The Penny Chestnut

On the landward side of the Goldway (Level 7) midway between the Lift and the Lakeside Ramp, a large chestnut tree shades the expansive yard behind the Pennypint Pub. Its verdant leaves block the view of the harbor from some of the shops in Midmarket above, but none of those merchants complain. Known as the Penny Chestnut, it arrived in Fellport hundreds of years ago as a gift to enhance prosperity from the people of far-off Sendai, the City of Trees in the Yamagura Empire far to the west.

This chestnut tree grows to about half the height of native varieties, but it flourishes in its new home. Current measurements place it at about 45 feet high with a trunk 13 feet in circumference, and some fear that calamity will befall it soon. Many have tried cultivating new trees from seed or by grafting, but none succeeded to date. Some believe the teleportation magic that brought it here changed it forever, preventing it from reproducing and allowing it to grow coins. College experts and druids both disagree with this assessment, but they have found no underlying cause for its odd behavior.

As the legend goes, the Penny Chestnut took seven years to finally bear fruit. The locals broke open that first harvest of spiky pods and found a total of sixteen pennies hidden between the nuts, one for each level of the new city. They took it as an omen of boundless prosperity for the growing city. Once word spread, the city planners bought them and embedded them in stone near the center of each level. Residents rubbed them for luck and riches. People still report finding pennies tucked among the nuts occasionally, but most believe that the Wingate family plant them as a tourist attraction.

When the Lift came to Fellport, the engineers recovered the pennies and moved them to a more permanent display on each level, protected from the weather. Small display cases containing the original pennies still sit next to the Lift on every level to this day, and many residents still rub the cases for luck every day, a testament to the power of legend, the weight of superstition, and the profound draw of a good story.

Part of T.W.Wombat's #City23 project. See the Fellport Index for all entries.

No comments:

Post a Comment