Wood Material in Nideon | World Anvil
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Zenxon is the area of Nideon with the most diverse variety of trees, including trees that would not be expected to grow on the island. Most people believe this is due to the presence of the sprites on the island. Though Sprites are tied to Wind Magic, forests have always been an important part of their culture, so much so that some sprite stories say that the Calistian gods of wind and plants fought over them. Early sprites got much of their diet from local fruit trees, as well as using the trees to make their homes and even clothing. Wood also became a useful resource for humans, after their colonization of Zenxon.

Wood as Fuel

Naturally, both humans and sprites have used wood as fuel for centuries. Fires were burned to provide people with both heat and light. Sprites even used wicks made of Aadia fibers to make their candles, and they have historically used wood to burn bodies as part of their funerary rituals. The use of trees for burning fires was considered a way to clear out the forest and prevent plant overcrowding and keep the forest healthy.

Wood for Construction

Throughout their history, the vast majority of sprite houses have been made of wood. Typically, sprites cut down a number of trees, and then clear an area in the forest, using a controlled burn. They then build homes with the cut trees in the clearing. Thus sprite villages are both in the forest and made of the forest. They believe this is important because it gives them an extra incentive to protect the forests. In more urban areas, sprite homes are still usually built of wood. They are often built among or sometimes around living trees or covered in other plants.

Wood Carving

Sprites not only build their houses out of the trees around them, but wood is also the chosen material for many of the things within their houses, from furniture to kitchenware. Wood carving is perhaps the most elevated artform in sprite culture. It is taught to young sprites as a way practice fine motor skills, and carved wooden trinkets are common courtship gifts. After settling the island, human merchants would buy sprite-made furniture and other items for a pittance and sell it overseas for exorbitant amounts. Wood carvings, usually of sprite make, remain popular souveniers for tourists visiting Zenxon.

Wood as Export

When humans arrived in Zenxon, they recognized the sprite connection to the forests, and used it against them. During the years of war between them, the humans tried to control as much of the forests as possible, knowing that by controlling the forests, they controlled the sprites. They even burned down parts of it in attempts to flush out the sprites
At first, the humans built primarily out of stone, if only as a means of gaining superiority over the sprites, but soon also took to building with wood, as it was the most abundant resource in Zenxon. They also began to export wood to other countries.
The use of the forests in this way, without the care formerly shown by the sprites, soon saw its destruction. In some areas, sprites were moved into depeleted forests, only to see them return. At first, this was declared sprite trickery, but over time, humans began to listen to sprite wisdom regarding the care of the forests, and more and more sprites were hired to tend them, and ensure their survival.
Related Species

Aadia Tree

Sprites have a special relationship with the Aadia tree, native only to Zenxon. Though they use the wood, it is more common to make yarn from the fibers of aadia leaves which they knit into blankets, rugs, and clothing. Shoes are often made of softened and re-shaped aadia bark.

Other Trees

Aspen: Aspen trees are more populous in Zenxon than most other areas of Nideon. Sprites traditionally use them for kitchen utensils, but these were the first trees the humans began exporting, and they almost died out.
Balsa: Due to its bouancy, balsa wood is still used among sprites to make rafts for both river and ocean rafting. Sprites also have used it to make lesser versions of other woodcrafts in order to sell to humans who intend to resell their works at two or three times the price.
Ebony: Zenxon is also one of the few places ebony is grown. Because it is very hard, it is considered a wood only used by master woodworkers.
Larch: During the sprite-human wars on Zenxon, sprites usually built their fortresses out of larch wood, as most humans had an allergic reaction to it. For centuries after the fall of Pine, it continued to be the most popular wood for sprite homes.
Poplar: Because it is soft and easy to work with, poplar is typically used for sprites to begin learning woodcarving skills.

Cover image: by Unsplash


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