THE KITJURAN ("WAX-HEART TREE")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION

The Kitjuran, more commonly known as the "Wax-Heart Tree", is a tropical tree located in the rainforests of south-western Nybelmar. It is sought after because of the unique substance found in the centre of the tree. This viscous, dense material (which is neither liquid nor solid), named Kitjuran wax is hardened to make slow burning candles. It isnít uncommon for aromatic herbs to be added to the Kitjuran wax to make beautifully scented candles, a luxury that is common among the wealthy Krean.

Appearance. The Kitjuran is quite short compared to some of the other trees in the rainforest, standing under an average two and a half peds. What the tree lacks in height though it makes up for in width. The tree is a rather impressive ped thick. This gives the Kitjuran a kind of disproportionate look; similar to the way a dwarf may be perceived by a human, small in height but stocky and bulky.

The Kitjuran has a thick bark, which is a distinctive greyish blue hue, protecting its prized wax. The bark and trunk are around one fore thick, and are tediously difficult to penetrate. The Kitjuran has thick and sturdy branches, which bear the same blue-grey colour, and shoot almost straight up. Large circular green leaves are also characteristic for this tree, they are hard to tear yet silky smooth.

Kitjuran wax is a thick, viscous substance when it is first taken out of the tree. It has a subtle yellow tone, which most would mistake for white. It runs like liquid but can be held in your hands without its falling through the cracks of your fingers. Kitjuran wax is quite sticky, and is a nuisance once it has touched your bare skin as it is extremely hard to take off without hurting yourself. This is why most Kitjuran wax tradesmen wear gloves soaked in watered down tree sap when handling the stuff, as a thin layer of the mixture makes an almost oily barrier, which the wax slides straight off. Most tree saps are suited to this task but ones which are thin and less dense than others are preferred.

The Kitjuranís roots are, like many exotic trees, exposed above ground. Some
Krean researchers have suggested that this is because the habitable layer of soil is thin, which leaves the roots with the only option to go outwards. Return to the top

Territory. The Kitjuran has never been encountered off of the continent of Nybelmar. The tree is adapted to a cooler climate than that of the more tropical rainforests in Nybelmar, and is therefore generally not found in places outside the
Krean rainforests, located in the southwestern section of the continent.

A similar looking tree is rumoured to have been encountered in the Drifting Woods in the northeast of the Moredein Kaerath. This tree though is thought to lack the wax which makes the southern version so important, and so is frequently ignored due to itís general uselessness.
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Usages. The Kitjuran, although having an incredibly durable trunk, is not sought after due to its wood. The only part that is remotely useful of the Kitjuran is the wax-like substance in the centre of the tree.

This substance, known as Kitjuran wax, is a very expensive luxury. The wax is dried in moulds to craft candles. Aromatic herbs from the forest are commonly grinded down and added to the wax before it dries, making a beautifully scented candle.

The high price for Kitjuran candles is not due to the rarity of the source but because of the painstakingly long methods the workers use to remove the wax from the tree. Originally workers would simply spend hours, possibly even days, hacking at the bulky trunk of the Kitjuran, which was still a painstakingly long task to complete, especially alone. It was soon discovered that as long as the tree remained alive it continued to produce the wax. But the workers had been felling the trees, killing them and ruling them out as a further source of wax unknowingly.

As such the workers developed a set of tools, which wouldnít damage the tree but would still allow Kitjuran wax to be extracted from it. The first was a sharp tube, around half a ped long, with a large hollow, glass cylinder at the end. This was first hammered into the tree, normally at an angle, allowing the wax to fall faster. The second was a much thinner tube, about a ped and a half long, which was driven into the tree with great force. After the tedious task of making sure that the tools had been successfully set up, the real work would begin.

The worker places the second tube into his mouth and blows into it. This displaces the wax, pushing it out of the tree, forcing it into the glass cylinder. It isnít uncommon for many workers to do this, using many blowing tubes but only one cylinder, causing the wax to be displaced faster (meaning the cylinder is filled up quicker). Although considerably longer than cutting down the tree, this method allows extraction without destroying a source. The holes that are produced by the tools are filled with wax by the tree, drying and forming a covering upon the hole. This dried wax is a lot easier to penetrate than the tree trunk and so after one tree has been worked on a shortcut is made, which makes the workers jobs a lot easier.

Due to the many hours slaved away at these trees individual bands of workers claim the trees they work as their own. If a rival band has the audacity to extract the wax of a tree prepared for harvesting by another band, a fight - or, knowing Krean nature, a suit - will be almost inevitable. It is a known fact that certain bands still harbour resentment against other bands, who have in the past successfully claimed their trees.
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Reproduction. Still to be added.
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 Date of last edit 6th Sleeping Dreameress 1666 a.S.

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