Alerce is short for the bark of the alerce tree, a tree that grows on the inner rim of volcanos. Difficult to harvest, and even more difficult to find, the soft inner wood is useless, but the hard plate-like bark bears mineral inclusions and derive their color from the minerals present in the soil. It has been said that white is the most rare color, therefor the most valuable.
Previously, the existence of these trees was a secret kept by House Turmar.
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Though extremely large and fast growing, the alerce tree is most notable not for either of these properties, nor for the wood of the tree itself, which is crumbly once dried, but instead for its unique multi-layered bark and the inhospitable terrain in which it is found. Growing only on ledges within the inner rims of volcanoes, the alerce tree adapts to changes in volcanic activity by integrating minerals into its bark, forming richly colored and remarkably dense plates. Once harvested, the bark is then processed and sold as simply 'alerce'. More like stone than wood, alerce is most often used for fancy household items and decorations. The bark plates have been found in nearly every color imaginable, though pure white alerce is the most rare and valuable.