I'm creating a series of factions inspired by the class options in the D&D 5E supplement Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Today, we're looking at the druid; specifically the Circle of the Shepherd.

Nobody's quite sure how many people belong to the Circle of Hands. They often travel alone; sometimes in twos and threes. They can be easily recognized by the fact that they all wear two pieces of jewelry dress: a necklace made of small brown bones and a belt of seashells.

They rarely spend much time in civilization; just long enough to purchase rare supplies or talk to a landowner. Their business lies in the wilderness.

Members of the Circle of Hands live in the wilderness, assisting animals that need trouble. Some live as shepherds; others tend to small menageries of animals that are recuperating from various injuries and illnesses.

The Circle is dedicated to reducing the suffering of animals, particularly defenseless ones. They would not interfere with a hawk preying on a mouse, but they would foster a hawk or mouse injured in that act back to full health. They see this as part of nature's way just as much as a mother nurtures her young.

Shepherd by gerezon on DeviantArt

As a friendly faction, the Circle of Hands is a purely benevolent association of rather hippy druids with a good reputation among the common folk as kind healers. A farmer with a sick animal often seeks out a nearby member of the Circle, who has needs that adventurers can satisfy, such as rare healing herbs or the capture of a crazed predator.

As a foe faction, the Circle of Hands often clashes with civilized folk, arguing with villagers against expanding their farmlands and driving herds of domesticated beasts away from the most fertile grazing land. They'll also attempt to stop those who try to tame wild horses and similar creatures. Some are so protective they drive out any humanoid who enters their territory with frightening spells and the aid of creatures from the forest.

Some even whisper of an Inner Circle that wishes to demolish civilization and drive people back to a primitive state of being. But that couldn't be true, could it?

View the art for this faction here

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