Harukoumu Trees Species in Starstruck | World Anvil

Harukoumu Trees

Said to have been blessed by Lechai̯, the sun deity, harukou̯mu are giant trees native to Lemikkâgi. These trees have been in decline over the last few centuries, with most fully grown harukou̯mu dead or dying. Smaller harukou̯mu, saplings in comparison to their ancestors, still dot the landscape.

Despite the rarity of live specimens, dead harukou̯mu are a common sight to any who travel Lemikkâgi Island. Fallen harukou̯mu tend to decay astonishingly slowly, disappearing almost at the same speed they grew or even slower. The oldest known fallen harukou̯mu is thought to be thousands of years old with few, if any, signs of rot. The best guess for their longevity is that to hold up their enormous weight, the wood is unnaturally dense and resistant to decay.
  Because of this legendary longevity fallen harukou̯mu can be found as hills all to themselves throughout the country. Small towns and outposts grew up around these fallen tree trunks, as they are the highest point in many areas. This has led to many of the largest towns today growing up around either live or dead harukou̯mu.

Basic Information

Anatomy

The tree rests on large buttressed roots, before rising up another couple hundred meters to the large canopy. The tree has raindrop shaped leaves that measure around 22-25 centimeters.

 

Genetics & Reproduction:

Once a year, harukou̯mu release thousands of seeds onto the winds. These seeds can fly dozens of miles to wherever their destination might be.

The seed will then hibernate unless enough magic is in the area. This means that the seed might only activate if a monster loaded with magic dies nearby. From there, the seed will grow quickly over a couple days into a sapling. After that, growth speed is still somewhat quick, but steady over the next few years.
Star Shower
Parts of the Harukoumu

Growth Rate & Stages

Harukou̯mu grow fast through the first decade of life, but slow down as resources grow scarcer. Water and naturally present minerals are sufficient during the early years to foster growth, but as the tree approaches its first 100 meters that won't be enough. From that point onward, magic present in the soil and air is absorbed to keep it alive. The maximum growth of the tree is then determined by the amount of magic present. In recent years, a harukou̯mu is lucky to reach 300 meters, but when ambient magic is everywhere, a tree can reach above 500 meters.

After death, generally due to a lack of magic in recent years, the tree will fall in one direction or another. If birdkin are in the area, the entire village will work together to try and weaken the fall. Without outside intervention, the fall can be devastating for nearby settlements. From there, the tree will begin slowly releasing magic back into its surroundings, and until then becomes a roost for numerous species that feed off these fallen harukou̯mu.

Even with the numerous species that make their lives around these trees, the wood is resilient enough to take another one to two thousand years before disappearing. Disappearance depends on the amount of magic absorbed over its lifetime. A tree that absorbed only a little magic will take a couple centuries at most before decaying. On the other hand, an 8000 year old tree might take an equal number of years to disintegrate. Trees like that are rare however, and prized by the cities lucky enough to surround them.

Biological Cycle

Being an evergreen tree, leaves shed every 10 or so years, which still leads to tens of thousands of leaves falling off each year as different parts of this very, very large tree reach that point in the cycle.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Young harukou̯mu can be raised from seeds with little to no cost, by channeling magic through the seed and the sapling. The tree won't grow particularly large, but the wood of the sapling can be turned into high quality goods. The wood is not as tough as true harukou̯mu timber but is still tougher than normal wood. Furthermore, the wood has a natural capacity to hold magic, and by channeling magic while still young attunes it to a mage's signature. Any weapon or staff carved from the resulting wood will be both tough and hard to 'overload' with magic.
harukoumu hill plateau


On the other hand, the wood of a fallen harukou̯mu can also be used as a material for furniture or weapons, being harder than most metals but with an amazing flexibility. The flexibility isn't anything extreme, but a short sword created from the wood is never going to break from the stress of battle. The wood is, in fact, unlikely to break for anything at all.  
  The treatment methods to create something from it are a state secret, but however the products are created, they still look as if they were hand carved from ordinary wood. If not for the products' durability, no one would be able to tell that they are not from a normal tree.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

There is generally only one fully grown harukou̯mu per 1-2km2. Multiple smaller harukou̯mu can take up the same space, and many saplings can make up a forest, before resource deprivation culls the majority later in life.

Average Intelligence

The trees are utterly unintelligent like most trees. Magic has altered many things about it but a brain continues to not be present.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

While technically not symbiotic, the harukou̯mu's branches house a whole forest's worth of epiphytes (non-parasitic plants that grow on another plant). Several tree species are unique to this ecosystem up in the sky, as well as dozens of bushes, ferns, mosses, and so on.

Of course, there are also many species of animals and insects that live up here as well.
All the species in the upper boughs are different than those below, as the height creates a slightly cooler environment. The canopy of most standard harukou̯mu are at least 270m above the ground with some as high as 400m. This means that while the ground is about 76°F, its about 70.5°F to 68°F up there. At this height there's also very few sources of magic, so the magical species up there can only rely on what magic is emitted by the tree.
Scientific Name
Magna Antaris
Lifespan
1000-10,000 years
Average Height
300-500 meters
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
The bark is a medium grey/brown, with a smooth texture.
Related Materials
Average Width
30-55m

Ecology:


Lives in rain-forests with particularly high ambient magic. While heavy precipitation of a rain-forest fulfills much of its needs, an equally high amount of magic is required to support it. The amount of 'natural' ambient magic has gone down in recent years, leading to harukou̯mu relying on older dead harukou̯mu releasing magic or other native magic species dying and releasing their magic into the environment.

The top boughs and canopy contain their own ecosystem of trees, bushes, and animal life, all watered by moisture trapped by its branches. This water is captured from clouds passing above the tree. The trees living in the boughs are in fact separate sub-species from the forests below, adapted to the greater heights and limiting resources of the canopy. The seeds are brought to young harukou̯mu by the birds that make these trees their home.
Star Shower Festival
Tradition / Ritual | Apr 24, 2018

Festival Below the Starry Canopy


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