A Rose By Any Other NameThe Stemine, also known as the teleporting rose, is a light blue plant in the rose family of flowers. The flower that sits atop the stem of the Stemine is electric blue, while the stem itself is green. Hot pink thorns dot the stem in sparse bunches. When one touches the Stemine, they will find themselves teleported to a random place in Totania. There has been no observed limit to its teleportation range. One thing that has been noted is that often it will teleport people into the most inconvenient area possible, be it an area of great danger or an area with little hope of escape. It is unknown currently if it is somehow doing this purposefully, or if this is purely coincidental. The current theory for why the rose evolved to have teleporting properties is to protect it from predators. The poison from its thorns is nutritious to some of the beasts of the Elven Forest, so to keep them away, it evolved to teleport. It is also possible it was the doing of Sehanine, the Jealous Goddess, whose temple lies within the Elven Forest that the Stemine originates from. Sehanine could have copied the standard rose, made by Melora, and decided to make it flashier.
SpreadStemines spread through seeds, however to get a seed requires effort on the part of one who wishes to spread Stemines. Only when one touches a Stemine, therefore teleporting themselves, does the Stemine drop two seeds into the ground where it teleported from and two where it teleports to, beginning the cycle towards regrowing itself. However, only one Stemine of those two seeds can grow. The other seed has been found to be infertile 100% of the time. It is also found that within a 200 meter radius of a Stemine, another Stemine cannot grow. The Stemine emits a magical aura near undetectable by people, however powerful enough to suppress the growth of other Stemines.
Where is the Stemine?Its original place of origin lies in the Elven Forest, however it is unknown whether any remain in the thick vegetation of the Elven lands, as most that aren't Wood Elves have not survived long in the forest, and those that are Wood Elves have refused to comment, saying:
"What does it matter to you? Stay out of our forest!"The current residence of active Stemines are the Drow caves in Dwarven territory, the office of the Grand Wizard at the Magic College in Zephys, and on each of the Northern Islands. Aside from these, no known locations of active Stemines are available.
The UsesAn activated Stemine teleports those that touch it. That is the most basic use of the plant. However, its uses go even further beyond this. While the initial uses of the Stemine feature it teleporting someone to a random location, this is not the extent of its uses. Talented mages have found that, if they secrete enough Magic as they touch it, they can control to a limited extent where it will bring them. Not all mages are able to do this. It requires an amount of magic that most people can't reach, though no one has gone through the effort to determine the exact amount, if there is even a specific, general amount or if it varies.
Deactivated StemineWhen a Stemine has teleported once, it becomes deactivated. Once it is deactivated, it can no onger teleport, and serves simply as a normal rose.
Electric BlueDeactivated Stemines are highly sought after by the high society folks of Totania, specifically Elves, Dragonborn, and Kenku. They serve as decorations nobles will use to pretend as if they have gone on adventures, and for this, many merchants with earth magic create fake Stemines, simply normal roses with the same color scheme. However there is a way to distinguish a real Stemine from a fake Stemine. Its petals hold a special compound in them, known as telero, which produces its trademark electric blue look. It is believed to be the source of its warping powers, though no one has been able to study an active Stemine for long enough to prove that. When telero is taken out of a Stemine, it is used as a dye. The most sought after dye in the world is the electric blue that telero results in.
Every Rose Has its ThornsThe pink thorns of the Stemine were considered for a long time to be purely decorative. There was little point to them on the surface, for the Stemine had the defense system of its teleportation powers. It was found that they only became useful after the Stemine was deactivated. The Stemine can't teleport then, as it has run out of magic. They are a natural defense for the deactivated Stemine, pricking those that try and touch it without care, and secreting a poison that can prove lethal in large enough doses. This also serves as a defense against mages that try and use the activated Stemine for teleportation. If they touch the thorns on the activated Stemine, the poison manages to mix into the body during teleportation, killing the one that touched it instantly. The poison of the Stemine is wanted by many assassins, though like the telero from the petals it is very difficult to get. Each Stemine has at most five thorns, and extracting its poison is a task most merchants won't attempt even if they get their hands on the deactivated Stemine.
Stemine seeds can be dug out of the ground before they grow, and if you take a seed before it grows, it won't teleport you. That only happens after it has grown. When taken, the seed has many properties it can be used for.
Of course, primary among these uses is to grow your very own Stemine. There are many mages in history who have tried an act such as this, growing a Stemine as a means of trying to get instant transportation, and many mages who have died for doing such a thing.
However the seeds have further purposes. When consumed, they have been known to fight disease more effectively than most potions created by alchemists. However, side effects include things like people waking up to find one of their internal organs have teleported outside of their bodies, or hiccups that teleport people high up into the air.
The greatest use for Stemine seeds is in alchemy. The Dragonborn village of Tamd, the village known for its prolific alchemists, have on occasion been able to boil down the seed to its most basic elements, and use it for curative potions to prevent disease. The 70th Grand Wizard, Rhoziros Nimphonker, a Dragonborn alchemist from Tamd, was known to have created a sort of panacea from the Stemine seed in a potion, but attempts to replicate it since his death have proven ineffective.
The Stemine CultureDeactivated Stemines are held in high regard by noble Elves, Dragonborn, and Kenku as decorations. It is believed that if one holds a Stemine, which Dragonborn nobles colloquially call the "teleporose," then they will be thought of as powerful mages who have managed to survive an encounter with a Stemine. This is especially sought after by Dragonborn, whose society revolves around magic.
In Drow SocietyThe Stemine holds a central role in Drow society, as an object of worship. After all, it was the first Stemine discovered in the Elven forest that helped the Drow escape High Elven society, down into the caves of Dwarven territory instead. It was Chadzar Dalarune that first discovered the Stemine, as he separated from the greater group of runaway Elves. Upon discovering it, its appearance startled him so much that he screamed loud enough to alert his fellow Elves to his location. When they reached him, he was detained immediately for running away. As they held him, he managed to get a grasp of the Stemine. He, along with those touching him, and those that touched those people as they saw them start disappearing, all were teleported away. This was the foundation of Drow society. Those Elves, who were teleported deep underground into caves, eventually became Drow. The pigment in their skin evolved to conditions that favored little sunlight, and their culture began to revolve around the praise of this flower.
The Temple of the StemineIt isn't necessarily in Drow culture to worship the Stemine, but rather to revere it. This was the flower that helped them gain their freedom from the strict nature of High Elven society. Therefore, it holds a high position in Drow Society. The first Stemine that brought the Drow to the caves was immediately honored with a temple built around it, and once Chadzar Dalarune and others learned enough about them, they expanded the temple. Now, at the center of the Drow city, a 401 meter by 401 meter temple sits. At each of the four corners of the temple is an active Stemine guarded by guards that are trained for 200 years of their long lives to keep the Stemines safe. At the center of the temple is the original deactivated Stemine. It has no protective measures around it, for it is a Drow right of passage to travel and take in a small portion of its poison. Every day, a line of Drow come to the temple and build up an immunity to its poison. It is believed that when a Drow reaches the age of 310, if they do their regular travels to the temple, they will be immune to Stemine poison. On the ocassion that someone has tried to steal or destroy the Stemine, they have been beaten to death by the hundreds of Drow that are waiting to touch the Stemine.
The Exotic StemineThe main thing the Stemine does is teleport. This means that, while it originated in the Elven forest, it has spread to many places in the world. Many places that do not have the same perception of the Stemine as the Elves, Dragonborn, and Kenku have.
EloneThe races of Elone that aren't Dragonborn and Elves rarely get to see Stemines. When Dwarves first saw a Stemine, a deactivated one that teleported into their capital city of Ironforge, they burned it and the Elf who it had teleported. Conversely, when Humans found a Stemine for the first time, they picked it apart to try and figure out what it was. Twenty humans died of the poison in this attempt, and 13 humans had their hands permanently dyed electric blue. Ever since then, humans adopted the view of Stemines that Elves, Dragonborn, and Kenku have. Gnomes and Halflings have since followed suit.
The Far EastThe Humans of the Jihdi Kingdom in the East called the Stemine "Zhǎyǎn de Zhíwù." This means "Blinking plant." When it first appeared in the Jihdi Kingdom, the observers blinked and found that there was now a rose in front of them, therefore the name it was given. Unlike their western counterparts, Jihdi citizens care little for the dye of the Zhǎyǎn de Zhíwù, instead just taking interest in the teleporting flower power it holds. Many Jihdi have tried to hone its power, but none have been incredibly successful.
Suwaru RinThe Tortles on the islands of the Abral Empire, the Stemine is called the "Suwaru Rin." This means the Sitting Rin, named after the wife of Yamasaki Teruo, a legendary botanist known for the spread of the cherry blossom tree in the Abral islands. Teruo was once sitting in his garden with his wife, Yamasaki Rin, admiring the flowers, when a Stemine teleported over. After that day, his wife admired not the flowers he had grown for her, but instead the one that had appeared in the garden. Each day, she sat beside the flower, and Teruo sat in his normal spot. No longer did he watch the flowers, but instead gazed at the beauty of his wife in the glow of the Stemine.
One day, the seed from the Stemine grew into a new Stemine. Of course, Rin found herself enthralled by it. She had thought a deactivated Stemine was beautiful, an activated one was something completely different. She couldn't help but want to touch it, and when Yamasaki Teruo went to sit in his normal spot, he found both the Stemine and his wife gone. Days passed, and he stood over that area many times, crying for his lost wife.
It was only months later that the seed left behind grew, thanks to the tears of Teruo, into a new Stemine. Glowing radiantly on its own, in the place where his wife once sat, Teruo finally understood the beauty of the flower. In honor of his wife, whose beauty could never be matched, he named the plant after her and the pastime that they shared. The garden of Yamasaki Teruo is a national treasure. While the Abral Empire is not a nation that finds itself with many tourists, there are many Tortles who travel between the islands, and Teruo's garden is one of the hottest places to go. The original Suwaru Rin still sits there, preserved by a Dragonborn mage who was asked to teleport it back to the garden so it could not be disturbed again. The Tortle poet Fujimoto Gina visited the garden once on a trip around the Empire. Many poems in his Fifth Collection of Poetry are about Teruo's Garden, but the most striking is the haiku about the Suwaru Rin.
Suwaru RinTeruo's Garden Magnificent, it all is Most of all, sits Rin
UdaiThe Orcs of Udai are the only race on the continent of Udai not exposed to the Kenku philosophy on Stemines. Orcs don't have a common name for them, they don't care enough about things like that. Not that they'll see a Stemine long enough to name it anything. It is Orcish tradition to, if one sees an active Stemine, to touch it and be teleported somewhere else. Then the challenge begins of making ones way back to their clan. If one completes the challenge with success, they are often selected as the next Chief.
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