This tightly-organized brotherhood of druids originated in the Aureshan Empire, and expanded west to the Mereflow Valley during the settlement of Port Hope by humans and half-elves from there. Unlike most sects, the bulk of the Blight Wardens’ membership is active in an urban setting, where they work to prevent and cure the spread of plagues in the cramped and often filthy spaces of the city.
The sect is surprisingly large, and its druids keep a low profile by working as apothecaries, herbalists, midwives, physicians, and surgeons; in truth they comprise the bulk of the Auspicious Physicians’ and Surgeons’ Guild in Port Hope and in similar organizations within the Empire’s great cities. Surprisingly enough, their membership also includes skilled engineers and a handful of gifted rat catchers—the druids of the Blight Wardens combat disease by providing clean drinking water and controlling the vermin population as well as by medical means.
On a day to day basis, most Blight Wardens charge a fee for their services in the healing arts, but in the event that an outbreak of plague threatens a community, they work tirelessly and without asking for pay until danger passes. The sect’s members communicate with each other constantly, and maintain close watch on most cities’ caravan and dock districts in hopes of catching potential outbreaks as soon as possible. This pattern of operation is the rule in the sects located throughout the major cities of the Aureshan Empire, and characterizes the sect’s activities in Port Hope, as well.
From a spiritual point of view, Blight Wardens are animistic elementalists; they believe that all things, even inanimate objects, have a ruling spirit, or soul, and that the nature of this ruling spirit is governed by its elemental qualities. Many of their remedies are based upon this belief system, so that a given herb or mineral or the remains of a specific animal may be mixed into a tonic to be consumed by a patient (for example, one remedy for nasal congestion prescribes equal parts of red pepper, horseradish, and powdered red dragon scale, reasoning that all three ingredients’ ruling spirits partake of the nature of Elemental Fire, a natural counter to the damp heaviness of Earth and Water in the spirit of the illness which has overpowered the patient).
Blight Wardens may be lawful neutral, neutral, or neutral good. Membership is open to members of any race.