The Promise Oak
At the center of Promise is a dead oak tree. It’s branches are bare and many have fallen to the ground and still lie around its trunk. The bark is rotting and falling off in patches. It stands beside the Tavern The Promise Oak and many think that because the tavern is named for this great oak tree, for surely it was magnificent when it lived, that is why it has been spared. That is not the reason.
When the Founder and the Lady arrived in the valley and deemed it suitable for settlement, they say the great tree and gasped in wonder. It was so broad across, that six men, standing in a circle could not reach around its girth. Its branches were so full and rich that even the torrential rain of spring could not pierce the leaf covering and reach the ground below.
The village sprung up around the tree and the Founder forbid anyone to cut it down. As the cycles passed and more and more of the villagers were lost to the ravaging Beasts, the Founder grew angry. He took the battle to the beasts and on the day he returned, the oak withered and died. He passed this warning on to the troubadour of the time and it has been passed down from mater to apprentice all through these long cycles. The Founder used the life energy of the tree to cast a protective enchantment across the valley. It protects and shelters us from the terrible Beasts should they ever break the treaty and try to attack. But this enchantment is tied to the Promise Oak. And thus he Named the tree to give it power even in death. Should the tree ever fall, then Promise will also fall to a great disaster. For not only the Beasts be able to attack, but the very elements of the world: Earth, Water and Fire will strike out and destroy Promise.
So guard that ugly, dead oak tree with your lives. Because it is doing the same for you this very moment.