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Fun Possibilities for Other Spore Seas

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We see six different types of spores in Tress, and are told that there are six more. We'll have to wait for future aether-centric novels to know for sure what these are, but wild speculation is fun!

As a reminder, here are the canonical spores:

  • Verdant spores: Emerald green. Bursts into ensnaring vines. Technically edible.
  • Zephyr spores: Azure or sapphire blue. Bursts into breathable air. Used to launch projectiles.
  • Roseite spores: Rose pink. Bursts into glassy crystals. Used for repair and containment. Noted for its resiliancy.
  • Sunlight spores: Golden? Bursts into heat and light. Flares, cookery, etc.
  • Crimson spores: Crimson red. Bursts into spikes (which are made of coral, according to WoB)
  • Midnight spores: Black. Summons a little shadow buddy. 
  • Also technically dead spores, which are gray.

WoB also tells us that all twelve spore types are at least subtly different in shades.  Basic colors not yet represented would be white, purple, brown, and maybe orange. At least a few of the spores would need to be variants of the same color - perhaps a second shade of blue to go alongside zephyr, or a pale matte pollen-like yellow. A metallic Silver Sea would look gorgeous but might be too close to gray.


With all that in mind, here are some other spores I think would fit in on Lumar:

Silken spores: Dusty white color which could be mistaken for sand. Bursts into a snarl of pale thin fibers. The chief export of the Silken Sea is cloth woven from spore silk, valued for its durability and insulating properties. (It's a bit rough though, so nobles prefer worm silk.) In naval combat, spore silk snarls are less effective than verdant vines at immobilizing ships, but they might work better for Tress's net gun. Also, big snarls can sometimes get lifted from the sea and carried in the winds - something to keep an eye out for.

Penumbral spores: Purple. Penumbral spores burst into a frigid plume of cold smoke which obscures sight and leaves behind a violet residue. Sometimes thought of as the inverse to the sunlight spores, which create heat and light. Besides its use in smoke signals, economic applications of penumbral spores are currently limited. The residue makes for a gorgeous dye, but nobody wants clothes which self-bleach near salt or silver. The residue is also a problem for most applications where you'd like to rapidly cool things down on demand, though there's always a few tinkerers in the Amethyst Sea working on perfecting the design of the "penumbral freezer".

Umber spores: Brown. Bursts into something resembling rich brown clay. Umber clay, once fully grown, can be baked into porcelain or mixed into compost to aid plant growth. Umber clay is rarely a immediate hazard to ships, but can accelerate the decay of lumber with prolonged contact. And no, it's practically odorless, despite what some sailors like to say.



Note that my goal here isn't to try to figure out what the other six spores actually are. (The correspondence to the vorin essences is a good theory along those lines.) The goal is to come up with strange and novel ideas of what the spores could be.

Let me know if you have any fun spore ideas.

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Ash spores: Gray. Ash spores turn into a sticky substance that makes this sea dangerous to sail. these spores are very useful as glue and can be used to hold things together.

Amber spores:Orange. Amber spores create a mist that intoxicates those who inhale it with it's fruity smell. it's illegal to use or sell, but that hasn't stopped numerous sailors from using it for "recreational activities"

Frost spores: pale blue. Frost spores create an incredibly slippery ice-like substance. unlike ice, it's not cold and stays solid in warm temperatures. the Frost sea is relatively safe, It's used to create skating rinks, but has few other uses.

Glass spores:Transparent. Glass spores are completely invisible. they are mixed with other materials to create windows. it's unknown what happens to it when it gets wet, as there is no observable reaction other than a slight pop sound.

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In the WoB about Crimson, he says that the crimson sort of corresponds to the essence of flesh. Here's a grosser take on a flesh aether:

Bilious spores: Chartreuse. Bursts into slimy writhing tendrils. These tendrils have the curious property of adhering to - and sometimes even assimilating into - exposed flesh. A skilled sprouter can use bilious tendrils to patch wounds. (An unskilled sprouter can use them to make the problem much worse.) Additionally, some residents of the Chartreuse Sea say the tendrils taste great when fried. (They don't.)


@Lord Spirit, those are some fun ideas. You know, actual amber can be burned as incense and comes from sticky solidified resin, so your ideas for gray and orange spores could be folded together into a thematically coherent package:

Amber spores (again but more ambery): Amber orange. Amber spores initially burst into a sticky viscous liquid which then solidifies as more water is added and the growth potential is exhausted. Amber resin is flammable and its smoke is woody and intoxicating. The long-term effects of "glue smoking" are debilitating, and glue addiction is a serious issue in the Principalities of the Amber Sea.

I like your idea for slippery pale blue spores. Since they aren't cold, something like "slipstone" might be a good name, but "frost" does evoke the idea of the stuff creeping across surfaces when the spores burst. Depending on how durable it is, it could be very useful for transporting goods over land. I'm thinking something like canal systems, but instead of being filled with water, they're lined with pale blue tiles. That's a fun image for imaginary infrastructure.

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Void spores: Shimmering opalescent white. When void spores burst, they compress and vanish nearby matter. Matter which is invested or just plain durable is more resistant to the effect. In addition to the obvious dangers, void spore eruptions can leave large gaps in the sea during a stilling. The gaps can cause rapid shifts in the spores which bury entire ships.

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Wow, I love this thread and these ideas! Gotta say, a personal favorite is @bacontime's Amber Spores -- I bet those would make for some great sequences.

How about something like Starlight Spores (a yellow-white color), which create sudden, electric sparks when activated by water? If you're sailing when the Starlight Spores go off, it'll feel like an earthquake, with air and mini-explosions going off beneath you; additionally, any metal on your ship (except aluminum) may act as a conductor for electricity, zapping those on board. 

These could have many applications for Sprouters. Not only would it open the door to electric-powered devices, but also may help create fireworks 😀

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On 5/21/2024 at 2:39 PM, EdgedancerJacob said:

How about something like Starlight Spores (a yellow-white color), which create sudden, electric sparks when activated by water? If you're sailing when the Starlight Spores go off, it'll feel like an earthquake, with air and mini-explosions going off beneath you; additionally, any metal on your ship (except aluminum) may act as a conductor for electricity, zapping those on board. 

It's the earthquake part of that suggestion I find most interesting. Since the sunlight and zephyr spores already cover two flavors of explosions, what if these spores create vibration as their main product?

Motive Spores: Pale yellow. When motive spores are activated, they let out a burst of electrical sparks which cause struck objects to start vibrating. Whereas zephyr spore eruptions are accompanied by a sharp boom, motive spores are accompanied by a roar that very slowly fades away.  Both the intensity and duration of the vibrations increases with the amount of spores activated. 

("motive" as in "causing motion")

A particular sequence I'm imagining is a person holding a sword being hit indirectly by motive sparks. They're wearing insulating gloves (always be prepared) so the motive sparks don't jump from the sword into their body, but they have to throw down the shaking sword, where it continues clattering across the ground. I'm also imagining that skilled shapers would be able to control the frequency of the vibrations and use that to either control the noise or to destroy things by vibrating them at their resonant frequency.


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