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Author Topic: Misbél Bush  (Read 4708 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 11 January 2010, 03:07:29 »

This is very similar to the Candlebush, which I admit to having completely forgotten about! If anyone has any suggestions of what to do with this entry, let me know. I hate to leave it to vanish into the shadows of the forums, but perhaps there is no other place for it?

I realized that my Elven occupation list did not have Candle-makers. Then I thought about how elves would make candles, and the thought of beeswax didn’t seem appealing. A little research, a little imagination, and voila! Wax-producing bush.


Styrash:
Misó=Wax

Kuglimz’seitre
Ket=Candle
Vurk=Bush


Misbél Bush

Overview:
The Misbél Bush (derived from the elven Miso’bél or “Wax Berry”; also called Wax Shrub and Ket’vurk [“Candle Bush”] among the Kuglimz) grows to the height of an elven woman's hip, and has a rounded form. The bush is able to flourish in forests throughout Sarvonia, and is notable for its berries, which form a thin layer of wax to protect them from the cool weather that often accompanies late autumn. This wax, when collected, can be made into sweet-smelling candles. The berries are also often used for a very potent dye.

Description:
The Misbél bush is a rather unassuming plant. Growing as high as the hip of an elven woman, the bush has a rounded form with short, branching stalks protruding from an inner “trunk.” The branches are a brownish gray, lightning to a gray-green at the twigs.

The leaves, shaped like a canoe with rounded sides and a point at each end, one of them connecting the leaf to the branches through a small stem. These leaves, which may grow to the length of an elven girl’s pinky finger, vary in color based on location. In the frigid north, the leaves are a dark green; in the south, they often show in softer shades of chartreuse. During early winter, the leaves turn brown and fall. The leaves, like the berries of the bush, have a thin waxy coating. However, the wax on the leaves tends to be of lower quality than the berries (leaf wax often crumbles easily), and does not have the same pleasant smell.

The Misbél bush produces flowers between early summer (in northern locations) and late summer (in more southern locations). These flowers grow in clusters on small twigs protruding from the bush’s branches, often five or six per twig. These blossoms are very small, about three quarters the length of the bush’s leaves, and may range in color to a pinkish purple to dark red. The hardy petals number five per blossom. The flowers produce a sweet scent, but are poisonous to humans in ingested, and they usually fall a few weeks after blooming.

The berries form soon after the petals from from the flowers; the base of the flower left behind turns from a gray-green to a light green and eventually darkens into a dark, purple-red berry. This berry, growing to the size of a fingernail, has a waxy exterior and gives the berry a soft sheen in the light.

Territory:
The Misbél grows naturally throughout Sarvonia, though it flourishes more in northern locations. In recent relations between Nybelmar and Santharia, the bush has found its way to Nybelmar, though it rarely grows outside of select gardens and greenhouses. The Misbél bush prefers shaded areas, and therefore generally grows in and around forests and woods.

Usages:
While the berries of the Misbél are not poisonous, they have an unappealing taste to all but a select few species of birds. However, the berries do produce a thick coating of wax that both elves and humans often used to make candles. The berries are harvested in mid to late autumn when they are fully ripe and placed in lightly boiling water. The process is extremely sensitive, because the temperature of the water must not be so high as to burst the berries. If the berries burst, the juice will effect both the color and quality of the wax. As the berries are boiled, the wax coating their exterior boils off and floats to the top where it can be collected. The wax is often a pinkish-yellow hue, and burns slowly and sweetly.

The leftover berries are often used for a dye. After being crushed and treated, they produce a very dark, regal shade of purple red or dark red. Both elves and humans use this dye to color all types of fabrics, as the potent dye takes well to most all materials (including fingers!)

The leaves of the Misbél Bush also have a waxy coating, but the wax is of a different consistency, one that does not hold as well. Further, the smell is not as appealing as the wax of the berry. The leaves are also poisonous, and cannot be ingested. The berries of the Misbél Bush are the only part of the plant useful for humans, elves, and other races.

Reproduction:
The Misbél Bush tends to bloom later than other plants, and in most places in Santharia, tends to show its petals in mid-summer. In many of northern forests such as the Themed’lon Forest and Yllon Wood, the Misbél Bush tends to bloom in early summer, while in southern locations such as the Sharadon Forest, the buds may not bloom until near autumn. Unlike some plants who blossom when the weather begins to grow warm, the Misbél Bush blossoms based on how cool it may be. The plants seek to produce berries before the season grows too cold.

The flowers stay a few weeks on the bush before losing their petals, though mid-Sarvonian Misbél Bushes may experience a prolonged blooming season of three or four weeks. After the petals have fallen, the base of the flower turns from gray-green to light green and eventually darkens into a dark berry. This berry, coated with wax, survives well as the autumn grows cold, as its waxy exterior helps to keep it from drying out in the frigid air. Many birds depend on these little berries to help them last the season, for while the berries only remain on the bush for three to four weeks, the berries are still edible to the bird for another one or two weeks after they fall from the branches.

These berries, with their small, grain-sized seeds, may be carried by birds to other locations through the intestines, and excreted. In early spring, these seeds begin to put out roots and small sprouts. The bushes grow rather quickly, though it generally takes about a year and a half to reach full-size. Though no one knows precisely how long these bushes live, they are known to last 10 years or more.

Myth/Lore/Origins:
While there are no stories concerning the creation of the Misbél Bush, there is a story among the Helcrani of Milkengrad, who recall the tale of how the Misbél berries got their waxy coating:

As the autumn sent cool winds through the farmlands and forests, hinting of snows to come, Fair Jeyriall was walking amidst the wood. The harvests had just passed, and she wished to enjoy one last look at the autumn trees, their leaves in hues of red and gold, before the winter stripped them bare.

As she walked, she noticed that the birds had all gone, and the trees were quiet. How lonely the forest seemed! Jeyriall, they say, is ever-so-fond of birds. And yet, these little creatures had all flown south. Or had they? From somewhere ahead, she heard the chirps of little finches, and curiously came to find a bush of berries, birds fluttering about it and feasting upon the fruit. This bush, the Misbél Bush, had, it seemed, produced berries late in the season as to provide these feathered friends fruit to survive the long winter.

Jeyriall was so touched by the bush's act of kindness that she provided it a waxy coating to better protect it from the frigid cold of winter. To this day, all Misbél Bushes have this waxy coating on their berries and their leaves, and continues to provide sustenance to the birds of the forests.
« Last Edit: 28 January 2010, 09:05:56 by Alýr » Logged

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 11 January 2010, 03:34:06 »

I know you are not finished, but a small mistake/typo caught my eye. The trouble with speed-reading + going through law school = your eyes always gravitate towards the typos, missing commas, exceptions and what not on a page - sorry!

Quote
they have an unappealing taste to any but a select few species of birds

Should this not read "to all but a select few"?
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« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2010, 05:21:31 »

Make sure you add misó and misbél to the new Styrásh vocab thread so Art adds them to the dictionary! :)
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« Reply #3 on: 11 January 2010, 07:03:11 »

@ Coren: Thank you! Changed. Yes, I still need to re-read it, but I always appreciate a good eye.  ;)

@ Falethas: Should misbél be added? It's a type of plant. I don't think we add types of plant to the dictionary (do we?)
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« Reply #4 on: 11 January 2010, 09:20:47 »

I'd say so, yeah. We have an entry for the dalor insect (St. dal'ór "rising spark") and one for the nightshade plant (St. yhtrecín cártûlen'aváth "poisonous death-beauty"), so I don't think an entry for the misbél would go amiss. You could add the word as míso'bél and have its translation be "the misbél plant," what it's whittled down to in Tharian.
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« Reply #5 on: 12 January 2010, 07:50:18 »

Words added and myth finished.

Perhaps someone might come along and give their comments/approval?
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #6 on: 12 January 2010, 15:56:53 »

...grows to the hip of an elven woman...

While I know little of elves and even less of plants, I do not think that elven women are of the same height. Unless... They are. O.o Interesting. Perhaps a more specific detail should be placed here.
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« Reply #7 on: 12 January 2010, 16:07:49 »

Equally, not all the plants would be the same height. :)  I'm sure Rayne means the average plant reaches the height of the average elven woman.  Thus, I think it is sufficient as stated rather than a stated numerical value.
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« Reply #8 on: 12 January 2010, 16:28:13 »

Then, what is the 'average' elven woman? There are also tribes, if I remember correctly (Unless that applies for humans only), with different characteristics. What may be average for one tribe might more or less different than for another.

I'm sure Rayne means the average plant reaches the height of the average elven woman.

shocked Either that bush is way too big, or...
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« Reply #9 on: 12 January 2010, 16:38:00 »

The hip height, yes. The 'average' elf is between 1.9-2peds in height.
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« Reply #10 on: 13 January 2010, 07:19:57 »

I altered the sentence a little to make it easier to read, but yes, to hip-height on an average elven woman. And while there is much differentiation in elves, there is also much differentiation in bushes.

I'm also avoiding all Santharian measure (ped, fore, nailsbreadth, etc.). I have been convinced that they are excuses to be unpoetic, and that they are too precise. Therefore, I use other means of measure--it forces me to stretch my creative muscles.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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