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Woodblood

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Woodblood is one of the sub-types of the Elemental seeming. These changelings are the children of plants: Green Men, flower fairies, spirits of mandrake, rose, thorns and all manner of medicinal herbs, fair and foul. Theirs is the blessing of Fade into the Foliage.

OverviewEdit

If you go into the darkest forests, you may never come out again. The Woodbloods cannot. They’re unable to leave the woods behind them, for they have become the forest. They have drunk water through their roots, drawn nourishment from strange lights on their leaves. If Woodbloods hadn’t escaped when they had, they would have rooted to the spot forever. Woodbloods feel a kinship to green, growing things, and thus are often less comfortable in urban environments. Some Woodbloods become the protectors of parks or botanical gardens, which may have good results for the neighborhood (as troublemakers and criminals are driven out) or bad (if the Woodblood also takes poorly to more innocent locals). Woodbloods are no more comfortable in the Hedge than any other changeling, however. They understand the Hedge a little better, but that knowledge cannot compare to the bond they feel to mortal woods and flowers. A Woodblood may appear kin to one particular sort of plant, but Woodbloods may also display the composite traits of the entire forest. Their fingers are like tangled branches, their toes gnarled roots. A Woodblood’s skin may be rough and gnarled as an old oak’s bole, or pale and paper birch-thin, occasionally flaking away in ephemeral sheets. Their hair is rich green or autumnal red-orange, perhaps leaves or thistledown or fragrant petals or Spanish moss. Their age is particularly difficult to determine, for an aged Woodblood may still be pine-straight and a young Woodblood as twisted and bent as a thornbush.

DuranceEdit

Woodbloods may have been kept as gardeners in Faerie, but may also have been kept as the garden itself. Some Fae enjoy the topiary effect to adorn their grounds, but find it much more satisfying to sculpt humans and beasts into plants than to trim bushes into the shape of humans and beasts. Other Fae require all manner of odd herbs, berries and roots for their alchemies, and find it convenient to have the components come to them, pruning away the necessary material that grows from their changeling servant. Escaping these gardens is often a matter of chance — a servant waters the changeling just a bit too much, giving her the strength to uproot herself and flee.

FolkloreEdit

Woodbloods are kin to dryads and Green Men, the embodied sentience of the forest itself. Some might draw more from Victorian legends of flower faeries, though without the sanitized sweetness that is so uncharacteristic of Arcadia. All manner of plant folklore can be mirrored in the skills and affinities of a Woodblood. Elder trees are unlucky to cut down, willows are twisted and dark at heart, rowan is a guardian against evil forces, the voice of a mandrake root kills.

FrailtiesEdit

Cannot carry a bladed weapon, fears worms or beetles, poisoned by particular fruit or berry, helpless at the stroke of noon, injured by wrens’ blood, cannot cross a threshold guarded by mistletoe.

ReferencesEdit

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