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Trees of the Unseen Fortress
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-21 12:00 PM
Grapplewood

This magical tree is generally created from thin, lith trees such as willows which bear many strong but thin branches. As opposed to Brawlerwood, which simply batters victims with wild aggression, the grapplewood is generally more intelligent and malignant. It will allow victims in very close before it takes action, first employing roots and runners to impede and perhaps capture one victim. If the victim is alone, or once a few other victims come within reach (to assist the first victim escape the runners) the upper branches will take action en masse. It will attempt at least to grapple, but will attempt to entwine necks where possible. Afterwards it will constrict with great force, either suffocating, garroting or even severing the necks, depending on the strength of the tree, and how well protected the victim is. It will not release a grappled victim until they have decomposed significantly, so playing dead is not an option.

The individual branches are not difficult to cut, requiring but a single strong edged strike, but the tree will launch many such attacks at any and all victims withing reach.

The tree is more malign then the Brawlerwood and is actively evil. Its animation generally requires the binding of some form of evil spirit to the tree. Go to Comment
Trees of the Unseen Fortress
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-22 11:31 AM
Gorgewood

The gorgewood combines some of the properties and behaviours of the Brawlerwood and Grapplewood, and adds a few of its own.

A gorgewood appears as a large Broad Oak with scars on the trunk which make it resemble a human face. Should an intruder step within the tree's dripline, they will become the subject of the tree's attack. Massive, alien eyes will flick open - spheres the color of an unripe apple with no visible pupil, and a massive vertical slit of a mouth will open up, showing an array of bone-white wood-splinter teeth and maple-red interior. At the same time, amblitory roots will burst from the earth, seeking to entwine ankles and massive low-hanging branches will reach out to snatch the victim.

Should the victim be entrapped by the massive branches, they will be drawn in to be devoured by the hidious maw, chewed by magically strengthened teeth strong enough to pierce mail.

The tree is rather stupid - unable to plan and simply lashing out at potential victims. It is unable to use debris as missle weapons - largely due to it's stupidity, but also due to the limited dexterity of it's limbs.

The tree is strangely the easist of the three trees listed here to animate - certain Broad Oaks have a marked predisposition towards such magical alteration. Go to Comment
Trees of the Unseen Fortress
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-08-08 10:57 AM
Hmm, apparently this was another winner of the Lead Balloon Award....

Shameless Bump! Go to Comment
Trees of the Unseen Fortress
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-08-08 11:36 AM
Skullcracker Oak

This animate Oak tree is more subtle then the others. Appearing as a typical oak tree, it is distinguished by the presence of cocanut-sized acorns which it can drop on command. One must be directly underneath this massive tree's branches to be subject to attack.

There are rumours that there are variants that can actively throw these nuts up to 100' feet, should that much open space exist.

These nuts are not used for reproduction and are almost entirely wood. They are sought after by some for use in woodcarving. Go to Comment
Trees of the Unseen Fortress
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-08-08 02:17 PM
Who was that masked submitter? :P Go to Comment
Trailbane Pine
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
manfred's comment on 2007-03-24 05:56 AM
The essence of a dark forest concentrated into one tree.

The powers themselves are a bit on the strong side, but I like the fact that it is sterile, and must be procreated artificially, making for a rare, but powerful defensive measure, as opposed to the more "common" ones which would be more frequent. Go to Comment
Trailbane Pine
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Scrasamax's comment on 2007-03-24 03:29 AM
While the prose is on the lean side, the idea seems to be a novel exploration of a rather common theme, the homogenity of the forest and how strange it can be. The idea of a tree infused with chaos seems to be quite interesting. Nice work. Go to Comment
Trailbane Pine
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Cheka Man's comment on 2007-03-23 08:13 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Trailbane Pine
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Dozus's comment on 2007-03-24 12:43 AM
A unique and useful tree. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Strolen's comment on 2007-04-15 07:09 PM
Egads, fortress would be an understatement. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
manfred's comment on 2007-03-23 04:06 PM
I would offer you a link to Outdoor Traps, but this is already the probably most inter-linked submssion here EVER!

It is also... good. Very good in fact, and deeply considered from all defensive viewpoints. It might be interesting to know if there is an easy escape route for the locals, should something go wrong, it might accidentaly turn into a trap, if the main power of the area is removed... another plot hook.


Great sub, allowing others to extend it for themselves easily. And it is kinda cool. :)

(Oh, and for your map of the Inner Band use the "code" html tag, it will look like you wanted it.) Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
manfred's comment on 2007-04-15 03:42 PM
(Re code tag: You were right. Some of the advanced formatting is turned off for comments. Go bug Strolen about enabling them. ;) ) Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Scrasamax's comment on 2007-03-24 03:48 AM
Wow. I am really quite impressed by this sub Val! you put alot of work into this piece and it really shows. Thumbs up. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Cheka Man's comment on 2007-03-23 03:05 PM
5/5 and an HOH too. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Cheka Man's comment on 2009-01-20 10:39 PM
This is one of the bestest ever submissions. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Cheka Man's comment on 2009-01-19 08:55 PM
That is great, this is one of your best submissions. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Cheka Man's comment on 2008-03-24 06:45 PM
Bump. This is one of the best submissions here. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Ancient Gamer's comment on 2007-03-27 06:55 PM
Okay:
- The fortress itself is nice and something new at the Citadel. I've read about Elven fortresses in fantasy litterature and gaming books, and those did come to mind, but overall I think this is sweet..
- The write up varies between being dry and technical and vivid. The overall perspective suffers somewhat, while the detailed description of the locations is sweet. Thanks to the specific locations the dry matter does not grow too imposing. No score deduction for that.
- Good grammar, structuring and spelling.
- Tables focus way too much on combat. This incurs a -0.5 penalty to the score.
So: Base 5 for well written labour of love. -0.5 for mono-dimensionality.

However: I am not going to vote yet. I have decided to add to this sub and, in my deluded state of self importance :p, I think my contribution will increase the score (Because I will write special random tables with non-creature entries). So - I will add something I feel the sub is lacking and I will vote afterwards.

:D Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Ancient Gamer's comment on 2007-03-27 06:57 PM
It is 1 am here so I am scheduling the write up for tomorrow. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Ancient Gamer's comment on 2007-03-30 07:16 PM

APPENDIX F: FOREST SPECIAL ENCOUNTER TABLE


1. Tracks of soldiers passed by

There is evidence of tens or hundreds of soldiers passing by, no doubt part of an invading or defending force. A tracker will notice that they have been in quite a hurry and several are limping and/or bleeding. Whatever they encountered it was more than they could handle. At the GMs discretion this might lead to a second roll a short time thereafter, to determine whether the party encounters the enemies of this fleeing group. 


2. The buried shrine

 
A small pavillion shrine has sunk into the soft soil and is now partially buried. Only the granite pillars and the green tiled roof remain above ground. Intricate symbols on the pillars reveal that this was once a shrine to the forest gods and spirits. There is power still in the shrine, and this power can be unlocked by anyone intelligent enough to decipher the patterns of the pillar symbols. Anyone capable of understanding the symbols can try an intelligence check if the player explicitly states that he is investigating the symbols. The first letter of every symbol forms a message when read around the pillar in a circle and so it is with every symbol, from those just below the roof, to those barely visible above the forest soil. All in all four rituals of power can be unveiled by studying the text and those four are: Summon Forest Guardian (Bear or other animal), Awaken Tree Guardian (Ent), Halo of Crows (A swarm of crows to defend and blur those chanting) and Encroaching Mist (Mist covering the forest). The words must be chanted while touching the shrine and will weaken the chanters somewhat. Several people chanting would not be as weakened as a lone chanter attempting to invoke the powers of the shrine. 



3. The talking serpent 

”What willsssst thou noble lordssss? What errand dosssst thou have in the keep of Almanderssss?” The voice is that of a thin, green tree snake, its yellow eyes flicking back and forth, studying the adventurers. Its voice will be unsettling, evoking nervousness and caution in the adventurers. In reality this serpent is a benevolent guardian of the forest, its questions mirroring the countless fears and questions of the forest spirits. The forest will witness the PCs as they interact with Alamanders and their actions will weigh heavily in how they are treated further on. 



4. Odd butterfly patterns 

Strange green butterflies, their legs disturbingly long, cling to the bark of an oddly pale tree. They crawl in strings up and down the bark, seemingly at random, and only take flight to avoid being squashed (by some noble player for instance). They do this for about ten minutes, then they take flight and land on the next tree, beginning to crawl on the new tree. The reasons for this behaviour could be anything from mating ritual to harvesting essential nutrients in the bark, as ruled by the GM. The butterflies are highly toxic and should a player try hard enough, he might actually squash some butterflies. Unfortunately they contain a potent contact poison and the PC must now make his save or die. On another note they are sought by alchemists and herbalists alike and will fetch a nice sum if an adventurer manages to harvest enough of them. 

5. The Earthen Chambers 

As the adventurers traverse the forest (or when they rest/sleep) they are suddenly engulfed by branches and are pulled down into the earth. Heroic strength might free individuals, but this should be hard. Those caught beneath soon discover that the roots withdraw and they are able to breathe stale cold air. However there is little in the way of light. As soon as they find some light they will discover that they are inside some old earth chamber with a corridor leading out into a maze of subterranean tunnels, all earthen walled with only an amazingly dense network of roots holding the earth back. Some of the roots, especially the serpent thin black variant, seem to move seemingly at random, the iridescent gleam of the aforementioned black roots somewhat disturbing. Inside the maze are several dead soldiers and adventurers, and random encounters can be had even down here. At the center of the maze is the Forest Shayde, a Tree Spirit of some power and the controlling force of this subterranean forest prison. On his person the adventurers might find the root Opal, a necklace made of twisting black roots bearing an opal like a branch bears an apple. This necklace can be donned by the adventurers and is in fact magical. It is called “Vhisterthyde” by the forest spirits and gives the user control of roots in the immediate vicinity. However roots favour the owner to such a degree that they entwine and caress him as he sleeps and often he might find himself buried beneath roots and soil as he awakens.


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