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Extracted from Godmother Python's Bestiary of Wonderful Flowers

by Susannah Mandel

Regional Myths Surrounding the Giant Bellflower.

- The Sunken City: The people of Sesin Town, on Crescent Bay, speak wistfully of the music of lost Mirnaville. Here bellflowers adorned the city crest, and children played in the public gardens in their melodious shade. History verifies that on Saint Sembert's day, a flood from the sea rose and engulfed the city; folklore alone claims that, in calm weather, the wind carries its chiming from under the waves, bearing it up to the sunlit gardens of Sesin Town, where no bellflowers grow.

- The Cruel Father: A tale local to the Abernath Forest tells of a man who, having allowed his children to starve, was condemned to serve consecutive seven-year terms as a robin, an ocean-going monster (variously described as a dragon, horse, or sea-goat: the Abernath Forest is landlocked), and the clapper-tongue of a bellflower. This, it is said, explains why the father's voice may be heard mingling with those of his children in the Abernath's lugubrious vespertine chorus. (While this account is usually considered folkloric, some historians of jurisprudence claim to be able to fit it into the Abernath’s ancestral systems of justice.)

- The Gardener’s Beautiful Daughter: On the Yayang Plateau, the heads of Cithera, a highly respected Botanical Clan, cherish an account of their ancestor the Cleya of Cithera, who was tasked by the Yayang Censorate with producing a bellflower purer
of tone than any yet bred. To protect her mother from the consequences of failure, the Cleya’s oldest daughter, after consulting with the Sepeng Oracle, mixed her own blood with the soil. Though debate surrounds the mechanism of the spell, the Yayang bellflower is an undeniably clear-voiced plant, whose ochre markings are (moreover, on occasion) reported to spell surprising words.

- The Three Sisters: In the Culleham Moors their house may still be seen. These women -- variously described, according to the storyteller, as having been lovely or plain, reclusive or magnetic, and brilliant or cracked -- were unable to get anyone to publish their books. Thus they practiced a form of wild moors magic that is said to have transformed them into either ravens, bellflowers, or men. According to the latter version, the sisters took new names, married, and lived acclaimed and productive lives. According to either of the first two variants, they still dwell on the Culleham Moors, abiding near their former home and confiding their stories to the wind.

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