Alhakés : the People of the Lanterns

The People of the Lanterns are named after their peculiar lifestyle, which revolves around large magical flowers that hang from giant trees. When a member of the People of the Lanterns is tired or injured, he enters one of the flower pods and emerges refreshed, well-rested, and cured. When a lantern is occupied by someone to cure his body and mind, it emits a golden glow, giving the flowers their name.

When a member emerges from a lantern, his features, the color of his eyes, skin, and sometimes hair have imperceptibly changed and he appears rejuvenated. People of the Lanterns can live virtually forever, but each regeneration they go through erases most of their memories and troubles their sense of time. Thus it is impossible for them to know their own age, or to form real bonds with other people.

Arbres Lanternes

The lantern trees.

What really happens within the lantern is an exchange between worlds – the lantern trees have roots which pierce the veil of the Umbra. When a member of the People of the Lanterns enters a flower, he exposes himself to the umbral worlds. His body and his soul travel within them, crossing with all its copies, exchanging his mind and memories with them. However, the member has but one chance in a million to land in the flower he just travelled from.

The People of the Lanterns do not know of this journey. They care little about the meaning of life or death and have no interest in investigating their own.

Sometimes, a lantern will not free the person that rested in it and will wither with its contents entombed. At other times, a new member of the People of the Lanterns will emerge from one of the flowers and begin a new life. This cycle is taken for granted and has never been questioned.

The People of the Lanterns have a legend which tells that the lantern trees foresee events to come, that their sap nourishes the rivers of change, and that the Prodigies will be the instruments of their will.