Tree of Life Species in Orlos | World Anvil
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Tree of Life

First tenant: Protect the tree in all its aspects across the planet.

Tenants of the The Heartwood

The Tree of Life is not the single location that many believe it to be. The Tree is instead many different organisms that, although they may be drastically different in appearance (generally described as different aspects of the tree) and hundreds of miles apart, are all linked. This link is often called the root and is one of the least understood phenomena on Orlos.

The Root

As you recommended, your eminence, I travelled up to the valley to see the state of the silver tree there. As you had predicted it bore similar wounds to our own Evergreen. At the base of the trunk, where the cursed orcs chopped had chopped the Evergreen down, the Silver Tree bore a weeping wound that the Heartwoods were having trouble quenching. The fall of our grove has had far more significant consequences on the region and the rest of the Tree of Life than I had ever imagined.

Missive of messenger Alnoral to
Heartmaster Evergreen, 1764 AC

The Root is believed to be the source of the connection between the different aspects of the Tree of Life. Although they often have a physical element when they are in close proximity to each other, the root transcends a physical capacity. The Tree of Life has managed to prject its root into other realms to help safeguard them.

This makes severing the connection between different Trees of Life difficult. One would need to sever the physical root on Orlos, as well as, the energy connections on the energy and astral planes. This act, due to the strength of the connection could take weeks to accomplish and, even once broken, the severed aspect could take months more to die as it attempts to reestablish the connection.
by Arimel using Midjourney

The same root that links all of the different aspects and gives them strength also makes the trees vulnerable. Events at one aspect of the tree have been seen to have effects on other nearby aspects. This could cause cascading effects within the tree should an aspect be slain or strengthened.

Aspects of the Tree of Life

In my years of travelling I have only encountered three different aspects of the tree. Only my natural affinity with them allowed me to recognize them as their appearance was as different as the different colors on an Autumn tree.

Andoral Heartwood

There are no two Trees of Life that are identical or could be recognized as the same species without intensive study. Some are ginormous trees, similar to great oaks of old. Others are hardy bushes clinging to coastal rocks. Still others are great flowers that can be smelled across long distances.

These differences in appearance both mark adaptations to the environment in which they are located but also to the creatures and cultures surrounding them. This brings about changes in how certain trees feed and appear (like the Bloodroot or Silver Tree).

This also influences the alignment of the tree. Trees surrounded by more peaceful cultures tend to have more positive effects while those in tougher environments or eviler cultures tend to have more negative effects. As a result, although the tree itself is deemed as neutral, its different aspects could have much more virulent alignments.

This balance is always kept within the tree. There are recorded instances where there is a known aspect of immense goodness that there is an equally evil aspect. Thus, it is dangerous to encourage the tree away from its more neutral tendencies.

Specific Trees of Life

The Silver Tree

Located in the Darnal Valley, the Silver Tree is the center of a Shrine to Laros. The tree itself is composed of living silver and it has been said a single leaf is worth three times its normal weight in silver due to the purity of the metal. However, cuttings from the tree badly sicken it and, as such, the shrine's priests keep a close watch to ensure that none are taken.

Additionally, the tree is known to produce a sap which has been called 'Lifegiver' by the many pilgrims who visit. It is said that a single sip can restore the spirit of a person and a full vial could even bring back the dead.
by Arimel using Midjourney

The Greenfrost

Growing in the heart of a glacier upon which rests the city of Ispjutar, the Greenfrost is a giant evergreen tree. Its needles are points sharper than any arrow and it has a constant frost upon it, even in the summer when the snow surrounding it melts.

Despite the glacier itself moving ever downwards towards the sea, the Greenfrost remains stationary, resisting the ice's tide. It has been interpreted as a symbol of strength and endurance by the surrounding Goliath tribes.

The Bloodroot

The Bloodroot in an aspect of the Tree of Life located in the White Orc Tribe's territory. It is a huge, malshapen shrub forming a great know of vines, brambles, and thorns the size of swords. The shrub has grown immense, feeding upon the blood of the orcish prisoners sacrificed in its glades.

The bramble is used to produce the deadliest of weapons for the tribes, with each thorn being aking to a short sword or rapier and, within each, a poison so deadly that most victims are dead within minutes. It is said that to die upon the thorns of the Bloodroot is to know eternal torment as it devours your soul.
by Arimel using Midjourney

The Free Kelp

The Free Kelp is exactly what it sounds like, a giant kelp vine that floats freely through Orlos's oceans. No root or vine secures it to the ocean's floor and it floats at the whims of the currents. The kelp is known for providing a safe refuge for those within its tangles, hiding them from the predators that hunt the waters. As such, it often has countless schools of fish surrounding it.

The Lord of Oak

In very rare occasions it has been theorized that the aspects of the Tree of Life can gain sentience. Whether this is the conscious effort of the tree itself or the whimsy of local spellcasters is unknown. The only recorded example of this having possibly occurred is in reference to the Lord of Oak.

The Lord of Oak was a guardian of life in the north of Tangearin and the center of the druidic order of the Circle of Hill and Dale. He had great intelligence and wisdom and, his death in 2325 AC, aided the The Coal Crushers in defeating Arcalturn. He is said to have had great magical potential and the valley through which he walked was so fair that even the more fey races settled into his domain.
by Arimel using Midjourney

The different aspects of the Tree of Life has been greatly debated, particularly regarding what may happen should a more evilly aligned aspect gain the same prominence and intelligence of the The Lord of Oak.

Geographic Distribution
Related Organizations
The Heartwood
Organization | Dec 3, 2022

The Heartwood are a group that protect the Tree of Life. Although dispersed, the Heartwood are powerful travelers and communers with nature. They organize pilgrimages to visit the trees and protect them from harm.

The Tree of Life and the Wilds

Many of the wilder and harsher aspects of the Tree of Life are surrounded by the tribes at the edges of civilization. The trees tend to reflect the aspects of the culture they are surrounded by, being tough enough to survive the harsh wilds.

The Church of Laros

The Church of Laros is the religion that is most connected to nature. Already very dispersed and shamanistic, the priests tend to focus their shrines around known aspects of the Tree of Life. Some even believe that the Tree of Life is the physical manifestation of their deity.

Articles under Tree of Life

Cover image: by Arimel using Midjourney


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