THE LÉMERTÍA ("WATER VINE")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Lémertía, more commonly known as "Water Vine" (also sometimes refered to as "Mer-hair"), can be found in most freshwater rivers throughout Sarvonia and even in parts of Nybelmar and some islands. The plant itself is usually a green or chartreuse shade, and grows in thin strands, like pieces of slimy hair. The Lémertía is part of the diet of many water creatures, including rivermaids, fish and insects, as well as some land creatures.

Appearance. In early stages of growth, the Lémertía appears to be no more than a kind of brown-green slime growing on some stationary object in its habitat, such as a rock or piece of metal. The river algae grows quickly out of this stage and, within a few days, has produced hair-like protrusions that are 2 or 3 nailsbreadths long which move elegantly go with the current. After reaching 5 or 6 nailsbreadths, the growth rate tends to decrease, and because of the wide amount of water creatures that feast upon it, like certain water insects and fish, it rarely exceeds 10 nailsbreadth in length.

However, in city creeks and streams where no fish or many water bugs reside, this algae has been reported to attain a ped in length or more! At this size it tends to lose its elegance as the long hair-like strands will become knotted tangles, rather unpleasant to look at. However, most of these small creeks will dry up in the summer or become frightfully cold in the winter. Either of these cases can kill the Water Vine.
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Territory. The Lémertía lives only in freshwater rivers and streams, and can be found in such habitats across Caelereth, including the Thaehelvil River, the Vandrina River, the Rayne River, the Luquador River, the Liben and Quest Rivers, the Avessa River up North, the Isial river, the Ancient River in the Northeast, as well as many more throughout Sarvonia. In Nybelmar, the Lémertía can be found in the Grion Meriath, the Jerrah and Eypesh Rivers, and more. It can also be found in the Wilvong and Green Kos River on the Island of Killyshmagost and Quios’kathar.
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Usages. The Lémertía has no practical usage to man, but it is an important part of the diet of many fish and insects, as well as some elk that live near the streams where this algae grows. Especially the rivermaids seem to have a liking for it and eat it along with fish. This is not to say that people haven’t tried to make something out of it. It has been successfully harvested, dried, and woven, but the resulting material is both extremely delicate, falling apart with the slightest tug, and scratchy to the feel. Even as table mats or small decorative items Water Vine has not proven sturdy enough to hold up under daily use, and the elegant water weed is now left in the rivers where it belongs.
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Reproduction. The reproductive cycle of the plant is thus far unknown.
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Myth/Lore. Children often pretend that the waving strands are really the hair of baby mermaids, and will play at mer-hunting in the streams.

In other areas a subtle way of indicating to someone that they have insufficiently groomed that morning is to make a discreet gesture towards the other person's head and whisper, "Water Vine..." The reference here is obviously to the knots and tangles that can form in the Lémertía plant just as they can in unbrushed hair.

Similarly, the plant is often a metaphor in poetry and verse; the poet compares the tresses of his lover to the long waving strands of both the willow and the Water Vine.
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Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile