|Official Name||Tree Basterion|
|Common Nicknames||Tree Monkeys|
Within the jungles of Hadaria, many explorers who stumble across the wrong cluster of trees are soon bombarded with hard fruits and screeches, a typical greeting from the Tree Basterion. These odd primates are exotic to say the least, with large hands, odd green fur, and an interesting hoarding instinct. The oldest records of the Tree Basterion date back to around 2900 BC, and come from the Elven Empire; while the oldest non-Elven records are from 295 AC. As its name implies, the Tree Basterion has a great affinity for climbing in the jungle and often only comes to the ground to collect rocks and fallen fruits. While reclusive in its present state, the Tree Basterion continues to showcase Hadar’s exotic fauna as well as its scarred past.
The first records of the Tree Basterion show up around 2900 BC in old Elven history archives. Historians and biologists have assumed that because of the perilous and almost war-torn environment of Hadar, many of the old records of the primate made by Slizzar and Allar were destroyed. Most of the relevant scientific community at the time thought that the already rare species had been pushed into extinction by the decimation that was the Cataclysm, followed shortly after by the Chrysant War, though the monkey was officially seen and recorded in 295 AC, being proclaimed alive once more. Currently, Tree Basterion tribes are scarcely found in only the deepest parts of Hadaria’s jungles, parts that have rarely seen sentient life. As civilization expands towards their natural habitat, it’s predicted that these aggressive yet interesting creatures will only decrease in number.
The Tree Basterion is a medium-sized primate, usually standing at 4 to 5 feet tall once fully grown. They keep to a diet of both hard and soft fruits, insects, and various edible greens. Because of this diet, they often make their homes in batches of fruit-bearing trees within the heart of the jungle. These primates are identified by their dark green fur that blends in with the canopies they frequent. The fur covers everything but the palms of their hands, soles of their feet, and the black masks around their slightly oblong faces. Their limbs are thicker and harbor more muscle than those of other primates their size, likely to support their larger hands and feet. These larger appendages measure around twice the size of an average man’s hand, with both hands and feet having opposable thumbs and toes for climbing. Their arms are usually one and a half times longer than the length of their torso while their legs are usually only three quarters as long. This causes the Tree Basterion to walk slightly hunched over, using their feet and their knuckles to support their strolls on the jungle floor. Finally, the Tree Basterion has a tail that is as long as their arms, allowing them another limb for grappling and scaling the canopies they make their homes in.
From what observations have been made, male and female populations are relatively equal. While males are usually larger, the only way to accurately identify a Basterion’s gender is from their reproductive systems.
Life Span and Development
Tree Basterions can live for up to sixty years in the wild, and sport shorter gestation periods to counteract for the numerous centuries of low population suffered by the species. Within the average tribe, family units of one male and two females are established. Mating season is every two years in the spring, to coincide with the blooming of fruits within the Hadarian jungle. After around two-hundred and forty days, an infant Basterion will be born and cared for by both females at the same time. After eighteen months of careful guarding and nurturing, these infants will then be able to climb on their own and be relatively self-sufficient, though will still require the two mothers’ guidance and gathering of fruits for food. Six years from birth, the offspring will be considered officially mature. Once mating season rolls around again, females will approach males that don’t already have two mates for that season and begin to swing their arms about, screeching to initiate an intent for mating. From there, the cycle continues on for another revolution.
While wild and aggressive to any threat living in or entering their territory, the Tree Basterion is a very interesting and intelligent primate. These primates have even been observed taking larger rocks and dropping them on hard-shelled fruits to break them open. From what observations have been made on one tribe, it seems these communities all have a sense of teamwork and group achievement. No one primate is in it for themselves; their territory is theirs to protect and farm. Which leads into another interesting part of their mental state: their farming instinct. Tree Basterions are intelligent enough to tell when the fruit on their tree is ripe enough to be picked, though only pick the fruits when they need to eat, so it’s also assumed they know that fruit spoils over time. Another interesting instinct these primates seem to carry is their hoarding instinct, in that it has been observed that when they are not picking fruit, males scout around on the floor of the jungle, not too far from their trees, and pick up suitable sized rocks, around the size of their palm. They then bring back these rocks and carry them up into their trees by using their tails to stabilize themselves. Every family unit has a small stash of rocks, around five or six, that they pile up in their trees in the crook created by two branches. When they need to defend their territory or break open fruits, they use the rocks they’ve gathered.
Territory and Groupings
The Tree Basterion is highly territorial. They create small groups of twenty or so Basterions called tribes. A tribe of these primates has groupings within them as well: family units of one male and two females. As for territory, anything that sets foot within a tribe’s proclaimed batch of hard fruit-bearing trees will be bombarded by aggressive screeching and a shower of thrown rocks and hard fruits until they run off or are sufficiently stoned.
- There is a common superstition that the right hand of a Tree Basterion has the power to grant three wishes. Many disillusioned believers are then left with a rather odd conversation piece and sadly, no magic wishes.
- Allar alchemists believe they could use Tree Basterion blood for dexterity and acrobatic enhancing mixtures.