Erythisblumen

Into her arms I thrust carnations and poppies, but neither did lull her to rest like the red-stained erythis flower...
  The dangers of magic are well-known. Kings and lords across the face of Istralar regularly have their meals tasted and checked for dark curses or strong potions, never daring to risk falling under the spell of their detractors. Indeed, there are many who live as a barrier against the harmful intent of others. It is a pity, for these fools are ever in danger of one of Gothadrun's most rare and prized of plants: the erythis flower.   Despite its rarity, the flower is not unknown to those with an interest in botany - or mythology, for that matter. The erythis regularly makes appearances in Gothadruni fairytales, often functioning as the downfall of those who encounter it due to its latent magical properties. It is also one of the flowers druids and witches study during their early training, as an unexpected run-in with an erythis flower could potentially be deadly if one isn't aware of what the blossom can do. Somewhat luckily, the only current known source of erythisblumen is the Glühenwald - a thick forest located towards the southeastern edge of Gothadrun, where few have cause to go. The forest's caretakers employ serious force to ensure no foolish adventurer or traveller can wander into the area and trip across the erythisblumen. Even so, some do try. The allure of possessing one of the Living Daydreams is too much for many to handle.

Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

In its early stages, an erythis flower is a small knot of white petals surrounded by equally pale green leaves. As it grows, the petals elongate into featherlike talons extending around a blackened centre, and the pale leaves and stem shed their light green to don a darker colour. Sharp thorns, not unalike those a rose bears, cluster along the stem to ward off unwanted predators.   In full bloom, an erythis flower stands at approximately 50cm tall with leaves up to 12cm in length. The flower itself grows singly and tends to be approximately 10cm in diameter, though oversized blossoms with truncated stems and diameters closer to 20cm are not entirely uncommon. The flower is hermaphroditic, with both its pistil and stamen located in the aforementioned black centre of the otherwise white flower. At full maturity, the white petals take on a red colouration at the edges as production and emission of a red liquid occurs.

Biological Traits

An erythis flower in its prime will emit a viscous red liquid from the tips of its sharp petals. This liquid smells incredibly sweet and intoxicating, and if swallowed, functions as an incredibly dangerous stimulant and healing potion. Those affected will crave more of the liquid and the flower itself, and will find their heart rates drastically raised as their body begins to regenerate and work at speeds rarely seen.   If no treatment is sought within a few hours of consumption, the body of a consuming mortal will fail - either by triggering a heart attack, or by the regeneration and spread of other ailments already present in their system. In this matter, the erythisblumen can function as an incredible accelerant for existing poisons. Its taste, colour, and smell are, however, both incredibly distinctive and cannot be masked easily.

Ecology and Habitats

It's rude to take what isn't yours. Let them rest in their bed of choice.
  Erythisblumen are native to Gothadrun, and in fact can only naturally be found in the depths of Glühenwald. They enjoy the excess of water brought about by the region's consistent rainfall and flourish under the influence of the climate's warmer temperatures. Very few erythisblumen have been successfully cultivated outside of their native habitat.   A collaboration between House Marchelle of the Aletheian Empire and the House of Falkenrath, known as the caretakers of the forests, lead to some of the first recent successes in external cultivation of the erythisblumen when they were able to achieve a full blossom in the year 5619. This effort was instrumental in discovering some of the plant's more obscure properties, though that research has since been ordered sealed by the combined governmental power of both Gothadrun and Aletheia.

Biological Cycle

The erythis flower is a perennial flower that blooms mostly in the autumnal months of Rova, Lamashan, and Neth. The flower remains functional throughout winter, but closes itself entirely by the first whispers of spring. When it reaches its second spring, the flower's petals lose all semblance of colour and soon wilt. Druidic magic has found some success in extending an erythis flower's lifespan, though the plant's supernatural properties grow weaker in intensity with every month it has been extended past its natural life.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

What is reality but yet another dream?
  Whilst the aforementioned liquid secreted by erythisblumen is incredibly dangerous, it remains the secondary danger to using an erythis flower. Breathing directly from the flower itself triggers an emission of the flower's addictive pollen, inducing sleep with extreme haste. This sleep does cure the deadly stimulant effect caused by the consumption of its liquid, but at a far greater cost than initially apparent.   If the affected is able to wake up from their dreams, they will forever find reality to be a pale imitation of the dream the erythis crafted for them. The attractions of everyday life, both physical and mental, will cause them to only wish they could draw further breaths of the erythis. Should they be granted this 'blessing', they will return to the same dream that they once awakened from to continue living a second life in paradise. Even if they are only ever granted one opportunity to fall under an erythis flower's effect, the mental stain will never truly fade - not even powerful spells such as Break Enchantment or Remove Curse can cure the longing, though enchantment spells are effective in swaying attention to other subjects for a short time.  

When these fantasy-creating properties were initially discovered, it was presumed that the erythisblumen would be effective at curing depressive states by rekindling a love for life. The first testers of the flower did indeed show a marked increase in happiness. But with each opportunity to enter an erythis flower's dream, their ability to wake up decreased. Their dreams began to last for days upon end, extending to weeks in those with stronger fortitude. The afflicted showed no desire to eat or drink, instead wishing for more of the flower's kiss. Where allowed, they simply never woke up. Resurrection magic was functional on their bodies, but their souls were resistant to returning.   Curiously, the effect seems most impactful on those with magical ability. This has not been tested extensively, however.

This has not deterred the Gothadruni from experimenting further with the erythisblumen. Single petals and captured samples of pollen, whilst still possessing addictive and dream-altering properties, pale in comparison to the effects caused by the flower in full. Powerful sleep-assisting potions have been crafted from the erythis, and equally powerful healing potions produced from extremely diluted amounts of its liquid. The flower in full is rarely permitted to be used in recent days - though it has been requested and provisioned, under guidance, as an end-of-life care measure for certain important patients. It does, after all, enable a peaceful and painless death.

  It is the effect of the erythis upon undead creatures that should, perhaps, be most concerning. The flower itself has little effect, but its secretions function as a potent accelerant even on the undead, with its regenerative properties functioning as a fast way of repairing the damage left by time. This has seen Glühenwald be the host to liches and other undead fiends in the past as the intelligent undead seek methods of repairing their lost vanity.   When combined with Mountain Dreambloom, however, the liquid becomes a fantastic method of combating the undead: the dreambloom's healing effect combined with the erythis secretion's stimulant provides the forces of Light with a tireless method of fighting their untiring foes, and the resulting potion functions as an acid when introduced to undead flesh. The petals of an erythis and a dreambloom, alternatively, create a highly addictive but extremely potent sleeping aid that provides its consumers with a healing sleep.  
Breathe deeply. Drink of the sweet scent, and abandon that which harms you to the vulgarities of flesh.

A sample of erythisblumen secretion.   Alternate names erythis flower, living daydream, fantasiekuss
Scientific Name
Somnialis haematinus
Conservation Status
Highly protected - gathered only by permission of Gothadruni nobility.
Warning Labels Addictive somnifer. Active danger to all life.
Header image created by Hanhula utilising Deep Dream & CC0 images.

Comments

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4 Jul, 2019 22:11

Wow! What a really fleshed-out article! Very little I can find to critique you on this, so instead I'm just going to mention how I really enjoy the incorporation of other elements and their behavior with the living daydream, like the undead and how it's favorable for them! Then you also state a counteraction to it with the Mountain Dreambloom which adds so much flavor to the world's context! Nice job!

4 Jul, 2019 22:35

I like how there are a few quotes throughout the article, it helps break up the larger blocks of text and makes it easier to read.
"An erythis flower in its prime will emit an viscous red liquid" should probably be "An erythis flower in its prime will emit a viscous red liquid"
It's interesting that it was experimented with as a treatment for depression, but was found to be more dangerous and addictive than it was worth. It kind of reminds me of a certain fangame to do with dreaming and wanting to stay in the dream. This could definitely be a source of interesting conflicts and stories.
Is there any speculation as to where this plant came from, how it evolved to have these properties? Was it through magic or the meddling of gods that it was created? Or has this plant just always been in the world for as long as anyone can remember?
An interesting read, and well-formatted too!

5 Jul, 2019 02:57

Whoops, fixed the typo - thanks for catching! My eyes compleeetely glazed over it even in your correction. Shows what happens when I write at 3am, hey?   The other issue with the erythis as a treatment for depression that I don't touch on too heavily is how much those undergoing erythis treatment preferred it. Those who were cut off from the blossoms due to the negative effects it began to have... well, they didn't survive the longing for a world they could no longer get to. And once someone's affected by the plant, it's too dangerous to offer them even the lesser potions: it'll just rekindle that same feeling. And which fangame are you referring to - Yume Nikki? It's been a while, ahah...   Honestly, the plant's origins are unknown as of the current moment. It's been around in Gothadruni mythology for a few hundred years - if not over a century, given how well-known it is to their nation - so it's likely that it was once far more widespread and became restricted to only the Gluhenwald by mortal action.   Given the nature of the House of Falkenrath as, well, vampires? I WONDER WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE TAKEN ACTION THERE HMMM

5 Jul, 2019 04:16

The fangame I was referring to was Dreamtalia
And yeah, it certainly seems like the ones who use it get addicted to the dream and don't want to leave. Quite the dangerous little flower.

5 Jul, 2019 03:30

This is a really good article! The quotes and formatting really help add to the mood and direction for the piece! I'm curious about the side-effects of the dreambloom erythisblumen sleeping potion though. Is the healing literal? Is the price of the use of the potion worth the effects?
Great job!

5 Jul, 2019 03:42

Amazingly detailed! And very specific! I haven't heard some of those more scientific terms used for quite some time. Great job on that. I really love how you included that tidbit with the undead. That's definitely not something I would've thought of in imagining the uses. I did, however, find it a little jarring that the two different uses/main properties of the plant were split up and not near each other in the article. I think it'd be easier (as a reader) to get a structured understanding if you arrange the liquid properties be right before the pollen. Hopefully, that makes sense. (Though I know we can't really move article sections around, so it may not be possible.)

5 Jul, 2019 04:40

Okay holy hell! The writing, the formatting and the artwork, all combine together to form this beautiful gem of an article! I loved reading this article from the beginning of the first quote right until the last word Beautifully formatted and written i would say!   First and foremost, i have to compliment the writing here. The way you wrote this from the start to the very end, my god it was mesmerizing. I really loved how you managed to convey the article in an organic way rather than mechanically or scientifically and yet provide just as much info. In my opinion , that is a feat i can respect quite a bit!   Secondly, the formatting is just gorgeous! The way you broke this article up into bite sized pieces and the like, combined with the equally beautiful artwork and the columns and sidebar, made this article so much more easier to read! I really loved how you formatted this article!   Last but not least, the artwork is just gorgeous! That, combined with the CSS just gives this article a truly unique atmoshphere and flavour! And all three of those combined make this an incredible gem of an article to read!   As for the critique part, i really dont have much to say here. This article was just so beautiful and so amazingly written and formatted, i dont have much to ask. The only thing i could even remotely ask about though is about the history of this plant. When was it first discovered? How were its properties discovered?   I really loved this article so damned much! The CSS and artwork is just eye candy! Congrats han and keep up the amazing work!Okay holy hell! The writing, the formatting and the artwork, all combine together to form this beautiful gem of an article! I loved reading this article from the beginning of the first quote right until the last word Beautifully formatted and written i would say!   First and foremost, i have to compliment the writing here. The way you wrote this from the start to the very end, my god it was mesmerizing. I really loved how you managed to convey the article in an organic way rather than mechanically or scientifically and yet provide just as much info. In my opinion , that is a feat i can respect quite a bit!   Secondly, the formatting is just gorgeous! The way you broke this article up into bite sized pieces and the like, combined with the equally beautiful artwork and the columns and sidebar, made this article so much more easier to read! I really loved how you formatted this article!   Last but not least, the artwork is just gorgeous! That, combined with the CSS just gives this article a truly unique atmoshphere and flavour! And all three of those combined make this an incredible gem of an article to read!   As for the critique part, i really dont have much to say here. This article was just so beautiful and so amazingly written and formatted, i dont have much to ask. The only thing i could even remotely ask about though is about the history of this plant. When was it first discovered? How were its properties discovered?   I really loved this article so damned much! The CSS and artwork is just eye candy! Congrats han and keep up the amazing work! Everything about this was just so good! The formatting, the writing and the art all combined together to form a beautiful article!   First and foremost, i would like to compliment the writing itself here. The way you wrote this article, from the starting of the first quote right up until the very end, it was just beautifully written! That combined with the formatting is what made this article so enjoyable to read!   Secondly, i would love to give compliments to the formatting here! The way you formatted this article, with subtle usage of quotes, images, columns and sidebar to break up the text, improved its readability a lot! This combined with the writing was a fantastic addition to this article!   Last but not least, the CSS and the artwork is just godly! The beautiful artwork combined with the CSS of your world was just simply amazing! All of the above combined together make this article truly an incredible gem to read!   I really tried my best to search for something to critique here but alas, the way you wrote this article barred me from doing that. The only thing i can even remotely dare to ask about is the history of this flower. When was it first discovered? When were its properties first discovered? I really had an incredibly amazing time on reading this beautiful gem of an article! Congrats han and keep up the amazing work!

8 Jul, 2019 07:59

What an interesting plant! This is clearly a well-developed article, and I like how you managed to include how different parts of the plant will effect people differently, as well as elements people may not think of right away (like how it reacts to the undead and how it combines with other plants.) I think there a few spots where could clean up your writing. You use the word "aforementioned" twice, which doesn't seem like a lot in an article of this length, but it stood out to me. Also, when describing the thorns you say "not unlike those of a rose." The double negative is a mouthful and harder to process the meaning of. I would recommend you use the simpler, "is similar to those of a rose." Other than that, good work!

9 Jul, 2019 03:21

Thank you for the critique! With regards to undeath and the erythisblumen, that stands as a significant plot point for my players - they might find it worrying to learn that their latest vampiric ally has access to these blossoms, particularly if they determine where his true allegiances lie.   I believe I shall be leaving both obfuscating phrases as they are for the moment. The latter usage of the term 'aforementioned' is to indicate a link to the prior section of the document that shall later find itself rearranged, perhaps necessitating a change in term. The former is quite appropriate as a manner of addressing a feature mentioned in the previous paragraph without requiring a repetition of description - which, might I add, could potentially lead to confusion for the reader.   The second phrase you address doesn't read well to me if I adjust it to 'is similar to'. I can concede that 'not unalike those a rose bears' is perhaps slightly too wordy, but any adjustment will require overhauling the fragment to properly flow with the manner of writing to which I'm accustomed to.

9 Jul, 2019 15:16

Sounds like you've got things well thought out! You might also try taking out the letter a from that phrase, so "not unalike" becomes "not unlike," which almost the same, but a syllable less.