Diablo 2 - Druid Terms

In the Diablo 2 expansion manual we are given a brief history of the druids... But did you know that all those foreign looking druidic names actually mean something?! Actually, the Druids of Sanctuary are based on the ancient Celtic Druids of the Iron Age and later medieval Irish and Welsh literature, (and perhaps partly also the druids' "spiritual successors" of the modern New Age Druidic movement.)

Having told you that, you can probably guess that those funny looking foreign names might mean something to a student of Celtic Studies (even one more familiar with SGaelic than Irish), and in fact they do! They are actually in Irish, one of the currently spoken Celtic dialects closely related to Scottish Gaelic and Manx. So without further ado, allow me to present:

Dragonhelmuk's Druidic Lexicon

Scéal Fada - This is called "the ancient tome of the Druids" and sure, enough, in Irish it just means a "Long Story".

Fiacla-Géar - Apart from Bul-Kathos, this guy is meant to be the main character of our Scéal Fada and his name translates more or less to "Sharp-Tooth".

Caoi Dúlra - This is described as "The way of harmony with the natural elements of the world" and pretty much means "Natural Way"

Túr Dúlra - Here our "natural" Dúlra again is this time describing the "greatest of the Druidic colleges" and in Irish Túr is a tower, so we have "Natural Tower". (Personally I would have gone with the elegance of a genitive construction rather than a simple adjectival description, but then I guess that just shows my lack of appreciation for the simple Druidic names... or something. ;>)

EDIT (5/09/09): A map of Sanctuary was given as part of the pre-release information about diablo iii, and at the time it came out I didn't look at it much. A few months later I came back to it however, and although Túr Dúlra is mentioned on the map the spelling has been changed. For a moment I wondered if they'd decided to make the spelling look older (as would befit druids) or changed the name for a particular reason... The new spelling was "Tur Dura" and other than trying to use an adjective in a noun genitive that would translate most easily as either "Tower of Durability" or "Tower of Dourness"... Perhaps they were trying to give a hint about the fate of the druids!
Unfortunately when I went to check the map online I saw that the spelling had been changed back to it's original form from Diablo 2 since my personal copy of the map was made. (Actually the new version said Tūr Dūlra, but I think that's just the Diablo font.) - So the Blizzard team were probably just lax... Or were they?! Either way it's nice to see that Túr Dúlra is still a landmark in the Sanctuary of Diablo 3. Who knows it might even be a visitable location like the glowy places on that map! Perhaps all this Druidic will come in handy yet afterall. ;>

tur dura and tūr dūlra - left pic screenshot, 28/6/2008, right pic screenshot, 5/9/2009

Glór-an-Fháidha - "A magnificent oak" - "the source of guidance and teachings"... Well I suppose that's why they call it "the Glory of the Oak"!

Leathdhiabhala - Are animals that have been corrupted by demons, and are tellingly called "Half-Devils"... I personally think that betrays a bit of frustration and anger in the Druid-speaking mind about these creatures, but feel free to disagree with me now you've nearly mastered the Druidic language yourself!

(EDIT: 21/7/10)

Dubhdroiacht - "Traditional magic" according to the diablo handbook, but actually translates best as something like "black sorcery". "Dubh" means "black" or "dark" and "droíacht" can be any sort of magic, but was the traditional word for the magic of the druids. The -cht ending refers to a skill like the English words ending in -ry: "Poetry", "embroidery", "druidry". Perhaps ultimately dubhdroiacht has the same connotations as "devilry", but exactly how the magic of the druids ("droíacht"?) is so different from dubhdroiacht is rather confusing... It might also be worth pointing out that normally adjectives in Gaelic would go after the noun they describe (i.e. "droíachtdhubh"), and only irregular adjectives or especially ancient ones would go before the noun. All the other phrases on this list have the noun before the adjective, so what's so special about this phrase. Have the druids been angry at the rest of the world for so very long? If so, there are much older spellings of draoíacht, so why hasn't the old orthography prevailed with the syntax? (Thanks to Brother Laz for reminding me I'd forgotten this one!)

Uileloscadh Mór - As a grand finale, a dilemma for you! This term refers to the "final battle between the men of the world and the demons of the Burning Hells." But Uileloscadh is actually the word in Irish used for the Holocaust (I'm not sure about the roots, but my guess would be - "uile" (all) "loscadh" ("burning")). Mòr just means "big" or in this case "great". So what kind of "battle" do the Druids expect at the end of time..? A "Great Holocaust"!


I'll leave that for you to ponder over!



Did I miss a word? Have I made a glaring error? Email me!
Page created: 31/12/08.
Last page edit: 21/7/10.

I, ("dragonhelmuk") am the author of the written-content on this page, and give you permission to use it in any way you feel like so long as you either gain permission or throw me a credit at the end of your work when you're done. so I know how amazingly famous I'm getting.

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