The Grassmen are a recurring race of anthropomorphic plants which appear throughout the Breath of Fire series. They live a transient lifestyle throughout their youth, travelling the world and amassing as much knowledge as possible. When they reach full maturity, they settle in a fixed location and gradually metamoprhose into a Great Wise Tree.
Newborn grassmen spring up from a the roots of Great Wise Trees, biologically making them the new grassmen's parents, although their clan does not have any formal familial structure. They age at an extremely slow rate: When Spar is 111 years old he is described as being the equivilent age of a 16 year-old human, suggesting that they age at approximately a seventh of the rate that humans do. Although plants, Grassmen maintain an anthropomorphic appearance throughout their youth, with tall slender bodies, elongated ears, and plant matter resembling both skin and hair.
Grassmen first appear in Breath of Fire II, where Gandaroof's age is compared to Bleu's, implying that he and the Grassmen have existed for thousands of years. Centuries later, during Breath of Fire III, the party encounters the Great Wise Tree Yggdrasil, and Peco, a mutated plant created from Yggdrasil's sap ,who is able to serve as a vessel for him. Concept art from Breath of Fire III depicts a a character labeled "Same race as Spar, but a blossomed version" who was eventually cut from the game. The grassmen have yet to appear or be mentioned in any of the subsequent games. However, Breath of Fire IV, includes the Endless Su Ryong who explains that, while himself a dragon, some mortals refer to him as the "Tree of Wisdom" out of respect for his vast knowledge.
Grassmen have the ability to communicate with plant, who revere them and will come to their assistance in times of need. Like the Forest Clan, they can easily transverse through even the most densely wooded areas. The Official Complete Works states the grassmen to be the longest lived of all the clans. This, combined with the wide-ranging travels of their youth, also makes them the most knowledgable.
Great Wise Trees Edit
By the time they reach maturity, Grassmen have lived over a hundred human years and gathered a substantial amount of knowledge. Their wisdom is revered by the other clans, with them even being deified by some individuals. Their sap has life restoring properties and is described by one scientist as "the essence of consciousness itself." Through Peco, Yggdrasil is able to restore life to the previously barren Desert of Death. Perhaps for this reason, the goddess Myria even demonstrates awe for the abilities of the Great Wise Trees. Yggdrasil also demonstrates the ability to communicte and manifest his pressence in any forest, although his physical body remains in a single location.
Grassmen are emotionless and make their decisions based purely upon logic, and what they perceive as the needs of the greater good. As a result, they greatly value all branches of knowledge. Unlike most other clans, they do not live in villages or have any formally organized society. Instead, they dedicate their youth to travelling the world and gaining as much knowledge as possible. Once a Grassman reaches adulthood, they find a place to permanently root themselves and undergo a metamorphic process, transforming into one of the Great Wise Trees. The Official Complete Works differentiates between the true grassmen, such as spar, and a man-made variety of sentient plants termed mutants, which includes Peco.