The selfish tree

From: Richard Melvin <>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 23:48:16 +0100

Here's an interesting thought experiment for any sociobiologists out there:

To be precise, if you were a tree, and had a bit of mytho-magical energy to throw around[1], what kind of creature would you be best advised to spend it on?

Some answers:

So now you have a green age elf - born as a fruit from a tree, lives at the call of the tree, dies as food for the tree.

But, of course, third age elves aren't like that[5] - they have sex, found dynasties and worship anthromorphic godesses. Some cannot hear the song of the forest, some leave the forest, and some even put their own lives ahead of the good of the forest.

So, what changed?

The elves of the Pavis garden tell a tale of the first trickster, who stole the secret of the tree of life, and his son, Mortal, who was the first man born of woman.

Ever since that day, elves must use the magics of Uleria to produce a child-seed. Elves born in this way are more like their elf-parents, and less like the trees they ritually adopt. Often, they are less magical but physically stronger. They can be more creative at finding new solutions to problems, but sometimes feel pain or fear.

And some cannot hear the song of the forest[6].


[1] Now, if you were a majorly magical kind of tree, you might be able

    to generate a worthwhile protector creature all by yourself - call     it a dryad. On the other hand, most trees need to band together by     the tens or hundreds to make a single elf.

[2] Of course, you might also produce something a lot stranger, like

    the various species of red goblins.

[3] It might well be more accurate to speak of the elf belonging to the


[4] On the other hand, Voralans, coming from a 'forest' that

    is effectively a single organism, have virtually no     individual identity.

[5] Well, not pc elves anyway.

[6] Yes, this is another human origin myth.

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