The Goddess Flora is a Goddess first seen in the seventh Dark Parables game, Ballad of Rapunzel. She is a Goddess of duality and balance who appoints Guardians of the flowers, imbuing each with potent magical powers.
Appearance and Personality Edit
In her full form, Flora is a beautiful woman with very long blonde hair, green eyes and a graceful demeanor. She wears a green dress with long white sleeves, a green mantle embroidered with gold and a golden belt. On her head she wears a crown of gold flowers. As Thumbelina, she takes on the appearance of a barefoot little girl in a lavender dress but with an ethereal beauty that belies her young appearance.
Flora has an affinity for nature, no matter what her form, and it responds to her in kind. As a Goddess of true balance, she is responsible for all manner of things, both good and evil. Without one, there cannot be the other. While some see her as a harsh and unfeeling Goddess due to the dichotomy of her character, Flora is not without empathy for those mortals affected by her rule. She is willing to show her mercy and grace to those who prove themselves worthy of receiving it.
Before the settlement of Floralia, Flora chose to gift the leader of the lesser of two warring clans with the Three Artifacts. She warned the leader that using these artifacts would achieve his desires, but at great cost. The leader went on to unite the clans and create the kingdom of Floralia, but as Flora had predicted, this was done at great personal cost. The leader, who became Floralia's first King, had the artifacts sealed away to prevent further use of them.
From its very first day, the kingdom of Floralia worshiped the Goddess Flora and all of the duality she kept in balance. Her symbols and countenance were placed throughout the kingdom and all of the people of Floralia loved her greatly. As their faith in her grew, so too did Flora's own powers.
One day, a young girl named Dorothy and her three companions came to Flora in her home in Rosaria, asking her to gift them with things they felt they needed. The little girl wished to go home, while her companions wished for brains, a heart and courage. Flora told them that she was unable to give them these things, but that they did not need her to, as they each already possessed these things on their own. The little girl went home, and the three companions were grateful for what they had learned about their own abilities.
Goddess Flora continued on, keeping the fragile balance of all natural things in check. However, one of her loyal subjects, a powerful Sorceress named Mother Gothel, grew angry and disgruntled over Flora's refusal to make her a Guardian and give her immortality and magical powers. She attempted to take some of these powers for her own by absorbing the power out of one of Flora's sacred flowers. Angry over this affront, the Goddess caused Gothel's plan to backfire, which hideously scarred the Sorceress.
Now even angrier, Mother Gothel swore to have her revenge on the Goddess and concocted a plan to destroy Floralia, which was the source of the Goddess' power. She poisoned Queen Melanie's child while it was still in the womb, forcing Flora's hand and making her designate the child as the Guardian of the Deadly Nightbloom. Once done, Mother Gothel fostered the powder keg of fear, hurt and anger in the kingdom until it culminated in the events seen in Ballad of Rapunzel.
Everything went according to the Sorceress' plans. Floralia was no more, and even its last two Princesses left the kingdom. With no faithful devotees, Flora's power dwindled and she was forced to take a child's form. Once weakened, Flora was easily cursed by Mother Gothel, who shrunk her and intended to keep her as a pet.
Flora escaped, however, and was able to make her way through the woods, due to her affinity with nature. She called out to three brave young people in their dreams, causing each to come seek her out. When the three combined their efforts together, they were able to free Flora from Mother Gothel's clutches once and for all. They then returned her to Rosaria, the fairy homeland where Flora remained while she worked to rebuild her powers.
Once her powers were restored, Flora returned to her usual duties. One of these duties is the regeneration ceremony that takes place annually on Dire Island. The island is home to the Swan Guard, an extremely loyal outfit dedicated to protecting the sacred island and its patron Goddess, even with their very lives, if need be.
Flora appeared as the ceremony began. However, the current Swan Princess at that time, Princess Elise, stabbed her with the three artifacts of Floralia, killing the Goddess and turning her body into old tree roots. Her powers were transferred to Elise, but without the Magic Seed, the Swan Princess became corrupted by Flora's powers. It was when Elise was defeated that Flora was reborn.
Seeing that Odile was willing to sacrifice her life for hers, the Goddess transferred a portion of her life, allowing the woman to live. She then crowned Odile as the new Swan Princess.
Powers and Abilities Edit
- Power Over Nature: The extent of Flora's abilities to manipulate and control nature itself cannot be overstated. She is the Goddess of Nature itself, and everything within that realm is under her jurisdiction. As shown by Elise, Flora's power can control vines like Briar Rose and create plant-like beasts like Gothel's army. As the nature Goddess, Flora's power is greater than both characters' abilities and powers.
- Creation: Flora can create new things in the universe. She crafted the first tree in the world and she brought the harpies to life. She also created the bird/human hybrids of the Swan Guard.
- Child Form: When weakened, Flora is able to transform into a smaller, weaker form that takes less energy for her to maintain. This allows her to conserve her energy to use for more important things.
- Transfer of Power: Flora is able to transfer a portion of her power to others. She does this, most notably, for the mortals she chooses to be her Guardians. These individuals are given immortality and magical abilities through which they are able to assist Flora in many ways. She can also transfer a portion of her life force to revive people. This power saved Odile from death.
- Telepathy: Flora is able to communicate with mortal beings through the use of telepathic dreams and calls for assistance.
- Immortality: As a Goddess, Flora can live forever, free from aging, disease and dying a natural death. Ordinary weapons and poisons are useless against her, but when used in unison, the artifacts of Floralia can turn her body into wood and roots. However, unlike a mortal death, a Goddess's death is not final; she can still be rejuvenated once balance is properly restored.
Flora is a Goddess of nature, as well as that of the duality and balance that exists in the natural world. As such, she is neither good nor evil, benign nor malevolent. She bestows gifts upon chosen individuals, giving them immortality and power over certain elements of nature. These individuals are called her Guardians. We know of six Guardians of Flora's, but it is possible there are many more. There are also theories that the Godmothers of Briar Rose were actually Guardians.
Flora chose the Princesses Briar Rose and Ivy Green to be the Guardians of Rose Briars and English Ivy. Princess Ivy eschewed her powers, sacrificing them to give her husband, Prince James, his humanity. Ever since, the English Ivy has withered and died without a Guardian to protect it.
The next Guardians chosen by Flora were Snow White and Ross Red. They were gifted for their differing temperaments. Where Snow was cool and serene, Ross was fiery and active. Flora bestowed upon them the powers of ice and fire to match their personalities, and gave them Guardianship over the Frost Edelweiss and the Fiery Rosa.
More recently, Goddess Flora bestowed her gifts upon the baby Rapunzel, whose mother had just recently died. She imbued her with the power of restoration and healing, and entrusted her with guardianship over the Bellflower.
The most recent Guardian is the Princess Belladonna. When her mother was pregnant with her, she was given poisoned potions made from the deadly Nightbloom flower. Belladonna was born with this poison inside of her; a single scratch of Belladonna's poisoned nails could render an agonizing death for her victim. This was not what Flora had designed and the poison was not imbued in her by the Goddess, but Goddess Flora made the best of things by appointing the infant the Guardian of the Nightbloom flower and giving her full Guardian powers.
The Swan Guard is a dedicated military squad devoted to protecting Flora at any and all costs, even if it comes to losing their lives. The Swan Guard resides on Dire Island, where the regeneration ceremony takes place every year through Flora's manipulation of the sacred Magic Seed.
The harpies were the predecessor to the Swan Guard, and no longer served Goddess Flora after they had fallen prey to their beastly instincts.
Relevant Parables Edit
Rapunzel (from Ballad of Rapunzel)
There once lived a Queen of a mountain kingdom, the beautiful Violante. She was much-beloved by her people, but fragile and of ill-health. One day, she discovered she was pregnant. Anxious for the baby's health, Violante would consume a medicinal potion every day. The baby arrived safely, a girl with beautiful golden hair. But weak from childbirth, Violante soon passed away. The kingdom mourned for the loss of their Queen. Moved by their grief, and seeing trouble brewing within their midst, their patron Goddess blessed the small Princess with a gift. Within the Princess would be the power of restoration, enhanced as her hair grew ever longer. And this healing touch could be bestowed upon others with little more than a song. The Princess grew to be the very image of her mother, a lovely, kind-hearted girl. With the Goddess's blessing, the Princess was named Rapunzel.
The Goddess Flora (from Ballad of Rapunzel)
There was a time, long long ago, when Gods resided among the masses, spreading their will through the people. One such Goddess was the deity of flowers, Flora. She stood for neither good nor evil, but in the balance of nature and the way of the fates. The legends of old would tell of Flora showing favor to certain individuals. Chosen by virtue of character, they were the Guardians of Flora. For each Guardian chosen, there would be another of opposing nature to balance them. The Guardians were given special powers along with immortality, allowing them to better uphold Flora's legacy. But the gifts were not always a boon. Once chosen, a Guardian could only follow the Goddess' will and face eternal life hoping one day, to be able to find the wisdom in her decision.
The Snow Princess and the Fire Prince (from Ballad of Rapunzel)
There once was a Queen of the Swiss Alps named Brunhilda, who was a faithful disciple of the Goddess Flora. Brunhilda had two twin children, both blessed with the spirit of Flora. Prince Ross Red, with his brash confidence, was made the Guardian of the Fiery Rosa. Princess Snow White, with her cool elegance, was made Guardian of the Frost Edelweiss. When the Queen passed away, the King married again. Their stepmother, jealous of Snow White’s beauty, bewitched the King and bade him execute the twins for a false offense. But a magic frog Snow White had befriended exposed the stepmother’s wickedness and saved them. The frog revealed himself to be an exiled Prince, needing a Princess’ kiss to break his curse. A grateful Snow White agreed to kiss him. The two soon fell in love and were to be wed, but Ross Red vehemently protested his sister’s marriage to a cursed man and the twins quarreled fiercely. In the end, Snow White married the Prince and Ross Red left the mountains to find his own path. Years passed, and any reconciliation seemed hopeless…
The Three Artifacts of Floralia (from Ballad of Rapunzel)
Long ago, two rival clans inhabited a piece of land together. Under the Goddess Flora’s patronage, one clan thrived while the young Chief of the weaker clan saw the end of his people draw near. He decided to implore the Goddess, overcoming harsh trials in his quest. Touched by his sincerity and determination, the Goddess gave the man three artifacts: a sword, a mirror, and a jewel. The Goddess told him to use the artifacts if he was determined to change destiny of his clan. But she warned him that the price would be steep for disrupting the fates. After a long, drawn-out battle, with the artifacts in hand, the Chief was victorious. But in the midst of it all, he had lost his family, his lover, and too many of his people. He now understood the Goddess’ warning. Though their destiny had changed, the cost had been paid was too dear. With a solemn heart, he joined the two clans together, crowning himself King. The King lived on to become a wise ruler. He sealed the artifacts, turning over their guardianship and history to his heir before he died. So goes the tale of the first King of Floralia.
Thumbelina (from The Thumbelina Curse)
The power of a Goddess is never absolute, for it rises and falls in accordance to the faith she is bestowed. Such a decline befell Flora, the nature Goddess, forcing her to revert to a child's form. Weakened, Flora came across a wicked witch, whose curse shrunk the Goddess to fit in her wizened palm. The witch named her Thumbelina, intent on keeping her captive. Flora managed to escape, but in her vulnerable state, many more perils faced her. Powerless and lost, she was forced into marriage to a mole, but was saved by a kind swallow in the nick of time. Flora was taken to a floral fairyland where the fairy Prince released her from the curse and allowed her to recuperate within his lands. Soon, Flora and the Prince fell in love. The Prince proposed, but Flora could only refuse, knowing her duty lay elsewhere. Though broken-hearted, the Prince gave his blessing and welcomed her to visit his lands whenever the need arose.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (from The Thumbelina Curse)
Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Dorothy. One day, her house was swept up by a mysterious tornado that carried her to a magical land of fairies and flowers. Dorothy learned of a Goddess residing among the fairies. Hoping she could show her the way home, Dorothy set off on a journey to the core of the fairyland, Rosaria, joined by others she befriended. Among her companions was a Scarecrow, who confessed his desire for a brain; a Tin Man, who proclaimed his wish for a heart; and a cowardly Lion, who wished for courage. They overcame many obstacles and perils along the way, only to have their hopes dashed when the Goddess confessed she was unable to grant all of their wishes. Instead, the Goddess gave the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion tokens of her esteem. For their journey had made it evident they possessed the traits they so desired already. And with a click of her shoes, Dorothy was whisked safely back home. The Goddess resumed her post, maintaining the balance for nature. For certainly, there was no place like home.
Uprise of the Swan (from The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
Once there lived on Dire Island a child called Elise. Her childhood was peaceful and happy, her days were spent wandering and exploring under the great canopy of the Dire Tree. This harmony, however, was broken in a heartbeat. The gates of the Kingdom opened and the Swan Guard rushed in. They carried the bodies of Elise's parents... Their armor and flesh battered by vicious claws... their life - expunged. In one stroke, fate left Elise an orphan. Sorrow almost drove the child to madness, but all was not lost. The Guards themselves adopted her as kin, and offered solace and companionship as her new family. Elise found new purpose as a member of the Guard. She excelled in all of their disciplines - from combat to lore - and became the exemplar of service and duty. Thus, she was exalted to the highest rank: Swan Princess. She presided over the Guard like a loving mother. Yet the thought of every soldier who'd fallen while in the service of the Goddess Flora brought her sadness and opened old wounds. As soldier after soldier perished in the name of their dispassionate Goddess, Elise concluded that something had to be done.
Forbidden Idol (from The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
At one time long ago, childrens' laughter could be heard throughout Dire Island, much more so than today. Their favorite game to play was one where each child would pretend to be their favorite Swan Princess. "I'll be Priscilla" said one girl, "because she was the fairest of them all!" Another girl chimed in, "I choose Ethel, because her music still echoes throughout the land." After the other children had named their favorite princesses, one raven-haired girl spoke softly but with conviction: "I want to be like Odette, pure and true to myself." The children stared at her in shock, as even the mention of the exiled Princess was forbidden. The girl was called Odile, and she grew up to become a member of the Swan Guard, in spite of her problems with authority. She was known for doing things her own way, and getting away with it. In time, a rumor spread throughout the kingdom that a man had been imprisoned by the Swan Princess. Any contact with the prisoner was strictly forbidden, but Odile's curiosity got the better of her. She quickly befriended the prisoner, and from him she found out that Flora was in grave danger. Odile decided to steal the magic seed and stop the plot against the Goddess. In response, the Swan Princess declared her an enemy of the kingdom, and Odile was transformed into a Black Swan, just like Odette before her.
The First Tree (from The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
Long before our time the Goddess Flora planted the very first tree on an island that would later become the Swan Kingdom. From this tree the roots spread throughout the whole planet linking every plant to a central life force. Flora soon realized that the tree could not defend itself against the dangers of the world, so she created the Swan Guard to protect the Dire Tree with their lives. In gratitude, every year the Dire Tree produces a magical seed with the power to rejuvenate Flora in a ritual of rebirth. Ross Red, one of the Guardians of the Goddess, was tasked with supervising the annual ritual, from the birth of the seed to the full rejuvenation of the Goddess. At one such ceremony, while everyone was looking at the Goddess, one pair of eyes remained focused on Ross Red's Weapon, known as the Shattering Sword. Little did Ross Red know of the Swan Princess' plans to destroy the Goddess, for which she needed his weapon.
The Jewel of Repose (from The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
At the far outskirts of what once was the Kingdom of Floralia, there lived a very poor family. The father took pride in the one precious thing he had: a jewel he had found when he was a boy. One windy night, a strange visitor came to the poor family's home. The riches she had to offer in exchange for the father's jewel changed their circumstances forever. They never came to realize they'd conversed with a Princess, or that they'd parted with the Jewel of Repose. The Swan Princess had long coveted the jewel, one of the three legendary artifacts of Floralia. Now the Princess set her sights on the two artifacts that were owned by Ross Red and the Master Tailor. The Swan Princess still mourned her parents and the other victims of conflict. "What kind of a Goddess lets her people die in vain?" asked the Swan Princess. "I shall be a different kind of Goddess, the one that cares for her people!" But to become a Goddess, she had to destroy Flora. And to do that, she needed Flora's creation: the three artifacts of Floralia.
An Old Friendship (from Journey of Atonement)
There once was a botanist of the highest order named Mother Gothel, who held an ancient grudge against the Goddess Flora. If Gerda, Gwyn, and Kai had not disrupted her plan, she would have succeeded in destroying the Goddess. But with the Goddess Flora in full possession of her powers, Mother Gothel had to hide from her reach and lick her wounds. Years passed until one day she was seized by a strange connection with Kai, whom she had cursed in the past; she could feel that Kai was cursed again, but by something far more powerful than her magic. She immediately forged a plan; if she could have the item of such power, not even a Goddess could stand up to her. "Flora, you're mine!" she thought to herself, as she set sails towards the Snowfall Kingdom. Mother Gothel absorbed the energy from nature itself, allowing her to transform into a giant sea serpent. All that remained between her and the Tinderbox was Kai.
- Guardians (servants)
- Swan Guard (servants)
- Belladonna (Guardian)
- Briar Rose (Guardian)
- Ivy Green (Guardian, deceased)
- Rapunzel (Guardian)
- Ross Red (Guardian)
- Snow White (Guardian)
- Gwyn (answered her call)
- Kai (answered her call)
- Gerda (answered her call)
- Mother Gothel (former follower and enemy, unknown)
- Brunhilda (follower, deceased)
- Princess Elise (enemy and murderer, deceased)
- Floralia (patron land)
- Swan Kingdom (patron land)
- "Thank you for answering my call."
- "You all have my deepest gratitude."
- "I must stay in Rosaria to replenish my powers before I can return."
- "I will rest easy, knowing the three of you will be there in my stead."
- "The price for this will be high."
- "Second chances are not so easily given..."
- "Her story has brought me to tears. I shall give part of my essence to her."
- "I bestow upon you the Crown of the Swan. Long may you reign!" (to Odile after crowning her the new Swan Princess)