Named for a nearly forgotten goddess of wealth and prosperity, the Hemangini Tree is a rare thing. The tree's roots burrow deep into the earth and draw out rare and precious metals. The tree blooms with the most lovely flowers, hued by the metal it has consumed. The long lived flowers fall away, and come fall, hard nuts of near solid precious metal are dropped. The composition of these acorns is determined by the metal present, and the trees range from most common copper to etherially rare platinum and mythril. Most dwarves dislike these trees, and burn them when possible.
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? Responses (17)-17
This is a neat one.
"Yeah, that tree drops silver acorns. has for years."
The old mine's gone dry, and nobody knows that the reason is that one of these has grown in over top of it. Find the reason before the village dies!
In order to make a staff to detect gold, attach the tooth of a dragon to a staff of Hemangini wood, hewn from the tree by a beardless dwarf.
Ws there not already a tree like this on this site? I imagine elves would like these trees; this way they can get their metals without ugly mining, dwarves of course rather mine. Maybe the few rare dwarven druids would cultivate a few of these trees In a scify-setting trees like these would be alien fauna or the product of advanced bioengineering. Maybe growing on the old ruines of our civilization....
I believe the submission you were thinking of is this: http://strolen.com/viewing/Goldleaf
I love speculative biology....and as people seemed interested in fleshing out these trees more in the comments section I really want to join in. Forgive me if I take a too structured a course with my side of the discussion.
One reason these trees may be rare, is it may be very hard for them to reproduce, because it would be very difficult for their seeds to germinate as the nuts are solid metal. Unless the embryos them selves can digest or absorb the solid metal, which it seems reasonable that they could and this shell would function like a down payment on the sapling. But this metal-nut-flesh would lack what we think of classic nutrients such a lipids, proteins and sugars. Do these trees require what
You may up also play up that this drawing up of cations could change to the pH of the surrounding soil. Could these roots take up non metalic ions such as Sodium and Calcium?
So the trees burn, dwarves burn them, does the metal content make them work like lightening rods?
Several reasons the trees could be rare:
Lightning strikes do shatter the trees.
Animals do not disperse the seeds, since squirrels can't eat metal
People keep stealing the seeds and not letting any of them germinate
Dwarves are real good at chopping them up
Once the metal in an area is depleted the trees wither
Unless you have metal eating squirrels....
Lightning would actually melt the metal in the trees, fusing the rare and precious metals together. It would be a rare thing indeed to find an item forged from the fused metals of a Hemangini Tree. One could argue that the trees are parasites until a strike of lightning turns them into something much more valuable.
A clever miner would plant these trees instead of spending years of digging out an extensive mine. Just plant and harvest the trees a few years later. Maybe dwarves hate these trees so much because a commoner could use them to extract metals with no effort while the dwarves spent thousands of years perfecting their mining.
Sweet idea! At first, I read the squirrel submission and thought it was kind of cool, but with this I love it!
I like the idea of challenging yourself to do a post in 100 words, and you did so beautifully here. You've given us the perfect amount of information to want, and therefore create more.
I'm especially enamored of the idea that Dwarves hate the Hemangini. A religious taboo I'd think, a direct opposition to the convenience of the thing. Metal, after all, takes an intense amount of labor and man-hours to mine, and the process is notoriously lethal. If one can simply pluck a metal nut from a tree, what does that say about all the ancestors who languished and died in the mines? Are their souls no longer worth anything? Better to just destroy the plant.
It's also a wonderful explanaition of why especially hippy-dippy elves might be in possession of metal tools and weapons despite mines having a bad habit of killing or displacing life in the area.
I liked the interesting quirks of Goldleaf trees, and for the same reasons do I like this. An interesting piece of world-fluff.
I would suggest a variant:
Since the chances of the tree sitting on a viable vein are not really that high, it instead draws to it all of the metals present in the soil and whatever stone it can reach. As a result, most of its acorns would be of the regular sort, but others would be of different varieties - most iron but with smatterings of other types depending on their abundance. So one tree might bear a variety of acorns that would need to sorted through to get what you want.
The Iron acorns would still be in great demand by blacksmiths and could be used directly as sling ammunition.
True, it is rare that the tree would be sitting on a vein or precious metals, but lacking the precious metals, what says it would even survive. I imagine the tree as a creation of elfin plant shaping, and as they spread seeds, the trees that survive reveal the locations of valuable metal seams.
I was going to write a 100-word comment, but thought better of it. Great idea and writing challenge! I couldn't ask for a better way to ease myself back into submission writing! Oh and the tree is pretty cool.
Put that sucker over a lead-rich vein and you've got a natural musket ball manufactory.
perfect 100 word 5/5