Forest/ Jungle
4 Votes


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Comments: 4
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.75
Condition: Normal
ID: 3756


March 23, 2007, 9:30 pm

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Trailbane Pine


“Wait, is that the same Damn tree we’ve been seeing all day?”, Ured the strong demanded.  “No… Yes, yes it is.” stammered Fenstill the mage. 
“Well, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to kill you now…” said Ured, drawing his sword.  “I understand,” said the mage, wondering why he got into the magic business anyway…

With apologies to Monty Python…

Summary aside, this is intended as a serious submission.  Hope no-one minds…

Full Description

A tall tree nearly identical to common pine trees, but its trunk always bears spooky human-like features in knots, burls and patterns of bark and fungi.  It is usually quite old and the trunk is very wide.

Additional Information

The Trailbane is a magical tree created to impede intruders.

It has several magical properties:

1. Aura of uncertainty  Any divinations used within 300 feet of the tree will be wildly inaccurate due to an easily detectable aura of chaos.

2. Confusion The tree continually emits a cloud of fine pollen which serves as a minor neurosurpressent causing confusion and second-guessing making navigation and decision-making difficult. 

3. Attraction  Any withing 300’ of the tree will tend to come back to it. “Hey, haven’t we seen this tree before.”
(groan).  “Yep…”

4. Magnetic Disruption The tree will throw off compasses and will act as magnetic north.  PCs could use this property to avoid the tree if they are aware of it.

5. Discord  Each time the tree is encountered (due to the Attraction, for example), those encountering it will be subject to increasing levels of magically induced frustration which will fray their nerves.  At some point it may explode into violence, especially of the social dynamics of the group were strained to start with.

The Tree is sterile but extremely long lived.  It can be propagated via cuttings, but this is very uncertain - only 5% of any seedlings will survive beyond 1 year.  The powers above except for #2 require the tree be infused with chaos, a ritual which is both difficult and costly (The components cost the equivalent of 400 oz of gold!).


These trees were developed by the Mage of the Unseen Fortress as part of it’s defences.  Currently the forest is the only known location of this odd tree. 

Plot Hooks

  • The tree is intended to act as an obstacle in a woodland setting.  A large grove of such trees would pose a very significant barrier and these alone could make places such as a Druid’s grove very difficult to invade.

  • The tree is a powerful source of Chaos and can be used in enchantments relating to that force.  It can also attract chaos-related beings nearby or into the region

  • Instead of being the creation of a mortal wizard, the tree could be a fey construct and used in a Sylvan setting

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    Comments ( 4 )
    Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

    Voted Cheka Man
    March 23, 2007, 20:13
    Only voted
    Voted Dozus
    March 24, 2007, 0:43
    A unique and useful tree.
    Voted Scrasamax
    March 24, 2007, 3:29
    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.
    Voted manfred
    March 24, 2007, 5:56
    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.

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