DARIA, goddess of the Wild Hunt
Youngest of the gods, daughter of Eristemus
and Selene, Daria was born out of the need to restore Theeurth
after the destruction wrought by the Wrath of the Gods. For
long millennia, she wandered the wild places of the world,
encouraging the regrowth of wood and field and of the animals who
lived within them.
Long after her labors were done, she still
walks the world, all but heedless of the Ban of the Gods.
She loves the wild places, particularly the dark and primeval
woods which have survived since before her birth, and she
jealously guards them from the growth of civilization.
From time to time, she is possessed by a fey
mood and on these nights, she rides forth behind a pack of great
hounds, hunting anything that crosses her path. Wise mortals
stay inside and stop up their ears when they hear the baying calls
of the Wild Hunt.
Daria is revered by all those who dwell or
travel in the wild places, but she is particularly popular with
the elves. Rangers and barbarians find in her a kindred
spirit, and the druids consider her to be as important to their
faith as Calandra, her grandmother.
Daria is neutral good. However, good or not, she looks
harshly on any who would cut down her woods or burn her meadows
for farmland. She is jealous of her domain, and is as often
worshiped out of fear as of love. All woodsmen know to
appease her with sacrifice before taking their living from her
Daria is most often depicted as a lithe, athletic woman in soft
buckskin clothes dyed a woodland green, bearing a bow or hunting
spear. Her hair is a silvery shade of blonde, and she wears
it long across he shoulders. Among animals, she is normally
represented by a great stag.
Daria guards the wild places of the world, endlessly wandering
among her beloved trees and hills. She is rarely found in
Meledrian, preferring instead to live on the mortal plane.
Despite this, she interacts with mortals very rarely, and thus
escapes the censure of the Ban of the Gods.
The White Stag - Greatest of all the
deer of Theeurth, the White Stag is thought to be a member of the
Celestial Host who serves Daria as messenger. However, the
messages are never direct, never spoken. A glimpse of the
White Stag is a rare event, and a hunter lucky enough to be so
visited must make of the sight what he or she will. Most
figures in legend hunt the White Stag, but most instead find
themselves embarking on an important adventure.
THE CHURCH - The Druids
Daria's priests are the druids, though that order is also loyal
to Calandra, goddess of the Earth. They revere Daria as the
ultimate expression of their own ideals - a oneness with the world
created by the One.
There is no church of Daria, per se. The druids concern
themselves with the tending of nature, as does their
goddess. She communicates little with them, and they little
with her. Nonetheless, a sign from the goddess is paid all
the more heed by the druids for its exceptional rarity.
Druids do tend to the spiritual needs of the
small populations living in their domains, but for the most part
are at least as concerned with the spirits of the wilderness as
with their mortal congregants.
Druids are an independent-minded bunch, and
each group of druids (usually known as a "gathering")
varies is size and structure from the next. Many are
complete loners, living out a hermit-like solitude amid their
beloved wilderness. Others gather together under a teacher
or master to form extended families. Still others create
large and complex hierarchies in order to protect some special
The one common thread among all these
various gatherings is that each acknowledges the ultimate
authority of the Archdruids to settle differences between them and
to judge among them. A single archdruid reigns over a large
geographical region, often an entire nation. All the
Archdruids in the world acknowledge the ultimate (but distant)
authority of the Great Druid, who resides somewhere in the High
Forest at the heart of Vatheria.
Reverence - Nature is older
than the gods, and the only chance for mortals to truly touch the
face of the One. Nature must be treated with the reverence
of a holy thing. Thus, nothing should be taken from Nature that is
not needed, and everything taken should be used completely and
Stillness - The wild places have much to teach.
The wise are still. They listen, they watch, and they
The druids' most important celebration is
Midwinter's Day, when they believe that the cycle of creation and
destruction, life and death begins anew. They believe that
the world began on this day, and will also end on this day.
Thus, the holy day is a dour one, a quiet contemplation of
existence, marked by secretive rituals in deep forest glades and
The preferred weapon of the Darians is any
form of bow (not crossbow).