Random Encounters11/04/2002


The Twisted Wood



Szorlog the treant is the overseer and master of the Twisted Wood. Szorlog's wood was not always known as the Twisted Wood, though. So long ago that no one remembers when it happened, a great evil was bound and stored beneath Szorlog's forest. The treant was charged with overseeing the entrance to that evil and ensuring that it stayed closed.

As evil often does, it slowly began to worm its way out of its prison. About 50 years ago, the evil corrupted its good guardian and his beloved forest, making them its servants. The evil is still trapped, but now it has an agent on the outside.

As Szorlog became more corrupt, the forest changed, and people who ventured in didn't come back out. The trees in the wood became gnarled and the branches twisted as if in the posture of a human writhing in pain. The canopy grew thickly together so that even in the noon sun (it is said) a drow would feel comfortable walking beneath them.

Within the forest, all animals have fled, been killed, or turned into undead creatures that do Szorlog's bidding. Many plants have become killers, and the trees emit a sickly moan as the wind blows through their twisted boughs. Szorlog's own wolf animal companions have been altered into horrid undead that roam the wood and rend apart any living creatures they discover.

Szorlog

Take a look at the treant master of the domain known as the Twisted Wood. This treant should prove to be a deadly foe.

Hollow

When he turned to corruption, Szorlog needed lieutenants to do his bidding. His wolf animal companions were available, so using procedures learned from the evil trapped beneath him, he skinned them and turned them into undead minions known as hollow dogs. Szorlog's hollow dogs roam the Twisted Wood as his mobile watchers and advanced attack units. He even sends them outside the wood occasionally to places where the treant would dare not send his awakened trees.

Film of Night

Since he couldn't be everywhere at once, and his hollow dogs proved to be too fragile to take on more powerful intruders, Szorlog wanted watchful creatures that would be up to the task of destroying determined intruders. Once all his trees come of age and can defend themselves, he will have no need for watchers. Until then, chief among his silent sentinels are films of night.

The Edge Maze

Active trees, wandering undead, and shadow denizens are troublesome enough to those intrepid few who would enter the Twisted Wood. But to complicate matters, Szorlog the treant has moved and shaped the trees on the edges of the forest to create thick-walled and canopied corridors, presenting a maze to any who would enter.

About the Author

Jeff Quick is an Expo award-winning game designer and editor. He has written and developed game products for Wizards of the Coast, WizKids Games, and White Wolf. He has served as editor of Polyhedron Magazine, senior editor of Star Wars Gamer, and editor-in-chief of Star Wars Insider. Despite being a writer in the Pacific Northwest, he owns no cats.

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