Palebark Tree

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“I stood frozen solid at the scene that lay before me. Watching in horror as I witnessed those trees devour my dear Olav within mere seconds of contact. I could do nothing but watch in silence as those bone-white trees picked off my crew one by one, their screams slowly cutting off as each of them slumped to the ground. Now I have come to realize that this land is nothing short of a nightmare to come to life.”

- Diary excerpt from explorer Viktor Nikolaev titled “Dreaded Discovery”

Introduction

First recorded in the Y78-E2 by famed dwarven nautical explorer Viktor Nikolaev during an expedition to Palecoast, the Palebark, which was quickly dubbed the “Carrion Tree '' for its carnivorous nature, proved to be too much for the original party. They marched straight into the forest, a reckless approach which quickly wiped out seven out of the eight dwarves in the party. A return voyage would be conducted many decades thereafter. This time, proper observation was conducted, and with a healthy dose of caution, they revealed that upon further examination of the environment, only those of natural inhabitants to the land would be immune to the now named Palebark Tree. Sightings were recorded of the native fauna passing through Palebark groves with ease. The discoverers wishing to study the tree in more hospitable conditions, found that after multiple attempts to remove the flora from its natural ground for transportation, that the tree would begin to rapidly decay and die, thus preventing any chance of documenting the plant life abroad.

Characteristics

Palebark Trees are coated in a thick, perfectly smooth white bark, and can grow to be from six to forty feet tall. Their height is dependent on how much food they consume, meaning they can wildly vary in sizes. However, a well-fed tree can grow to be so large that its roots end up emerging out of the ground, and surround the trunk of the tree with thick, powerful knots. Their leaves grow in a variety of bright, alluring colors such as red, blue, purple or even a vibrant lemon-yellow, while their iridescent flowers hang down in long strands from the branches. Each bloom is about the size of a grown man's hand. However, their beauty disguises a great danger. Within each of the flowers lay poisonous spores that release into the air whenever something steps close enough, and produce a scent similar to that of freshly bloomed flowers. When inhaled, these spores will place the victim into a blissful trance-like state, unable to perceive as the Palebark Tree slowly wraps its vines around its victim's throat, strangling them to death. After a suitable period of time, the tree then allows its prey to slump to the ground, where it envelops them with its roots, before digesting them. If someone inhales the spores, but manages to get away, they will suffer such severe damage to their lungs that they usually die within a few weeks.

Properties

The Palebark tree is classified as being both poisonous and carnivorous to all but the Dah’jin and the Faefolke. Outside of the Dah'jin Princedoms and the Faecourt, there have been no documented medicinal uses for the tree or its flowers found. However, the Faecourt have successfully managed to harvest the flowers from the Palebark and brew its leaves into tea. When consumed, Faefolke or Dah'jin users quickly begin to experience intense cravings for the liquid, constantly wanting to drink more of the tea. If the tea is consumed by a race other than the Fae and Dah’jin, however, they will begin to feel like burning boils are forming across their body, as a rash starts to coat their neck and chest, creating a debilitating burning and itching sensation that lasts for up to five days. The only way to soothe the rash is to have a long oat bath every few hours.

Distribution

Unable to grow anywhere in the world except on the Palecoast, the Palebark Trees have always been limited to one specific region of the world.  Any attempts thus far to successfully remove it have failed miserably due to the tree dying shortly after extraction. Due to the immunity to the plant that most of the Dah’jin and the Faefolke share, the Palebark Tree is the subject of several large-scale cultivation efforts. The Faecourt in particular have maintained a series of orchards where they pick the leaves of the trees, which are used to brew a highly addictive, sweet-tasting type of tea. This has led to a widespread program within the Amyrian Commonwealth to prosecute the possession of the leaves, as well as the tea itself, citing its narcotic properties, as well as its connection to a dangerous organization.

Trivia

  • Pixies are commonly known to build their nests within the trees. The Pixies and the Palebark Trees actually sustain somewhat of a symbiotic relationship with each other, with the Pixies luring prey to the tree, before the tree kills the prey, leaving a feast for both parties to enjoy.
  • They enjoy the sound of music and will often begin swaying whenever bards play for them.
  • The Faecourt drink the tea as a right of passage often when one becomes of age.  

Location: Palecoast

Rarity: 3/10

Can It Be Grown On Darroway: No

Writer(s): Faefolke

Editor(s): Gochnipunchni