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Month Index: April, 1995


From:     "Richard J. Pugh" <rjpugh@??.??????.com>
Date:     Sun, 23 Apr 1995 20:10:07 -0700
Subject:  Re: Monster: Barachania Tree
This isn't really a monster, but for the sake of mechanics I'm presenting it
as one.  Comments are welcome, as always.

Richard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Barachania Tree

Climate/Terrain: Wildspace
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Single or small group
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Any
Intelligence: Non
Treasure: Special
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1-4
Armor Class: 5
Movement: SR 1
Hit Dice: Special
Thac0: Nil
No. or attacks: Nil
Dammage/Attack: Nil
Special Attacks: Nil
Special Defences: Nil
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: Gigantic (100 feet to 2 mile diameter)
Morale: N/A
X/P Value: N/A

The Barachania tree is an impossibly large tree that can be found orbiting
over earth and water worlds.  They generally look like large shpere-shaped
balls of vegitation, with what appears to be a disk of wood bisecting the
center.  They also have several fillament-like "tails" that eminate from
various points around the tree, and can extend for miles.  The leaves are
roughly circular, about one foot in diameter, and have a waxy covering.
>From a distance a tree looks like a hairy ball of vegitation.  The large,
woody disk in the center of the tree acts as a "trunk," and it is from here
that the rest of the trees branches eminate.  The fillaments only eminate
from the largest branches.  The trees have their own gravity plane, and
maintain an atmosphere, making them convienent if uncomfortable stops for
travelers.

Combat: Being a plant, the trees pose no immediate danger to anyone
approaching them.  Their sheer size makes them almost impossible to kill,
even by fire.  Then again, they are more useful alive than dead to anyone.
The only real danger posed by one of these trees is what may be living in it
(see below), so approach them with caution.

Ecology: Barachania trees are found orbiting planets that support plant
life, such as earth worlds and water worlds.  There is a small "forest" of
them in the Astromundi cluster which is a noteable exception to this, but
even they are close to asteroids with plentiful water.  As with most plants,
they require sunlight to maintain themselves.  Their sphere shape insures
that at any one time at least 20% of the tree is receiving sunlight.

The long, thin fillaments that eminate from the ball-shaped plant perform
two functions.  First, they act as "roots" for the tree.  The fillaments are
specially designed to extract gasses from the surrounding wildspace and from
the planet it's orbiting.  In this way, the tree is able to produce it's own
supply of water and neutrients.  Should the fillament come in contact with
actual water, it will soak it up, and pump it to the main part of the tree,
where it will be stored in much the same way a cactus stores water.

The fillaments also serve to distribute the pollen that allow the trees to
reproduce.  When two compatable pollens connect in wildspace - usually a
considerable distance from their parrent trees - they will interact to form
a cone about six inches long.  This cone drifts in space until it settles
over a suitable planet.  Initial growth is quite fast, with the tree
reaching a diameter of roughly 100 feet in the first five years.  Many trees
never get beyond this size, but 100 feet is large enough for the tree to
thrive normally.  If circumstances allow the tree to grow larger, the disk
shapped trunk can achieve a diameter of almost two miles over a period of
about 100 years.  The life span of a Barachania tree has been estimated at
almost 4000 years.

Uses: Since they are in many ways "oaisis" is space, sporting their own
water and air, the trees are a welcome site for many travelers.  Within the
canopy of the sphere-shaped branches lies an interconnected maze of
branches, twigs, old fillaments, and large, waxy leaves.  Creatures of all
kinds can be found living in the branches of a Barachania tree.  In  a few
systems, they are used as outposts.  The most noteable example of this is
the Trealadine Outpost in Trabaspace.  This particular tree has been
magically shaped and manacured to serve as a fully-functional space port.
The Imperial Elven Navy, prior to it's collapse, was looking into using the
trees as bases.
==============================================================
Richard J. Pugh, MLS        |RJPugh@??.??????.com
  Electronic Librarian      |RJPugh@???.com
Admin: spelljammer@??.??.uk |http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~ac916
==============================================================



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