The Grandfather Tree
The Grandfather Tree is an Arakhor, an elder form of treant, which appears as a monstrously large, gnarled oak tree located deep in the heart of the High Forest. Four smaller oak trees mark the corners of the tree’s roots, along with a few rotted tree stumps, elven works and totems of the Blue Bear tribe.
This arakhor was summoned in -12500 DR by the Elves of Aryvandaar to guard the site, after they discovered the Hall of Mists, which now lie under it’s roots.
The Grandfather tree is considered hallowed ground to both the barbarian tribes of the north and other inhabitants of the forest. As such, the tree has many natural and magical wards protecting it from evil.
The Grandfather Tree is considered sacred to a number of forest dieties. An Uthgardt tribe, the Tree Ghosts, also consider the Grandfather Tree sacred and have a camp quite close.
In Episode 5, the party encounters the Grandfather tree at the behest of Emma Moonblade. Emma informed Daemon Frost to seek Turlang at the High Forest and that she was “in grave danger”. Bednir’s father, the Mayor Ulbrec, is also sick with an unknown, magical disease. Bednir also asks the party to seek any medicinal or magical cure at the Grandfather Tree.
Moreso, speaker Jarl of the Wyrm Tribe, tells the tale of how sacred the “Arakhor” is to their tribes since it is the source of all their beliefs. “It is an Uthgardth warrior’s goal to see the Grandfather Tree before he dies”, said the Barbarian Chieftain. All Uthgardt pray once a day facing the direction of the High Forest and the Grandfather tree.
Chief Jarl also gives his necklace to party to present to Sven, a general in the Tree Ghost tribe, the Uthgardth barbarian tribe guarding the Arakhor so that they will be granted passage.
Once at the Grandfather tree, the PCs discover that Turlang and the Arakhor/Grandfather Tree are one and the same. Turlang shares the following historical information to the PCs
- The tale of Manshoon, Hellgate Keep and Fzoul Chembryl
- the birth of the Zhentarim
- How factions between Manshoon and Fzoul almost tore the organization
- The Time of Troubles where Cyric killed Bane and stole his portfolio
- The Zhentarim’s ploy to bring back Bane to this world via his son, the Cambion (half-demon) Iyachtu Xvim
- Emma Moonblade was currently kidnapped by Zhent agents and have brought her to a ruined Demon Temple at the Lost Peaks.