Geode Coral

Geode Coral is a domesticated coral species native to Jhoutai. It is a smooth, hollow orb with boreholes that feeder tendrils extend outwards from. If other coral seeds the bores, it ends up inside of the geode, where the mixture of nutrients and darkness causes aesthetic fractal growth patterns.

Once a mere novelty sold to the sailors and merchants who frequented the midsea ports of the Sajhra Reef Federation, the beauty of geode corals caught the attention of the mainland, and grew into a competitive industry. This industry resulted in rapid coral growth techniques, which defined the future of terraformation and fabrication industries.

A Keystone Technology

The two Verin hovered above the wide, shimmering river of coralberries. The berries trembled just beneath glassy surface of the cold waters, waiting to be ripe enough for the stream to pluck them away from their stalks.

"I do not wish to tarry in coral my whole life, Kenda Enfamos," Talkua said, tipping his hat against the sinking sun. "It is of little importance. I would rather learn fleshcrafts and building my warform. I see my transferral here to be punitive on the part of my family, and I will be remaining for the bare minimum of years."

The sunset reminded Kenda Enfamos of the wings of a butterfly. The river bubbled along the lip of a ring coral so wide that the agricultural lake within had its own tidal system. A small island floated in the lake, moored to the hub of bridges spanning it. Their monastary covered the island and spilled out onto the bridge. On the outside edge of the ring, the wine-dark sea was finally capitulating to the unbreakable defense of the coral bluff, and had begun its retreat for the day.

"This land is coral," Enfamos said. "Its Azukenda cultivated the ring we now stand on, and every ring you see on the horizon beyond. The fruit of these fields grows from the coral. The frames of our houses are made from it. The breadth of the cosmic web would be impossible for any Banner to manage without the coral. Whoever has the greatest coral has the greatest colonies."

In the early 17,000's CS, the Sai-Mar'rko, a trading vessel, purchased a shipment of a curiousity local to the Sajhra Reef Federation: geode coral. The captain of the Sai-Mar'rko, a Ral-Mi named Avri Mar'rko introduced them to the mainland during its renaissance at the end of the Glistering Dark Age.

Avri charmed theater troupes all along the coast into using the cross-section cuts of the geodes—geode coins—as props in the current popular play: Eye of the Sea. The coins were perfect for the titular prop: an ancient, dazzling coin of gem-encrusted gold found in the sea.

Their beauty, and their association with the play, made it easy for Avri to sell the coins to theater patrons. Everyone was captivated by their kaldeiscopic beauty. The coral, when sliced thin enough, was like glass. Each coin was totally unique, and host to dozens of beautiful imperfections.

A patron war kicked off. The fad became a trend, which then became an industry. It wasn't long into being a fad that Avri had competition, but his lead was enough that he was still able to retire to a villa on the hills of Valdutan.

Once it reached the point of industry, it had spread into so many markets that it was creating more within itself. Coral shaping, in particular, was a cutthroat market, with shapers competing to make the largest, most elaborate, and fastest-growing geode coral. In time, this proliferated into other species of coral, and on into other industries, resulting in remarkable strides in agriculture, home building, and terrformation.

The terraformation, in particular, became the most crucial use of the coral. The coral, some species of which fed directly on stone, grows into livable landmass over only a few generations. With it, colonists are able to create new beacheads in decades and landmasses in centuries.

They returned to the monastary. Talkua had meditated on Enfamos' wisdom for so long that the moon had risen.

"Kenda Enfamos, you are transcended, aren't you? Did coral help with that as well?" By the way Talkua spoke, Enfamos knew that this was the final deciding factor in whether or not he stayed for longer than his 'sentence'.

Enfamos drew his cloak open, revealing a torso made of marbled coral. In the hollow center of his chest, a small geode coral bloomed. He reached in, broke it free, and handed it over.

"Plant it in that bed of moss during the height of the moon, water it with lake water until the sun rises again. This shall grow into your home."


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Native Regions

Geode Coral grow exclusively in the subtidal zones of oceans, where they extend kelp to filterfeed on and live in symbiosis with many many native creatures who rely on the coral for nesting, shelter, and nourishment.

Genetic Ancestor(s)

Farming

Geode corals are grown in coastal ring reef atolls, where water is dammed in during high tide and released late in low tide.

Each harvest, workers chisel the geodes from their stems and seed fresh polyps.

Strict farming regulations once prevented overfarming and preserved local enterprise, but were removed during the Bannercasting as the industry had entered stasis.

Presentation

Once a geode has been chisled from its stem, it's polished to a shine, bisected, and mounted. A large, thin disc, called a coin, is cut from the middle and placed over a light.

Everyday Importance

Totem

The weak, fresh center of a geode coin is cored out in a smaller circle, and replaced with sacraments or familial imagery.

Decoration

This coral is popular among the Pact for use as terrariums, storage, planters, bongs, and other decor.

Colonial Housing

Due to the speed with which they grow, geode corals make for simple housing.

 
Jhoutaioan Coral
Species | Dec 5, 2020

A coral-esque colonial organism from Jhoutai used in terraforming new landmasses on discovered worlds.



Cover image: Prize Geode Crossection by Lorsynth

Comments

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7 Apr, 2021 13:35

This was a very interesting "plant"! I love how you started with something that is a bit of a curio and ended with full-on terraforming! I'd like to know more about it though, specifically, its growth rates (since coral is usually very slow-growing). I also think tooltips for some world-specific terms would be helpful. I was left wondering what was the Bannercasting and why/how did it lead to the removal of over-grazing protections.   PS: You are missing end quotation marks: [quote]"Its Azukenda cultivated the ring we now stand on, and every ring you see on the horizon beyond. The fruit of these fields grows from the coral. The frames of our houses are grown from it. The breadth of the cosmic web would be impossible for any Banner to manage without the coral. Whoever has the best coral has the best colonies.  


  "Plant it in that bed of moss during the height of the moon, water it with lake water until the sun rises again. This shall grow into your home.[/quote}

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
8 Apr, 2021 08:37

Thank you for the helpful feedback!

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8 Apr, 2021 09:05

This really is a fascinating plant. I love its uses, and I have to admit these quotes really intrigued me as to what other uses it might have (beyond building houses and all). I also really like the coral's more "humble" origins if that makes sense, being sold as props for a play.

Author of Interarcanum.
8 Apr, 2021 11:18

Aren't corals *technically* animals though? Regardless, this was an interesting read, for sure. Perhaps a bit on the pointless side (what plant article isn't going to be?), but it's extended lore so that's fine. I do like how you tied it into not only culture but tech as well. Really neat!

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
9 Apr, 2021 19:12

If you stare too long at plants and animals, they stop looking all that different. They're entities that respond to stimuli and consume resources for growth. Calling coral a animal is a bit like calling a [urll:https://seeyouguyslater.tumblr.com/post/647870333898145792]tomato a fruit!

I agree with what you're saying, and see the point, but overall the plant v animal argument only gets more strange the more we research both!

Glad you liked!

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9 Apr, 2021 20:09

You're not wrong, and I was mostly teasing. This is a hella new take on coral and I loved how it was tied into the very fabric of your universe, and such a core element of art, culture and even tech (terraforming). Lovely work, as always!

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
8 Apr, 2021 15:35

This is a nice article, I like all the uses you've made for this coral and how elegantly you've explained it with the narration. It's a very interesting idea to do terraforming with corals. This is the first Ethnis article I'm reading :) I really like the two narration bits you have, it's great to put the article through the perspective of the people who use the coral and to give a glimpse of your world. I'm curious about the culture surrounded body modification with crystals, but I think you have another article with that (I was curious that Enfamous just take the geode coral from his body and thinks nothing of giving it away).   A few other notes I took while reading:   "Once a mere novelty sold to the sailors and merchants who frequented the midsea ports of the Sajhra Reef Federation, Geode Coral caught the attention of the mainland, and grew into a competitive industry." When you have sentence you still haven't really made it clear why it was a novelty and then caught the interest of the mainland. Was it because of the " aesthetic fractal growth patterns"? Just adding "a because of this" would clarify that ambiguity.   " The breadth of the cosmic web would be impossible for any Banner to manage" What do "Banner" means in this context? Faction? You could add a tooltip here to clarify that.   " The coral, some species of which fed directly on stone, grew into livable landmass over only a few generations, and so colonists are able to create new beacheads in decades and landmasses in centuries." This sentence if a bit awkward with the " grew into livable landmass over only a few generations," inserted in the middle. You could try to put that first in a separated sentence or to say "since it grew…." Since the two ideas are linked.

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
9 Apr, 2021 19:16

Thanks for all the great feedback! Implemented!

Welcome to Ethnis! Feel free to check out the Introduction!

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8 Apr, 2021 23:34

I love how the coral has become important in terraforming, where it started as something sold as a souvenir in theatres! :D Such a promotion!   I really like how you've steeped this article in the culture. It makes a really fascinating read. :)

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
9 Apr, 2021 19:19

Thank you! I really try to contextualize the technical as well as the cultural! It's a disservice to imagine anything interacting with society without covering some of that cultural impact as well!

College shaped me there, a bit. I had to do a 40 page paper and full presentation on the technological and social impact of pumps.

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9 Apr, 2021 20:06

I can see that leaving a lasting impression, for sure!

10 Apr, 2021 15:07

Very interesting article! The quotes were quite a nice introduction to the text and lovely additions. So nice to have the coral start as just a cultural thing and to eventually be used for terraforming :D That is very multifunction indeed :p Lovely article!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
Venerable Grandmaster ZackTheGreat
Zack Hopkins-DeMerchant
15 Apr, 2021 23:02

Wonderful article as always, your art is always top notch and serves as a fantastic hook into an astonishing setting. I hope to one day write articles as high quality as yours one day!

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
16 Apr, 2021 03:39

That's such high praise, thank you!

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16 Apr, 2021 02:04

Hey Ademal!   I have no idea why it took me this long to stumble upon your peculiar plant article but I'm happy I did! I trust that my periodic gushing over your writing during your Twitch streams preempts my need to say I really enjoyed your article. The layout is superb, Felth's artwork is incredible. and I really like the hover colour change for your info box. Great work!

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Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
25 Apr, 2021 20:09

Praise is a strong fuel to write more, for me! Thank you so much, I'm really glad you liked it.

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16 Apr, 2021 18:53

This sounds gorgeous!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
25 Apr, 2021 20:09

Thank you!

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