Petal Character in The Thirteen Realms | World Anvil


A tamed rambling crushfern, currently the pet of Royal Gardener Braelin.   Petal has only been the companion plant of Braelin for a short time, but has shown a markedly playful personality and curiousity for its new home. It often ranges within sight of its chosen master, exploring new areas and enjoying its new freedom to do so.   It likes playing with other garden plants, notably the stranglehold vines and woolly moss.  
Petal Frolicking with Wolly Moss by Rori Thornton

Physical Description

Body Features

Petal has many long tendrils of fern-like waxy leaves, which are green in color when properly hydrated. It can produce pink flowers at the end of its tendril when it desires, though it will also produce them naturally when relaxed and happy.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

The crushfern that would later be known as Petal was captured and tamed by Milve after he had been told he was in the running for the next senior priest at his temple to Iescula.   This was actually a bit of an upset - when Milve had been told he was in the running, the High Priest of his temple had meant that a senior priest that was growing old was considering passing his crushfern familiar onto the younger priest. Milve understood this, but as a staunch traditionalist, thought it showed his devotion to Iescula better to catch a familiar of his own.   As a wild crushfern amongst long tamed brethern, Petal was at first agressive, Milve the only person able to fully control it. Oddly, it was this that built an initial bond between the pair despite the adversarial nature of their realtionship. Milve was disliked by many of his peers and juniors for his traditionalist views, though as the priest's familiar, Petal knew better than most that Milve held himself to the same high standards. Crushferns were already solitary plants, but those that had been long tamed had realtionships with each other and disliked an agressive newcomer.   Petal also saw the often harsh priest in vulnerable moments rarely witnessed by others - Milve's father had been abusive, and the journey to Iescula's temple had nearly killed him as a boy. Both left the man with nightmares, but he refused to let his peers see any percieved weakness. Some nights, he confided in his familiar, as he knew the plant could not communicate to others. While Petal could only comprehend what was said to basic degree, what it could sense was the pain its master often hid. This softened the crushfern's demeanor towards Milve, though he was still demanding of the familiar.  
"This is a Rambling Crushfern - the very height of an independent plant! It can go years without a drop of water and be just as strong as during a flood!"
-Milve on Petal
    Petal also took a certain degree of satisfaction in Milve's pride in it - the priest often commented on how strong and capable the crushfern was, and his above others for having been newly tamed. Milve prized his familiar's independance, encouraging it to ignore anyone it found unworthy of listening to. Unlike his peers, he never begrudged the crushfern for its aggression - as a wild plant, that kept Petal alive.   Petal even began seeing challenging Milve as more of a game as the years went on - gradually shifting from surprise attacks to pranks, such as attempting to trip the priest while he was delivering a sermon on Iescula or distracting him with feints while he attempted to meditate or study. Milve's responses declined in force to match - the priest even finding amusement in the private antics from time to time.   It was Milve's personal accountibility that eventually led to him taking over as High Priest of his temple. However, the leniency of other temples - both in joining requirements and daily life - soon caused Milve's clergy to dwindle. Continued insistence by other senior and High Priests that Milve should lower his standards only made him tighten them, and soon what small softness he used to share with his familiar dwindled as well as the stress grew.   When Milve traveled to Ae°calikaslavven to investigate a "shrine" built in Demon King's Castle, Petal discovered something new - plants that had not a master, but a gardener.   It learned this from the plants of the castle garden as Milve entered it, as plants communicate in their ways. Lush plants cared for gently, that defended the work of their "gardener" not out of fear but affection. While Petal felt affection for Milve, it was not the overwhelming and trusting affection the plants here had for their caretaker.   And then the gardener appeared - a human carrying Iescula's favor, that spoke softly and reached out to the crushfern in concern. So when the man appeared about to injure himself due to Milve's insistence that Petal would prefer blood over water, the crushfern made a choice.   It abandoned its long time master for the human gardener Braelin.   And while it did have sadness for its old master, Petal could not regret choosing a new master that gave it plenty of water, asked for its flowers, and spoke kindly. He even gave the crushfern its new name, and used it publically.   Braelin also seemed to have pain he often hid from others, but unlike Milve, the human gardener freely accepted the affectionate gestures Petal offered as comfort when it sensed his pain. The people around Braelin also treated Petal with kindness - albeit many with wariness at first - which only made the crushfern more certain that this was the best place for it.  
Petal Playing Tug of War with Stranglehold Vines by Rori Thotn



Petal tends to gently pat the faces of people it likes as an affectionate or affirmative gesture. When relaxed, it tends to let the top most layer of its tendrils float around in the air.   If someone it likes is in distress, Petal tends to settle in their lap or wrap tendrils around their limbs as a comforting gesture.
Current Status
Emotional Support Plant
Current Location
Current Residence
Demon King's Castle

Cover image: by Rori Thornton


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Sep 3, 2023 17:34 by RandoScorpio

I love this plant. I waaant this plant. Petal is perfection.

Sep 4, 2023 19:12 by Rori

Thank you! Glad you like them!

Sep 24, 2023 15:12 by Enoris Leinwand

This story is heartwarming and I just love it so much. This little plant seems so nice and wonderfull, I love that they found the strength to choose their comfort / hapiness !

Sep 26, 2023 04:08 by Rori

Thank you! They're one of my favorite additions to the story they're in, honestly <3

Oct 22, 2023 09:58 by Annie Stein

Oh gosh, I love the art, but I think the standout to me is the empathy in the writing for all the characters involved.   Big congratulations on the win, by the way!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Oct 22, 2023 13:36 by Rori

Thank you!! I find it difficult not to find at least some small redeeming quality in most of my characters, and prefer to explore the nuance in characters that could have otherwise been one note antagonists in the story theyre from, like Milve.

Nov 30, 2023 09:58 by Hayley Gross

This is so sweet! One of my favorite tropes is the more animal like plant. I really like how you gave petal a distinct personality even though she doesn't have features like an animal or person. You're art for petal is great too, whimsical and fun.   Hayley ^_^

Dec 18, 2023 20:08 by Rori

Thank you!