On a small hill by the side of a path far from cities stands a broad and spreading apple tree. The hill is green, and the shade of the tree provides a cool and comfortable resting place. But at second glance there's something strange about the tree.
Hanging from the tree next to every small apple is a fish. The fish are each about two hands long; a fair size. To adventurers not associated with the sea, the fish seem lifeless. To those associated with the sea in some way, the fish are clearly alive; they are not moving much, but their mouths are clearly gulping. Oddly enough, they don't seem to be suffocating.
The fish are all tied to the tree with string, and there is no strong smell coming from them.
Anyone who sleeps under the tree will dream of the sea. Having once dreamed beneath the tree, they will become associated with the sea in some mystical way; the fish will look alive to them.
Anyone who eats an apple from the tree must make a CON x 4 roll or vomit. If they succeed in keeping the apple down, they will find themselves able to breathe water and converse with all sea life for the next three days.
Anyone who eats a fish from the tree must make a CON x 3 roll or regurgitate it. If they manage to retain the fish, they find themselves rising into the air, among the branches of the tree, and soon find themselves swimming in a beautiful green globe. To their fellow members, they seem to vanish through the leaves. The adventurer in the globe will spend what seems to be days in blissful swimming, eventually sinking down from the branches (it has only been a half-an-hour in the outside world) more relaxed than they have ever been.
Eating an apple or fish attracts the attention of an insane old man who lives under the hill. He shows up in a fury, explaining that it is his tree and not for their use -- and where is his sign? The old man is not interested in money or anything else -- all he wants is for people to leave his tree alone.
The old man and the tree are refugees from some strange corner of the Godtime or the Dreamlands. His hope is that when the apples are mature the fish will eat them, and that somehow this will enable him to return to his home in the Dream Sea.
[email protected]Copyright 1997 by Peter Maranci. Revised: October 20, 2000. v.2.0