It is hard to decide which of the Venlaken Enclave's apparitions in Nybelmar are more mysterious or intriguing, but the Bone Trees are definitely among the most fascinating phenomenons. Categorized as apparitions, their manifestation reminds more of some sort of plant life rather than undead abominations or other strange malevolent ghostly creatures. They are encountered more in the northern regions of the Enclave but it is believed that they actually are common throughout the entire Enclave - as the thick vegetation of the southern marshes is making them hard to observe. These trees usually appear suddenly over night and disappear just as sudden after some time. Their most common form is that of a tree made entirely out of human bones. They were also seen as normal trees that instead of branches have human hands and also as huge hands coming out of the ground, sometimes even feet, or just fingers. All these body parts seem to be alive somehow, as they will bleed if chopped down. It is not known whether these "Bone Trees" are malicious or not and generally the Anpagan mages and even the Daedhirians seem to be clueless about their origins or purpose.
Appearance. The Bone
Trees are known to appear suddenly in one place, usually over night and
disappear just as sudden after a few days. The length of the manifestation
greatly varies though and there were such Bone Trees reported to still be in
place even after several weeks. Their form also knows very different variations,
up to the point that they might even be considered as being of different
"species", yet they are all categorized as the same type of apparitions -
conventionally named "Bone Trees".
The most common form is that from which their very name comes - a lonely tree-shaped thing that seems to be made entirely out of humanoid bones. The trunk appears as a pile of bones held together by a kind of a rather tough bark with a sickly yellowish complexion and a porous structure. The same bark, but a little bit thinner, holds together the bones forming the "branches" and instead of leaves finger-bones are dangling and clanking on those branches. But these apparitions may also come in other forms, although not as often. One of them looks like a giant human hand growing out of the ground. No one has ever managed to pull one of these out and also they are known to bleed when cut. Sometimes, instead of hands, giant feet rise up from the ground or even just one huge finger pointing to the sky.
The purpose of these apparitions is unknown up to this day, as well as their origins. But just like with most of the other apparitions from the Enclave, their presence was reported only beginning from the time when Daedhirians settled in the area. However this does not prove at all that Daedhirians are the ones causing them. In general, these apparitions should be ignored, or considered as being a part of the landscape, even if at times their "hands" might accidentally cling on a passer-by's clothes.
Territory. The Venlaken Enclave on the continent of Nybelmar seems to be the only place in this world where Bone Trees were ever reported. Seen mostly in the northern regions of the Enclave (towards the wastelands traveled by void sails), they could be probably present actually in the entire Enclave, but the thick vegetation of the southern swamplands might prove to be a good cover for them.
Usages. There are no known usages of these apparitions. Nothing good or bad can be related to them, so usually they should be ignored, that is except the situations in which they appear, e.g. right in the middle of a camp - when it would be a lot easier to just move the camp instead of attempting to remove the apparition.
Reproduction. The Bone Trees appear and disappear without a pattern and it is believed that they do not reproduce at all. Actually it is unknown if they are in fact alive (despite their sometimes quite "lively" appearance), but that is the same problem as for all the apparitions.
Myth/Lore. The Bone Trees started to become a part of the Enclave's landscape mostly after the Year of Darkness, which means after the Daedhirians settled in the area. For this reason the Ansaran mages are still considering them as a result of Daedhirian magic, even if unexpected. For a while they blamed the Daedhirian Lord Asdamon, despite the fact that Asbavaer denied such a possibility, because Asdamon had the reputation of mingling with the magic of flesh golems. In time this interpretation faded away as the Ansaran mages were never able to explain or imagine how such abominations could be made possible. So they have come to regard them just as they actually seem to be, a part of the eerie landscape of the Venlaken Enclave.
The Bone Trees seem to be restricted to the lands of the Enclave, their manifesting power being greatly diminished towards the borders. This has caused a lot of local legends in the western Anis-Anpagan to present them as being slightly different from those reported in the Enclave (reports dating mostly from the times of the Anpagan expedition to the Enclave during the Dark Plague). For instance, these legends claim that the Bone Trees cannot manifest during the day, the only exception being during extremely hot days. The Anpagans tell that Bone Trees are most likely to appear in the evenings, when the light of the day has faded but the night is not yet present. They also seem to fade in and out of reality, so that they might disappear in a blink of an eye when the accidental observer is not paying enough attention to them. In the darkest of all nights, recount the same Anpagans, the Bone Trees seem to gain a malevolent will of some sorts, appearing in the middle of a traveller's camp, trying to grab him away. There are lots of grim stories telling how some Bone Trees may show "features" of long disappeared travellers or villagers, and no matter how hard the Ansaran mages tried to dismiss such stories, they still endured up to this day in all the Anpagan regions bordering the Enclave.