The Father Tree is a 20 metre high plant. It has a concave trunk with a 'C'-shaped cross section that gradually leans in the direction of prevailing winds as it grows. The odd semi-tubular shape that is naturally enclosed in the trunk yields a floor-area of about five square metres, and grants the occupants shelter (unless the weather perversely blows in from the open side). During warmer seasons, fruit sprout within the area protected by the trunk, eventually desiccating but remaining edible if left on the vine. Frequent picking stimulates further fruition, enough to support up to four Daryen adults if carefully tended.
On the outside of the tree, broad fronds spread and capture sunlight and also channel rain to runners in the bark. These runners direct the water which then collects in underground bladders. The groves can easily be tapped to provide an accessible source of drinking water.
Historically, openings in the root bowl (similar to the reservoir bladders) were used as places to deposit faecal waste, which the tree utilised for fertiliser. The tree’s fronds replenish themselves annually, providing a ready supply of fibrous material, which was used by early Daryens to weave ropes and crude fabric. From this they formed hammocks in which to sleep and simple screens to give additional protection from the elements.
With its wide range of practical uses the Father Tree was the source of all life and comfort, becoming the key to and limiter of the evolving Darrian civilisation.
No information yet available.
Father Trees were created about the year -300,000 by the Ancients and rely upon the specific geological conditions that existed as a result of the terraforming of Darrian (Spinward Marches 0627). As these conditions altered, many of these trees died out and the few that remained were now rare and important.
The Maghiz was almost the final straw. All extant living trees on Darrian died in the plasma blast or subsequent weather disruptions. A few seeds, buried underground (or stored by the Darrians themselves) survived and were able to recover. The vanishingly few existing examples of Father Trees are but a shadow of their former, universal presence.
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