Gallows Tree

Gallows Tree

This creature appears as a massive, tall tree with thick branches from which hang several humanoid corpses tightly secured by their necks with greenish-brown ropes. Its canopy is thick and bushy, and its trunk is mottled brown.

Gallows Tree

XP 10,000 ()

Unaligned Huge

Initiative +0


DEFENSE

AC 15 (natural armor)

hp: 225 (18d12 + 108)

Resistance: Bludgeoning and piercing damage from nonmagical weapons; fire damage

Immunity: Psychic damage; fright, prone, stun, unconsciousness


OFFENSE

Speed: 20 ft.

Multiattack: A gallows tree attacks six times with branches. Grappling does not reduce the number of attacks the gallows tree can make; it can have any number of creatures grappled and still make six branch attacks.

Melee Attack—Branch: +10 to hit (reach 15 ft.; one creature). Hit: 2d8 + 5 bludgeoning damage and the target must make a successful DC 18 Dex saving throw or be grappled and restrained.


STATISTICS

Str 21 (+5), Dex 10 (+0),

Con 23 (+6), Int 10 (+0),

Wis 10 (+0), Cha 8 (–1)

Languages: Understands Common but can’t speak

Skills: Perception +5

Senses: Tremorsense 60 ft.


TRAITS

Create Gallows Tree Zombie: When a creature dies within 15 feet of a gallows tree, the tree uses a sharpened tendril to slice open the creature’s abdomen, spilling the corpse’s innards on the ground. The organs and fluids are absorbed by the tree’s roots. Corpses of a size other than Medium or Large are simply left to rot. Medium or Large corpses are filled with a greenish pollen from one of the tree’s branches. The abdominal wound heals in 1d4 days, and the slain creature then rises as a gallows tree zombie connected by a tether–vine to the gallows tree that created it. Gallows tree zombies possess none of their former abilities.

Staggering Critical: A gallows tree scores a critical hit if its attack roll is a natural 19 or 20. In addition to the standard critical hit effect, a creature hit by a gallows tree’s critical hit must make a successful DC 17 Con saving throw or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Gallows Tree Zombies: Each gallows tree has several gallows tree zombies connected to it. A Huge gallows tree can have no more than seven gallows tree zombies connected to it at one time. A Gargantuan gallows tree can have up to 11 zombies connected to it. See the gallows tree zombie entry in this book for details on that monster.


ECOLOGY

Environment: Temperate and warm , hill, marsh, and

Organization: Grove (1 gallows tree plus 6–11 gallows tree zombies)

Gallows trees are sentient s that sustain themselves on the internal organs and body fluids of slain creatures. They use deception to lure potential prey into range, at which time they unleash the gallows tree zombies attached to their branches to kill or capture prey.

While mobile, a gallows tree prefers to remain in one spot for an extended time—usually until the food supply in the area runs out. From this location, it simply waits for prey. Gallows trees do not collect treasure but occasionally the remnants of devoured prey can be found in the vicinity of a gallows tree.

A gallows tree normally stands idle, lowering its zombies to the ground when living prey approaches within 100 feet of the tree. If a foe comes within 15 feet of the tree itself, it lashes out with its sharpened branches and pummels the creature or wraps a branch around the foe. A grappled foe is always attacked by at least one other branch, and usually many more, because the gallows tree’s goal is to kill creatures for food. Occasionally the tree works in concert with its zombies, grabbing a foe and holding it while its zombies pound the victim into goo. Slain creatures are sliced open and dragged close to the tree, where their innards are devoured by the tree’s roots.