Flowering is a sub-type of the Fairest seeming. Flowers blossom on bare earth where these changelings have stood (although they take months to appear in the human world rather than seconds, as they did in Faerie). Their skin is soft like the petal of a rose or a chrysanthemum and bright with a bloom of health. Theirs is the blessing of the Seductive Fragrance.


The flower is a common metaphor for Faerie: beautiful and enticing, of heady scent — yet sometimes guarded by thorns, a home for worms or insects. The Flowering embody the truth of this metaphor. They were humans planted in Faerie, warmed by its sun and nourished on its waters. They were tended and groomed to be the most beautiful ornaments, to be enjoyed in fullest until the time came to prune them down. Flowering range quite widely in temperament. They aren’t all as delicate and inviting as they might seem. They aren’t as elementally primal as the Woodbloods, and lack quite the same connection to “other growing things.” Flowering can be dangerous at the game of politics, able to eavesdrop quite nicely because so many changelings are foolish enough to assume that Flowering are as vapid as they are pretty and decorative. The Flowering are easily distinguished from other Fairest. Even at the Flowering’s most subtle, they may simply emanate a scent of flowers and leave petals in their footsteps. Their miens are usually more vivid than that, however. Flowers bloom in their hair, vines and creepers curl around necks and shoulders in fetching fashion. Some Flowering are marked by many flowers at once, while others are clearly embodiments of a single blossom. A Mediterranean woman is touched with rich green leaves and white laurel blossoms that set off her skin perfectly; a pale youth’s skin tone is neatly matched by the deep blue flowers that sprout in his raven hair. Some Flowering actually change their blooms as the seasons pass, passing from rich color in Spring and Summer to paler yellows and oranges in Autumn and simple white and purple crocuses in Winter.


A Flowering’s durance usually recalls gardens in some way. Some had relatively painless days, full of bright sun and warm grass and only occasional unfeeling hurts from their Keepers. It was when the sun sank and the cold night came that the Flowering hurt worst. Others were kept inside, in sweltering greenhouses where surgical Fae snipped and pruned until the Flowering were deemed worthy to decorate the main halls of the palace. Perhaps the worst aspect of a Flowering’s durance was the press of eventual time. In Arcadia, all are said to be immortal — yet flowers must fade and die, as it’s their nature. When a fellow Fairest’s petals began to lose their color and curl, then the Keeper would dispose of her in whatever way amused him best. Escape was vital, for in the mortal world the Flowering might still age, but the Flowering could yet have the hope of a beautiful, worthwhile life even when the bloom was off the rose.


Faeries and flowers are a classic pairing. Of course, the Flowering are not the kind of tiny pixie that can hide within a flower. They may still share similar traits, such as delicacy or sentimentality. Some are more like the animistic spirits of flowering trees — cherry, plum, peach — that inspire Asian myths. The classic language of flowers may provide interesting inspiration. A red rose is love, tansy a declaration of war, forget-me-not true love, snapdragon deception and so on. A Flowering laden with narcissus blooms is more likely than not to be vain and selfabsorbed. An athlete may be bedecked with literal laurels. The symbolism can have extra weight thanks to the Wyrd of Faerie.


Cannot eat meat, repelled or harmed by certain insects, cannot take action against a person carrying the right flower, becomes somnolent when the wind blows from the south, fear of cats, injured by touch of perfume.


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