Dark, bark-like rust encrusts the trunk of this cold-forged metal tree, its dull metallic leaves rustling with the sound of sharp metal foil as it shudders to life to attack.
|Feyward Tree||CR 8|
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 razor-leafed branches +17 (2d8+8)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks flaying leaves
As a free action once every 1d4+1 rounds, a feyward tree can launch a barrage of razor-sharp cold iron leaves from its branches in a 20-foot-radius burst. All creatures caught within this area take 6d6 slashing damage (Reflex DC 17 halves; Con-based).
A feyward tree is immune to spells or spell-like abilities that allow SR. Certain spells and effects function differently against it, as noted below.
- A magical attack that deals cold damage slows a feyward tree (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds with no saving throw.
- A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the feyward tree and heals 1 point for each 3 damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the feyward tree to exceed its full normal hp, it gains any excess as temporary hp. A feyward tree gets no saving throw against electricity effects.
- Composed mostly of rusted cold iron, a feyward tree is not affected by rust attacks, such as those of a rust monster or a rusting grasp spell.
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Stagnant floodplains produce a black, crumbly bog iron normally unfit for usual forging. Quick to rust, this impure iron is nonetheless highly prized for its debilitating effects on the magical defenses of some fey creatures, and great efforts are undertaken to forge this material into martial uses—including the creation of feyward trees. These ferrous constructs are cold-forged in a process taking several years—a malignant approximation of natural growth as layers of oxidation are carefully cultivated one layer at a time into bark and branches. In this way, the artificers create massive, twisted trunks very much resembling real, gnarled trees. Green-tinged leaves of beaten cold iron foil are carefully welded in place by master craftsmen, and specially trained warmages bring the construct to life through intense magical rituals rumored to take a full turn of seasons.
Once brought to macabre life, the feyward tree unswervingly obeys the commands of its creators, which usually involve laying in wait—sometimes for years—to guard key points of entry into their realm, abandoned sacred groves deep in the forests, suspected faerie rings, or possible elf encampments. Many are simply released deep in the forest with orders to attack any fey on sight in hopes of inciting further aggression from the reclusive elves of the region. These feyward trees are rarely, if ever, heard from again, and whether they leave a bloody trail of flayed elves in their wake after rampages lasting for decades or some fey counter-measure neutralizes them is unknown. Yet the feywardens continuously order their construction and release, trusting in the destructive nature of the constructs. Others are kept closer to home, and as many as a half-dozen might guard a single ring of toppled elven standing stones on the floodplain, a huge investment of gold and energy over what many view as an inert threat. The suspicious feywardens leave nothing to chance against the fey and the presumed threat of war they represent.