THE MARÉNÓR LOTUS ("CRYSTALWOODS LOTUS")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Marénór ("watery flame") lotus is found throughout the elven forests of Gaeldorioth on the continent of Nybelmar, although its density strengthens as one approaches the lands of the Cóor'hém. Though stunning in appearance and fragrance the plant's malicious nature keeps many from admiring its beauty up close. The flower grows suspended upon the surfaces of low lying watery pools and its radiant colouring, a brilliant orange with vibrant red accents, has given the flower its peculiar name.

Appearance. The Marénór Lotus floats upon the still marshlands and bogs of the Crystalwoods of Nybelmar. These flowers' buoyant bases span outwards in a four leaf clover pattern, ranging upwards of one fore in radius. This foundation is a profound sognastheen in hue with intricate networks of karikrimson veins spread out across their surface like jagged bolts of lightning. When the wintry months fall over the woodlands these leaves raise slowly upwards and close over the flower like another set of petals. The lotus is then in an inactive state until springtime, like a fisherman’s buoy, left to glide placidly upon the water’s plane.

Beneath the surface there are extensive roots splayed out in complex patterns. These tendrils quite frequently obtain nearly three palmspans in length. Their colour flows from a light cinnabrown to near nor’sidian as they reach into the murky depths of their natural habitat. Only from these can one determine the true gender of the flowers, and this may merely be accomplished by studying the sprouts that form upon the rhizomes during late fall. Females develop plantlets where as the male Lotus has miniscule barbs that span a few grains in overall length.

The central bud is a gorgeous flower that grows in a miry reality but materializes skyward. Its petals unfolding under the caress of the Injèrá’s rays, offering its exquisite form and bouquet to the world. These petals number from twelve to thirteen and have a radial configuration of near three palmspans. The main hue of the flower is a vibrant sor’inyt orange with the central area of the lotus a radiant teki red. The petals are round and slightly furled upwards near the edges each of them spanning a palmspan. They radiate evenly spaced outwards from their stunningly red core which spans near a palmspan in radius.
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Territory. Although found throughout the Gaeldorioth forest in remote bogs and marshlands, this lotus is a rarity within Nybelmar as a whole: there are few places where these flowers may be found in abundance. One area is in the far west of the Crystalwoods - the place where the Ifer’hém tribe originated, and where the Embertree is thought to have existed in ancient times. The other place that this flower is well established is in the western portion of the Gaeldorioth, near the abode of the Coór’hém. There are no recorded instances of this particular plant being found outside the borders of these woodlands.
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Usages. Although beautiful this flower is not kept domestically for any purpose. The flower's potent nature as a hallucinogen leads many to keep quite a distance from its spilk like petals. The only known usages for this flame coloured plant are as a wine or recreational drug, for those addicted to it. In wine form the petals are carefully boiled down and diluted with fermented fruits, creating a pallid pink liquid with an overly sweet taste that sticks heavily upon the palette. The illusionary effects of this vintage are tame compared to the purest forms of these petals. This draught leaves the drinker in a euphoric state and they are overcome with a sense of weightlessness and detachment from the world. These drinks are said to have been a favourite amongst the Ifer’hém and are still distilled amid the Coór’hém, although rarely.

Only an alchemist of immense skill or an utter fool would endeavor to refine this plant into tablet form. The close proximity required to reduce this flower into a solid state is extremely perilous and considered a very unsavory act, due to the highly addictive nature of this refined state and the potent hallucinations they induce. In a perfected form these tablets are intoxicating, sending the user into a realm of utter delusions. Frequently they will see things that are not there, colours melting into each other and even conversations with other people are not understood clearly. The highly addictive nature of this distillation has been rumoured to send addicts into homicidal rages against those denying them another dose. Even if the person seeks to remove themselves from this dependency they will find a road of complete torment, often taking years to truly overcome.
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Reproduction. There are indeed female and male varieties of these flowers, though their visible parts show no signs of this distinction. In Singing Bird, at the time these plants begin to bloom for summer, their underwater tendrils splay outwards, seeking their fellows in an exotic watery dance of courtship. The feminine flowers sport seeds upon their underwater foliage, while the males have long spine-like bristles coated with pollen. When these submerged roots brush against one another they become fertilized - both varieties seem quite capable of nurturing these seedlings.

Once pollinated the seeds stay dormant though gaining nutrients from their parenting plants. Not until Falling Leaf do these flowers release their young into the warm waters of their miry domains. The cooling water temperatures of this season send the seedlings to rest upon the rich soil of their watery homes. Lying quiescent throughout the wintry months the pods await the coming of spring, when the waters rise slightly in temperature. This shift of warmth causes the surviving seedlings to swarm to the surface, garnering the rays of the Injèrá to bring them into adulthood.
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Myth/Lore. Long ago this plant was a rarely seen sight amongst the low lying areas of the Crystalwoods. Yet even in these centuries past the Ifer’hém elves proclaimed the flower to be residual embers of their devotion to the element of fire. This odd growth spurt over this vast timeframe has left many in the area with the firm belief that these free floating flowers are the scattered remnants of the Ifer’hém's tree home.

When the tree fell it is speculated that the inferno and winds carried burning ash across the vast expanses of the Crystalwoods. Depositing its fiery embers in a diverse shower of flaming cinder upon the realms of Arléá, each flower considered to be in an eternal struggle against the Water Goddess’s worldly claims. The Lotus is considered to be the last remnant of the Ifer’hém's desire for an eternal inferno. Some consider the plant to be a solitary blight upon Arléá’s realm, a curse upon nature from the dark elves and their lustful devotion to the flames.

Although the Cóor'hém watched much of the decline of the Ifer’hém, there are none amongst them that would dispute these myths. Much of what is said and has been hinted at regarding this plant seems to be historically true. The recent, for elves, proliferation of this flower can simply guide any adamant researcher to deem such legends to hold some basis in fact. An ancient passage found amongst the ruins of the Embertree lends some vague hints to the truthfulness of these beliefs. It reads as such “So doth our home descend into flames, so shall the inferno expand and consume all those about us.” (This text was translated by Twén Araerwen, a scholar of the Ifer’hém.)
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 Date of last edit 28th Awakening Earth 1668 a.S.

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