Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under druid, Feature, Roleplay
Druidic Roleplay
comment 22 Written by on April 27, 2010 – 11:13 am

So I have this druid, Annylais.

Annylais Eldersong, to be truly specific.  Her FlagRSP is as such:

“Of average height and build, Annylais is most remarkable for her hair, which is very long, very green, and peppered with tiny braids on which are suspended an assortment of feathers, seeds, and shells.  The glow of her eyes is mismatched. She doesn’t seem to talk much.”


Which is all well and good, except it doesn’t actually help me roleplay with her at all. I’m running into the problem of playing a female Druid in the current Druidic lore. According to most things I’ve read, female druids are a rarity, and a very new thing in Elven society (women were priestesses, men were druids). Which leads me to the following options:

  1. Annylais isn’t really a female, but should be gender-swapped to be a male Druid. This is an option, but I don’t have a male druid RP idea either.
  2. Annylais is very young. This isn’t something I like, and it doesn’t fit her at all.
  3. Annylais is a wilder, wielding druidic magic without really knowing what she was doing, outside of the bounds of society, possibly with an unusual God/ess patron. This is (to me) the most workable solution, since it ties into her mismatched eyes. It’s also the easiest solution to fall into Cookie Cutter, Special Snowflake territory.
  4. Annylais wasn’t a druid until recently. I’m not sure I want to go this route, since it’s awfully close to Angoleth (who has always wanted to BE a druid, but couldn’t because she was female and because she has no magical aptitude whatsoever). I’d rather not have two characters so close to one another.
  5. Some solution I’ve not thought of.

Which is where you guys come in.

I’m looking for help, and I know my readership is creative and interesting, so I’m going to take the cop out and see what you guys can come up with.

Right now Annylais is dual specced feral/boomkin. I have no idea what she will eventually do once she hits 80, but I’d rather focus on her RP than on her raid roles, since I have both tanks and healers at endgame right now. I really like both feral AND boomkin specs, but have stuck with mostly feral for leveling (because melee/stealth is hax). I’m open to gender-switching her, but not to faction switching her.

What I don’t want: I don’t want a druid that’s always in (X) form. She’s already expressed a strong preference to mostly be in her elven form (though of course, if she’s going to go sneaking around, she’ll do that as a cat). I guess I want her forms to be tools that she uses rather than crucial parts of her identity.

If you guys have any ideas, I’d LOVE to hear them, especially those of you that are much better versed in your Elven/Druidic lore than I am.


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22 Responses to “Druidic Roleplay”

  1. The “women were priestesses, men were druids” bit is just because of the gender roles of society, right? I see no reason why she couldn’t have sought out a [male] teacher that agreed to teach her in the druidic ways on the down-low. Sure, it will/might make her part of the “rare” category, but only because it wasn’t socially acceptable to be one until society changed (for whatever reason). That will also help with the “unusual God/dess” idea and avoiding a special-snowflake statues.

    When I read your dilemma, I actually thought of Kestil’s backstory, whose father was a druid sleeper in the Stormrage Barrow Dens, and when he was killed they asked her to train to take his place. Extenuating circumstances and all that jazz.

    Going back to my idea above, maybe Annylais was able to find some old codger druid who was bored and didn’t follow the rules much at his age, anyway. He could see it as a challenge and something to do.

    Good luck! 🙂

  2. And that should be “special-snowflake status”…

  3. Perhaps she pulled a Mulan to be admitted to the order?

    By Verdus on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  4. I played a female Nelf Druid back in the day who was actually a dryad possessing the body of a priestess. The pair of them had been working together in Felwood to try and clean some of the taint when they were attacked by demons and the priestess gave up her own body to save the Dryad’s life. It was actually a fun concept. When she’d enter the dream with her partner (a male druid) she’d be back in dryad form, all flighty and bubbly.

  5. Maybe you can gain inspiration from the Guardians of the Altar quest in Winterspring, specifically the cut scene that plays on completion. Perhaps she could have been orphaned as a young girl and raised by the Wildkin so she naturally gravitated towards their magic. Yes, yes. I know. Special snowflake. But why is that such a negative thing when it can facilitate role-play?

    Raised by the Wildkin she became a Druid who favors the Wildkin and shuns everyone else, even other Night Elves. That could help explain why she won’t be a Raider character, because she prefers to solo and do things on her own and not have to rely on others. You could see how far you could progress with her without doing any Instances, other than those you can solo when high enough.

    Druids, with their Stealth, DPS, and Healing capabilities, are capable of soloing Instances a lot sooner than you might think. I solo’d all of the RFK quests on my Tauren Druid, including killing the Crone at the end, at (IIRC) level 31.

  6. The transition between pre-WoW’s “druids are guys, priestesses are gals” and WoW’s “gender equality for all!” is something that I’ve always been curious about, because nothing I’ve read (yet) talks about the switch from a “this is official” perspective. I don’t RP in WoW, but I do tend to design at least loose backstories for the characters I play the most and my (bear) druid’s been my main since I started playing shortly after release. The beginning of her story’s fairly firm, as is what she’s been up to lately, but the whole middle is up in the air because I can’t know when she was able to pick up the druidic arts.

    By Veyska on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  7. Does every druid want to be a druid?
    What if Annylais never wanted to be a druid like Angoleth, but has somehow been forced into training? To my mind, that’d lead to a very different character (in fact, two characters who probably couldn’t understand each other at all).

    By tolomei on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  8. @Capn John (and others) – just so that it’s out there? Annylais is almost level 71. This isn’t a new character, just one that I’m figuring out as I go along.

    I’ve thought about the Wildkin aspect, but I don’t intend on her being a “solo” character – I want to RP with her, and for me that means within a community of other folks. She can still be independent, certainly, but I’m not looking to just “have a backstory” for a character simply to have one while I’m out soloing.

    As for playing a druid that doesn’t want to be one, I’m not sure that fits what little I know about her. It’s an option. (I’m not going to do the “something else in an elven body” thing though.)

    So far the idea that’s doing the most rattling around is the idea of her finding a codgy old elf out in the woods somewhere and learning to be a Druid from him (woo @Fox!) – and possibly picking up his anti-establishment tendencies while she’s at it. Depending on how it works out, there could be a bit of gender confusion there as well (Thanks @Verdus!). It’s certainly not concrete, but that idea is a lot better than the “wilder” idea, and a lot less “I learned all the druid magic on my own because I’m awesome!”

  9. Hmm… according to WoWWiki, there were female druids before the Third War, but they weren’t allowed into the Cenarion Circle, and they didn’t really fit into the defined gender roles of Kaldorei society. That would seem to support option #3 in a way that doesn’t take you totally into “special snowflake” territory, since it suggests that there were other night elf women who might be in similar circumstances.
    Actually, there’s a thought — what if she was part of a group of female night elves practicing druidic magic before it was considered a socially acceptable pursuit for women? I mean, there are still splinter groups of Highborne (such as the Shen’dralar) practicing arcane magic even though it’s been totally forbidden for millenia; I wouldn’t think it much of a stretch that there are other small splinter communities from mainstream Kaldorei society.

    By Corise on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  10. Incidental sidenote: I’ve been doing some research on druidic RP lately, myself. My hunter, Lakena, is going to be rerolled as a druid come Cataclysm in hopes that it will revive my interest in her character (also, I would like to try leveling as a healer). So I’m currently working on the storyline for the change, which is a pretty significant one, character-wise… so yeah. Lot of druid research!

    By Corise on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  11. Not everyone in Night Elven society has to have fit into the current class structure prior to the WoW (i.e. post-WC3) timeline. I see that Annylais is a scribe, perhaps that was her calling. Maybe she was a librarian, historian, poet, clerk, researcher, journalist or any other similar profession that revolves around the written word. After the end of the Third War the need for skilled combatants significantly increased, due to the many who died during the war in addition to the increasing threats faced by both Night Elves and the Alliance, and so Annylais decided to step up to the challenge. Being the diligent scribe that she is, she researched a variety of different combat options and eventually settled on Druidism because it gave her something the others could not. For example, Druidism might give her: an insight into animal psychology; or the chance to observe the natural world by becoming one with it rather than intruding upon it; or because of its connection to the natural world and Emerald Dream allows it to best inspire her to write better poetry/haikus/journal entries and articles published on heavy parchment in a regular periodical (hereafter known as a “plog” =P etc. etc.).

    Yes, it follows the “Annylais wasn’t a druid until recently” route you might be hesitant to take, but it does so in a way that’s very different from Angoleth. Plus, it allows Annylais to be a very unique character (face it, how many “ploggers” do you meet in-game =P ) while creating a plausible background that doesn’t wander into the “I’m a special snowflake” territory. Finally, being a writer yourself, I think it would be a very fitting (and satisfying) way to get to know Annylais: through her writing.

  12. I have two druids (both female) with RP backstories. Sorcha is young, for an elf, just barely grown up, so becoming a druid didn’t pose any “but it used to be only males!” issues.

    Ljanna, however, is a handful of thousands of years old. Her backstory is that she did not want to be a sentinel or a priestess, so she just lived in the woods near Auberdine studying leathercraft and building and furnishing a comfortable little house for herself. Over time, she developed a friendship with the owlkins who lived there. They had male druids coming around from time to time, and she met up with them. Eventually, one of them taught her a few “druid tricks”, being drunk at the time and not thinking much of it.

    She was surprised to find how “right” those tricks felt to her. From then on, she closely observed everything they did, and taught herself a great deal. At one point, she had to sneak into Moonglade when the Cenarion Cricle wasn’t looking, to get the Great Cat Spirit to bless her and teach her cat form. (She didn’t learn bear form until much later, and this was before there were moonkin and tree forms in the game.) She also managed to learn to do travel form back in the days before the owlkins were corrupted. Anyway, when they decided to accept females for druidic training, she immediately signed up, and pretended that she didn’t already know a lot of this stuff. So her deal is that she was a sort-of druid before they trained women and let them into the Circle, but she didn’t really learn all the secrets of druidism until that time.

  13. A few options off the top of my head: feel free to use or discard at will!

    – Cheesy caverns of time excuse: is she is a visitor from the future who is in the present via the caverns on some mission. Is the whole of Azeroth just an instance in CoT? Not sure I like this one, but Blizzard play fast & loose with the timeline, so maybe it could work. OK – that one really is cheesy.

    – She isn’t officially a druid (until recently anyway). The official line may have been that only men should be druids, but it doesn’t mean that everyone followed that line. Just as many women in real history took on roles they weren’t supposed to, perhaps she was taught by a heretic who had this ridiculous notion that women were just as in touch with nature as men. Nowadays that’s acceptable, but she may have been hiding it for ages.

    – A male friend/lover/relative may have acted as a front for her druidic powers, allowing her to practice them without drawing attention.

    – She’s an academic or wise woman who knows enough druidic lore to be treated as a druid in game terms, but not technically be one.

    – She spent a lot of time with the Tauren (for some reason) and trained as a druid with them.

    – Someone trained her as a bet! Think Eliza Doolittle.

    – She trained as a priestess, but her real calling was druidic, so she switched as soon as society permitted.

    – She is a druid, but was only recently admitted to the Cenarion Circle.

    – She’s been a druid for several years, since the Third War. that’s plenty of time to have progressed if she’s talented.

  14. Okay… In a purely ‘number of years’ sense, how ‘recent’ is this ‘innovation’? The Night Elves hit the height of their previous civilization over 10,000 years ago, ending with the War of the Ancients that destroyed that civilization and they had to start over… and they did, with a much more nature-oriented society… In one of the Cataclysm preview shots, where they are showing a Horde aerial attack on Astranaar, in the foreground is a male Kaldorei in a Sentinel uniform, so Blizz is starting to blur the line in NPCs as well.

    Given all this, and the length of time that Kaldorei deal with as a part of their nature, I see no reason why ‘recent’ can’t be 1-2 thousand years ago… Which is plenty of time for a woman of their society to learn druidism. Kayeri is fairly young for a Kaldorei, somewhere around the 400-500 year mark, I’ve never really hit the age hard. I have it in her back story that her mother was among the first women to take the path of druidism, and Kay herself was raised in the Moonglade, so the druidic path was a very natural thing for her to take to and she did have gifts in that direction from both of her parents, both druids.

    Hope this helps!

    By Kayeri on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  15. Annylais Eldersong is the daughter of a pair of heretics; a male druid taught in the ways of Cenarius who left the circle because he had a vision (true? false? Who can say?) ordering him to teach all elves, not just men. This heresy drove him from his kind. His wife was taught as well, as was Annylais.

    Recent events in the World of Warcraft (you can choose which) have finally destroyed his small heretical circle, and Annylais, grown estranged from her parents, is now trying to discover the wider elven world she never knew until recently.

    By Sean Riley on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply
  16. @Kayeri – In Warcraft II-III, only druids were male, and only priestesses were female. All of that took place within the last 5-15 years, so the change is REALLY recent. Basically, between the release of Warcraft III and World of Warcraft the gender roles mysteriously changed. It’s not something “recent” according to elves, but something “recent” according to the number of years the games themselves have been out! (And therefor VERY VERY recent for the elves, like their loss of immortality).

  17. I play a ‘middle aged’ female night elf druid (born around the time of the War of the Shifting Sands). She was raised as a priestess and sentinel but during the Long Vigil, Cenarius wandered Ashenvale with them, not away in the Emerald Dream. With his death, the Warsong clan cutting into their ancestral homeland everyday and the deaths of many druids, Aima took up a new path for herself. Really, losing the Forest Lord was a huge blow to society as a whole – the last demigod to walk among the night elves, son of Elune herself, cut down by Outlanders! She also does a fair amount of orc hunting…
    She still holds on to a lot of her sentinel training – Starfall was a Priestess of the Moon ability in Warcraft III, I’m working hard to get her a hippogryph and have a few sentinel-esque outfits for her. If they had usable moonglaives I’d be stupidly happy. I mostly took it from the WoW Cinematic, with the female druid running through the forest – that’s a sentinel uniform she’s wearing, not the feathers, leaves and leather of a druid. She’s very rarely in form in-character and that doesn’t last very long when she is either. Really, she’s not so much of a druid as sentinel for Cenarius.

    By Aima on Apr 28, 2010 | Reply
  18. I never got to play the PC games that preceded WoW, but even with those, I have a hard time swallowing the ‘in the last 10 years” part… We have two known female Archdruid NPCs known, and I have a hard time believing that that degree of attunement to nature takes such a small amount of time. Now, yes, my own perceptions influence a lot of this, because I truly try to put myself into the perspective of, in this case, a race than has been pretty darn close to immortal ( I deny them the true definition because obviously, they can be killed, although they did not age prior to Nordrassil’s loss)… That would give them a unique perspective the other races do not have… but when you have time to watch a tree, in its own time, sprout, grow to a forest giant, die to a lightning strike in a storm and then decay, then you really have time to get in tune with nature…

    The one ‘fly’ in the ointment, so to speak, is Hamuul Runetotem . Tauren do not have near the lifespans of the night elves, yet he carries the title of arch druid. Now, it can be argued that Tauren, by virtue of their lifestyle, can be very attuned to nature already. So it’s truly hard to say, but I do honestly believe that the change did probably start in small ways long before the last few years, but perhaps is now reaching the point of it being more common and accepted in Night Elf society…

    By Kayeri on Apr 30, 2010 | Reply
  19. Just because something’s forbidden in a society doesn’t mean it wasn’t done. I think it’s certainly possible for a female nelf to have been a druid, as long as she kept it quiet. Think of things that people do today in life that they have to keep secret or hidden because society disagrees with it. And as far as I know, the elves didn’t put males to death for wanting to be priests or females for wanting to be druids. Blizz wasn’t clear on what the consequences were, though. Maybe in some areas they did, and in others not?

    For sure, they wouldn’t have been allowed formal membership in the Cenarion Circle or the temple of Elune. But if your elf lived in an isolated area (on the assumption that the actual size of Azeroth is much bigger than we see in game), maybe the only choice he/she had was to become a priest or druid in order to serve their community. How did she hide what she was doing? Did she have to? How is she looked at for bucking the system today, even though female druids are now accepted?

    That being said, I went with a fairly generic background for Randiriel, because she was the first character I ever rolled on an RP server. She’s thousands of years old, was a sentinel, and became a druid after the World Tree blew up, mostly to honor the memory of her husband, who died during the fight there. Pretty basic- but the character has grown and changed a lot during the past five years, and now she’s off with an experienced druid learning the ins and outs of healing and the emerald dream. Sure, she’s level 80 and good at flailing around as a cat or bear in melee combat.. but it’s fun playing her as a new druid who doesn’t know a whole lot about the healing and philosophy side of things.

    By Kyraine on May 1, 2010 | Reply
  20. You could follow the same type of storyline that Illidan Stormrage took but in reverse. During the well of eternity trilogy, Malfurion and Illidan were under the tutelage of Cenarius, Illidan was the only one with amber eyes the rest of the night elves had silverish eyes, he also hungered for recognition, people telling him he was bound for great things, he didnt have the patience to follow the druidic teachings of Cenarius, and instead joined Sargeras and was corrupted by him and the power of the well of eternity.

    You could kind of spin the story in the opposite direction, in that you were under the tutelages of the priestesses of Elune, but loved nature, and hungered to learn the teachings of druidism.

    I dunno just a thought

    By Derick on May 8, 2010 | Reply
  21. I actually flirted with a female druid character concept awhile back. She was ANCIENT- one of the elder night elves (chronologically, not as a title). She was passionate and devoted to druidic magic, and had been a thorn in the side of the various druid orders for about as long. It started innocently enough- cute little girl asks lots of questions, indulgent fatherly druids don’t question it until she absorbs too much- and after that she fought, blackmailed, connived, bartered, and stole her way into druidic expertise over centuries, until she became a master herself and took over her own research/education.

    For the last while she’s lived mostly by herself in Ashenvale, with the occasional trip to Nordrassil to rankle a few hides, but following the events that opened the path to female druids, she’s become more involved in keldorei affairs once again.

    The main reason I never played her is she’d really have to get to cap before she could be RP’d and that’s just boring. 😛 Also, she’s Not Nice and Has Issues- lot of arrogance, lot of sadism/malice, a lot of poking situations best left alone just to see who yells. My existing druid is much more pleasant- but hey, he didn’t grow up in a druidic culture that hated him for his plumbing, y’know? Not to mention he’s much younger so he hasn’t seen all the shit/mistakes keldorei have put themselves through.

    By Lilivati on May 10, 2010 | Reply
  22. I’ve run into this problem with Tas as well. The solution I came up with was that she recieved training in secret from a druid who had fallen out of grace with the Cenarion Circle. While the standard gender roles were that men were druids and the women were the priestesses and warriors of the society, you can assume that there are some exceptions to the rule. This has been the case throughout history as well.

    By Taseli on May 12, 2010 | Reply

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