THE WINDSONG GRASS

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Windsong (Browniin Ahoo-ohoh-ahoo, Styrásh "Avásh'telór") is a fascinating giant reed that is naturally perforated with multiple small holes. The segmented stalks grow as high as several stories, with tiny fingerlet roots sprouting from each segment, which extract nourishment seemingly from the air.

Appearance. This plant is striking enough to have names in three languages. All the names reflect the property which these growths have of catching wind and resonating it through their stalks, like hollow pipes or wind chimes. A slight breeze will produce only a faint whispering, while a good stiff wind makes the Windsong grove echo like an entire choir of whistling birds, crooning back and forth in eerie harmony. Travellers enjoy the sound, but people tend not to live too close to large groves.

Windsong Reeds

View picture in full size Picture description. Windsong reeds as seen growing on several river banks in R'unor. Image drawn by Seeker.

Windsong is a tough sort of wood and highly flexible while it is still green. Windsong stalks grow small, bright green leaves throughout their length which are often a favourite of grazing animals, as well as small, root-like extensions. When these roots eventually fall off, they leave behind the distinctive holes which allow Windsong to resonate.

When removed and dried, Windsong turns a pale yellow colour, and hardens. The resulting reed is light and quite strong, and may be used for walking sticks.

A single stalk of windsong is essentially hollow, and will easily grow up to five or six peds in height. The Windsong quickly grows in diameter as well: a plant of roughly a ped in height may only be five nailsbreadths across, while a fully grown plant may easily achieve a palmspan in diameter. Windsong plants possess a series of strong roots which can extend much further than one would expect. On average, a Windsong grove will possess roots that extend three peds beyond the visible edge of the grove.
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Territory. Windsong requires water to grow, much like a reed or river grass. Groves of Windsong will not grow more than three peds distant from a body of water. The Windsong also prefer moist climes, growing quite well in the Sharadon Forest, the only place it is known to be native on the Sarvonian continent. R'unor possesses large quantities of Windsong, as they grow abundantly on the banks of several rivers throughout the R'unorian Chain. The Vale of the Brownies also has a small growth of Windsong, though it is unclear where this growth originated.
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Usages. Certain hermits have developed the art of pruning Windsong so that it is "tuned", snipping the plant into manageable heights and segments, filling some holes with pine resin and encouraging new perforations to open appropriately. The resulting musical effect is stunning, but luckily has not yet become popular in the cities.

The Llaoihrr Brownies use small sections of Windsong as piping in sections of the Council Tree for carrying fresh and waste water throughout the tree.

If it is pruned young, sections of the Windsong may be used as instruments. Sarvonian adherents believe that Nethor's pipes are made of Windsong and some construct similar instruments, or windchimes from the stalks. The Maeverhim make ornate flutes from windsong that they grow in the treetops, in reverence to Grothar. To the west, in Nybelmar and R'unor it is preferred to trim the reed into a flute, or in some cases, produce a wooden series of "bells" out of correctly cut and tuned lengths of Windsong.

The elven windsingers are said to prefer Windsong reed for a walking sticks, and for this reason it is often associated with the Weatherlord Grothar. Windsingers may even use their windsong in the method that another would use a tuning fork to test the tone of their voice. The association is so strong in fact, that it is believed that the windsingers take their name from this distinctive plant.
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Reproduction. Windsong reproduces through its roots, growing new sprouts from wherever the roots reach close to the surface. Once budded, the sprout can be removed from the original plant, and planted elsewhere. These sprouts grow remarkably fast, from sprout to stalk in roughly a week.
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Myth/Lore. Windsong features prominently in the symbolism of two of the Twelvern gods. Nethorians may construct replicas of the Dancer's famous flute out of sections of Windsong, while Grotharian temples may include groves of windsong, or use sections of Windsong among the chimes hung from the central willow that so often defines human temples of the Grey King.

R'unorians have a children's story about a foolish woman who tried to steal land from her neighbour. The neighbour, being clever, filled a ditch with water and planted a row of windsong as fence. The Windsong grew overnight to be taller than either the foolish woman or her neighbour. With such a fence in the way, the foolish woman could not steal her neighbour's land. Each night the neighbour would pull up the Windsong, dig a new ditch fill it with water and plant a new row of windsong a little closer to the foolish woman's house. The foolish woman did not notice until the windsong right next to her house that the Windsong fence had been growing steadily closer, and that it was now her land that had been stolen from under her nose.[1]

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Footnotes.

[1] Compendiumist's note: R'unorian property law is a complex and tangled matter that we will not attempt to explain in this entry, but has provisions that allow that if the land is clearly demarcated by a fence, that fence marks ownership of either side. [Back]
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 Date of last edit 4th Dead TRee 1671 a.S.

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