The rare Crystaline Disease is a plant disease that plagues only the
gemflower plant. This disease spreads
throughout the entire gemflower causing
it to slowly crystalize. The damage caused by this devastating disease can wipe
out entire colonies of gemflowers, that
cannot grow back for many years.
Symptoms. Crystaline Disease can first be detected when the stem of the gemflower begins to stiffen and look frosted. Sometimes Crystaline Disease is confused with early frost and many plants have been ruined and killed out by this mistake. To tell the difference between frost and Crystaline Disease, one must touch the stem of the flower. If it is indeed merely frost, the stem will grow warm and the frost will dissipate. If it is Crystaline Disease the stem may grow warm with the heat of your hand, but it will retain it's frosty appearance.
Effects. As Crystaline Disease spreads, the plant will slowly grow very hard and appear frozen, and begin to faintly glow. When the disease has taken its course, it will leave the plant fully crystalized and altogether worthless. Even the original center Gem of the flower will have become mere worthless crystal and will have even lost its original bright coloration. Leaving a mere glowing shadow of what once was a beautiful creation.
Younger plants have a chance at surviving the disease and can grow to healthy adults years after a Crystaline Disease attack. Adult plants do not get such a lucky break, as this disease is very fatal to them. Reasons for the survival of the younger plants are still unknown, but could be connected to the moss surrounding the flowers which, other than a faint glowing, is not actually affected by the disease.
Cure/Prevention. Crystaline Disease can only be stopped from killing off a full colony of gemflowers by removing the hardened stems and flowers of these plants and destroying them. It is also recommended that any remaining magic in the gems should be removed. This sometimes ends in the entire colony dying off anyway because during the winter a population is made up of mainly adult plants and the disease is so easily retracted by mature plants. If any part of the diseased plants remains or is overlooked, this can cause the disease to re-occur during the next season.
Future colonies can be helped by a clearing of the land after an area has retracted the disease. This can be accomplished by removing the diseased plants and all of their parts and destroying them safely and thoroughly.
Sometimes a remaining field will faintly glow, reminding passers-by of what once was there. This is because the remaining moss has been permanently affected by the disease, but it does not mean that future gemflowers will catch Crystaline Disease. The Disease will only come back if there are remaining pieces of diseased gemflowers left in the field. The moss will grow new gemflowers within the next season.
Vector/Cause. Crystaline Disease is thought, by researchers, to have been caused originally by man. It was spread when a mage from the mainland continent (Sarvonia) tried to experiment with the gemflowers by imbueing the magic in lightmoss with the magic in the gems to make these luminate like the lightmoss.
The gemflower had a completely unexpected reaction with the lightmoss, however, and began to crystalize in reaction. Along with this crystalization, the plant did indeed glow, but even the glow wasn't strong enough to light one's way.
Because there are still pieces of diseased gemflowers that are missed when the plants are destroyed, this disease will continue to pop up over the years. Unfortunately pieces of the gemflowers are easy to miss so it is unknown if and when this disease will ever stop.
Endemic. Crystaline is a disease only of the gemflower and will come up every so many years in the craggy mountains of Qel'tra'loh. It occurs most often after a year of wetter and colder than average weather. This is thought to be because this is the time there are fewer young plants to keep the epidemic from spreading so quickly.
History/Epidemic. One year populations of gemflowers spread so thickly that they melded together into one large central colony. Crystaline Disease hit the colony of gemflowers so hard that there was hardly a gemflower left. The plants were thought to have all died off until a small patch on a high cliff face was discovered. It had been sheltered off from the rest of the plants and was kept in reserve for just such an event. These remaining plants had to be protected and monitored very carefully by the people of Qel'tra'loh until they could repopulate again and grow into reasonably larger numbers.
Information provided by Amuwen