Blue Orchid Bogs

The blue orchid bogs were one of the more peculiar natural features of the waters surrounding Lemuria, though of course they could not compete in matters of sheer strangeness with such artificial wonders as the Pinioned Bay or the further reaching gearworks of the temples. These salt-water bogs were most commonly found directly along the coast, but some colonies stretched runners far out into the ocean, especially in shallower waters.

The name of the bogs arose from their appearance in the spring, when the orchids raised blue flowers up above the water to float along the waves in a carpet stretching further in some directions than the bounds of the capitol city. The very bright blue of the orchids gave rise to many poetic legends about gods being inspired to create the sky by copying the color of the flowers, and other such mythology drawing inspiration from a perfectly natural phenomenon in an attempt to explain various mysteries of the ages.

From the first blooms of spring to the end of winter, the bogs were a hazard to unwary sailors, showing themselves only as a faint green tint to the water, as all the stems of the orchids lay beneath the surface of the waves. Smaller ships that attempted to sail directly through a blue orchid bog found themselves tangled hopelessly in the thick stems of the plants, while larger ships that could cut through the vegetation with ease would instead run aground in the loose heaps of decaying leaves that built up from the ocean floor. As such, the bogs formed a natural protection against surprise attacks from several directions, as large portions of the coast could be safely left unguarded in the assurance that no fleet could safely approach.

However, as Lemuria discovered to its great dismay during the first surprise strike of the Zealot War, there was a stretch of time, no longer than three days, when the hibernating plants had curled down on themselves sufficiently that flat-bottomed boats could safely pass through the bogs. Several different people have been credited with the discovery of this flaw in the nation's defenses, with attribution for the feat often being given to Aegea, even though she was not alive at the time of the invasion that used this knowledge. Given the outcome of that war, one may more safely assume that one of the many fishermen of the coast, disgruntled with the state of the government at the time, betrayed his nation through the revelation of an old family secret.

Edited by Dame Helwin Helwindotter
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