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Blood Wood

by hughpierre
The term "Blood Wood" can refer to one of three elements:
  1. The bloodwood tree
  2. The blood woods as a wooded area in the marsh
  3. The blood wood as kindling taken from the peculiar blood wood tree

Basic Information

Anatomy

Pods

In-the-place of leaves, blood woods grow green, porous and unappetizing beans on its branches, the weight of which drags the tree branches downwards into an umbrella shape.

Blood Sap

The sap is the previous state the tree's bark salt existed before it was able to escape and dry in the open air. Special tree tappers, resistant to its corrosive effects, are used to collect low amounts at a time to sell as poisons and alchemical material.

Biological Traits

Acidic Sap

The sap seeping through is so acidic, it supposedly burns the tree itself as it migrates out and hardens into the tree's bark, like a scab.

Growth Rate & Stages

Sprout

Blood Wood is a slow growing tree. Its first beans will appear above the ground as a fused and hardened fist, raising no taller than a hand. All the while, its root system can take up a 30 feet radius in salty soil.  

Sapling

As a sapling, it is perpetually bowed in the direction of the sun with many pods forming on its thin trunk and even thinner branches. Its roots, in contrast, are thick and robust and circulating blood sap among its roots and the soil.  

Adult Tree

Nearing maturity, the blood wood experiences a growth spurt where the above ground sapling becomes the tip of the spear to cut the air. The truck that follows grows thicker and wider as time moves forward.
As a result, it resembles something of a wonky pyramid-like cross section

Ecology and Habitats

Blood Woods grow healthily, though crookedly, near the marshes' brine pools and saltwater rivers. An abundance of salt is imperative to the woods' healthy growth of sap and bark.

Biological Cycle

Repetitive Motion

Unbidden, a blood wood tree sways to its own whims. The result of a repetitive and pulsing discharge between the bloody sap inside the tree and the salty bark that covers it outside.    This is a type of natural circuitry understood and appropriated into the coven's legs to grant their walking movement. The tinges' house designs allow the matriarchs to control the coven's direction and speed by manipulating the bark salt into shift their concentrations within the bloodwood legs.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Bark Salt

It is the source of the bark salt which is disguised between the wood crevices as crumbling brownish powder.   It is a teotl conductive material that undulates naturally during lightning storms which causes the blood wood to appear to sway without wind.
 

Pod Spice

When the trees pods are mixed with foods and boiled together, they release a pungent seasoning that adds a significant spicy flavour that can overwhelm those unaccustomed to it. Locals take it as a test of endurance to eat the pods with everything else.  
However, biting into them causes an explosion of such bitterness that people can physically recoil and be put out of finishing their meal.
— visitor to Orbit

Blood Wood

Blood Wood is an exotic wood that only grows in the salty conditions in the marshes. Blood Wood gives extra flavor to meats that are cooked over its blood-fed fire.  
It has since gotten even rarer due to the invasion and competition of Grass Trees: another plant that can grow under salty conditions.
— retired Garden Keeper to a parlour information session

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The "Blood Woods" is also the name given to the forestry areas in the Marshes; which as one can discern, composes mostly of Blood Wood.
Tinged man who migrated to Krix

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Many organisms in the ecology of this area, such as the black rain frog, are heavily dependent on this tree filtering the brine for drinkable water. Grey worms also navigate their extensive root system.  
Other than humans peeling off its bark, the blood wood has no natural predators.

Civilization and Culture

Average Technological Level

Wightery

Wightery
Technology / Science | Apr 8, 2021
Wightery is the study of the dynamic motions that result between the interaction of bark salt and blood sap found in the Blood Wood. It is most infamously used to raise the tinge undead as the labour force that tend to Place of Orbit's food growing needs. It can take years before a corpse is ready to be reanimated, and takes no damage to the tree.   Wights also form part of the personal attendants to the permanent and nomadic residents in the Brine Marshes. For the types of covens below, bloodwoods need to be carefully harvested as long unbroken trunks (to maintain the wightery effects); taking special care to avoid burns from the acidic sap.
 
Tequiua
Vehicle | Jan 18, 2021
A lightweight rapid attack vehicle that is most commonly utilized by tinge men to aid in their labours.
Coven
Vehicle | Mar 12, 2021
A standard home to many who live within the many coven trains patrolling the marshes.
The Tepeua
Vehicle | Jan 18, 2021
A one-of-a-kind heavy assault vehicle that never quite reached its intended purpose.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Tinged Funeral Rites

A common funeral tradition that involves preserving the corpse in the brine waters before placing them in bulbous pods of animal skin decorated with tassels, shells and bird bones. Then the bodies are hung from a Blood Wood in offering to the tree.  
In truth: it is most viable to trade the softer tissue in the body that nourishes its host tree; in exchange, the favoured salt slowly replaces parts of the skin and muscle to form a wight.

Lifespan
155 years
Average Physique
Due to its slow growth, its main trunk grows in a crooked path.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Black and red stained bark from a reddish sap that almost constantly bleeds through its cracks and crevices.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials
Taulli
Ethnicity | Dec 3, 2020
Tinged
Ethnicity | Apr 14, 2021

Events that use Blood Wood

Karwansa Fish Festival
Tradition / Ritual | Jan 18, 2021
— pod spice are a popular additive to mīchin mōli sauces
Wight War
Military Conflict | Jan 18, 2021
— the bark salt and blood sap collected over hundreds of years in the witches' body bags hung on blood woods form into unique weapons of war
Panquetzaliztli
Tradition / Ritual | Mar 31, 2021
— the wood from the blood wood is burned as fuel to cook sacred meals
Toxcatl
Tradition / Ritual | Jan 10, 2021
— the wood from the blood wood is burned as fuel to cook sacred meals

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Cover image: Dathomir

Comments

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23 Mar, 2021 20:26

Hello! Thank you for this read. It is a weird and interesting plant, that brought me a few comments and questions.   Firstly, why do the leave take this sort of bean shape? Is it because the plant does not need photosynthesis to grow? Is it because there is a ton of light around, or the photosynthesis is so efficient that there is no need for the plant to have a massive surface area to grow? Is it to store water?   You mentioned that the plant does not have any predator, but also that a lot of lifeforms use it to obtain water. Don't they eat the plant then? Or do they simply drink water that has been filtered by the plant, on the ground?   Finally, one small suggestion: you added a ton of links and article blocks toward other parts of your world, which is really great to incite people to explore that world by themselves. However, I feel like you should still add a tiny bit more text and information on this article itself: some definitions, things that can help understand the tree and make it able to stand more on its own as well.   All in all, it is still a nice entry! Good job!

With love,   Pouaseuille.   I finally participated to The Costume Challenge: here's an entry if you like!
24 Mar, 2021 17:31

Hi, thanks for your questions.   The first and second answers are related. The tree's environment is one where layers of sea salt are carried into the soil every year in salt storms. This forces a lot of plants to evolve saltwater tolerance. For the blood wood this involved absorbing copious amounts of salt into its leaves, which adapted to become dark pea sized bulbs that limited its ability to photosynthesize properly. In addition, this world's sun emits a violet hue, further limiting photosynthesis.   Much of a plant's nutrition comes from the soil. Along with the salt, a lot of sea life are dredged from the ocean during storms and their battered bodies deposited into the ground to decompose and nutritionize the soil. Also, the tree's root systems have an incredible amount of surface area. So much so, that the water it filters is able to collect within the immediate soil the roots encircle and where small animals dig to drink the dirt. Most everything else about the plant is toxic in some way.   It is not perfect though. They do not grow straight up like other trees. Their trunks are wider the closer to their roots and become progressively narrower the taller they grow, making it resemble an elongated pyramid. In addition, the tree has different bouts of periodic growth spurts and its life stages where it grows rapidly in one direction and by the next growth spurt, grows towards another direction; making it look crooked.   And thanks for the suggestion. How do you think the article blocks look?

24 Mar, 2021 18:19

Thank you for these details. I understand better the physiology of the plant. I liked that idea of a somewhat crooked tree!   I think you made a good use of the article blocks: since all the articles have a unique cover image, they act both as an illustration and as an introduction to the rest of the content. I'd still suggest you to add more info in the text itself, but you should definitely keep the article blocks that way!

With love,   Pouaseuille.   I finally participated to The Costume Challenge: here's an entry if you like!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Apr, 2021 20:25

This is an interesting tree! Having the acidic sap just burn through the tree until it solidifies into bark is a nice idea! The tree must have some good regenerative abilities to survive that.   "This type of natural circuitry is understood and appropriated into the the coven's legs to the tinges' designs; with the matriarch controlling the direction and speed of the coven by manipulating the bark salt to shift its concentrations within the legs." I wasn't sure what you mean here, I think you need to add the explanation that your people live in the tree and that it's them you are talking about when saying "the coven". Also, adding mouse-hover snippets in your article would make it clearer what "the coven" and "the tinges" are. (you also have a typo with "the" repeated twice before coven).   For the "Average Technological Level" section, I think you could also add an explanation that those technology are made from the wood of your tree – or it doesn't look like it's even just the wood cut from the tree, but that the trees themselves are used? That's really cool! I know the baba yaga legends and it's a great way to explain how it can move!

8 Apr, 2021 19:21

Thanks for the feedback. Its been very useful.   I made some changes and added to the problematic sentence. It's not that the tinge people live in the tree (they'd burn themselves too often), but that they use the wood in building their coven homes. Covens are a mobile home for different families who move about in the marshes in groups.   I elaborated more somewhat on the "Technology Section". The original goal there was to offer a minimum information to get the reader curious enough that they click into those articles. How does it compare?

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
8 Apr, 2021 20:09

This is much clearer, great work :D

8 Apr, 2021 09:56

Interesting article! This is a very weird and kinda creepy plant, and I feel like some aspects of the plant could be explored more- why are bodies offered to the tree? What role does it play in their cultures and belief?

Author of Interarcanum.
8 Apr, 2021 20:48

Weird and creep is what I was going for, but innocuous enough for the locals to interact with regularly. Bodies are offered to the tree as part of the Wight making process:

Wightery
Technology / Science | Apr 8, 2021
  The tinge recognize the bloodwood as having exploitable properties for a technology that plays a part in their agricultural industry. But I haven't written any intense cultural relations with the tree beyond it being a hanging site. And that is explicitly for creating more labourers. Given this mindset, I didn't think that a specific belief would evolve with the tinge about this tree. They take it for what it is.   I suppose it would be comparable to a farmer choosing a natural burial on their farm so they can profitably fertilize the soil. It may stand out in comparison to their neighbours but not so strange with environmental limitations.

9 Apr, 2021 13:57

Interesting article! Seems like a creepy and weird plant. A forest with those sacs must be quite a horrific thing to behold. The thing that sold me the most though was the fact that it can be used to power moving buildings, very original idea!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
14 Apr, 2021 17:56

Thanks so much

13 Apr, 2021 18:57

Creepy tree used to make undead people, and still plenty of reasonable uses. o,o But I'd personally suggest an intro-paragraph that references the Wight-thing, since now it's all 'okay, rare tree, special uses, a bit creepy, waitwha-?'

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
14 Apr, 2021 17:54

I kinda like instilling that "wait what" reaction in readers. Snaps and readjusts their attention. :)

14 Apr, 2021 16:33

Hi Hugh! You've put a lot of effort into your article since my first reading. The layout is well done and the colour palette works well together. I would suggest adding a br right above your vehicle article blocks. With respect to your actual plant, I really like the detail and variety you've included in its components and their uses. You've done an excellent job tying Blood Wood to many facets of your world that draw me in to explore. Lastly, blood sap, salty scabs, and a persistent sway - pleasantly unnerving! Great work!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.