Orubian Blood Walnut
A deciduous tree with blood-like sap and peculiar, hallucinogenic nuts.
BiologyOrubian Blood Walnuts are deciduous and shed their vibrant leaves in the autumn, whilst producing pungent, iron-scented blooms in the spring. They typically grow in the temperate regions of the Orubian continent and flourish thanks to the cool breeze from the Auric Ocean. Typical trees are around 10 - 40 metres in height, but the largest one stands proud at over 53 metres tall and has become a popular tourist spot. It's speculated that this particular tree is over 300 years old and contains so many memories that eating one of its nuts whole will overwhelm your mind to the point of insanity. The Orubian Blood Walnut is prone to cankers disease (spread by twig beetles), which cause dramatic lesions in the bark that turn into dead tissue. Infected trees look gory and grotesque due to the blood-red sap that oozes from their wounds and are completely chopped down to reduce the spread of cankers to other specimens.
Cultural SignificanceAncient Orubian customs involve the practice of blood-letting and ritual sacrifices to store the memories of the dead in the brain-shaped nuts of the tree. Orubian Blood Walnuts cause strong hallucinogenic visions that allow the consumer to experience the life lessons of those whose blood runs in the sap of the tree. As the tree gets older it contains more memories, which can lead to such a torrent of ancestral knowledge that you can be at risk of an overdose that causes permanent Zilchbrain.
Blood SacrificeHistorically, sacrifices were only done as a form of punishment in order to pass on the horrific lessons of their crimes so that younger generations would never repeat the same mistakes. In more recent years, however, Orubians pracise voluntary blood-letting to preserve positive memories. Towards the end of their lives, many older generations choose to donate blood for their communal tree to store their memories before they pass away. It has become socially acceptable for those with crippling illnesses to voluntarily give themselves to the roots to end their prolonged suffering.
Lessons of the AncestorsThe hallucinations come in powerful waves after consuming the walnuts. and can last for up to three hours. As the memories are all mingled in the blood-sap of the tree, the visions can be verry jarring, confusing, or even traumatic depending on the nature of the lesson passed on. Walnuts are always consumed with a clear question in mind so that the visions can aid the individual in their interpretations of the inherited memories. Frequent overconsumption of nuts can cause permanent brain damage, memory loss, and post traumatic stress disorder.
Do squirrels get ancestral knowledge or do they just die?
You can easily identify which kind of walnuts are safe to eat out in the wild by scoring a knife in the bark of the tree. If the sap runs red then you know it's an Orubian Blood Walnut.
If the tree doesn't bleed,
you're safe to feed.
The tropical continent of Orubia is connected by an isthmus to the larger continent of Melopia.
A short term mental condition described as the complete absence of all ideas and capacity for constructive thought production. The mind contains nothing. Zilch.