Witherwraiths Species in Alore | World Anvil


(Legacy Content)
Keep your eyes on the trees, fair travellers. I swear, when I last ventured that way, those damned things tried to snatch me up and drink my soul right out!
— Local tavernkeep
Witherwraiths are dead trees animated by some manner of spiritual essence, whether it be the will of a vengeful or hateful soul or a faintly demonic essence. These entities are commonly found in heavily forested areas, and tend to congregate around trade routes where their prefered prey are found in vast quantities. When they come across suitable prey, they use their fear based abilities to weaken their quarry before truly animating, quickly capturing them and draining their souls through their vile wooden maws.

Basic Information


Witherwraiths are little more than the animated remains of dead tree life, brought to a horrendous unlife by supernatural forces. As such, their forms can differ greatly between environ to environ based on what kind of trees are available. However. there does not appear to be a limit on the type or size of tree that can be animated, even by the most minute amount of demonic essence. As such, examples of Witherwraiths can include anything from fallen saplings to even mighty redwoods, though all examples usually include far more twisted branches than normal.

Additionally, since Witherwraiths are only ever created from the corpses of trees, they do not possess the capability of reproduction by either sexual or asexual means. These creatures only ever seem to be created by happenstance of demonic essence being within the area.

Biological Traits

Witherwraiths are inherently vulnerable to fire and extremely flammable thanks to their bodies being entirely composed of dead plant matter. As such, caravaneers and travellers heading through areas likely to have Witherwraiths are advised to bring some manner of fire creation with them - be it magical or otherwise - as the creatures are aware of this weakness, and will avoid flames at all costs. Should one such creature be set ablaze, it will immediately flee and attempt to put out the flames, usually putting enough distance between it and its would-be victims for the creature to lose its animate qualities.

Ecology and Habitats

Witherwraiths are only capable of existing in heavily forested environments or wastelands, as their presence would be impossible to hide in other types of biomes. They tend to very slowly congregate around trade routes in such places, awaiting such caravans of their favored prey.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Despite a lack of a clear need to feed, Witherwraiths seem to inherit the desire to consume the souls of others from whatever demonic essence caused them to animate. As such, they appear to enjoy hunting sentient creatures, as most encounters with these creatures occur around roads and trade routes.
Hey guys... if the trees suddenly have faces, and they turn and look at you... Should we be concerned?
When a Witherwraith senses such a creature within thirty feet of it, it will attempt to influence its mental state with frightening imagery and hallucinations, allowing the creature to animate from its dead tree state. During this animation process, it will lock its fearful efforts onto a single unfortunate victim, causing further states of fear in the target. Once it fully animates, a Witherwraith will hunt the feared target, chasing it down and grabbing hold of the victim. Upon taking hold of the victim, the Witherwraith will attempt to absorb the target's soul through its splintered wooden mouth.

Since Witherwraiths often appear in groups, an entire caravan can be quickly consumed by these creatures if they do not come prepared. In the case of there not being an equal ratio of wraiths to victims, some might be able to escape their gruesome fate if they are quick enough to escape the wraiths' sight before they finish their initial targets off.

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Witherwraiths do not possess traditional senses, at least not at first. In their natural, inactive state, they appear to only possess a "detection field" of sorts around themselves, usually around a thirty-foot (9 m) diameter. This radial detection method seems to match a similar "aura of fear" the creatures seem to possess, implying that they can only detect creatures that are frightened around them.

However, once the Witherwraith begins to animate, it appears capable of traditional sight since it then chases down fleeing prey at incredible speeds.
"...caravaneers and travellers heading through areas likely to have Witherwraiths are advised to bring some manner of fire creation with them - be it magical or otherwise - as the creatures are aware of this weakness, and will avoid flames at all costs..."
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