Death Tree, Soulwringer|
Reapers are carnivorous, “hostile” trees from the continent of Drowda. While rarely capable of killing regional fauna and Sihndar outright, it instead tends to develop symbiotic relationships with Drowda’s predators. In exchange for plenty of dead or remains to feast on, Reapers provide various species a place to sleep and gain respite from the harsh environment. For this reason, these plants are often considered trees of the dead, and their destruction by the Sihndar is seen as a cleansing act to free lost souls.
Reapers were not recorded in regional histories of Drowda until well after the Cataclysm. As the Sihndar rose to prominence and established themselves across the continent, their three tribes and Holds encountered disturbing groves of trees that sheltered terrible predators, with tree roots curled around the dead or their remains. Soon, grim tales were told of these trees and while often exaggerated stories that made the trees out to be monstrous creatures consciously aware of their actions and active participants in the killing which fed them, writings on the trees revealed the truth behind them. They were clearly plants, heavily mutated by Planar Essence to the point that they developed a predatory nature, but there was no real malicious intent behind it. It appeared that the plants had mutated into no longer being able to sustain themselves on water alone, and so now needed dead bodies and all their various nutrients to function. This nature as a carnivorous plant became wider known when the Sihndar started to leave their dark homeland, but the more common perception of the tree also traveled with these Dark Elves. As a result, while many today know of the Reapers, most think of them as far more monstrous and living than they actually are.
Reapers are unique trees with the appearance of dark-wood deciduous trees. They grow anywhere from ten to forty feet tall depending on the nutrients they get, and their bark is so dark brown it is considered pure black by many. The tree’s wood is a similarly dark shade, though it is more clearly brown. Their leaves are a deep green with a bipartite formation. However, running the length of the tree, strung through its branches and down its trunk to its roots are the “Reaping Vines.” These unique extensions of the plant are just as dark-colored on the outside as the trees they spring from, however, they are very green if cut into, and ripe with vital sap. These Reaping Vines remain dormant, however, their tips are topped by a cluster of fungal-looking sprigs of dark green alongside obvious white hairs. When these sense flesh, they approach and wrap themselves around the object, whereupon small thorny protrusions form to hook into the flesh and begin to squeeze the object. Soon, other Reaping Vines join in the process when it is clear that the object is dead, and the remains are essentially liquified and then absorbed into the Vines and soil, whereupon they feed the tree. As for the predators who the tree forms its symbiotic relationships with, at birth or when one arrives capable or intent of making use of the tree’s unique offering, it is “marked” by the Reaping Vines, meaning that when it sleeps, the Vines do not sense it and will not pursue consuming it. There are some who wonder how this takes place, and so whispers about great intelligence or powers on the part of the tree remain common even if none have been observed.
Uses and Abilities
Reapers have no uses, as the Sihndar consider them to be abominations of the worst kind. While animals may fell and eat their fellows, these trees are seen as devourers of Sihndar and animal souls, forever trapping them in twisted, darkened bark. Their Reaping Vines are especially hated, and if Sihndar must make camp beneath such trees, they usually chop off the tree’s Reaping Vine tips to blind it and keep themselves from being “eaten” as they sleep. More still burn the trees outright when possible, which is said to release a most heinous hissing noise which the Sihndar claim is the evil in the tree dying. The more scholarly or plant-educated among their people though believe that sound is the unique sap and juices of the tree frying in the fire.
- The most infamous Reaper was Grall-na’Groth, a 50-foot member of the species who, with its “spawn” of smaller Reapers, formed a deep, dark heart in a northern forest where a number of Drow Spiders made their nest. Those of the Tribe of Ellatrix united to fell the vile tree, and when its dark grove died, physical spirits from all those it had consumed were said to be seen drifting off into the sky.
- Several Qadir and Isldar who have visited Drowda have claimed that the trees “are off” and appear to be a flux in the Soul Rivers of Aloria. However, others of these Races have visited and claimed to find or see nothing off when examining these trees.
Arhbi, FireFan96, TheBioverse||
HydraLana on 10/25/2021.|
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