The blizzard that had swept across the plain during the day, furious and with icy fangs, had slowly dissipated by evening. With nightfall, the last flakes fell from the sky. But the darkness of the night did not last long, for soon colorful veils of light began to spread across the firmament. And with the first lights of the aurora, the buds of the aurora magnifica began to open, their glassy blossoms wafting colorful images of the magnificent night sky.
A Spectacle of Nature. Aurora magnifica is an extremely rare flower whose habitat is restricted exclusively to polar regions with regular auroras. It lingers as a brown bulb about the size of a fist just below the surface of the snow and drives long roots deep into the snow.
It starts growing when auroras are going to light up the sky within the next 24 hours. Then a brown, misshapen stalk pushes out of the snow, forming withered leaves and a single, inconspicuous bud over the next few hours. But as soon as the auroras begin to make their way across the sky, the plant blooms. The stem and leaves become vigorous and take on a bluish translucent hue, while the bud opens into a lily-like flower with five glassy petals. The same colored veils that stretch across the sky move inside them.
However, the natural spectacle is short-lived because as soon as the aurora borealis disappear from the night sky, the flowers wither as well. The petals fall off and shatter on the ground, the stem and leaves dry up and turn brown again, and finally, the plant disappears completely in its bulb under the snow. Only at the next aurora borealis after a four week break, the flower blooms again.
Rare Beauty. Due to its persistence under the snow, aurora magnifica is difficult to find outside of times of aurora borealis. And even then you need a lot of luck and a good eye. These rare plants always occur as a single specimen in one place, with the next one growing many miles away. Digging up the tuber and planting it in the snow in another place is never successful because the delicate roots are damaged and the tuber dies immediately.
Guardian of the Future. The blossom of the aurora magnifica has strong magical abilities, so its locations are closely watched by the locals. After two hours of blooming, the flower can be carefully harvested along with the stem, which will stop the movement of the lightbands in the petals. Touching the plant with bare skin should be avoided as it causes unsightly frostbite.
The flower can then be used to predict a possible future for a place or person in the next 24 hours. This is done by twisting the flower in one's hands and thinking of the place or person. The colored stripes in the petals then begin to move again, creating a moving image of the most likely future, lasting 10 minutes before the flower breaks. No sound is produced in this process.
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