THE CANDLEBUSH

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

The Candlebush is a small tree, varying between 1 and 2 peds in height. Its berries are used for expensive candles which are favored because the wax does not melt as slowly as regular candles.

The Candlebush
View picture in full size Image description: Illustration of a typical Candlebush, resembling a flame. Picture drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. The Candlebush is a small conifer, 1-2 peds high, graceful oval shape which strongly resembles a cypress tree or a candleflame. The wide, flat needles are a dark green. The inedible berries are a soft peach shade. The bark and branches are a pale grey-white colour and is sometimes used for small signs by country folk because of its durability, though this often leaves the tree bare for disease, pests, and weather. Many farmers of this plant have squelched a rival by sneaking into their groves and peeling away the bark from the top producer trees. Return to the top

Territory. Grows throughout Santharia, mostly in richer, peaty soil. Takes well to cultivation. Candlebush farms do well around cities, where slaughterhouse byproducts such as bone meal can be used to enrich the soil, and the market for their products are high. Also does well with plant fertilizers and compost.
Return to the top

Usages. The Candlebush is coated with an oily substance which comes off on the fingers and burns well. The inedible berries are full of a concentrated oil. The berries are gathered (in a poor harvest year, some of the needles are included) and boiled down in large cauldrons. Scent and colour can be added at this stage. When the oil is thick and waxy, wicks are dipped and redipped to build up the candle. Often used to create the multilayered timetelling candles (see e.g. the diplight). It is popularly believed that Candlebush lights are more flattering to the female countenance than tallow or beeswax, a fallacy which farmers and apiarists do their best to disavow!
Return to the top

Myth/Lore. In country stories where religious technicalities often become diluted, the legend of the Candlebush is no exception. The gist of the legend is that the God of the Sun, Foiros, saw how people were afraid by night with no way to conveniently light their homes beyond their fire pits. Thus, he created the Candlebush and sent the secret of candles to the elves. The elves were told to share the secret with all races. However, they did not. For one reason or another, the passage is missing in this part of the legend and is often filled in by a country priest or wife with outlandish nonsense. Some say it was the influence of Dark Fays, others say humans meddled. No one knows for sure. However, Foiros grew more and more impatient with the elves. Finally, Foiros sent a vision to the strongest warrior among the men and sent him to get the secret of candles. This began Foiros' Order which is said to be the purest of all priestly orders. Now, this Orderís job is to maintain virtuous life among all priesthoods.
Return to the top

Information provided by Bard Judith View Profile and SeikaMoon View Profile