July 4, 2016

The Strangler Fig (Balete)

The Balete Tree of Samal Island

The Balete or strangler-fig tree is common throughout the Janggalan Isles, where it's known as a lodestone to all sorts of spirits. The Balete has a strange life cycle, for it starts as a scrawny parasite growing on other trees, but grows even larger than its host. By the time its host is killed the Balete may encompass an area the size of a large house or greater. Sometimes dying Balete become possessed by evil spirits, and then it truly lives up to its name of 'strangler-fig.' It becomes a flesh-eater, its limbs and aerial roots turning into strangling tentacles that drag screaming prey into the cavernous, moaning mouths that form between its roots.

Hungry Balete 3/7; Scores of Ropy Tentacles, Strong Grip, Gigantic Scale Trunk, Immobile Trunk; Renown Rank — Maharlika


  1. I just noticed this post Daniel. Coincidentally, someone on the RPGsite recently started a thread asking for ideas for a fantasy jungle. This would be perfect, so I pointed him your way.


  2. Oh this gave me an idea... the heroes going between the tree's roots, finding no trunk, just rows and rows of roots from which they find no way out. A spiritual maze.

    Or if they do, it's nowhere near they were, for the tree is a portal.

  3. That can definitely happen. I've seen strangler figs where the original host tree died and rotted away, leaving a hollow where you would expect the trunk to be.


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