Hanging Tree

Steel Realms

The Old Hanging Tree was located on the Lands remembered as Ba’durgal. In times long ago, the druids claimed the pristine territory, taking it back from the encroaching sea. The Tree grew from a fountain that sprung from the ground where Gaia, the goddess of wind and rain shed her tears of joy that had seeped into the ground. A plain fountain was built around the pring as a place of offering.

Containing the residual energy of the goddess, it still continues to spew forth
it’s positive life energy as a spring feeding the fountain. A tree grew from the spring pond, soaking up the water of the pond all at once, and growing 10 feet in a moment. The Sea Kings would not be denied though, and their power swept over the place. One powerful among them made the lands around it their home. Knowing it’s possible potential and power the individual attempted to hide it from the world and bend it to his will. Its power corrupted him though, and the conquering soul he possessed was turned to verdant desire to safeguard the land. He invited his master, the Once King, to a banquet in his honor before the great battle of Dunstrand Vale against the Lords of bronze, and within the food was the seeds of the tree. These weakened the Once King so that he was able to be bound and interred, hidden on the island.

When those that were faithful to the Once King after his sealing away found out about the treachery, they lay upon him in an ambush just outside his plantation home. Mortally wounded he tried to escape and make it to the Tree but didn’t make it. In an ironic twist of fate his lifeless body was drugged to the tree he was trying to reach to save his life. He and all the residents of the household where strung up in the limbs of the tree as a warning to others. The household was torched and all the animals were put to the sword. The land was salted, not a living thing was left. Even the tree was burned, though it did not kill it. The death corrupted the spirtus of the Tree in a dramatic reversal.

Sunken in the cataclysm of the Nanford, long after the Once-King was defeated, the ruins of the once majestic plantation all lay under the waters of the Dwindor swamp. Its roots tunneled into the earth to open a fissure into the Deeping, making it a paradoxical node of power mixing life and death alike. From it, dreams and nightmares emanate in waves.

While the Tree and the fountain it sits on are a corrupted positive force of energy, The Deeping fissure and mask it’s true nature. The bodies refused to decay because of the life energy, and still are entwined in its lower branches, swaying in the flows of marsh water.

The area around it is considered cursed by locals from time immemorial – they refer to it only as the “place of bad thoughts”. Everyone stays clear. The tree’s singed leaves grew back and the plantation grounds slowly rose. The ruins that lay above the water were overrun with foliage. Eventually the ropes rotted though and bodies dropped and became buried by the leaf litter. The leaf litter eventually turned to soil burying the bodily remains.

The tree continued to grow bigger and stronger over the ages, spreading its area of influence, even above it – no creature goes near it, and it is obscured by lingering mists. Over time, it sank and rose multiple times. Now, only the top of the tree sits above the water – a spindly, dying looking 25′ brush that appears not to fit any local known foliage.