1998-03-04: The Doom Tree Is Seen Near Minoc
An amazing sight was beheld at the bank in Vesper recently. A sheet of flame appeared from nowhere, and when it vanished, a large chest containing a single book was found. The book was labeled ‘HELP ME’ and it contained a wondrous story of how a mage named Horace had been captured by a thing called the Doom Tree.
The Doom Tree, it went on, had placed Horace’s soul in a small gold statue that bore Horace likeness, and was determined never to free him. The tale went on to say that Horace could be freed by defeating the Doom Tree in combat and then releasing Horace from the grip of the statue.
Many took up the rallying cry, and soon the town Criers were involved as well, spreading the word throughout the land. No information about the Doom Tree is known, save that it is worshipped by the Rat Men as a god, and that they will fight dearly to protect it.
Finally, someone stumbled across the hideous thing in the woods near Minoc. It taunted the warrior with threats and dark promises, and told him to leave the woods immediately for they were his domain. The warrior ignored these taunts and bravely attacked the beast with magic.
Soon the tree summoned a horde of rat men, and they vermin-esque creatures ripped and clawed at the brave soul and his horse. But the rat men were outmatched as soon as reinforcements arrived, and shortly after, they were all dispatched. The Tree was next. It was destroyed soon and the Statue taken from it.
Upon releasing Horace from the statue, he profusely thanked everyone involved and gave them all a small sum of money. He then made cryptic remarks to the effect that the beast may return and he disappeared into thin air.
Who knows if or when the beast shall return, but if it does, pray that there are more on hand like those today, who saved Horace’s life, and defended the woods with valor and honor.