In Dedication to Tom Kerner, long time D&D player, and grower of bonsai. He would have gotten a kick out of this.
Born out of the forests and plains of the world the Bygnok began as a nomadic people but due to the limitations of their kind, they began to settle and farm, for they had a natural affinity to plants. They treat every plant as if their life depends on its survival, and for some plants it does.
When each child of the Bygnok is born, clutched into their tiny hand is a seed wich must be planted immediatly upon birth or the child will not make it through the night. This is their “Life Root” their soul is eternally linked to this plant. If the plant gets sick, the Bygnok linked to it becomes ill as well. Their life is the care of this plant.
Bygnok are human-looking creatures and have a natural affinity to farming or becomming druids, but they rarely stray far from their place of birth. They have an earthen hue to their skin and normally dark brown or black hair. They’re eyes are almost always bright green, blue or brown, this is the child’s deemed affinity. Green is the most treasured eye color, it stands for the affinity of life, blue is for the affinity of water and light, Brown is for structure and sustinence. Two children have been recorded as being born with one blue and one green eye, this has brought great pride to the family and they became high priests of the Bygnok.
The hight of the Bygnok differs greatly. Though all adults will reach a minimum of three feet tall one man, Durth the Great, became a giant. The largest recorded of his kind, his liferoot was a great oak tree wich he planted into the ground, as the tree grew, so did he. Right up to 15 feet. No Bygnok will dare to do such a thing again, for his life root was struck by lightning, sevearly damaging Durth’s brain. He could not get out of bed, and nobody could care for him or harvest fast enough to feed him. In the end the town had to dismantle his home from around him when he passed away, so they could hook all of their horses, mules, oxen, goats and sheep together to pull him into the large grave that the whole town had to gather to dig.
The average hight remains around five foot tall due to carefull cultivation and painful trimming.
Culture and history
When the Bygnoks were nomadic their life was hard. They all wore packs made out of hard leather to plant their life roots in. During this time it was though by other people of the land that these plants actually grew out of the backs of these people as they rarely took them off for fear of mixing them up. They didn’t have pesticides and fungicides at this time so whole tribes were often nearly whiped out by an infestation of black spot disease or locusts. They eventually found that it was easier to farm then hunt and gather.
They’re towns are nicely spaced as each family has their own personal gardens. One for the life plants of the family, some are kept in earthen pots on benches in the garden, others are kept in the ground but all life roots are housed in a highly fenced in area. There have been times where somebody has forgotten to close the high gate on the family life garden and the town has awakened the next morning to find them all dead due to a hungry, wandering deer.
The Bygnoks are one of few cultures to domesticate plants for ornamental as well as agriculture uses. Many potted plants are constantly being rotated into the home from the outdoors as plants are part of each member’s lives.
The Bygnoks are often referred to by other races as: Greenfolk, greenbacks, half-plants, vinebacks, life farmers, plant-slaves and various other things.
A Bygnok cannot leave their liferoot behind and go off adventuring, if they get outside of 2 miles of it they feel rather weak. 10 miles they will pass in and out of conciousness. If a Bygnok is carried outside of 20 miles beyond their liferoot they will die rather quickly, as will the plant.