Otherplaces – Malibar, the Fish Trees of (A to Z Challenge, M)

13 April, 2012

Oh the fish trees of Malibar

Grow some fine minnows

You can hear them go bibble

Whenever the wind blows.

Sea going fish just cannot compare

There is nothing finer than fish of the air!

Apples have seeds and

Peaches have stones

But those Malibar fishes

Have got wooden bones.


Malibar fish is the finest around

They’ve never seen water –

They grow above ground!

They swim in the breezes

As sweet as you please

Those Mailbar fish are the fishes for me.

Grill them and eat them

Then use ‘em for combs

Those Mailbar fishes

Have got wooden bones!

the Fish Trees of Malibar

Even in a world of unusual things, the fish trees of Malibar stand out. Created, it is thought, by the titanic forces unleashed by the Sundering, these trees, with an iridescent back and scale shaped leaves grow ‘fruit’ of live fish. The fish from the fish trees are renown far and wide for both their unique taste and their wooden bones.

The fish tree orchards are scattered across the Principality of Malibar for some of the fish tree require fresh water while others can only thrive on salt water, a fact that almost lead to the extinction of the salt water variety before it was realized.  Away from Malibar, fish trees rarely survive, though a few small potted fish trees are maintained by Malibari ambassadors and expatriates, they never grow very high or produce many fish.  Depending on the tree, it may produce as many as four hundred fish a year, if they are the size of minnows or anchovies, or a few as two for the trees that produce salmon or tuna sized fish.  Recognizing when a fish is ‘ripe’ is an art among the Malibari, for no one likes to eat ‘green’ (or unripe) fish.

Malabar fishes are the primary export of Malabar in terms of momentary value. The wizards and tradesmen of Malabar have come up with a variety of way to preserve their fish for transport.  Primarily they are brined, smoked or pickled for transport usually in wooden casks but occasionally in more exotic packaging (such as snow from the snowfalls).  The wooden bones of the fish can be put to many uses, from tooth picks to combs, carved into flutes, and many other uses and they are always seeking new ones.

The ruling Princes and Princesses of Malibar, who jointly rule causing it to function more as an oligarchy or corporation, with one elected each year as the Prince of Princes, who has final authority in the principality.  The circles around each of the major royals try to find the most efficient way to gain wealth and status for the Principality.  These rivalries are suppose to stay in the friendly realm, but conflicts and jealousies often lead to dangerous classes but these usually occur outside of Malibar.

Notes: Malabar is a real place, which I am sure entered my consciousness watching old Sinbad movies.  Malibar Fishes and the Trees from which they came were just a throw away piece that showed up in an adventure but caught everyone’s imagination.  In game, the song/ poem at the start in campaign was recited by Tarrian but was written by my lovely wife, Laura.


  1. That is an awesome poem! I doff my hat to both you and your wife.

    • Thank you. I must say, I am quite found of it myself.

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