THE EVENING PRINCESS FLOWER ("SHY HARE")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Evening Princess, or "Shy Hare", is a night time blooming flower. It has small, round leaves, and the flowers have bright silver petals with no markings. Because this flower relies mainly on moths for pollination, it has a very strong scent. It is found in semi arid areas. The Evening Princess' flowering period lasts quite a long time, roughly from the beginning of Singing Bird until the end of Fallen Leaf. It blooms profusely after rain, even a light shower. The leaves are often made into a tea to ease menstrual pain and the flower petals can be eaten raw to induce dreams. No parts of this plant are poisonous.

Appearance. This fascinating plant usually grows to a height of about two palmspans. In some cases it grows taller than this, sometimes even reaching one ped. This is most common in areas where the surrounding vegetation would otherwise dwarf it.

It can easily be identified by its distinctive leaves. These are as round as the full moon but very small. On average they grow to be one nailsbredth in diameter. Usually, the leaves are fully open, basking in the sunshine, but if they’re touched by anything, then they quickly fold in on themselves for protection. This reaction is initiated by a coat of sensitive hairs on the leaf's surface. The hairs make the leaves feel soft and downy, like a baby rabbit. This, coupled with their curious reaction to touch, has earned this flower its alternative name, the "Shy Hare". These hairs make the light green leaves look white. As well as providing a defence mechanism, and the hairs also help to trap moisture and reduce the intensity of the light that hits the leaves.

If one digs this plant up, they will find that the root system extends quite deep into the soil. Once the soil is cleaned off, it can be seen that the roots are a bright karikrimson in colour. The flowerhead remains closed during the daylight hours, its petals folded in on themselves.

The Evening Princess, inconspicuous by day, opens up and reveals its true splendour during the night time. The sun is too forceful in its approaches to this coy beauty. It takes the gentle coaxing of the moon to persuade this lady to show her face. On a clear night it seems as though this flower is responding to the moon's soft call. As the silvery orb rises higher in the night sky, the Evening Princess opens her petals more. A fully open flower head can reach about half a palmspan in diameter. The six, overlapping petals, fit closely together to form a spectral whirl.

It's at this time that one can truly appreciate the sheer number of Evening Princesses that grow together. They grow in great swaths, like rivers, and as their silvery petals face the moon in silent communication, it seems to an observer that the moonlight itself has somehow touched the earth and become a river of enchantment. Great lakes of nocturnal snow spread across the land, glowing brightly in the tender embrace of the night.

And yet this display of profound beauty is by no means the most magical part of this delightful flower: The truly special quality that the Evening Princess possesses is her fragrance. Surely there can be nothing to compare to the subtle yet persuasive aroma that rises from her night time breathing. Delicate yet forceful; an eldritch melody that warms the cool autumn nights; a last trace of the summer's heat lingers sweetly on in her night time serenade to the moon.
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Territory. The Evening Princess likes semi arid environments. It thrives in sandy or rocky soils and prefers to receive lots of sunlight. Because of this, it is often found on open land or south facing slopes. This plant is found all across southern Sarvonia, from the Ráhaz'Dáth desert in the south all the way to the western part of the Tandala Highlands in the north.

The Evening Princess is quite hardy, and tolerates a range of temperatures, but heavy frosts kill it. As such, it is mostly located in the southern parts, and becomes sparser the further north that you go. The main thing that the Evening Princess needs is a place that has plenty of night time insects, like moths, to pollinate it.
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Usages. The Evening Princess has two main usages.

Reproduction. The Evening Princess only blooms at night. As such, it relies on night time insects, usually moths, for pollination. The strong scent is the main means by which the flower attracts the pollinators. It also gives off a slight warmth which these night time insects find alluring.

After the flowers have been pollinated the petals die and fall off. The remaining head is covered in very small, exceptionally light seeds, about one grain in size. The seeds are covered in soft, downy hairs which assist in carrying them long distances on the wind.
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Myth/Lore. The most common myth relating to the Evening Princess tells of the story of a desert nomad called Kha'lid and his wife, Badriy'yah.

In summary, Kha'lid was obsessed with obtaining immortality. After trying and failing many times, he eventually succeeded in creating a potion of eternal life. It is said that he received the recipe from an ancient man who lived somewhere on the Aj'nuvic Grounds.

Unfortunately for Kha'lid, the potion caused an unwanted side effect. Some time after drinking it, he became weightless. This caused him to float away from Caelereth. He floated through the Void until he eventually landed on the moon. Once at the moon, the side effect wore off. It is believed that he still lives there.

He wasn't alone, however, because whilst Kha'lid left half of the potion unguarded, a wild aj'nuvic elfcat drank it. The elfcat also suffered from the strange side effect, and shared the same fate as Kha'lid. It is believed that Kha'lid and the elfcat are doomed to live eternally on the moon together.

So, where does the Evening Princess enter the story? - Well, when Kha'lid first arrived at the moon, he looked back at Caelereth and wept. When Badriy'yah, his wife, saw her husband's tears falling to the ground, she could bare the grief of their seperation no longer. She took a knife and killed herself by plunging it into her own heart.

Kha'lid's tears and his wife's blood mixed together. And from this combination, the first Evening Princess is believed to have sprung.
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 Date of last edit 28th Frozen Rivers 1667 a.S.

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