Here are some more musings about the Druid Redux I have been working on in the last few posts:
The four Druidic cults do not like each other. This rivalry is particularly bitter between the Fire Druids and the Water Druids as well as between the Air Druids and the Earth Druids. These rivalries spawn from the fact these cults are particularly effective at canceling out each others' powers and therefore pose the greatest threat among all of the cults.
When faced with a bitter rival, a druid can cancel out a power/attack by sacrificing a combat round if they are of the same circle or higher than the power/attack being cancelled. For example, if a 3HD Fire Druid were attempting to shoot a fan of flame, a 3HD or higher Water Druid could spend a combat round canceling out the Fire Druid's attack.
Currently, the weakest cult is that of the Water Druids, because it was their stronghold that was decimated when the Temple of Elemental Evil was "destroyed." As a result, the Fire Druids are currently the most powerful of the cults. This has driven both the Air and the Earth Druids into a reluctant alliance with the Water Druids. Each is harboring and protecting the remnant Water Druids in order to counter the growing power of the Fire Druids. In the meantime, the remaining Water Druids are playing the other cults against each other and biding their time.
Although there are rumors of more powerful circles beyond the 8th (12 & 16HD elementals supposedly exist), no druid has ever managed to get beyond the 8th circle. Indeed, it has occurred to some that the 7th circle is actually more powerful than the 8th. [And it is. I did this on purpose in order emphasize the complete loss of humanity that comes with the 8th circle]. Though rare (because when found out they are hunted down and killed) there are rogue druids (normally of the 7HD variety) who are either seeking a way to increase their power while holding onto what remains of their humanity or that seek a way to gain back the humanity that they have lost.
Finally, there are also rumors of Druids who have successfully merged the disciplines of the various elements to create brand new circles such as mist, steam, mud, lava, etc. Given the rivalries that exist between the four main cults, however, such heretics are normally hunted down and killed.
1 day ago