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Thursday, June 30, 2011
The City's Druids
Cities (and the City is no different) aren’t just haphazard agglomerations of people and buildings. They develop their own spirits--oversouls made of all the lesser spirits that make up their sprawling bodies. Some hear the call of these spirits and enter their service like pagan priests bowed to the nature spirits of old. These shamans of streets are considered more than a little crazy by the adventurers who sometimes encounter them and refer to them as "urban druids."
It’s an austere life they choose, living close to the rhythm of the City; they eschew wealth and comfort. They can afford few distractions or they’ll miss the whispered truths in the passing of subway, or the secrets to be augured in the tumbling of a scrap of newspaper in the breeze.
In return for their almost monastic devotion, the City gives them power. They can transform restaurant garbage into fine meals, turn fountain water into whiskey, make their skin as hard concrete, or scale the sides of buildings like insects. They know the secret passages between streets, and can summon elementals of smoke, steam, and electricity. Rats and pigeons pay them deference.
Rumor holds the “archdruid” of the City (if such a title really exists) is an old bum called Mad Mooney. More fond of vegetation than others of his kind, he’s often found napping on a bench in Empire Park. In addition to his (likely great) powers, he’s loyally served by a gang of urban-feral children who dress like savages and paint their faces like Natives. They use short bows and blowguns (their missiles tipped with poison from fungus that grows in subway tunnels) and can pass through the streets unseen and track across concrete.