The Druid Council is the official organization of druids who oversee the workings of Therafim. While almost anybody might be imbued with power from Matra to use druidic magic, only members of the Druid Council get any social benefits from being druids, and only members of the Druid Council know how to speak and write the ancient, mysterious Druid language, though members of the COuncil not living in Matrakal have spread its use among some non-Council druids they felt were worthy of the honor. On Matrakal, inside the Womb of Matra, the Druid Council oversee the most diverse and teeming realm of living things anywhere on Therafim, ensuring that it is not despoiled by outsiders, and that the workings of nature never become overbalanced. The Druid Council also acts to resolve disputes among the many tribes of beastfolk that live on Matrakal, and act as their spiritual advisers. All of this, naturally, is a full-time job for these druids, and this is often the end duty of many more experienced druids who wish to find a place where they can retire and focus more upon their core duties to Matra.
To become a member of the Druid Council, an aspiring druid (one with druidic magic-using ability, though clerics with a focus on the Animal or Plant spheres are also accepted) must go to the top of Council Tower (described below), a harrowing journey that requires not only for the druid to make it to Matra's Womb, but also near the middle of the Womb, passing through all manner of terrain and types of habitats. Clever and lucky druids are often able to accomplish this task as soon as they become skilled enough to shapechange. Once you are a recognized member of the Druid Council, then that is the end of the matter - rank means little to Druids, only ability, and those who demonstrate greater ability for various tasks will gain more respect and authority when dealing with similar duties.
For going through such trials to become a recognized Druid, there should be an appropriate level of benefit to compensate for the effort. This is found in the form of vast stores of information on almost any subject to be that might be of value to a Druid (or a druid, for that matter), and those who make use of Council Tower's stores of knowledge can generally get a +20 bonus to any Knowledge check they might make, so long as they are using the resources available there, ranging from manuscripts to carvings to the lorekeepers who ensure the safety of the library and inscribe the history of Therafim on the side of Council Tower. Anywhere else, members of the Druid Council have a mark placed on their auras, which is instantly visible to other members of the Druid Council, or anyone able to use druidic magic. Other Council members who see this mark, unless they are renegades, react with a Friendly reaction to such Druids, and are willing to provide what aid they can. Good and Neutral fey have a similar reaction, as do elves and gnomes and a variety of other creatures that live extensively in nature and have any ability at sensing magical things.
Major Races: Druids (any); Beastfolk.
Government: Meritocratic Geriarchy.
Nation Alignment: Neutral Good
Council Tower: This "tower" is actually a very tall spire raised from the earth itself by the call of the Druidic Council somewhat to the due south of the southern end of Heaven's Tear, though still within the inner ring of Matra's Womb. This is the center of druidic overseership on Matrakal as well as all of Therafim, where the Druid Council meets to make its decisions and accept new members into its ranks. One is not considered a full-fledged druid until one has been to Council Tower at least once, though this journey is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most druids who wish to obtain the official title as well as the mantle of druidship as bestowed by Matra. As Council Tower is warded against teleportation magic, the only way up is by climbing (an almost impossible task, as the spire of rock is easily several hundred feet tall and buffeted with heavy winds and snow and caked in ice so slick even magical climbing has a hard time hanging on) or flying, and the best way for a druid to fly up is by shapeshifting. At the top of Council Tower is a modestly-sized library that acts as a repository of druidic lore (including knowledge of how to become any druidic Prestige Class), while the sides of the Tower itself are carved with the full story of Therafim, from the start to the finish, with the oldest entries at the top, newer entries going steadily down the spire, though at present the words only go about a fourth of the way down. All of these writings, in the library and on Council Tower, are in the secret Druidic language.
Leestone: A small community, one of only a very tiny number of permanent settlements on Matrakal, set up at the base of Council Tower, in the "lee of the stone," so to speak, as the Tower acts to block out a good deal of bad weather that might otherwise pour down on the community. Leestone is overseen by the Druid Council, though the inhabitants are largely allowed to govern themselves in their normal tribal manner. The town acts as the largest trading point between tribes, and the place where most tribes willing to keep the peace make arrangements to intermarry with other tribes.