Thursday, June 9, 2011

10 Fantastic Facts About Druids (Courtesy of Suduvu)

I just saw an article over on Suduvu entitled "10 Fantastic Facts About Druids."  It's a little tongue-in-cheek, basically mentioning that we don't know a lot and most of what we do "know" comes from more modern organizations claiming to have revived the ancient traditions (even though they didn't have the research available to really "revive" anything). 

It's interesting that Fact #8 is "The druid made its gaming premiere in Eldritch Wizardy, a supplement for Dungeons & Dragons. Originally published in 1976, the Druid has been a feature of D&D and many other fantasy games ever since."

For those of you who don't want to click over to the actual article, here's a quick list of the 10 facts.  Note that the actual article provides more content under each "fact" - I just copied the first sentence of each.

  1. Druids: A Trivial Matter: We don’t know all that much about the ancient druids and what we do know is limited to mentions of them in passing by Greek and Roman writers like Tacitus and Julius Caesar. 
  2. Try to understand, he’s a Magic Man: What we do know about druids – and this is admittedly not much – indicates that they practiced prophecy and divination.
  3.  Stonehenge: Built Druid-Tough…or not: English antiquarian and buddy of Sir Isaac Newton William Stukeley wrote a good deal about the druids, speculating that it was they who had built Stonehenge.
  4. Iolo-lay-hee-who? English pseudo-historian Edward Williams claimed to have collected much folklore describing the ancient practices of the druids, which he published under his nom de druid, Iolo Morganwg.
  5. That Old Time religion: Inspired by the work of Stukeley, Toland, Williams and others, various groups of people formed societies devoted to resurrecting the ancient druidic faiths. 
  6. It’s not all fun and games. Okay, well sometimes it is. The Reformed Druids of North America started as a joke, a protest against a mandatory religious service attendance policy at Minnesota’s Carleton College, but when it spread to other colleges, like UC Berkeley, it morphed into a real religious movement.  
  7. Set sail, Druids! The U.S.S Druid was a United States Navy vessel that patrolled European waters, including the Mediterranean Sea, during World War I, a fact certain to have amused the Romans.
  8. A tradition most ancient and…where’s the Cheetos? The druid made its gaming premiere in Eldritch Wizardy, a supplement for Dungeons & Dragons.  
  9. I noticed you weaving in yon chariot. Is that mead I smell? DRUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines) is an organization devoted to the study and prevention of intoxicated driving.
  10. Shannara-na-na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye: while the druids – ancient and otherwise – remain a topic of mystery and speculation in the real world, they continue to thrive in the world of fiction.


  1. Dude. You are a hard worker. Are u going to gencon?

  2. Number 8 is slightly inaccurate. The druid class first appeared in EW, but they were a monster type in Supplement I: Greyhawk.

  3. Hey @Dylan - unfortunately, I won't be going to GenCon. It's a little too difficult to try to coordinate the trip with a little one at home. And, since I'm still struggling to find some new clients, money is a little tight right now. Have fun - can't wait to hear all about it!

    @Jeff - I can't believe I didn't remember that. I have all of the old supplements and of course now remember that Druids were mentioned in Greyhawk. I'm going to have to write the person who wrote that article to correct them!


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