Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Druid, are we playing it right?

Do you play the nature loving tree hugging druid or the representative of nature? A force that's neutral in a way very distinct from the center point between law and chaos, good and evil.

My recent research into Mesoamerican prehispanic cultures has got me rethinking the druid. The Aztec and Mayan gods were beings of good and evil as seen through our western eyes, but to them they were just representations of the different aspects of nature. The same gods that created also destroyed. Creatures with habits we would now relate to daemons lived in places known as paradises. They guided the sun through the skies and took fallen soldiers to heaven, as the Valkyries did, but they also came and devoured men on less fortunate days. These deities demanded tribute, sacrifices, sometimes food and items, sometimes animals and in some cases humans.

Unlike the many "codices" that remain from the conquest, the druids leave little record of their habits.

Julius Caesar, who led the first Roman landing in 55 B.C., said the native Celts "believe that the gods delight in the slaughter of prisoners and criminals, and when the supply of captives runs short, they sacrifice even the innocent." (1)
Doesn't seem too different from what the Aztecs did. Except there is written record of such activities like the image to the right shows (Codex Magliabechiano). So if the priests, these so called druids, behaved much like the Aztec priests. Shouldn't we consider that their gods, the Celtic gods, behaved in much the same way?

Itza (the prehispanic RPG I'm making) has turned out to be a rather brutal setting were blood is the currency of the land and war is the purpose of all men. I'm beginning to see the red below all that green, and I must say I like it. I think I'll be changing the way I play my druids and their gods. A more brutal type of druid that represents the true aspects of nature. One that sees life and death as part of a wheel that spins and spins, forgiving no one.


1 - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090320-druids-sacrifice-cannibalism.html
3 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid

Image source


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