SirGeneralSir

Elvin buildings

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So I am working on a actual original story, in my world the elves make houses/buildings by growing trees, they dont use nails and boards etc.

I need to describe a simple home made from an apple tree but not make it sound like a small tree = a normal sized one, anyone got any ideas?

 

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3 hours ago, SirGeneralSir said:

So I am working on a actual original story, in my world the elves make houses/buildings by growing trees, they dont use nails and boards etc.

I need to describe a simple home made from an apple tree but not make it sound like a small tree = a normal sized one, anyone got any ideas?

 

It’s known well enough in D&D that powerful elves grow their houses instead of building them. They do this through a variety of means such as wood shaping and tree shepherding. There are two ways to do this. One they set up a foundation and a rough estimate of what they are looking for and then through elven craft warp the tree(s) around the the foundations and bam suddenly a house.

Version two requires more potent elven craft but they plant a seed and will their home into being and the tree is the catalyst.

Version three is entirely woodshaping and its mastery but essentially through ties, divets and other materials you can force a sapling to into growing into a certain direction and shape with magic easing the downtime of years into mere moments.

Version 4. The house is more extra dimensional but the tree is essential the home.As long as no one directly inspects the tree its just a tree.

Version 5. The home is its own stable sub dimension and the only way in is to interact with the tree in some manner.

Version 6. There is no tree but the home is cloaked to look like one.

Version 7. The tree is cloaked to look like a different mundane tree until entrance is allowed.

Version 8 The tree itself is its own dimension.

Now we got all that said. Depending on what your going for. First off the more natural description. You’re going to have to go for more natural looking shapes rather than the artificial geometries humanity uses.  Play up on the lack of mortar. There’s no need when you can make the tree grow and merge its branches into a solid impermeable barrier. Or make the roots twist together into stairs.

Ex:  Greenleaf thimble-bottoms the third’s dwelling was not simply boorishly built it was grown over the course of years. Its terraces were painstakingly woven from its many branches. Indeed no artless violence of any kind was needed for such a distinguished dwelling. And no the dwarf is not allowed in nor is his axe allowed. Indeed, With the mastery of Greenleaf’s craft is such that the very living wood of the tree itself conformed to his will. The gentle slopes and precise measurements has enabled Greenleaf to craft with tender loving care his own accommodations. As he skillfully hollowed out the larger layers for this decadently luxurious experience while maintaining a healthy heartwood interior.

Human: “Its a tree-house.”

Dwarf: “Incoming!” – Suddenly the entire dwelling is aflame and Greenleaf unexpectedly homeless and everyone watches as his house burns down.

Human: And this is why building is better than growing your house. As even the dullest dwarf is aware stone isn’t flammable

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Hmm, I suppose the first question is how tall your elves are and how big is a normal-sized apple tree?  If elves are small kinds of fey and normal-sized apple tree would have enough ‘lifeforce’ or energy’ to be believable. (Yes, with magic all things can happen but suspension of disbelief is smoother if there is a kind of boundary or limits to it).  Apple trees are pretty scrawny trunks compared to other trees like ashes and oaks, let alone behemoths like the sequoia.  Maple trees could be a year round source of a sweet nog.

What kind of walls will shelter people from the rain or sleet?  Solid wood would require tiny homes/rooms due to the narrower trunks and greater breaking in storms of fruiting trees.  Solid magic walls could shift with weather and needs but could have all the issues with wooden midieval row homes with fire, crowding/space limits, and high upkeep. 

I lean toward a hybrid where the branches weave together to a degree with magic to make enclosed spaces and the walls are fibrous like fiberglass.  The tree would bend and move more loosely air passing through more.  A willow would be ideal for a nesting branch home.

I’d rather use magic for fire protection (gives the tree some benefit for letting people modify it) than everything for the homes...

Edited by Anesor

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its more like as the tree grows, it branches out, splitting the trunk etc and weaving the vines here and there to make the shapes of the house.

if it needs to grow bigger, like if there are children etc, it sprouts more branches and other things.

It can take on house like features, im just not sure how doors and windows would work.

My elves are normal sized, all fairy tale creatures are going to be the standard sizes as depicted in most myths and or fiction.

Magic is used to grow named tree to X size and …… weave it? but the trees are not exactly “normal” but more like I think there called treants or etens……. kind of like Grout only stationary. 

Edited by SirGeneralSir

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The Tolkien Ents were sentient trees, so I doubt they would be used for houses. However, they were able to act as shepherds of a sort for the old forests. Now, if you had a sort of guardian tree race, they could direct the growth of the non-sentient (but still very much alive) trees to shape them as houses for your elves.

(Ettins are D&D lore—two-headed giants with severely bad tempers. :lol:  )

 

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lol thanks BW.

I still have to work out the process, but my thinking is that a special seedling or something would be planted in the ground, if a specific tree type was desired, they would add the seed of that tree (Apple, Maple etc)

then combined with the mind of the “owner” they would communicate what the desired type of home is, it would also be unwise if you were an uninvited guest like a thief as doors and walls etc could move and increase or decrease in size kind of like a haunted house ^_^

but any ways, I need a home for an elder elven sage, something that would say not a witch but still dont fuck with her if that makes any sense.

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Special seedlings would work as you’ve laid it out. 

Now, for an elder elven sage, looking for a tree with some potential arcane/occult significance… 

Oaks were sacred to the druids, and were linked with lightning, since oaks can survive lightning strikes and thrive. Hawthorn were also considered to be sacred trees, as were ash trees. In parts of Ireland, even today, people won’t cut the branches of a hawthorn for fear of offending the fairy folk. Ash trees were associated with healing, and ash was used for staffs/wands. 

Here’s a wiki article on Celtic traditions for sacred trees:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_sacred_trees

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Ive referenced that page a lot for the world lore, but I was thinking on a more personal level for this character. (still developing her)

her home could be a granny smith tree, because she puts on that she is every ones grandmother because she is more than old enough to be and likes to give the kids apples. (Irish folklore says apples are for health, youthfulness and rebirth)

just trying to figure out how do I articulate that the “house” is X size but its a tree to. 

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Darling, that’s the fun part of being a writer! See it in your mind’s eye, and then describe what you see:

“The gnarled bark of the tree’s trunk formed a series of steps leading upward into the branches, and there, hidden among the green leaves and growing apples was a house. Small and somehow invitingly cozy, it looked like the sort of place everyone’s favorite grandmother might live, if she lived in a tree, of course. The windows were open, and a hint of cinnamon teased the senses, invoking the warmth of apple pie and spiced tea.” 

You don’t need to measure it out in feet, or meters. Let the reader use their own imagination, and just give them the general shape of it. :D

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3 hours ago, SirGeneralSir said:

indeed, its just how to articulate it so that what you are seeing in your mind is what they see too..

You don’t want to be too specific. It takes the reader out of the story when they have to work to see exactly what the author is seeing. Unless what you;re describing is something so commonplace as to be universal, like a single-story, red brick factory building with a flat roof that occupies a full city block, readers should be able to invest some imagination into the scene. Your idea of Grandma’s cottage and mine might vary, but the general idea of Grandma’s cottage will conjure up an emotional response in readers that too much detail can obscure.

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