The island of Rishinile is known to be a place of concentrated magic, much of its flora and fauna imbued with fantastical abilities. One of the most famous is the melody tree. While physically looking very common, aside from its many-colored flowers, it is capable of producing the beautiful music. This music is a magical defense mechanism, dimming aggression and even sending potential dangers to sleep. The natives are very proud of this fantastical tree, which grows in great numbers on the island. Despite its beloved status, the tree is not without dangers. Falling asleep in the wild is a good way to end up as food for predators, many of which have learnt to check around melody trees for potential easy prey. If the tree feels its music is not enough either, it will wildly swing its branches, which are more than capable of causing injury to the unwary.
Its main body is its thick trunk, which is covered in a protective layer of bark. From there, several branches spread out in various positions, usually focused in areas where the plant can soak in the light of the world heart. The leaves are broad and a deep green in color. The most notable ability of the tree is its ability to produce a melodious sound, from which it is named. Should the plant feel endangered, such as by harm done to it, it can produce a beautiful soothing music. This sound is magical in nature and has a lulling effect, potentially even sending those who listen to it into a deep sleep. Should this prove insufficient, it is capable of limited mobility, swinging its massive branches around to deter potential threats.
Genetics and Reproduction
Every so often if the tree is in good health, beautiful flowers will open on its branches. These attract various insects and birds to feed on the plant's sugar-rich nectar, which in turn exposes them to pollen. This pollen is then carried to other melody trees, resulting in fertilized seeds. When the flowers wither, they scatter these seeds. Most will be eaten by various animals or land in sub-optimal soil, but a few will land in good places for new melody trees to grow.
Growth Rate & Stages
Melody trees sprout and take root after a couple of cycles under optimal circumstances. They then start growing their main trunk, which slowly widens and thickens as the tree grows, branches sprouting from it to help absorb more daylight. It's at this point it develops its ability to produce its melody, giving it a better chance of growing up without being eaten by herbivores.
Ecology and Habitats
The melody tree grows in warm areas with plenty of access to water. Its rich nectar provide a stable food source for many nearby animals.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Nutrients are absorbed from the ground itself through its roots. Photosynthesis via its green leaves assist in producing energy. Water is taken in by both.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
While its song is a defense mechanism, its has been harnessed as a useful sleeping aid. People with insomnia or other problems sleeping often rustle its leaves to provoke its song, using it to force theselves to sleep. In the past it was also used by doctors, as the deep sleep induced by the tree served as a sort of anesthetic, though this has fallen out of practice with the availability of more reliable alchemical and chemical solutions. Parents often gather young trees to place in their child's room, using it to help their child sleep better.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The plant is endemic to Rishinile, in the sphere of Sabiralsahra. Though a few specimens have been exported to collectors and botanical gardens.
The tree possesses a rather advanced threat assessment capability, which determines whether or not it will unleash its powers on a given target. In general, the lighter the target is, the less of an immediate risk the tree considers it, which allows pollinators to descend upon it or birds to land on it. Damage done by such smaller targets are usually met with a shake of the corresponding branch. Larger, heavier targets register as a more immediate threat, especially if they seem to move straight towards the tree. Actual harm done to the tree will trigger a more powerful response. This system is not perfect and the tree can be set off by things that either isn't a threat or which its attacks have no effects on. For example, powerful windstorm can set entire orchards of melody trees off, leaving them swinging and singing against the weather itself.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Singing trees detect things through a variety of methods. Their roots can pick up on vibrations in the ground, giving the plant a dim awareness of anything nearby. It is also capable of sensing if its leaves are touched, or if damage is done to its bark.
Circa 100 years
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