|Songmaster Tree, Tree Sharp
|Utility, Artistic, Decorative
The Singing Syprelle is a uniquely colored tree with a strange ability to sing. While neither a clear voice nor even a musical instrument is heard, the melodious melody this plant produces as the wind runs through it is known across Aloria. The effect carries into the lumber of this tree, with furniture, statues, and more carved of the material singing when the breeze strikes them. For this reason, they are often pieces of the wealthy, used to accentuate a home or estate with melodies otherwise made with effort.
The Singing Syprelle has a very old history, dating back to the Asha and the Dewamenet Empire that controlled much of Ithania. While there is limited evidence for it, especially given the damage Asha records suffered at the hands of the Allorn Empire, oral tradition among the Asha speaks of a tree that sang in the wind. Its wood was used to make unique instruments not just based in the school of percussion but also string and woodwind. Ultimately the Teledden had them destroyed, and for millennia during The Consolidation, the Singing Syprelle as it was later known, was exported across the Empire to be part of many a beautiful garden or temple ground to the Estellon faith. The Teledden in particular associated the tree with Savellon, Gilded Strike of Perfection, as a direct gift from him to their people, and for generations that is how it was seen. As the Allorn Empire began to decay, however, and temple grounds to Estel and the Estellon pantheon shrunk across Allorn territory, the Singing Syprelle was saved on the merit of its beauty and “singing” nature, which now serve the interests of the decadent nobility. However, as the Cult nature of the Teledden grew, petty acts of property destruction became the norm as methods of intrigue and antagonism, or existed already as part of long-standing feuds given new life through the division of Allorn society. Part of this often involved the destruction of Singing Syprelles, symbols of status and beauty, so by the time of The Blossoming, Syprelles existed in a very different form across the Allorn Empire.
In The Far West, the plant survived among the Suvial, whose love of music made the tree an ideal decoration in public gardens or estates of the wealthy, while on Daen the tree was largely relegated to its birthplace of Ithania. The Ailor who tended these particular trees often grew attached to them in Ithania, so when the Ithanian Culture emerged from the freed Ailor slave populace shortly before the Cataclysm, the Singing Syprelle remained intact in its position as a beautiful, ornate tree of the wealthy. The tree’s prior attachment to Savellon continued for several more generations, but upon the arrival of Unionism, it also gained new connotations. Given the rise of the Almar Cult among many Ithanians, they sometimes instead insisted it had been a gift from The Everwatcher to God Emperor Almar, and it earned the additional nickname of “Almar’s Blessing,” though this largely fell out of favor with those beyond the Almar Cult within a handful of years. Today, the Singing Syprelle is often associated both with wealth and music for good reason, surviving in a variety of disparate locales across Aloria where there was or still is a Teledden presence. The tree also travels with Ithanian populations, and they are known to grow plentifully in Hivre de Luzière.
The Singing Syprelle, as crassly described by one Anglian horticulturist, looks like someone ruined a paintbrush bristles, dunked it in a vat of mixed colors, and then planted it facing the sky. While harsh, the metaphor does have a basis in truth. Standing anywhere from eight to eighteen feet tall as one of the short trees in Aloria, the Singing Syprelle has a broad-bottomed but thin-topped trunk of deeply grooved, ochre-yellow-swirled bark. The tree’s wood, meanwhile, is a blend of pale yellow with shades of pink swirled throughout. The tree’s leaves are densely packed conifer-style as the plant is an evergreen, but unlike others, its dense, pointed leaves are pale green with yellow tips regardless of age.
Uses and Abilities
Singing Syprelle gives its special trait away in the name, as whenever the wind blows through the trees, sweet, musical sounds are produced. The tunes are not that of any specific instrument, and are said to resemble melodious humming, but with a warmth of some sort of instrument underlying the intonations. The mechanic for this is wholly unknown, as studies of the tree in its entirety down to singular leaves produce no clear reason why this happens. Even studies undertaken by arcane persons have been baffled by the tree’s ability, rendering them unable to find a strong connection to the Void or Exist. This “singing” carries into even the lumber taken from the trees as this light material emits the same sounds even when varnished and made into furniture. As a result of this, the tree itself is often used as decoration, while many decorative pieces and more have been carved from its wood to sit outside or in open air to let the music flow. Some have also been known to craft conductors wands from the substance and make unique, but short, compositions to make use of the tree’s musical potential as part of a performance.
- The largest Syprelle is one that has been growing for nearly a thousand years within the borders of Hivre Carnigoux de Foix. Known as the Orchestra Tree, its song is said to be very loud and made up of layered harmonies that are their venue of entertainment for visitors and locals.
- There exists a dark belief among some Mages that the Singing Syprelle might be not singing, but screaming. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that the Soul Rivers of Aloria pass through the trees wherever they grow, and so the sound they produce is actually the distorted screams of millions of souls streaming through their form.
- Some believe that the reason Savellon was acclaimed as the tree’s creator, and that it was a gift from him to the Teledden people, was that during the time of Empress Talea;s successful destruction of the Asha, he captured a grove of the trees early into the campaign, thus leading to the “gift” he gave.