F#48: Omen Manifest

Technically, these aren’t creatures- and if you see one, it should be reported immediately for your own safety.

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An omen manifest is a summoned energy, that possesses the ‘body’ made for it by the summoner. The body must be made from a bone and animal hair.

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Summoning an omen is considered a necromantic act, and is illegal.

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F#46: Mewts/Pond Sirens

Starting mid-February and going on into early spring, waterways across the world come alive with the piping calls of the ‘pond siren’ or ‘mewt’, a freshwater fae.

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Stories tell of the mewt confusing travelers in the dark and tricking them into falling in streams and ditches- if you hear a mewt crying, know that you are by a body of water.

Despite their fishy appearance, mewts are in fact mamals, and breathe out of the water- in the late winter you might spot one coming out to bask in the weak sunlight.

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F#44: Rootball

Apologies for the late post! It’s been rather chaotic at the institute this week, what with it being Widowbird breeding season! Also, we have a stall coming up in Gloucester on Feb 3rd and 4th of interesting artifacts and specimens- so if you’re in the area, come and check it out at the ‘What’s Your Game’ larp fair!

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The rootball is found in damp areas perfect for fungus- woodland, rough ground, even some back gardens. Though essentially harmless, make sure your cat/dog/domesticated griffin doesn’t try and eat one- the mushrooms are usually poisonous.

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F#41: Sprigs

(Adopt a sprig from our etsy shop! Six available.)

It’s been a busy week at the SFI- festive preparations, major storms and power cuts abound! The greenhouse heater has given up, so some of the more sensitive occupants have come inside.

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Meet the sprigs; a faeries species also known as wandering roses or meadowmaids.

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During the summer months they are often found in the company of bees and other pollinators- so much so that at one time they were thought to be farming the insects.

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In a way, they are- flocks of sprigs will wander towards bee hives for a taste of honey; and, naturally, the bees are drawn to their flowers.

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During the winter, however, cold conditions threaten the survival of these fae creatures.

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And so, we have guests for the festive season, and tiny footprints everywhere. Good luck keeping them out of the chocolate.

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F#37: Hamadryad

The Hamadryad is a subspecies of dryad, itself a type of nymph.

Thoroughly documented by the ancient Greeks, hamadryads dwell within trees.

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Though they have a physical form, they are born bonded to their one particular tree, and may never leave it.

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Should the tree die, the hamadryad dies with it- and vice versa.

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Like many nymphs, hamadryads enjoy music and dancing, though they are more reclusive and shy than other species.

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This particular specimen is the hamadryad of a cherry tree. Like its host’s winter branches it now looks bare and stick-like. Come spring, tiny blossoms will begin to sprout along its limbs.

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Archive#21: Posters

Clearing out the archives, I found a few posters that might be of interest.

BE FAIRIE AWARE
An official poster produced by the SFI in the early 2000s as part of a government campaign.
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Keeley’s homemade sign that goes up without fail every late spring. Heed its warning!
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Pre-seaflower poster I picked up at a sale a few years ago. This was made in the 90s, when there was a fad amongst teens to try out some necromancy rituals for a fun night out. Necromancy: not even once.

F#23: Wyrm Hatchlings

Wyrm Hatchlings (Northen European Wyrm) 

Dragon species

When we got the call about an ‘infestation of worms’, we might have reacted a mite too hastily with our stock (polite!) ‘we are a research institute, not Revery Pest Control’ response.




After the miscommunication was cleared up, we arrived at a small garden in the suburbs- only to find these week-old specimens of the European small wyrm causing havoc and destruction in their pursuit of a Sunday dinner.

These dragons are rarely found in built up areas (and almost never in the south of England) and there was no sign of the parent wyrm, who normally feeds young in the nest until they are a month old. It seemed as if the babies had been fending for themselves for a few days- feeding on insects and tearing up the garden in the process.



After a short (but chaotic) pursuit, Evelyn and I caught all three at the same time and took them back to the institute.


They have settled down in the break room in Keeley’s hat, whilst we contact the South West Dragon Centre to see if they have a spare pen…

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