From Guild of Archivists
Ephemerals (Cleft Base).png
Found in Inception, Torus, Earth, Relto

The term ephemerals refers to a particular species of flowers originally found growing in the cleft. The species can sometimes be found in other Ages, usually as a result of being intentionally written-in, e.g. by Atrus.

The precise name of the species is unknown; the term ephemerals is used to refer to them simply because that is the term used by Anna when first introducing them to Atrus. Ephemeral is a word meaning "something that lasts for a short period of time" and is used specifically in biology to refer to an organism that exists for only one day, which appears to be the case for the flowers of this species found in the desert beyond the cleft, but perhaps not necessarily for other instances of this species.

The flowers are described in The Book of Atrus as being delicate, having tiny, star-like petals and a dark velvet stamen. They first appear at the bottom of the cleft, near Keta's grave. They don't appear in the desert surrounding the cleft until later on, when Anna scatters all the seeds kept in the cleft storeroom before the advent of a storm. After the storm comes, the flowers grow, and Atrus sees them covering the desert around the cleft. By morning the flowers have all gone.

When Atrus wrote his first Age, Inception, he was careful to ensure that the world contained ephemerals. It had taken him a lot of time and effort to choose the prcise soil type and balance of minerals in the soil. However, the section that described them was later scored out by Gehn during a fit of rage, suggesting that they may no longer be found in the age.

Similar flowers, possibly the same species, also appeared on Katran's Torus Age. However, it is unclear whether this detail was introduced by Katran or by Anna, as it is known that Katran had contact with Anna by this point, and it appears unlikely that Katran would have ever encountered such flowers in person.

The ephemerals can also be seen in Uru. They can only be found in the desert during rain, but within the cleft itself they can always be found at the bottom, by the pool.