Ashe'ileq is a massive tree of indeterminate species growing in central Ashenthorn. The word Ashe'ileq is ancient yetabeth for "Boughs of Power". Also called the Tree, or the Tree of Power, Ashe'ileq is one of the three Shards of Creation, remnants of the Seed of Creation (alongside Koraith and Sendrellar). It is believed that land-based life first evolved around the Tree. The Tree acts as an amplifier that affects the person on the Oaken Throne in its 5-mile-high boughs. This effect is enough to make a god of a mortal, or turn a god into something even greater. It affects not only the person in the throne, but all who share blood with him, even if only distantly, even filtering down to the ruler's entire race.
It is through the power of the Tree that Zardesh, the Dark One, was able to enslave and twist the veldritch and dragons to his will. Because of the Tree's ability to amplify power and influence, veldritch and dragons successfully warred against all the rest of the world for eons. The only thing that stopped them was, in the end, Zardesh's destruction and the vacancy of the Oaken Throne in the Era of Exploration.
The throne remained empty for a time, protected by Starveil, leader of the veldritch and later the Dark Brotherhood, and currently the leader of the moriedhel people. After his wedding to Princess Katsumi Bladesong, he secured friendship between the Brotherhood and the Elven Alliance by gifting the Tree and all its power to the leader of the jendau, then a waning, dying member race of the Elven Alliance. When that leader, Barachiel, took the throne, he ascended to become the god he is today by virtue of the Tree's power, which also affected all of his blood, changing the jendau into what they are today.
Though they are tightly controlled by the jendau, it is possible for intrepid enchanters to use parts of Ashe'ileq in magical items. None of the pieces of the Tree can be bought. They are rarely gifted by the jendau to those that aid them. The effects are listed below.
- The Bark: Bark of the Tree is thick and rough. It is a loamy, rich shade of brown, almost black it is so dark. can be shaped in high temperatures, almost like metal. It bends at the same temperature as iron, but can only be worked by magical smithing tools. It never melts like a true metal, always retaining its basic texture regardless of how it is bent or stretched. It can only be used to make heavy shields, heavy armor, and magical helms. It is too thick and heavy to make medium or light armor. It has the weight, hardness, and hit points of steel, and grants an innate +2 enhancement bonus to AC of the armor or shield it is made into. This does not stack with any additional magical enhancement bonuses, though other magical abilities can be added to the piece normally. In addition, the bark of Ashe'ileq does not burn at any temperature and grants fire, cold, and electricity resistance of 5 (for shields) or 10 (for armor). It also grants the wearer spell resistance 10 and damage reduction 10/magic.
- The Blossoms: The blossoms are a blindingly lovely blue cherry blossom about as large as a human's hand. The feel like ordinary flowers to the touch, but their smell, like their beauty, can be overpoweringly lovely. A blossom kept in water can remain fresh and beautiful for up to nine years after being picked. Though they smell delightful, the scent of fresh blossoms is overwhelmingly distracting. For each blossom within 5 ft. of an individual, the character suffers a -1 distraction penalty to all ability checks, skill checks, attack rolls, and saves. Precautions such as plugging one's nose or storing the blossoms in a bag of holding can circumvent this. Additionally, anyone deliberately staring at a blossom for more than 3 consecutive rounds goes blind for 1d4 minutes. The blossoms can be used to make incense, medicine, perfume, poison, or tea. One blossom can be used to make one dose of any of these. When dried and prepared as incense, the blossoms aid in meditation. Within 100 ft. of the burning incense, every 15 minutes of meditation grants a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus to a character's Wisdom score (maximum of +8) for a period of 8 hours. A "dose" of incense burns up in 1 hour. When prepared as a medicine, the person applying the ointment gains a +15 circumstance bonus on all Heal checks involving the recipient for 24 hours. Each time a person is treated with this medicine, the roll 1d20. On a 19 or 20, they gain a permanent +1 bonus to Wisdom, while on a roll of 1 or 2, they permanently lose 1 point of Wisdom. This bonus and this penalty can only be gained once each by any given person. Used as a perfume, the blossoms create a powerful aura of benevolence and virtue, granting the wearer an effective +10 bonus to hsi Charisma score and an additional +5 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy. Each dose of perfume lasts one full day. Fermented into a poison, the blossoms are particularly noted for their almost universal effectiveness. Even creatures normally immune to poisons, such as undead, are susceptible, though they gain a racial +5 bonus to the Fortitude save. The poison has the following traits: Ingestion; DC 24 Fortitude; initial damage 3d6 Wisdom; secondary damage 1 Wisdom drain. Tea brewed from the blossoms acts to cure both temporary and permanent Wisdom damage and to remove all adverse mental conditions from the drinker, such as confusion, daze, feeblemind, or insanity.
- The Fruit: Like the blossoms, the fruit remains fresh for up to nine years, and can be kept good for much longer periods of time through normal means (jellying, preserving, fermenting into wine, etc). Doing so reduces the effectiveness of it by half, but increases the amount of time it can be stored by 1 year for every 1 day that such a process would preserve normal fruit. Each quarter of a fruit (or a half if preserved) acts as a heal spell and a true seeing spell, both cast by a 20th level druid. The imbiber becomes immune to poison and disease for 1d100 days as well. Anyone eating more than a quarter of a fruit (or a half if preserved) within an 8-hour period falls immediately into a deep, supernatural sleep for 24 hours, after which the individual may attempt a DC 25 Fortitude or Will save (their choice) to awaken. If the save fails, they may try again in 48 hours; then 96 hours; and so on, with the interval doubling each time. While asleep, the character does not age and does not require food or water.
- The Leaves: Like the blossoms, the leaves can be kept fresh when in water for up to 20 years. If used when dried, their effects are halved. 10 leaves are required to make one 'dose' of the effects below. When the leaves are boiled in purified water for at least 20 minutes, the power inherent in them activates. As the steam from the boiling leaves rises into the air, a vast area around the pot (base radius of 8 miles) is affected as if by the 'enrichment' version of the spell plant growth. In addition, for one full year, all water sources within this same radius are continuously affected as if by the spell purify food and drink. Both spells are as if cast by a 20th level druid. The remains of the leaves in the water make an excellent base for soup or stew, but have no inherent effects otherwise.
- The Sap: The sap of the Tree must be burned like an incense resin, with fire started by magical means. One dose of sap is about the size of a human fist. While the sap is not alive or sentient in any usual sense of the term, it nevertheless has the ability to judge those around it, deciding for itself whether or not they are worthy to make use of its power. Those it deems outside its proper purpose, it kills. The sap's chief concern is based on the person inhabiting the Oaken Throne, and thus currently it will support anyone seeking to aid or protect others, but will punish those that use it for selfish reasons with a wail of the banshee effect as if cast by a 20th level mage when it is burned. Assuming it does not attempt to kill them first, all those inhaling the overpoweringly delicious fumes of the sap as an incense gain the ability to travel back in time to a specific instant. All characters inhaling the sap's fumes together must agree on the instant to which they wish to travel. If there is any disagreement, nothing happens at all. When in the past, the characters have their lump of sap with them, unburned and whole, and only by burning that particular lump of sap can they return to their own time period. Characters transported into the past are not recognizable by themselves or any of their loved ones. They resemble themselves superficially (race, size, coloring, age, gender) but appear otherwise as entirely different people. If characters change a part of the past that leads to one of them dying in the past or never having been born, the power of the sap protects them from ceasing to exist, but they lose all their memories of the parts of their past that have been destroyed, even if this leaves the character with total amnesia. These memories have ceased to exist and cannot be restored to the character by any means. Once back in the present, characters who have not lost their memories remember both the original past and the 'new' past.
- The Seeds: When planted in hallowed soil and watered with holy water, the seeds of the Tree grow, at a normal rate of plant growth, into particularly large and beautiful versions of whatever type of plant the grower wishes. Climate and care have no effect on this growth whatsoever. The seeds must be planted in the hallowed soil and be watered once with holy water; from then on the innate magic of the seeds does the rest. If this plant bears fruits or vegetables, any full meal made from this plant acts as a cure light wounds spell after being ingested. If the plant is of a non-edible variety, it projects an aura of bless in a 50 ft. radius at all times (for the purpose of the spell, allies include anyone of good alignment). Either spell is as if cast by a 10th level cleric.
- The Wood: The only substance strong enough to carve into the wood of Ashe'ileq is living rock. All other tools, regardless of enchantment or quality, dull or break before the wood is even marked. Wood of the Tree has hardness 25 and 50 hit points per inch of thickness. The wood is immune to fire, and is intelligent and aware of its surroundings. It has a Wisdom and Charisma of 18, and Intelligence of 10, and an Ego of 20. It is of neutral alignment, can communicates empathically, and understands most spoken and written languages. It can cast wood shape on itself at will. It cannot use the power on other wooden objects, and avoids using it on itself as it finds the process painful. Three times per day it can cast the spell mage hand. Both spell are as if cast by a 20th level druid.