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City/ Ruin
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ID: 6219


December 22, 2010, 3:47 pm

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The Majestic Silver Oak


In the small town of Silver Oak rests a towering Oak flush with silver metallic leaves that chime in the breeze, even during the heart of winter. Its story, and its secrets lie within this humble text...

A magical tree, suitable for any fantasy campaign.



The center piece of the town Silver Oak, this tree rests in the town square, its silvery metallic leaves fill the air with a musical ringing no matter the season, the tree itself radiating a warmth for at least a hundred paces around, scarcely hints at its tragic past.


This magnificent tree has its roots in the dark past of the Ember forest, an ancient expanse of wood lining the Coil River and surrounding the Abyssal lake, where it is overshadowed by the Serpents Teeth mountains.

During the last war of conquest a young bard, fleeing the burning of her town further to the south, found herself lost and freezing after a bitter winter rainfall. Her auburn silk dress clinging to her pale skin, the woman collapsed in a small clearing, quickly overtaken by pursuing hounds and their masters.

Tired from the chase, and disappointed at the lack of resistance these villagers had shown thus far, the soldiers of the Jade Empire took it upon themselves to toy with the young bard, electing to burn her at the stake as a sacrifice to their dark gods.

Unfortunately for the soldiers, the recent rains had left the surrounding wood damp, with little available material to start a bonfire with, save for the small collection of coal their smith carried for field repairs. Not ones to be daunted by circumstance they wasted little time in devising a equally horrific method to torture the singer.

Ripping the silver chimes from her grasp, the soldiers quickly gave them to their smith to melt down, into a metallic stew, adding in a few silver coins from her purse. As the silvery tincture dissolved into a heated syrup, the scouts held the young lass down, forcing her to drink the scorching metal broth, leaving her curled in a ball of sobbing agony to die at the foot of a small oaken sapling.

Her last dying wish was was not of vengeance, but a longing to share the beauty of her music with people around a warm fire one last time. Taking pity on the woman's demise, the goddess Lelune, patron of bards and revelry, blessed the tree she had died clinging to with the essence of the woman's voice, its leaves to forever mimic her chimes and its trunk radiate the warmth of a brightly burning hearth.

Several years later, a tradesmen, poling up the river, heard the faint sound of chimes in the distance, and discovered a towering metallic tree of beauty, such a curiosity perhaps marking the perfect place for a new trading outpost.

Adventure Ideas

This tale sadly, has been lost over time to the inhabitants of Silver Oak, except for a few poorly remembered local legends no one can quite agree on. Rumor has it however a soldier from a long ago war chronicled the events that took place in these woods near its end; a diary that might shed light on the trees true origins. Finding this diary could prove a valuable keepsake to the township, and perhaps laying the remains of the woman's body to rest in a proper burial might gain one much favor from Lelune herself.

A visiting bard while drunk one night claims to hear the tale of the trees sorrowful founding in its melodic rings, and quickly recounts it to all who will listen. Unfortunately this tale casts a poor light on the remnants of the Jade Empire, whose emperor when he hears of it, spares no expense in trying to find this township, and burn the offending tree to the ground. (As well as killing any bard heard recounting this dark fairytale.)

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Dossta
December 22, 2010, 15:18

Beautiful tree with evocative imagery.  I will definitely rip this out and put it into my own world, one day.  I like that the girl died *without* wishing for revenge -- how novel!

December 22, 2010, 15:39

I'm glad you like it, feel free to use the entire town built around it as well. http://strolen.com/viewing/Silver_Oak

Voted Moonlake
December 22, 2010, 19:08

Overall, a solid piece. Like Dossta,  I like the tragic yet positive ending to the bard's story that gives rise to the tree.

Voted Murometz
December 22, 2010, 22:47

Purty. Well described and i have to second Dossta on the girl who died w/o wishing for revenge idea being a refreshing one.

Voted Cheka Man
December 23, 2010, 7:56
Only voted
Voted Ramhir
December 23, 2010, 19:43

I'm using this, and the town of Silver Oak, with some modifications, in my campaign. Thanks, Silv!

December 23, 2010, 23:42
Anytime, if you could, please send me a pm about the changes and how it works out in your campaign, I'm curious how well your players like it.
Voted Strolen
December 25, 2010, 13:47

Nice tree/town legend. I especially like the hook that if the emperor finds out about the tree and the history that he will do what he can to destroy it. Has great plot hook written all over it! Not sure that it will help his image though.

Voted Kassy
April 22, 2012, 18:24


Choosing her music above vengeance is also a nice addition.

Inspirational too, thank you Silveressa!

Voted valadaar
January 10, 2014, 11:37
A simple, horrific and sadly believable tale. I agree with Strolen on the imperial hook. This too is sad and believable.

Link Backs


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Almar

While setting up camp for the night, the PC's are aproached by another group of adventurers who seem nice enough. The road is somewhat dangerous and the other group suggests camping together. The two bands split watches, one adventurer from each group watching at once. The night goes by without incident, the next day the PC's travel with the other group as they are going the same way.

The group consists of Hordel the ranger, who is skilled with the bow. Hordel is a quiet man who speaks little but appears quite skilled. Dremar is a barbarian who is a little excentric, he seems to be an excasive drinker and thiunk that battle is the solution to everything. He appears to be a stout and powerful fighter with his greataxe. Ferrin is the leader of the group, a rouge by trade. He is daft and witty, speaking with the PCs often and asking many questions. He fights with finesse with his rapier. Preminitat as a cleric but he will not say which god he worships. He uses his spells to empower and heal his party and fights with a club. He sticks close to Ferrin. Ferrin is a great talker and tells much of himself and his party, but asks even more about the history and capabilities of the PCs. He tells of some adventures his party has had, and they seem like an interesting group of mercenaries. Hordel is quite and has little interest in speaking with the PCs, he ignores most questions. He spends a lot of time with Dremar and sometimes Ferrin. Dremar seems to not care about any questions ansked to him, nor does he seem to know the answers. He seems battle hardened and is a simple man. Preminitat rarely starts conversations but will speak with the PCs. However, some of his accounts of the party's history seem to condradict those of Ferrin.

The Party spends another night and day with Ferrin's group. One of four things can happen on the third night.
1: While eating dinner around the fire, Ferrin gets into an argument with one of the PCs when he/she mentions the discepincies between Ferrin's stories and Preminitat's.
2: Hordel gets mad after repeated questioning about his life from the PCs.
3. Preminitat gets mad after repeated questioning from the PCs about what god he worships.
4: One of the PCs rejects the offer of a drink from Dremar and he takes it as an insult.
All of these scenarios result in a battle between the parties. If Ferrin's party is defeated and still lives he swears vengance. His party may then cross paths with the adventurers again.

Encounter  ( Locations ) | November 15, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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