The tree stands alone, ancient and gnarled; perhaps at the top of a low hill, or at the center of an unusually quiet clearing. It bears signs of human, or at least intelligent, presence: its bark is covered with deeply-carved runes.
On a successful history/lore/Intelligence check, a character can identify this site as a Wyrd-treow, or Tree of Fate. Some primordial culture used it as a place of judgment and execution. Alleged transgressors were nailed to the tree’s trunk, or hung from a branch, and left exposed to the elements – a trial by ordeal. The innocent would survive, the guilty would perish.
With some additional research, a character can discover a secret ritual whereby one could achieve supernatural power through voluntarily impaling one’s self to the Wyrd-treow.
A person can make as many attempts as they can bear, but can only benefit from a Wyrd-treow once in their life. For every failed attempt after the first, a person permanently loses 1d6 Wisdom.
Every day spent on a wyrd-tree, a character takes 1d6 damage directly to their Constitution score. If a character’s Constitution drops to 0, they die and the ritual fails. After being removed from the tree, a character that survives the ordeal can regain their lost Constitution at a rate of one point per day of complete bed-rest.
- One to three days on the Wyrd-Treow: roll 1d4 and consult the table below.
- Four days: roll 1d6
- Five days: roll 1d8
- Six days: roll 1d10
- Seven or more days: roll 1d10 twice
|1||Pain Don’t Hurt: The physical extremes of the ordeal have granted you some resistance to injury. Anytime an attack or effect would inflict hit point damage, reduce the hit points lost by the number of days you spent on the Wyrd-treow.|
|2||Sleep is the Cousin of Death: For every day of your ordeal, you require one less hour of sleep to gain the benefits of a full night’s rest. You are also immune to any effect or spell that would compel you to sleep.|
|3||Tales From Beyond: Your experiences on the Wyrd-treow give you some insight into the spirit realms. You can cast speak with the dead a number of times per day equal to the days that your ordeal lasted.|
|4||Deadeye: Life hangs by a thin thread and now you can see where best to cut it. You gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls equal to the number of days you survived on the tree.|
|5||Time Is An Illusion: Your perception of time has changed; so has time’s perception of you. Your natural life span increases a number of decades equal to the number of days of your ordeal. You also become immune to effects that would affect your age (in either direction).|
|6||This Is Not My Fate: While on the wyrd-tree, you receive a vision of your own demise. Once per gaming session, if any one attack or effect would kill your character, it doesn’t.|
|7||The Horror: Your eyes reflect back what you glimpsed during your ordeal. You can cause fear, as the spell, as a gaze attack. Your caster level is equal to one-half your character level plus the number of days you spent on the wyrd-tree.|
|8||One of Us: Your encounter with death has marked you among the unliving. Once per day, you can command (as the cleric spell) an amount of hit dice of mindless undead equal to the number of days of your ordeal. You also gain a bonus equal to number of days on the wyrd-tree to Charisma checks and reaction rolls dealing with intelligent undead.|
|9||It Made Me Stronger: The extremity of your ordeal has reforged you, body and soul. You gain a number of points equal to the days spent on the tree with which to increase ability scores of your choosing.|
|10||The Quickening: Through intense suffering, you have achieved a new state of consciousness. Your character gains enough experience points to level up.|
This is a revision of content that originally appeared on my tumblr.