|Photo c. 2012 John Everett Till|
At First Glance: These large plant structures, each about 1 M tall and 2 M across, serve as incubators for the reptiloids' eggs. Dubbed Incubator Trees by the Bituin Expedition crew, these structures create a moist, warm environment for the development. Crew members have observed reptiloids transplanting various plants into the muck at the base of the Incubator Trees.
The crew made one attempt to take a closer look at these trees, but was forced to turn back when they were pelted by a barrage of mud balls and a flurry of poison darts from the reptiloids hidden among the mangrove trees surrounding the lagoon where Incubator Trees were found. The three crew hit with these poison darts experienced paralysis followed by respiratory failure.
Deep Background: Reptiloids use Incubator Trees to nurture the fertilized eggs of their species. The rizomatic structures at the base of Incubator Trees extrude into deep into the muck in which the trees are planted, and absorb and process chemical signals from other plant material in the muck. The development of individual fertilized eggs can be modified by exposure to specific plants that the reptiloids place in the muck surrounding the Incubator Trees. The development of each specific egg is determined by its relative proximity to various plants paced in the muck surrounding an Incubator Tree. Specific developmental variations can include alterations in biochemistry, morphology, or behavior.
Incubator Trees are the basis for an inter-clan economy. The Egg Trade features exchanges of highly specialized egg-lines for shell currency and other items of value including marriage offers, fishing rights to specific lagoons, and samples/seeds of different plants. Egg-lines are primarily developmental rather than genetic, each existing due to a specific combination and arrangement of chemical messenger-secreting plants around an Incubator Tree. These arrangements and combinations of plants are carefully guarded trade secrets of each clan, since they are the basis of comparative advantage in the egg-trade.
- Sophisticated natural biochemical factories
- Never left unguarded
- A clan's source of wealth
Common Egg-lines Stunt Table
- -4 Feathered Shaman (Psychic, Disapora, p. 222-224)
- -3 Advanced Tool Maker (Spend 1 FP to invent a new tool)
- -2 Chameleon (Bends light around body)
- -1 Regeneration (Regenerate 3 stress points per round)
- 0 Giantism (+1 to Health stress track)
- +1 Poison spitter (Use Close Combat skill + Poison rules, p.113)
- +2 Endurance diver (Operate for 60+ minutes under water)
- +3 Leaper (Move one additional zone per round)
- +4 Flyer (Move two additional zones per round)