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Melody Tree

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.

Basic Information

Anatomy

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.

Additional Information

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.

Average Intelligence

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.
Scientific Name
Canticum Lignium
Lifespan
Circa 100 years
Average Height
5-7 meters
Average Weight
500-1500 kilo

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Comments

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Journeyman Monkos
Andrew Booth
13 Mar, 2021 09:46

Definitely a novel defence mechanism! I love the fact that the tree is semi-sentient and can decide to use a more aggressive response if necessary, it makes a lot of sense.

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Apr, 2021 12:56

This is an interesting article and great idea for a tree! I like the idea of the trees being put in nursery and being used as anaesthetic – although there would be a risk of also affecting the nurse/doctors XD   I'm still not completely sure about what triggers the defence mechanisms since the trees have to be able to differentiate between pollinators/insect just chilling on them/predators just walking by to eat animals from insects and herbivores trying to eat its leaves. So that cannot just be touch, it must be able to feel a sense of pain, right? And it must not just get triggers by animals/people walking by since you say predators can come near enough to eat animals that are asleep. Similarly, if someone falls asleep next to a tree, other people have to be able to come close enough to retrieve them without triggering the trees… More details about that would be interesting to add – you could also add quotes to show a situation where people have to be retrieved from the tree :D   Also, a mouse hover snippet explaining what world heart would be useful, so that readers don't have to click on the article and leave this page.

7 Apr, 2021 08:52

Those are some good points. I'll think it over and expand upon the article.

6 Apr, 2021 15:22

Interesting plant, especially the way it defends itself. I also loved that small version could be used to put children to bed. That would be a great help I assume :p

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
12 Apr, 2021 21:31

The mental image of an orchardstra of trees dancing+singing in a storm is beautiful.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
17 Apr, 2021 17:39

Oh wow, I really would love to walk through a forest made of these!

Author of Interarcanum.