almenvâhn

"The almenvâhn, Nival's breath. Within its leaves lay the dreams of Summer as it slumbers, and within its roots rest the shadows of Winter as it spreads across Dálnaes."
  The "winter-root" tree, native to the Enchanted Wood and cultivated by the elves to make their seasonal Diinian Wine.  
Where They're Found
Almenvâhns are exceptionally rare, found only in a few groves near the elven city of C'Oros Diin. The specific locations are a closely-guarded secret, as almenvâhns are one of the two trees held sacred by the dryads. Specially-chosen floryvs are allowed to tend and harvest them.   There is one almenvâhn currently growing outside of the Wood. It is located in the Sky Garden in Araniae.  
Life Cycle
Almenvâhns "bloom" only during the winter months. During spring and summer, they are leafless and have flaky, pale gray bark. As autumn begins, their bark begins to fall off, revealing glimmering pale gold wood underneath. By the end of autumn, their branches are filled with pale, silver-blue leaves that shimmer, giving them the appearance of being covered in frost. It is only once they are fully in bloom that their sap can be harvested. It seeps freely from the trunk, creating icicle-like formations as it hardens. In its liquid form, a taste of almenvâhn sap can inflict a hibernation-like state upon its taster that lasts anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. Once fully crystalized, it becomes as cold as ice.    
Cultivation and Uses
Almenvâhn sap is harvested by elves in both its forms. While it's still liquid, it is sent to a special evridani that brews Diinian Wine. The secret to making the "winter wine" has been passed down through the family for generations, and none but the King and Woodspeaker are privy to it.  
Cultural Significance
Like its cousin, the ambulwüld, the almenvâhn is a sacred tree for the dryads, and by extension the elves. Though the Enchanted Wood experiences only mild winters, elves cherish the almenvâhn as a physical manifestation of Nival's presence. Each year, a circlet is made from the leaves of the first almenvâhn to bloom and worn by the Woodspeaker at the elves' annual Nivalatiivas.
by Kaari13
Geographic Distribution

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