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So for a important scene in a CYOA game, I'm doing research into mangroves and tree-environments for a scary Bad Ending part of the game, it concerns how the Main Character finds themselves in a strange marshy mangrove-like enviroment which is also encased by eucalyptus tree-bark (complicated)... I may split the ending into three seperate parts because it's simply so long-!
More than that I have to describe the smell, the insects (that live inside trees) and what the MC hears when they're cut-off from the outside world... But since this is an alien-plant we're talking about we can put in more surreal references. What insects typically live inside trees? What plants (mistletoe) thrive off trees and other details?
Edited by sabrina_diamond on Feb 11th 2019 at 12:30:05 AM
Been in and out of mangrove forests more than a few times, and the first thing I can say is: it's not nearly as full of noise as you might imagine. Once in a while you'd hear seabirds calling and splashes of movement breaking the surface of the water (there's a number of mid-sized salties at the local nature reserve).
You'd see spiderwebs. Lots of spiderwebs. Small ones in the undergrowth and big ones on the trees, from chest level all the way up to the canopy. Golden silk orb-weavers are a particularly eye-catching species, growing up to 30 cm and sporting bright colouration. It's an indication of the wide range of insects they prey on. One insect that I come across frequently is the shield bug, which has iridescent outer membranes and often crawls up and down tree barks in large swarms. Weevils and leaf beetles usually hang around tree branches and shorter vegetation, feeding on leaves and leaving behind swathes of perforated, torn-up greenery.
Mangrove forests are dominated by, well, mangrove trees, easily distinguishable by their stilt roots. The estuarine sediment is oxygen-poor, so some plants develop these elevated roots to breathe in. Other genera like Avicennia and Sonneratia have pneumatophores, or aerial roots. These are essentially branches that grow upwards from their root system to get extra oxygen. As for the vegetation on the trees, well, that depends on where you are. If you're in the tidal zone, it's algae, algae everywhere. They can appear grass-like or as loose balls of filaments; red, brown and green algae are incredibly common in mangrove environments worldwide. Above the tide line, you'd fine various fungi subsisting on the nutrients from dead and rotting trees. Bracket fungi are easily spotted, looking like large discs embedded on the sides of tree trunks.
I'm not super good with smells, but there's usually a faint tinge of salt in the air.
Um, what about different types of trees? I was thinking more of eucalyptus, but it has to be white and papery bark as well.
Eucalyptus is a shedding tree, so its bark periodically chips away to reveal a (kinda, sorta) smoother layer underneath. The bark is hard and full of cracks in some species, thin and leathery in others. I wouldn't call it "white", but the young bark can emerge in some very light shades of beige. It tends to be hostile to insects and other plants for a couple of reasons:
Edited by eagleoftheninth on Feb 11th 2019 at 5:29:19 AM
I am also looking for types of other trees with a lot of resin content in it because of the blood-motif I'm going for. Bonus if it's a tree that causes hallucinations/mild intoxication symptoms. As for the strong flower motif that Misako represents, I'll leave that to you to form your own deductions based on that...
Edited by sabrina_diamond on Feb 13th 2019 at 7:27:49 AM
Having once lived near a mangrove forest, I can tell you there’s a very strong rotten egg smell that tends to hang around them.
Given that you’re describing what seems to be an alien environment you can probably just go with anything you want. An alien plant doesn’t need to behave exactly like an Earth one after all.
Basically I want to research different types of plants and tree environments, so that when I describe my alien-plant's interior, it has mixed characteristics from different types of plants and trees. The main enivroment is marshy though.
I’d suggest looking at some scholarly resources on trees to start, then. If you have an idea of what you’re trying to emulate you can work from there.
Well I would except that I'm not a scholarly type of person and secondly I only need the general information on different types of trees (blood-oak, eucalyptus) since I'm not writing an essay. Plus I need the entire piece to read out like it's suspenseful
<b>General description:</b> So basically the top half of the plant (the petals area) is bright red in colouration, then there are thorny (yellow thorns) and thick green intertwining vines that lead from the flower petals down to the third section, which is shaped a lot like a white-bark tree-stump, there are two tree-branches that act basically like human arms and hands, resembling the shape of hands if you look closely at it... Also attached to the tree-stump segment are two thick brown vine-like reeds that act like antennae, much resembling an insect's own. They tend to lash around a lot. The final section of the plant are long and slender and thick roots that act to stabilise the plant whenever it scuttles around, a lot like a spider.
Now that I described the outside of the alien plant, I guess you all can picture in your mind what it looks like on the outside. But the interior is what I have trouble with. I already have a picture of the plant I had in mind, since I drew the picture.
Edited by sabrina_diamond on Feb 26th 2019 at 9:35:15 PM
It really doesn't matter if you're a scholarly type of person or not: You're looking for research on trees. Research is scholarly by default. If you're going to let that deter you here then you might as well not be asking for help. As for suspenseful; that part is your job, as the writer. Your academic sources don't need to be suspenseful because THEIR job is to give the information you're looking for.
Edited by AceofSpades on Mar 8th 2019 at 10:59:30 AM
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