Tree Witch

Tree Witch
Illustration by "Dug"
Tree Witch

AKA: Oak-hag, Elm-Beldame, Box Elder Bitch
DIET: Omnivorous
INTELLIGENCE: Average to High
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: L (20'-100') See Below
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil/Nil
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2 or by spell
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-6/1-6 or by spell
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Entanglement, Bite and Paralysis

Tree Witch
DESCRIPTION: These vicious creatures are not witches in the true sense, neither are they all that closely related to trees or dryads. Tree-witches look like massive trees, mainly oak, elm, box elders, or even redwood, except heir trunks are darker and gnarled more than usual. Sometimes faces of former victims in agony can be imagined within the folds of the bark. Its leaves are also darker than usual and generally have sharper edges and points. Its trunk is thick with lichen and moss. The most telling feature of the Tree-witch is a long sinewy root which runs from beneath the tree to a female torso at the other end. This root can stretch out to 30 feet. The female portion has hair which looks like leaves or straggling roots, and its skin is like the bark of the tree. The witch part is actually very comely in a certain light (roughly 13-16 comeliness). The tree-witch is mobile, moving only when she absolutely needs to.

COMBAT/TACTICS: One tactic the Tree-witch uses is a charmed subject. The subject, usually a horse, lures victims to the Tree-witch. The horse (or like creature) will appear to have been ridden hard and act as if its master is in danger; attempting to get characters to follow it. The Tree-witch's control over such a creature is up to a half mile. The Tree-witch has also been known to use children, dogs, and cats (treat as a Charm for human subjects, and Animal Control for any animals). The Tree-witch will use spells as a 5th level illusionist. If her deception is revealed, or if she lures a victim within 20' of herself, she will spring forth from the tangle of roots at the base. She will claw and grab, attempting to drag her victim back beneath the tree. A Tree-witch has a strength of 19. If she hits with both claws at 1 better than her 'to hit', she drags her victim back to the base. This takes one round. Once she has pulled the victim in, the smaller roots will entangle the victim. The victim must make an ability check or remain trapped. In the same round, the Tree-witch will bite the victim. The bite itself only causes 1 point of damage, but the victim must save versus Paralyzation or become immobile for 1-4 turns. The Tree-witch will leave the victim in the tangle of roots to tend to any other victims. No other parts of the tree portion, except the roots, are capable of movement or attack.

A Tree-witch is mortally frightened of magical fire. Not so much with normal fire which only does half damage to her damp, moldy body. If oil is being used, treat as magical fire. Lightning does only half damage. In the case of magical fire, the Tree-witch will reveal her mobility. She will uproot and travel at only 30'.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Tree-witches live in forests where there are large, older trees, preferably trees which they've mimicked. Tree-witches only come in the female form. Once every 100 years they'll grow acorns (no matter what type they've mimicked) which look like fetuses. Out of the 100's of acorns only one will survive and will appear as normal tree. Except, deep inside the root system there is found a maturing Tree-witch. In 25 years the new Tree-witch emerges, ready to hunt and move. All Tree-witch offsprings carry the memories of their predecessors. Tree-witches lose leaves (except the ones on their head) like normal trees during the winter and hibernate, but if awakened they are as twice as tempermental, however, there is a 1 in 3 chance they may not even notice travelers who have taken refuge in amongst her roots while she slumbers (unless, of course, they try to start a fire).

Tree-witches are (im)mortal enemies of dryads, and will actively seek out any living nearby and hunt them down and slay them.

ECOLOGY: Tree-witches can be quite dangerous, but most times are not even noticed until the loss of lives becomes obvious. Tree-witches are inherently evil and have a habit of attracting like creatures. Tree-witches are solitary creatures who prefer the deep of woods, but will move closer to small towns or cities. They will attempt to keep their presence secret as long as they can, choosing victims who are alone or strangers to the area. Surprisingly, Tree-witches will pick up information and gossip about the areas they live in. Sometimes Tree-witches will give information for food. Tree-witches are long lived and have considerable knowledge of forested areas which they've previously inhabited.

Medicinal: Tree-witch bark can be used in a paralysis potion. Their leaves can be used to counter-act the Tree-witch's own paralysis if boiled and drunk (reducing paralysis effects by half).
Spell Components: Leaves can be used in a Paralysis spell.
Hide/Trophy Items: Nil
Treasure: Incidental
Other: Nil

Mikeeze Wurld is 2001 by Michael S. Hensley.
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