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Author Topic: Harlot's Hood  (Read 1414 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 07 November 2012, 17:47:48 »

a) Category: Flower


b) Overview: Harlot’s Hood grows in woods and copses in northern Santharia, in Vardynn and Nermeran provinces. Within the shadows of the trees, in the eerie twilight beneath the canopies, the Harlot’s Hood blooms in a brilliant crimson corolla, its thick, deep-green leaves stemming from its singular, sturdy stalk. Almost entrancing in its startling and seductive beauty, the Harlot’s Hood is often noted for its mysterious and dangerous allure.


c) Description: The Harlot’s Hood grows from a single, thick stem, around from which it’s thick leaves unfurl. The leaves can grow rather large, and a single plant will likely have no more than four or five of them at any one time. Colored a dark, deep green, they may extend to over a fore in length and nearly a palmspan wide, ending in a delicate point.

At its pinnacle, the plant blossoms into an elegant corolla—one silken petal colored a deep, dangerous, sensuous crimson, like the color of a lover’s lips. The flower is somewhat large, over a handspan in length, and smooth, soft, and seductive.

The plant itself grows no higher than a ped, though usually two fores is more common—just past a maiden’s knee. Growing from a bulb as a white as a maiden’s breast, the roots are stringy and do not venture very deep into the earth.


d) Territory: The Harlot’s Hood is somewhat particular concerning its territory, refusing to grow south of the Vandrina River or north of the Tandalas, or east of the Allsiscaey and Troll Mountains. It grows in well-shaded areas, usually deep in woods and copse, far from the patchy periphery. It can be found in Thaelon, Bolder, and Calmarios, though it will grow in smaller woods as well.

The Harlot’s Hood is not a terribly common plant, though it will often grow in the same place for many, many years. Many herbalists with customers requesting elixirs, potions, and tinctures made from the Harlot’s Hood usually know of at least one or two places from which they can harvest it.


e) Usages: The Harlot’s Hood flower, steam, and leaves are somewhat poisonous, capable of causing digestive issues, though not usually death. The bulb, however, is used frequently in mixtures that restore sexual energy. Because the plant is relatively difficult to come by, and the bulbs are rather rare, herbalists will generally only shave thin slices from a bulb , then tincture them in alcohol and mix them with other, sweeter-smelling herbs to create an elixir commonly called Etherine (sometimes also called Etherus’s Kiss, … it has a number of more unsavory names, as well).

Etherine is a staple of any Voldarian or Nyermersian brothel and whorehouse, frequently used by the working girls to restore or increase vigor after satisfying one of their customers. A few drops in water, tea, or a beverage of a more alchoholic inclination can help revive the consumer.


f) Reproduction: The Harlot’s Hood begins as a bulb, about the size of a hobbit’s fist. It starts by sprouting white, hair-like roots, and then a stem emerges. Leaves unfurl and the stem grows ever longer. When the temperature is right—the kind of warmth that comes around early summer—the plant begins to bloom its red flower. The flower can last months, lingering in the darkness of the wood and growing slow.

When autumn is settling a chill in the air, the Harlot’s Hood flower begins to fade. The flower itself falls away, and as the singular, silken petal crumbles into dust, it reveals a white bulb which, next year, will sprout hair-like roots and sprout a stem.

When winter comes, the plant fades, drowning in the freeze. Its leaves darken and fall, it’s stem wilts and both die away; the bulb, however, preserves itself, and can in fact produce a flower next year; a bulb can last for four or five years before becoming unfertile and wasting away beneath the earth.


g) Myth/Lore: It should come as no surprise that the Harlot’s Hood is generally associated with Etherus, God of Excess and Lust. The sensuous appearance of the flower coupled with its use as a sexual revitalizing elixir ties it distinctly to Etherus. The story of its origin, too, is tied to Etherus:

There was once a beautiful, lascivious prostitute, with seductively dark hair and eyes and lips of deep crimson. She one day journeyed out to a forest stream to bathe, wearing her red cloak. She undressed herself and bathed in the river. All at once, she saw a man moving through the forest: his eyes were a deep green, his hair dark and curly, and he had horns like that of a great buck. It was Arvins, God of the Hunt, and the woman found herself overcome with desire.

She left her clothes, grabbing only her red cloak to cover her, and journeyed after him. Arvins, who had no desire to lay with a mortal woman such as she, fled from her, and she found herself deep in the wood, nearly in throes with lust. Etherus, in sympathy, turned her into the Harlot’s Hood Flower, where she now blooms seductively.


There are also many tales involving the Harlot’s Hood. One well-known among prostitutes is the story of the Mistress.

It is said that a nobleman took a young woman as his mistress, a woman who fulfilled all his desires. However, when the nobleman’s wife discovered her husband and his mistress in bed together one night, she flew into a jealous rage. She murdered her husband, and the mistress flew to the nearby wood, the wife behind her. The mistress almost escaped, but tripped, and the noblewoman was soon upon her. With her knife, she murdered the mistress, and left her on the forest floor.

In the morning, the noblewoman returned to the forest to dispose of the mistress, but found her body there no longer; in it’s place were three Harlot’s Hood flowers, growing beautifully and seductively in the forest shade.
« Last Edit: 19 January 2013, 00:34:30 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Irid alMenie
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« Reply #1 on: 07 November 2012, 18:37:25 »

This is a nice little flower. One tiny little thing I noticed:

"The Harlot’s Hood begins as a bulb, about the size of a hobbit’s fist. It begins by sprouting white, hair-like roots, and then a stem emerges." > you have "begins" twice in a row there.

Otherwise, very nicely done :)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #2 on: 08 November 2012, 10:28:51 »

Change integrated. Thank you, Irid!
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #3 on: 29 November 2012, 04:15:42 »

"At its pinnacle, the plant blossoms into an elegant corolla—one silken petal colored a deep, dangerous, sensuous crimson, like the color of a lover’s lips."

Rayne. I am having a hard time envisioning the flower.  So this flower has only one petal?  However the definition of corolla is a group of petals (I think)  Is there a terrestrial flower that you can compare this one to? 

I love flowers, I am glad you are developing them.
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #4 on: 29 November 2012, 17:42:14 »

I thought corolla was the term for a single petal, but it seems I have my botanical nomenclature incorrect. I derive my image, at least for the general style of the petal, from the Calla lily, though the Harlot's hood doesn't have a point and is a bit thicker.

If you know the term for this sort of petal, let me know. Though as you can see... just one!
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #5 on: 29 November 2012, 19:21:04 »

Apparently, a bract.  

According to the caption for one of the pictures on Wikipedia's page on flowers:
Quote
The familiar calla lily is not a single flower. It is actually an inflorescence of tiny flowers pressed together on a central stalk that is surrounded by a large petal-like bract.

Don't know how accurate it is or whether it was known during medieval times though.  

Edit: In hindsight, that didn't quite answer the question.  Well, I think you'll probably be understood if you just call it a single petal.  Maybe describe its shape a little to make it really clear. 
« Last Edit: 29 November 2012, 23:33:16 by Mina » Logged

Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #6 on: 17 January 2013, 04:35:14 »

I plan to add this entry, along maybe with the Cerubell Squash and Durblud Flower this update. Sadly there's little happening in terms of comments for the load of Rayne's latest entries, but Rayne knows how to do her stuff, so I'll go ahead and get some of them up!  cool
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #7 on: 17 January 2013, 04:46:29 »

Oh!

Last week I was looking for things to comment on, but failed to see all those 'comments welcome' entries in the Herbarium. I can't promise to give comments before the update weekend, but am very happy to have a look at anything that's still open next week.
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« Reply #8 on: 21 January 2013, 01:07:40 »

...Within the shadows of the trees, in the eerie twilight beneath the canopies, the Harlot’s Hood blooms in a brilliant crimson corolla, its thick, deep-green leaves stemming from its singular, sturdy stalk...

I looked up corolla, and it's a strictly botanical term. Before the classification attempts during the 1500s-1600s, nothing would correspond to this. If some other perfectionist like me is around, they'll notice.


..At its pinnacle, the plant blossoms into an elegant corolla—one silken petal colored a deep, dangerous, sensuous crimson, like the color of a lover’s lips...

Again?! And also, crimson. I was really perfectionist about colors when it came to the Honeynut Squash, maybe I was too harsh, but this definitely has to go. Crimson is named after a pigment. Use Karikrimson instead, or blood red.

...There was once a beautiful, lascivious prostitute, with seductively dark hair and eyes and lips of deep crimson...

Crimson. Kill it with fire!

Anyhow, I love how you manage to put personality into this flower. You can almost smell it. Though, if I had a brothel, I'd put some of these flowers by the door, to discreetly advertise the trade.
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