Chapter Twenty-nine: Home and Haven
The sprites were gathered around their new home. The faerythorn stood tall and beautiful in front of them. The tree was magnificent. It stood eight metres tall with branches that stretched out to make it broader than it was tall. As such, the crown was huge, starting only three metres from the bottom. This made the trunk look relatively short albeit thick. Already, it flowered sprouting spotless white flowers and bright red berries.
Bellwhispers and Lindrea had worked hard on it building the first few homes and living spaces in the tree. Many were in the trunk itself. Naturally hollowed out as the plant grew. Others were in the primary branches. The most interesting ones in Brandr’s opinion were the ones created like weaver bird nests. The faerythorn was very leafy with countless thin thorny branches reaching everywhere. With the help of magic, these thin branches could be brought together and twisted into a hollow but spherical shape. Just like that, there was new living space.
Brandr liked it. As flighty as the sprites were, they seemed to live relatively simple lives. Their clothes were made of bark and spider webbing, their homes were grown from wood. At first glance, it would seem everything of theirs was done with pomp so it was difficult seeing them as down to earth. They sang and danced a lot. Their clothes and wings were often painted in garish colours and they had spent hours deciding the siting of the homes and their decorations. Even so, they were not. They truly lived with the land and take joy from it at the same time. It was contradictory and haphazard but they made it work.
The first thing the newly arriving sprites did was stop and stare. After gazing at their new home in awe for a few seconds they would erupt into squealing frenzies as they circled and admired the tree. Some chose new homes right away moving the ones Bellwhispers and Lindrea had prepared.
Others, the few older ones, sought permission from Bellwhispers and began to create their own. There was already music in the air and singing as the sprites both celebrated and explored their new environs.
A few looked up at Brandr’s own quarters, some bowing or curtseying in thanks when they saw him. The sprites had offered him a place in the trunk but he refused. Instead, he created a simple pavilion. It was small, bare and crystalline, more of cultivation chamber than a living space but he felt it would do for the moment. The best feature about it was that it hovered over the faerythorn, giving him a clear line of sight for the entire floor, not that he needed it.
|Name: Heim||Race: Faerythorn (Variant)|
|[Rank 5]||Age: 4 hours|
|[Status]: Healthy, Happy, Excited|
|[Affinities]: Faerie, Nature|
|MAG: D||VIT: D||INT: G|
|WIL: E||END: D||CHR: E|
|[Faeryhome, Bound and currently inhabited]|
Right under it was a small spring. It was a pool of clear water in a hollow about three metres across and four deep. Small crystalline rocks were piled up on side of the pool with a weak trickle of water rushing out of the top only to flow down the crystals before falling back into the pool. An unfamiliar aquatic plant also grew in the pool causing some of the sprites to fly around it inquisitively.
It looked like a water lily but its leaves rose above the water instead of floating on it like the leaves of a water lily would. Also, it had a flower the size of a small dish that looked markedly different from those of any water lily that they had ever seen. Its petals were rounded and teardrop shaped, their colour a rosy pink and they surrounded a bright yellow carpel studded with seeds and surrounded by a circle of stamens. Despite its beauty, none of the sprites dared draw too close because a strange gold flame flickered on the rosy petals. \
|Gold Blood Lotus||Rank: D|
|[Description]: Originating from the Dungeon; Brandr Goldfire nestled at the front of the Battle Hammer Mountains, this aquatic plant is wrapped in obtuse mysteries. As a plant that evokes fire while growing in water, constantly destroyed and renewed, it is itself a strange contradiction. However, it also evokes a strange sense of beauty and majesty, stirring the blood in a strange way.|
|[Effects:] Consuming its seeds or roots tempers the body and increases the Strength and Vitality parameters. Eating its leaves increases magic and boosts the affinity to the elements of fire and/or water.|
Brandr sighed in nostalgia. Whilst the sprites busied themselves decorating the tree, he created this holy spring. It was something Thorn told him about only built to his fancy. The crystals were in fact, essence… ‘Mana stones’, he corrected mentally. He had to get used to the terminology. The plant, however, loti like this one had filled the pools of the gardens in every home he owned. It might not be a high ranked mystic herb but it held a great significance to him. He was just happy he was able to recreate it properly.
Initially, Brandr had planned to give the sprites three days to themselves before calling them to work. They had just survived a disaster after all. They would need time to grieve and or celebrate. However, they woke up the next day filled with a zesty enthusiasm that surprised even him.
Bellwhispers had a roll of parchment in his arms marking off and writing down the things Thorn said. Lindrea had already taken what plant mages and specialists remained in the commune to the first floor. Her plan apparently was to go cavern by cavern, checking on and optimising the growth, arrangement and diversity of the plant life. Nettle had already returned from his first foray of the day. With him had come an impressive variety of animals he had lured to the dungeon with promises of food and shelter. They were already spreading through the dungeon, choosing niches for themselves and settling in. In fact, some of the earlier arrivals had already familiarised themselves with the place. Brandr watched in fascination as an opportunistic lynx snatched up an unwary bird before dashing off into the deeper tunnels.
|[Red Thrush pattern gained!]|
That was interesting. He had not absorbed the bird and yet he still got the pattern. He wondered how that worked.