THE FA'YALE FLOWER ("BURNING MAN")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Fa'yale ("Burning Man") is an odd flower that can be found on the Alth'yale ("Burning Plant"). These flowers are very important to the Ash'marian (Rabid Wolf) barbarians. The simple names of the flower and bush are indicative of the thoughtfulness that the Ash'mari put into everything.

Appearance. The Fa'yale Flower connects to the stem by means of a pod. The pod varies from green to brown in coloration and averages a palmspan in size. The pod looks much like an egg in shape with the bottom part, that furthest from the stem sliced off. The skin is rough and ridged to the touch. While still on the bush the exterior gives with some pressure. However when the flower has died and the pod has fallen, it becomes hard and nearly unbreakable.

From the center of the concaved pod flows a blood red stem that is somewhat fiberous in construction. It stretches approximately two palmspans in length where it abruptly ends without stamen.

Four bright red petals come off of the main stem. They are tearshaped in design, with the point of the "tear" coming off of the stem, making the outward part of the petal appear bulky. Instead of dropping with its own weight and that of gravity, the petals remain ridged and fixed.

Halfway down the stem the first petals appear. They always come in pairs, one on either side of the stem spread out much as a fan. Right below that set of the petals is the next set. The whole appearance can be taken for that of a man. The seed pod as the head, the stem as the body, and each of the petals as a limb.
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Territory. Unlike most plants who flourish throughout most of a continent or at least within a geographical area, these bushes and their respective flowers only grow in the Eastern shadow of the Southern Foothills. It is thought that the eastern winds that push against the Mountains bring the right amount of moisture and warmth to an otherwise drier area.
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Usages. The Ash'mari barbarians gather the flowers for ritualistic use. Once the flower is picked, the petals are taken off and thrown into a vat of heated water. The pods are sliced to allow the dark red juices flow out into the water. After all of the juices have ben gathered the pods are then mashed and thrown in with the petals and pod juice. This is done with hundreds of flowers. Once the flowers have been harvested the mixture is heated and allowed to boil for several hours. The mixture is then strained, which produces a thick, dark red dye.

The Ash'mari then cut their flesh in ritualistic runes and press this juice into the cuts. This makes the dye get into the skin as the cut heals, permanently tattooing the person. As tattooing is an integral part of the tribe, this flower holds high significance.
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Reproduction. The flowers that either wither early or bloom too late are left unpicked by the Ash'mari. After the flower dies, the pods of these flowers fall to the ground where they eventually split open and release five to seven small seeds. The seeds find their way under the ground where they will lay dormant throughout the winter. Through spring a new Alth'yale will spring forth. It takes one full year of growth though before any Fa'yale will be produced from that bush.
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Myth/Lore. Back in the past the Ash'maria had a Ash'mystrume ("Battle Wolf") named Mygyre who ruled long and strong. Then he was challenged for his position, which is any Ash'marian male's right. His name has been lost, but he was a greater foe than any Mygyre had ever faced. Mygyre was wounded numerous times and barely survived the encounter. As he bled into the dirt he felt his time near and vowed to the gods that if they would allow him victory he would honor them with his opponent's blood. At that time the challenger raised his axe for a killing blow when out of a clear sky lightning reigned down and struck him.

The challenger's clothes were set afire and his flesh soon became engulfed as well. He then fell down upon the ground and the flames became extinguished. With a roar of victory Mygyre used his axe and decapitated his fallen foe. The lightning had burned the face and hair of his opponent, not allowing him to begin Taug'dirg. Blood had flowed into the ground, and in an act of honor towards his challenger and edification of his new leadership Mygyre took the blood from the man and spread it into his wounds, thus taking his courage and skill into himself.

A storm then came and raged for three days and three nights as all took cover in their mud and stone huts. When Mygyre came back out where the body had been now was an Alth'yale, fully grown. Its flowers sharp and blood red. Declaring this as a sign of approval he started taking the flowers and turned them into dye. He soon covered himself in ruinic tattoos. He was the only warlord to ever die of age. Seeing this other strong warriors took to the same practice.
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