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Author Topic: Squilla fungus  (Read 21506 times)
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Alysse the Likely
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« on: 16 July 2004, 16:30:00 »

Here's a rough draft of the Squilla.  It's not finished yet but I'd like your comments and suggestions.  I know it's kind of short, but really, how complex is a fungus?


Basic Overview of the Plant
The Squilla is a fungus that grows thickly all over Sarvonia, from the Celeste Lowlands in the north to Cape Strata in the south. It is an edible fungus with a delicious spicy flavour that makes it invaluable to Sarvonian cooks.  Most races in Sarvonia, including orcs, elves, Brownies, hobbits, and Thergerim, as well as humans, enjoy this fungus as a spice for various foods.
It is known as "shelfung" (Sarvonian)  "kroch'tlor" (orcish)  and "urtumua" (ThergerimTaal).

Description
Squillae are large, stiff fungi that grow anywhere that there is plenty of moisture.  They grow out of the lower trunks of trees that are near lakes and rivers or growing in swampy areas.  Squillae are approximately half circular in shape, with a rough ridged surface.  They are flat on the top but the underside curves upwards from a thick base to the narrow edges.  They resemble little shelves, hence their nickname “shelf-fungus”, commonly shortened to “shelfung”. They can be as much as two nailsbreadths thick at the base and half a palmspan long. They are a dusty brown in colour, slightly darker than elken brown. The average Squilla weighs about 1 or 2 muts.   The older a Squilla gets, the stronger its flavour becomes.  It also becomes harder.  After it reaches full maturity, it will usually spore within about two weeks (see Reproduction)  Squillae require little sun and grow best in the shade.  If any spores do happen to reach a sunnier area, the fungus may grow, but it will be small and shriveled, without much taste.   (picture, see Faugar’s Silvermarshes).  

Territory
This fungus grows throughout the world of Caelereth, in the temperate areas.  In Sarvonia, it is found most thickly in the areas south of Nyermersys, though it does grow in the Celeste Lowlands in summer, along the banks of the Luquador, Readmeade and Quest Rivers and by Crystal Lake. It is found in Yamalquain, Nybelmar and on the Isles of R’unor.

Usages
This fungus imparts a lovely spicy, smoky flavour to foods.  It is the preferred spice for leveret, forcebread, and poultry, but may be used in almost any savoury dish.  There are two methods of preparation used.  The most common is simply to grate it and store it in a tightly sealed container.  It will last for several months this way.  The second method, used with smaller fungi, is to immerse the whole fungus in oil overnight, after which it will become soft and spongy.  Then it may be chopped finely and used in any recipe.  This intensifies the flavour significantly so it is not normally used with the stronger flavoured large ones. The domestic pig (see Bestiary) loves the scent of this fungus and can be trained to hunt for it, though training the pig not to gobble it down does take a bit more work.  

Reproduction
Squillae reproduce by producing spores.  A Squilla that is ready to spore becomes darker in colour and has a puffier appearance to it.  These should not be harvested for eating as they have a very bitter taste.  Within a week, the fungus is ready to reproduce.  It separates from the tree and falls to the ground, where it bursts, releasing a cloudy dark powdery substance.  This contains the spores, which attach on to the nearest tree they touch.  They grow throughout the year in the warmer areas of Caelereth, but go dormant in colder places until spring.

Myth/Lore/Origins (optional)
Though Squilla have no particularl mythological associations, there are various folk beliefs about them.  Orcs believe that this fungus will strengthen the blood for fighting. so it is prevalent throughout much of their cookery.  They call it the Kroch’Tlor, which translates roughly as “Good Blood”. The Blaa’kr tribe on the Iles of R’unor believe that it enhances sexual potency.  Hobbits say that it will increase one’s wisdom.  Most races, however, just believe that it tastes good and that is why they add it to their food.


Alysse the Likely

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 7/30/04 20:23
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 17 July 2004, 02:44:00 »

Sort of a cross between truffles, sage, and oyster mushrooms... a very cool plant!  Let's make sure to incorporate Squillpowder (or whatever you'd like to call the spice derived from the plant) into more of our receipts...

(makes note to make a Forcebread entry so people know what Alysse is talking about...)

Hey, Bard Judith is internationally known for her forcebread, AKA stuffing... seriously, when we did a Thanksgiving dinner here in Korea several years ago, there wasn't a morsel left...


I'm working on a tiny laptop with a miniature screen in my dorm room just before a cafeteria supper, so I don't have time to edit/comment thoroughly now, Alysse, but it looks pretty good.  Thanks for getting that up so quickly!  I hope to come back later, but I've got yet another Orientation Session to run tonight for eighteen Canadian teachers and twenty Korean counsellors, so... perhaps later will be tomorrow.

Regards from the throat-sore bard,
Judith

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #2 on: 19 July 2004, 22:00:00 »

Thank you, Bard!  

So is the entry too short? Or can it stand?  I appreciate any and all suggestions.:)  

BTW, the common name for this in powder form is "shelfung", derived from shelf-fungus.

Alysse the Likely

Edited by: Alysse theLikely at: 7/22/04 16:28
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Alysse the Likely
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 24 July 2004, 13:00:00 »

Just a tiny note: The Brownies are always written with a capital "B" here in Santharia, due to an emancipation decree by a Milkengradian Anactar, in order to counter the descrimination of the Milken Brownies;)

Other small correction: It's "Nyermersys", not "Nymersys".

The various different names for the fungus you mention throughout the entry (Shelfung, Kroch’Tlor) should also be added to the Overview, I'd say. We usually do that so that you have them all together. Nice name BTW, this "Shelfung"...

The entry itself is pretty fine from my point of view, Alysse, so I'll give you the integrattion arrow. It's not necessary to write a whole novel for a fungus entry - you have all the important information here, it's precise and doesn't leave anything open (and we also have Faugar's picture - yay!), so it's all perfect from my point of view.


The Santharian Dream Webmaster - Let Fantasy Dreams come true!
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #4 on: 26 July 2004, 23:21:00 »

Thanks, Art!   I made the corrections, so it should be all ready to go.

Now it's time for me to get back to the tale of F'ash, after being distracted by various other entries.  The final chapter will be forthcoming soon, I promise!  

Alysse the Likely

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Alysse the Likely
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