Motes in the Serpent's Eye
The Druidic Society
This secretive organization is at least as old as the Star League. Scholars suggest that it may have been established by forest gnomes on Aranal – the world that gave birth to the Forongorn Confederation, and eventually, to interstellar civilization. Others believe it emerged on one of the first technologically primitive planets the confederation contacted. Regardless, it has been a quiet champion of nature working to control the unchecked expansion of technology and industry for millennia.
The modern Druidic Society is a sophisticated organization with an educated and intelligent membership. It draws many of its recruits from the life science fields, including botany, zoology, ecology, and many others. Upon entering the Druidic Society, these young scientists are initiated into the mysteries of the ancient tradition, taught its ways and codes, and instructed in the responsible and effective mastery of its primal magic. When their training is complete, novitiate druids are sent back out into the world to resume their normal lives. They rarely reveal their membership in the secret society to any but other druids. The Druidic Society has no permanent headquarters. Convocations attended by thousands of druids are held biannually on Draconis Prime’s summer and winter solstice. The locations of these convocations change every year and are a closely guarded secret of the membership.
For the last several centuries, the Druidic Society has become increasingly divided. The organization is split between two factions opposed to each other on fundamental philosophical grounds. The so-called traditionalist faction rejects technology, industrialization, and urbanization in all its forms, even in their own personal lives. They strive to live simple lives without modern conveniences through which they strengthen their spiritual bond with the natural world. Some traditionalists hail from Outlands worlds, while others are imperial citizens who have turned their backs on technological civilization.
The progressive or liberal faction of the Druidic Society considers the traditionalists impractical and even deluded radicals and idealists. This majority faction believes that the only way to protect nature is to work within the social and political system to bring about change. They live their lives much like other imperial citizens, using the countless technological resources available to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
This division within the Druidic Society has become rather bitter. The factions compete with each other for recruits and even try to recruit members from the opposing faction. They often strive to thwart each other’s initiatives and projects, and their political influence is often neutralized because they cannot present a unified front. There have even been instances of sabotage and violence between members of the two factions. If this trend continues, the traditionalists may eventually split off from the Druidic Society to form a splinter group.