THE GEMFLOWER

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION

The Gemflower is considered one of the most unique plants in all of Caelereth. It has a delicate sort of beauty that can be found in few other things either natural or artificial. The most surprising thing about the plant is the fact that it develops a large crystal that is perfectly round in shape. These have peculiar magical characteristics, though different for every plant and every location.

Appearance. The flower is supported on a stalk that may be almost a ped wide, although the average is around a fore. The flower itself can be one and a half palmspan wide in rare circumstances, but is normally just two to five nailsbreadths across. They have three main petals, each of which is colored a slightly transparent lavender color. They also have three secondary petals that are very light blue and just as transparent. Their leaves are a jade green with a hint of gray. The flowers grow upon a moss-like substance that looks like glass fibers, but is in fact their root systems. Used mainly for gathering rain from the sky and sunlight rather than moisture from the soil, its only other purpose is to hold the plant onto the mountainside, as it requires little minerals from the soil. However, the plant does get things from the soil by secreting acid. This allows it to take minerals out of the soil as well as becoming more firmly attached to the stone. It takes minerals such as carbon and silicon, and it turns them into gemstones through a process that is both magical and chemical. The jewels are located at the top of the stem of the flower, just below the flower. During certain seasons, the thin membrane surrounding the gem is clear enough that you are able to see the quality of the jewel. These crystals may be green, blue, or purple, or even swirling mixtures of the three. Very few are purely one color, and on the other end of the spectrum, it is rare to see one of these gems with a perfect mix of the three.

The stones created by the plant give the flower its name. But the magic used in the process is imbued with the crystal, creating talismans that have some magical powers. However, if the crystals stay inside the plant for long enough without harsh weather or animals killing them, the crystal will become more and more powerful. Eventually, the plant will be able to have no more powerful magic inside it, and it will wither. These stones, by this time about two nailsbreadths in diameter, are perfectly round. They hold various powers that are based on the type of rock upon which the plant was growing.
Return to the top

Territory.
This herb only grows on the island country of Qelítraíloh, and there just in the Stormcrag mountain range at the center of the island. Gemflowers grow at high altitudes, mainly on rock faces. Sometimes a traveler will come upon a valley nestled between mountains whose entire floor is covered with these plants. But the crystals that have any power to speak of are still fairly rare because of the time needed to create the gems and the size the flowers must be to support a powerful enough gem. The first leader of Qel'tra'loh had a flowergem set in his sword, which has been passed down from the time the country was founded.
Return to the top

Usages. The Gemflower is prized by all people of Qel'tra'loh, and would not be cut down. In fact, killing one of these plants is a crime, and is punishable by banishment from the country. For this reason, few are killed every year, and the plant still survives in its delicate balance against the weather. Still, when a plant dies a natural death, people are free to take the crystals that come from it, since it cannot reproduce more and has no use for them.
Return to the top

Reproduction. The plant divides as soon as the "moss" gets far enough away from the base of the stalk. Then, another flower will start to grow after their root systems separate. Eventually, the gap formed by the split will be crossed, and the moss will be unbroken. Thus, other plants can only be formed near the original. The entire population of the gemflower goes through a certain cycle. For years, there will be many Gemflowers, and the number continues to increase. Then, it will change, and they will begin to die out. This is attributed by most of the people who study the rare herb to the general climate changes that naturally occur over a long period of time, though it has never been proven. Because of this the colonies of the plant are found in many locations rather than in just one large patch. It can also die if the gem is removed, because though it feeds energy into it, the crystal also serves as a storage location for bad years. It helps it overcome the general fluctuations between day and night, stormy and sunny. Without this stabilizer, it cannot cope, and dies within a few days.
Return to the top

Information provided by Stormcrow View Profile