What is a forest’s firm support, yet walks ‘round on its own accord?
What’s possessed of a titan’s might, stands before you, yet out of sight?
What soundly spanks with gnarled root a behind that is not good?
For your forest adventures, I give you 30 quirky treants, ents and their ilk to help with a gnarled hand where they are needed.
As his name suggests, this old oaken tree-herder grew in a stony area, and more boulders became embedded in his hide from his habit of sleeping lying down. A woodsman’s axe will clatter off him without effect, and his knotted arms can bestow incomparable wrath upon those who threaten his woods.
Loyal and traditionalist, he is regarded as a wise by most of the forest dwellers; still, few seek his company for he is stern and dour.
2 Haun the Burning
Once struck by a lightning bolt, Haun survived yet the flames still linger within him, gnawing at his substance and sanity. A mighty teak tree, he is charred in places; only his incredible healing capacity keeps him from being consumed by the flame within. His constant pain has made him furious and relentless; only a few of his closest friends are able to staunch or direct his wrath.
3 Canor the Swollen
A man could tire walking around Canor’s colossal trunk, for he is a baobab tree, and not one of the smaller ones. Dozens of creatures house in the hollows of his body; some closed crevices hold only skeletons though, invariably those of civilized interlopers. This tree-man is a competent sorcerer, and has them lured within with his spells and closed the opening behind them.
All kinds of forest creatures come seeking his aid, whether healing or minor charms. Canor wanders the lands without haste, dispensing knowledge and blessings as he goes. The wild elves even have him hold their marriage ceremonies.
4 Nienbrethil the Fair
More akin to a dryad than a tree-herd in form, Nienbrethil is a beauty to behold, bearing vivid flowers in the spring and bountiful sweet fruit in summer. Her attitude is sweet and caring, with a brazen streak to spice things up. Curious and mercurial, she loves to socialize and fool around with forest dwellers and outsiders alike, much to the chagrin of her elders; her tendency to fall in love for a summer is seen as intolerable frivolity, not that she cares. Spirits brewed from her fruit are notorious amongst the fae for their fragrance, potency and vivid dreams they cause.
5 Nahun, the Manifold
Having grown over an ancient burial site, this platanus (sycamore) tree-herd’s psyche has been fractioned by the voices of the unquiet dead. Several personae reside inside his body, and his countenance displays as many half-formed bodies with faces. While he is dangerously unstable and prone to fits of dark brooding and inner turmoil, few can deal with the dead better than he; usually, Nahun is called to calm the restless dead, or contact a deceased relative.
6 Maberia the Swarm-Keeper
An old and wise linden tree, Maberia houses a dozen hives of wild bees in her boughs, feeding them with her nectar and carrying them to the most bountiful meadows. In return, the bees, which grow to astonishing size, protect her and provide her with plentiful honey. The tree-herd uses it to brew many wonderful potions and remedies, storing them in pumpkins and acorns, or in geodes. Her brew against the common cold is the best, trust me.
7 Trondor the Elder
Ages have passed since Trondor was a sapling; besides the elder dragons, he may be the oldest creature alive. A sequoia of titanic proportions, his tallest branches reach some four hundred and fifty feet high, and his trunk is like a pillar between the earth and the heavens. With his magic, he can animate whole swathes of forest, weave illusions that cover miles, and command the weather or cause earthquakes. Nowadays, he spends most of his time rooted in one spot, contemplating the meaning of existence and the destiny of the world; only rarely he awakens, to commune with great thinkers, even gods, who come to visit him from far and wide, or to deal with a pressing emergency no-one else can master.
8 Tannar of the Glade
A gamekeeper of the forest, Tannar feels responsible for the plethora of wild beasts inhabiting his forest, especially tall game. With his chestnuts he feeds them in fall to fatten them up for winter; with his branches he strangles hunters, or even beasts which he deems detrimental to natures balance, such as rabid predators, or old, malevolent stags with receding antlers.
While he has no active sorcery, his nuts are especially nutritious, and grass around him grows tall and wholesome.
9 Cauoni the Tender Blossom
Shy and innocent, Cauoni is one of the youngest treants in the forest, a slender cherry tree, fragrant and pink in the spring, with wonderfully sweet and dark cherries in summer. Most other tree-herds protect and patronize her, while other forest dwellers welcome the youthful and amusingly gullible tree-girl amongst them.
Her fruit cures a broken heart (though she would blush if she could when the bees frolic in her blossoms) and lets one forget many an unpleasant memory, while the scent of Cauoni’s blossoms incites love and passion in all but the most barren souls.
10 Fianna and Eleanor
It is said that the worst pain a being can suffer is that of a dryad when her tree is slain. So it happened to Eleanor, yet before she could die, a tree-herd stumbled across her, and welcomed her within. It was Fianna, a humble beech tree, one of the many hard-working treants that few actually notice.
Their coexistence has changed both profoundly Eleanor has learned to plan, ponder and analyze, while Fianna was infused with passion, but also the dryads resentment of mankind. Together, they stalk around human settlements, waylaying lumberjacks and luring away their women with magic and guile, to capture them and bind them much like dryads to the forest’s trees.
11 Albacaris, the Recluse
Paranoid to the core, this treeman resides at the center of the most tangled and overgrown forest one can imagine, crafting further thickets and briar growths with his spells every day. As an acacia tree, he is thorny himself in body and spirit, and tolerates little to no company, rather building cunning traps and impaling trespassers on poles as a warning.
His part of the woods is home to few large animals, but birds, small mammals and insects thrive in this hard-to-reach locale.
12 Gormunu, the Exile
Cast out of the forest for a violent disagreement with his elder, this tree-herd was banished forever, yet did not stop loving his home. Deciding to aid the forest from the outside, he lives amongst men, his colossal bulk resembling a Montezuma cypress lending itself to the art of war readily. Clad in armored plates and wielding a stone hammer of titanic proportions, he works as a mercenary, commanding a pay proportional to his might. All the money he earns goes to Menethil, an elven friend of his, who uses it to buy land around and under his home, to ensure its safety.
13 Corrach, the Mentor
A stout maple treeman, Corrach teaches young elves and fey sports and the arts of war, his coarse barking voice echoing far. A frighteningly energetic and swift treeman he is, chasing his recruits through difficult terrain, and pointing out all their flaws with merciless and cutting wit. As one of the most active treemen in the forest, it is him who is watching out for threats, and rouses his more contemplative, drowsy brethren in times of danger.
Towards the ladies, he is courteous, and will tempt them to stay with sweets made from his sap.
14 Aduma, the Stealthy
To some guardians of the forest, humans are only worth as fertilizer. Dwelling in a wet forest, Aduma, an alder treeman, is certainly of that opinion, catching the intrepid monkeys with his sticky sap, luring them into bogs, slaying their horses and stealing their food. Amongst his favorite tricks is coating a piece of a protruding rock with his glue, and having a faerie enchant it to look like something valuable, and then killing the helpless fool who gets his hands stuck to it; he has also laid out several forest trials ending in deadfalls and quicksand. Once his prey is dead, he buries it and plants saplings atop it.
15 Huapara, the Comedian
While most tree-herders are sober-minded and serious, this rubber tree is up to no good! With jokes bordering on the cruel, Huapara has created most of the legends about malevolent spirits of the woods in the locales around his home. In a wizard’s lost crystal ball, he spies upon the victims of his pranks, chuckling with glee. Placing wasp nests in sleeping bags, spicing up springs with hallucinogenic fungus extracts and bursting forth from a pool to scare the bathing ladies is his league of humor.
When in a mellow mood, he can make excellent bouncy and squishy toys, or glossy but impractical clothes.
16 Kivani, the Relentless
A staunch defender of the woods, this tree-herder resembles a Paulownia tree, beau and swift. In serene times, he is a bard, waking the wilds early in the spring with tale and song; when danger draws near, he is at the forefront of battle, inspiring courage in his peers. A dozen times has he fallen already to axe or flame, but every spring the forest sees him again, as vigorous as before.
17 Eumnemnon the Serene
The elven court hosts many emissaries, amongst them Eumemnon, a wise old cedar tree. With his calm smooth manner, refined wit, vast knowledge and excessive network of contacts, he is the voice of reason when the spirits of the other delegates, especially the fey, run wild.
Rooted in the gardens, he houses many a meeting under his boughs, his protective spells warding away prying and scrying eyes.
18 Mounhom of the Lake
An ancient willow at the lakeshore may offer abundant shade, yet few decide to rest in his, for Mounhom exudes his will to be left alone. A fishing rod in hand, he will root by the waters, throwing back what he catches, sometimes tossing it to a roaming wildcat or bird instead.
Once, he was the guardian tree of a fishing village, yet as it became a harbor, he was abhorred at how many trees were slain for the construction of ships, and left. Nowadays, he just wishes to forget.
19 Almo, the Legion
Many walking trees wander the Mirror Woods, yet only one tree-herd calls it home. Almo is a quaking aspen, and his roots have permeated the wood’s entire expanse, forming doubles of him.
When Almo speaks, each of his bodies close to the listener will say a part of what he wishes to confer; when he assaults an interloper, his bodies will approach from several sides, striking in unison. Nothing what one of him perceives escapes the rest, and the loss of one body but angers him.
Angered, Almo is lethal; usually though, he is more than content to scare a trespasser witless.
20 Berengar the Vain
A vain treeman is hard to imagine, but here you have him. Being a tall handsome spruce had probably something to do with it; older tree-herders claim his air-headedness is caused by the distance of his head from his roots.
Berengar will have squirrels clean his branches, snap off twigs detracting from his appearance, and embed pretty stones in his bark. Confident in his irresistibility, he will pose in breathtaking locales and make passes at all the female treefolk, dryads and pretty foreigners alike.
A redeeming feature of his is his artistic talent: he has carved dozens of rocks into the likeness of his objects of admiration.
21 Bilefroth the Rotten
What kind of tree he once was, none can tell, for only a blackened stump overgrown with poison ivy and briars remains, his arms twisted, a dozen eyes dimly glowing in the cracks of his bark.
Slain by a spell of death along with his forest, Bilefroth did not abandon his charge, and guards nowadays a landscape of twisted trees, venomous weeds and bleached bones, tending to his repulsive garden with astonishing dedication. His mind damaged by the ordeal, what the treeman perceives is far removed from reality; with ferocity will he defend his fetid demesne, drowning strangers in toxic pools, feeding them to carnivorous plants, or holding them down until the cursed land changes them, and they stay forever.
22 Jundori the Celebrant
A pudgy juniper treant, Jundori is a merry foul-mouthed fellow, delighting in his role as a forest guardian; he takes it as an excuse to dispense wisdom and unsolicited advice, poke his nose into things and crash every party.
With his roots in various brews, he loves to let the beast out. Spirits, wines and beer of his own make are known far and wide.
While many deem him a big-mouthed drunk, Jundori is always willing to help and stand up for the weak; he is not to be underestimated in a fight, for he is tenacious, and no trick is too low for him.
23 Moomdunoo the Sleepy
Placed to be the guardian of woods surrounding the ruins of an ancient elven city, the stout kauri treeman would be the perfect man for the job, with his mighty arms and thick bark, if not for his drowsy day-dreaming attitude.
Dozing while interlopers raid the ruins, Moomdunoo has drawn the ire of his elders. Desperately, he tries to live up to the expectations, for his father would be ashamed grievously if the young treant were demoted, to protect some unimportant grove or forgotten rock.
24 - Valoren, the Keeper of Records
A stone face with narrow ledges, protected by an overhanging slab, is the workplace of this redcedar treeman. Meticulously, he carves the history of the forest elves into the rock, keeping track of great deeds, marriages, and turns of fate. In a cave in the higher reaches of the cliff, he keeps tomes of vellum and parchment, where many a secret and great thought is penned.
Valoren himself is ancient; if not for his records, he would not remember how old he is. Of unshakeable health, he will let nothing come between him and his duties.
25 - Myella, the Amazon
This young birch is as militant as tree-herders get, constantly urging her fellows towards warfare with those smelly monkeys. She and her band of like-minded trees are responsible for several daring ambushes and even the razing of a few settlements; the more level-headed treants fear that retribution is to come, upon all of them.
26 Thumo the Hollow
Once an epiphyte carried by an older treant, nowadays Thumo carries someone else in turn. The stocky banyan tree is the home, caretaker and transport for Magamo, the aged elder druid of the Greenshroud Wood.
Providing for the old man has taught him humility and responsibility, and he listens to every one of the sages words carefully, to learn as much as he can. One day, Thumo will make a fine sage.
27 Basidus, a honorary treeman
Obviously, treemen are supposed to be trees. When the tree elders ran across Basidus, a fungus man some thirty feet in height, they were baffled, more so due to him already fulfilling the duties of a tree-herder in his part of the forest. After a long trial period, he has earned the full responsibilities and privileges of a true forest guardian.
Well-versed in the lore of potions and brews, Basidus is also a capable dream-walker, scouring the ephemeral realms for knowledge and portents of events to come.
Outwardly, he resembles a king bolete mushroom, yet many different toadstools sprout from his body; he freely uses those to induce many wondrous effects, or blasts enemies with their spores to confuse and befuddle them.
28 Ondu the Unkept
Time has taken its toll on this treant; his trunk is covered in ivy and his branches are home to holly and many fungi. Under the weight of memories, the shelves in the library of his mind have collapsed, leaving him confused. The wizened Persian ironwood can no longer care of himself, nor follow his duties. Another has replaced him in his position, not that the old tree has noticed.
Out of respect, the forest dwellers help Ondu through the day, saddened by the decline of someone once so great. He can still bestow a secret or two though if one can make him remember it.
Soon, the treeman will be but another old, bent piece of scenery, asleep forever.
29 Swandar, the Renegade
Before him, a treeman possessing fire magic was unheard of. Gifted with a keen mind and great drive, the handsome mahogany tree thought himself suitable for a position that only comes with wisdom and age, forgetting that the main purpose of the tree-herder is to serve. Immolating an elder in his anger, he had to flee to the highlands, where he plots his return, assembling outcasts and savages around him, promising bounty if they do his bidding, and a swift death by fire if they do not.
30 Avella the Cunning
Small and slender, Avella does not inspire the kind of awe most tree-herders do. Her unusual gift is the ability to speak to anything alive; this combined with the abundant nuts (especially hazelnuts) found in her branches has earned her the loyalty of many a forest creature. With her network of squirrel spies, she keeps tabs on everything that moves in the forest; armed with this knowledge, she knows where to intervene and how. Some of the less-than-perfect forest denizens dread Avella’s visits, for she rarely leaves without sending the culprit on a guilt trip.
Scrasamax has some nice treemen too!
Go check them out.
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? Responses (14)-14
A great submission from you, each one unique.
I agree with Cheka here. This is how I like the 30's - each rich with potential. I know this is a step beyond the original definition of the 30s, but I like these better.
Well done Echo!
This is fantastic. Definitely going to inspire me to use tree people in anything I write. And not the tired, cliched old tree people, but really putting some character into them!
I wish I could do a 30 as good as yours.
Take your time Cheka. Don't rush them.
I actually did google and wikipedia research for those... took the better of four mornings. Really, don't hurry.
Awesome... Deserves a Golden Submission
No hurrying has paid off and I could savor parts of it over several days. Great work!
What I like is, though they may be solitary, you get a feel of the community of these long-living creatures. At times it felt almost officious, which didn't feel quite right, but all other elements are in sync. All the expected ones and all the exceptions, they are brief and full of substance. Me likey.
Sweet work! Like Manfred I have enjoyed this during the span of several days. It is not always in line with my vision of treemen which would be darker and more alien. But it is a well presented, usable and well written submission and we don't have too many of those these days!
You beat me to it, I've got a 30 Treefolk sitting in work for months and months now that just refuses to be finished. Kudos Echo, I like these fellows
Excellent! Each one tickles the imagination. An awesome resource.
There are some real gems here. I especially love 10, 21 and 26. 5/5!
love stuff like this