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Author Topic: Contest: Unquiet trees  (Read 2206 times)

Posts: 45

« on: January 23, 2005, 08:55:24 PM »

Concept:  Unquiet trees are found in dense, old woods such as the Taurinus Forest of Jenka.  Embedded with a slow, alien sort of consciousness, they watch (and sometimes prey) on those who pass near their branches.

Motivation:  When unquiet trees exist alone--in places where the greater part of a tainted forest is asleep or tamed--they show little motivation, aside from an occasional peevish hunger that causes the odd child or woodcutter to disappear.  In some places, however, the trees are part of a network that spans many miles.  In such forests, all that transpires reaches the ears of the one who knows the trees' language, and they will act in service of this master.

Physical Description:  These creatures resemble a weeping willow tree, with long twisting branches and draping leaves.  In summer, their vegetation is vividly green; in autumn, it withers to blackness and falls in a matter of hours.  In the spring, the growth of new leaves is preceded by a great oozing of sap, as if the limbs bleed with the greenery forcing its way through.  Once in a great while, a tree will produce a single fruit.  The fruit is round, deep red, and as large as two clenched fists held together.  In years when the tree bears fruit, it does not bleed in the spring.

Mark:  Even in the coldest of winters, the bark of an unquiet tree is a little warmer than normal vegetation.  It vibrates very slightly, as if a pulse beats beneath.

Powers:  Isolated trees are slightly weaker than those which are part of a collective.

Lone trees
Attack (physical) (Instant, Others):  The trees' branches move unnaturally, strangling or crushing their enemies.

Armor (Permanent, Self):  Unquiet trees have thick and durable bark.

Healing (Limited, Self):  When the tree has taken a victim, be it animal or human, it absorbs the body over a period of days or weeks to rejuvenate itself.  During this time, the victim is still visible, although half-covered by the roots that burrow into the corpse.

Immunity (cold) (Permanent, Self):  Winter strips the tree of its leaves, but no cold can truly harm it.

Spawn (infection) (Permanent, Others):  To eat the fruit of an unquiet tree is to die.  The one who eats a ripened fruit will feel an increasingly powerful urge to go to the forest, to wander there and never leave.  The desire will grow with irrational strength until the night of the next full moon, when the victim will put down roots.  When the morning comes, a new unquiet tree will stand in his or her place.  If somehow prevented from rooting, the victim will die that night, leaving only a rotted mass of twisted vines behind.

Collective trees
As for lone trees, plus:

Attack (mental) (Limited, Others):  In a forest widely tainted by these trees, they gain an additional trick--a haunting, barely-audible song like the rushing of wind through leaves mixed with voices.  It works to sap the will of those who hear it.

Possession (Limited, Others):  When strengthened by the presence of their fellows, unquiet trees can temporarily leave their rooted spots by possessing those who wander within reach of their branches.  When the spirit is "abroad" in such a fashion, a tree still stands in the same place, but it is normal in all ways until the possessor abandons its new body and returns.

Wake:  Near an unquiet tree, normal vegetation is sickly, and the few birds that roost in their branches acquire a taste for blood.  When the moon is new, the leaves glow very faintly.

True Weakness:  Water from a pure source, let to sit under the full moon for three nights, will burn the tree if poured over its roots.

Power Rank:  3 (4 if in a collective)
Cunning Rank:  5 (6 if in a collective)
Vitality Levels:  13 (14 if in a collective)
Keith Senkowski
Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...

« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2005, 08:03:08 PM »

Very cool.  I don't know how I missed you posting this.  Neat stuff.


Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
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