The World Tree
Nobody seems to have taken “Durp’s” claims of having been to the Tree very seriously because of how weak he is. He tries to be a monk, to achieve self-perfection, but it’s almost pitiful how far he falls short of the mark.
By focusing very intently, he is able to channel a strange fire magic—strange to Xulree, who is somewhat versed in the arcane fire—into first a ball, then a beam. The ball explodes in Durth’s hand when he sneezes and loses his concentration; the beam misfires and evaporates a squirrel.
Durth also shows them a mark on his right hip: a wooden fist in a red aura of divinity.
Durth points out the coloration of his eyes: shades of red, orange and yellow with flecks of something metallic—gold? Bronze?—and when he begins to explain the correlation between the colors and his magic, Durth is as if seized upon and silenced.
Upon further inquiry of how he found the Tree, Durth’s offered a somewhat cryptic explanation:
“I failed to protect somebody once. I went looking for the Tree because I had to find it, because I could NOT let it happen again. It wasn’t a matter of finding some physical location. The path to the Tree is never the same for everyone. I think it’s because I wanted it badly enough that the Tree ALLOWED me to find it. And now, I have this power, and I’m still incompetent. I have knowledge that I can’t share and power that I can’t use. It’s MADDENING! But at the same time, I feel as if things won’t always be this way. I can become stronger. I HAVE to become stronger. If I don’t, then…” At this, he is once again seized upon and silenced. “I’m sorry, I must end this conversation. That is the second time that I have come too close. I cannot risk speaking on the matter anymore.”
Durth helps the party learn more when he assists them in finding the lost boy Jerek.
“You want to know more about the Tree? You want to what I can’t tell you, or why? Then take me there. And pay attention.” When the party arrives at the cave entrance, Durth stops them. “I’m going to call him out,” he says. “Subdue him, for I am the only one here who can truly kill this creature. If you strike him down yourself the boy will die.” Following Durth’s instructions, the party subdues Jerek. As they are holding him down, Durth (who was frozen in panic during the fight) approaches and straddles Jerek. Once again, a red magic courses through his veins and into his hands, and Jerek, who looks truly afraid for the first time, begins thrashing and screaming. “This will stop nothing!” he screams. “You abandoned us before and stole what was ours! We will take it back! You do not remember us, but we remember you! And we will MAKE you remember your sins!” Durth places his palms on Jerek’s face and the entity possessing him begins to burn out
When asked for more information about the creature that possessed Jerek, he replies “You heard him. They remember us. And if I wish to stay alive, I will not draw attention to myself. I am lucky that I was able to kill the spirit inside him, because if I didn’t, and he had returned…”
During the year in which the party slept, Durth had trained and honed his body well. Upon awaking, they found a much stronger and much more confident Durth.