THE ARRYI FLOWER ("PURPLE LANTERN")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Arryi, or Purple Lantern, as it is mainly called in Aeruillin, is a flower which is encountered often by the Shendar when they travel through the Aj’nuvic Grounds. Though found mostly in these grounds, as they have the ideal set of climate circumstances, the plant has been seen in other areas in Caelereth also, for example the Cár'cál'cáey Mountains of Aeruillin. The plant has a very distinctive look, its long stems are richly hung with many purple little flowers ("lanterns"). The Arryi is known to last even the hardest of winters, and it is considered a good omen to see the Arryi in winter, the purple flowers appear like stars in the white nothingness. However, this will not happen often, as in winter Shendar don’t frequent the Grounds. When an Arryi dies in winter the flowers will turn blue, causing much awe amongst the Shendar, blue being of course their tribal colour. The Arryi is related to the more common Injèr’cál’merín, found in most deserts.

The "Purple Lantern"

View picture in full size Image description, The Arryi Flower, also called the "Purple Lantern". Picture drawn by Talia Sturmwind.

Appearance. The Arryi grows to be between one and two peds tall, depending on the location of the plant, near water, by a dry highland, etc. Its dry branches absorb the humidity out of the air, making sure that even in a time of drought this plant will endure. The air will always be a little humid or else, no creatures could live in it. The Arryi will have less flowers though when situated in a dry area. The more water, the larger the plant grows, as it gains much more energy from the nearby humid air. The Arryi has long roots, burrowing deep in the ground, reaching into fertile ground unused for decades. With these roots, in winter, these plants survive because their roots delve deep in the ground which is not frozen, and their flowers endure the cold storms and snow, showing their purple marks like stars in a white sky.

The Purple Lantern looks like a bush of grass with a lot of stems and grassy leaves. The stems go straight towards heaven, the leaves hanging a bit by its side. About half way up the stem, small purple lanterns hang in vertical rows, being made of three or more petals, forming a cup. The edges are often curled a bit outward which creates a mouth-like flower. One Arryi usually has ten or more such stems. On occasions the flowers will be more blue-ish than purple. In the early summer, or late spring, its flowers fall off carrying many seeds (see Reproduction) The plant flowers in autumn, after being barren in summer. If a Arryi does not survive the winter, its leaves will turn blue and the plant will stand like that until spring melts the snow. Then the plant will crumble until only the roots remain, from which a new Arryi grows next autumn, although it doesn’t flower until the following year.
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Territory. The Arryi has been spotted in the Aj’nuvic Grounds, a valley north-west of the Nirmenith Mountains (Santharian province Truban), a half arid region with an adapted plant and animal life. It is the main mating ground of the Nirmenith aj‘nuvics and therefore an important place to the Shendar. Secret trade routes of the Shen-Kha‘si, the Shendar Clay People, lead through it to the south to Thalambath. The Arryi has also been spotted in the mountains of Aeruillin. It needs a special climate, very dry in summer, very cold in winter. One can find this plant mostly near the waters and ponds, though they grow in the dry highlands as well. It is thought that the plant is so unique for these regions because of the combination of elements. The cold mist and wind from the sea, the dry lands, and the ponds and waters at the other end.
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Usages. The Arryi can be quite harmful to people. It is very poisonous, causing sudden bleedings and the clogging of the airways. This will only happen though, if digested or when the leaves are infused and drunk. This infusion produces an effect not often encountered in this world. It has the ability, when applied to bowls or weapons, that in winter, the blades don’t get stuck in their scabbards, and that the bowl does not crack in the cold. It seems to create a sort of protective layer against the cold. The blue Arryi flowers, appearing when a plant dies in winter, have a much more useful function. It appears to have a reversed ability from its purple-coloured counterpart. The dissolved blue flower produces a potion which is used to stop one from bleeding, causing the blood to clot very fast. Also, the blue flowers of the dying Arryi are the most precious gift one can offer ones’ loved one. Next to the belief that they mean that the giver will care for the other and wish them the best, it also means that one has been to the Grounds in winter, when that place is very dangerous, and retrieved a specimen of this beautiful plant. The seeds of the purple lantern are very useful though. They are used as spices by the nomadic clay-folk. It adds a sweet flavour when properly cooked.
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Reproduction. In the summer, these flowers will curl out completely and will fall to the ground, their centres containing many seeds, which are often carried out by the wind. Many a Shendar has tried to trade seeds from these plants, but they never will grow out of their native region. The plants survive in winter by draining their nutrition from deep in the ground with its roots, where the frost does not come. The leaves are covered with a frost-resisting layer, also resulting in the purple colour.
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Myth/Lore. The people in Aeruillin call this flower the "Purple Lantern", for visual reasons of course, as the flowers resemble hanging lanterns, but there are also some myths regarding the Purple Lantern. Here follows the account how the flower got that name, "Lantern":

The Lantern Guides. Among the clay-tribe of the Shendar, the tale of the Purple Lantern has been circulating some time. It has been told a long time already when sitting around the nightly campfires. Legend has it that one time a group of traders on their way up from Thalambath were caught by an early breakout of winter. Snow covered all known landmarks and they were lost in the highlands of the Grounds, as a heavy snowstorm occurred. They couldn‘t see even five peds ahead. When they almost had given up, one of them saw the purple shine of a flower among the whiteness and guided the others towards it. When arriving at the flower, they entered an almost magical world where uncountable purple flowered plants surrounded them. They soon discovered the lake where the plants had got their water from in summer, one of the few open water sources in the Aj‘nuvic Grounds. Soon the party figured out which lake this must be and they could make their way through the frozen mountains just in time before a passage would have been impossible. This tale spread and magnified into a legend about a purple lantern guiding those who are lost to a safe harbour…

When an Arryi dies in winter, its flowers turn blue by the frost in the air. This colour being of course the colour of the Shendar, these flowers are often given as a gift of love from a man to a woman. Because the blue flower can only be attained in winter it is very dangerous to get it, hence showing that one's love for the other is so great, that one would risk his life to please the other. Many have tried to get the flower but failed and froze to death, but others made it and had a treasure to relish. Return to the top

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