|Nation:||Yamato (Third Age)|
- "Cut out the infection, Leon Alcibiates. Cut it out with extreme prejudice. I bound my life into the Tree to heal just such an ill. You, fortunately, should not have to give your life to cure this plague. You will, however, need help--and no slight help, but rather the help of the gods themselves. I confess I cannot precisely see the future, but I forsee you will require two further periapts--the blades Dusk and Dawn, wielded by clerics of Hephaestus. Once you meet these requirements, the plague can be abolished."
- —The Silverbranch Tree to Leon Alcibiates about the Blood Fever
The Silverbranch Tree is the second World Tree which came to life after the Silver Branch was planted into the heart of the Cursed Earth of Yamato at the end of the First Great War. Geraud Aurelac and the spirit of Grady Silverbranch sacrificed their own lifeforce to make the Silver Branch live again and consequently became part of the new Tree, replacing the tainted and dying Yggdrasil, the original World Tree.
- See: Geraud Aurelac, Grady Silverbranch, Silver Branch, Yggdrasil
- "You seek the Silverbranch Tree our enemies hate--the very Tree which erased the curse of our Lord's madness upon this land. It is a desirable end, but as matters stand, this place will soon be overrun. With enough power, the demons will destroy the Tree, just for the sheer pleasure destruction brings them. Presently, it is inevitable. If things continue as they are, they cannot be stopped."
- —Alathor to Leon Alcibiates
During the Great War, Leon Alcibiates traversed to the Isle of Yggdrasil and planted the Silver Branch on the cursed ground there to replace the dying, original World Tree called Yggdrasil. To give the sapling enough lifeforce to become a new World Tree and cure the Landpoison of Yamato, Leon's companion Geraud Aurelac and the spirit of Grady Silverbranch, who shared Geraud's body, sacrificed themselves to achieve this end.
A new World Tree, named the Silverbranch Tree after the Silver Branch it had grown from, was born with both Geraud and Grady's memories which it could manifest as avatars at will. The Tree created a new White Seal to prevent any dark forces from approaching and tainting it. Thanks to the White Seal, the Tree remained unaffected by the Cataclysm even when the Isle of Yggdrasil itself became landlocked with many other islands of Yamato and when demons invaded en masse.
Quest for a CureEdit
- "I was hoping you'd show up. And I've been waiting. A branch has already been pruned from the Tree and is ready."
- "Wait, I thought you were the Tree now."
- "I am, and yes it did hurt to cut a branch, but it is necessary. Doctors routinely cut off limbs to save men from gangrene, and this is only different in that my branch will eventually grow back. Gangrene is, I must say, a fine metaphor for that Blood Fever."
- —The Silverbranch Tree and Leon Alcibiates
In the early spring of 1017 AE, the infant Liosliath Silverbranch ended up teleporting to the Tree's location by accidentally channeling his innate magic. The Tree, manifesting its avatar as Grady Silverbranch, noticed the toddler and was surprised that Liosliath had gotten through the White Seal which was supposed to be impenetrable. It had the toddler teleport back to where he had come from not long after. The Tree appeared to recognize Liosliath's bloodline as a Silverbranch and mused on the possibility of Liosliath perhaps growing to become a powerful mage in the future due to his gift and cracing of magic similar to how Grady had been in his youth.
A few weeks later, the Fellowship of Maar Sul found its way to the Tree and attempted to open a path through the White Seal to gain access to the Tree and ask for its help about how to deal with the threat posed by the Blood Fever. The magic touches of Leon Alcibiates, Khasra III and Steve, who was revealed to be Grady's brother Despard Silverbranch after the Tree helped jog his memory, were needed to finally open the Seal.
The Tree's avatar shifted between Grady Silverbranch and Geraud Aurelac due to Leon remembering both men from the Great War. It was finally Despard, who had fully regained his memories, who chose the form of Grady for the avatar for the duration of the conversation. The spirit of Grady gifted Leon with a new Silver Brach cut from the Tree and Despard with Twilight, an exact replica of the sword Despard had once wielded.
Grady told the Fellowship to use the Silver Branch with the godblades Dawn and Dusk, wielded by clerics of Hephaestus, to purge the Blood Fever although he confessed that he could not exactly see the future. The advice was vague, but the fellowship had little time to process the information when the Vulfsatz, who had been tracking them through Yamato, caught up with them and entered the Tree's sanctum through the opened seal.
After a brief clash, Despard managed to defeat the Vulfsatz commander Orestes but spared his life after sensing some honour in him. The fellowship fled into a portal the Tree had opened to lead them towards the wielders of Dawn and Dusk while the Vulfsatz were thrown outside the Seal which closed once again to keep the Tree safe from any outside influences.
The Tree continued healing the land of Yamato despite facing resistance from the corruptive power of demons who had inhabited the ravaged empire. Grand Duchess Nhrakate d'Zarnagon, with help from other archdemons, set events in motion which would lead to the discovery of one of the remaining Scepters of the Stormborn which she and other demons hoped to use to leech power from the Temple of Hephaestus and the entity Kaos within it.
Should the plan be successful, they would then unleash said powerful magic on the White Seal and shatter it, thus leaving the Silverbranch Tree vulnerable to demonic taint which would twist the Tree's light into darkness and grant demons enough magical power to replace what they had lost during the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep when Khasra III had blocked their access to the dark magic of Xar Daeon.
In early winter of 1017 AE after the Battle of Otoineppu, the scepter, which had been sufficiently fueled with magic, was transported to Nagashima Fortress from which the demon baron Enenra and his human apprentice Sasuke Ofuchi would take it to the Temple of Hephaestus and unleash its stored power there. The Grand Duchess herself personally delivered the scepter to the fortress with an escort, wanting to witness the culminations of her plans.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Geraud Aurelac
- One of the Tree's former identities.
- Grady Silverbranch
- One of the Tree's former identities.
- "Their host's spectral form kept shifting, now looking like Grady, now like Geraud, now something in between. Despard abruptly decided that he would think of this person as Grady. It was easier that way. Probably all of the others were thinking of him as Geraud and wondering whose appearance he was shifting back and forth into."
- —Despard Silverbranch about the avatar of the Silverbranch Tree
The Silverbranch Tree itself looks like a juvenile oak with silver branches and silver leaves. It can also manifest a humanoid avatar to communicate with others, and the avatar tends to assume either the shape of Geraud Aurelac or Grady Silverbranch wearing a white cloak. The looks of the avatar may change between the two men depending on how those it speaks to wish to see the avatar as.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Calm, patient, wise.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
The tree can cut off branches of itself and store weapons and other items of magic within it as well as recover those items for others who may need them. It can open portals which can safely take people to faraway places as well as summon the White Seal to protect itself from attackers. It can manifest itself as a humanoid avatar, which either resembles Geraud Aurelac or Grady Silverbranch, to interact with people. It also appears to have a gift of prophecy although its ability to see the future is limited to vague visions of events that must happen to reach a specific outcome.
It holds the memories of Yggdrasil, Geraud Aurelac and Grady Silverbranch due to the souls of the latter being bound to it. However, this leads to the tree's biggest weakness: if anyone tries to pull either Geraud or Grady's soul out of the tree via magical means or otherwise, the tree dies, and Bad Things will happen.
The Tree's former identity as Grady Silverbranch links it to Despard, Grady's brother. It is fond of Despard and gave him the sword Twilight.
The Tree's former identity as both Grady Silverbranch and Geraud Aurelac links it to Leon, a friend of both identities. It instructed Leon to 'cut out the infection' so the world could finally be healed and the Tree itself could begin to bloom.
The Tree, manifesting itself through its avatar, noticed the infant Liosliath having teleported to its location. Being reminded of Despard, the brother of its human self, it quickly teleported the infant back to his home while musing about the possibility that Liosliath would not be able to resist the call of magic.