The Pendrowe are plant-like
beings who act as guardians and caretakers of the many forested regions of
Caelereth. The Pendrowe types most
encountered and documented have an appearance of a tree, although it is known
that Pendrowe can appear as most any kind of plant type. Pendrowe is often used
as the plural and singular form when referring to the plant.
Appearance. Pendrowe have no defined appearance like other plants or animals (unlike another similar tree-people, the drasil, which resemble trolls turned into oak trees). When a young Pendrowe seedling is born, the first plant it touches gives the young Pendrowe its appearance. All Pendrowe later in life are able to change their overall size or the size of any aspect of themselves. Some even have the power to change their shape, but this skill is very rare.
|Image description. Tne guardians of the forests, the Pendrowe plant beings. Picture drawn by Arbaon.|
Pendrowe encountered by outsiders describe them as having the appearance of
"tree people". The description of a large tree in the rough shape of a
humanoid figure has been documented. Although
a Pendrowe possesses no head or a face, it can possess rudimentary "legs" from
its trunk and multiple arms and hands from their branches. This provides a
Pendrowe the means to travel and grasp objects if needed.
Although a tree type is certainly one type of Pendrowe, there exists Pendrowe in the shape of flowers, bushes or creeping vines. As with the tree variety, these types of Pendrowe have the ability to change their overall size or shape. However, a deeply rooted Pendrowe with no means of "legs" would be unable to travel thus remain rooted where they grow.
Special Abilities. Nothing in the forests, plant or animal, is able to harm the Pendrowe simply because other life forms view the essence of a Pendrowe as necessary for life and instinctively take care to do them no harm. On the other hand, Pendrowe seek out plants or animals that were harmed by non-natural causes and work to heal them. Pendrowe have an aura that strengthens the living things that come near it. Green druids know of this mysterious aura well and call it an "essence" that is contained in all living things. How exactly this essence works is unknown outside of Pendrowe and druidic circles. What is known, and documented, is that forested regions thrive considerably where the Pendrowe are known to live.
It is thought that in the absence of Pendrowe in a forest, the forest fauna would quickly become less vibrant and less full of life. The forest and its inhabitants may even sicken and die without this special care. Pendrowe have the ability to heal any living thing, at some cost to themselves, but choose not to in some cases where those that they would help are destructive towards forests. It is thought that the Pendrowe can somehow detect any kind of unnatural or "broken" essence within a living plant or animal that tells the Pendrowe that healing of the injured is necessary.
Territory. Pendrowe live and care for most any type of forested region. Most notably, the forests of Northern Sarvonia hold the most number of Pendrowe as these forests are not as civilized and have much less intrusion from any humanoid peoples. The Hovel Frond Forest, for example, is thought to contain many Pendrowe, if only because of the tales of evil trees and plants that are rumoured to live there. The Shaded Forest, also in Northern Sarvonia, are also documented to have Pendrowe guarding that area as well.
The reason for this is primarily because forests contain a wide variety of fauna with which to thrive in. It is also thought that Pendrowe have an instinctual need to remain within areas of abundant plant life as this permits it a greater chance of reproduction and protection from harm. A small forest might contain as many as a few dozen Pendrowe of various types whereas a large forest could contain literally hundreds of Pendrowe of all kinds. It is thought that Pendrowe cannot exist outside of forests, or other heavily planted regions, as they rely on the natural essence of many other Pendrowe to remain alive and active. As such, deserts, tundras and plains would not likely have any Pendrowe living there.
Pendrowe can exist in most any climate where forested regions exist from the coldest northern reaches to the warmer southern forests. Forests, or swamps, existing in areas with heavy water are known to be Pendrowe habitats as well.
Habitat/Behaviour. Pendrowe are very protective of their forested homes. They will admit strangers into their forests, be it humanoid or animal, but if the newcomers show that they have malicious intent, the Pendrowe will not hesitate to remove the threat. Typically, a group of Pendrowe will gather and attempt to remove the threat by force, either physically attacking them or moving them outside of the forest borders. Often a person who is alone and maliciously harms a plant or animal may be silenced by a falling tree branch or a venomous snake. Hunters within known territories of Pendrowe must take care when hunting or risk raising the ire of the guardians of the forest.
Pendrowe do not take kindly towards those who would harm a living tree, such as those working in the wood cutting trade. Groups of up to Pendrowe have known to attack lumber camps and kill everyone they find. If people who were hunted by Pendrowe and managed to escape and afterwards plant a tree for every one they cut down, the Pendrowe will be appeased and the feared Pendrowe curse is undone. How Pendrowe can sense the goodwill of such a person, who once was seen as a foe, nobody really knows. However, even one little mistake could get a Pendrowe angered again and the slaughtering can start again. For this reason, most foresters will plant extra trees to make sure that no miscounting occurs. This even goes so far as to please the tree spirits, as people have taken to calling them.
One survivor of an attack spoke these words before dying a day later:
"After a long day's
work, we all were sitting around a roaring bonfire. Everything was fine
and we were joking and reminiscing and the other sorts of things you do in
the evening. All of a sudden, the fire dimmed, and the logs in the
I swear this is true – just rose out of it and began to spring into new
growth. Then, before anyone had recovered from their shock, three
trees that were much bigger than was possible, and a maple walked straight
out of the shadows of the forest. They came with branches swinging and
dark emotions displayed in their movements. Those who were hit by the
thrashing limbs were killed instantly. Others just seemed to have their
life stolen from them, as if by magic. One of the trees looked straight at
me, though he didn’t have eyes, and I could tell that something was going
to happen to me. But I wasn’t killed, and I’ll have that memory for the
rest of my life. But I just know I'll die in a forest, or something
similar will happen. People say that the monsters that did it were
guardians of the forest, but they’re supposed to be kind, and not given to
killing. I just can't explain it."
was rumoured to grow from his grave less than half a year after his burial.
Another notable aspect of the Pendrowe is that one cannot mention them without also comparing them to another race of tree-like people, the drasil, or "History Trees". While both creatures exist as near sentient plant beings, there are notable differences. The drasil, for instance, are known to exist mostly in the continent of Akdor as there has been no recorded sighting of a drasil on the Sarvonian continent. But, it is thought that very few drasil do live in other continents as birds perhaps spread their seeds when migrating to other places.
Secondly, the drasil have a unique ability to communicate using mind-pictures where they can bestow visions of past events to another being, thus they earned the name the "History Trees". As far is known, Pendrowe do not possess this ability.
Another difference between the drasil and Pendrowe is the appearance and behaviour of the young. Young Pendrowe resemble nothing more than young plants, trees or bushes from which they derive. There are no notable differences between a young Pendrowe and a normal plant of similar type. Young drasil, however, resemble Brownie children, small and with the appearance of a tiny human. As the drasil grow, they become more tree-like in appearance, but do not completely lose the humanoid appearance.
The diet and mating behavior of the Pendrowe and the drasil are quite similar as both produce seedlings with which they grow from and rely on sunlight, water and rich soil to thrive in. It is not known if the drasil also possess an "aura of healing" as the Pendrowe do, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that they do.
Diet. Pendrowe, like the plants that they take after in appearance, only take nutrients from the soil and the sun. They will not eat other plants or animals, because this goes against their purpose. Also, Pendrowe only need to take nutrients from the soil for the first week after they are born. After that, they take their energy from the sun.
Mating. The Pendrowe do not make themselves known to many outsiders, so it is difficult to find any sort of researcher who has studied them to much of an extent. The Pendrowe do not make themselves known unless their forests or they themselves are threatened. What is known about their reproductive habits comes usually second hand from other forest dwellers such as the elves or brownies.
Just after a Pendrowe “sprouts”, it seeks out the nearest plant. The plant that it finds and first touches gives the young Pendrowe its appearance. Since parent Pendrowe care about their young, and want them to have the best life possible, they usually position their seed in or next to a tree, as these forms become the largest and most elegant Pendrowe. Shortly after the seedling touches its plant, it will transform into that plant, although not an exact copy. Within a week it will be full-grown and ready to begin learning rather than feeding non-stop. At this point the plant begins to not take from the land, but to give to it.
Somewhere near middle age for a Pendrowe, it comes into seed. Most of the seeds are of the plant from which that Pendrowe takes its appearance, but one of an actual Pendrowe seedling. Thus the cycle begins once again, but the life of the parent continues. It may bear seeds up to three times in its lifetime, once a year, and all of these will become grown Pendrowe. The Pendrowe will go on with its life until it reaches around three hundred years. Then it will die. Its body will transform immediately into extremely fertile soil, and its spirit will travel out and be united with the living creatures in its vicinity. Families of Pendrowe use the same spot to die in, and sometimes travellers will pass a small glade that is even more green than the rest of the forest, and has a definite sense of life. It is these lush groves where Pendrowe are thought to have died.
Myth/Lore. It is thought that almost every living tribe in Caelereth has some sort of myth about the living trees and plants. The notable exceptions would probably be the tribes of the desert regions where forests do not exist. Nevertheless, most tribes, especially the Maeverhim elves and the Vale Brownies, tell tales of the guardians of the forests.
Among the elves, the Pendrowe are called pherán'helvíl ("tree wanderers"), eaán'lón ("forect protectors") or the pherán'quillý ("tree dancer"). The forest dwelling elves are known to have a particularly strong connection to the Pendrowe living among them and, as living creatures, the elves even thrive within the protective aura of the tree guardians. The elves in turn help tend to the Pendrowe natives by caring for the young and guarding against outside intruders.
The Maeverhim, for example, have a notable connection to the Pendrowe probably moreso than any other tribe. The Maeverhim actually live in many of the ancient trees of the Sharadon Forest and make use of the guardians for shelter and protection. These elves help spread the seedlings and plant young Pendrowe where they think they would obtain the best sunlight and water. As the Pendrowe grow, the Maeverhim tend to the young Pendrowe and use them to create some of their tree homes from which the elves live. The Sharadon Forest is thought to have the oldest known Pendrowe in existence as this forest is largely untouched by outsiders and fiercely protected by the Maeverhim. Even the surrounding human villages are well aware of the presence of magical trees within the Sharadon and know to leave well enough alone unless given permission.
The Vale Brownies are another tribe with a strong connection to nature and the Pendrowe are no exception. Deep within the Vale woods, it is thought that the Vale Brownies worship the tree guardians and especially respect the Pendrowe's unique ability to heal and sustain the nature around them through what the Brownies call "life magic". Much like how the Aohu'o Brownies of Akdor have a symbiotic relationship with the drasil, so do the Vale Brownies with the Pendrowe, although not to the extent of the Aohu'o, supposedly. Whether a drasil exists within the Vale is not known as few, if any, have ventured deep within those woods.
Finally, the Pendrowe are well known to the mysterious green druids, the druidic sect devoted to the protection and care of all manner of plant life. It is thought that the green druids actually have a means of communicating with the Pendrowe through thought images, much as how the drasil communicate. This has never been confirmed as the green druids are quite secretive of their own special kind of magic and rarely, if ever, speak to non-druid researchers. What is known is the familiar life essence that a Pendrowe seems to possess is also shared and understood by the druids so it is not so far of a stretch to think that druids can speak to a Pendrowe somehow.