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Illusionary Tactics: Tree's Company

Eliah Hecht

Illusionary Tactics documents my perfectly reasonable preoccupation with items and quests that change your appearance. After all, how long can you really look at one character's back before you start getting tired of it? So much better to turn into a tree periodically. (No, I'm not talking about you, Druids; your column is that way.)

Blizzard must have really had a good time designing the Draenei and Blood Elf starting areas for Burning Crusade; there are a lot of great and frequently hilarious quests there, and this is one of them. The reason I'm talking about it here is because it's one of them that happens to turn you into a tree.

Although I find it unlikely that anyone would want to avoid spoilers for a level 8 quest chain, I'll put the rest of the discussion behind a cut just in case.

  • The questline in question starts with "The Prophecy of Velen," which is given by Daedal at Azure Watch and requires level 5. This is a leader quest to get you down to Admiral Odesyus's camp on the southern shore, so run down there (just straight down the road south).

  • The followup from the good admiral, A Small Start, asks you to go find a compass and a map in the Venture Company outpost to the east. Damn that Venture Company! The compass and map are always in the same place; you can find more information at Wowhead or elsewhere. Grab them and run back to Odesyus.

  • Odesyus finds a letter in the map that tells him there must be a traitor in their number, and comes up with a plan(t) to figure out who it is. "I've Got a Plant" asks you to collect five piles of leaves (from the forest generally northish of the camp) and one hollowed out tree (from the cut timber north of the camp). Once you've got them all, go back to him.

  • And what are they for? A tree disguise kit! Awesome! (This is Illusionary Tactics, after all.) The next quest, Tree's Company, has you go way out west, pop on your cunning treesuit, and hide by the naga flag in the pirate cove.

  • As a tree, you witness a conversation between the traitor and one of the Venture Co. No-one could suspect such a harmless-looking tree, and it blends right in on that beach!

  • There are a couple more followups having you kill the traitor (gotta love that quest name) and deliver a memo, but honestly it's all downhill after turning into a tree.

Sadly, the Tree Disguise Kit has several drawbacks. It's Alliance-only, due to it being an Alliance quest item. (I'll get to a Horde-only item one of these days, I swear!) It's destroyed when turning in the quest, as usual for quest items. But it doesn't work outside of the cove where it's meant to, so you can't just not turn in the quest and take it all around with you and be a tree. You also can't move or dance while in tree form (you'll need to level a Druid for that), but Wowhead commenter Noise notes that you can, apparently, fish as a tree, which is something I'll simply have to try. You can also turn in place, which makes a nice rustling noise (but will certainly go unnoticed by the quest NPCs).

Overall, this is a fun questline for any disguise afficionado. You just can't beat arborescent espionage.

Are you as crazy as I am about disguises and forms? Previously on Illusionary Tactics, I've covered how to switch factions, and how to turn into a nice and friendly furbolg. See you next time for more ways to not be yourself, or at least not look like it.

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