. ").

    So I understand your point, but you don't understand mine. In fact, I understand your point SO WELL that I made it before you did, and now you are repeating my own words back to me. You still fail to grasp that at the centre of any ethos is a philosophy. How one looks at it literally defines what they become.
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328
    No, I don't agree that they are against civilization. They are against civilization's interference with nature. They do not want a return to primitive age (if that even exists in Faerun), they are simply against people (and I emphasize on people, not cities) interference with nature (forests, jungles, marshes or any other woodland areas they happen to protect).

    Shadow Druids do not travel around the world proselyting their belief that civilization must be destroyed. They stay in their shrines and protect those through violent methods.

    And not to sound as rude as you do, I did not impose my point of view to you and told you "you fail to grasp". This is about a fantasy setting, so we are each entitled to our own opinions on how the game rules are to be interpreted. And with this I stop from any more comments in this thread.
    Dev6
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 483
    Redrake said:

    No, I don't agree that they are against civilization. They are against civilization's interference with nature.

    But @Wandering_Ranger has a point. Human civilization always interferes with nature. As the populations grows, so does the required farmland -> interference. Not to mention sewage - the city of BG has a sewer, but the pipes probably end up in the sea. They need tools and weapons and roads -> interference.

    Maybe elves avoid this somehow, but human civilization is human civilization even in BG.
    Wandering_Ranger
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    "No, I don't agree that they are against civilization. They are against civilization's interference with nature."

    Contradicted by: "A shadow druid in turn would erect some thorny bushes to prevent people from going into forests, would call some beasts to drive villagers away"

    In other words, you literally just gave an example of where people trying to build on land (ie, establish civilisation) would be punished by Shadow Druids. Once again, ANY civilisation is an interference with nature, because nature must make way for civilisation to be built.

    Me telling you that you are failing to grasp something is not being rude: it is pointing out that you are missing the point of what I am saying. Indeed, your own point seems to be extremely muddled, since you are saying one thing (as above), then contradicting yourself with the very next point you make.

    Really, I summed it up rather perfectly here (even if I do say so myself):

    DRUIDS:

    Ethos: Believe Balance is between man's advancement and preserving the natural world (ie, a balance between "civilised" man and "natural" man). Will seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts and only resort to violence when there is no other way. When provoked, will use nature's wrath against the aggressor. Defensive mindset. Healer of the forest and the natural world. Reactive.

    SHADOW DRUIDS:

    Ethos: Believe man is a PART of nature, and civilisation is wrecking the Balance man has with nature (as an inherent part of it). Thus, they seek to wipe civilisation out, as it distances man from his own internal Balance. True Balance is achieved when natural man is in touch with himself, away from the confines of civilisation which seek to impose their will upon him and enslave him to unnatural ways of living. Will actively fight against civilisation using nature's wrath. Aggressive mindset. Fights for the forest and natural world. Proactive.

    It's pretty spot on, and the only way that True Neutral's philosophy of Balance, plus Shadow Druids/Druids view of HOW to achieve that Balance can be reconciled intellectually. Otherwise, they make no coherent sense and override/contradict each other (as you showed already).

    This is the only way to separate the two groups coherently.
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 590
    edited November 10
    I don't see a contradiction in @Redrake's sentences : for a Shadow Druid, civilization has a right to exist, but when civilization interfere with nature's balance too much, the Shadow Druid will protect nature in a violent way.

    The first sentence is a position toward civilization, the second sentence is about how they would react when the balance with nature is attacked.

    I think there's no real hard conceptual division between Shadow Druids and regular Druids, except that the former has a more violent approach to conflict resolution than the other.
    ThacoBell
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 438
    edited November 10
    Arctodus said:

    I don't see a contradiction in @Redrake's sentences : for a Shadow Druid, civilization has a right to exist, but when civilization interfere with nature's balance too much, the Shadow Druid will protect nature in a violent way.

    At least in BG they seem to interpret simply walking through the woods as "interfering with nature's balance" . :D

    Their view is that civilized folk cannot exist along nature.
    Wandering_Ranger
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    edited November 10
    "for a Shadow Druid, civilization has a right to exist, but when civilization interfere with nature's balance too much, the Shadow Druid will protect nature in a violent way."

    As shown, it is literally impossible to build civilisation without destroying/encroaching on nature (something he himself used as an example, in fact). That's the contradiction.
  • NoonNoon Member Posts: 171

    As shown, it is literally impossible to build civilisation without destroying/encroaching on nature (something he himself used as an example, in fact). That's the contradiction.

    Civilisation doesn't necessarily means expansion.
    IMHO Shadow Druids of CloakWood, for example, don't see Baldur's Gate as a threat as long as the population stay in the city 's wall limits. And i imagine they wouldn't mind if people of baldur's Gate would build some more farmlands along the road, as long as it doesn't have an impact on their forest (changing the flow of a river, changing population of wild animals around ...).

    ThacoBell
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 17
    This thread reminded me, how cool it would be if we had a shadow druid kit and a shadow druid mod which allows us to join the shadow druids instead. I've always wanted to side with the shadow druids. It would be quite some work to change the story though.
    Wandering_Ranger
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 125
    Their attack on Trademeet confirms that they do hate civilisation. Trademeet wasn't expanding but it was a "blight upon the landscape."

    Obviously, the large cities they can do nothing to since they aren't powerful enough. That doesn't mean they wouldn't WANT to.
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 438
    Noon said:

    And i imagine they wouldn't mind if people of baldur's Gate would build some more farmlands along the road, as long as it doesn't have an impact on their forest (changing the flow of a river, changing population of wild animals around ...).

    That would be the 'normal' druidic order that Jaheira represents. The Shadow Druids will go as far as attacking the party if Jaheira is in it, simply because the oppose the idea of a peaceful coexistence.
    AmmarWandering_Ranger
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 438
    edited November 11
    double post, please delete

Sign In or Register to comment.