I enjoyed reading this thank you. At first scan I thought, “an evil scare crow that can’t remember where he is going, is looking for brains and spreads fear while stalking small groups of people-cute” this seemed less like an idea constructed from the ground up and more like somebody just tugged on the scare crow threads in the vast vocabulary of America pop culture. The nods to Oz via an anti-Oz (Zo I suppose), the batman villain and jeepers creepers all stabbed or wormed their way through the prose. This feeling that this was a loud idea that was just thrown together faded as I read it more closely. As I neared the end the piece I was drawn in by the story clips and I found myself wanting to use this incarnation of scarecrow in a campaign. The archetypes that you are taping into here, I think, would make this very accessible to an RPG group and allow the players to quickly form a connection with the villain. I also liked the hints that there is more to this character’s back story, an item or person he is searching for. I understanding writing just for that effect and not having a “truth” in mind. But being that you are writing for presumably GMs and such here why not just tack on the other parts of the backstory if you have them.
I love speculative biology....and as people seemed interested in fleshing out these trees more in the comments section I really want to join in. Forgive me if I take a too structured a course with my side of the discussion.
One reason these trees may be rare, is it may be very hard for them to reproduce, because it would be very difficult for their seeds to germinate as the nuts are solid metal. Unless the embryos them selves can digest or absorb the solid metal, which it seems reasonable that they could and this shell would function like a down payment on the sapling. But this metal-nut-flesh would lack what we think of classic nutrients such a lipids, proteins and sugars. Do these trees require what
You may up also play up that this drawing up of cations could change to the pH of the surrounding soil. Could these roots take up non metalic ions such as Sodium and Calcium?
So the trees burn, dwarves burn them, does the metal content make them work like lightening rods?
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It is kind of a sparse and dissjointed submission, but the basic idea really got me. I like this alot, as said the core idea is fantastic as is some of the smaller details (that they are invisible),
I wonder what the going rate is for musher bugs in the arcane markets