The Mewnes is a species of soft coral that dominates the coastal waters around the Ashal Islands. Its history is unknown, but its role in modern history cannot be ignored. It extrudes the light, and weavable Elast threads, used by the Asha locals to create the fabrics of Elastan and Peltastan, which are breathable and elastic fabrics widely used by the Asha and other Cultures and Races who trade with them. The Mewnes itself is colored a vibrant clash of pale yellow and blue and is known to be visually impressive, and equally known to impress those who view it.
Mewnes have inhabited the waters surrounding the Ashal Islands for what is most likely an unfathomable amount of time and given its underwater domain, it has had a difficult history to track. Many are uncertain if it played a role in the life of the ancient Asha and their Empire, with limited amounts of historical documentation mentioning this form of sea life. The first concrete records, therefore, come from Fin’ullen Altalar operating around the barren Ashal Isles, where the records of the strange Mewnes and the spewing of their strange, deep-blue hued “threads”every few days. The coral remained relatively undisturbed for many years, its natural beauty admired by diving or magic-using Altalar, all before the Asha returned to the Ashal Islands. Those who believe the Asha knew of it state that the rapid discovery, development, and use of the Mewnes byproduct to make Elastan and Peltastan prove their theories, though the Asha themselves are somewhat ambiguous on their past relationship with the Mewnes. Regardless, since the rise of the Asha States, this species of coral has only expanded its reach, with Living Metal and Hemat Clade-curated coastal sanctuaries resulting in dense clusters of the vibrant creature spewing forth a near-endless stream of threads used to craft the fine fabrics so key in garments Aloria-over.
Mewnes is a medium-sized coral capable of reaching five feet in height. The creature’s structure is that of a branching columnar formation, with a series of dense, thick column-like coral serving as the base before, after a foot or so, each organism begins to branch out into slightly curved, horn-like protrusions. Some of these can also spawn their own smaller branching columnar. The coral’s base is a pale yellow, but this rapidly changes into a vibrant blue at the tips.
Mewnes have a wide range of appearances given that each individual organism grows at its own pace, while also being affected by the currents of the ocean, resulting in branches at different angles and different growth rates for each columnar. Overall, Mewnes all share the same color palette and do not change their core shape of possessing a branching columnar formation.
Life Span and Development
The exact development and lifespan of the Mewnes are difficult to determine, but the Asha have learned much of its development thanks to careful study and an interest in seeing the creature properly reproduce. Every few months, a Mewnes colony will release a cluster of material that, upon reaching the surface, breaks apart and proceeds to fertilize exposed, pale blue “eggs” produced by other parts of the same Mewnes colony or others nearby. These eggs rapidly mature into a polyp, a tiny, younger form of coral, before setting onto the coral reefs and rocks around the Ashal Islands, and then developing into an adult. While an exact lifespan has never been recorded, it is clear by how some Asha have been harvesting the same colonies for over two centuries that the Mewnes can live for a long time.
Mewnes, while being living creatures, behave far more like plants in that they generally move and shift with the water and seem to passively feed on unknown elements to grow. Unlike other species which eat small fish or other sea creatures, Mewnes are not predatory but instead sit still and float with the currents, though remain attached to the reef, rock, or seabed where they lay. They are ultimately considered mindless. However, they do have one mechanism which confuses many in its purpose, and that is the release of Elast threads: the term for the blue, light, and ultimately weavable strands of an unknown substance that are extruded every several hours by the gently shifting tips of the soft coral. Most consider the threads to be some byproduct of the Mewnes growth or feeding cycle, a form of useful waste, and ultimately do not question how or why they produce the material given its net benefit for many.
Territory and Groupings
Mewnes are individually known as colonies, since they are built up of many separate organisms working together. The soft coral generally clusters together in coral reefs, producing stretches of yellow and blue in the clear waters around the Ashal Island coastline. They are chiefly around this region, but some have reported their presence in the reefs of The Azoras as well.
- Mewnes are difficult to keep in aquarium tanks.
- Dried Mewnes were supposedly once used as part of Altalar medical practices, likely to little authentic success.
- Mewnes seem to enjoy growing on top of Crusty Rock Coral as multiple colonies of the soft coral often overcrowd the surface of these larger, hard coral organisms.