|Felaryan fauna - Felaryan flora - Races - Characters - Locations - History and Lore - Science and Magic - Culture and Customs|
Inhabitants : nagas, fairies, Harpies, kensha beasts, noghdongs, podmaws, arboreal frogs, starkala bugs, shadow fishes, iampis, abyssal slugs, pantaurs
Characters : Crisis, Anna, Belletia, Léa
The giant tree deserves its name, for its size truly defies the imagination. It's a single tree larger than many forests, so large that you could build towns and castles on its thickest branches. The first time one sees it, they can't help but pause for a moment and be awed by the impossible size of that vegetal behemoth. Exactly how the giant tree came to be is unknown but it's existence can be tracked back millenniums ago in the history of Felarya. It's as if it has always been there, towering above the surrounding jungle like a venerable oak in the middle of a field.
The giant tree is like a world on itself, with its regions and its own ecosystem. Because of its dense foliage and immense size, there is a zone of perpetual night around its base. It has resulted in the evolution of a strange and interesting flora that glow, much like what you can find in evernight forest, and some bizarre creatures dwelling in that place.
Its crown creates strange and surreal landscapes, with gentle hills made of leaves, a lake carved in to the bark of a branch, and gentle streams flowing from the lake to other branches, all the way down to the ground when it rains. The place is teeming with life; large flocks of birds fly all around, arboreal frogs lie in the foliage hidden in wait for a prey to pass by, and a colony of giant harpies made it their home, sitting on the branches, sleeping around the lake, diving down from the crown to go on hunting in the jungle below, coming back with prey to feed to their young, or squabbling with each others. With each of those harpies having their individual feather color pattern, it makes for a bright, colorful, and beautiful spectacle. Under their talons, the interior of the crown of the tree is like a sea of leaves with its own, unique fauna of strange animals diving and navigating through it.
The giant tree is such a formidable sight, it struck the imagination of Felaryans across the ages like few things could. It's present in countless tales, cultures, and folklore across Felarya and bears hundred of names. It's worshiped by the sect of the Arborian Laborists in Negav who dubbed it "Mother Fel". The giant tree is also famous for being home to two giant nagas: Crisis and Anna. The former is a well known predator, dreaded for her great appetite for humans; the latter, a well known grouch.
Not a lot of people pay great mind to the stars in Felarya when it comes to finding their way around in the jungle. The shifting sky tends to show unfamiliar stars to those who don't carefully keep track of them and the direction in which they turn is often missed, despite being one of the few indicators for the four cardinal directions. The stars all over Felarya turn in the same direction, and this is very important at sea. For those at land within the main continent, the giant tree serves just fine. In fact, by observing which branches they are facing, many individuals can learn their exact bearing: while the tree is evergreen and gigantic, it is not cylindrically symmetric, and the rate at which its branches grow, fall off and regrow is slow enough as to consider it practically unchanging on a geological scale. The same branches have been pointing north for centuries, and most inhabitants of the jungle know what the tree looks like from where they live.
Of course, there are two major problems in using this system. First, one must climb all the way to the treetops to get a good look at the Giant Tree. For flying and climbing creatures such as harpies and nekos it's not difficult, but humans can rarely employ this system. Second, the tree is massive; most smaller creatures who employ this system stick to one view of the tree and never learn others, because going all the way around the tree would require hundreds of miles of hiking and countless climbs up unknown trees to take long looks at the tree. It's enough for most of them to know which direction the giant tree is, and assume that if the branches they can see have changed, they have either wandered into a disturbance or simply gotten lost.
- credits to Servomoore and Stabs for ideas to develop the giant tree.