B is for Bark (and Barleyvine)


BARK: main construction material used by the inhabitants of the Tree. The bark of the World Tree is a durable and infinitely malleable substance that is used for everything from roofing, furniture and building material to source fibre for paper, certain types of cloth and window screens. It is quarried or carved out of the surface of the Tree, the better quality and fine-grained material typically being found underneath the outer layers.

Bark-brick: dense sections of high quality Tree bark cut to form building blocks and used for durable housing or roads.

Bark-fibre: low quality Tree bark pounded into long strips and used to make rough paper, clothing etc.

BARLEYVINE: a grain crop grown in the Central Canopy. The ears grow on flexible stalks, either mounted on frames like grapes or else hanging down off the sides of branches in vertical plantations accessible by ladder or dirigible rafts.

Barley-mushroom: mildly hallucinogenic fungus infecting barley-vine. 

Barley-bread: coarse black bread made from the barley-grain, a staple food in Argos.

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Under the hood (avoid, spoiler-phobes!)

If the agricultural products of the Tree – barleyvine, frogapple – seem like strangely hybrid concepts (whoever heard of a grain growing on a vine? Why is an apple in any way like a frog?) it’s worth noting that much of what the Tree dwellers call heresy is actually science, and much of what they once had in the way of scientific knowledge has since been declared heresy…

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2 Responses to B is for Bark (and Barleyvine)

  1. Bahiyyih says:

    Are proper names not included in your lexicon? What about Bolas? Or will you get there after the BA’s?

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