Juniper Tree

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Juniper Tree
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Flora
Official Name Juniper Tree
Common Name Sunspear Tree, Hadir’iilha, Tilinili-jiri
Classification Tree
Common Use Culinary, Utility
Origins The North Belt (likely)
Habitat Cold to temperate regions

Juniper Trees have a long, deep connection to the northern reaches of Aloria. Among the Velheim Ailor, they have long been a plant of great importance both for their wood and their berries, which have been used in the creation of many beverages and foods. However, its growth across Aloria and a wide variety of appearances also make the tree unique as many other Cultures make use of the plant without a second thought.

History

Juniper Trees are heavily suspected to have originated somewhere in The North Belt, as that is their most populous location. The Velheim claim various legends that state this fact, and the sheer number of them and mention of the tree dating back well over 400 years suggests that it was at least as populous as it is today in the region. However, a few believe that the plant originated on Ceardia, and was instead transmitted by the Velheim and other migrants to areas of Corontium, Essalonia, and The North Belt, where it became common. But, these claims have very little evidence and are often transmitted by Ceardian background scholars, convinced that all Ailor inventions and more came from Ceardia as the cradle of Ailorkind. Still, Juniper Trees have played an important role in many communities and Cultures beyond the Velheim, and today the tree is used for wood and food in equal measure across Aloria.

Appearance

Juniper Trees are some of the most adaptable plants in Aloria, with a wide range of sizes and shapes. In open plains or fields, they will grow as very short trees or large shrubs while those in colder forests will grow tall, large and strong. In general, the plant covers heights from between six feet to sixty, with a coniferous leaf structure on study, often slightly curving branches. Growing on these Trees at various times of the year (based on the Tree’s location) are Juniper Berries, round spheres anywhere from one to two inches in diameter. They are not true berries or even fruits as most would understand them. Instead, they are berry-like, merely being a fleshy cone that stores the plant’s seeds. During the first year and a half, these “berries” remain green, but they ripen and eventually fall all unless picked or plucked from the plant’s branches. They have a distinct flavor and while rarely eaten raw, are often added to a variety of other foods and beverages.

Uses and Abilities

Juniper Trees are most commonly used for their wood, with tens of thousands chopped down every month across Aloria for use by Humans and various other Races. Their wood is often strong and useful in a variety of uses. The secondary use is found in the Tree’s “berries”, though they are rarely eaten raw. Instead, they are used as sauces or in curing alongside meats, while occasionally being used sparingly in pies or jams. Additionally, alcoholic beverages flavored with Juniper Berries are incredibly common in several societies, from Anglian to Velheim, and there are a number of well-known brands.

Trivia

  • The Velheim border town of Helgvik within the Kingdom of Hedryll was famous for its mead made with Juniper Berries. Unfortunately, when the townsfolk went rogue and captured Isldar scouts, the town was destroyed by an Isldar raid heralded by one of their Frost Wyverns.
  • Some have been known to dry Juniper Berries and then crush them to make crude paint, though this is no longer nearly as common as it was 300 years ago for the Ailor Race.

Accreditation
Writers HydraLana
Processors FireFan96, TheBioverse
Last Editor HydraLana on 04/21/2020.

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