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|Type||Small Theocratic-like tribe|
Tree Father Birch
Leaf Mother Laurel
|Founded||Tree Father Birch|
|Structure||Loose hirarchy that divided rank by names of plant like Elder (Birch) or its followers (Bloomseer or Branchtender)|
|Notable Members||Bloomseer Poplar|
The Treeminders are a peaceful religious tribe that protects Oasis in the Capital Wasteland in 2277.
The Treeminders are an exclusive cult built around the worship of Harold, an FEV mutant that nurtured a tree that grew out of his head and eventually overwhelmed his body. He took root in the northern Capital Wasteland and was found by a wanderer in the late 2250s. This wanderer, later taking the name Birch, beheld the glory of Harold and knew other wanderers would seek to do the Great One harm. He founded the Treeminders, a group of pure-hearted individuals that would protect the Great One as his last line of defense. Once Harold took root, a verdant vale of growth spread from the tree, washing the barren hillside over with life and greenery, and enticing animal life to inhabit the area. The water in the area is still irradiated however, interpreted by Tree Father Birch as a way to be reminded of who they once were.
After Birch founded the Treeminders, others heard of an Oasis in the wasteland and made a pilgrimage to it, simply stumbled upon it in their aimless wandering, or felt a calling from the Great One. Once there, they heeded the call of Birch to protect the Great One from the influences of the wasteland. Over time, the ranks of the Treeminders grew into a handful of people dedicated to keep the Great One from being exploited.
In 2277, a schism has divided the Treeminders into two camps. Tree Father Birch, among others, seek to keep Harold's influence in the secluded vale, fearing that opening it to the rest of the wasteland will mean its inevitable exploitation and destruction. As such, Birch desires that Harold's heart, found deep beneath his roots, be slathered with a harmless sap to curb his influence from spreading. Leaf Mother Laurel and others, however, wish to see Harold's influence spread across the wasteland and rebirth the world in his image. She feels Birch does not understand that Harold's growth is a miracle rather than a curse and benefits the entire wasteland. In opposition to Birch's plans, Laurel wishes to cover Harold's heart with a liniment that would accelerate Harold's growth and bring life to the wasteland in mere decades.
A significantly smaller faction runs through the Treeminders: only one person wishes to see Bob's influence stop entirely and that's Harold himself. Harold has been rooted in the same location for decade upon decade, unable to eat, sleep, read or do anything entertaining at all; he was able to command the Treeminders to sing and dance for him and even made one stand on his head for a day, but this became boring. He has ultimately been tormented by inactivity for so long that all he desires is an end to being a tree. While he appreciates how peaceful and protective the Treeminders are, Harold's requests for death have fallen on deaf ears and they insist that his pleas must be divine riddles. According to Harold, the Treeminders "listen when I talk, but they don't hear." In 2277, Harold felt the coming of the Lone Wanderer and allowed them to enter Oasis to speak to him in order to share his true desires with an unbiased party. Harold barred the door to the cave housing his heart with his roots, and would not allow anyone into the cave until he was able to speak to the impartial outsider. Depending on the Lone Wanderer's actions, Harold's growth was either accelerated, stunted or stopped entirely.
Only a select few are allowed to pursue the title of Treeminder. Outsiders are forbidden within Oasis, but exceptions can be made by the Harold to let them in. Normally, becoming a disciple of the Great One takes many years of dedication to the doctrines of the Treeminders. Out of reverence for the One Who Grows, the One Who Gives and the One Who Guides, the Treeminders do not speak the god-tree's name. As reverent as they may be, the Treeminders have difficulties listening to the desires of their god. Whenever Harold asks something of them, like them to deliver him to his death, his request is interpreted as a grandiose riddle to be pondered by his followers or a trial to test their faith in him.
In order to enter into the Treeminders, one must submit to a simple, ritualistic ceremony involving drinking a sap that purifies the mind and body of anything that could possibly hurt Harold. Upon imbibing the sap, the Treeminders present at the ceremony recite a prayer to ward off bad spirits:
I bid you depart, agents of destruction, through the power of His divine will. Leave our homes and bodies immediately; live no longer in them, but pass over into places where you can harm no one. In the name of His Frondescence, I call His wrath upon you, so that, wherever you may go, you bear it with you and, diminishing from day to day, you may disappear; except where you serve the health and good purposes of mankind, may no trace of you be found. All this may He be so good as to grant us, who is to come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by his verdure. Amen.
”— The Ceremony of Purification
The group has generally done away with using technology and have given to relying on the natural world around them to support and protect the Great One. According to them, technology has only brought death and violence to the world so it is best to avoid it where they can. The Treeminders do, however, realize that the wasteland is a dangerous place and continue to use manufactured firearms out of necessity, but will avoid it whenever possible.
The tribe has a loose hierarchy. The Tree Father and Leaf Mother lead the Treeminders and uphold the Great One's laws. Branchtenders are guardians of Oasis and keep the hidden vale safe from outside forces, bloomseers are healers and interpret premonitions and saplings are the youngest of the Treeminders and are still learning how to live in Oasis. Long ago, it was agreed that Tree Father and Leaf Mother hold equal say over the tribe, which has led to the schism facing Oasis as of late.
Anyone not affiliated with Oasis or blessed by the Great One is usually turned away from the village and denied entrance. Occasionally, Harold insists that the Treeminders let an individual into their home, but this is only done when the outsider has something to offer the Treeminders or their god.
The Treeminders appear only in Fallout 3.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Lone Wanderer: "You don't actually seem that sad. Why do you want to die?"
Harold: "I've been literally rooted to this spot thanks to Bob for maybe twenty or thirty years... I can't even remember anymore. Can you imagine being stuck in one place for that long not being able to eat or to read or to sleep or anything? In the meantime, I have these Treeminders bothering me every day about things I don't even care about. I can't stand it anymore."
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Lone Wanderer: "Why do you call yourselves Treeminders?"
Birch: "We care for this place and keep it safe from those who would seek to exploit it. He gives to us, so we give back to Him. It's an arrangement that's worked well for almost two decades. We shun technology and embrace nature. That's the life of a Treeminder."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "How did the Treeminders begin?"
Birch: "When I first beheld the glory of the Great One, I knew there'd be others who would seek to do Him harm. I also knew He would be calling others that he felt were pure of heart to protect Him. Right then and there I created the Treeminders... the Great One's last line of defense."
- ↑ Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.319: "Oasis is a fertile, verdant dot in the center of all the desolation. This odd hidden vale is home to a strange, tribal-like people who call themselves the Treeminders. You are welcomed into Oasis with open arms, and their leader, Tree Father Birch, invites you to meet their god. Oasis is tucked away inside a giant rocky outcrop in the mountains just northeast of the monorail and freeway skeletons, and the entrance is close to a rope bridge."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "How is it you're causing all of these things to grow around you?"
Harold: "It's kind of embarrassing really. Once a year, Bob decides he's going to go ahead and start growing these weird pods filled with tiny seeds. Well, all it takes is a good wind and the seeds just fly everywhere. I call them Herbert's Seeds. He hates that!"
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Amazing, this place seems so abundant with animal life."
Birch: "The innocent creatures are drawn here by His gifts. They come from across the Wasteland to live in this sanctuary. This part of the world is healing, my friend, and it's all thanks to Him."
- ↑ There are sounds of birds, crickets, and squirrels? as backround sounds in Oasis.
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "If this place has living plants, does that mean the water is safe to drink?"
Birch: "I'm afraid the water still bears the mark of man's greed. It's His reminder of what we once were. Perhaps one day He will see fit to lift this punishment, but I fear we have yet to command His full respect."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "So, how did you end up here?"
Poplar: "My father was a healer like myself. He had the most curious books I would read about trees and plants and their medicinal properties. Many years later, I heard a rumor about a place such as this. I spent a decade in search of it. I've been in this wonderful place for over fifteen years now."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "So, how did you end up here?"
Cypress: "I was an Outsider like yourself... wandering the world aimlessly, wasting my life trying to seek my fortune. When my eyes beheld the splendor of Oasis, I knew I'd found a holy place. Tree Father Birch allowed me to stay and I've been here ever since."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "So, how did you end up here?"
Maple: "I was brought here by His will. I heard his calling, and I followed. I believe only a few are worthy enough to find this place, and I'm honored to be among them. That's why I dread the day Oasis overgrows its boundaries."
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Laurel: "And I'm telling you, you've got it all wrong! Why else would He have called for an Outsider's assistance?"
Birch: "The Outsider is here to deliver us from our enemies! To keep this place safely locked away from the Wasteland! Not to exploit us!"
Laurel: "How can we preach about peace when all you want to do is keep His gift all to ourselves? That's not what He would want!"
Birch: "If we allow the spread of this miracle to continue, we're putting Him in jeopardy. I can't allow that... I won't allow it!"
Laurel: "Once again, my husband, we are at an impasse. I suggest we speak to the Outsider."
Birch: "Agreed. Why else would the Outsider have been allowed into the Grove? Perhaps it's a test. Yes... that must be it!"
Note: Laurel and Birch's argument over whether or not to expand Harold's influence.
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "So what can I do to help?"
Birch: "If the same sap that you drank to purify yourself could be applied to His heart, it should stop the spread. I can promise you no harm would come to Him. That's all I ask of you, Outsider. Nothing more, nothing less."
- ↑ Laurel: "I love Birch, but sometimes I think he doesn't see the big picture. The spreading of His influence is not a curse, it's a great miracle... a benefit meant for the entire Wasteland!"
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Doesn't anybody care what your god thinks?"
Laurel: "Of course we do! He yearns to share His miracles with the whole world... to give the gift of life back to the dead Wasteland! It's upsetting Him to no end, but Birch can't see the pain its causing. But now that you're here, I have a feeling the winds are about to change."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "How can I possibly help?"
Laurel: "I heard what my husband wanted you to do. What I propose is an alternative. The same person that created the sap also created this Liniment. If you can reach His heart, it will assist in making His influence increase. Instead of centuries, the Wasteland will become green in mere decades! Just imagine how glorious that would be!"
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "If people thought I was a god, I'd exploit it for all it's worth!"
Harold: "Hey, I thought that too... at first. I had them sing me songs, I made them do stupid dances and things like that. Bob even told me to make Maple stand on his head for a whole day! After a while though, it just gets boring. Then it becomes a nuisance and now it's completely driving me nuts! When I saw you coming towards Oasis, I thought I felt that you'd understand me. I guess I was wrong."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "You want me to murder you?"
Harold: "Oh no, no, no. It wouldn't be murder. You'd be doing me a favor. You see, I've been stuck here for over two decades now... rooted right into the ground. The only friends I've got are Bob and those weirdos out there who think I'm a god."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Hey, life is a gift. Even if it lasts a long time, be glad you have it!"
Harold: "I've tried to stay happy, really I have. Bloomseer Poplar thinks I'll live for hundreds of years... maybe even more! Can you imagine THAT? Stuck here for centuries? I can't do it, I just want to be alone. Just me and Bob until the end. When I saw you coming towards Oasis, I thought I felt that you'd understand me. I guess I was wrong."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "They're worshipping a tree? Ha ha ha!"
Harold: "I know they mean well... and for awhile it was nice to be needed. But I'm not sure I want to be a giant tree anymore. Well, truth be told it's Herbert that's the tree. He sorta just took over, you know? Probably to get back at me for calling him Herbert all the time. His name's really Bob. I think it's funny when I call him Herbert though."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Had you ever asked one of them to kill you before?"
Harold: "They wouldn't listen to me at all! If I told them something simple, then it got done. Otherwise, Birch spent a week looking for a hidden meaning. Plus, he used to just pop in whenever he wanted and started chanting this nonsense. Sometimes I used to just sit there silently just to make him mad! That was fun for a while. Hopefully this will all change now that things are different... thanks to you!"
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "You've become an important part of their life. Without you, they're lost."
Harold: "So, they really need me that badly, huh? I guess I never thought of it that way. Awfully selfish of me. Should we give them another chance, Herbert? Fine, fine. I mean Bob. I still think it's funny when I call him Herbert."
- ↑ Harold: "Glad to see you're finally awake. I can't believe they made you do that stupid ceremony. They listen when I talk, but they don't hear... know what I mean?"
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Which brings us to why I'm here, I suppose."
Birch: "Yes. Indeed it does. Sorry I don't speak to Outsiders very often and I tend to get lost in conversation. As you approached Oasis, He said you were coming and I was sent out to meet you personally with a request. He wishes to meet with you. You'd be the first Outsider to do so in a very long time."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Why don't you just travel to Harold's heart on your own?"
Laurel: "The Great One has not yet allowed us entry below ground. We were uncertain as to why until you arrived."
The Lone Wanderer: "Any information you could give me on the caves below Oasis would be helpful."
Laurel: "If the Great One knows you to be worthy of his grace, he will allow you to pass through to his heart."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Why don't you just travel to Harold's heart on your own?"
Birch: "I would if I was able, but He will not allow us entry. His roots bar the door, and we have yet to earn the right to pass."
- ↑ Oasis (quest)
- ↑ Birch: "You have no idea how overjoyed I am to see you! Normally Outsiders are forbidden inside Oasis, but He has made an exception."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Could I become a Treeminder?"
Birch: "Becoming a disciple of the Great One takes many years of dedication and the will to cast aside your reliance on technological conveniences. However, I feel you've been sent here for a higher purpose and could be more instrumental in our future than a mere Treeminder."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Who is it you keep referring to as "Him"?"
Birch: "He is the One Who Grows, He is the One Who Gives and He is the One Who Guides. No one speaks His name out of reverence for His majesty. Thanks to Him, the Treeminders have a home."
The Lone Wanderer: "I may be willing to help, but I need straight answers about who "He" is."
Birch: "I would have preferred that He made the introduction, but I understand your hesitation. The Great One is a god-tree. A living, breathing, speaking god-tree! The Treeminders are blessed to have this being watch over us."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Are you aware that Harold wants to die?"
Birch: "Yes, I've been pondering that riddle myself for some time now and I think I know what He's trying to tell us. The Great One's influence is growing and soon it will break free of the confines of this secluded vale. We can't allow Oasis to call attention to itself like that. It would be the end of Him."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "I'm afraid Harold isn't a god. He's just a human that had some bad luck."
The Lone Wanderer: "He's not a god, Birch. His name's Harold."
Birch: "Oh, He's testing you now, just like He tested us! He wants to see if your faith is strong by spinning these incredible stories. Who else but a god could produce all of this? Don't worry, you'll soon see things as I do."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Just a minute... What does this ceremony involve?"
Birch: "It's simple really. You drink the Sap from the basin here in the Pavilion. The Sap will purify your mind and body of anything harmful that could possibly hurt Him. I assure you, nothing harmful will happen to you."
- ↑ Birch: "We will now recite the blessing to ward off any harm the Outsider may be carrying before he proceeds to the Grove."
Poplar: "I bid you depart, agents of destruction, through the power of His divine will."
Cypress: "Leave our homes and bodies immediately; live no longer in them, but pass over into places where you can harm no one."
Linden: "In the name of His Frondescence, I call His wrath upon you, so that, wherever you may go, you bear it with you..."
Laurel: "...and, diminishing from day to day, you may disappear; except where you serve the health and good purposes of mankind, may no trace of you be found."
Yew: "All this may He be so good as to grant us, who is to come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by his verdure."
Birch: "Soon you will pass peacefully into sleep, Outsider. And when you awake, you will witness His glory first hand."
Note: The Ceremony of Purification
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "I think you're all a bunch of lunatics."
Birch: "Ha ha ha. I don't expect you to understand everything you see here. After all, you carry the taint of technology upon you. Treeminders shun technology and embrace nature. All technology has brought the world is violence and death."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "If you hate technology, why carry weapons?"
Birch: "Sadly, the Wasteland is a hostile place and sometimes we're forced to defend ourselves against it. If that means fighting with manufactured weapons, then so be it. Had He not asked to see you, you never would have gotten this close to the gates."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Your names are quite strange. What do they mean?"
Birch: "The first part of our name represents our role in the Treeminders. The youngest are the Saplings, still learning what it means to live in Oasis. The Branchtenders are our guardians and keep our homes safe. Our healers and soothsayers are known as Bloomseers. Finally, the Tree Father and the Leaf Mother are the creators and the upholders of the Great One's laws."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "Were you aware that Laurel gave me this Liniment?"
Birch: "Of course I am. I know everything that goes on in Oasis. Laurel is free to pursue whatever path she chooses. A long time ago, it was agreed that the Tree Father and the Leaf Mother hold equal say. I don't seek to change those customs. I just hope that when the time comes, you'll make the right choice."
- ↑ The Lone Wanderer: "How do the Treeminders normally handle other Outsiders?"
Birch: "If the Outsider doesn't have His blessing, we simply deny him entry to our home. If they persist on trying to gain entry, or display any hostile act that could potentially harm the Great One, we take action. If the Outsider were a Raider or some other nefarious type, we ensure they don't report our location back to their comrades."
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 The Lone Wanderer: "How do the Treeminders normally handle other Outsiders?"
Laurel: "Without His blessing, we would not allow an Outsider inside this vale."
The Lone Wanderer: "Could I become a Treeminder?"
Laurel: "Although we would welcome you with open arms, you were obviously drawn here to help us. What remains to be seen is what that help turns out to be."