Wood Wardens Species in Pronathea | World Anvil

Wood Wardens

Sacrifice that with which you cannot live without

"It was his last wish, ya hear? He just wanted to be part of the forest again.."
  Left devoid of anything but their will to protect their corner of the Eight Lands, wood wardens are the epitome of natural communion. If you see one gaze upon you on your travels, greet them only with reverence, as they gave up their souls to the natural world.  


Wood wardens are created by sacrifice. A person must give up their life to become an eternal guardian of the woods of the world. Encountering one of these wardens can be seen as a blessing from the woods to guide your journey.   This ritual is a closely guarded, primaeval secret of the Druids. Very few non-Druids have been able to complete this ritual. The ritual isn't necessarily an act of evil, as the victim can have entered a bargain that requires it to be a willing sacrifice.   To become a wood warden, the heart of the sacrifice must be removed and a seed pushed into it, then the heart is to be placed inside a tree. A hollow or crook will do, but special cavities can be carved for this purpose. The tree is then watered with the blood of the sacrificed and the body buried amongst the roots.   After several days, a sprout will rise from the base of the tree and grow into a new form for the sacrifice to take. This form can be an armoured humanoid form or that of an animal resident to the woods. The form doesn't seem to have any correlation to the person sacrificed.   Those who become wood wardens trade their free will and all sentimentality for supernatural strength and a deathless duty. The one who performed the ritual sets the wood warden to its task and the creature follows those orders unceasingly.  

Wolf - Wood Warden

by Theiket (via MidJourney)



Wood Wardens exist only to protect woodlands and the people who tend them. A wood warden has very few displays of emotion, except when scaring off potential predators and their eyes are sparkles motes of light.   When they are not called to action, they root themselves into the earth and stay there until called upon, taking in the sustenance they need. Like a tree, wood wardens only need sunlight, air and the nutrients from the earth to survive. Because they are undying in their duty, some wood wardens outlive their original purpose.   If a wood warden does lose its purpose and is freed from specific duties, it will wander the natural world to find another place of natural beauty to watch over. Wood wardens are drawn to creatures that have a close bond with nature and respect the land and what it gives, such as druids and treants. Some treants even have wood warden servants per some ancient binding pacts or free-roaming wardens who find their new purpose in the treants domain.
Wood Warden
Unknown by Unknown
Average Height
5'0" - 6'6"
Average Weight
100 - 200lbs


Author's Notes

This content has been based on a creature from Volo's Guide to Monsters for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. I do not claim any right to the original content.

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Jul 12, 2018 07:15

Fascinating creature. When the wood warden chooses a form are they like that permanently? Or are they able to switch between forms? Does the area they are in dictate the animal form they can take? Or is it up to them what animal form they take? Do they solely take the form of land animals? Or can they become fish or frogs or other aquatic creatures?

Jul 12, 2018 07:25 by Andrew

They don't pick, they just get a form. After that, they can't change it.   If there was a large enough body of water in a wooded area, there might be a fish wood warden, but wood doesn't tend to like being in the water. I hear it bloats them.

Jul 12, 2018 14:46

Thats true in my head I was picturing wardens made from driftwood. But if bloating is an issue could that mean there are more that take the form of an amphibian than fish?

Jul 13, 2018 08:21 by Andrew

Some could, yes, also bird forms.

Jul 12, 2018 08:41

For starters, Wood Wardens is such an awesome name for a fantasy creature. I know a similar question has been asked already, but is the form they take completely random or does some cosmic or magical force decide on their forms for them?

Jul 12, 2018 08:58 by Andrew

It's determined more on some supernatural notion of need, so if there's some sort of imbalance between the animal forms and the humanoid forms, it'll even out over time.

Jul 12, 2018 09:13

Ah, I like that explanation, it fits the whole "balance of nature" thing really well :D

Jul 12, 2018 08:50 by Vertixico

Fascinatingly dark creature origin! How did they come to be seen as a GOOD sign when their creation is somewhat violent and they are basically without will anymore? Is it just like "Oh thank the gods it did not immediately kill us!"?

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Jul 12, 2018 09:02 by Andrew

Because they're born from the hearts of people who sacrificed themselves to protect the woods of the world, when they're seen by people that they aren't protecting the woods from, it's a sort of sign that nature is happy with their course. It'd be rare to see them, though, they're not exactly talkative. Although I'd be terrified of a two-metre tall tree-wolf if it struts up to me.

Jul 13, 2018 11:59

Ooh, neat! I'd suggest leaving a little bit of a hook at the very top, before you go into the details of its creation. Give the reader an idea what the whole article's about. Doesn't need to be more then a sentence or two, but I think it'd be a nice addition to it. :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 13, 2018 12:12 by Andrew

Updated! Give it a read :D

Jul 13, 2018 12:33

Yes, perfect! An instant overview of what I'm about to read: it's a being connected to nature and it involves great (final, even) sacrifice. Then you hit 'em with the details. Sacrifice in general is always a good hook to get you curious.

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.