Heh, it seems that there are a lot of OSR projects kinda behind schedule. An Delve! is no exception. So I'm still plugging away at describing Dustchapel Downs. I'm only doing broad strokes though so think of it as something like a fantasy version of a Rick Steves guide. The major sections of the town are given an overview, a nugget of lore or legend that pertains to that section of town, and any notable personages or items associated with that part of town. There are 27 major areas of town. I'm currently working on detailing area 9, Skelling Oldhall - an old manse once belonging to one of the noble families in town but due to the extinction of that family line, it has fallen into disrepair and become the abode of squatters, fanatical mendicant priests, and the trapped undead last Baronet of the former lords of Skelling Oldhall. Actually, Even though I said I'm only on section 9 of 27, I've at least made entries and sketches of all of the 27 areas so I'm making good progress and now just fleshing them out. So, while you're all waiting (with baited breath I'm sure), here's a peek at another section of Dustchapel Downs - the Blood Root Tree of Mighty Justice.
7. The Blood Root Tree of Mighty Justice – Legend has it that this huge tree is over 5000 years old. The tree is huge at over 100 feet tall, it looms over Dustchapel Downs. The span of the branches is almost 75 feet wide. This tree is one of the symbols of Dustchapel Downs and the crest of the Gasterling family. Criminals condemned to die are hung from the tree. The tree has seen many deaths over its many centuries. Three hundred years ago, an inquisition swept through Dustchapel Downs trying to purge a resurgence of support for the former Earl Darvin IV who had been executed almost 100 years previous. The members of the so called Umbra Order were rooted out by members of the Red Watch. Over sixty people were hanged from the tree with the largest group of twenty being hanged and left to rot for five days.
Legend/Lore: This tree is by far the oldest living thing in Dustchapel Downs. The tree has also seen a fair share of death in its many millennium of life. It is said that the spirits of those condemn to die by hanging on its branches do not pass on to the afterlife, but instead become one with the tree. The tree is possessed of a strange otherworldliness. Legend has it that on some occasions, the spirits of the tree have themselves sat in judgment and seek out those guilty of heinous crimes. One night every autumn, the spirits roam the streets after sunset. On that night, the dead come for those that have committed crimes such as murder, rape, and other such heinous acts. The next morning the guilty are found hanging from the tree.
Items/People of note: The tree, whilst not sentient in the manner of most creatures does possess an awareness of a sort. It has only seemed to thrive over the years with the waxing fortunes of Dustchapel Downs. It is the embodiment of the town and as such, often acts to protect the interests of the town. The tree has absorbed the souls of many of those executed by hanging from its branches. It can summon forth 1d8 souls at will to act to right some injustice (unavenged murder, or other such crime). The spirits should be treated as shadows AC 7; HD 3+1; #AT 1; D 1d6; SA drain strength, dexterity or constitution; SD +1 or better weapon to hit and immunity from cold, poison, paralyzation, sleep, charm, hold and mental attacks; MV 120’, Save Fighter 4, xp 250+4/hp. On the night of the new moon during the month of autumn harvest, the tree releases 4d6 spirits to wander the streets seeking justice. It is believed that these spirits are doing penance before they can pass on to whatever fate awaits them in the afterlife.
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