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Dagdan Tree

Also known as Magebloom

The Dagdan Trees, or Magebloom, are found in the forests of Ismena and are well known for their unique properties. Not only do their blooms provide humans the ability to use small amounts of plant magic, but their wood is used for making objects of power for mages across much of Casimira.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Dagdan trees are the biggest known trees in Casimira. If allowed to grow to their full height and width, even dragons have a hard time flying above them and it takes over 400 average-sized humans stretching as far as they can to reach all the way around them. Their lowest branches are so high off the ground that only some form of flight allows anyone to reach them.

Beyond their size, Dagdan trees are also well known for their unique colors. The trunk itself appears to be nothing special on the outside, but inside is a deep purple color. The leaves are a wine red and when the sun shines through the forest canopy, it appears as if the very forest has a red tint.

When the trees are blooming, the branches are covered in clusters of delicate pink flowers.

Biological Traits

The trees have one specific property that makes them different from any other: they absorb any drop of magic sent their way. But not in the way that makes the forest around them feel stagnant, if anything it makes the forests they inhabit some of the most beautiful in the world.

Biological Cycle

Like other deciduous trees, the Dagdan do bloom in the spring and lose their leaves in the fall. While their leaves do not appear to have any magical properties, the blooms act in the same way as small pieces of crystal and allow even the least adept human to perform minor plant magics.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Dagdan trees are primarily used in the creation of objects that hold crystals for use by a mage. It can take any shape, from a staff to a dagger, a table to a door, but because of its unique way of absorbing magic and resisting it, it has become immensely useful to those who cast magic. Crystals are embedded within the wood to allow magic to be channeled through it. Because the wood itself has resistance to that magic, no matter what is cast, the object will remain undamaged.

Whoever found that tree was a genius! I've burned clothing, books, even my eyebrows, but my pendant is never damaged! Not a single burn mark!
— A very grateful (and somewhat singed) fire mage

Objects created from the tree's wood also have the ability to hold the magic it absorbed before its creation. However, there is one major difference among these objects of power: whether they were given by the tree or taken from them. Cut wood can only release this magic at the holder's discretion, though ones made by the tree can still absorb magic and are often used to store more than the mage could normally handle alone.

In addition to the wood, many people across Casimira collect fallen leaves as a symbol of good luck. The blossoms are also collected when they begin to fall in late spring to be taken to farms to aid in growing a good harvest.

Releasing the magic stored within takes little energy from the mage and can be shaped and channeled through the embedded crystals just as any other spell. If any attempts are made to use the raw magic the wood has stored without a crystal focus, the explosion of power can be immense and has claimed the lives of many who have attempted this.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Dagdan trees are only found in the forests of Ismena, despite several attempts to plant them elsewhere. However, instead of an entire forest full of them as there once was, now there are several groves that are carefully tended and protected.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

While Dagdan trees have never appeared to have any kind of spirit within them, they are very much alive. Some say this is because of all the magic they have absorbed over the lifetimes they have existed.

Objects of power given freely by the trees also have this otherworldly sense that makes them seem alive. It is not yet known if that were to fade if all the magic was drained from it.

Civilization and Culture

History

The properties of the Dagdan trees were first discovered around the same time as the first school for mages. They had been searching for a long time for a way to hold a crystal focus that wouldn't involve damaging the crystal itself and embedding it into wood or metal seemed like an ideal solution. However, none of the materials they tried were able to withstand the raw power flowing through it. Eventually, the mages began searching deeper into the forests and discovered the Dagdan trees when their spells of light were absorbed and pulled away from them. Excited by the possibilities, the mages from the school resolved to find a way to cut down the trees and shape the wood by hand.

Even humans who have never touched magic could feel deep in their bones when the first tree was cut. Entire towns were moved to escape the sounds of the very forest crying out. The places where those trees died began to wither and die, the surrounding forest dying with it. Within a few years, cutting down Dagdan trees was banned and research was begun to find another way to approach these trees to create objects of power. It was then that mages began to realize that they could approach the tree with their crystals and good intent and merely ask. The lowest branches would wrap around the mage asking for their help and when they lifted back up, the mage would be holding a beautiful magic focus, made of the wood of the Dagdan.

Any magical focus or other object of power created by this peaceful method seems to be both an extension of the earth and that of the mage, as if the tree looked into their heart and created something perfect for them.

After the power held within the flowers was discovered, the yearly Blossom Festival sprung up to celebrate the trees and the connection that the people of Ismena have with them. The festival includes a walk through the forest to the groves to collect the first fallen blossoms.

Common Myths and Legends

Among dragons, the forest of Dagdan trees features prominently in their legends. Only plant dragons hold the True Memories, but glimmers of knowledge remain among the others of the forest on the day their race rose up and burned the world. It is said that pure, glimmering magic cloaked the forest that day and kept the flames and ash from reaching inside, protecting all living things that remained there. It is thought of as the last gift of the goddess of magic to the world.
The moment I stepped into the forest, the air around me shimmered, as if filled with magic. The sun shining through the leaves overhead painted the world, not in hues of gold as the outside world might expect, but in every shade of red imaginable. Even if I lived as long as the Dagdan, I could never do those colors justice.
— Anonymous Poet
Lifespan
Unknown, no one in recorded history has seen one die from old age
Conservation Status
The Dagdan trees are highly protected because of their unique properties. Groves are either grown in secret or heavily guarded by those who care for and nurture them. When it was first discovered, the species was nearly brought to extinction with overuse, but the remaining trees have been highly protected ever since to prevent this from happening again.
Average Height
around 820m
Average Length
around 82m in diameter
Geographic Distribution

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Cover image: by Steve Wilson

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
31 Mar, 2021 07:20

Great article! I'm happy to finally see it XD That sounds like a very useful tree :D   Some notes I took while reading, feel free to ignore them if you don't have the time to do any edits or just don't want to bother:   I think if you don't give more anatomy details, it would be good to compare your tree to a reference tree and say they look similar but bigger – like an oak for example.   Lifespan: "die of age" should be "of old age"   Conservation status; I just feel that it's missing a "again" at the end? OR maybe "actually happening".   Random thought: is it a deciduous tree? IF so, do the leaves have special properties? Do people collect them in autumn?   "ones made by the tree" do the trees actually make objects themselves? You have to explain this more :D – ah you see you've done that at the bottom. I think you can do some reordering of the sections there.   In fact, coming back to this sentence it's a bit confusing "However, objects created from cut wood can only release this magic at the holder's discretion, ones made by the tree can still absorb magic and are often used to store more than the mage could normally handle alone." I get what you mean but you could change it slightly to make it clearer (by saying that the objects made from cut wood cannot absorb new magic, just release what they have right now)   "but because of its unique way of absorbing magic and resisting it, it has become immensely useful to those who cast magic." I feel that this need a bit more elaborating, but you've already mentioned before that. The second paragraph from the biology should maybe be moved here, as it's more about uses than biology.   Also, can the wood be used to absorb some offensive magic as a kind of shield? Or is it just for storing more magic like you said in the previous section?   When you say the wood can take any shape or form, right now I understand it as those form being used to hold a crystal for the mages. Is it what you mean, or do you just mean the wood can be used in general for doing those stuff?   When the trees are cut out, is it a feel or a sound that humans get? Or both? Anyway, that sounds very creepy XD Did something special happened afterwards to the place where the tree was cut? It feels as if it should be cursed…

Feel free to check my ship challenge article.
10 Apr, 2021 20:14

Thank you so much, all your questions helped a lot! Hopefully I've answered them all with the stuff I added! :D

1 Apr, 2021 09:27

Nice article! The look of the tree seem quite beautiful to behold with the red tint it creates in the forest. It's nice how the trees can hold magic and how this can be used by spellcasters. Since the tree can give wood by using its branches does the tree have no problem to reach the ground with its branches? If so why did the trees that were cut down not attack with their branches?

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
10 Apr, 2021 20:15

Good point! I haven't figured out how to put it in the article yet, but my thought is that they're very peaceful, so they aren't going to strike back, even in self-defense.

2 Apr, 2021 09:39

Gosh, these trees sound so damn imposing! I would personally be really interested in the place they occupy within various cultures, especially considering how unusually massive they are. I also find it really interesting that one could simply ask the tree for their help, though I'd be curious to know how the tree itself does to know a mage's intentions. I would also love to read a quote of the trees' thoughts, if they have any!

Author of Interarcanum.
10 Apr, 2021 20:18

I know, right?! I've added a little about a festival that's sprung up around the trees and I hope to add an article about the festival and thus more about how they fit into the different cultures, particularly since Ismena is the kingdom of mages. I probably need an article about the actual objects of power too, so I can elaborate on the relationship with the mages. Hmmm...do the trees have any thoughts? Are they alive? Who knows!

10 Apr, 2021 22:24

400 humans to stretch around the tree? Woooooow. So huge! :O I love your description of the tree, and the magical properties of the wood. I imagine the wood would make some beautiful furniture too. :)

11 Apr, 2021 12:08

It does! I even added an image to the gallery of a bangle made of purpleheart wood (the basis for the color I had in mind) to show how pretty the pieces are!

11 Apr, 2021 00:29

This is an interesting tree. I like your quotes and I especially like section on History and how the people could hear the trees crying out.   One question I have is what allows these trees to grow so massive? Is it magic? Are the Ismena forests particularly damp and/or foggy?

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy Summer Camp!
11 Apr, 2021 12:15

They're based on the giant sequoia, so they naturally grow that big, although I'm certain that magic helps quite a bit! Most Dagdan trees are much, much smaller than the full size because all but a few of the biggest ones were cut down.   As far as damp and foggy, maybe a little in some places! But really, it's about what you imagine an enchanted forest to be like: beautiful and tempting!

11 Apr, 2021 18:41

Sorry if this is sending you a bunch of notifications. I'm struggling with tech today :)   I ask about fog because most giant trees, the redwoods, sequoias, and Pacific red cedar, grow in the fog belts of the west coast. They rely on this fog as a source of moisture, through condensation dripping to the ground, and also through foliar water uptake (absorbing water through the leaves). It can be a struggle for these massive trees to move water all the way from the roots to the tip of the trees. And even those that do not directly absorb water from the leaves benefit from the fog's moisture, as it represses transpiration (reduces moisture loss).   In fact, you will not find massive trees like these outside of the fog belt with just a few exceptions.   Check out: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-sep-01-adme-redwoods1-story.html   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2727584/   (this post is private)

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy Summer Camp!
12 Apr, 2021 13:51

Oh wow, I had no idea! I'm from the east coast, so they're basically a thing I've heard of but never had a chance to see. I love plant biology, though, so that's super interesting and actually gives me some thoughts for when I expand more on the article after the challenge is over (I didn't talk about anatomy at all, for example). Maybe magic is to this tree what fog is to our giant trees? Thank you so much for sharing, I appreciate it! :D

16 Apr, 2021 20:04

Hey inkflamewriter!   I like your magic wood bearing tree. I always do like the implication of (semi-) sentient items and the incalculable number of ways they can affect characters (for better or worse). One question I had for you - you say that the lowest branches are so high that you require flight to reach them, is there something that I missed that would prevent climbing the tree? Presumably it's size permit a plethora of reliable handholds via knots and cracks in the bark that could potentially even be rest locations along the journey. It would be interesting to create a 'suspended village' from the branches since these trees are protected and kept secret. Great job!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
17 Apr, 2021 11:48

Oh my, these sound majestic. It would be hard not to be humbled by one as you approach to ask for an item.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young