Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
Trees of Life
A tree of life is a mighty and magical tree, enchanted by a powerful priest or wizard. The magical life forces of trees of life make them virtually eternal. The greatest trees of life are ancient: many solitary trees predate the villages around them and others stand in entire groves, a quiet testimony to the great wizards of a bygone age. Present-day priests and wizards still create new trees to enrich the world or, in the case of the defilers, to pervert their powerful life forces to further their destructive, evil ambitions. A tree of life is, in essence, a living magical item. It stores and channels energies from all four elemental planes. Thus, though wizards can create a tree of life, only clerics and druids can tap its special powers. Special Powers: Any cleric or druid in contact with a tree of life receives from the tree four spells, each of which can be cast once per day. The spells gained are heal, augury, divination, and magic font.
Destroying a Tree of Life
A tree of life has two distinct parts: its physical form and its life force. The stump, branches, roots, or leaves of a tree of life make up its physical form, and are not inherently magical. The same things that would destroy a normal tree will destroy the physical form of a tree of life (e.g., chopping it down, burning it) with one exception. Neither climate nor terrain effect a tree of life. One will flourish in the middle of the desert or on a rocky mountain face, regardless of drought, severe weather, natural lightning, earthquakes, and so forth.
Both a tree of life’s physical form and its life force regenerate. If the tree’s physical form is damaged or destroyed, it will grow back, to full size. The tree will regrow at a rate of one quarter of its full size per week. A sprout will appear in one day, grown to a sapling in one week. It will grow to a young tree in two week, then to a full-sized adult tree in three. After four week, the tree of life will revert to its true form: an ancient and mighty tree. No matter how many times the physical form of the tree is destroyed, it will always grow back in four weeks.
Trees of life in the World of Athas
Though originally created by wizards to combat the destruction of nature, trees of life are now heavily exploited by defilers, who use the trees’ powerful life forces to charge their defiling spells. Sorcerer-kings often have large gardens within their cities, even within their palaces, where groves of trees of life are tended and maintained. Thus, defilers can exercise evil magic from their citadels without decimating the cities below-a desperate measure to keep their tiny verdant belts as plentiful as possible.