Fields of Frozen Flowers
The Fields of Frozen Flowers are a dangerous locale in Matheunis.
Background[edit | edit source]
|“||My love, my love,
your heart you do swear
so I beg of you show it
with a bloom for my hair.
Not golden, nor crimson,
nor any other hue.
For the heat of your heart,
frost alone shall prove true.''
|~ "The Frost Flowers"|
Here, among the icy lakes, perhaps more than any other place int he world, hearts are broken, loves are lost, and futures are drowned - all in pursuit of a flower that will last no longer than the time it takes to pluck it from its watery garden and carry it away.
Deep in the Cold Desert, far southeast of Nihliesh, reside the Fields of Frozen Flowers. Consisting of three interconnected salty lakes that are lightly frozen half the year, the fields are a place of mystery, love, and death. During the times when the wind is dead quiet and the world is covered in frost, ice flowers form and float over the thinly frozen water of the lakes. Born when the lakes' salt and bacteria combine with the moisture from the still air, every frost bloom is as different and temporary as a flake of snow. Thus, they're considered by many to be the only tangible evidence of the vast diversity and delicacy of true love.
In many parts of the Cold Desert and beyond, young people memorize the poem "The Frost Flowers," and a common conversation among new couples is to wonder whether a frozen bloom has begun to form along the thin ice of the lakes. Symbols of the frozen flowers are used in jewelry, writings, and tattoos to prove the strength of one person's feelings fro another.
Although the flowers are abundant, they're difficult to gather and even harder to retain. The ice beneath the blooms is thin for walking and may drift with the wind, and the temperature of the salty water is far below freezing. The briny liquid swims with all manner of sharp-toothed and snake-headed creatures, hoping for a snack. IF a suitor manages survive the water and its inhabitants, success is still unlikely; once the flowers are plucked and in hand, they begin to fall way immediately, sometimes leaving little more than a single snowy drop on the palm.
So many young lovers are lost to love's watery garden that there's a myth of bodies building up below the surface, creating a bridge to walk on. There are other myths, too, of the dead men rising from beneath the surface, their hands now frozen enough to carry the flowers all the way to their beloveds.
More than one young man has been sent bring back a flower by a lover who hopes that he won't return. And many young men who've gone off to "bring back a flower" have been found in other parts of the world, living happily with no thought of the one they swore love to.
Along the shores of the lakes, villages have sprung up to support (and profit from) those who take the lover's swim. Most services offer hearty drink, warm clothes, weapons, and numenera designed to ease the task, but a few places provide lodging and celebration for the rare couples who make it through the trials of true love.
References[edit | edit source]
- Cook, Monte, et al. "The Beyond." Numenera Discovery, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 204-205. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-77-3