what is a sproutling?
"Sproutling" is an affectionate nickname for newly born beanlings and blightlings! This is due to the fact that in the first moments of their lives, the little critters always resemble a small seed pod. For beanlings, this seed pod tends to have a single, tiny leave sprouting from the top of it. For blightlings, the seed pod absorbs corruption that will become their essence, and it can appear as though it has small, root-like vines sprouting from the bottom. Either way, the seed pod will eventually grow into a little creature!
born from wishes and curses
Traditionally, Beanlings are a type of fairy creature that are born from a wish. The wish manifests as a ribbon infused with magical script (the wish) and forms a bean sprout. The bean sprout then sprouts a head, stumpy arms, ears, feelers, hair and wings; all the parts that make them into a beanling! They appear unconscious, until dew drops are caught in the ears and awakens the beanling. They are typically born inside flowers, though they can occasionally spawn out of the thin air if the wish is strong enough! Their wish can be made from any sentient creatures wish and new beanlings can be born this way whenever a creature outside of Prism Vale makes a wish.
On the other hand, blightlings are similar creatures that are instead born from a curse. Ill-intentions can gather to manifest into an inscribed curse tag, which then curls in tightly and forms a seed pod. The pod will absorb corruption from their surroundings until the rest of their body grows from it. They are typically born near the roots of trees or in crevices underground, anywhere dark- even under a pillow, if the curse is strong enough! The curses that form them can be made by any sentient creatures' strong emotions, and new blightings can be born this way whenever a creature outside of Prism Vale has ill intentions for someone (or something).
However, if Flowerlings or Witherlings are wishing to start their own families, there is hope- Sprouting!
what is Sprouting?
In Prism Vale, there's naturally a seasonal flux of ambient mana that flows around the Vale. Every year, around spring-time and at the height of the magical season, many beanlings are overcome with the desire to connect and combine their magic with others. Witherlings and Flowerlings are able, at this time, to use their own desires and magic to create a new essence.
The process creates a batch of new little sprout pods, which are usually topped with dandelion-like puffs that can scatter them across the islands of the Vale. These sprout pods will stay dormant until they are able to absorb enough magic to sprout; Usually, this can happen by the pod coming into contact with a flowerling or witherling (especially their parents). However, if they're not found by anyone with enough magic to spare, then they'll eventually grow on their own.
This is the only way beanlings are able to reproduce by themselves. However, this ability is typically only available for one month a year; outside of the sprouting month, all new sproutlings are simply made from other creatures wishes.
Family and Relationships
Sproutlings born from sprouting can have a range of relationships with their parents; some are not close while others form a tight knit family unit. This is often very much influenced by the scattering of the sprouts at the time of their creation. Whether related by magic, wishers, or nothing at all, beanlings are naturally close creatures and usually find a sense of family within their community that fits them. Flowerlings are known to take on adoptive and mentoring rolls for new beanlings, regardless of their creation origin. Blightlings and Witherlings have a tendency to be a bit more cautious and closed off, but are often fiercely loyal to those they do develop connections with.