umbra radicem arboris Description Shade root Trees are large dark barked trees found in Temperate regions they grow as large as oaks and have a dark grey/green broad fanned leaf, that turn greener loosing most of the grey except for the veins in the height of summer and a dark grey brown in autumn with green just at the stem. Unlike other trees they do not shed their broad leaves in winter. The branches grow relatively straight, horizontal and thick. The roots of the Shaderoot start above ground, making many notches and cavities. The largest of the shaderoot's roots create dwellings and dens for small creatures and humanoids to live with in or hide. the Root system can stretch down deep to find hidden sources of water in the winter months. The tree's seeds are coated in a thick shell the inner flesh is a dark brown nut that squirrels and bears alike enjoy however a single tree may produce nuts only once every few years to once every few decades. The older the tree the less often it produces them. Uses. Wood During the autumn when the leaves prepare for winter they thicken a few fall due to being to heavy for the stem. These can be used to create the intricate leaf scale armour of the Lignum elves. Older stems can be used for bow work bot not so good for arrows due to thier increased weight. The hardness of the branches makes them good for spears and other wooden hafts. Herbalism and food The Nuts of the shade root are bitter like dark chocolate and are considered a delicacy in some lands. The leaves of the shade root are poisonous creating a mild stomach discomfort if eaten. A skilled herbalist can use them to make a sedative like toxin. The roots of the sapling shade root can help ease pain when mixed with selective other plants and mosses. Magic Elves and druids can use the shade root tree more effectively for magics that shape, animate or grow wood or plants. The shaderoot trees that originally came with the elves from the fey realm often create mystical portals in the roots systems leading to the few or shadow realms when the moon is in the correct phase or alignment. History When the first of the elves travelled from the fey realm they bought the seeds of the shade root with them. These great trees grow to large proportions naturally but when the elves magic entwines with the trees energies they can grow to larger proportions still, branches swelling to allow the building of their treetop homes. Very few of these original trees exist now those that do are guarded sacred places to the elves.