The Druids of Alba have applied woad to their people for generations – it is one of the cornerstones of their community traditions. Woad signifies belonging, and protection – druids apply woad to the members of their community, to show that they stand together and to give them the strength to fight or to survive.
Woad is a thick paste, applied to the skin in a ritual fashion, which grants reserves of strength to all who wear it. The application of woad by the druid will double the hits of the one it is applied to. Druids can apply woad to themselves as well as anyone they deem worthy, although traditionally a druid will apply woad to their own village community and maybe those of nearby villages, but not those from further away.
Woad is regional – each region uses a different colour of woad, made from the plants and minerals available to them. An Albanni wearing woad may look at another Albanni in woad and know where they are from,
whether they are from roughly the same place – or somewhere else.
The colours of woad used are:
The Northlands – Dark Blue
The Summerlands – Mustard Yellow
The Greenwood – Forest Green
The Fenlands – Dark Brown
The Old Country – Rust Red
The ritual of applying woad is individual – each druid will have their own way of applying woad, this may be a large community ritual or it may be individual – they could apply strict specific patterns to denote their village and allegiance, or they may apply free-hand patterns at their own whim. Some druids will grant protection to their whole village, others may require an individual to earn their woad before they may wear it.
Woad is protection, but it is also duty – it denotes allegiance, and the Albanni know to keep and honour the allegiances they wear. While it is possible to wear woad from a different area to your own, any Albanni doing so would essentially be treated as from the region that matches their woad, and may be required to wash off their woad should their allegiance be unclear or split. Many druids will refuse to paint those from outside their region – instead suggesting they find a druid from nearer their own village to paint them.
Woad is an ancient tradition – older than the Albanni. The myths and tales speak of lost colours, of other allegiances – monstrous strangers from across the sea who wear colours and patterns unknown to the Albanni. The tales also tell of great heroes who won the favour of great and powerful druids and were rewarded with patterns and colours gifted by the gods – the intricate mixing of traditional colour and black woad.
The only hard rule is white paste – this colour is reserved for the work of the Shamans, to denote the favour of the spirits. No white paste would ever denote woad, it is reserved for the marks of Shamans, and can be worn by anyone from anywhere.
Simple rules for Woad:
-Woad doubles the base hits of the character it is applied to.
-Woad colour is determined by your region.
-At the start of play, druids know how to make their region’s woad colour only.
-It is assumed all Druids have access to the ingredients to make their woad.
-Woad can be applied by any Druid, in a ritualistic fashion.
-Woad can be phys-repped using simple facepaints in appropriate colours, or more elaborate pastes.
-Woad patterns are for you to decide; they could be group-specific, family-specific, druid-specific or individual.
-Druids may be gifted lost woad colours. Players cannot teach eachother woad for other regions, all such knowledge will be from other sources.