So, I have a bit of trouble fully getting into my character's headspace and I was wondering, if any of you have any experiences with or any references on how I can deepen my understanding of their life philosophy.
My character is what some once called a "winter warden". They are the guardians of the circle of life, meaning they aren't so much about protecting nature in it's current state (but they still do that as well of course), but they are mostly about helping those that have gone past their time on this world to pass on and path the way for the next generation (so basically decay and regrowth). And of course, as guardians of the circle of life, they would also go after everyone that disturbs that cycle, like for example necromancers and the undead, but that's not the important part.
The part where I'm personally stuck, is how they would determine when someone or something has gone past their time? Not to mention what does disturbing the circle of life and death actually mean? I mean, sure helping a tree or animal that is dying of old age pass on, is a no-brainer, but what about an animal that was injured? Would they rather heal it or help it pass on? Also invasive species? Would they decide to kill all of those if that creature was causing the death of the native species by killing them or stealing all the food? And what about murderers? Would they also go after them, since they are disturbing the circle by taking lives prematurely? And what about killing in self defence? Would they condeem it, even though "kill or be killed" is a fairly normal natural concept.
So yeah as I said, I have a bit of trouble to really define what would and wouldn't count as a a justifyabl death for such a character. Any ideas on what to do? Thanks you for all of your time in advance.
That’s a tough one. I’ve read some fiction where the goddess of birth/life/death is 3 aspects of the same goddess and in her death aspect she’s warm and welcoming to people who are ready to pass on and is harsh to people who are avoiding her embrace. It sounds to me like you’re heading somewhat down that path with your concept.
Based on that, hunting is part of the natural order and for the most part when animals hunt they kill the sick, older, and weaker prey and leave the stronger prey so they strengthen the rest of the pack of prey by removing competition for scarce food and leaving the healthiest and strongest prey to survive and reproduce. Invasive species, including mankind, are a problem when they threaten the existing ecosystem. When they live with it and don’t disrupt it terribly, they’re not a threat and will be left alone. The same goes for self defense, casual or cruel murder is outside of the natural cycle and must be stopped but killing for survival is fine.
That sounds like a fun Druidic concept! Nice job!!
Neither, it's something my DM Homebrewed for me, though does it really matter? It's a philospophy that can be apllied to any circle, although I have to agree that there DO seem to be some that tend to lend themselves better for the motive than others.
Is nature better served by the injured animal surviving (because its pack needs it or it has young to take care of or it is a predator and there are too many prey or was it killed by something unnatural so the animal should have not died)?
Is nature better served by the injured animal dieing (because other would eat the carcass or there are too many predators so it should die to give prey a chance)?
Should the druid do nothing so that nature can take its course?
Thats a tough one @DVDMaster. Natural selection has its ways and interfering it is a paradox of its own. If you interfere then are you a part of natural selection or are you interfering it?
I think its impossible to fully interfere because if some creature gets to live because of a "druid" or better said outside interference then that is same as of that creature was saved because they found a piece of food when they were starving. It is just as natural interference but conciously done and that doesn't make it any less natural unless someone can state a claim that concious action is not natural.
I love these questions! I'm glad that there is space for this kind of thing (at least outside combat) to be discussed.
Being born, aging and dying are all quite natural. I guess the question is: what purpose does the death or likely death of a particular creature serve? Who or what is likely to be helped or harmed by that death? Are the numbers of a particular species rapidly dwindling because of a demonic invasion? Or is the species literally eating itself out of its home? What is the ecosystem that surrounds this creature?