Quercus tutum (the Safetree or Safe Oak) is genetically and visually identical to the white oak. Being visibly indistinguishable from the white oak, it is similarly prized for the strength of its wood.
CharacteristicsVarious small woodland animals (e.g., birds, squirrels, skunks) innately recognize the safety that trees bring. As one of the largest and most majestic trees on Murriet, and as one of the most common tree species in the area, the white oak is a common escape for these animals from their predators. The Safetree gives these creatures more safety than a normal white oak. Where a white oak may supply branches or hollows to hide in or spaces beneath their roots for burrows, Safetrees are able to teleport these creatures away to another Safetree far from the danger.
CreationA Safetree begins its life as a normal white oak, but it has a stronger External Focus than normal white oaks. Initially, the white oak will connect to nearby Safetrees when a particularly strongly Mind Realm-oriented animal needs safety. Over time and many such occurrances, it changes, making this process easier and allowing travel over further distances. Eventually, any animal that is seeking safety will find it within or around the newly created Safetree.
TeleportationThe animal's safety is not directed by the animal. Early in the creation process, it is triggered by the tree's recognition of the animal's need via a magical bond formed between the two.
Species TeleportationEventually, however, the tree loses the need for a bond or any form of need-based triggering, and will teleport any such creature that comes near, wheter it's seeking safety or not. Most Safetrees only teleport specific species of creature, depending on what animals it has bonded with in the past. In theory, a Safetree could teleport anything that came near. Well into the first millenium, there was never a recorded instance of a human being teleported by a Safetree. This doesn't mean that Safetrees cannot teleport or bond with humans, but as Safetrees weren't disovered as a subspecies by humanity until the 800s or regularly studied until well after that, the expectation is that with time, they can be used as a method of travel.
DestinationThe destination for a Safetree's teleportation is not determined by the one being teleported. It may be selected based on some combination of proximity, genetic lines, surroundings, or some other unknown factors. The destination for a Safetree's teleportation is generally another Safetree, however instances of teleportation to other (non-oak) locations are believed but unverified. As they are believed, it is likely that even if they didn't prior to their discovery, human recognition of this sub-species probably changed them such that they can teleport to non-Safetree locations.
Differences in Safetree and Human Teleportation SpellsHuman teleportation spells require direction from the magician themself. While artifacts may be created to allow non-magicians to teleport, the cost is generally high and the creation is complex. Safetree teleportation, being a non-human process, is not bound by the same magical rules and is done at a lower cost.
Human UsageDue to the expected lower cost of Safetree teleportation, humanity hopes to harness the innate magical abilities of these trees to create a cheap and re-usable teleportation network. However, by the mid 1000s, no such process had yet been created.
Genetics and Reproduction
The Safetree and white oak are genetically identical, allowing Safetrees to be offspring of white oak and vice-versa. They reproduce by dropping acorns, which eventually grow into Safetrees or white oaks.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
A variety of small forest animals and their innate belief in the safety trees offer have caused the creation of the Safetree subspecies and require it for life. Without these animals and their need for safety, the Safetree would cease to be.