Hawthorn

There are two species of Hawthorn extent in the Blessed Isles, the widely distributed common hawthorn (Cratageus monogyna) and the midland hawthorn (Crataegus robur), so called because its range is loosely the English Midlands. They are of a family trees also referred to as hawthorn that can be found all over the Northern Hemisphere and the common terms haw, hawberry, may, may-blossom, may-tree, motherdie, quickthorn, thornapple and whitethorn are also applied to them all somewhat interchangeably.

While Hawthorns have never received the reverence of the Oak, they are strongly associated with fairy-lore (or equivalent) across their range. The connection is so strong that even in parts of the world where the Otherworld is considered a myth, it is traditional to only cut hawthorn when it is in flower for fear of angering the associated spirits.

This association is not totally fallacious. While hawthorns do not survive long as Waypoints when the boundaries of the Otherworld have been pushed back, a high proportion of them are or have been low strength waypoints with their roots in both worlds. Ranger and Warden reports suggest that they may be one of the few trees that survive being split into two as the realities separate, with a number of “twins” having been noted during local explorations.

Descriptions of Hawthorn spirit forms tend to describe them simply as fairies. Even the controversial Theodore William Mortimer-Warren could not bring himself to expand the description beyond adding that the hawthorn spirits he met were “the perfect models for Peter Pan and his Lost Boys”.

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