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 Post subject: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:27 pm 
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I made up the basic idea of this several years ago, and I hope to develop it much further now. Critique, I pray you!

This creature is in the form of a tree. I do not believe anyone knows that it is a creature, because they have never been observed by scientists, and by hardly any people at all.

It lives in forests where the upper canopy blocks out all light. It is not a part of the canopy, but is much smaller than the trees that make it. It lives in cave-like darkness where no plants grow. There is nothing but the pillars of the trees with ancient, dry twigs that do not fall only because there is not a breath of wind. The mere passing by of a large animal on the forest floor or the sound of a voice would be enough to make some of them fall.

The fire basin tree lives there and grows as if it was a smaller tree in the open air, except that it has no leaves. It is thick of trunk and black. It grows to the size of a large tree of an ordinary forest or woodland, and so it would seem very towering and imperious among the straight, branch-less trunks that surround it, just as a sauropod would seem large though the earth it walks on is larger.

It has a knotted mat of thick, branching arms that imitate roots, that make a floor for a circular area around the tree. Beneath these it has a cloud of fine, root-like threads with fewer thick roots among them for support. The creature can sense the tread of forest beasts by these fine, lower threads, and can tell how near they are coming.

When a beast seems to be near enough, from cracks or gashes in its sides the tree-creature spouts out streams of flame, like the flame of a torch or a wood fire. The flames attract the animals, which walk onto the disc of thick root-arms that surround the creature's trunk. The arms pull aside, entangling the stray beast's legs, then letting it down into the fine threads, that knit together around it and digest it.

The flames also keep the prey from coming near the trunk, where the arms are closer together and harder to move.

It is called the fire basin tree (by the few who call it anything) because it is usually thought that it drops its prey into a basin underneath, where the prey is burnt.

The leafless branches above grow lacy networks of twigs, and these sweat a perfume with a strong, sweet smell, to mask the smell of death.

The light of its flames making the complicated shadows dance in the upper branches also adds to its lure.

It has the ability to move, that is, to another place, but it never moves. Not unless the canopy above is broken, and light is let through.

These are the male of these creatures. For their reproduction the females walk through the forest from male to male, allowing them to mate with her in exchange for some of the food they have collected.

The female is far smaller, around the size of a tree-fern, or somewhat taller than a man and about as thick. Its upper arms are arranged more like concentric, inverted cones; they are very dense and full of finely meshed twigs.

The lower arms are spread in a disk like the male, but are arranged more regularly like the spokes of a wheel. They are not entangled with each other very much, and are used for walking across the forest floor. They are less knotted, and more frond like than the males arms.

The female cannot shoot flames. Their means of defense is being hard to injure or destroy. They go from one male creature to another, and mate with them at a place next to their trunk where their lower arms are absent. Then they send down their own system of fine threads, and entangle them with the fine threads of the male, drawing the digested food from them.

The male will blast the female with flames, which do not harm her. This may be a necessary part of the mating, or it may be that it pleases the female. It also may cause the female to, like the male, send out a perfume, which is pleasant to the male, from her network-like upper arms. The female also may carry away some of the bones which gather steadily about the male.

When the female is fertilized, the young creature will sprout from one of her lower arms, and grow there like a miniature of the adult. After near a year and two months, the mother will begin, from time to time, to shake its arm, twist it to try to break the young off on the ground, or even beat or scrape the young on a tree root or trunk.

The process is none too gentle. It may be nearly a month, or several months, before the mother will succeed in breaking the young creature off. The mother will abandon it then, and it will lie as motionless as when it was attached to its mothers arm. It will be a few weeks or months more before the young begins to move on its own.

When it does begin to move, both male and female young will drag themselves and attach as parasites to a tree root using a sharp beak. They grow this way until they are nearly two thirds of their fully grown size. Then they shed their beak and leave it joined to the tree root. The male will find a place to settle permanently, and the female will begin searching for males.

You must remember that everything that happens in the life of the creature is done in complete darkness, except when the fully mature male is luring prey, or a female, by its flames. These beasts have no way to make sound, except the scraping made by its lower arms, the rush and flap of the flames, or the mother beating their young off their arm.

They do not creak when they flex and bend, any more than a starfish does, but their limbs do scrape together.


Critique I pray you!

Do you have any questions? What are your favorite things about it? What does not seem to fit? Did something confuse you?

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for me? Does this remind you of anything?

I have a thread for this in my sub-forum:
http://www.holyworlds.org/fantasy/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=7397

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Wow. o.O That's really neat. :D How do the males produce the fire without burning themselves? Or are they nonflammable? :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:49 am 
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Fascinating creatures. :cool: Since they can make fire, are they warm-blooded? Or like a dragon, are they cold-blooded despite having fire?

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Calista Beth Mimetes wrote:
Or are they nonflammable?
Yes, they can not be burned, especially since the male blasts the female with fire.

They (or certain ones of them) may also use the flame to kill their prey and keep it from struggling free of its arms.

Jonathan Garner wrote:
Or like a dragon, are they cold-blooded despite having fire?
I do not think they would survive being cold-blooded, since where they live is in perpetual darkness and would probably be intensely cold. Though it may not be as cold as other places of that kind (such as the dark portion of deep seas), because it has no wind, and the rotting forest litter may give some significant warmth.


I said that they lived in darkness, but I forgot to say that they never have eyes of any kind, nor do they have ears unless you would say that they hear with the fine threads they lace into the ground.

They breathe through their skin, their entire skin, but mainly through their upper, twig-like arms.


Was everything I said clear? Everything made sense right away?

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Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
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May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:39 am 
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Tsahraf ChahsidMimetes wrote:
Was everything I said clear? Every thing made sense right away?

Yes. It did to me. :book:

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Okay so, how are the flames produced? Wouldn't the smell of something burning ward off any forest creature? And how is the food stored if it's digested right away? And where would their scent sensory glands be, if they are able to detect each other's scent? And how do the younglings survive being immobile for months?

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Jonathan Garner wrote:
Yes. It did to me.
That is good!

Seabird Mimetes wrote:
Okay so, how are the flames produced? Wouldn't the smell of something burning ward off any forest creature? And how is the food stored if it's digested right away? And where would their scent sensory glands be, if they are able to detect each other's scent? And how do the younglings survive being immobile for months?
Thank you for lots of questions Seabird!

#1
They have gas pockets that they contract to shoot out the gas, and use chemicals to make a small flame that ignites it. I know that potassium mixed with water makes a flame (or an explosion). I do not think that it is that reaction that the creature uses, just I know it is possible to use a reaction.

#2
I do not think so. I do not think forest fires would be very serious in such places. The flames would not smell like wood burning either.

#3
I do not think they store food. If you mean what the female eats, it takes the nutrients directly from the male's fine threads. They interlace, and the nutrients are released from the male and absorbed by the female.

#4
They smell through their skin, in the same way they breath through their skin.

#5
During that time they are healing from being broken off. There are other animals can go without food for months, it would not be hard for it to survive.

Thank you! I like questions.


I think one of its predators is an insect or mite, smaller than salt.

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Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Okay, I have one last question. If the food is digested immediately after capture, how is there a 'smell of death'?

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Seabird Mimetes wrote:
Okay, I have one last question. If the food is digested immediately after capture, how is there a 'smell of death'?
...Only one? ....no more questions?

Anyway, a good question it is. Remember that not all of it is digested. It gets as much off the carcass as scavengers would be able to (and the female carries off some of the bones), but it takes time to digest. And since it is digested meshed in threads rather than in a sealed stomach there would be little or nothing to keep in the smell.


Something very interesting that I thought of. When they grow old, parts of their bodies become flammable, and they catch fire when they die. They burn from the inside out, but not all of it burns. It becomes a black, pitted, gouged ruin, like a burnt castle or shipwreck.

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::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Tsahraf:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Wow! Very interesting and detailed. My favourite part is the way you describe the young being beaten/shaken off the mother tree. I can imagine them doing it; I think it fits in perfectly with their nature.
Would the flames be a different colour than normal fire? When I imagine the Fire-basin trees, I don't picture flames as we know them...but perhaps that is just me!


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:25 am 
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Tsahraf ChahsidMimetes wrote:
Something very interesting that I thought of. When they grow old, parts of their bodies become flammable, and they catch fire when they die. They burn from the inside out, but not all of it burns. It becomes a black, pitted, gouged ruin, like a burnt castle or shipwreck.

That would be an interesting sight for a character to encounter in a story.

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:22 am 
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Can anything live in the corpse afterward?

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Author of the forthcoming book, Peacekeeper's Essence- ‎"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day." Proverbs 4:18

Be the leaf ~Ow~O

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Firieth Mimetes wrote:
Would the flames be a different colour than normal fire?
I think it would be a methane gas that burns. That burns the usual flame colors. When I find it I will link to a good video I know of of a methane flame.

Jonathan Garner wrote:
That would be an interesting sight for a character to encounter in a story.
Yes, very.

It would be safer to encounter than the living tree, except for...
Seabird Mimetes wrote:
Can anything live in the corpse afterward?
I believe so. Something between an ape and a trapdoor spider. Of course, in complete darkness, without even the flames, you would not see it unless you had your own light with you.

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Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:41 pm 
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Tsahraf ChahsidMimetes wrote:
Seabird Mimetes wrote:
Can anything live in the corpse afterward?
I believe so. Something between an ape and a trapdoor spider. Of course, in complete darkness, without even the flames, you would not see it unless you had your own light with you.


Ewwwww! D: *has a mortal fear of bugs* Eww ewww ewww! Dx

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Author of the forthcoming book, Peacekeeper's Essence- ‎"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day." Proverbs 4:18

Be the leaf ~Ow~O

Follow me on my blog and visit my world, Rantis!
Oh, and check out my latest topic: Character Themesongs

Me: "Are you trying to implant a watermelon in my belly?"
Mom: "No, an apple tree."


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:31 pm 
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I am thinking the fire-basin tree has a mortal fear of bugs as well. I love bugs. I always have.

Maybe because they were so different: they can have everything from no legs to hundreds of legs. All the silly monsters and beasties of cheap stories (and therefore children's stories unfortunately) have their very real counterparts in bugs.

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Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 2:42 am 
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Wow what a description! I don't have any questions. Visually I was trying to picture these monsters I think you did a very good job!!!this really made me work harder on my creature descriptions

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:02 am 
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Thank you Izenroe!

Izenroe wrote:
I don't have any questions.
Oh no!

Izenroe wrote:
this really made me work harder on my creature descriptions
Very good! I want to see some of them when you are done.

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::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Tsahraf:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


My Book on Amazon.

Come see the Sub-forum for my Otherworld.

One of my posts: Introducing You to Iniel (third update)

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 Post subject: Re: Land Creatures: The Fire-basin Tree
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Izenroe wrote:
Wow what a description! I don't have any questions. Visually I was trying to picture these monsters I think you did a very good job!!!this really made me work harder on my creature descriptions



You're welcome sir! I will, I actually have one I've been working on a little.

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