Each Qanquen is tall and pointed, much like a pine tree in shape. However, it is not an evergreen. Its bark and leafs are much like an oak or silk oak. They are quite pretty, though they produce a great deal of 'litter' each fall (and these leafs decompose very slowly, taking upto five years to break down). They are difficult to move through, as the branches are broad, woody, and filled with branching. The litter around them is difficult to slog though. Normally one would move around such a tree, but that is not an option for Quanquen, because there really is no such thing as one Quanquen.
Quanquen trees grow in long clustered lines, two to four trees deep. New trees grow up from the roots of existing trees, so they grow close together. The line continues approximately straight until something (rock, water, cliffside, or just an odd patch of dirt) deflects it. They form a 'wall' of tightly clustered trees that is difficult to slip between.
The trees will sometimes follow besides packed paths or ridge lines. A wall will sometimes just turn 30 to 120 degrees, with no discernable disruption. No one knows how the lines grow so straight or why they go the direction they do. Some say they follow magnetic lines, other say they follow the flow of magic, or that they follow underground streams, but no one knows for sure. (One says that they follow the walls of a fey palace/ city in another dimension...but that is more far out than most would accept).
These trees are great for making mazes (both natural and man-made). In fact one can make an above ground dungeon with these trees forming the walls of the 'corridors' and they might even make 'rooms' from time to time.
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? Responses (10)-10
Pretty cool idea there, Moon. The first thing that popped into mind was that that much deadfall and smaller branches, I bet a line of Qanqeun can burn!
Silk Oaks, the trees that these trees are most like, the litter is fairly fire retardant. If there is any moisture in the area (like dew in the morning or had rained in the recent stretch, the litter will not catch without a lot of accelerant. (Trust me, I tried. We had several of these on out properties when I was young... they drop leaves like three trees and they never go away... and you have to bag the leaves as they won't burn without being dosed with way too much gasoline..).
However, on the hottest days of summer, when no fog had been seen for weeks, things change. The tree's skin turns greyer. The litter is actually rakeable. And, importantly, both the trees and the litter will go off like a roman candles. It is all about the oils inside the tree. If there isn't enough water in them, they become volatile. The smoke is acrid and black. It leaves a residue that takes soap and water and effort to get off. The scent will cling for weeks.
The bad part, the trees only burn off their outer layers of wood. The tree is still alive under the char and will return and bloom within a year.
This would be great property trees, except silk oaks are soft brittle trees that have a limited lifespan.
Quanquen are tough, resiliant, and somewhat fire resistant. However, if they are dry enough and the fire is great enough... the entire line will go up. They will poison everything down wind. The ash will kill off the soil. It is enough to keep people from setting them afire.
An okey submission.
They could be also used as the outer 'walls' for prisons, perhaps wired a bit to make them hard to pass through (add some thorns and sharp stuff and they should be impassable for thinly-clad prisoners).
Thinking of that, combining it with nature-based magic (druids or Elves or what have you) may make them THE prison in itself - growing thick enough to be impenetrable. Just add some dangerous lifeform to live in the tree, and there you go.
You could have them forming the first line of defense of an Elven fort or castle, or as a border wall to keep out armies/bad guys/illegal immigrants.
I like it, especially with the reply to S's comment that you added. It seems realistic, but unique.
as Zylithan said, with the added the comment, its great. Love quasi-real fauna! Actually this would be closer to real than 'quasi' :)
The best submission are always submerged in reality. Most of the creature, thing, place, should have a grounding in reality, with little details to make it 'feel' more so. Then any additional expressions of wierdness or magic are firmly anchored in the 'reality' of the creature, thing, place. The magic/ wierdness should dovetail with the reality elements, both sides explaining each other.
Take a write up for cats. You can write them up as mundane creatures who can see spirits and the magical. Perhaps they can even astreally project by themselves. The write up would include how they 'appear' to stare off into space watching things not there, but are really watching spirits and magical things. They appear to nap for most of the day, yet they are actually hunting and playing on the astreal. They treat humans as unimportant because to their view, they only live in a limited world instead of the full world of cats.
Oh and Dogs are guardian spirits, hounding the mystical and unworldly from the Earth... thus why Dogs chase cats.
See... perfectly mundane behaviors with magical explanations.
I like these too - they will have their uses...
Everything has its uses. These just have a mechanical use. Many submissions (especially in the mundane plants scroll) are there just for color... something the GM can grab so they don't have to spend any time/ though on some tiny bit of color commentary.
I was foreshadowing my use of these trees in The Unseen Fortress where they are useful, indeed.