Queen Mab's Moonflower

Legend has it that somewhere within the long stretch of time between the Humans emerging from the primordial soup, and when Humanity began to build and defend cities, a group of Eladrin saw fit to rebel against Queen Mab. Stealthily they fled the Feywild, to a dreary prime material plane that they knew Mab would find abhorrent. Abhorrent enough to avoid entirely, and when the Winter Court transitioned to the Summer Court in accordance with the ancient agreement, they thought themselves safe for the time being. Safe enough to gather themselves and their power. Secure enough to recruit local human servants, and to take slaves when the contentious humans needed to be taught a lesson in mortality.

Queen Mab has many far flung devices, and was content to let them be, for the time being. 'They could perhaps be of some use, later', Mab thought to herself. So she set her spies upon them, and turned to other, more pressing battles. It was during this time that all the lands between the Landzide Mountains and the sea became united under the rule of these Eladrin, who called themselves 'Aelfwine'; a word connoting both freedom to act, and freedom to speak. And they began rejecting Queen Mab, not just hiding from her. They filled their servants and slaves with tales of Mab's cruelty, as well.

It was not the talk and gossip that irked Mab. She would need a heart for that. It was the feeling of safety and power that the Aelfwine were so drearily conceited about. It slowly became obvious that they had deceived themselves; treating themselves as Queen Mab's equal in power and prowess. Maybe it was their proximity to the relative ineptitude of the short lived humans. Or their disdain for Humanity in general. Perhaps for their contempt for the humans' intellect. But it was a human, a secret worshiper of Mab, Queen of the Winter Court, who performed the ritual inviting the archfey into the very heart of their stronghold.

Queen Mab was...thorough. Only the twelve leaders of the so-called 'Eladrin Rebellion' were left alive. Various arms, reaching upwards towards sweet, life giving air (and here and there, a foot) could be seen sticking out of the ground. Queen Mab had simply commanded it to swallow them. She had then twisted earth into hills and mountains, taking the lives of every soul within entire townships all in an instant. Other eladrin, even humans, are ice statues at the Winter Court now. And, grinning, she cursed the Aelfwine. Cursed them to eternal life. And that's when they began to change. Their legs changed color and fused together, then slowly crept up their torsos to their heads. Two branch-like arms, of the same color as their new stems, branched out. The tips of its branches end in articulated, eladrin-like fingers, right down to the fingernails.

Basic Information

Anatomy

A succulent like plant with two green 'arms' that end in what look like slender, motile fingers.

Biological Traits

These trees sport bulbous nodules all along it's oddly shaped trunk and two arm-like branches. It's 'fingers' are articulated, and each 'hand' has an opposable thumb. These 'hands' can grab things like ax handles, or poke you in the eye, quick as a snake's tongue. The tree can communicate telepathically, if the mood takes them, and will regale any willing listener with tales of yonder and yore if they decide to talk to anyone. They have never spoken to a human.

Genetics and Reproduction

There are twelve of these plants, ever. At the end of the season, when they die off, their root ball somehow migrates over the winter, hoping to catch hold in a new place in some season to come.

Growth Rate & Stages

They grow almost overnight.

Ecology and Habitats

Queen Mab's Moonflower is so rare that not even the herbalists at The Bardic College Campus, the most masterful professors of the science and art of herbalism, have been able to even observe one. They only sprout along the slopes of Stonegrey's Sisters.

Dietary Needs and Habits

They require warm, loose soil that has been graced with plenty of rainfall in order to catch hold, and an undisturbed spot in the full sun in which to grow their roots and lumpy bodies.

Biological Cycle

They only sprout in uneven intervals, and always in someplace different.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Every once in a great while -measured in centuries, mind you- one of these flowers opens up at just the right moment, and just the right angle, to catch a moonbeam. This is a tremendous boon to the tree, who is granted the gift of comfort by Selunè, who ends their suffering for the span of a year and a day. This; this is the tree that would usually deign to speak with someone.

Domestication

No

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Its leaves have a myriad of uses in all of their forms, granting a health boost just chewing upon them. If, however, the leaf is dried and smoked, a pleasant sensation stemming from the base of one's skull begins a journey that could last up to a week. Terribly realistic hallucinations inflict the smoker, some of them pleasant, some of them horrifying, all of them having some message when taken all together as a single dream.

Facial characteristics

The bloom only happens one out of a dozen times it manages to take hold and grow. But when it does, the flower/face of the tree opens quickly, layer after layer of impossibly delicate petals, that end up suggestive of a sorrowful face. It opens at night, only lasts one night, and dies off the following morning.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Found solely on the slopes of Stonegrey's Sisters.

Average Intelligence

Highly intelligent, especially for trees.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

They have all of the insight and intelligence of a sad eladrin. They have forgotten their names, but have not lost their minds.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Lunar Moths somehow know every time one of the flowers will open, and arrive early for the event.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Eladriospermophyta
Origin/Ancestry
The Eladrin have legends about this flower.
Lifespan
Forty-eight hours
Conservation Status
Very few people are ever even able to find one, searching their entire lives and spending their family fortunes in the search.
Average Height
Between five-feet ten and six-feet four
Average Weight
Entirely dependent on the amount of rainfall that season, but two hundred pounds is a good estimation.
Average Length
They are about thirty two inches around.
Average Physique
Looking somewhat like a stooped person holding their arms high, with constantly moving fingers that will sometimes snap to draw the attention of an onlooker, and then just die off laughing internally at its prank. The Druids of the The Circle of Life know of fingers snapping out coded messages that turned out to be absolutely false information.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
They are all the same dark green from root to wrists, but they each have markings distinctive of the tribal tattoos these former Eladrin once proudly displayed.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

Comments

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Journeyman Monkos
Andrew Booth
13 Mar, 2021 09:38

That introduction... I don't know what vibes that gives off if not tolkien-esque, traditional fantasy, and I love it to bits, it's really incredibly well done. Ties in very nicely to the plant itself as well, and the concept is really well put-together. Love it.

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
14 Mar, 2021 20:01

Wow thanks!

14 Mar, 2021 02:23

I absolutely adore the introduction. The writing is so well-done! I read it out loud (a true writing test I recommend doing with anything), and it delightfully rolled off the tongue. It just flowed. All the applause to you, dear writer.

Writer, sarcastic, funny, dragon-lover, movie buff | Twitter   Author of the now complete Remember Dragons Lie Volume I: The Stag
14 Mar, 2021 20:00

thank you!

26 Mar, 2021 13:14

The concept of these trees is very nice, especially the flower of the tree that looks like a face. The entire introduction was very well written, I loved that part. Nice article!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
28 Mar, 2021 15:33

wow thank you so much!

27 Mar, 2021 17:29

I am a bit of a sucker for stories involving Faerie Courts, but I greatly enjoyed the introduction story to this. Very well written. Would love to hear more about Lunar Moths, but I completely understand not necessarily getting to that right now.

Check out my Shipwright Challenge Entry The Rum Runner
28 Mar, 2021 15:33

Thank you so much! I'm flattered

10 Apr, 2021 19:24

Hi Harlen!   I really enjoyed the story you put together for the origin story of your plant, and the interconnection to the plant's physical structure/behaviour. One thing for your attention is that your map embed made it hard to navigate/load your page (it kept eating my scroll). Just something to consider. Have a great day!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
12 Apr, 2021 00:31

Ah, thank you for letting me know it's a pain! You make a good point, my friend.

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
11 Apr, 2021 21:15

Great article! I absolutely love the origin story of the flowers! This is very cool: XD I love Queen Mab :D   " These 'hands' can grab things like ax handles, or poke you in the eye, quick as a snake's tongue." XD.   Are they rather aggressive towards or do they just want to be left alone? Also I was surprised that there is a use for their leaves. Do the human who find them and realise who/what they are try to kill/harvest them? Or do the "plants" offer the leaves to those they find worthy? Is it even painful for them to lose leaves?   So the root ball of the plant is immortal then?   Do the twelve ever try to gather together? Can they move during the 48h during which the plant is growing or is it only afterwards that the roots can move? Are they still conscious while they are roots and so can decide where to go or do they move instinctively during that period?

12 Apr, 2021 00:46

They can get rather aggressive; their eternal solitude and Queen Mab's twisted sense of humor, has made them somewhat...I believe the medical term is "barmy". 'Crazy as an emu on acid', as our dearly departed Mr Douglas Adams once wrote. The people who come across them can gather their leaves, shaped like translucent tears. Yes the root ball is immortal; no, it has no influence over where it can go. It remains eternally conscious; of its surroundings, of its plight, of its future. "Groundhog Day" (the movie) without being able to move, unable to make any kind purposeful noise, let alone speak. They do not gather together except by chance, and they have never yet all been together in the same place (an event which will be happening during a game session that will be played within the next few months. Thank you for the interest, and the amazing questions!

12 Apr, 2021 22:28

Yeah, if there's anything I ever learned, it's that if you reject Mab, you do it with respect, and more importantly with fear. O_O Or with having a sniper gun you down, but even that may not do the trick.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
12 Apr, 2021 22:31

Thank you for reading it! Yeah, Mab is...unique

12 Apr, 2021 22:59

Was that a reference to the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher? I freaking love those books

13 Apr, 2021 13:05

I'm a bit behind on the series, but yup, that was definitely a reference to <spoiler>!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young