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Toegan Tree

Name translation Toegan is an ancient Fiya word for hunger It has had this name for millennia. Fiera however called it the Bukwu tree which translates to Waiting tree.  

Appearance

The Toegan is a native species of tree that has evolved from early plant-life created by Takhet. It has very dark almost teak bark with a flat spiky texture that is rough to the touch and can easily splinter you. Its leafs are spiky and sharp and are akin to an Earthen Palm tree. Its trunk structure looks to be multiple individual trees that have grown together in a helix fashion. This because seeds do come from fruit but if they do not spread out sufficiently they will simply grow and seemingly work together to becomes one big tree. If two adult trees come too close to each other their individual trunk seem to come loosen apart and mix in with each other. Sometimes this results in a merging of specimens. Sometimes the weakest Toegan is destroyed. In the past these trees had weird trail around them that looked like moles where living around them, eating their roots and destroying the trees. But recently filmed time-lapse videos shows that these trees do in fact move about and have battles between specimens. Its just in another time scale to animal life that is hard to witness. It even showed that the bark isn't really its bark. They are in fact countless sharp needles that the trees use to battle each other that can change in to fighting position at a blink of an eye. Grabbing and constricting the other tree's individual trunks till they break.  

Reproduction and Growth

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Just before the Urvgal's mating season the Toegan blossoms flowers in colours ranging from red to purple depending on its genetic history. These flowers are then pollinated by insects and some 50 days after being pollinated these plants form a fruit that looks like a mix between a hairy kiwi and a chestnut. However the light brown part of the fruit that makes it so akin to a chest nut are actually teeth made from a sturdier version of the aforementioned spikes these are 4 interlocked jaws which move in tandem like 4 conveyor belts placed close to each other at high speeds. These mouths grow toward the ground and at the height 3 meters during the Urvgal's mating season. Which is when the fruit will ''drool'' an liquid to attract its prey and when its prey is beneath it they are primed to fall on what ever made enough noise to make them drop. Preferably this is an adult Urvgal past its prime. When triggered the fruit will drop on the slow rodent and consume in the fashion of a meat grinder. The total consumption of the animal isn't the end however. The fruit's bladder will now have stretch to contain the meat of the creature and its mouth till now stretch out and start eating the ground straight down beneath it mixing the poor animals meat with soft fertile soil. Inside the seed is moved toward said mixture and the mouth keeps eating till the kiwi-like skin explodes resulting in the seed being buried with soil that is basically 9 times more fruitful than soil normally found around it. It will then take 2 full years to fully grow and a further 8 years to blossom and bear fruit. A grown fruit-bearing tree will bear fruit yearly during the Urvgal's mating season which last another 50 days.  

Habitat

It can be found world-wide but have recently been exterminated near old settlements and the citadel for safety and preservation reasons. Its certainly not found on the continent of Tuava as it is not an coastal tree nor does it pollinate so no other islands have any specimens either. It prefers flat humid rainforests away from any bodies of water or more mountainous regions.  

Cultivation

Toegan Fruit

by Kelleth

You'd think these trees would be avoided at all costs but for most of the year they are harmless to wild-life. Fiera and Fiya have come to appreciate its flowers for perfume or to paint their clothes with. The fruit cannot eat through steel or glass so both species of cats have come up with ingenious ways of enticing the fruit to let itself fall in to baskets made of glass and metal. They are the brought to the factories where they are handled with special pliers. They first stretched on specially designed metal rods that stretches them to the limits in all directions. Then the mouths which are still moving are cut off. These are used to decorations and traditional Fiya jewellery. Then the fruits are stretched inside out revealing the edible meat and its seed. This meat skimmed off and made into a white jam. the seeds are roasted and skinned and are used for numerous dishes or snacks. The fruit skin is treated, dried and treated again till it is cut in certain ways to make a type of leather used for anything from boots to furniture.   A local Fiya mayor told me about the tale of Bayu the Sleeper and the Toegan tree and it sounded horrifying. So why exactly am I standing next to one with a metal umbrella and a note book during the Urvgal's mating season? It is interesting to see these traditions play out but I'd rather observe from a distance. Did they not know that I am an elf who can see things from great distances? Sigh~ At least I can add this experience to the chronicles.- Arelaine the Great of Alfheim


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