Races of Rhedoras: The Yggdral Picture

Of all the inhabitants of Rhedoras, none is as reclusive, as little known, and as aggressive as the Tree Folk are. A species of an unknown origin and unknown age, it is widely accepted that Yggdrals are perhaps the first sentient creatures to have walked on the face of Rhedoras, and the forefathers of the younger races.

There exist various theories regarding what Yggdrals actually are: Most scholars agree that they are a species of tree people, akin to plants in their physiognomy, while others support the theory that they may actually not be material beings, but spiritual creatures that happen to inhabit plant like bodies. Whichever the reality might be, fact remains that Yggdrals appear to be made in a manner similar to trees, most often oak, birch or elder, though there have been sightings of them having barks and foliage akin to pine, willow, and other types of tree. Their outside appearance is normally that of a man or a woman made of tree bark, with leaves for hair, moss hanging down as a mane, a beard made of branches and leaves or other similar forms; this has led people to give them the nickname "Green Men".

Yggdrals outer looks allow them to seamlessly camouflage with any surrounding trees, in order to avoid being seen by other people from Rhedoras. Usually, they assume humanoid shapes, varying between male and female looking, animal like features, or a combination thereof; they are able to modify their appearance and shape as they see fit, however this is a process that tends to take a few months, sometimes years, as their bodies reshape their trunks and branches into whichever form they desire. They use this skill to engage threats in combat, to escape them, or to communicate with other life forms.

Numbering in the hundreds, Yggdrals are a dying race; they have been hunted for centuries by most other races for their bark, a substance lighter and stronger than any other known material, the sap cruising through their bodies possesses terrific healing capabilities, able to cure the most grievous wounds and illnesses, and just stopping short of bringing the dead back. Because of this, high lords, Conclave magi and rich merchants used to pay fortunes to have the smallest piece of Yggdral bark or droplets of their sap. Currently, the Tree Folk are seldom seen or hunted for, as there are rumors of forests coming alive to eliminate any threat to to their sentient brethren.

They are an asexual species, incapable of reproducing by themselves. Yggdral saplings are born from the Great Trees they worship, enormous organisms oftentimes encompassing entire forests, every few hundred years they lay fruit, giving birth to the new generation of Tree Folk; however, only one such tree remains in all of Rhedoras, the rest having been cut down by other races to use as building material or fuel, or destroyed during the Conclave War. Their population remains stable however, not growing nor diminishing, unless they are hunted; Yggdrals are pretty much immortal, when one reaches old age, usually hundreds of years old, they shed their old body by laying down a seed which grows into a new, younger self, retaining all of its former memories and knowledge, the husk left behind taking roots on earth and becoming a full fledged tree. It is believed that many forests of the world may be composed entirely of rooted Yggdrals.

Tree Folk are known to live in small communities of up to a hundred individuals, led by the oldest among themselves, called a Druid. Some of these ancient Yggdrals are believed to be as old as the world itself, possessing more knowledge about the land and the creatures that inhabit it than any record found in the Conclave Citadel. This immense reservoir of lore is passed on to younger Tree Folk, who learn to commune with anything that is rooted to the land, thus giving them the ability to take control of plants and, to some extent, the weather. Yggdrals have absolutely no magical affinities, shunning magic as an unnatural force, alien to the powers of the world and life. This however doesn't deter them from being fearful spellcasters: They are able to manipulate the shape and growth of any form of plant life, create or divert storms, cause roots to break the strongest walls or trap their enemies in vines.

Only rarely do they interact with other races of Rhedoras, other than the Berwinni. They harbor a deep hatred against other sentient races due to their destruction of the Great Trees, and their continuous usage of wood as fuel and building material. Despite of their hatred however, they don't actively aggravate any settlements close to their forests, nor any wanderer into their lands, so long as they don't pose a threat to their lives. Yggdrals however are of a curious nature, and are known to get close to towns and villages in order to observe the ongoing lives of their inhabitants, some of then have remained vigilant of a single village for decades, until they decide to leave or people learn of the Yggdral's presence.

Biologically, Yggdrals are akin to any common tree, which lends support to the theory of them as spiritual rather than physical beings. Whenever they need to feed they take root, absorbing nutriments from the soil; when deprived of water or good soil however, they are able to nourish themselves via a process similar to photosynthesis, receiving energy from the sun on their leaves and transforming it into the substances they need to live. Studies led by Conclave scholars have demonstrated that when away from soil, water and sun, Yggdrals can keep functioning for months on end until they wither, however, when restored to a nutrient rich environment, they can be brought back to life without any apparent damage to their minds or bodies.

They are simple folk, content with living their lives at ease and tending to their forests and groves. Whenever a dying patch of crop is dying, or a bad harvest is miraculously saved, folklore says that the "Green Men", the guardians of the forests, the tree folk, or simply the Yggdrals have had a hand on it, which is why many people see them as figures to be revered and respected. This has led to groups of people to try and find their communities, whether they have managed to do so, or they have been devoured by the forests remains unknown.

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And this is the Yggdral race, the Treefolk of Rhedoras. The idea came to me a few days ago as an additional race, which to my belief, is relatively "original". They're loosely based off the Ent race from the Lord of the Rings, created by Tolkien, however they have enough differences in their behavior, appearance and society to be recognizable as a species of their own.

The drawing itself was rather difficult for me, seeing as I have never tried to draw anything similar to trees or tree bark, so this was a first for me. I think it turned out alright, though it still needs a lot of work. I've decided to put this race into paper, because I have become motivated to writing again, and I've made a pact with someone quite close to me: I write, she writes, we critique eachother and all that.

In a couple days, I'll commence writing stories set in the land of Rhedoras, and perhaps describe the world itself. It's actually not a planet, but a moon. With moons.

Yes.

In any case, I hope the drawing is to your liking and that you've found the description of the Yggdrals to be entertaining. As a side note, the name "Yggdral" is a not-so-subtle reference to the Norse mythology's Tree of the World, Yggdrasil, and so are the Great Trees that give birth to saplings.



Continue Reading: Ages of Man