“The Tree” A report by Hastorax Verdissien assistant to Professor Lynath, resident at the faculty of Hasturian studies.
The Tree sits on the continent of Hastur, it sits alone in remote valley in the mountains of Hastur, I was blindfolded on the way in and out so I am unable to give precise locations. It has long been held as a sacred place by the tribes and as such has been guarded jealously by them.
They only refer to it as “The Tree” it has no other name to them that I know of. I managed to arrange a visit there, under close guard for “my safety” to protect me from the mountain Ogres that have been known to approach the tree, probably to try and kill the guards for food as they only come when times are particularly hard for them, and I have to say I was singularly impressed. The tree is obviously ancient and is quite massive. It easily stands over 200 feet high and unusually it is remarkably thick in its girth. I measured it, carefully as I was not allowed to touch it, as well as I could at about 100 feet in diameter. In appearance the bark is smooth and the tree almost looks like it is upside down with the roots out in the air and the branches buried such is the difference between trunk girth and the span of the branches themselves. The leaves were coppery, when I asked if this was due to the late season, I was told (gruffly and after repeated patient questioning) that the leaves were always of this colour. They are hugely broad, well over a hand-span in width.
And this is the interesting thing, because of its large girth, it has been hollowed out over the centuries (or millennia) and is now a dwelling used by a shaman of the tribes. I was not able to see the shaman, but I could smell her from some considerable distance outside of the tree’s shade. The smell of burnt herbs and body odour was quite repulsive and thick in the air. Even some of the tree’s guards commented on the smell as apparently the shaman was quite “ripe” that day according to one of them. It was good to see that the tribes are as reverential about their holy people as the rest of the world, although I dare say I would have been slain on the spot had I said anything of the same sort back to them.
With regards to the trees magical properties, there can be no doubt. I am attuned to sense magic and I could feel it emanating from the tree with some degree of strength, in a way I have never quite felt before too. Almost like a sacred grove of the elves, but retained in one massive tree, at night it is said The Tree shimmers with its own magical light, but I was sadly unable to verify this due to the lack of time I was allowed to stay at the location of The Tree.
It can only be postulated on as to the magical nature of the tree, it is undoubtedly ancient so does it in fact transfer some life giving properties to those that dwell in it or near it? I was unable again, to garner any information that would have helped me with this respect as any questions were met with blank and hostile stares.
The Hasturian tribes have a treasure there beyond our reckoning, and the fact I am not able to fully investigate it is an itch I fear I will never be able to scratch.