I can tell you of grave apples, worry not. Called soul fruit by dragons, named Ancestor’s Bell by the dwarves, and the elven name is difficult… it is a compound of the words for grave and magically engineered fruit, so biomantic grave fruit I guess is what you could call it in the common speech of men. It is perhaps the dwarven name that is most accurate even if it was the work of dragons and elves that saw it created.

The so-called grave apple is a black fruit closer in appearance to a plum than an apple which grows upon a short stubby shrub-like tree. The trees leaves are a blood red, save in autumn when they prepare to fall and turn black and brittle. The tree bears a flaky bark, brown of color, and provides but little shade.

While the tree can in theory take root anywhere it grows but poorly in any location that lacks the dead of thinking races. To be more precise it is rather wide in its range of acceptable light, preferring a heavier sun but finding shade not wholly intolerable, and can grow in most non-arid regions up to the alpine line. It thrives best in temperate rain forests, for such was the realm of the elves which aided in its engineering, but can be cultivated in warmer and chillier climes with difficulty.

Its root system is particularly extensive for a tree of its size and it is only when its roots extend near the bodies of the dead that it bears fruit. Without the dead its fruit would have no meaning. For you see the fruit is the ancestor’s bell, and when eaten calls their knowledge to the minds of the eater. The fruit has a bitter, mildly toxic flavor, and is dangerous if over indulged in as the voices of the dead will become incoherent and demanding. Even so when eaten in moderation it allows for one to gain knowledge from the dead, inquiring into their past and lives, learning of the settlement in which they dwelt.

It is for this reason that grave apples were cultivated. They were less effective than the elves had hoped, though to most of the dragons involved it was more of an intellectual curiosity. I should know I contributed quite a bit, the psyche distillation process through which the roots could absorb information from the dead was truly a difficult undertaking. Even so the grave apple was one of my earlier works when I still wore the flesh of life, and the elves did not yet use my name as a curse not to be spoken in polite company.

As for their cultivation as I said they can grow may places but a viable seed is a rarity and a cutting can often do poorly or harm the existing tree and should be taken with care.

Grave Apples:

When eaten a grave apple gives you knowledge from those buried around the tree’s roots. They must have been buried there for at least 5 years and the tree must have been growing there for at least 5 years. This allows you to ask three questions as if with Speak with Dead to any intelligent (Int 3+) creatures which were buried nearby; the corpse does not need to be intact as long as it has been within the last 5 years. Alternatively you may ask the question to the amalgamation of the dead which functions as a Gather Information, Bardic Knowledge, or Knowledge check with a bonus of +5 to +15 depending upon the size of the graveyard and erudition of those buried there.

A grave apple is toxic producing an ingested poison with a Fort save DC of 13 which inflicts 1d3 Str and Con damage as initial and secondary damage. If a creature eats 2 grave apples within a single week the voices of the dead become unruly inflicting 1d3 Wisdom damage, a 3rd causes further disruption and derangement, forcing a Will save DC 15 against confusion lasting 10 minutes and inflicting another 1d6 Wisdom damage; a creature under this confusion can continue acting with 0 Wisdom.

Price: A grave apple typically costs 10 GP when they are in season (early summer), but may cost more or less depending upon the quality of the graveyard. Other times they may be freely picked if they grow in the graveyard. A viable seed costs 60 GP if alchemicly verified, and a cutting requires a DC 20 Profession (Gardener) check to make safely (Knowledge Nature and Survival grant a synergy bonus to this check) failure by 5 or more means the cutting is not viable and the tree’s health has been damaged.

5e version

When eaten a grave apple gives you knowledge from those buried around the tree’s roots. They must have been buried there for at least 5 years and the tree must have been growing there for at least 5 years. This allows you to ask three questions as if with Speak with Dead to any intelligent (Int 3+) creatures which were buried nearby; the corpse does not need to be intact as long as it has been within the last 5 years. Alternatively you may ask the question to the amalgamation of the dead which functions as a Int check with a +3 to +10 bonus depending upon the size of the graveyard and erudition of those buried there.

A grave apple is toxic producing an ingested poison which requires a DC 13 Constitution save and inflicts 1d6 poison damage and the poisoned condition for 1 hour on a failed save. If a creature eats 2 grave apples within a single week the voices of the dead become unruly giving disadvantage on Wisdom checks for 1 hour. A 3rd causes further disruption forcing a Wisdom saving throw DC 15 or they are affected as if by a confusion spell for 10 minutes (they cannot save to end this effect) and suffer disadvantage on Wisdom checks and saves for 1 day.

Price: A grave apple typically costs 10 GP when they are in season (early summer), but may cost more or less depending upon the quality of the graveyard. Other times they may be freely picked if they grow in the graveyard. A viable seed costs 60 GP if alchemicly verified, and a cutting requires a DC 16 Int (Nature) check and failure by 3 or more means the cutting is not viable and the tree’s health has been damaged.