The Isuni Meneratt is a tree in the flowering plant family. The plant is native to the Nedishan rainforests where it is called by its native name Teshna Fo-Shet, or 'tree of the burned flesh', as it is most directly translated.
It is a small evergreen tree growing to 10-12m tall, with a long, hollow trunk about three meters across, with the hollow 'eye' about a meter in diameter. The trunk is porous, containing small tubes through the trunk that lead from the inside of the trunk, and upward to the outside. The holes on the outside of the trunk are covered with bulbs that are composed of an elastic substance. Covering the entire inner trunk is a thin, brown jelly that slowly oozes out of it's many tubes.
Further separating the Isuni Meneratt from other trees are its long, sheath type leaves 4-7 meters long and 3-10 cm wide, which hang from the top of the Isuni Meneratt like ribbons that start out black at the top of the tree, and end white at the tip. The leaves are not leathery to the touch like many trees, but are actually composed of a rather spongy material that is always moist with water. These leaves are cold to the touch.
Indeed, not only are they cold to the touch, but they actually cool the air around them as well. In their moist, native climate, this cooling of the air creates a sort of continual rainfall for the Isuni Meneratt, which is good, because the tree requires large amounts of water to survive. The difference in temperature can be quite startling, as the leaves of the Isuni Meneratt can bring the temperature down to as little as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Isuni Meneratt actually contains a natural anti-bacterial, which prevents the tree from rotting, and although it's skin is relatively weak to physical damage, few animals bother the tree. That is because the pods on the outside of the tree contain an extremely foul smelling chemical, which acts both as a natural pesticide to bugs that penetrate the pods, as well as a strong deterrent to animals who decide to rub up against the tree. When these pods are broken, not a hard task by any means, they pop, releasing their foul smelling contents onto any predators.
The leaves actually absorb both light and heat for the Isuni Meneratt. The light and heat that gets absorbed is transferred to the tree, which then uses that, and minerals from the soil, and water, to form the gelatinous substance that covers the tree's inner spiral. This substance is extremely flammable, and if enough congeals in a single place, causes a thermal reaction that forces it to ignite. Once on fire, the 'eye' of the tree can reach temperatures well into the hundreds, and spouting a gout of flame that leaps dozens of meters into the air.
The air within the 'eye' of the tree then expands as a result, forcing extremely hot air through the tubes and into the pods. The pods' less-than-solid structure allows them to expand to almost ten times their original size, where they finally release from the tree, and pull a thin membrane with them that close the pods. The pods now act as hot-air balloons, floating high into the sky, and potentially traveling great distances before they finally land, and collapse in a puff of terrible smelling vapor that keeps animals and insects from eating the seeds inside. Only good soil and large quantities of water will allow the new seeds to sprout. Meanwhile, the Isuni Meneratt, undamaged by the fire due to it's flame retardant inner coating, begins producing new pods and flammable jelly.
The Isuni Meneratt has become one of the most famous and exotic trees anywhere. Although expensive to maintain, and costly to handle, the Isuni Meneratt is exported to palaces all over the world as a primitive form of air conditioning that is none-the-less extremely effective.
The Isuni Meneratt can only be employed in the finest of places for many reasons. For starters, it requires ample supply of water, and rich soil. Also, extreme pains must be taken to ensure that the tree's bad smelling chemicals do not cause any problems. This effectively means that the trees must be kept on a basement level below the room that is to be cooled with the tree's top (it's leaves only) emerging into the upper room. An air tight seal is needed between the floors to ensure that no bad smells seep through, even a little is enough to fill a room with an unpleasant smell.
This is especially true when the tree lights on fire (causing all of it's bad smells to rise). This aspect of the tree's holding area is especially hard to maintain, as a flammable material will easily be immolated during the tree's breeding cycle. A venting shaft is always required to vent excess heat and bad smells, but the shaft needs to extend far enough away as to not cause the immediate area around the building to smell terrible.
The Isuni Meneratt has other uses as well. The jelly that it secretes is nearly identical to Alchemist's fire. Indeed, and alchemist rich enough to get an Isuni Meneratt and maintain it, can produce Alchemist's fire for almost nothing except the cost of the tree. Elitist Alchemists will not even use another method, claiming that they can refine the jelly into a substance far more potent than any other substance.
The leaves also have many uses as material components in cold spells, although this use is rather impractical and not at all cost effective, because the tree will die without the leaves. Lastly, for the brave soul who dares harvest them, the seeds are like hard nuts, and once thoroughly (very thoroughly) cleaned and prepared, has a distinct flavor that can be added directly to soups or stews for flavor, or ground into a very fine spice. It fetches a high price on the market, and is rumored to be an aphrodisiac.
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? Responses (12)
I like it!
Very exotic with lots of uses and good description.
What a useful and unique plant. Good work!
Updated: made a few minor changes to wording
now this is certainly unique, a half chilled, half flammable tree that is spongy, filled with tubules and it's seeds are hot air balloons. So off the norm, and well written to boot, I cannot help but score this one high. Good work Nobody!
Mobsters could deliberatly burst a tree's pods to stink out a bar.
The great detail is what makes this bit o' flora stand out!
Lovely details, good ecology, and well executed. What is not to like about this tree? I linked it to the ever present whimsical flora because it does not directly mangle adventurers. It has some nice aspects. In fact, if the keepers could make all the trees in a grove burst at night, it could wonderful nightime entertainment.
BUMP. Great tree, great name! Scrumptious detail.
Well now, that's a change. That's a very unique seeding mechanism, as plants go. Bursts into flame to make hot-air balloon seed pods float all over the countryside. Nice work!
Update: Made a few quick changes to the tree, including a simplification of the inner eye, and some minor text changes for slightly easier reading.