The Gulthias Tree saved my son's life. Well, not my real son--the elf child Amindir that's been in my charge since I left Aracanix. He has proven to have a greater talent at magic than I ever did, especially with charms and illusions.
Amindir was traveling in the Towering Wood, investigating rumors of an Erlking who led a reclusive band of elves. He was ambushed by an owlbear, grievously wounded before his servant could ward off the beast. By then time they returned to the manor, Amindir had lost so much blood he was as pale as the tree in the courtyard.
That mysterious tree…I suspect that if the tree is not the source of shadow in the area then the answer is surely entwined in its roots. Many have tried to destroy the tree--orcs, shifters, and men have all felled the tree with axe. But it regrew each time. I suspect fire is the only way to destroy it, but it has been far too useful to me…
When it became clear that Amindir's injuries were mortal, I used my arts to save him. I ground every last black leaf of the tree into a slick oil and coated his body, which I placed in the hollow of the tree's trunk at sunset. I killed all the dogs and horses and bathed him in their blood for three days. After that, the servants'. I was ready to open my own veins in desperation, when finally Amindir's eyes opened again. They were gleaming silver.
I cannot say that the experience didn't change my son. He prefers to keep to the shadows, and communes with beasts of the dark. He seems especially fond of the rats and mice, perhaps because they too know what its like to survive in the hidden places of the world.
I wonder how much of Gulthias has infused my son? Ages ago, he was a powerful elven vampire, hunted by his own kind. He was staked to the ground on an island surrounded by water, yet somehow still his spirit has survived. Fed by the dark energy of Mabar, the eternal night, the stake grew into a tree, itself between life and death. By using this tree to save Amindir, did I transfer Gulthias' power into him? Or did it merely pass on his curse?
Lord Travern, 841 YK