Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign Part 4 – The Khondrū

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By Daarken

Greetings, in this installment of my Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign series I will be tackling my version of Druids  – The Khondrū. I have not exactly cared about how the various editions of D&D treated Druids.

That said, I am not going to go too far afield in how they have been described; but I wanted to give my own tweak on them. I want them familiar enough to be recognizable as Druids but fit the vibe of my setting.

Khondrū in my setting serve the Titans and also serve their tribal communities. They have three main branches of their religious order – Dakūl (Oracles), Khondrū (Priests) and Sangōl (Bards).

They are also served by two lesser branches  The Halût Khondrū (AKA the Adventuring or Wandering Khondrū) and Zanthū (Rangers).

The core of this article will focus on the Halût Khondrū as they are who players will play as or encounter most often. That said I want to give a bit more background on my setting and how the Halût Khondrū fit within it as a religious order and power faction.

The Khondrū Order is a northern (in context of the initial campaign setting local) regional power amongst the tribal peoples. They give advice to Tribal and Clan leaders and coronate the the local Tribal leaders.

They hold immense sway amongst the

Northern Tribes located in what is known as the Tharkeshi Wilds.

The region is dominated by a large primal Cedar forest that blankets the hills and lower elevations of the Wantū (the Troll Mountains). The other parts of the Tharkeshi Wilds are lush plains and arid badlands.

The Khondrū Order are the remnants of an ancient religious order dedicated with preserving the eternal balance and acting as the mortal agents of the Primordial Titans after they sealed the world from the powers of Law and Chaos.

Khondrū is merely the regional name for these agents of the Titans. They have their own cultural variation upon their ancient order unique to their region.

The Titans taught their ancestors the secrets of Nature Magic and the various arts that they utilize in their long multi millennia existence. After the cataclysm much of their lore was lost.

The order decided to send out young adepts (Halût Khondrū) to wander in search of the lost lore and bring it and and relics of the order that they find. In this they are like Adventuring Priests of the “decadent” Southern City-States.

These Halût Khondrū (or Halût for short) are trained for years in wilderness survival, martial arts, music, religious and magical traditions of their Order. They then go for forth wandering in search of lost lore of the Khondrū Order.

This serves an additional purpose for the Order in that it helps weed out the weak amongst their number and strengthens the Order with those that survive and return.

Unlike Adventuring Priests, Warrior-Priests and Elementalists; the Halût Khondrū do not try to convert others to their ways or set up shrines. If they survive their wandering and prove themselves worthy they will be assigned a tribe or Clan of the Tharkeshi Tribes.

Those Halût Khondrū that excel in divination become Oracles, while those who excel music & storytelling become Sangōl; while those who master all the skills become true Khondrū – the Priests of the Order.

Once they return from their wanderings they are tested and evaluated to see what branch of the Order they will serve in. Only true Khondrū are granted a tribe or clan to serve often replacing their older Khondrū who had passed away or was to infirm to serve properly.

Both men and women can serve as as equals within the Khondrū Order.

Advancement is based on merit not nepotism or favoritism. Those who prove themselves worthy advance, those who don’t are given two choices – leave the Order and find a new life or join the Zanthū (Rangers) as defenders of of the Tharkeshi Wilds, especially the primal Wantū Forest where the Khondrū Order dwells.

There is a Chaotic counterpart to the Khondrū Order – The Azūzū Order of the dark Cedar Forest of the Chordeshi Wilds to the South.

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By Joseph Weston

Halût Khondrū

HD 6   Alignment Neutral or Chaos

Armor: Leather or fitted animal hide.

Weapons: Dagger, Darts, Spear, Staff, Sword and Bow.

Abilities:

  • Spellcasting – Nature/Elemental and Chaotic Spells.
  • Move Silently 1-4on a d6 in Wilderness only but 1-3 on a d6 roll elsewhere.
  • Hide in Shadows 1-4 on a d6 in Wilderness only but 1-3 on a d6 roll elsewhere.
  • Climb Shear Walls 1-4 on a d6
  • Backstab/Ambush on a successful Move Silently roll or Hide in Shadows roll.
  • At 3rd Level they can brew and use poison/venom on a 1-3 on a d6 roll. This increases to 1-4 on a d6 roll at 6th Level and a 1-5 on a d6 roll at 8th Level and above.
  • At 4th Level Pass without Trace in Wilderness only.
  • At 4th Level a Khondrū can summon a animal Familiar depending upon terrain type ritual is performed.
  • At 6th Level a Halût Khondrū takes their test. Those that succeed are granted Laying on Hands 3 times a day 1d6 at 6th Level, 2d6 at 8th Level & 3d6 at 12th Level.
  • At 8th Level Invisibility at will in Wilderness only.

Note: Halût Khondrū (Druids) and Zanthū (Rangers) are the only Humans that can use thieving skills listed above at that chance value, all others can try at 1-2 on a d6 roll.

Restrictions:

  • They cannot wear any armor beyond Leather or fitted Hide.
  • They can only use listed weaponry.
  • They cannot be Lawful
  • They must tithe 50% of their Wealth to their Order – Khondrū or Azūzū.
  • If they use Chaos spells more frequently than Nature spells they become corrupted and are initiated into the Azūzū Order and begin to acquire Chaos mutations.
  • They gain a -1 to Reaction Rolls amongst civilized Folk and a -2 Reaction Rills against Humanoids.
  • Halût Khondrū of the Khondrū and Azūzū Orders will attack each other on site and fight to the death – no exceptions.
  • Halût Khondrū who spend more than a week in a city gain a -1 on all rolls until they return to the Wilds for a week. This increases for each week within the city up to a max of -3.
  • Must take a taboo and abide it or if found in violation they lose access to their spells and must preform a 3 day fast and ritualistic cleansing rites.

There are no shape change abilities like the Druid. I wanted my Druid stand ins to have their own thematic feel. I went with the initial concept that Druids were basically a multi-classed Cleric/Magic-User with Thief abilities but without actual multiclassing.

Like all my class variations I wanted to have their own thematic vibe and speak of the setting they are developed for.

I hoped that you found this installment of my Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign series of interest. Please take care, fin.

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