A dark tree was an evil intelligent tree that looked like a cypress tree, but slightly darker and devoid of moss. It was known to grapple and bite. It lived on drinking blood from humans and other intelligent creatures that wandered into its native jungle.
It was said that a Halruaan wizard called Benauril wanted to create the dark trees as servants not unlike treants around the mid-to-late 1100s DR. The experiment went horribly wrong and the servants slew their master. They spread into the surrounding forests.
By 1372 DR, travelers had reported encountering these dangerous and huge plants in the Aerilpar Forest, the Forest of Amtar, Rethild, the Toadsquat Mountains, and the southern and eastern reaches of the Lluirwood.
Resembling a darker version of the harmless cypress tree, the dark trees grew to 18–20 feet (5.5–6.1m) in height, with a span of branches 40 feet (12 m) across. There were reports of dark trees growing to twice that size, possibly due to their long lifespan.
Discerning a dark tree from a normal tree was not an easy task. Only the trained eye could spot two dark eyes set in the bark just above a maw that resembled a natural crack. Unlike treants, one could hardly mistake the evil aura surrounding the dark tree. This was the only warning most adventurers felt in their stomachs before the tree tried to grapple its unaware victims or slash them with its branches.
Dark trees did not speak, although they had a huge maw when opened.
Dark trees preferred intelligent prey above animals. They enjoyed tormenting their prey before killing it. Normally a dark tree would try to grab its victim with its two arm-like branches, and once held immobile, it would attempt to drink the victim's blood with its gaping maw.
Dark trees also had the ability to confuse their victims using a mental attack. Reports claimed that adventurers got lost in the deep forest after combat with a dark tree, wandering around mentally confused.
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