Willow, Bleeding

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Climate/Terrain:Temperate to Sub-tropical
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Water, sunlight, and carrion
Intelligence:Animal (1)
Alignment:Neutral (Evil)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:4 (Trunk), 8 (Tentacle leaves)
Movement:Nil (see below)
Hit Dice:6-16 (2d6+4)
THAC0:6 HD: 15
7-8 HD: 13
9-10 D: 11
11-12 HD: 9
13-14 HD: 7
15+HD: 5
No. of Attacks:Up to 5
Damage/Attack:1 each
Special Attacks:Constriction, Binding, Rage
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:H (15'-20' tall)
Morale:Fearless (19-20)
XP Value:2,000 at 6 HD,
+1,000 per additional HD

A bleeding willow is believed to be the result of an act of great evil occurring at the base of a young willow tree. Except for a strange reddish coloring to the bark, they are indistinguishable from typical weeping willow trees, unless cut. Then they ooze a red, blood-like sap, completely unlike the sap of most trees. In fact, this sap looks, smells - and, according to some - even tastes identical to human blood.

Combat: In combat, a bleeding willow will attempt to grasp one or more targets with its long, tentacle-like leaves, pin them and then crush them. A bleeding willow can make up to five attacks per round, and may split these between two opponents as desired.

Each successful attack inflicts 1 point of damage, and entangles one limb of the target (determine randomly). Once two or more limbs have been entangled, the leaves begin crushing the target, inflicting 1d4 damage per round, plus one point per leaf holding the target. Leaves are immune to bludgeoning attacks, but take normal damage from edged weapons; they have an effective 18/50 Strength for purposes of breaking their grip. Leaves have 8 hp each.

Bleeding willows would not normally be a serious threat to an adventuring party, except that they have one more special ability, one that makes an encounter with these living trees nightmarish. All of the suffering and evil the trees have witnessed can be unleashed at once as a devastating mental attack, whenever an act of violence occurs within the range listed. The range of this attack is a 10' radius for every 10 years the tree has grown (see “Ecology”, below). All in this area whose minds are not otherwise shielded (ring of mind shielding, mind blank spell, or psionic defenses) must save vs. breath weapon or fall into a mindless, berserker fury, striking savagely at anything that moves in the area. Anyone affected by this mindless rage will seek to launch their most effective physical attack (they are too angry to cast spells or use complex items, though items that have a simple command word or innate powers can be used). Every round in which a character attacks a friend that character can attempt another saving throw; there is a penalty to this roll, however, equal to any damage the character has taken this round. Even victims in the branches of the tree are affected by this berserker rage (though the tree's own attacks do not trigger this ability; it is only externally generated violence that causes the tree to make its special attack).

The psychic assault is triggered automatically by an act of violence occurring near the tree; a bleeding willow may make this attack a number of times per day equal to half of its Hit Dice (3 to 8 times per day).

The trees take normal damage from slashing weapons, but piercing and bludgeoning weapons always inflict minimum damage on them. They do not have any other special immunities or vulnerabilities.

Habitat/Society: These trees are solitary creatures, living for up to 160 years. They are ordinary willow trees for the first sixty years of their existence.

They are capable of movement, but they can only move a few feet a day at most - and rarely do so, usually only if the food supply is running low or another plant is crowding out their sunlight, so the movement rate is given as Nil.

The trees gain one Hit Die for every decade of growth.

Though bleeding willows do not gather treasure as such, their victims may have had treasures. There is a 25% chance for the tree to have any type of treasure from type J through S near its base. Most of the time, this treasure is partially or fully buried.

Ecology: Bleeding willows are believed to be innocent trees corrupted by the presence of great evil (essentially anyone failing a powers check near such a tree may turn it into one of these horrors). They are often found along lonely riverbanks, their fronds hanging low to the ground. Often a sound of weeping can be heard in the area of the trees; occasionally this is actually a ghost, created by the same event that triggered the tree's existence. Bleeding willows seem to feed on both the carrion produced by their own actions and their special attack, and violent emotions as well. They are also capable of feeding as normal plants do, and will die if deprived of water or sunlight.