Enchanted Trees of Wales:
The Defeated Thraal of LLanbedr Hill
This is a series I began first on my Instagram feed,
and I thought it could do with expanding.
This enchanted tree is on accessible but private land, and can be viewed at SO169473 so long as you extend all courtesies to the land owners. The bodyform of the Thraal can be deduced from the tree - multi tentacles with the mouth quite high up on the trunk. The body armour has long since been scavenged by souvenir hunters.
Not all enchanted trees are bad news or an example of severe magical oversight. Some people/animals/things richly deserved a little arboreal transmogrification, and while in general the authorities frowned upon anyone being changed into anything, there are a few examples dotted around the Welsh Countryside that were not just tolerated, but actually applauded.
This example is one of the few remaining artefacts of the attempted Thraal invasion of the earth in the spring of 1770. The invading Thraals, thought to hail from a planet orbiting Spica in the constellation of Virgo, had targeted rural Wales to be used as a 'training ground' before rolling out the invasion across the United Kingdom, and then the world.
The Thraals, it is thought, numbered seven, and were Hyperported onto Llanbedr Hill with enough food and weaponry to last six weeks. After that, it was assumed, they would have assimilated their digestive systems to the Earth's potential food supply upon which they could then start laying eggs for the takeover of the planet.
That they never succeeded to get any further than Painscastle was down to Wizard Bob of Rhosgoch, who, alerted by 'strange lights' and suspecting another wizard to be muscling in to his lucrative (if illegal) Mole and Hedgehog charming franchise, encountered the aliens as they mustered their equipment and numbers, as Hyperporting from 250 light years away is rarely pinpoint accurate.
Without hesitation Wizard Bob understood the threat and let fly at what he perceived was the leader, a Thraal later identified as Colonel Gluuurg of Z Division, who had been sent here, it seems, as punishment for arriving late at a function at Field Marshall Zkuuurj's house, and, clearly drunk, mistook the fireplace for something that you usually find in a smaller room in the house.
Wizard Bob's accuracy was spot on, and Colonel Gluuurg was instantly transformed to the Hawthorn you see here. The rest of the troops - raw and poorly trained recruits - ran around in panic and were despatched by angry villages with pitchforks, as was the custom in those days. Of the seven, only one survived to be interrogated by the authorities. XB-12 or 'Alan' as he became known was unable to spawn without two other Thraals for thrice-fertilization, so the invasion never happened.
Today, little remains of the failed Thraal invasion aside from this tree, parts of XB-12 partially dissected in a jar occupying a dusty corner of the Natural History Museum, along with the relics of the previous invasion of 1518, that failed in Lampeter, due to the prompt action of the Jones sisters singing quartet. Given the time scale, it is thought that the Thraal's emergency signal - almost certainly activated by Colonel Gluuurg and travelling at light speed, will reach their home planet around 2022. The Welsh Government is already making plans for their next attempted invasion, for which Westminster has generously allocated funds of £782, plus the use of Major Simon Pring, armed with a revolver.
For his heroic action Wizard Bob of Painscastle was awarded six guineas and the sole right to charm hedgehogs and in Radnorshire, which his ancestors still enjoy to this day.
Original content for Adventures in Jasperland , April 25th 2020 The image of the tree is 1700 pixels wide and can be used for free in any non commercial way you wish.