Rimward Orchid Species in Summerdark | World Anvil

Rimward Orchid

Some flowers delight, others carry a message. Then there are some that could change the world.
- Danrion Uave, herbalist and member of the Embermyst Fellowship
Beyond the last villages and lone taverns where the lamp of civilization dwindles are the lands of Thanespire, the eastern continent. These far shores are a region wrapped in layers of mystery and primal magic. Bramble-chocked forests rise to meet damp, gray mists between rolling hills and tall mountains. A broad land rumored to hold lost ruins from the world before the First Age. It’s here that the Rimward Orchid dares to flourish along this edge of the world.
This orchid, with its glowing, iridescent petals, is not only a spectacle for the eyes but a symbol of the unknown itself. A living representation of lost knowledge and the frontier of understanding.

A Brush with the Unknown

The Thanespire continent is home to many types and shapes of plant. Some are dangerous, while others are not. But it’s the Rimward Orchid that holds a place in history. That and its rumored abilities are what has drawn explorers and scholars alike to find it.
This unusual bloom has been referenced in historical texts, from medicine to magic across generations. The oldest mention of the Rimward Orchid comes from alchemy texts dating back before the First Age itself. Kingdoms and land lost to the Age of Twilight before the dawn of the First Age.
Rimward Orchid by CB Ash *
Decades to centuries under the right care and growing conditions.
Average Height
1-2 feet ( 1 to 2 elspin ) tall including the stem
According to those ancient works, the orchid’s glow is a magical essence. That, once distilled, can be used as a key ingredient to cure lethal illnesses such as the deadly Graycrust Plague. But, this same potent sap, if diluted in specific small amounts, can enhance the magical abilities of sagecasters, arcansmiths, vitalists, and more.
Those studies make it quite plain as to the orchid’s benefits. What they lack are the exact amounts. Scrolls and books from that almost mythical time suffered to the wrath of age. So terms of measurement, even amounts have been slowly lost to time. But respect for the orchid’s importance survives. To this day, it drives study in many schools of magic from Heartwood and elsewhere.
There are a lot that study the plant for what it might could do, or is rumored to have been able to do. But that also suggests the Rimward Orchid might have more to offer than anyone knows.
- Danrion Uave, herbalist and member of the Embermyst Fellowship

A Certain Type Of Glow

This iconic plant is renowned for its resilience. It delights in sunlight or shade but seems to grow best in the secluded areas of the world. As if it shies away from more populated places.
The Rimward Orchid is remarkable for its vibrant bundle of colors. Glowing, iridescent petals that shimmer with a spectacular spectrum that ranges from deep indigo to a burning crimson. In the center of the bloom lies a radiant gold that pulses in twilight, which gives an ethereal glow to Thanespire’s landscape. Embermyst Stewards and scholars believe these colors help the plant grow and attract insects.
Orchid Dryad by CB Ash *

Each orchid stands tall on a robust stem wrapped in dark green leaves that are dusted with a mottled color like the night sky. Its roots are thick and extensive. They snake through the undergrowth to intertwine with gnarled roots of nearby trees. That way the plant can secure itself to rich fertile soil.
A Rimward Orchid’s scent is alluring. A unique blend of a heady sweetness underscored by a faint sharpness. The latter seems to be the main lure for bees and similar nearby insects that feast on the glimmering, golden pollen. During its blooming season in the warmer months, the orchid’s fragrance fills an entire region or forest. An invisible reminder of the orchid’s presence to visitors.
Despite all the benefits and beauty, there is a danger with this blossom. Myths and legends suggest this flower holds favor among certain of the Ethereons. To protect it, stories recount that Orchid dryads were born to protect the Rimward Orchids. They supposedly wander the orchid fields of Thanespire and never hesitate to bring disaster to anyone who disturbs these plants.
It isn’t impossible to get a Rimward orchid, but it can be deadly. Most try to get them by force, which often ends badly. Though I’ve heard that an honest, kind word to the Orchid Maidens is often far more successful than using a blade.
- Danrion Uave, herbalist and member of the Embermyst Fellowship

To the Frontier of Knowledge

Rimward Orchids symbolize more than just lost knowledge and ancient myths. They represent the journey to the edge of understanding. The frontier of what’s known for medicine and magic. The plant’s sap, its essence, poses questions about the primal magic deep within Summerdark itself.
These orchids are both living history and mystery. We know so little about them. They are an untapped wellspring of knowledge. Not just about magic and healing, but history and how the ancient kingdoms used them during their time.
- Danrion Uave, herbalist and member of the Embermyst Fellowship

Cover image: Book Quill Ink by DepositPhotos Stock Art


Author's Notes

All Rimward Orchid images are credited as follows:

  • Base synthography by CB Ash using Midjourney for background and environment textures, processed with backgrounds created by CB Ash and photomanipulations by CB Ash.

  • Please Login in order to comment!
    Jul 30, 2023 20:07

    I struggle with species articles and one themed on plants, oh my I just have to say you make this look easy. I love this, so well done.

    Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
    not Ruleplaying
    not Rollplaying
    Jul 30, 2023 20:58 by C. B. Ash

    Heh. Well, I’m telling you know that it only looked easy, this one was one real thorny problem to iron out! :D   … i’ll show myself out.

    Aug 4, 2023 18:59 by Deleyna Marr

    The plant is lovely and the article well written. What I most loved was the gentle introduction to your world included in it!

    Aug 4, 2023 20:19 by C. B. Ash

    Thank you! :D

    Aug 9, 2023 16:50

    I love the gentle poetry in this article.

    Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
    Aug 9, 2023 20:24 by C. B. Ash

    Thank you! :D To be honest, it turned out better than I hoped for.

    Aug 24, 2023 00:29 by Domenick DeMaria

    A fantastic article with great descriptions that flow easily across the pages. I especially liked the idea of the Orchid Dryads and found the interjection of history and mystery in the article intriguing.

    Aug 24, 2023 13:59 by C. B. Ash

    Thanks! :D To be honest, the Orchid Dryads were my favorite part. I've been thinking about writing just about the Orchid Dryads themselves.

    Aug 29, 2023 14:46 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    Oo I really love the idea that exact measurements for helping with things have been lost to time. I'm sure one day they will be discovered again.   Loved how poetically this was written <3

    Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
    Aug 29, 2023 19:19 by C. B. Ash

    Thank you! Yeah, I wanted to really capture a sense of history with the setting even in something as simple as a plant. :D