The setting includes both magic and 21st century technology. The species in question are non-sessile, sentient and sapient trees, and has evolved that way due to the threat of a xylophagous predator. They are angiosperms and dioecious.

They have a tribal society, each tribe having multiple villages. Instead of burying or cremating their dead, they use the wood from the deceased to build tools and structures such as houses.

Without the need to grow food, they wouldn't have professions such as hunters, fishermen and farmers.

  • What kind of professions would they have?
  • What would drive them to even do things that sessile, non-sentient trees don't do, if these trees can do perfectly well without building societies?
  • Would they derive their meaning from religion or from natural reality?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So... sapient coral? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Aug 25 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs Not really. They don't live underwater, if that's what you mean, and being dioecious means they reproduce sexually rather than asexually. Also, corals are animals. $\endgroup$ – BPlarg Aug 25 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding.SE BPlarg, glad you found us. Please check out our tour and help center. You might be interested in the species in Speaker for the Dead (second book in the Ender's Game series) as they are similar. But in their cases they build houses and such because they are humanoid before becoming trees. Why would your species need houses? $\endgroup$ – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 25 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ Are you certain that you understand what "autotrophic" means? Why would autotrophic organisms hunt, fish and farm the land? (And hunter, fisher and farmer are not "professions". They are trades or occupations.) And a minus one for the last bullet: "derive meaning from religion", seriously? Not even in the darkest of the dark ages did people "derive meaning from religion", except maybe in the erotic dreams of particularly devout prelates and monks. Most people have only a very superficial understanding of their religion, so that they would be quite confused if asked to derive anything from it. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Aug 25 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ Of course I know what autotrophic means. Why else would I specify that they do NOT need to have hunters, farmers and fishers? $\endgroup$ – BPlarg Aug 25 at 18:09

Plants still require resources from the environment to live. Thus, there will be competition for access to sunlight, and access to fertile ground, access to water, and an incentive to control the fertility of the ground, which all gives you the basis for an economy and agronomic technology.

So, you may indeed have fishermen and farmers if rotting fish can be used as fertilizer; you may have hunters to protect the village from those predators; you may have animal farmers, again to provide sources of fertilizer; and you will have hydrological engineers, civil engineers, architects, and builders.


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