The Gallows Tree
rating: +19+x

The Gallows Tree

Deirdre, The Vengeful Dryad, The Whomping Willow But Kind Of Hot12

Conspectus

The Vengeful Dryad, known more commonly as "The Gallows Tree,"3 appears to be the spirit of a Celtic witch inhabiting an Oak tree. In the leaves and branches of this dryad hang many nooses, which she uses to hang unsuspecting victims.4 The reason behind these hangings is unknown to us, but I suspect it to be caused by feelings of vengeance surrounding the circumstances of her death.

Knowledge

Traits: The Oak tree known as The Gallows Tree is capable of moving on her own, and possesses strengthened healing properties,56 which she has not been observed to use for any purpose other than healing her own wounds. The form of the tree has been noted to transfigure into that of a feminine shape comprised of wood and leaves during the night, that is capable of moving through uprooting itself and walking in much the same way anyone else would. Despite her physical similarities to a human, The Gallows Tree is much larger in stature, standing over 60 feet tall7, and she seems to be unable or unwilling to speak in any known language, though she does seem to be capable of understanding speech.

Nature: The Gallows Tree,89 as her name might suggest, is largely hostile in nature. She lies in wait in the form of an ordinary Oak tree, and during the night will transform and uproot herself, seeking out the nearest living beings to ensnare with her nooses, hanging them and ultimately leading summarily to their deaths.1011 The Gallows Tree, while capable of understanding speech, is largely unresponsive, making communication difficult. However, through rigorous questioning, charades, and context clues, it has been determined that The Gallows Tree's nature is not merely baseless predatory instinct.121314

History & Associated Parties: It is believed that The Gallows Tree may have once been a Celtic witch known as Deirdre, who was hanged for unknown crimes during the Angles, Saxons and Jutes' invasions of the Celtic people. She refuses to go into detail on the nature of these crimes, though has been noted to harbor feelings of misguided vengeance regarding her death. The Gallows Tree has been observed to hang mostly criminals or former criminals, leading to speculation that perhaps the purpose behind her hangings may have something to do with wrongful conviction? This may then spur her to "convict" those that she believes should be punished in her place. The Gallows Tree was brought to our attention after several members of The Serpent's Hand were captured and found hanged among her branches.15161718 Of these members, unfortunately none survived. After this incident, additional members of The Serpent's Hand were successful in relocating The Gallows Tree to a less conspicuous location than the one she was found in.19 Following her retrieval, The Gallows Tree has been given adequate provisions for an Oak tree and her homicidal tendencies have been kept at bay with ritualistic sacrifices20 of rabbits, foxes, and other such animals.21222324

Approach: Approaching The Gallows Tree is easily achieved during the day, when she takes on the unbecoming form of an ordinary Oak tree. Attempting to coerce her into her more imposing humanoid form is difficult, but it is not impossible.252627 The Gallows Tree is amicable to Serpent's Hands members who enter her chambers with animal sacrifices intended to abate her homicidal tendencies, an arrangement begrudgingly agreed upon during extensive communication.2829 Approaching The Gallows Tree during night is heavily advised against, as she is noted to become increasingly agitated during night and may attempt to hang innocent members of the Hand in spite of the presence of sacrifices. Questioning has revealed that this may be caused by the simple fact that the Sun does not shine at night.30313233

Other Detail: The Gallows Tree is not allowed to browse the library for extended periods of time, due to the lack of natural sunlight in most of the library providing an atmosphere unsuitable to plant-life. Members of The Serpent's Hand and other readers in the library are permitted to visit The Gallows Tree as they please, provided that they exercise caution. Anyone wishing to read underneath her must ensure that they keep track of the time, lest they risk being hanged. In the event that The Gallows Tree hangs a member of The Serpent's Hand who has not followed these very simple directions, no punishment shall be issued and the deceased member will be considered responsible for their own death.3435

Observations & Stories

"The way her leaves blow ever so gently in the wind, the way the nooses swing lightly in an arc not unlike those of a playground swing's, the way she kills without mercy, her looming form towering above nearly all else… she sends my heart racing, and though I know it is wrong to be attracted to her, I simply cannot help myself." - Risen3637

"I found The Gallows Tree during the initial incident in which she was discovered and relocated. Some of the members of the Hand she had strewn up among her branches were people I had known, so I shed a single tear for them. However, after delving deeper into her nature and understanding her nature, I find it hard to blame her for her wrongdoings. Some part of me thinks that perhaps she was in the right all along, and that those members of the Hand got what was coming.38 Regardless, I look upon this beast with reverence, awe, and wonder, not disgusting and inappropriate thoughts of coitus as some of us do." ~ Excendria

"Once, I was preparing a ritual sacrifice of a fox for her, and I fumbled and must have taken slightly longer than usual, for she felt it appropriate to threaten me by slipping a noose around my neck! Is this her idea of a sick joke? Far as I know, I have done nothing wrong in my life,39 so I cannot excuse this kind of behavior!" - X.H

"I tried to install a sprinkler system around her a couple of times, but she kept ripping them up and inspecting them, as if curious as to what they were. I have been unable to communicate their function to her nor get her to agree to stop ripping them up,4041 so I suppose we can only water her using watering cans." ~ T.F

Doubt

"The behavior of this tree is unpredictable and unnecessarily hostile, seemingly attacking out of hunger or sheer boredom. Additionally, she refuses to speak to us and what little information we have gathered has been mostly extrapolated. I believe no such claims that this tree is sapient nor has any method behind her madness." - X.H

"If this tree is really a Celtic witch, how did she go unnoticed for so long?42 The Anglos, Saxons, and Jutes invaded all the way back in the fourth century, which is around the time she must have been hanged. So how did she fly under our radar for more than a millennium?" - A.Z

"I fail to see how anybody can be comfortable keeping this tree around. Even if she is a large and fairly attractive woman made out of wood, she's also a ruthless unpredictable killer who may react with malice at even the slightest of surprises!" ~ T.F43

"I think she makes a nice addition to our library, and reading underneath her is nice, but I believe that stricter regulations should be placed upon visiting her. I mean, she's a murderer for god's sake, and we're just treating her like a house guest? And when she kills, we just blame it on the person she killed?" - Z.T44

"Did anybody actually investigate the criminal records of the members of the Hand that we found hanged among her branches upon our initial discovery? I've been lurking on this article throughout and nobody has mentioned whether or not the people she killed are actually criminals or not!" - S.Y45

"I doubt that she really is just a ruthless killer, and I think she can be reformed. The ritual sacrifices are a nice step forwards, but maybe eventually we could stave off her homicidal tendencies entirely? Then perhaps, she and I can be together without any moral quandary." - Risen4647

"Risen, I do not understand your baseless attraction to this awe-inspiring, enigmatic obelisk of a woman. What do you see in her other than something to fearfully respect and feel but a tinge of sympathy for?4849 Also, even if you were successful in 'reforming' her, there would still be moral quandary in dating an ex-murderer!" ~ Valdis

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License