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Raoxen Trees

The Raoxen trees are a variation, native to Rekia, of the Rao trees from Uchana brought to the region by the first settlers during the Second Age of Expansion.

Description

Raoxen are long-lived, evergreen, tall trees with thin trunks and compact crowns.
Like Rao trees, the Raoxen absorbs water from the soil and turns it into sap which is stored in the trunk for when water is scarce (a periodical occurrence in Uchana). Unlike Uchana, Rekia is a region with a larger precipitation rate. With more water, the raoxen produces more sap which makes the trunk bendier. As the trees grew, and their trunks became both heavier and softer, they lean into the tree closer to them and began to twist into the shape of a braid.

The excess water also changed the reproductive capabilities of the trees. Instead of small, light, dry fruits full of seeds, the Raoxen has large, oval-shaped, seedless soft fruits with a kidney-shaped buttery pulp. Each Raoxen tree trunk produces up to fifty fruits per year.

Connection to the Raoxeni

"One for each of you, so you'll remember we need the embrace of our friends to thrive and grow"
— words of the Wise Ones to the group of settlers who would travel in the direction of nowadays Rekia, as they gave them their parting gifts: the original hundred seedlings of Rao trees.
The reproduction of the Raoxen trees is directly connected to the raoxeni people, as the tree alone is unable to do it.
Within a few years of noticing the new behavior of the trees, the words of the Wise Ones at the beginning of their journey became clearer. The raoxeni believed the trees were an omen of good fortune and that they represented their history. That's how the Cutting Ceremony began.
Whenever a family had children, the parents would make a cutting using branches of the families' trees and plant it at the base of the tree the babies were heir's too. This tree would later braid itself to the others joining their roots and becoming one big tree.
With the richer soil and the influx of hatchlings the trees began to get extremely wide, this lead to a new custom where newlyweds could petition their families and later the village, for permission to create a cutting of their own trees and plant it as a new one.
A few hundred years later what started as a group of sixty trees, became a wide forest of intertwined canopies.

Other Uses and Products

The fruit of the raoxen is used in special occasions:
  • During the wedding ceremony: The parents of the newlyweds would make rusu, a dish made with mashed fruit of raoxen, cheese, and garlic, to wish them a fruitful marriage.
  • During birth: A paste made with the pulp of the raoxen fruit is rubbed in the makwatzu to help ease the egg laying and prevent tearing.
  • After the hatching: As the new children are presented, the parents would feed them small pieces of warm raoxen fruit to welcome them into the family.

Sacred Trees

Nowadays, harming a raoxen tree is an offense that carries a death penalty. The only time a raoxen tree can be cut deeper than in the seedling ceremony, is when a family member is cast out. in such cases, the trunk belonging to the offending member, would be cut at the base, and within time the rest of the trunk would slowly bleed out and the dried chunks would fall off leaving a permanent empty space.


Raoxen Forests.png
Raoxen Trees Forests Distribution by Evan Arix
Raoxen Tree.jpg
Raoxen Tree by Víctor Carbajal
Lifespan
Unknown
Average Height
The tallest Raoxen to date is 350 mts tall.

Upper Base
When the first addition to a braided tree is added (when a family has its first batch of hatchlings), the family would boil water at the base of the tree and the steam would rise softening the upper branches and making them more maleable. While the wood is soft, they would insert a large vase (the size of an adult nabasti) at the top. The new trunks, as they grow, would encase the vase creating a sort of tent like refuge where the Braid Guardian would perform its rituals as needed.
Some families use their upper base as a meditation spot, or to even hold vigils when a member passes away.
Raxoen Tree Cut.png
Grown Raoxen Tree by Víctor Carbajal

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Cover image: by Carmine De Fazio

Comments

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10 Apr, 2021 07:12

I love the idea of cutting down one of the branches and leaving a space in the large braid-trunk mesh. Very flavourful, impactful, and visual. Particularly with the cool illustration you have added to the article :D

Master Evanarix
Evan Arix Carbajal
10 Apr, 2021 16:41

Thank you!!! :D

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
10 Apr, 2021 09:23

Great article! I love the trees forming a braid together – and your image is perfect to illustrate that!   If the fruits are seedless, how does the trees reproduce? Or is the genetic material in the flesh? – or do they only reproduce when people make cuttings like you say later?   I'm also wondering how well the trees stuck in the middle thrive when the group becomes too big. Does it make higher branches than all the other to still get enough sunlight? And deeper or more extensive root network to get enough nutrients and water?   "so you'll remember we need the embrace of our friends to thrive and grow" I love that image! It's perfect to go with the tree embracing each other in the braid! I'm guessing it must have an important cultural impact in your world – with sayings and symbols :D   "became a wide forest of intertwined canopies." This is really beautiful :D   "makwatzu" You haven't introduced that word before so I'm not sure what it refers to. You could add a tooltip or an explanation in the text.   " As the new children are presented, the parents would feed them small pieces of warm raoxen fruit to welcome them into the family." This is very nice :) though you need to explain why they're able to eat solid food immediately after birth since we're used to human who can't.   "Nowadays, harming a raoxen tree is an offense that carries a death penalty. The only time a raoxen tree can be cut deeper than in the seedling ceremony, is when a family member is cast out. in such cases, the trunk belonging to the offending member, would be cut at the base, and within time the rest of the trunk would slowly bleed out and the dried chunks would fall off leaving a permanent empty space." Awww this is so sad :(

Master Evanarix
Evan Arix Carbajal
10 Apr, 2021 17:41

I loved the comment!! :D Ok I'll go step by step here, and I'll fix it in the article too <3   *Yep, the only way the trees can "spread" is by means of the cuttings. So in most cases, the trees are clone of themselves (except when they are mixed with another one).   *You know that's a very interesting observation I would have to think on. My first idea for "the trees have become too big" was that the roots were taking too much space, but I'll think about it.   *Yes, for the raoxeni one's family is the most important thing, and their community too as everyone is somehow loosely related to one another to some degree. I'll explore more of their culture in their own article (wip).   *I added the tooltip to the makwatzu, thanks for letting me know <3   *"though you need to explain why they're able to eat solid food immediately after birth since we're used to human who can't." I hadn't thought of this, I'll add it to the nabasti's article and a short tooltip here.   You've given me very interesting ideas :D

10 Apr, 2021 09:29

Great idea for a tree! The braiding together is quite interesting and it the image you provided gives me a good idea what it is supposed to look like. I think it must be quite the sight to behold. The ceremonies regarding the newly weds were a nice addition as well :)

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Master Evanarix
Evan Arix Carbajal
10 Apr, 2021 20:39

Thank you!! :DDD

10 Apr, 2021 11:51

This is a truly fascinating tree, I especially love how you've tied it so deeply in the Raoxeni's cultural practices. Its a real testament to the importance of family and patience, and the visuals you paint (as well as the actual art) are really fantastic.

Author of Interarcanum.
Master Evanarix
Evan Arix Carbajal
10 Apr, 2021 22:21

Thank you so much!! <3

10 Apr, 2021 21:24

Really interesting tree! I like that the trunk is braided together and that the fruit has several uses. :D

Master Evanarix
Evan Arix Carbajal
10 Apr, 2021 22:25

Thank you Emyyy! <3

11 Apr, 2021 21:21

I remember when you told us about this tree and I thought it was a great idea and now is a great article!! I love the way you integrate the rituals with the natural environment in all your articles but this one I feel is special.

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12 Apr, 2021 17:48

That's a really neat idea - I can just see in front of me how the tree kind of lean into each other and start twining up for mutual support. Really interesting :D   I really like how you've added cultural cues too, like the penalty of hurting one, and the wedding ceremony. Great stuff :D

15 Apr, 2021 21:48

That permanent gap sounds mentally painful, constantly being reminded of it. :<

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young