I wanted to make this part of my folklore of forests post, but it would’ve been far too long.
Besides, we all love the lure of the forest and can never get enough of its magic. I can get lost in the images and folklore I collected on my forest Pinterest board. You might too…
Of course forests feature in my writing! I love trees. While busy with stories in the Labyrinth, I thought it would be awesome if one consisted of trees – even though the Labyrinth is underground. And as Daphne finds out, the Verdure Labyrinth is much more than it seems.
During the A-Z I wrote a little about the different Labyrinths (and promised to share my world-building of the Tales of the Onyx Labyrinth with you).
The only labyrinth where plants grow freely. It is very close to the surface of the Earth. Most all the trees and shrubs are alive and act as a living, moving labyrinth that hinders and terrifies those who don’t belong.
Home of the Sylvan Court and earth-dwelling creatures such as Grogochs and Digmoles. The colour mostly associated with this labyrinth: green.
Now, with all the fantastic information about forests gathered in my folklore of forests post, we need to look deeper into the how’s and why’s of the Verdure Labyrinth.
The Verdure Labyrinth hides all sorts of things from the rest of the Labyrinth. Those who live there are more tolerant of things that are different than the rest of the inhabitants of the Labyrinth.
The Verdure Labyrinth is the only place in the Labyrinth where Fae who belong to the earth are welcome. Though they cannot always act as they do topside or in Faerie, it is the only place in the Labyrinth where they can be themselves.
Though parts of the Verdure Labyrinth can die, regrowth is always possible there.
The Verdure Labyrinth is where all food is grown. What they cannot provide, Guardians with Goblins or Red Caps go topside to steal.
Though, the Fae do prefer fresh produce opposed to the pesticide-infused food of humans.
Not what you thought, right? The artificial sunlight acts just as it would in a normal forest topside, though the trees still bend and move as the labyrinth changes. The water here is ice cold and it actually forms part of the river and waterfalls that run through the entire Labyrinth, giving life to everyone and everything living there. (Not to be confused with the river the Kelpie lives in…)
The trees move and grow to suit the needs of those who live in the Verdure Labyrinth. Everything is alive in the Labyrinth.
As expected, the Verdure Labyrinth does have tunnels made of the plants growing there. It moves and does whatever it pleases – the Labyrinth is alive (as Daphne finds out when she tries to move through the Verdure Labyrinth without the Sylvan Guardian by her side).
“The woods was alive. And it didn’t want her there. She understood: she was from the Onyx Labyrinth and not from this one. The woods could feel it.
Bushes scratched, pushed, pulled and squeezed her out of one tunnel made of twisted trees and plants to the next. The trees trembled. She could scarcely breathe. All these foreign plants were scaring her in a way that the rest of the Labyrinth never did.”
– Fleeing From Grey, Tales of the Onyx Labyrinth, Ronel Janse van Vuuren
What do you think of the Verdure Labyrinth? Would you like to live there?