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Author Topic: Moon Gardens  (Read 8366 times)
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« on: February 15, 2018, 11:24:43 AM »

This isn't the big mob idea, but something that was inspired from a piece of music that I heard, actually. In real life, a moon garden is rather banal during the day, consisting of white blooms with, at most, pastel colors. That is not to say that they aren beautiful during the day -- they are, but that's not what makes them stand out. Their beauty comes from how they seem to glow when the sun goes down, bringing a beautiful sight into a lightless night, a known to the unknown of the darkness. And, too, they are host to flowers that only bloom and release fragrance at night. They really do seem to glow on a cloudless night, and this is an advancement of that concept.

The idea of a moon garden biome began with the Guardia, and it encapsulates what moon gardens are meant to be quite well.


One of the wonders of the world, the guardia or night eel, is a magical, nocturnal beast that lives in special ponds within moon gardens. While they are rather unremarkable in appearance and sleep at the bottom of their ponds during the day, when night falls, they begin to glow a gentle violet hue and sprites ranging from rich blues to deep purples begin to emanate from and flow around it, illuminating anywhere they swim. What's more, they are able to swim into open air during this time, and will often explore the areas near their home before returning around sunup. Their remaining sprites will return to their bodies in the form of dark pearls, into small, fleshy sockets that line their sides(and lost sprites regenerate over time, naturally). As they move about in the air, they would make a gentle twinkling sound.

Guardia are not simply beauties to behold, and as their names imply, are powerful protectors. It can give some of the sprites it generates to would-be prey that can act as a ward to defend against attacks, if only for a time. Conflicts on the shores of their homes are quickly ended by binding attackers in a web of glowing restraints, and in the event that they cannot stop an attacker, the guardia of a pond will come together and exhaust their sprites to create a massive glowing barrier through the night, forcing back any hostile players or creatures. The strength of the barrier is largely dependent on how many sprites remain, but would be powerful enough to stop even a fairly formidable foe.

Powerful as they may be, they can't survive long away from the moon garden; they lose their ability to create more sprites without their pools, ultimately being reduced to creatures no different from common eels as they're effectively starved of what kept them alive. While guardia pearls may be harvestable from dead guardia as short lived shields, they would be severely weakened outside of moon gardens

Moon gardens are, as the idea of the guardia entails, a magical night sanctuary, and a place of giving. Likely deep in magic forest territories, they would serve as reprieves from, and for, the terrors that lurk within. It is a place where anything and everything can come together without fear, and many normally aggressive creatures would understand this as well -- it isn't just a rule to be respected, but law in many ways. Even under threat, the creatures that form the moon gardens never cause harm. The fauna and flora would bathe the area in soft light at night, while being a place of relative normalcy in the day save for some choice exceptions. For the most part, anything that glows at night will appear white or a very light color in the day.

However, such things as wraiths and undead will rapidly be overtaken by plant like tendrils when they enter, quickly being put back to rest, in time being entombed within a soothesong. The moon garden is dependent on itself as well, and all the creatures within know this. If removed from the moon garden, its creatures will try desperately to get back, lest they meet a tragic end. Ideally, the moon garden would also have a large static blue moon appear in the sky at night in tandem with the normal moon. This second moon would ripple as if it were a reflection in water.

Moon gardens are usually fairly flat, with a large number of lakes and ponds. I would also like to say that creatures within moon gardens would fight to keep you alive if you tried taking your own life within or even nearby.

Anyway, here are some remaining fauna ideas for this biome:


A type of harmless, glowing jellyfish, the bellahrin are bell shaped creatures that travel as you'd expect, with the caveat that they also spin as they move. They have no tentacles. While they tend to just meander in the water, they are also cabable of cooperating to save creatures from drowning, creating a bed of jellyfish to float to the surface. During the night, the Bellahrin also help to illuminate the the water with their light. At the center of their top is a black mass just under its skin; likely an eye or some other sensory organ.


Glowing light blue balls of tentacles that meander about trees, the forest floor, and pretty much everywhere else using sticky mucus, the size of a large melon at most. They have a single tentacle that is able to extend significantly farther than the others for the purposes of locomotion. During the day they may be a fleshy color or a very dull blueish white. The mucus has medicinal properties, and can be collected in limited quantities without harming the luxaria for the purposes of sealing wounds. Luxaria will naturally gravitate toward the bleeding and wounded for these reasons, likely as a form of symbiotic relationship where they help treat wounds in exchange for feeding on the lost blood. They do not heal injuries, and moving too much will break the mucus seal, so they are not a cure all. They are active both day and night, seeming to sleep intermittently, preferably in trees or on other passive creatures that are big enough. If an aggressor happens to be in the moon garden, the Luxaria can cause its mucus to crystallize on contact and stick to them, slowing most attackers down, and incapacitating smaller ones for an extened duration. When pursuing aggressors, Luxaria may use their longer tentacle to swing from branches toward threats.

They never seem to run out of mucus in moon gardens, but will quickly dry out and wither away outside of it. Even in the event that they're placed in water to prevent that, their mucus will begin to crystallize before they again wither away. They can survive longer than most outside of the moon gardens if they're constantly tended to, but it would simply be prolonging a miserable existence if they weren't to be returned to their garden. They're incredibly durable and seem to enjoy being thrown, insofar that they'll excitedly return to their throwers. Given their appearance, getting thrown is probably something they're quite familiar with.


A massive fox-like creature with almost absurdly voluminous fur. The white hairs of this creature have a dim glow, occasionally sparking with color. Cynsules provide warmth and shelter to those that need it, resting with visitors as the opportunity presents itself. They are extremely silent, but will purr while resting with others or during pleasent interactions. Within moon gardens, Cynsules are heavily armored by their fur. They may create the occasional nest lined with fur that lost its glow but still sparks with color on occasion. In the presence of assailants, Kynsules can create blinding, targetted flashes of light through their fur. In desperate situations, they'll shake their fur and lunge toward attackers, creating a harmless but incapacitating static discharge on impact. Kynsules primarily feed on Leid and fruits from the garden.

Their fur doesn't degrade like other materials from moon gardens, aside from losing its protective qualities. This coupled with the beautiful colors that dance along their pelts makes their fur an incredibly valuable material for textiles, but it’s better to collect fur from their various nests than direct from the source, lest you wish to face exile from the moon garden. Their fur may also have a memetic effect that can suppress violent behavior(but cannot change intent -- if something goes in intent on killing it won't stop them).


Also known as star flies, aiastra are luminescent insects that take on the appearance of small balls of light during the night, and aren't actually flies. They take on the appearance of small winged bees during the day with black bodies as well as bright blue to violet veination along their abdomens, and are the chief pollinators of moon gardens(though they can pollinate and collect nectar from any flowering plants, given that they can fit). These insects form open hives around trees which are accessible to most creatures, with teal to pink glowing honey, moon jelly, that slowly flows dowwn the trunks of their host tree. While the hives are largely undefended, moon jelly has a mild sedative quality, and their wax which is a much less luminescent, paler color, can be used to create candles that can be burned to help with sleep. It’s extremely viscous, and serves as a structural component as much as it does food. Hive construction and expansion along a tree would involve directly building wax cells, using a thin layer of moon jelly on the tree trunk as a powerful fixative. Their development is not dissimilar to that of normal bees, though it should be noted that newly hatched aiastra larvae do not glow or have any unique coloration until they first consume moon jelly. The color of the jelly they consume will determine the relative color that they will take on. Moon jelly and wax can be removed from moon gardens without consequence, though the hives you take from might get more strict with you if you take more than you need...

While aiastra are more or less indifferent to animals collecting from a hive, if a creature or character begins to collect too much from a hive, the Aiastra of the hive will begin to clump around the remaining portions of the hive, barring access. In most cases, though, animals will be put to sleep from eating the moon jelly before they're able to consume enough to be a problem. Unlike most bees, aiastra hives act cooperatively, and if one hive is significantly damaged for any reason, other nearby hives will make even make small contributions to help the hive recover. In the event of, say, a storm separating an individual from its hive, it is common for nearby hives to grant them shelter until they can return to their own hive. While not common, there are instances of separated aiastra completely integrating into another hive, taking on duties and such like any other member of the hive. Over time, if the integrated bee is of a different color, it will change to match the color of the host hive as it consumes more of that hives moon jelly.


Rhubana, affectionately nicknamed ribbontails, are a kind of butterfly unique to moon gardens. They glow(as one would expect), come in various hues unlike many other animals in the gardens, and some even have richly colored patterning instead of a monochrome pattern. Their nickname is gotten from the long, ribbon-like ‘tail’ that flows under them as they fly. The ribbon is suspected to be a novel means of communication that has been afforded to them by the absence of any predators. Their tails will intermittently have bands of light pulse down them, making a gentle hum as they go. The behavior of these tails can serve as a good indicator of their mood, though that is less so during mating season, as they are used for mating calls.

One of the most unique traits of Rhubana is that, while they lose the ability to produce light and cannot reproduce outside of the gardens, they can survive for an extended period of time outside of it, with no outwardly visible ill effects. As such, they're prized additions to more conventional gardens, though they make for easy prey outside of the gardens without protection. Rhubana that have formed mating pairs will remain together for life and will often be seen near eachother. It's common for these pairs to have synchronized tail signals as well. They become codependent upon mating. If one dies, the other will stop trying to feed and soon follow.


A white glowing squirrel-like animal with many tendrilous tails, this creature can be seen climbing trees and other foliage as well as navigating the forest floor. Their tails, much like that of the ribbontail, are indicative of their mood. Unlike Rhubana, however, their tails serve a much more physical use, and can carry objects, sometimes ones many times its own size if it uses several of them in tandem. They may briefly scout for food outside of moon gardens in the event that an NPC or player becomes dependant on the garden. Curiously, it seems that they have two rows of eyes...


Urdals are large reptiles not unlike monitor lizards physically, that are commonly found around the pools of moon gardens, with a widened body profile and a somewhat flattened back. Their coloration is black overall, though they have colorful stripes along their back and a lighter underbelly. They will usually be encountered in groups, and will be found sleeping during the day and basking for a few hours before sundown. At night, they primarily feed on low lying fruit and succulents, and enjoy swimming, occasionally even playing with bellahrin while in the water. During the day, it isn't uncommon for Luxaria and Qiurs to rest atop them. If a creature, npc, or player is incapacitated at the edge of a moon garden or near hostile creatures, Urdals may attempt to leverage their bodies on top of them to carry them somewhere safer.


A medium sized songbird that features a distinct, prehensile crest and a deeply colored throat, belly, wingtips, and tail, as well as a sizable beak suitable for consuming large nuts or seeds. They are among the few creatures of moon gardens that sleep during the night. These birds are unique in that they will quickly take on different melodies from other animals as well as NPCs and players. However, for the most part, the melodies that sousongs sing during the day will match what the soothesong trees sang the night before, hence the similar name. Although seemingly banal compared to the other creatures of the garden, they serve as a constant reminder of the moon garden's presence even during the day. 

« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:48:16 AM by Rayblon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 11:25:05 AM »

The flora of moon gardens are rather conventional functionally, behaving as one would expect with only a few exceptions. Some traits that are consistent between most plants of a moon garden is that touching glowing parts like leaves or petals will cause the touched areas to glow more brilliantly. Generally speaking, the plants of a moon garden are safe to consume, root, stem, fruit, and petal, and most flowering bodies in gardens only open up at night. While food is abundant in moon gardens, one must take care that they don’t become one with the garden in doing so. Consuming too much food from a moon garden may make you dependent upon the moon garden the same as its residents, unless you can find a way to get normal food and wane yourself off of it. It is not habit forming, per se, but the way food in the moon garden works can cause harm to you once you leave if you decide to spend, say, a few weeks inside one. Generally speaking, the animals of moon gardens don’t want you to get to that point. Many plants from moon gardens can be removed at no consequence, but ones that have unconventional traits like a lack of pigmentation would not fare well. Moon garden plants can be used to slightly extend the reach of a moon garden, but only by so much.


It’s not a plant per se, but a form of phytoplankton present in the water of moon gardens. During the day, it tints the water a very subtle teal color, and at night gives ponds a mild glow. Movement in the pool will make the surrounding hyltide glow brighter, which can lower visibility significantly for fish inside them at night. Hoever, it functions as an important food source for many aquatic creatures. Hyltide is adapted to freshwater or brackish water, but not seawater.

Moon Lily

A form of water lily that appears to develop normally, with the exception of its flowers. When it comes time for a moon lily to bloom, a brilliant white bud begins to develop, with scythe-like petals growing outward from it. When the bud opens, it resembles a full moon with a very narrow pistil, the bloom quickly resembling a crescent depending on the way it loses its petals. The glow from these lilies pulsates and is powerful, but to see them in bloom is a rare sight.

Glowball Mushroom

A unique fungus that forms a dome of small mushrooms as a fruiting body. The mushrooms themselves have caps covered in glowing nodules until they release their spores, but look unremarkable otherwise. When they are fully developed, they release their spores in the form of small, pale ‘glow balls’ along with a puff of smaller, glittery spores. These glowballs can float around in the air for days on occasion, rarely adhering to anything. When they do, they will begin life as a glowing mass of mycelium, most commonly against tree trunks or other vertical surfaces, though dead or felled trees are always ideal. The air in a moon garden is usually swimming with glowball spores, and many creatures including guardia consume them. The spores are not harmful and have an earthy smell to them.


A special form of grass with glowing tips. It’s very common in brighter areas, but can realistically appear anywhere. Tastes like chicken for some reason. Pretty tasty if you cook it, stringy and awful if you don’t, even if it’s safe to eat that way. 

Crescent Reed

A water dwelling reed that can be seen growing in the shallows of moon gardens. Curiously, the mace on top of these plants is crescent shaped. The mace glows dully, but the cotton inside of it is fairly vibrant and can be used in the same way as cotton.

Steiara bush

A tall, wide bush with small leaves that flowers at night throughout the year in most places. The flowers are all that glow, ranging in color from white to mild pinks, blues, and yellows. It looks somewhat like a starry sky at night. The leaves and flowers are almost overpoweringly sweet and the bush is… sticky. With a bit of effort, I imagine these could be used to create neat glowing or non glowing candies, depending on what is used. It produces tart glowing berries, similar in taste to rhubarb. If cooked, they won’t change in consistency, but they will mellow out into something a bit sweeter.

Lace Vine

A delicate fruiting vine that blooms with dark purple flowers and produces  stout, white fruit. The flowers do not fall off, and form a crown around the top of the fruit. The petals glow, while the vines themselves pulsate with a dull light intermittently. The vine and fruit smell of lavender, and the fruit itself tastes somewhat like a tomato mixed with an avacado. As the name implies, the lace vine grows from tree canopies and hangs down like bolts of green lace with floral flourishes.

Belltower lily

Belltower lillies are plants with leafy stalks and massive, glowing, hanging flowers that resemble bells. While they don’t ring, they do smell strongly of spring at night and are remarkably sturdy. They’re bitter, but edible. The real gem is their bulbous stamen, which is crunchy and tastes like vanilla.

Teardrop lyre

A variant of the lyre flower adapted for living within moon gardens, the drop underneath their heart shaped flowers is blue, and glows at night. The light from these flowers can last up to seven days before fading, and are a coveted gift.

Ardigm willow

A massive dark barked weeping tree with light, sometimes even glasslike, leaves. During the night, their leaves begin to glow, naturally. They can glow any color, but greens and blues are overwhelmingly common. These are most common around moon garden ponds, though they can appear anywhere in moon gardens theoretically. The leaves have a subtle nutty flavor to them and are at their best young, when they’re most tender.


A plant with large, long tubers and a shallow root system. It reproduces by budding and creating additional tubers at the end of its roots. In this way, you could say that each individual plant is in fact part of a much larger single body. Above ground, it takes on the form of a fern-like shrub with star shaped leaves. The tubers themselves are like a mix between carrots and sweet potatoes when cooked, but are much starchier and more crunchy uncooked. While they are difficult to harvest as it requires a great deal of digging to retrieve the tuber, it provides a great deal of food. The plant appears normal, but when any part of it is damaged, that part begins glowing. In fact, a helpful tool to know when your leid is finished cooking is when there are no glowing parts left. The leaves themselves have a slightly overpowering leafy flavor, but are fairly nutritious.

Lunos melon

Otherwise a normal melon plant, the fruit is a strange round gourd that develops craters in its rhind as it grows, eventually taking on an appearance vaguely similar to the moon of the gardens. It’s a light blue melon, but the inside is comprised of smooth pink flesh that glows quite brightly when cut or eaten. The taste is like a more savory cantaloupe, similar to a melon smoothie I suppose. So long as the fruit is ripe, it will maintain its glow. Cooking it will toughen the flesh, but it will make it taste vaguely like unsalted caramel.


Moon gardens are also host to an assortment of glowing wildflowers similar to the ones around the world, and they usually appear in swaths around the more shaded areas of the gardens. The wildflowers in the moon garden seem to grow much bigger than their counterparts outside the gardens…

Moon lichen

A purple glowing lichen that grows on trees. It tastes… earthy. Rhubana larvae can often be found on it.


A tree with a vague facade of a torso and head embossed on its surface, soothesongs are believed to be the products of dead bodies that were brought to the gardens, and it’s not an uncommon wish for wealthy townsfolk near a moon garden to bring their dead to moon gardens for this very reason. These trees do seem to take on the voices of what jut out from their trunks.  A wolf will howl, a nubile woman will have a silken voice, and an old man will sound aged. That said, it seems that their voices are somewhat idealized, though perhaps that’s for the best. Not all things can be represented by a true soothesong, but many can be by slightly smaller, mute soothesongs. Mute or not, they smell of rosemary.

The beginning of a soothesong’s life is speculated to begin as thick, vine like vegetation that remains dormant underground until chemicals from decomposition are detected, at which point they rapidly grow around the body, after finding it with smaller tendrils. They have solid, raised root structures when they mature, a remnant of their origin. They have glowing leaves and the singing faces and throats of the trees are well articulated. The tree can be ‘fed’ through these mouths without harming it, or they can be plugged to silence them. Mute soothesong mouths are closed. Cutting down a soothesong is as unpleasant as you might imagine.

It’s not certain how soothesongs know, perhaps by subtle changes in light level and airborne chemicals, but they sing a certain melody at night depending on the moon phase and the general mood of the area. Relative calm yields peaceful songs, while a recent death or loss of another soothesong would inspire more sorrowful melodies, and someone recovering from serious injury/starvation in a moon garden may yield a more jovial melody and tempo; the general mood of an area also would have an effect on how brightly they glowed, with tragedy dimming them considerably.

I must ask that if the moon gardens are ever implemented that you include the soothesongs above all else, even if it’s in the most basic form. The soothesong is there in part because of a recent death, one that I’d say was preventable if… well, we all have moon gardens of our own, some are dimmer than others, but even when you can’t see it, it’s there. They couldn’t see it, and sometimes it felt like they were walking away from it without realizing it, and refusing to look behind themselves for it. The soothesongs are graves that remember, they remember your face, your voice, those things that slip away from the legacy of the dead in time. I didn’t have that luxury with them, as much as I wish I did.

And that’s it. Of course, It’s worth saying that the moon gardens would do best, as far as lore goes, in a world with gods. Given the complexity of the magic going on in this biome, the life here shouldn’t have such a capacity for it otherwise. You can probably guess what the god is, and the sleuths among us might already know the name I’d give it.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:44:49 AM by Rayblon » Logged

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