The Spreading Oak

An ancient and powerful Faerie curse has afflicted this oak tree

The Spreading Oak is a malignant force, an ancient evil of Faerie that warps the growth of a tree and corrupts the surrounding forest. It was created by tears shed by Oberon after a battle long ago, and when the king is sad the force grows and eventually seeps into the roots of an oak, which grows to monstrous size and becomes a powerful enemy of the forest. The trees nearby can become corrupt and willful, and the forest will warp itself to turn travelers toward the Oak. As it consumes prey, it grows more powerful, and the most powerful Spreading Oaks have been known to appear even on the material plane.

Its branches reach the ground and cover a hundred feet in all directions. Like the surrounding forest, the branches of the tree attempt to herd any creatures toward the trunk. Prey are swallowed whole and rarely injured in the Oak’s attempts at capture; the inside of the tree is a dark space where creatures are slowly driven mad by starvation, dehydration, and solitude, and bones litter the earthen floor. The tree taunts them occasionally while they are inside. However, it is possible to destroy the tree from the inside with enough fire or to force it to release them by harming it enough and proving that they can destroy it. Attempts to burrow out are stymied by the root system, but it is occasionally possible for powerful burrowing creatures to make their way out.

Fire is the most effective weapon, because although the Oak can cast protection from energy, it frequently underestimates foes that can cast magic and may expend that slot on summon nature’s ally 3, usually for several frightening animals to herd prey closer to the trunk. The tree will also use entangle to prevent prey from fleeing, and Creeping Ice or Slowing Mud are useful for tripping prey and dragging them toward the trunk.

The Oak will use Scrying to track prey that have escaped and warp the forest to turn them back toward the oak.

Because the Oak needs its own prey alive, it also casts spells that control or repel other predators of the forest.

Finally, one of the Oak’s most powerful abilities is to cast warp wood at will. Archers are advised to keep their distance or risk their entire armament becoming nearly useless!

A destroyed Spreading Oak leaves behind an Oak Heart, a powerful magical artifact used in breaking curses. When prepared by the proper rituals, the Oak Heart acts as a Wish or Miracle for purposes of dispelling a curse from an item or creature.

The Spreading Oak

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