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Zare Masni

Protectors of the Dayiara

"Better not get too close to the woods, adventurers. They dislike intruders, and we wouldn't want you to get hurt."
— A Dayiara's warning

Zare Masni, also referred to as "Plant Golems" by Danatelians, are powerful guardians used by Dayiara to protect their sacred lands. The secret of their craft is well kept among Circles, though many wizards have tried -and failed- to reproduce some across the years.

Appearance and Creation

Zare Masni can take many shapes and forms, though they most often appear as large and fantastical humanoids, made out entirely of plants. They are able to walk, see, and talk, though their vocabulary is often limited. Once awakened, they will keep living until they are de-activated, or accidentally stumble into an anti-magic field.

Before they enter their life as guardians, Zare Masni must first be grown. Each Dayiara clan in the Danatelian Lands has its own method, each creating slightly different golems as a result. The longer a plant is grown before it becomes a golem, the stronger it will be once awakened.

While techniques and traditions may vary, there are a few core rules and elements when it comes to growing a Zare Masni.

Faywada exposure is the first, and arguably an essential step in a Zare Masni's creation. It is this exposure that will allow the plant to be awakened in the first place, as the chaotic magic changes the very essence of the sapling.

The only way to expose seeds to Faywada is to travel where it naturally resides- either the Echo Woods, or another liminal space touched by Faywada.
Nurturing the sapling is the second step of the process. For a Dayiara to have control over an awakened Zare, it must first oversee its care personally.

The time and energy poured into the sapling's growth allows the Dayiara to form a close bond with the Zare Masni, ensuring their commands will be obeyed. Poorly cared for saplings often awaken as uncontrollable monsters, wreaking havoc and chaos around them.

The creation of a Plant Golem is a slow and arduous process, which asks for a real commitment from the Nurturer. Successfully growing a Zare Masni also requires a lot of experience, and many years of training under an elder Nurturer. The last step of the process happens once the Zare has reached maturity.
plant6.png
Zare Masni guardian by Armand Goxe

Extra Information


Location: Plant golems are rarely seen without the presence of a Dayiara clan. Most often, they reside in forests and plains, or other fertile lands.

Average Size: Can go from 50cm till almost 2m tall, with an average height of 1m20. Taller Zare Masni are a rare sight due to how long it takes to grow them.

Dietary Needs: Though they may survive from magic alone, Zare Masni have been known to enjoy freshwater, as well as grazing in the sun.

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The Awakening

The true (and final form) of the Plant Golem is revealed at the conclusion of a ceremony. This part of the ritual is where most tribes will diverge in tradition, and the specifics of each awakening are known only to the eldest Dayiara. The goal of the ceremony is to introduce a seal, which will act as an "on/off" switch for the golem's master. Once a Zare Masni has been awakened, it will stop growing and ageing until it dies or is deactivated.

Only the creator of the Zare Masni is meant to know the location and activation of the seal, though often this information is shared with a few trusted people in case the Dayiara was to pass away before de-activating the golem. Following the Awakening, the Zare Masni is named, before being introduced to the rest of the Dayiara clan. This step allows for the golem to distinguish friends from foes, and to know who they must help in times of danger.

Role in Dayiara Culture

plant3.png
Zacharia Valor by Armand Goxe

The crafting of Zare Masni long predates the birth of magic. Dayiara have perfected this art for centuries, and some tales of Elders and their Zare Masni are said to be as old as the First Circle itself. The Zare Masni are the sacred protectors of the Dayiara, a gift from Khave itself to its people.

When the Danatelians first invaded the continent from the seas in -811 I.A, the Dayiara closest to the coast suffered the most. They were peaceful by nature, and had never known the wrath of war and the blood of conquest. All who survived owe it to the Zare Masni who kept them alive long enough to disappear.

Zacharia Valor

"Everybody, stay calm- Valor will be back to protect us soon. We just need to hide from them until he returns..."
— A scared Dayiara to their fellow clan members.

Among them, and probably most famous of all, was Zacharia Valor. After his master died without being able to de-activate them, he turned his rage towards the invaders who had slain her. Alone, he pushed them back beyond the Green Valley, and kept it safe for many more years to come.

The valley became a safe haven of Dayiara, which he defended on his own for more than a hundred a year, never letting any Danatelian through. Almost a thousand years later, the valley remains unexplored, and only memories and rumors have survived the passage of time.

Zorana Villages

plant4.png
"Failed" Zare Masni by Armand Goxe

"I passed by the Redorange village today to drop off Keeper. The others were doing good, and Gentle gave me this bud for you- they hope you'll be able to make a Zare Masni out of them."
— Dayiara to the Nurturer

What happens to "failed" Zare Masni? Dayiara are known for the high respect in which they hold living things, and the life of a Plant Golem is no exception. Instead of being destroyed, the Dayiara help them form communities where the Zorana may live their lives in peace and tranquillity.

Zorana villages are usually hidden in woods or nestled within quiet hills, their location kept secret by the Circles who watch over them. These communities are safe havens of calm and quiet, where the Zorana go about their daily lives.

A typical Zorana day includes walking around, tending to the communal gardens, playing some music and dancing. The occasional adventuring party might accidentally stumble upon a Zorana village. While initially shy, Zorana are also curious by nature, and if the visitors show no ill intent they will come out of their homes to observe them.


Cover image: by Mohammad Ali Berenji

Comments

Author's Notes

Bam, first draft of the plant challenge is done! I was granted permission by Armand Goxe to use his art for this article, feel free to go check out his account!

This article was written for the march/april 2021 Peculiar Plants challenge.


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Journeyman N4th
James Slaven
16 Mar, 2021 21:08

Loved the article, and awesome art! So pretty.

16 Mar, 2021 21:17

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
16 Mar, 2021 21:47

Aaaah! I love these! <3 The art is perfect for the article - so nice of the artist to grant you permission. I love that 'failed' Zare Masni get to live in happy little villages. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea! Please check out my peculiar plants entry! :)
16 Mar, 2021 21:57

Thank you!! I'm glad you these guys :') and I'm really thankful to the artist too, especially considering my idea was 100% inspired from his art haha ^^   I think I'll make my players meet one of these little villages at some point during their upcoming trip...

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
17 Mar, 2021 06:15

What an amazing idea! I love the time and dedication that goes into creating these. And also that those who fail still get to live their life. I also like the story about Zacharia Valor. I think I spotted one typo if you don't mind. The sentence just before the Faywada/nurturing box has the word wary in it. I think it might need to be vary.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
17 Mar, 2021 07:56

Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it :P and oooh thank you for the typo catch :D

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
17 Mar, 2021 08:19

You're welcome. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Journeyman Monkos
Andrew Booth
17 Mar, 2021 09:34

It's an awesome article! The way you've written it really gives off the semi-peaceful plant vibes that I think the article wants to convey. Very enjoyable :)

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
17 Mar, 2021 10:21

Ooh, thank you! I'm glad to hear the vibes came through :D and I'm glad you enjoyed the read!

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
17 Mar, 2021 10:32

What an adorable species! It's especially its interaction with its creators that make them incredibly lovable. there is one confusing sentence in the article. It's the last sentence of the nurturing part: 'What's more, those who were not well cared for dangerous creatures.' I feel like you accidentally left out a few words.

17 Mar, 2021 13:35

Woops, I did! Thanks for the catch :)   And I'm glad to hear you like them! They are cute and sweet creatures, until you accidentally meet one of those who weren't nurtured well..

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
17 Mar, 2021 11:01

Very nice article with great art added to it! I especially like the part of the failed golems living in their quiet villages.

Feel free to check out my world Niorathand my plant article Mizarin Nightlight
17 Mar, 2021 13:36

Thank you! I feel like I'll have to write about at least one golem village, considering how popular they are ^^

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
17 Mar, 2021 13:40

Good idea! And hoping of course that your players don't destroy it in the future :p

Feel free to check out my world Niorathand my plant article Mizarin Nightlight
Sage samsaratg
George Sanders
17 Mar, 2021 16:08

I really like your layout style and the details like others have mentioned - the quiet villages and putting in a hero story.

17 Mar, 2021 16:28

Thank you very much! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it :) <3

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
17 Mar, 2021 19:28

The mixture of art, music, and lore creates a wonderful article. The design choices are phenomenal and you create a really interesting species. The intermixing of quotes ( and other sections ) into the text makes the article flow really well and is a great inclusion for design. Great work here!

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
17 Mar, 2021 23:05

Aaah thank you so much for the kind words! Very glad to hear such high praise :D <3

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
17 Mar, 2021 23:49

Wonderful concept! I always love good golem lore, and you managed to make these cute guardians heroic and then cute again. I wish I could grow one at home, preferably a Zorana.


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
18 Mar, 2021 09:40

Thank you for the kind words <3 I'm glad you enjoyed the lore! And gosh yeah Zorana really are sweet :')

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
19 Mar, 2021 22:01

Grammar

  The article is written elegantly with almost no grammatical issues. The text flows, and the information is conveyed coherently. There is a good balance of sentence-length in the paragraphs.   Specific Issues:  
Each Dayiara clan in the Danatelian lands has its own method,
  • ‘each’ = singular
  • and arguably the most essential step in a Zare Masni's creation.
  • either ‘a’ for singular or ‘the’ for plural.
  • ‘of’ or ‘s’ for possession.
  • 'the most' is redundant.
  • It is this exposure that allows the plant to be awakened
  • use ‘that’ for a defining clause
  • The time and energy poured into the sapling's growth allow the Dayiara to form a close bond
  • consider shortening your ‘of’s to ‘s’ for less wordy sentences.
  • time+energy = plural, so ‘allow’
  • Poorly cared-for saplings often awaken
  • 'poorly' is a more appropriate word.
  • 'cared-for' needs a dash.
  • The creation of a Plant Golem is a slow and arduous process
  • ‘as such’ feels redundant.
  • Zare Masni have been known to enjoy freshwater
  • 'freshwater' is one word
  • though often this information is shared with a few trusted people
  • 'with' is the proper proposition
  • which he defended on his own for more than a hundred years
  • correct singular form
  • and only memories and rumors have survived the passage of time
  • stick to American spelling to be consistent.
  • the Dayiara help them form communities where the Zorana may live their lives in peace and tranquillity.
  • missing article ‘the’
  • replace ‘in which’ to simplify the sentence
  • Zorana = plural, so ‘lives’

  • * Other Issues:
  • I presume Zare Masni and Dayiara are both singular and plural, but the mix-up with the proper articles makes it unclear.
  • Use of commas is inconsistent.


  • Structure & Design

      It seems that in terms of design, people can learn a lot from you. You keep your article's page clean with nice bright colors and a smooth background to ease your reader's mind. Your sidebar only has one section, which tells me you're more interested in telling a story than giving dry details. The illustrations were chosen wisely as they fit the page's visual theme and the theme of the concept.

    Concept & Narrative

      Introduction: short and to the point.   Appearance and Creation: an interesting choice to put these two together, since it's clear the focus on appearance ends after the first paragraph. The description of the creation process is detailed enough to get the point across and lacking enough to provide intrigue.
    The Awakening: 'the ceremony' implies we know what it is, so either 'a' ceremony or a short explanation beforehand would serve to clear that up. I do love that you added the idea of an on/off switch, as it references the original story of the golem (The Golem of Prague). In general, your golems seem to take inspiration from the source, and it's wonderful. I love the idea that they are named. This is indeed an important step. I think this is the most interesting section of the article.
    Role in Dayiara Culture: You have much information to dump in this part, but manage to make it unthreatening and it gives a good prelude to Zacharia's story.
    Zacharia Valor: A great way to show the capabilities and virtue of the golems. Zacharia Valor (excellent name btw) brings the reader into your world, even without knowing anything about it prior. It gives conflict and gets us emotionally invested. It's also an inspiration for writing prose or poetry.
    Zorana Villages: A heartwarming inclusive addition to the article. It adds to the 'cuteness' of the article. It Might be my favorite part.   Suggestions
    What can be changed:
  • maybe splitting the Appearance and Creation (not that important)
  • What can be removed:
  • I don't think anything should be removed.
  • What can be added:
  • a tooltip for who are the Danatelians. At first, it's a people, then lands, then a people again.
  • a tooltip for the ceremony (if not a short paragraph about it).
  • many more details about the plant's origin and its cultural relevance can be expanded upon. The article offers quite a short story and an incomplete story. HOWEVER, I believe this is the correct choice for an article that doesn't aim to cover all bases, but simply be a short, fun read about a nice concept.
  • Questions
    "Better not get too close to the woods, adventurers. The trees dislike intruders, and we wouldn't want them to hurt you."
    — A Dayiara's warning
  • are the Zare Masni trees? Are they referred to as such by the Dayiara?

  • Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
    19 Mar, 2021 23:44

    Damn that was one hell of a comment, thank you so much for the feedback! Grammar has been edited, article links and tooltips added :) and thank you so much for the many kind words and positive feedback ;-; !

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    20 Mar, 2021 00:02

    This is a great article! I especially love the design of your page, everything is clearly presented and look very pretty :D The illustrations are also great!   I like the idea of your plant, this is very cool! I love their relationships with their creators, that if they live them they will continue fighting after their death but that they can also rebel if they want to.   I have a question regarding this bit: "The only way to expose a sap to Faywada is to travel where it naturally resides- either the Echo Woods, or another liminal space touched by Faywada." Do they travel with their potted plant or do they have to plant the plant there? Or take a sapling that was naturally growing there?   How early do they need to start this exposure process? Will it work if they do that on an ancient tree for example? You say sapling so I imagine not, but how old can a sapling be before it stops working? Is it important for the people to have been the one growing the sapling before that?   Their size depends on how long it takes to grow them, so I'm guessing they stop growing once they're awakened?   "this information is shared to a few trusted people in case the Dayiara was to pass before de-activating the golem" I think here it would work better if you say "this information is shared with a few trusted people in case the Dayiara was to pass away before de-activating the golem"   I'm interested in what happened to Zacharia Valor since you don't mention his death… I'm guessing he could still be protecting that valley!

    Feel free to check my my plant challenge article!
    20 Mar, 2021 13:16

    Thank you for the extensive feedback, I really appreciate it!! Made some quick edits to answer to the various issues you pointed, will give you a quick summary here too :^)   So I actually meant you need to travel with the seeds of a plant before its planted, so I changed "sap" for "seeds". Because the trip to these places are usually dangerous, only a few people ever set out to do them.   They do indeed stop growing once they are awakened! I've changed the text to mention it :)   As for Zacharia Valor, I'm planning on writing an article about him once I have some time! You were right to observe I haven't mentioned his death... who knows what he might be up too :D

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    Sage eccbooks
    E. Christopher Clark
    21 Mar, 2021 23:20

    I love the concept, and the art you've chosen works really well with your prose—which is lovely to read, as always.

    22 Mar, 2021 08:46

    Thank you for the kind words Chris, I'm glad to hear you liked them :D!

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    23 Mar, 2021 18:54

    So cuteee! They remind me a lot of Pathfinder's (1e) leshies. I love how much thought has been put into them and the place in the culture, including the zorana. Do people know why sometimes zorana happen?

    24 Mar, 2021 07:27

    Did a quick read about them and oh my god leshies are awesome :'0! I'm glad to hear you like them <3 and nope, due to the wild nature of the magic used to bring them to life its very hard to predict if your plant will become a zare masni or zorana ^^

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    24 Mar, 2021 10:45

    Hello! Thank you for this amazing entry! I really loved your artworks, as much as the textual content. This idea of a sapient Plant golem was a great one!   I'm wondering about something: since Zorana already exist in villages, would it be possible for actual Zare Masni to join them? And could a Plant Golem manage to produce a new Plant Golem?   Beside that, I do not have a lot to comment: you already received a lot of very high quality feedback, and the entry is great as it is. Congratulations!

    With love,   Pouaseuille.   Feel free to check out my entry for the Peculiar Plant challenge! Or don't, if you don't want to.
    24 Mar, 2021 11:49

    Hey! Thank you <3 so glad to hear you enjoyed it!   Thats a good question- I think some Dayiara might release their Zare Masni near the end of their lives, bringing them to a village where they can chill forever. Plant Golems wouldn't be able to grow new Plant Golems though, as they lack the knowledge on how to do so (+ can't really be taught sadly).   Thanks again for the kind words <3!

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    24 Mar, 2021 17:27

    Thanks for your answers! I guess I was just inspired by Terry Pratchett's Feet of clay when I mentioned the idea of golems making new golems, though this is absolutely not necessary for this already very interesting species :)

    With love,   Pouaseuille.   Feel free to check out my entry for the Peculiar Plant challenge! Or don't, if you don't want to.
    25 Mar, 2021 13:02

    What a great article! I love it and that artwork is superb! I love how different each illustration is, really highlighting the diversity of the Zare Masni. :)

    25 Mar, 2021 14:55

    Ooh thank you so much for the kind words! I’m very glad you enjoyed it :)

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    26 Mar, 2021 16:21

    This is really lovely, from the quotes, to the artwork, to even your music selection, and everything in between. I especially love your last quote, as it demonstrates the Zorana are happy with their life

    26 Mar, 2021 16:42

    :'0 thank you for the kind words! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed the article, it means a lot! The Zorana are probably among the most content creatures alive, seeing as they have almost no needs and are never disturbed ^^

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    Journeyman David_Ulph
    David Alexander
    28 Mar, 2021 17:46

    Aww poor "failed" pumpkin man! Honestly with them being golems I can totally see ones resembling the original turnip jack o'lanterns from the Gaels. Has a Zorana Village ever been seen to grow its own Zare Masni?   A fantastically intriguing snippit into Dayiara culture, and I can see aspects of the original golem myth shining through in the seal which is always fab to see!

    Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check out my peculiar plant - Lungroot
    28 Mar, 2021 18:56

    Thank you for the kind words <3 ! Zorana villagers are unable to grow Zare Masni due to not having the knowledge on how to do so. They do however often offer seeds of plants they like to Dayiara in hopes of them becoming a Zare Masni!   And glad to see you noticed aspects of the original myth! I tried my best to keep to the original essence of the golem :) and I'm looking forward on writing some more about the Dayiara!

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    29 Mar, 2021 07:39

    These guys are adorable, and this article stands out in its uniqueness. Well done!

    Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
    29 Mar, 2021 08:44

    <3 thank you for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    2 Apr, 2021 08:05

    A great article! I love the overall theme of harmony with nature, especially the fact that the Dayiara bond with the plants through caring for them rather than, say, using mind-control magic. The art fits really well, too - the garlic/onion warrior at the beginning immediately made me curious.

    The Kaleidoscope System | My DeviantArt Profile   My entry for the "Peculiar Plants" challenge: Umpu Deraksi
    2 Apr, 2021 09:13

    Thank you so much for the kind words, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it :D !

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    2 Apr, 2021 13:13

    Oh gods I need to visit a Zorana village <3 Everything in this article is so lovely! The Zacharia Valor section is also super interesting <3 Great article, as it is always the case with yours!

    2 Apr, 2021 16:32

    Who knows, maybe a one-shot challenge might help this become a dream!   Thank you so much for your kind words Naelin <3

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    7 Apr, 2021 12:55

    It's amazing how you perfectly use every piece of available space on the article, yet nothing looks clustered.   Also Zorana villages are a very beautiful kind of slightly sad.

    7 Apr, 2021 15:36

    Thank you so much for the kind words! And yeah Zorana villages have a very nostalgic feeling to them when I picture them.

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
    7 Apr, 2021 17:29

    amazing work here! hope this wins!!

    7 Apr, 2021 20:57

    :'0 thank you!!

    Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !