THE FLYING SPARKS ("SUN SPARKS", "BURNING GRASS")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Flying Sparks (also called Sun Sparks, Fire Sparks, Burning Grass or Blood Grass) is a kind of grass that can only be found in Northern Sarvonia. It is unique among other grasses in that it traps living creatures and uses their decomposing bodies for nourishment. The name "Flying Sparks“ is derived from its seeds who need extreme heat to germinate and are carried away by the arising winds during a grass fire, resembling fiery sparks, especially in the night. But as spectacular is the sight, when the seeds are blown away by the winds by day, glimmering in the sun in a red-golden hue. "Burning Grass“ or "Blood Grass“ it is called because of its appearance in autumn, when whole areas in the north are dipped in a karikrimson red. It is easy to recognize a field of Burning Grass that has burnt to the ground, for a mass of scorched bones still remain, even though the grass has been consumed by flames.

Appearance. The Burning Grass grows to be a ped and a fore in height and has long slender blades. Upon closer inspection, tiny hooks can be seen on the blades of the grass. It is soft and flexible, but has tough fibers that are not easily torn. In autumn, the grass appears to be a raging fire as it is blown by the wind, but the colour of the grass varies depending upon the season. In spring, the grass has a bright golden hue, and the blade ends in a red tip. Each blade of grass is covered in tiny sor’inyt orange flowers. Each flower is shaped like a star with five distinct points, and golden pistils extend from the center of the shallow flower. As summer approaches, the gold slowly recedes and the red becomes more prominent. The blade of grass will have turned completely red by the end of summer. In autumn during Sleeping Dreameress, the grass is dark red in color and has a gold tip. Colder temperatures kill the grass, and it turns a light brown during the winter months. The grass can survive some frost, but any temperatures that are extremely cold will kill it. Even the roots perish in temperatures such as these. During Awakening Earth, the grass releases seeds that appear to be tiny sparks as they ride the wind. This is a spectacular event, for each one glows as it is basked in the sunlight. Return to the top

Special Abilities. Unlike most plants, the Flying Sparks does not passively wait for nutrients. Instead, it hooks onto any living creature unfortunate enough to be wandering through a field of this grass. The grass will hold the person or animal for days until they die of thirst and hunger. It is able to hold on to its victims through tiny hooks that cover the blades of grass. Each blade of grass reacts to movement and tightens as the prey struggles. The hooks cut deeper as the prey moves around and are almost impossible to remove. The grass entangles with itself as well and escape is nearly impossible. Anyone who attempts to rescue the victims will be entangled as well. Also the grass is slightly toxic, and any animals or people that feed upon it will be paralyzed for days.

A few animals are small enough to evade the notice of the grass, for they do not disturb enough of the blades to be noticed. Though smaller animals can venture within fields of Blood Grass, the toxin will still temporarily paralyze them. The grass mainly feeds upon larger animals such as the woolly boar, and predators are often lured into the field of grass by the sight of struggling herbivores. The tips of the grass are incredibly sweet, and they give off a pleasant aroma that is delightful to any herbivore. The grass has even been known to capture predators as large as the white bear.

Only the eaón thróg ("Armored Beast") and the shatí raín bird (“Winged Warrior”) can safely venture into fields of this grass. The eaón thróg is unharmed due to its smooth armour that is not affected by the hooks and due to the mammal’s natural immunity to the plant's toxin. The shatí raín has neither the eaón thróg’s armour nor its immunity, but it is able to dart at such a speed that the grass cannot catch it. The eaón thróg feeds upon the roots of the grass, and the shatí raín consumes the fiery seeds. The grass detangles once all movement has stopped, and the prey is dead.
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Territory. The Flying Sparks once only grew in the northernmost regions of
Northern Sarvonia such as the Icelands Coast and the Peninsula of Iol. The roots grew within the frosty soil, and each harsh winter would kill the grass. It has since spread as far south as the Grasslands of Cahm'ha'dom. Its territory is often wherever the seeds were blown in the previous year. Only the eaón thróg, the shatí raín, and the common grass snake make their home within the predator grass. Return to the top

Usages. The toxin that is held within the blades of the grass is often used by the various tribes of both humans and elves to coat their weapons. The toxin does not kill its victim, instead it paralyzes them temporarily so that they cannot move a muscle. The toxin can safely be collected in winter from dead grass, but it will be much weaker than that of the live grass. That collected from the dead plants will merely slow down its victims. Few men are bold or foolish enough to venture into a field of live Fire Sparks to retrieve the toxin. The few men that ventured into such fields never returned. Only a few people have been clever enough to gather the toxin safely from the rim of the field, and they guard their secret of obtaining the toxin with their lives.

The eggs of the shatí raín are highly prized by many tribes for their medicinal value. A beverage made from the yolk has been known to break fevers and ease bodily pain. Such a beverage has been known to cure the worst headaches in mere moments. It is not enough to drink the yolk, it must be allowed to sit for a week in an open container. It is unknown as to why it must be a week old, but the yolk has been found to be useless when it has not been allowed to age. The eggs can only be found in a shatí raín rookery that is made from the nests of several birds. Such rookeries are normally in the center of a field, and many men have lost their lives as they searched for them. Both men and grass snakes compete for possession of the eggs, but unlike men the grass snake's smooth scales allow it to slither through the grass with ease. A grass snake will consume all the eggs in a rookery unless a mob of shatí raíns attack the serpent and drive it away.
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Reproduction. The Sun Sparks grass produces tiny sor’inyt orange flowers in Awakening Earth, and these flowers produce seeds that are released into the wind. The seeds will grow wherever they land, but they cannot germinate without fire. Until they are set on fire, they will just lie there or be eaten by an animal. These seeds cannot be digested by any animals except the shatí raín, so unless they are eaten by that small bird they will be returned to the earth to await the day they will be set ablaze. Each seed is capable of producing a carpet of grass that is one square-ped in size. However, if it happens that a field of the Flying Sparks grass itself burns, the seeds are set on fire immediately and are blown away burning - as Fire Sparks. These seeds are germinating wherever they land.
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Myth/Lore. The most known myth originates from the Ice Tribes, and it tells of the creation of the Blood Grass. This myth has never been written until now. It has survived the centuries by being passed by word of mouth from father to son.

"Ertemmir covered the earth with grass of different beautiful hues, and his creation was beautiful to behold. Pargis was soon consumed with jealousy, and he covered the land with his icy breath. Ertemmir pleaded with the god of eternal flames to aid him against the cruel lord of ice. Peierojon coaxed his beautiful flames to burn upon the ice itself and soon a layer of soil was defrosted, though ice remained beneath. Peierojon also gave the seeds the ability to sprout after being basked in his flames, so that the ice could never again conquer Ertemmir's creation.

The deity of the earth forbade the creatures of Northern Sarvonia from eating the grass. It was his most beautiful creation, and he could not bear to see it devoured by the lowly beasts. The grass was delicious and almost every animal ate of it, despite the constant earth shaking sent as warnings from Ertemmir. He soon realized that the grass would have to defend itself if it were to survive the ravenous appetites of the beasts. He formed hooks upon each blade of grass and gave it the ability to feed upon the creatures that had once greedily fed upon the Burning Grass. The grass became toxic and even more delicious than before, for Ertemmir wished for the animals to suffer for their transgressions. Only one animal had never eaten of the grass, and the eaón thróg was greatly rewarded for its obedience. The small mammal would never starve, for it was the only creature that could consume the Blood Grass and survive."
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-- Tale told by Minóki Kíuru of the Himiko.

 

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