Practical Magic is an occasional series highlighting magic items and spells that concentrate more on adding flavor to the game than on being powerful. They make nice additions to the loot pile without breaking the game. Note: The two magic items described in this article are designated as Open Game Content. This designation applies to all of the text except for that in the shaded box titled “Corpse Seeds & the Einolar,” and does not apply to any accompanying images. (See here for license.)
Corpse Seeds (uncommon, no attunement required)
Corpse seeds are typically found in a small pack of a half dozen or so seeds. Each seed is about the size of a peach pit, but is pale, beige, smooth and hard. Tiny Elvish runes are carved into the seed, bearing invocations of growth and fecundity.
When a corpse seed is placed in a grave with a relatively fresh corpse (dead for no more than a week) and covered with dirt, the seed activates and begins to grow into a tree with great speed. Within an hour a sprout appears with a few small budding leaves. After a day, a small sapling has formed. By the second day, a young tree the height of a person has grown from the grave. By the seventh day, a full grown tree stands where the corpse and seed were buried.
The body is entirely consumed by the process of generating the tree and is completely unrecoverable a week after planting.
The type of tree that forms is dependent upon the corpse that the seed was buried with, and tends to be a symbolic representation of that individual’s character and personality. A strong a hale warrior might give rise to a mighty oak. A caring priest might turn into a nourishing fruit tree. A dexterous rogue might turn into a willow. The type of tree will generally be one that can survive in the region in which it was planted, but the choice is up to the game master.