First of all: I buckled down late this afternoon and got 1430 words done for NaNo. Not my goal #, but it's a good start, all things considered. Phew.
Myths, folklore, and symbolism
Beech tree: In antiquity it was sacred to Hades and Cybele; today it is still considered to be a plant of the dead and also a symbol of immortality, since it always remains green. As a leathery, hard plant, it also denotes endurance and steadfastness; hence its wood was used as the symbolic hammer of the Freemasons. (Herder)