Eternity Tree
Eternity Tree

Eternity Tree

Eternity Tree

(arbor aeternus)

Despite all my travels, I’ve still not managed to track down this elusive plant. I’ve summed together all the darks I’ve heard on it, and that’ll have to do for now. If you ever hear of a cutter who’s found the sodding thing then don’t tell me; I’d probably die with jealousy. As it is, I wonder if the whole thing wasn’t just a bunch of addled nonsense in the first place…

The half-elf sage Axulaxos said the Eternity Palm was a perituros plant, that being one that’d never die. While I respect his wisdom, such pompous language isn’t my style, I’m afraid. Well, he was a Prime, after all. Basically, the chant is that this plant’s one of the oldest things on the Planes. It’s thought to predate many of the Powers, and saw the start of the vendetta that became the Blood War. The dark of it is that nobody really knows how old these barmy trees are, or if they do, they’re not telling me.

Legends mention only one Eternity Tree, but I reckon there’s a lot more of them around than a cutter’d think. See, I’ve read tales from travellers who’ve seen the tree all over the place. First I though that’d mean there’d be thousands of these trees scattered across the Planes, but then I thought of something rather more plausible: What if there maybe a score or two palms, but they could move round where they wanted and put down their roots when they found a spot to call a kip? Sort of like treants, ‘cept the palms are able to walk the Planes as well.

‘Immortal planeshifting plants’, you scoff. ‘What’s so special about that?’ Berk, it’s what they know that’s important. The Eternity Palms observe everything that happens around them, and since they’ve likely been anywhere you can think of in their infinite lifetimes, they’ve probably seen what you’re interested in.

Bariaur folk tales speak of the ‘Augury Tree’; a tree which produces white, daisy-like flowers. A lucky cutter who finds the tree can ask it a question, pick a flower from its branches, and pull off its petals one by one. The first petal is the answer ‘yes’, the second a ‘no’, the third a ‘yes’, and so on. The last petal on the flower’ll tell you the answer to the question you’ve posed. The bariaur say the tree’s never wrong. Careful research leads me to believe this tree’s the Eternity Palm I’m seeking.

There’s another myth, in Tir Na Og, which tells of a tree which casts shadows at the dead of night. If a cutter watching thinks of an event of the future or past, the tree’ll reveal in a shadowplay what it has seen concerning that event. The Celtics call it the ‘Oracle Oak’; I’d say this was the Eternity Tree again.

“Question: Are you an Eternity Tree? Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.
No? Whaddya mean, no?”

– A cutter who tried to be too smart

‘Palms, Oaks, flowering trees?’ I hear you ask. ‘How could a blood who knows as much as you do about plants possibly mistake ’em?’ I reckon the tree’s also able to change its shape to that of other plants, so it blends in better with its surroundings. It wouldn’t do to be noticed too often, especially if you knew the answer to any riddle a basher’d care to ask. Before you knew it you’d have no leaves left as everyone pulled bits off you to ask their addled questions; hence the need for a disguise. It also makes my job of tracking the blasted thing down all the harder.

How do I explain their insatiable thirst for knowledge? Perhaps they feed on facts just like other plants draw nourishment from soil. Maybe they’re just incurably nosy when it comes to the affairs of mortal creatures. Or do they report to some high-up man somewhere? As always, I’m still searching for the answer to that one. Hells, if I could get a cutting and grow my own Eternity Tree I’d never have to consult another book again!

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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