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 What exactly are the Elder Treants?
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
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Posted - 04 Mar 2011 :  14:15:42  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I have some questions about Elder Treants/ arakhora...

Are they very powerful treants that existed in a distant past, and now are asleep? All of them? If so, did they already have their huge size back then, or they only grew to colossal proportions after going to sleep? Can the ones that are asleep be somehow awakened? Who or what created them (the LeShay, Elven High magic, the gods)?

And finally: where can you find the arakhora? I've only heard about the Grandfather Tree, but I think it is hinted that there are (or were) others...

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 04 Mar 2011 :  21:51:40  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only place I can recall seeing them mentioned is in Mintiper's Chapbook; The Grandfather Tree. I also remember a Elder Treant from one of the 2e MMs, but that's all I know. I'm kind of curious myself, actually.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

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Markustay
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Posted - 04 Mar 2011 :  23:49:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Although I do not recall if the term 'arakhora' was used, there are (or were) actually a group of them called Syldritch Trea in the Shilmista Forest.

I could have sworn I recalled others... something about Impiltur maybe...

I suspect the Tree of Life (IIRC) used by both Elaine and Rich Baker (the incredible mobile immovable tree! ) in their novels is something akin to this, but that's just a theory. Something along the lines that arakhora require either a greater forest spirit (like the one that dwells within the High Forest), or a group of mortal spirits, bound into the tree from the beginning. I suppose normal Ents (I HATE the word 'treant') could eventually evolve into these, but I think it has more to do with one of them becoming the 'forest protector'... the leader of the existing treants (who would absorb 'spirit from the fallen treants and perhaps normal trees as well).

But several Faerūnian forests have something like this - I just can't remember any specifically (aside from those in Shilmista).

I suppose someone could write an entire Netbook on 'Flora Intelligentsia', with the various species (like Dark Trees, etc), how they 'evolve', their life cycles, how they become 'Elders', etc, etc...

Probably someone who likes elves should write that.... Not me... thats for sure... LOL

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Mar 2011 00:03:31
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 05 Mar 2011 :  00:19:10  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am not aware of where the term "arakhor" was first mentioned, I first became aware of the term from Eric Boyd's Mintper's Chapbooks articles.

Although, looking through the Cormanthyr supplement, I found this quote about the Tree of Knowledge in Semberholme on p.94: "many rumors and legends surround the Tree of Knowledge. The one most widely believed is that the large oak is the father of all treants in the woods of Cormanthyr. Should the Tree of Knowledge ever perish, the treants would not rest until every elf in Faerūn was dead. Another legend says the spirit of all trees in Cormanthyr is held within this one oak. If it were to die, then all the trees in Cormanthyr would perish."

Based on the above text I would be willing to bet that the Tree of Knowledge in Semberholme is an arakhor.

Edited by - Gray Richardson on 05 Mar 2011 17:53:26
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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 05 Mar 2011 :  02:56:08  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FWIW, there's an Elder Treant mentioned in the ELH, as the head of one of the Epic organizations; also, Elder Treants are given stats in that book.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 05 Mar 2011 :  18:55:55  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are stats for elder treants in the Epic Level Handbook p.223. They are listed as colossal plants. The entry mentions that they are the size of giant redwood sequoias. It also mentions that they are very slow and ponderous.

My thinking is that when elder treants get to colossal size, it becomes increasingly difficult to walk around, and time begins to stretch out for them, they become slow of motion and the mind. They feel a call to put down roots and ponder. And thinking their deep thoughts, they begin to dream.

In this sedentary phase they become an arakhor. They appear to be a giant tree. They sleep and dream, and occasionally wake to take note of the world around them, but only in a sort of half-waking fugue, and they soon drift back to sleep. Having rooted, they do not usually move even in their brief moments of wakefulness. Unless aroused by violent means. An axe or fire might wake them. But only so long as it took to pulverize the offender with the swat of great branch, or to call up a rain storm to douse the flame.

Some dire peril to the surrounding forest might arouse an arakhor enough to pull his roots from the soil and walk again. A raging forest fire, or an army slashing and burning the trees for lumber, farm land, or to clear room for a camp. Though the sleep of an arakhor is so deep that even this might not wake them. However, once aroused, their ire would be terrible. I could imagine that once woken so angered, an arakhor might not stop at slaughtering just the responsible invaders, but might rampage through the area, killing any potential humanoid or predator that could threaten his sylvan home.

I would imagine also that, once it had uprooted itself, the treant might soon starve to death, having broken its bond to the soil and the extensive root structure needed to feed its colossal mass. I doubt that they would be able to successfully take root again and go back to sleep. Such an act is thus very likely fatal to arakhora, and only undertaken in situations of dire need. An arakhor so uprooted would likely know it had a limited time left to live, and might therefore undertake extraordinary quests or risks to accomplish some final goal before its passing.
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Markustay
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Posted - 06 Mar 2011 :  03:34:51  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the Savage Frontier adventure, Grandfather in Green, it is shown that it is possible - at least for some arakhora - to create 'avatars' (called 'Tree Ghosts'), rather then have to travel about for themselves.

This makes me think think that some arakhora have achieved at least DvR 0 (which makes some sense - if one controls an entire, massive forest, then what you have right there is a 'regional deity', like civic deities). What 4e would call an Exarch.

Which makes me now wonder if arakhora are 'Chosen' of Silvanus (or whatever woodland god is appropriate for the world in question).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 06 Mar 2011 17:56:12
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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 06 Mar 2011 :  05:34:54  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the Savage Frontier adventure, Grandfather in Green, it is shown that it is possible - at least some arakhora - to create 'avatars' (called 'Tree Ghosts'), rather then have to travel about for themselves.

This makes me think think that some arakhora have achieved at least DvR 0 (which makes some sense - if one controls an entire, massive forest, then what you have right there is a 'regional deity', like civic deities). What 4e would call an Exarch.

Which makes me now wonder if arakhora are 'Chosen' of Silvanus (or whatever woodland god is appropriate for the world in question).


It's a valid question, but IMO, these guys are above (or at least beyond) worshipping others. They may respect Silvanus (or Shiallia, Eldath, Lurue, or Rillifane), but it's the respect accorded an equal rather than the devotion owed a superior. There might well be the odd Arakhora who gains the boon of ongoing vigor from Silvanus (or others) and acts as a proxy for them in exchange for this boon, but I can't see anything this ancient really kowtowing to anyone.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 06 Mar 2011 :  07:45:18  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Treants have a deity, Emmantiensien. I suppose it is possible that he is an aspect of Silvanus, or vice-versa. It's also possible that Emmantiensien was an aspect of the Celestial Tree, in which case he might now be deceased, following the Spellplague which destroyed the Celestial Tree.

In 4e parlance, Emmantiensien would probably be an arch-fey, rather than a god.
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Barastir
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Brazil
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Posted - 06 Mar 2011 :  12:04:27  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great lore, thank you all, guys! Fellfire, any idea about which 2e MM would have the Elder Treant? I have the Savage Frontier module, but I never read the "Grandfather in Green" carefully... Gotta take a look!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Fellfire
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Posted - 06 Mar 2011 :  16:27:00  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It appears that I was mistaken on two counts. 'Twas the Greater Treant known as Silverbark, and it was from the adventure "To Save a Forest" by Dovjosef Anderson from Dungeon #61.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 06 Mar 2011 16:30:12
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Barastir
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Posted - 07 Mar 2011 :  22:01:19  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the Savage Frontier adventure, Grandfather in Green, it is shown that it is possible - at least for some arakhora - to create 'avatars' (called 'Tree Ghosts'), rather then have to travel about for themselves.

I've read it again recently, and actually it seems that each FOREST could have one or more Tree Ghosts, and the one of the adventure was linked to the portion of the High Forest in which adventurers would find the Granfather Tree.

In Mintiper's entries ("Grandfather Tree" and "Hall of Mists") it seems this info was revised/updated, and the Tree Ghost was associated with the arakhor. Besides, there it is clearly stated that Grandfather Tree is the last living arakhor.

Fellfire gave me 2e stats of a race of 16HD greater treants with some magical abilities, and I was wondering if the arakhor would be even mightier. In the boxed set The North, there is at least one 24HD treant in the Forgotten Forest, although there is no description of his size or if it has magical abilities (it seems he doesn't). However, even having more HD, the damage it causes with its branches is lower than the Dungeon Magazine Greater Treant.

If we consider the power of the Beast Totem spirits of Uthgar, maybe the Elder Treant could manifest at least with the powers of a 20th level druid... Alternatively, they could have the powers of a dryad or hamadryad combined with those of an archdruid (13th level), just like mentioned in the article.

As for the damage, if the arakhor ever awakens (greater treants also sleep a lot, but they can awaken quite easily), their blows would be mighty indeed. While the biggest treant (18' high) can give 4d6 blows, Fuorn of the Forgotten Forest can make 5d6 points of damage on each blow, and a greater treant, whose maximum heigh is 36', can deliver 6d6 blows. The arakhor's height exceeds 300', in my calculations. So, one can imagine how damaging would be its blows...
(obs: I'm talking about 2e stats. The 3.5 elder treants can deliver 10d6+19 blows)

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Edited by - Barastir on 07 Mar 2011 22:10:30
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
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Posted - 07 Mar 2011 :  22:19:38  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mintiper's chapbook says:

"Writings preserved from this era (Aryvandaar befire the fall of the Vyshaantar) by the church of Labelas Enoreth suggest that the arakhora were a form of elder treant, perhaps the progenitors of the treant race in its modern form.

The Ar'Tel'Quessir (gold elves) of Aryvandaar installed the Grandfather Tree at its current site millennia ago after the chance discovery of a subterranean temple that was ancient even in that distant era."


That's why I asked about the relation between the elves and the elder treants, and if the treants origins were somehow linked to the elves, or to the fey. Anyone?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  04:26:06  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Treants are fey, at least they are in 4e, listed as huge fey magical beasts (plant). In 3e they were simply huge plants.

My educated guess is that they had their origins in Faerie (aka the Feywild) and migrated to Toril from there. They are definitely an interloper race, having arrived before elves, see Powers & Pantheons p.2, and also Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3e p.261 in the First Flowering section. In both sources it says that Dwarves, treants, elves, and mindflayers migrated to Faerūn in that order. Which is actually interesting with respect to dwarves, because they weren't really documented as present in Faerūn until like -16,000 DR, long after the elves were well established, but maybe dwarves had a presence in the Yehimals or elsewhere for a goodly period prior to that.

Their mythological origin is probably that they were made by Emmantiensien, perhaps sprouted from acorns dropped in Faerie by that arch-fey.

You know, now that I think about it, arakhora may be first generation treants, sprouted directly from seeds dropped by Emmantiensien himself. While successive generations that sprouted from seeds dropped by the arakhora were just ordinary treants.

Now, mythological origins can differ from actual origins. So what the true story is, I cannot say. But I bet the one the treants tell is that they were born from Emmantiensien.
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Gray Richardson
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USA
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  04:36:24  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, just following up on that thought, the arakhora, as sons of Emmantiensien, may have been demi-gods, or at least Divine Rank Zero hero gods. It makes total sense to me that they would be worshipped in turn as divinities or held sacred in some fashion.

It also makes me now feel very certain that the Tree of Knowledge in Semberholme must definitely be an arakhor, and that the legend that he is the father of all treants in the woods of Cormanthyr is not merely legend but probably completely true.
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  06:55:30  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe when they die, arakhora become Entherjar...
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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  07:19:30  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Entherjar? Its not ringing a bell.

I like your thoughts about how the race developed; its very similar to how I feel the Fey/Eladrin/Elf relationship works (which makes perfect sense, given the nature of all these creatures).

A powerful immortal race begets semi-divine (near-immortal) children, who then bear mortal offspring.

And by 'Fey' I mean the Fey Creator Race - the Le'Shay - NOT the fey over-group which includes all creatures with origins pertaining to the Feywild. Treants are fey, but not THE Fey (annoying vestige of old lore there).

Could Emmantiensien simply be the Avatar/Awareness of The World Tree itself? I would think such a massive, celestial life-form should have some sort of divinity associated with it.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Mar 2011 07:20:59
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  09:45:10  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Entherjar = einherjar, the spirits of the Norse valiant dead who live in Valhalla. They are statted on p.199 of the 3e Deities & Demigods sourcebook and specifically given quasi-deity traits. I was just making a pun, but it fits with arakhora maybe being quasi-deities with DVR 0.

As for Emmantiensien being the avatar for the Celestial World Tree, yes it is possible. In fact, I seem to have a half-remembered memory of Ed Greenwood saying something to that effect in his thread. Though it may be false memory syndrome. Need to do a search to verify.

Of course, if so, that would mean Emmantiensien was a true god -- or something close to it. Not an arch-fey or a primal spirit. The Celestial World Tree is a feature of the Astral Plane, formerly linking the various astral domains of the gods together. I am unclear as to whether it touched the Prime Material Plane or the Feywild.

Are you familiar with the concept of grafting? Where plant tissue from one species is grafted onto another plant? Sometimes done because you need a delicate feature like a fruit or flower to grow on a more hardy stem that is perhaps disease or pest resistant. There are other reasons to graft plants as well. Anyway, maybe Emmantiensien is actually an arch-fey, but also an aspect of the Celestial World Tree. Perhaps he is something like a graft. Essentially a transplant from the Astral onto the Feywild. A cutting from off the World Tree that grew in the soil of Faerie and became a native arch-fey.

Or maybe he was a transplant from the Astral into the Prime. Perhaps he IS more like a primal spirit. Almost like a plant messiah. He was an incarnation of the World Tree born in the soil of Toril to save the forests. An inphloemation or maybe inxylemation, if you will. And from him the treants were born. So in a way, treants could be both interlopers and native in that their "father" was a migrant, but as a race they were born on Toril. Same as dragons, actually, in that Asgorath was from another plane, but laid (or transformed) dragon eggs that hatched on Toril, spawning her race in the Material Plane.

Just a thought anyway. Of course, that doesn't necessarily jive with the treants being "fey." They would need to be from the feywild, at least originally, to have the fey type, right? So that sort of points to Emmantiensien being an arch-fey. But it's something to think about.

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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Mar 2011 :  20:15:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting (as always).

I thought Entherjar sounded a little familiar - was unaware of the name-shift from einherjar. Since I have always equated those beings with 'Norse angels', it makes perfect sense IMHO (they should be Exarchs, I would imagine, by 4e terminology).

I made another change to my mental picture of the Feywild upon reading this last night - the part that correlates with Faerūn now has a MASSIVE (as in mile-high) tree growing on it. In fact, unless you are VERY far away from it, you can't even tell it's a tree (and the entire Faerie Court resides 'beneath' it). Something like THIS.

I have to think more on the tree-grafts things - there is definitely something there. I recall from the Narnia novels (which Ed borrowed from) that the Wardrobe was made from wood that was linked to Narnia, and that is why an intermittent gate persisted within it. extrapolating further from that. Perhaps all 'world tree' wood is linked in some mystical way, and those bounds continue to persist even after the tree is cut.

Its been so many years since I read those books - I stupidly lent them out - but IIRC, the tree was part of the 'Creation' that Aslan set in motion, so the wood was 'imbued' with whatever passes for this 'life energy' (which I believe Ed uses in some form, and may be Radiant energy). Could the World Tree be a source of this 'Radiance'?

EDIT: Perhaps Emmantiensien was/is an archfey, who linked his spirit-form to the World Tree, in much the way Dryads link themselves to Trees, or other fey link themselves to waterfalls and groves, or lakes and rivers. I have theory about 'primordial times' in regards to The Fey (as in, LéShay), that their original connection to the world was corrupted, and that they either had to flee to the Feywild, or 'anchor' themselves to the Material World through aspects of the natural world (similar to how Kami/Spiritfolk are viewed in the east).

So while Emmantiensien may have originally been an Archfey, maybe the World Tree was something 'beyond the gods' (like Ed's 'watching Gods', which I refer to as Ordials). By combining the energies of both, a hybrid 'deity' was born.

The original Arch-Fey - those LéShay that had acquired enormous personal power - may have all had to do something similar, or maybe did so willingly (part of my theory is that this is how the Realm of Faerie was created in the Feywild - by a sacrifice of Danu, the mother of Titania).

Hmph... I just had another epiphany, concerning some of my notions about 'Overminds'. I need to either start a new Fey thread, or further derail Quale's.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Mar 2011 20:41:50
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  01:13:59  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Myth of Emmantiensien:

When the dragon-mother Asgorath hurled her ice moon down on Toril, it carved a mortal wound into the heart of the One Land. The life blood of Chauntea welled up to fill the great gash, forming the waters of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Fires raged across Faerūn, and ash rained from the sky to veil the face of Chauntea, enveloping her in a cold, grey shroud.

Her mother thought her dead and wailed in grief. She wept so hard that the tears of Selūne still hang in the sky to this day. But Chauntea was not dead yet, and her children below struggled to preserve her.

The Aearee cast their magics to warm the world and nurture what life remained. But the LeShay — the fey creator race — worked harder still. The LeShay prayed to the World Ash. And the Great Tree answered them, sending Emmantiensien into the world.

Some say he strode through a portal from the Feywild. Others say he sprang from a tiny acorn, growing to a fantastical height in all of a moment. Sages argue whether he was 300 feet, 400 feet or even seven miles high, but they all agree he could stand astride the Demlimbyr with plenty of room to spare between his massive, burled trunks.

For seven years the treant god walked the face of the One Land, from one shore to the other, and back again. With every breath his powerful lungs inhaled the ash and smoke and filtered it from the air. The transpiration from his leaves sprinkled mist on the ground below, a sweet balm to soothe the burnt skin of Chauntea. Seeds fell from his branches like hail; oak, and ash and poplar. Mulberry, sycamore, pine and baobab. Mangrove, cedar and laurel; he scattered the fruit of every living tree. With each step, his roots broke the crust of the soil, piercing holes to receive the seeds. And at his passing, a swath of green erupted in his wake.

For each forest he restored, the Treant Lord dropped a single, golden acorn that would grow into an arakhor, a treant-father, called great protectors by the elves. The seeds of the arakhora, in turn, spawned the first treants — tenders and guardians of the forests.

At the end of the Long Night, after seven years of ice and ash, the sun dawned again across the face of the One Land. Chauntea awoke from her deathly slumber, and the world rejoiced. When the first red rays of morning touched his leaves, the Tree Lord began to grow. Ten leagues high, a hundred leagues high, a thousand leagues high; Emmantiensien grew up into the sky until the great canopy of his leaves cast one final shadow across the continent and obscured the vault of heaven.

By the time that night had fallen, Emmantiensien had grown so tall that the top of him vanished into the Sea of Night and was lost among the stars. Stars! They could see stars again! The children of Toril marveled at the stars that shined from between his branches like glistening drops of dew upon his myriad leaves.

By midnight, his colossal, gnarled feet uprooted themselves and began to draw up into the sky. When next the sun rose, the Lord of All Trees was gone. He had pulled his great trunks up behind him into the night, and was never seen again to walk the land.

Even today, when you gaze up at the night sky, you can see him still up there, set among the stars as the constellation Arshanta, which means "great tree" in the elven tongue. There he rests, his trunks rooted deeply in the soil of night, drinking deep the silver moonlight and basking in the glow of stars. From the vault of heaven he stares in adoration at the face of Chauntea and watches over her, patiently, ever vigilant, until the end of time.
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Markustay
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  01:57:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Beautiful. {wipes tear}

Just one quibble - I think you meant 'daughter' when you typed 'mother'.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  02:10:27  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which one? Did you mean Asgorath, the mother of all dragons? Or Selūne, the mother of Chauntea weeping tears at her daughter Chauntea's mortal injury? I think I worded it right, but sorry if it was unclear.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  03:38:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nicely worded, friend Gray.

I have a slight quibble myself, though. I would mention a couple of the Realms-specific trees in there -- just to give it that additional tiny amount of Realmslore.

And perhaps refer to the falling of seeds as a gentle rain. Hail works, but hail can also be rather damaging.

Whether or not you agree with my suggestions, it's a great bit of lore you've composed.

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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  03:50:13  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do you have any favorite Realms trees you would like to suggest for inclusion in future drafts? I started to mention the mighty weir, my own favorite, but didn't include it for some reason. I think I was going for prosody when I wrote that line.
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The Sage
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  04:11:37  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are you including rubber trees as well, Gray?

I know they're found only in parts of the far South, but the "reach" of Emmantiensien should encompass all parts of the continent.

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Edited by - The Sage on 09 Mar 2011 04:12:40
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  04:23:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gray Richardson

Do you have any favorite Realms trees you would like to suggest for inclusion in future drafts? I started to mention the mighty weir, my own favorite, but didn't include it for some reason. I think I was going for prosody when I wrote that line.



No real favorites, but I personally would include at least one or two of those types mentioned in Volo's Guide to All Things Magical*. Like I say, just a tiny bit of something Realms-specific to tie it into the setting more closely. (Not that you've not done a good job of that! It's just something I would do.)



*(formerly a suppressed work )

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The Sage
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  04:49:18  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, keeping with the discussion on which tree types Emmantiensien was responsible for seeding on Toril...

I'm starting to envision a kind of multiversal scope to his reach. When Gray said, earlier, that the Lord of All Trees was gone, I started thinking about just "where" he might have journeyed to next.

Perhaps he sought to spread his seed upon other worlds/crystal spheres as well -- like Krynn and Oerth -- which could help to explain why those worlds also have species of trees similar to Toril, such as cedar and elm for example.

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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  06:26:27  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh I didn't mean to imply he seeded new types of trees on Toril. First, it's a myth, and myths speak in broad truths but ignore the details. Don't hold me to the particulars.

Second, I think I mentioned that he scattered the fruit of every living tree, and what I meant by that, at least in my mind, was that what was extant in Toril, he replenished. I figure that, being an eco-minded god, he would be careful about the ecological niches, and scatter location appropriate seed. So that the rubber trees stayed in the south, the pine trees in the north, the mangroves in the swamps, and the baobabs wherever the hell they come from (the Little Prince's planet I think) and so on. He more than anyone would not want to destroy any microcosms. Other than the arakhora, I doubt he would have introduced any alien species.

What I was envisioning was that his roots were probing the ground, sensing what was there, maybe revitalizing the dying shoots and seeds that were already in the ground, and replicating the seeds he had to to fill in the gaps for the things that had died off completely.

The only slightly inappropriate thing that he might have done was bring back extinct species that had died out in the distant past, things that had already died out long before the Tearfall event. Probing the soil he might have come across some ancient remains of dead species that he could not distinguish from more recently deceased specimens. So the only invasive species he might have reintroduced were ones that were displaced in time, not in location or environmental niche.

Another thought that occurred to me was that all that ash might bring a tremendous amount of nitrogen back into the soil and act as fertilizer to help kickstart things. Part of that revitalization could have been a natural process.

I hear some seeds won't even germinate in certain areas until there is a forest fire. They lay dormant until the heat of a fire activates them. They wait for a good periodic fire to clean out the brush and competing trees above, and when things are cleared they go for it and try to grow as fast as possible so as to establish themselves big and strong before competing plants can grow over them and block out their sun and establish their root base. In parts of the American west, a year after a devastating forest fire the world erupts in green and the ecosystem recovers. It evolved to thrive under those kinds of conditions. So part of Faerūn's recovery might have been just business as usual and may have occurred regardless of divine assistance.

As to where he went after, well, he was just an avatar, or a manifestation more like. He was temporary. Once his purpose was served I think he would have rejoined the World Tree. Or gone back to the Feywild. Did you ever read Brin's Kiln People? Maybe something like that.
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Barastir
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  13:20:50  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wonderful, Gray. It seems we share two areas of interest: biology and mythology. Are you a biologist?

Just one more question, this time about the relation between arakhor and elves, guys. Would these two races be simply allies, or the elves would have some sort of control over the arakhora? I'm asking it because that Mintiper's entry states clearly that the elves installed the arakhor over the ancient temple...

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  14:31:41  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elves practically revere the arakhora, they don't control them. In fact, they probably consider them demi-gods, or divine beings, if not outright gods.

Any control the elves exerted over the arakhora would be through a pact of some kind, diplomacy or friendship. But surely the arakhora and the elves had a great overlap of outlook and purpose. They shared similar goals, and so I think they would tend to become great friends, or at least allies.

I imagine that when they were young the arakhora could walk around, like a treant, and that they only became rooted with great age. When they "installed" the arakhor, it merely involved convincing him that it would be a good place for him to take root and settle down.
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Mar 2011 :  14:37:25  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, it also occurs to me they might have made a pact with him, since he was going to be sedentary, they could have promised to be his agents or perform services for him. Act as guardians of the forest and such.

Come to think of it, there could have been some kind of binding ritual that bound the elves to the service of the treant in exchange for his planting himself there. Not sure what such a high magic ritual would involve, or what kind of terms it would entail, or even that there was one, but I could see it happening.
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