It was the third day of what would come to be known as the Druid's Siege, a key battle in the Green war.
Segaris stood behind the battlements, recently coated with a thick green gore. Literally hundreds of the strange Green Ladies had swarmed the castle, forming living ladders as they grabbed at the stones of the castle to scale it. Although horrendously outnumbered, the castles defenders managed to push back wave after wave of the plant horrors. The plant-women were still vulnerable to a well swung sword and axe, and fire, especially fire. However, the green gore mingled with blood in many places, and not a single defender stood without some wound.
The first day it had been fairly easy going - the Army of the Wood had little experience against full blown human fortifications. The wide open fields with no cover were alien to them, and the elvish archers found their vaunted stealth helped them little. Their bows, made for the short visabilities of deep woods were easily outdistanced by the garrison's longbows and the few ballista the King had left behind.
The second day was the hordes of Green Ladies. Countless of them lay pinioned by arrows on the fields about the castle, but still enough made it to the walls to scale the sides, only to be fended off by its defenders.
And now it was the third day, and Segaris wondered what today would bring.
Scanning the treeline, he saw again a new mass of Green Ladies emerging. They moved up, but stopped out of range, the extent marked by the dead of the last two days.
Additional forces emerged from the woods - a mass of black furred creatures, bears, formed up to the left of the legions of Greenladies, accompanied by the unlikely forms of walking human-sized trees. The assembled horde then stopped, apparently waiting for some signal to advance.
It was at that time Segaris felt the ground tremble, and then something huge burst from the treeline.
It appeared to be a massive, serpant-like mass of vines and other plants, 10' thick and more then 100' long, and it came barreling towards the castle. As it came, the assembled Army of the Forest raised a war cry and charged en mass for the castle as well...
A huge bundle of vines and other plants, 10' in diameter and 60-100' long.
The Rage of Forest is a powerful nature-oriented 'creature' of size and power sufficent to threaten castles. Its hundreds of tendrils are able to find the smallest weakness in fitted stones and pull them apart, while its massive bulk allows it to quickly push through the damaged walls.
It's sheer mass and quick movement allows it to plow through entire units of troops with the same ease, capable of killing many troops and causing lower-quality units to panic and break.
As a plant contruct, the Rage is somewhat vulnerable to fire, but it's materials are all green and moist, and so not generally subject to a massive conflaguration. Material which ignites is quickly cast off by the creature.
Creation and 'Ecology'
The Rage of the Forest is summoned/created by Druidic/nature-oriented rituals of the highest order, bringing forth vines, creepers and roots from miles around and bundling them into its massive form. It takes some time to form and properly integrate itself. Each tree or creeper 'donates' tendrils to become incorporated into the huge mass.
In the World of Neyathis, the Rage is associated with The Queen of the Dark Wood, who occasionally will create one to assail human outposts.
The Rage is no more intelligent then an insect and must be directed by whatever being or beings called it into existence. It is also temporary in lifespan - while formed its materials cannot take up additional moisture or nuturition, and so will wilt over time. It can regenerate damage from wilting or battle damage by incorporating new materials, but it is unable to move or fight while doing do. In addition, this function causes stress to the plantlife nearby, which may not be desireable to the Rage's creators.
The Rage can cross freshwater with relative ease and can climb most surfaces lower then it's own length. Immersion in Saltwater will cause severe damage.
The Rage of the Forest is intended as a high-level forest encounter, though with its limited lifespan it is one that always appears with a purpose. It adds muscle to nature-oriented powers apart from the typical animated tree/ Ent analog. It could be adapted to become more long-lived and intelligent, in which case it could become a creature in the same niche as land-bound dragons.
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? Responses (8)
This post is easy to read and dead-on to the point-The Rage(Love the name by the way).
The links are nicely fitted into the text and the visuals are great. I undestand that this being is intended for high level encounters(possibly a climax in a campaign), but I would never use it in direct confrontation with my players(unless they're really, really stupid). I would probably let them see one, even have to run from it. But I just can't imagine a party bringing this sucker down. But that's just the "how to use it" part. The submission is top-notch and very mood setting.
P.S I know the full name is- the Rage of The Forest, just nicknamed it The Rage;)
Very good at dealing with unwanted loggers.
I have to second M's thoughts - this is definitely an encounter for war, not for any rainy day. I would even expect the druids to smartly let the creature decompose back into its parts, to at least partially contain the damage wrought during battle.
Oh, and: it could be also vulnerable to various aggressive materials of alchymistic origin - too bad those tend to be quite expensive.
On a rainy day huh? Haha, that kills me.
Definitely useable, although I have some problems putting this creature in its context. Perhaps this will better come into its own when the Queen of the Dark Woods stub is developed? I´m not sure, but wouldn´t this sub benefit from some of the "mythos" around the creature - you know, rumors of it happening to the fort on the other side of the mountain, that type of thing? Still, a good solid sub. The name is perfect, and the backstory´s sweet. Good job! /David
This critter is related to the less powerful Oaken Shambler, another of the Queens plant creations. I will be added some more linkage.
One could also create a smaller version, the 'Very Angry of the Wood' of much smaller size that would be the terror of loggers... :)
Yeah, the big one would be like attacking ants with a siege weapon.