Grandfather Tree stood over 350 feet (110 meters) tall and had a base measuring 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter. Around the tree are two rings of raised earth. The innermost ring has four normal-sized oak trees, healthy and mature, growing out of it. These trees marked the quarters around its base and acted as monolithic boundary marks for the inner cairn.
Beneath the outermost ring the bones of long-dead Uthgardt barbarians lay buried, most of them belonging to members of the Tree Ghost tribe. Before the Tree Ghosts settled near the tree there were a number of totem poles around it that had belonged to the Blue Bear tribe.
The affects of these wards included:
- Negating any detection or location magics trained on anyone within a 100‑yard (91‑meter) radius of its branches.
- Negating any use of teleporting or gating magic within a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of the tree's central trunk, but only if the caster's intent was to get closer to the tree.
- Those who attempted to heal beneath its great bough, whether through magical or natural means, would do so twice as fast if they were protectors of the tree or worshipers of forest deities. In the years following 1370 DR, this affect seemed to change. Now, creatures tasked with protecting the tree gained the effect of a bless spell, while those who finished a long rest beneath it gained the benefit of greater restoration.
- Finally, the wards would attempt to dissuade individuals of evil alignments from getting closer to the tree by means of bad omens.
The tree was also able to manifest itself as guardian spirits in times of need, which the Uthgardt referred to as "tree ghosts." They were similar to a dryad or hamadryad, though their appearance varied. They were often noted as having a mixture of elven, human, korred, and satyr characteristics. They could assume either a corporeal or non-corporeal form and were as powerful as an archdruid. If destroyed these tree ghosts vanished, leaving behind only a puddle of sap.
The Grandfather Tree was considered hallowed ground to both the barbarian tribes of the north and other inhabitants of the High Forest, such as satyrs and wood elves. The tree was also considered sacred to a number of forest spirits, such as dryads and treants, and a number of deities. These deities included Eldath, Mielikki, Rillifane Rallathil, and Silvanus.
An Uthgardt tribe, the Blue Bears, also considered the Grandfather Tree sacred and the site of their ancestral mound. But they were banished by the tree's guardian spirits after becoming corrupted by Tanta Hagara, an evil annis who coveted the magic artifacts within the Hall of Mists and became the tribe's shaman to get closer to it. A significant number of Blue Bear tribesmen grew to reject the annis and splintered off into their own tribe, the Tree Ghosts, and both tribes would devote themselves to searching for their lost and abandoned ancestral mound.
On the day of Shieldmeet, in the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, the Tree Ghosts finally rediscovered the Grandfather Tree and established a camp close by it. The establishment of this camp was given backing by Alustriel and aided by several green elves. A few months later the tribe held their first Runemeet in generations and the chieftain, Gunthar Longwood, forged alliances with the forest's various inhabitants, including the elves, treants, satyrs, and dryads.
Over time, members of various other Uthgardt tribes would find found their way to the Grandfather Tree and gain some measure of enlightenment. This would lead them to forsaking their tribal allegiances and choose to live among the Tree Ghosts as pledged protectors of the tree. At some point in time a shaman of the Tree Ghosts went mad and wandered into the innermost chamber of Grandfather Tree's root network. While there he partially buried a large electrum nose-ring, formerly belonging to a hill giant chief.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 166. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 67–68, 86–87. ISBN 978-0786966004.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Dale Henson (as slade), Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays), Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), pp. 19, 31–32, 54–55. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Eric L. Boyd (2001-08-29). Part 8: Grandfather Tree. Mintiper's Chapbook. Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
- ↑ Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 25, 54. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.