- "mighty are these pines, which stood through the great fire and they will stand forever!"
- ―Pinecone Greg Squaw
|Type of Government:||Religious Hierarchy|
|Motto:||Let Them Grow!|
|Location(s):||Forests of Maine|
|Founded by:||Greg Squaw|
|Goals:||Protection of the forest, Destruction of all trespassers|
The Needles, known formally as The Grand Order of the Forest Needles, was initially nothing more than the deluded fever dream of Greg Squaw, a known poacher, and farm animal genital-mutilator. He was wandering around the forests of Maine after a local posse formed to hang him after a rash of attacks on their livestock. They chased him into the forests, where he lost them, but also caught a cold. Having no food or medicine, he became so weak that he could only lay on the forest floor and watch the branches of the trees blow in the wind.
As he laid there, he heard the wind blow through the trees, and he thought he heard voices. These voices whispered that they could help him if he was willing to be their servant. Yelling that he would be, they told him to eat various pieces of bark and some moss and his fever disappeared. Taking the next few days to regain his strength, they told him to gather others and lead him back to the spot they first talked to him. Over the next four years, Squaw traveled the state and gathered those who loved trees and hated men and brought them to the forest. When the voices told him he had done well, he found twenty who would follow him, and also pledged their lives to the trees.
Leading them in several rituals and a sacrifice of termites Squaw told them that they must protect the forest as the voices declared it sacred. They gathered what the great protectors blessed them with (dead branches) and built small scrapes and dens in the ground, the roots supporting their roofs. They were put to the first test of their fate when, in 2266, two farmers entered the forest to cut down some trees. Falling upon the unsuspecting farmers, the cultists took the axes and chopped the men up with them. Stringing the remains through the trees with the pine needles, Squaw told his followers that the Great Voices were pleased by their devotion.
The Needles have expanded slightly, with the birth of a few more members, and still protect their forest home. They have even become so brazen as to begin to raid outlying farms and homes around their area. There has been talk of attacking towns, but that is idle chatter only in their current state.
The Needles worship the forest and anything wooden in general. Anyone traveling through their 'holy world' is subject to their attacks, especially if they carry axes or anything with wood handles. When they recover such an object, they Remove the wooden part and bury it 'so the roots can reabsorb it'. They prefer stone tools and weapons, as nonliving things, stones should be used and cast away when useless.