Keeper of the Balance
by Eric Jwo
In ages past, many different types of spellcasters walked Krynn. There were, of course, the robed magic-users that served the three moons. There were also the renegades that practiced their magic without swearing any allegiance to any particular order. There were also those that served the gods themselves, and received mighty clerical spells to due their bidding. However, there were also those who received clerical spells without directly serving any one god or goddess. These people served the Balance, served nature and Krynn itself rather than any deities. These people were known as druids.
Druids have always been misunderstood by the people of Krynn. Seen as itinerant healers and hermits, they were given little respect for the work that they do. Druids have always worked to restore the Balance between good and evil. Druids have always safeguarded nature and life. However, in the Fifth Age their jobs are more perilous than ever. Without the gods to restore the balance, dragons have divided up Krynn. With their terrible magic, they have corrupted nature itself. Druids themselves have changed from workers behind the scenes to fighters on the front lines.
Realizing that their roles have changed, that the world has changed, and that they need to confront the evil that corrupts nature and disturbs that Balance, the druids have cast off the old ways. They are no longer the druids of herb lore and isolationism. They are now the Keepers of the Balance and the champions of the nature.
Although Keepers of the Balance, or just Keepers, are more outgoing and friendly than their predecessors, they are still known as loners. Keepers refer to work by themselves because they believe that others cannot possibly understand the quest to restore the Balance. Keepers believe that all non-Keepers are too biased, either for Good or for Evil, and therefore compromise the situation. This does not mean that they are always anti-social, although they could be, but that Keepers simply prefer to do things their way.
Keepers are very close to nature. Keepers know many of nature's secrets, including much of herb and forest lore. In fact, Keepers rarely make distinctions between their magic and their skill with herbs, since to them, both spring from the same source: nature.
Keepers are also very protective of nature. Any act that damages nature in any way will prompt swift and terrible restitution by a Keeper. A Keeper realizes and understands the need to chop down a tree or hunt for food, but wholesale slaughter, logging, or other desecration of nature will send a Keeper into a rage. A keeper will never forgive or forget a person who desecrates nature and will remain an enemy to that person for the rest of his life. This is the reason why Keepers hate all of the Dragon Overlords. Keepers wish to see all of the Dragon Overlords die for what they have done to Krynn.
Because they hate the Dragon Overlords, Keepers are also slightly biased against all dragons of any color.
A person must have much talent in the arts of mysticism in order to become a Keeper, so a minimum score of 6 in Spirit is required. A Keeper must also be very forthright and confident in order to defend the Balance. Therefore, a minimum score of 7 is Required for Presence. However, a Keeper need not be physically fit, since he spends most of his time on developing his mystical side. Therefore, a Keeper has a maximum Strength score of 6 and a maximum Endurance score of 7.
A Keeper must be adept in the arcane arts. Therefore, a Keeper must have a minimum code of "B" in Reason and a code of "A" in Spirit. However, since a Keeper tends to be a bit of a loner, he has a maximum Presence score of "C." Keepers also don't train for war and therefore have maximum scores of "C" in Agility and Strength. A Keeper does not burden himself armor, so he has a maximum code of "D" in Endurance.
Any race that meets the requirements may become a Keeper. However, a hero cannot become a Keeper of the Balance during play.
A Keeper is very talented with herb lore, so any use of herbs to heal or otherwise concoct potions are considered trump (if using the "Skills" rules presented in A Saga Companion, a Keeper gets the "Herbalist" skill free.) Because of a Keeper's closeness to nature, any spell cast from the spheres of Alteration and Animism are also considered trump.
A Keeper must select his mysticism spheres from the following: alteration, animism, healing, meditation, mentalism, and sensitivity. A Keeper must select his sorcery schools from the following: aeromancy, divination, geomancy, hydromancy, pyromancy, and cryomancy.
Also, if a Keeper sees a person desecrate nature, he must succeed in a daunting Spirit (Presence) or attack him on sight.
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