Based on baobab trees. Legend has it these trees stood so tall and proud that they made the gods angry. As a result the gods plucked them and planted them back in the earth upside down. Assuming that is true, my variant is the Downies.
These trees, cursed by the gods to grow upside down, strain toward the center of the earth. Often rotten inside, they form tunnels through which people may descend into the earth. (Or darker things ascend!) It is said that these trees are seeking vengeance against the gods. When they reach the molten lava that ever scholar knows is at the center of the earth, it will quickly burn through their hollow wooden skins and cover the earth in fire and ash.
Attacks (none), 40 HP, 3 Armor.
Instinct: to reach the center.
- Disgorge a horde of demons
- Attract the ire of the gods in the form of lightning - high winds - and other destructive weather
- Curse anyone who sleeps under their skyward reaching roots
Brian's Bark Mastiff
Tags: group, huge, organized, weak against fire
Bite (1d8 damage, close), 12 HP, 3 armor
The Bark Mastiff resembles a tight grove of four trees whose canopies have grown together, with an enormous leafy head like that of a mastif. These gentle giants use a cloud of spores against attackers that causes a debilitating cough. A Bark Mastiff spends much of its life in one spot, and groups of them are often mistaken for a forest
Instinct: to sleep
- Drop spores
- Run away
- Crush someone underfoot
Solitary, Huge, Terrifying, Magical
Beak or Limbs (d12 damage) 15 HP, 2 Armor
Close, Messy or Forceful
Special Qualities: Unstable Form
When the mad wizard Kitchikeeyu asked the Holy Empress Light-of-Twelve-Stars for some land for his tower, she offered him a secluded birch forest far from the Blessed City. As we all know, land freely given always comes to no good. Because she is wise, The Most Beloved Empress sold it to him for half a penny.
The twisted old sorcerer wasted no time making a mess of things! In one day, he summoned a strange, blue-stone fortress for himself and began his studies in transformation. All manner of creatures were warped and molested by his cruel magic. At last, thinking he’d gained enough learning, he transformed himself into a great eagle and launched himself from the tower wall. Nearly crashing to his death, Kitchikeeyu found flying quite difficult and careened around the forest flapping for all he was worth!
Finally, the desperate eagle was able to land in a birch tree. Too afraid to fly again, Kitchikeeyu decided to turn back into himself so he could climb down. Unfortunately, he knew nothing of how to return things to their proper forms! Instead, his unsavory magic pulled all the life forms at hand and, along with some flawed memory of his original shape, blended them all in together!
Now children! DO NOT GO into the Half-Penny Forest unless you want to come face to face with the mighty Birch Ogre!
It is tall and slender!
It is covered in pale and peeling bark!
It has the head of giant eagle!
It walks on two legs with feet covered in flailing roots!
It swings a multitude of powerful, whip-like branches, laying waste to anything it meets!
It has the predatory instincts of a raptor with the stomach the size of a tree!
Still…Somewhere deep within it, there is a penitent old man crying out for mercy. You can almost hear him now…
Instinct: Gorge on food!
- Bat someone into the branches of another tree
- Temporarily shift into a form that is more human, eagle, or tree
- Freeze them with a fearsome screech or a sorrowful cry
- Hold someone to the ground with a foot that takes root
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