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What kinds of plants would you expect to find in the Eatern Forests?

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  • What kinds of plants would you expect to find in the Eatern Forests?

    In the deep east, there is no ground, just trees and other plants that feed on them. In the redwood forests that make up the nation of Halta, again very few set foot on the ground, but plants are plentiful, growing in and on the giant redwoods.

    What kinds of plants would you expect these to be? What real world plants do this?


    ....

  • #2
    At the very least there should obviously be a few kinds that eat people.

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    • #3
      Various kinds of vines, insect hives and whatnot, fruits and berries gallore - and animals that feed on those fruits and berries.


      Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
        What real world plants do this?
        If by "this" you're referring to growing on the surface of trees, really only mosses (survive off of water and nutrients absorbed through the leaves, roots only used to anchor a surface) and lichens (which are actually a composite organism formed of certain algaes and bacteria surviving upon a fungus in a mutualistic relationship). If it's a vascular plant (i.e. one that absorbs nutrients and water through the roots), then it needs soil to survive; none of them are parasitic, and competition over real estate is a very distinct feature of their ecology. That's why so many plants need to develop so many methods for ensuring the dispersal of their seeds, they need to be spread out so as to not have to compete with one another or the parent for soil access.

        You kind of get ivy, but it should be understood that still needs to have roots in contact with soil; the adherence to trees and other surfaces is to help give it stability as it grows upwards. Ivy is actually another woody plant, which I'm guessing is adapted in a different direction from the likes of trees and bushes; rather than being a sturdy plant that can maximize its foliage by spreading it over a large area, it props itself up against another stable structure and spreads foliage along its whole length. Still, given the description of some of the conditions of Halta, I'd argue that ivy could not effectively grow there, not if there isn't enough access to sunlight.

        I always assumed that Halta's maintenance of their society included bringing soil up from the surface and using it to cultivate gardens, supplemented with fertiliser provided by local animals (including the ata beasts).

        None of the usual rules apply at the Pole of Wood, but then, the Elemental Poles are supposed to be quite inhospitable to human (and many other) forms of life.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          If it's a vascular plant (i.e. one that absorbs nutrients and water through the roots), then it needs soil to survive; none of them are parasitic,
          That's not the case. There are numerous species of parasitic vascular plants. Mistletoe is the classic example (and apparently mistletoe is actually a pretty wide name, describing plants in multiple families).


          That said, I don't think that most of the plants-that-grow-on-plants in the East are parasitic, as such. I suspect most of them are surviving on more metaphysical stuff, the pure Wood Essence of the Pole sustaining them instead of more standard earth. They're probably using the other plants just as an anchor point.

          Some plant life I could see using as a description of the far East:
          • Vast green plains, a mile or more wide, with their own vegetation growing on them. From a distance, it might just look like a grassy field. Up close, it becomes apparent that it's just a really huge leaf. It might look stable, but wanderers should be careful, especially with the most-heavily vegetated ones - it's always possible that the next person to set foot on it will be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, with the leaf tilting down and dropping everything that's built up on it into the depths below (a Survival roll tells you it's best to get on such a leaf close to the stem, and where the stem is located).
          • Large leaves (but not anywhere near as the one above) that hang down from branches above, and collect water in them, with flowers that give off an attractive scent growing in bunches where the stem meets the leaf proper. These leaves are bowl-shaped, and collect water. The water tastes very good - in fact, it's actually alcoholic, the nectar from the flowers dripping into the pool and fermenting. The plants use these as sweet traps, with local wildlife coming to drink the leaf-wine, getting drunk, and drowning in the pool, where their decomposing bodies provide nutrients. If you can find a "fresh" leaf, one that doesn't have corpses decomposing in it, the leaf-wine is actually quite nice, and can be bottled up for sale elsewhere.
          • Fisher ivy is a type of vine that grows between the branches of larger trees - one vine grows up the trunk of a tree and along a branch, then lets shoots grow back downwards, where they take root below and repeat the process, until the whole space is filled with a network of woody stems, creating a significant barrier to any flying creature, and often think enough to block sunlight to whatever is behind it. The main adventuring concern is that it creates barriers and difficult terrain that flying characters have to deal with.
          • Oroborous trees are massive trunks that seem to be some large conifer, like a redwood. Instead of reaching straight up, they curve over, and if you follow their miles-long arc long enough, they come down again, eventually circling under the canopy until you find the trunk widening out into a broad, flat shelf of wood, where the roots of a mighty tree are splayed out and fixed - the roots of the very tree you started on. How the trees support themselves is unknown, but their wood is sought after for making artifacts that involve infinity, repeated cycles, and self-sustenance.
          • The ichneumon tree is one of the relatively rare plants in the East that actually is parasitic - it is recognizable by its bright-yellow-and-black leaves (as a parasite, it performs almost no photosynthesis, and thus doesn't need the green pigment), and by the large pods, the size of a large dog, that hang from its branches. When the ichenumon tree is ready to spread, these pods break open and reveal woodwasps - strange creatures that appear insectile, but made up of plant life, with leafy "wings" and woody carapaces. Their "legs" are unusually flexible branches, with thorns at the ends, and their thorax bristle with additional thorns that drip poison. These creatures fly away from their parent tree in search of a suitable host plant. If they spot an animal or human while they travel, however, they will pause and attempt to overcome it with their poisonous thorns. If they are successful, they will carry their paralyzed victim to their chosen rooting spot, and use the body as a medium to begin their growth into a new ichneumon tree, using the decaying corpse as fertilizer until they can begin drawing on the host plant's resources. Particularly large trees in the East may host dozens or even hundreds of ichneumon trees, and they all tend to release their pods at the same time, darkening the skies with swarms of woodwasps.

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          • #6
            Goddammit, the degree to which I get hung up on and furious about even minor corrections is absolutely pathetic, and tremendously annoying.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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            • #7
              Bromeliads! Orchids! Vines and creepers!

              Also some of those trees close to the Pole of Wood are gonna be so huge that the crevices in their wood can hold enough accumulated mulch from the upper canopy to serve as a planting bed. At those sizes you might start seeing ordinarily non-epiphytic species growing like they would on the ground.

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              • #8
                Yo dawg I heard you like trees so a grew a tree on your tree.

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                • #9
                  I think Arms of the Chosen has a few examples of exotic plant things you could find in the East. Scavenger Sons did too, though some of them might require some tweaking to be interesting/right for Ex3's paradigm.

                  Maybe its just me, but I feel like you'd probably find weird microbiomes on the giant branches of some trees with soil and plants growing out of them? People might wonder how that happened and come up with all sorts of interesting stories that are adjacent to the truth of it.

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                  • #10
                    Besides trees and other plants, way down deep where the Sun's light doesn't reach, there should be tons of fungi, too. (I know they're actually a different kingdom of life from plants, but I figure in Creation, it's all Wood Essence.)
                    There'd be huge shelf fungi, gigantic mushrooms, and probably slime molds the size of tyrant lizards, crawling around in the darkness. Eerie luminescence isn't actually legally required, I suppose, but why would you pass it up?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
                      Besides trees and other plants, way down deep where the Sun's light doesn't reach, there should be tons of fungi, too. (I know they're actually a different kingdom of life from plants, but I figure in Creation, it's all Wood Essence.)
                      I think that people in character should still draw a distinction, but they remain perfectly cromulent in a discussion about what grows in the deep forests.

                      Hmm, I really need to look into some examples of unfamiliar and beautiful flora that might be located in tropical forests, and then think of some fantastical spins on them, ala mallorn trees to a European writer.

                      Perhaps some kind of plant whose flowers and fruit can change colour in a manner reminiscent of chameleons or cuttlefish...


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                      • #12
                        Not really my area, but if i had to guess, epiphytes and aerial roots should be a must with the imagery associated to the farthest eastern woods from Creation.

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                        • #13
                          Bromeliads the size of mansions, collecting rain in huge arboreal lakes ponds and lakes. Flying fish live in these pools of water, high in the canopy, and glide from bromeliad to bromeliad. They are hunted by birds and tree frogs the size of dogs with harpoon-tongues...and when it rains or when the canopy fills with rising fog in the early morning hours, by fog sharks who rise from the deepest of the huge pink flowers to swim through the treetops.


                          So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                          The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
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                          • #14
                            I'd say most viney plants would grow well in that environment, figs would probably grow well, I mean hell, all you need as a good enough excuse to why something is growing there is that a gigantic knot hole on a redwood collected enough leaves and other crap to grow a normal sized forest that could be tied to any kind of real world region you want to use with local weather patterns

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dezeroth View Post
                              figs would probably grow well
                              God, just imagine the kinds of bountiful offerings that the gods of fig wasps must be able to demand...


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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