Here is another featured unpublished writer that I excited to share with all of you. Hope you enjoy this intriguing piece!
Spriggons: a brief guide
The following exert was written by Dr. Malcolm N. Hansen.
Spriggons, as a plant species, arrive exactly as you would assume they would. They grow right out of the ground, albeit their birth is slightly more complicated than that of a garden rose bush. When Spriggon seeds are correctly planted, they develop into large pods as the new Spriggon fetus develops. These pods have intricate and minuet root systems that provide sustenance for the pod. These roots secrete small amounts of poisonous sap that coats the pod and contaminates nearby soil. In small amounts this sap a relatively mild skin irritant, but undiluted it will burn skin. Furthermore, pods contain a nitrous gas that is released when a pod is damaged. This gas is lethal.
Spriggons have very long gestation periods, upwards of 7 months. During this growing period, limbs, organs, and buds form fully. The Spriggon will develop into its adult form while still in the pod, and does not grow very much once it leaves its womb in the ground. The pod offers the Spriggon fetus maximum safety, it is after sprouting that Spriggons are most vulnerable. When a Spriggon sprouts, there is a brief intermittent period when it is still tethered to the ground by its roots. Upon sprouting all leaves and buds on the Spriggon are closed. During a brief 3-4 day window, juvenile Spriggons have a blooming period when their buds and leaves unfurl and dry off. During this time the infantile Spriggon relies on both its ground roots and its new leaves for nutrition. As new leaves become active roots slowly die until finally the young Spriggon can survive off sunlight and water alone. At this point in life female Spriggons are already reproductively mature, however male Spriggons will not reach reproductive maturity for 8 years after bloom.
There is a long-standing argument amongst scientists; the debate over whether females are the dominant sex in the Spriggon species. Females are the more common sex, outnumbering their male counterparts 10 to 1. For a long time, many thought the Spriggon species to be a purely female entity. The discovery of the Male King was one of the greatest botanical discoveries in this century. I hold no opinion on the argument of whether female sprriggons are the dominant sex, but I will warn that they are the most ferocious. Females will always band together to protect infantile Spriggons, and form defensive groups for their community. Males are not part of this defense system.
The average female Spriggon will have anywhere from 2-5 offspring during their life cycle, all of whom will be female just like herself. A female Spriggon becomes fertile when a new seed forms inside her abdomen. Upon formation of a seed, the female will immediately set out to find a male Spriggon, who can fertilize the new gamete. Unless the female has been accepted into a Royal Colony, a colony with a male Spriggon King, this trek can be very strenuous. It becomes a race against time. It takes ten days for a seed to reach full maturity, at which point it needs to be fertilized or else the body will dispose of it. Once a seed is fertilized the female Spriggon has a relatively easy labor in which she will expel the small seed, and immediately plant it. The Female Spriggon will not stick around while the seed grows. The female will leave the seedling for the first 5 months. After 5 months, the Female Spriggon will return . If the pod is still growing the female will explore the area and find other unattached females to help her defend the pod. The female’s group will defend the pod for the last 2 months of underground growth, as well as during the new Spriggons infantile period.
Female Spriggons have an average life span of 20 years, though some have been known to live up to 50 years. This short life span can likely be attributed to their risky lifestyles and defensive nature.
Explaining the Sexes: Males
Many researchers still argue that males are the dominant sex in the Spriggon species. This argument seems valid when you follow the lifestyle of a male Spriggon. All male Spriggons are born Kings. All Male Spriggons are born into a life of luxury . At a young age, female Spriggons attend to the juvenile males every need. This behavior is very much a give and take. Females sacrifice a lot to take care of the young male. By taking care of the young Spriggon they often guarantee a spot in the new male’s royal colony once the King reaches reproductive maturity. However, during the eight years before their juvenile king reaches maturity there is greater reproductive strain on the attending female; Should they become fertile during this time they must make the laborious trek to find another king to fertilize their seed. For a young female, sticking around with the juvenile king is the best investment, older females Spriggons are less likely to volunteer their support as the juvenile king is unlikely to reach sexual maturity before they elder females death.
This life of luxury continues into the male Spriggons adult life. Upon reaching sexual maturity the Male Spriggon will become a lot more popular. The male can accept and denounce members of its Royal Colony as it pleases. Attending Females work hard to stay in the king’s good graces, hoping to ensure reproductive success for themselves and hopefully their future offspring, who will likely be invited into the Royal fold once they sprout. Other females who are not part of the male’s Royal Colony will shower the king with gifts and favors to access the males Spriggons services.
The average life span of a male Spriggon lasts less than 30 years, despite their spoiled and careful upbringing. Upon death, a male Spriggon is given an elaborate ceremony. The burial plot is often found years in advance, often picked by the living king’s own self. The body of the king is laid to rest quickly as time is of the essence. The body is planted in the most fertile soil available, and the site is (wo)manned by around the clock guards. Upon burial, the kings seed, his only seed, will begin its growth.
The burial of a Spriggon King is the most memorable event I will ever encounter. The care that is taken to ensure that the new seedling will grow is heartwarming and breathtaking. A king has his reign, and then he falls. It is inevitable. The survival of the Spriggon race depends on the carefully planned deaths of its Kings. The life of a Spriggon King is not all roses, they live their whole lives planning their own deaths. They make sure to make all the right connections, ensuring that strong and pleasing females will attend to their offspring. They spend countless man hours hosting search parties to find burial plots. They take the task of deciding who will handle their body when the time finally comes.
I implore my fellow humans to be mindful of the Spriggons life cycle. While Mitosis of male seed is possible, it is uncommon. For the most part, the number of male Spriggons that we have, is the number that there always will be. The poaching of King Spriggons is the most irresponsible and disgusting form of sport that I can imagine. It is up to all of us to advocate on the Spriggons’ behalf and stop this behavior.
More information can be found in the Authors completed Work, Spriggons: A Comprehensive Field Guide
[CO1]discovery of the male spriggon, history
[CO2]if the mother sprrigon is still alive, otherwise the infants chance of survival is much less likely.
[CO3]spriggon hierarchy and culture.
[CO4]examples of gifts and parties