Wild trumpets must be dried out before they can be safely played by a human mouth. The local tribes of Hyperborea's easternmost islands have mastered this process: they hang the bulbous creatures over a pyre of burning inkwood, whose smoke drains their bells of any lingering venom, and stains their skins an obsidian shade. The instrument that results has a limited range, yet this is counterbalanced by its powerful timbre.

Tourists visiting the region, especially the intoxicated variety, often make the mistake of plucking a live trumpet from the sands and attempting to blow through its roots. Doing so vaporizes the resin that lines its inner tubing, causing inflammation and burns all throughout the respiratory system. Modern medicine can treat these wounds, but permanent damage almost always results.

Picking trumpets for non-ceremonial reasons is illegal, not only because of this danger, but also because their population is not easy to maintain. The average trumpet survives for somewhere between eighty and one-hundred years, during which time it only sounds a single note. Over the complete course of its lifespan, it digests hundreds of thousands of insects lured into its bell, which it converts into electrochemical energy for longterm storage. A battery-like organ rests at the base of its tangled valves, maintaining this stockpile to prepare for one massive burst of wind after several decades of charge. When the time finally comes, its bell erupts with a Vesuvian sforzando, blasting seeds high enough into the air to land on other islands up to fifty miles away. It is rare for the trumpet itself to survive this process, however, as the concentrated force tends to tear most of its inner tubing apart.

Though they are aware of the existence of brass replicas in the Lower Continents, local Hyperboreans consider such instruments to be blasphemous. For them, playing the trumpet is a ritual of resurrection; through the passion and belief of the musician behind it, the plant can know the joy of scattering its seeds once more, even after death.

For a brass trumpet, no matter how beautiful the music is that it makes, it can never remember what it is to be alive.

Humans and instruments experience different emotional dynamics.

Even artificial instruments can be made to feel hunger.

Hyperborean wildlife is not kind to humanity.