THE DRASIL ("HISTORY TREE")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY - HABITAT
 
DIET - MATING - USAGES - ORIGIN -
RESEARCHERS - MYTH/LORE

Drasil, or "History Trees", are large, dark, tree-like creatures that are known to mainly serve as protectors of Aohu'o Brownies living at the continent of Akdor. The rare Drasil that survive outside of Akdor serve as a memory storage for the people, due to their phenomenal, prodigious  memories. Therefore, the Drasil have been appropriately dubbed "History Trees."

Two Akdorian Drasils

View picture in full size A young (approx. 200 years of age) and an old Drasil. Image drawn by Faugar.

Appearance. Drasil look almost like giant trolls half turned into oak trees. They are covered with thick, golden-brown bark. The young look much like Brownies. Instead of hair, they have twigs and leaves growing from their crown. They begin life with two arms, but as they age, they often grow several more, branching out of either the first two or out of their head. The Drasils' eyes are jet black and twinkling, and sparkle beneath any light. They are set deep within their heads, behind nailsbreadths of bark.

Drasil leaves have a light green color, and are nearly as rough as the bark itself. They are usually about one palmspan wide. Upon close examination of the leaves, one may notice fine, white bristles, with orange tips. Being slightly cupped, they catch rain when it falls and it is absorbed by the tendrils. The leaves always remain the same color and do not change in the autumn, nor fall off in the winter.

Very rarely, about every hundred years, the Drasil bear flower and fruit. The Drasil Flower is green, the same as the leaves, and about twice as large. It resembles a green rose, though it blooms wider. The Drasil Fruit protrudes from the center of the flower, when the flowers bloom. Drasil Flowers bloom anywhere from three weeks to a month. If the blooms close, and the fruit still remains, the bloom will fall from the tree and close tightly around the fruit. Otherwise, the blooms remain until the next blooming.

Drasil Fruit, or Drasilia, as called by the Brownies, may seem more like a nut than a fruit. It has an ovular shape, and a tough, dark green shell. The shell is moist, not hard like a nut, and thick. It is very coarse, and cannot be easily bitten into. The actual fruit is a pungent, tangy, green substance. It is very soft, making it easy to scrape from the shell. The seeds are small and simple. They are round, and are only a few grains apart in either direction. The seeds are protected by the fruit, naturally, usually two seeds to a fruit
.
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Special Abilities. Drasil are often referred to as "History Trees", for they can communicate by mind-pictures to those that touch their bark, even once they have taken root. They have prodigious memories, so people will at times seek them out to shed light on past events. This is their most efficient form of communication with other races, as they cannot talk. They seem to have a sort of "language" used between them, though it is not verbal. It is believed they communicate with eachother by rustling their leaves a certain way. Another theory is that they communicate with each other through mind pictures. Return to the top

Territory. Drasil mainly live on the plains of Akdor. There are a few more, however, scattered about the world. This spread is usually thought to be caused by birds transporting seed to other regions. The Akdor Drasil seem to to gather in the center of the continent before taking root. Therefore, a large forest flourishes there, and not only of Drasil Trees. Other Drasil may be found along the banks of river on the continent, as the Drasil have a habit of taking root while drinking.

It is also believed that a rare type of Drasil exists in the cold, far north of the continent of Cyhalloi, called the Fir-Drasil. Narrations tell us that they seem to have a similar symbiosis as with the Akdorian Brownies, but with the
legendary half-wolves of the ulvur.
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Habitat/Behaviour. In the war of humans against the pendrowe which destroyed the forests of central Akdor, only a few Drasil were left. Aohu'o Brownies began to care for them, and a symbiotic relationship was born. Bands of Aohu'o care for the Drasil young, and adult Drasil protect and help the band. Now few Drasil survive in the wild.

Drasil lack the intelligence of other sentient beasts on Caelereth, but still are smart enough to defend themselves, if need be. Young Drasil are as curious as a Ximaxian cat, and may sometimes wander into places unhealthy for a young tree. They can be sometimes mistaken by people who have not seen them before as slow-witted Brownie children.

It is told that a rare type of Drasil, the legendary Fir-Drasil, dwells in the far north. These Fir-Drasil are said to have long connected with the ulvur, a wolf-man species of the north of Cyhalloi. As the story goes, in ages past forgotten Brownie travellers came to the northern Cyhalloian continent to explore. With them, they bought five Drasil seeds. Unfortunately, the tiny travellers couldn't survive in the Harsh weathers of the North, but their seeds were spread about. Those five trees became spiritual guides to the ulvur, and often helped them to the earth which they so love.
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Diet. Drasil do not eat as we do, but absorb sunlight and drink water instead, much like a tree. Drasil enjoy temporarily rooting themselves at riverbeds where the soil is rich, and water flows freely. They absorb also rainwater, with the use of their leaves.
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Mating. Drasil do not mate and are sexless. They instead produce seeds, which, when ready, sprout into a young Drasil. Seed production is rare, with a normal Drasil ripening seeds only once every hundred years or longer. If the fruit does not fall from the tree, the seeds inside will be of no use, and will not grow. However, seeds that are removed from the flower produce seeds that will grow into healthy, young Drasil.

Around a hundred seeds are produced, but few of these will see maturity, for the youth of the race is quite fragile. The young are Brownie-sized, but grow very fast, standing as tall as a young tree in fifteen years. They then live for another 300 years, gradually losing mobility. Eventually, they take root, becoming, the Drasil Tree.
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Usages. Drasil are often sought out by Brownies to shed light on past events. Many have survived through generations of family disputes, civil quarrels, and other petty arguments. Oftentimes, these disputes are settled by a member of a group, such as a head of a family or organization, going to a Drasil to acquire the truth. Drasil never forget, and always show things exactly how you want to see them. This has always been a gift for historians. Anyone who might wish to see a battle, or a landscape before a great change, has an open window to the past.

Drasil fruit is harvested and collected by the Aohu'o Brownies when they do not fall from the tree. These fruits are ripe, and are eaten by the brownies as a Brownies.
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Origin
. Long ago, around about the time of the sundering of the lands, Birni Lifemages created many creatures with their magics to protect their empire from the forces of nature. Among these were the Drasil, adapted from trees and made to be guardians. Brownies are too small to protect themselves effectively from predators, but a Drasil was able to sieze a bird of prey in mid-dive, and was equally effective against other predators. Together with the Redbarks of Birn and the other adapted creatures, they made a security net that allowed Birn to thrive. After the fall of Birn, Drasil were scattered, purposeless - until they were found and adopted by bands of the Aohu'o Brownies.
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Researchers. Because of the peculiar nature of the Drasil, quite a lot of scholars have endeavored to study this fascinating creature. Ironically, the most information gathered on the Drasil was gathered in places where they are rare. Unfortunately, although they did come up with some beneficial facts about the Drasil, their research could not go far without assistance. Since Drasil can only communicate what they have seen through mind pictures, researchers have a very limited knowledge of their lives. Besides that, all researchers are not deemed trustworthy by the Drasil, and therefore receive no knowledge from them. Researchers, then, mainly tend to acquire information second hand from the Brownies who live in close contact with the Drasil.

A few researchers like the Avennorian Hagelmar Rinnwin and his brother Jelmar produced quite interesting results with their observations on Akdor nearly two millenia before our time, which they have put into the their book "Drasil and Brownies - A Phenomenon". This book still serves today as the main source of information on the Drasil and their relationship with the Brownies written by the researchers as they accompanied the life of the Brownies on Akdor. The book is written from a Brownie's point of view, and manages to open brand new perspectives on Brownies and Drasil alike.
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Myth/Lore. Aohu'o Brownies believe Drasil to be a physical embodiment of the spirits of rock, tree, and stream. Because of this they hold them in high regard. The Drasilís lack of intelligence does not deter this belief, but rather reinforces the Aohu'o understanding that the spirits of rock, tree, and stream are difficult to appease, as well as being difficult to communicate with. Shamans are seen as being the only ones with a true understanding of both the ways of spirits and the ways of Brownies. The religious fervency of the Aohu'o may thus derive from the very existence of Drasil.
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