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Basic Information

The Bräutigamseiche (German for "bridegroom's oak") is an ancient oak near Eutin in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. According to legend, the oak was planted by a Celtic lord in gratitude towards a Christian girl who saved his life. It is also said that a girl who walks around the tree three times in silence and without laughing while the full moon is shining and she thinks of her beloved, she will marry within the year.

On June 2, 1891, two lovers started meeting under the tree. When the father of the girl learned of this and tried to separate them, they started to exchange letters via a hole in the tree until the father relented, after which they married under the tree. Since that time, a tradition has sprung up where people from all over the world send letters to the tree (which has its own postal address) in the hopes of finding a partner or spouse. Up to 40 letters arrive each day, and anyone can read them or take them with them.



Game and Story Use

  • Adding a tree with the same function can provide a nice touch of local color to a community.
  • For an animistic setting, the tree could well be the dwelling of a dryad or other spirit that serves as a genius loci or a (very low tier) deity with a fertility portfolio, causing it to exert its influence on behalf of prospective couples … marriage possibly optional.
  • Where there are a number of exogamous groups sharing a boundary, a landmark such as a huge ancient tree might well prove a useful place for them to meet and exchange young people between the groups. In this case, the tree would more likely be where the elders of the various groups congregate to get down to their matchmaking, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to see some kind of (probably spring or midsummer) festival develop around it.
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