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Thortar
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« on: 22 April 2007, 03:43:48 »

hi,

This is the new edited version. Everything in orange is edited.


 Name:

The Nightgrape


Categorization:

Edible Fungus


Overview:

The Nightgrape is a fungus that grows on cave walls and ceilings, preferring the dark to the sunlight above ground. It will keep growing unless pruned if being cultivated for food and sticks to the walls and ceilings. The “grape” is usually grown by dwarfs as a food and for making wine and vinegar.  If a piece becomes detached it will keep on growing and create a new plant.

The Nightgrape naturally prefers deeper caves that are naturally formed because of the protection from the elements. Most of these caverns are vast and can be as big as whole cities. The remoteness of these caverns and caves are not helped by the fact that they can only be accessed through miniature tunnels. Even though (not sure how to word that) the nightgrape has been harvested and carefully moved to the dwarvish cities willing to undertake the task of growing and harvesting the fruit. Because of this the Nightgrape is relatively well known plant that dwarves have harvested for many years. 

Description:
The Nightgrape is a fungi that sticks to cave walls and ceilings drawing energy from the minerals in the rock. It is a dark, semi-translucent colour with bulging purple veins, it seems to root itself wherever it touches the living rock, by sending out tiny tendrils into every crack and imperfection on the rock face. The plant will keep growing and can cover a whole section of cave within a short period of time.
 The name Nightgrape comes from the appearance of the black, grape shaped globules that are the fruit of the Nightgrape. The fruit of the Nightgrape hang from little branches that stick out from the main plant. You can tell when the fruit is ready to be eaten because it will be a very dark black. The fruit of the Nightgrape can grow to have a diameter of a quarter of a ped although by that time it is most likely to have fallen of the branch.
The plant grows by sending branches with a moss like texture all over the surface of the rock. The tiny tendrils from these branches are what keep the plant attached to the wall. This is why the base of the fungus will send out multiple main branches that in turn separate into other branches forming a huge network to harvest minerals and anchor the plant to the wall.
Domesticated versions of the Nightgrape have been selectively bred to produce larger and more grapes on a single plant. The plant can grow as quickly as 2 ped square (would you say hat is a good amount?)n per week and requires constant pruning. The Nightgrape cannot be trained on trellises because the huge root system puts to much weight on it and will overpower it and just keep growing.    



Territory:

The Nightgrape will grow in any cave it can find, natural or not, from the mass of underground routes. It is, however, mainly found in the caves of the eastern province Manthria in south Sarvonia.  Dwarven records show that its origin appears to mainly be Manthrian but dwarves have successfully 'transplanted' it by moving it in complete darkness to the desired location.Some dwarfs have tried to move it to other cave systems and have had reasonable succes appart from the rare (i have changed this to make it all fit in and not contradict itself) mishaps when the plant comes into contact with sunlight.  The Nightgrape has successfully moved to other caves through underground tunnels and attached to walls to be bred for food. When moved it has to be moved by night or by tunnels. This is because it reacts badly with light, the branches wither and fall to dust while the fruit will gradually expand and explode, all this happens almost instantly when it comes into contact with light. Although it can be moved by taking the spores and moving them whilst kept in the dark, but for some unknown reason it is quite hard to grow domesticated plants from spore form.The plant, due to the way it feeds is very dependent on what rock it grows on, this fact makes it harder to move.

I am not sure on that section andd juist get confused reading and editing it but will keep trying





Usage:

The Nightgrape is only farmed by dwarfs due to the plants choice of location and habitat. The dwarves are the only race that is persistent enough to grow it. Most of the plant can be harvested, but the most commonly used part of the fungi to be used is the fruit that is used to make a special form of wine as well as an interesting type of vinegar. If cooked slowly the grape and branch can be mixed into a stew or used separately to make a pie, called Nightgrape pie. The globule called the grape can be eaten raw but it will lead to a fever. Some brave, or crazy dwarfs are in the process of experimenting with the branches to see if it can be smoked or the dust from the dead branches has any hallucinogenic powers.
When domesticated the plant has to be pruned regularly.

Reproduction:

The Nightgrape reproduces in a complex system of underground tunnels and sporing inside the caves. Sometimes part of the plant will get separated from the main plant, when this happens the part that is separated will form a new plant and continue growing in the same way. The spores of the plant will stick to a creature that brushes the grape and drop of at a later point. The spores are released at a point above the grape where it meets the branch. The most common creature that the spores attach to are Morjual. With domesticated plants they are given a helping hand by the dwarf grape farmers that employ children to brush up against the plant and then brush up against another part of the wall.






Myth and Lore:

Several dwarfish sayings have developed thanks to the Nightgrape such as “It’s sticking like Nightgrape” and “Gossip grows like the Nightgrape but is far less useful”. It has now become common practise that dwarfish doctors take branches of Nightgrape outside and mix the dust with water to create a smelling salt to wakeup fainted or unconscious dwarves. It is also believed that the first Nightgrape was grown and discovered by accident when a famous Dwarven explorer rubbed against the plant and then a piece of rock in a Mitharim cave after leaning on it for support after some disappointing news. Unless mixed or cooked properly the grape can lead to a fever, this is a well-known fact and is a commonly used practical joke, with young dwarves tricking each other into eating raw grapes and sometimes getting a day or two of school. Young dwarves are sometimes employed to collect spores and then brush them off on to the rocks are usually called grapers because of the plant. In a common retake of the emblem of the Mitharim dwarves the Nightgrape grape is used in the centre, this is because of the amount of room the dwarfs leave and give the plant.   

« Last Edit: 16 September 2007, 16:05:09 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Thortar
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« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2007, 04:13:06 »

Will look at this tomorrow if i can, if not, monday.
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« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2007, 07:08:43 »

Dear Thortar,

first of all, welcome to the Dream. Great to see you're finding your way around here and have been led to the Herbarium. I'll gladly try and help out here a bit to see if we can get you on the road for a first entry to the website!

First of all, I like the idea. It's very probable that a plant like this will live in a typical dwarven environment like their subterrean territory and therefore a great addition to the Compendium. Now we have to see if we can turn your entry in something completely unique to the Santharian universe.

The main problem with your text so far, is that it remains rather vague. There are all sorts of very nice suggestions, like the only recent discovery, or that is it only seen in the Manthrian province, but there are no clear "why" or "how" to your text.

* Why was it only recently discovered? Surely the dwarves know their underground territories? Can you find an original, unique reason for that?
* Why can't it be moved? "one reason or another" won't do, but there must be good reason to make up? Will it somehow rot instantly when it comes in sunlight, so that it has to be moved by night or underground? Is the underground climate in Manthria different than in other regions of Southern Sarvonia? I also find this fact hard to combine with the easiness it apparently has with growing when detached, shown by your text both by your description of spread branches and the fallen fruits. Maybe you have to rethink this?
* I would also distinguish between 'wild' and 'domesticated' versions of the plant. Are Dwarves already planting because they think their useful, or are they only cultivating them for experiments?

You have a lot of possibilities here for sidesteps, like mentioning the Dwarf who first discovered their probable usefulness, where and when, how long ago did this happen? What are they doing now? What are the prospects for the experiments. Let your fantasy go wild, there's enough room for that.

Next to that, don't hesitate to tie your entry 'into the universe'. As you've no doubt noticed the Compendium is already vast. If your creating a fungus for dwarves, you can use the 'search function' (the magnifying glass in the menu of the website, on the top left) to search for other fungi, dwarven territory and other subterranean plants. In this way your entry isn't a 'stand-alone', but becomes a vital element of our universe. You could look for example at a relative fungus like the The Sulcho Mushroom or the Dwarves living in the eastern part of Manthria, the Mitharim Dwarves.

I hope you can use these to make the text you have now less vague, more clear, and don't hesitate to be more descriptive and elaborate by adding new information! Use your imagination and continue to read the entries already there for inspiration. And we're always here to help, so don't hesitate to ask questions! With kinds regards and good luck on your work,
Gean Firefeet
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« Reply #3 on: 23 April 2007, 10:54:43 »

Welcome Thortar!

Cool plant - I do have some editorial comments, in red, some points for clarification, in yellow, and strikeouts, where I suggest alternative wording.

Trel.


Name:

The Nightgrape


Categorization:

Edible Fungus


Overview:

The Nightgrape is a fungus that grows on cave walls and ceilings, preferring the dark to the sunlight above ground. It will keep growing unless pruned if being cultivated for food and sticks to the walls and ceilings like moss. Many species of fungi are able to cling to some sort of substrate.  I'd suggest removing this and any other reference to moss, as mosses are very different than fungi.The grape is usually grown by dwarfs as a food and for making wine and vinegar. The Nightgrape is a relatively new found foodstuff and still not fully understood and so only the bravest of dwarfs grow it. If a piece becomes detached it will keep on growing and create a new plant.

Description:
The Nightgrape is a fungi moss like plant that sticks to cave walls and ceilings drawing energy from the minerals in the rock. It is a light green plant with one main root into the rock, usually found at the base of the plant. It keeps itself attached to the wall in much the same way as a moss. The attachment process is vaguely written.  I'd suggest that this fungus secretes a viscous, sticky substance that allows the plant to adhere to the rock.The plant will keep growing and can cover a whole section of cave.
 The name Nightgrape comes from the appearance of the black, grape shaped globules that are the fruit of the Nightgrape. The fruit of the Nightgrape hang from little branches and hang apart from the main plant. You can tell when the fruit is ready to be eaten because it will be a very dark black. The fruit of the Nightgrape can grow to have a diameter of a quarter of a ped by which time it is most likely to have fallen of the branch.

The plant grows by sending branches with a moss like texture all over the surface of the rock. Those branches are what keep the plant attached to the wall, because of this the base of the fungus will send of multiple main branches the in turn separate into other branches forming a huge network to harvest minerals and anchor the plant to the wall. Sometimes part of the plant will get separated from the main plant, when this happens the part that is separated will form a new plant and continue growing in the same way.  I suggest moving the last sentence of this paragraph to Reproduction - what you've described here is a type of vegetative reproduction.

What is the rate of growth of this plant?  You mention that it can grow to cover an entire section of a wall, but exactly how fast does it grow and how big?  More importantly though, if this plant is able to grow so large, how come it hasn't been found before?  This plant sounds almost invasive, and if it is able to produce enough 'grapes' to produce wine, then it must get really big.  Just so you know, a hectare of land in typical vineyard will allow you to produce 11000 kg of grapes, which will make about 10000 bottles of wine.  You need about 1.1 kg of grapes to make a 750ml bottle.  I'd suggest doing some thinking about how much 'wallspace' you need for a bottle of wine.
   
Territory:

The Nightgrape will grow in any cave it can find, natural or not, from the mass of underground routes. It is, however, mainly found in the caves of the eastern province Manthria in south Sarvonia. Some dwarfs have tried to move it to other cave systems and have mainly failed due to one reason or the other.  Maybe disease or herbivory reduce its growth in other areas.  Perhaps the person who has done the entry has noted that it grows only in caves with a lot limestone or some other mineral, that could be limiting its growth in other areas where those minerals are not abundant?



Usage:

The Nightgrape is only farmed by dwarfs due to its choice of habitat. Most and most of the plant can be harvested, but the most commonly used part of the fungi to be used is the fruit that is used to make a special form of wine as well as an interesting type of vinegar. The globule called the grape can be eaten raw but it will lead to a slight fever. Some brave dwarfs are in the process of experimenting with the branches to see if it can be used to fill pipes.  What is it about this plant that would make the dwarves think to do this?  I'm not sure I understand why they want to fill pipes with this stuff, but I could be missing something obvious???

Reproduction:

The Nightgrape reproduces by ina complex system of underground tunnels and above ground by producing sporessporing like most mosses and fungiCan you give more description of the sporulating structure and the spores themselves?  How often do they produce spores and reproduce?  The Nightgrapenight grape can be cut off of the wall by very persistent farmers and moved, although this is very complicated procedure.  Be careful here.  You've already stated that it will only grow in certain caves and that attempts at moving the Nightgrape beyond its current range have failed.  You run the risk of sounding like you're contradicting yourself if you don't specify where this has been succesfully attempted.


Thortar
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« Reply #4 on: 24 April 2007, 00:36:03 »

Seems like Thortar cut me short there :). I'll wait for the edited version, piling comments upon comments does no good..
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« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2007, 01:50:56 »

Hi,

Thanks for the comments. I will do my best. I did thought there should of been a bit more detail but wasn't sure. And the moss fungus thing, i just thought about that this morning. I will try to have it changed tonight if not tommorrow.

Thortar
« Last Edit: 24 April 2007, 03:11:26 by Thortar » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: 25 April 2007, 00:47:34 »

i've sent a note to Bard Judith to ask her to check the dwarven-related things, as i think there are a few points she cold point you into the right direction, particularilly about the reasons the Nightgrape has not been found before.. (I think the Dwarves have had ample time to find just about any cave connected to the outside world, especially in this area.. but yet again, only Judith can make this call..)

Looking good so far!
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« Reply #7 on: 27 April 2007, 03:51:01 »

(Off Topic:)
Got a larger picture of your Forum portrait, Thortar? If so, send it to me at webmaster@santharia.com and I can make you a decent picture with a nice frame around it.
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« Reply #8 on: 28 April 2007, 23:24:27 »

(Back on topic: (grins at Art) )

This is a great concept and beginning to be fleshed out,  but I don't think it's going to be ready for this update.  I have a number of comments to make, and Thortar deserves the time to think about them and integrate them - or give his own interpretations and arguments, of course!   

As has been said before:  better to take the time and have a really good entry, than to rush it and have a half-baked one.   If you are all right with that, Thortar, we'll work on this together over the next couple of weeks and see if we can't get it ready for the next update!

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Thortar
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« Reply #9 on: 30 April 2007, 00:23:53 »

O.K.  grin
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« Reply #10 on: 07 May 2007, 04:21:08 »

Hullo, Thortar!   Your lazy Dwarvenmistress has finally gotten out of her tower and wandered down to have a look at this new plant....   

My comments/suggestions will be in orange, while problematic areas will be in limegreen: I shan't bother with detailed corrections/editing until this is closer to a finished stage, ok?  And I will be ruthless - this is a great idea with some excellent details, but it still really needs flesh and skin on its bones to give it the richness it deserves for entry status.   Let's see what we can do to give it some 'meat'!


The Nightgrape


Categorization:

Edible Fungus


Overview:

The Nightgrape is a fungus that grows on cave walls and ceilings, preferring the dark to the sunlight above ground. It will keep growing unless pruned if being cultivated for food and sticks to the walls and ceilings. The “grape” is usually grown by dwarfs as a food and for making wine and vinegar. The Nightgrape is a relatively newfound foodstuff and still not fully understood and so only the bravest of dwarfs grow it. If a piece becomes detached it will keep on growing and create a new plant.

The Nightgrape has only just been discovered because it naturally prefers deeper caves that are naturally formed because of the protection from the elements. Most of these caverns are vast and can be as big as whole cities. The remoteness of these caverns and caves are not helped by the fact that they can only be accessed through miniature tunnels.  Sorry, I don't 'buy it'.  According to established information about the Thergerim of Caelereth, they are deep-diggers and highly skilled miners.  A 'miniature tunnel' is only a challenge for a determined dwarf with a pickaxe, while city-size caverns already existing would certainly have been colonized before now.   Even the shallowest cave provides 'protection from the elements', as far as a plant is concerned, so I don't find this detail convincing.   But - no worries - I also don't find it necessary.  You are quite welcome to make it an established part of the dwarven diet and create a thorough back-story for it - it's a great concept and very suitable for the Thergerim.  Please feel free to add to the history and usages with that in mind!

Description:
The Nightgrape is a fungi that sticks to cave walls and ceilings drawing energy from the minerals in the rock. It is a light green plant with one main root into the rock, usually found at the base of the plant. It keeps itself attached to the wall by releasing a sticky substance that will effectively glue the plant to the wall. The plant will keep growing and can cover a whole section of cave within a short period of time.  First, light green is a colour associated with chlorophyll production - while our Santharian scientists don't know about such things, it strikes me as improbable that a cave fungus would be this colour.   I'd really suggest making it a dark, semi-translucent substance, possibly veined with a deep purplish or ruddy shade for interest's sake.  Second, I like the idea of it 'gluing' itself to the wall, but that's not very consistent with the description of it having one 'root' - also not a fungal property.  I'd simply say that it seems to 'root' wherever it touches the living rock, sending tiny tendrils into every crack and cranny. 


 The name Nightgrape comes from the appearance of the black, grape shaped globules that are the fruit of the Nightgrape. The fruit of the Nightgrape hang from little branches and hang apart from the main plant. You can tell when the fruit is ready to be eaten because it will be a very dark black. The fruit of the Nightgrape can grow to have a diameter of a quarter of a ped by which time it is most likely to have fallen of the branch.
The plant grows by sending branches with a moss like texture all over the surface of the rock. Those branches are what keep the plant attached to the wall, because of this the base of the fungus will send of multiple main branches the in turn separate into other branches forming a huge network to harvest minerals and anchor the plant to the wall.   A bit unclear, but that just requires a bit of editing to make the plant show up more distinctively in our mind's eye....
Domesticated versions of the Nightgrape have been selectively bred to produce larger and more of the 'grapes' on a single plant.   

Territory:

The Nightgrape will grow in any cave it can find, natural or not, from the mass of underground routes. It is, however, mainly found in the caves of the eastern province Manthria in south Sarvonia. Some dwarfs have tried to move it to other cave systems and have mainly failed due to one reason or the other. The reason for this is still unknown but it is suspected that it is because of the limestone in the rock. The Nightgrape has successfully been moved to other caves through underground tunnels and attached to walls to be bred for food. When moved it has to be moved by night or by tunnels. This is because it reacts badly with light causing it to wither and die almost instantly. Although it can be moved by taking the spores and moving them whilst kept in the dark, but for some reason it is quite hard to grow domesticated plants from spore form.


Still inconsistent.  Let's choose which facts about the Nightgrape you'd like to use, and then stick with them.  Does it grow in any cave, or mainly in Manthria?  Can it be moved, or not?   For the record I vote b) and a) - 'dwarven records show that its origin appears to be Manthrian but dwarves have successfully 'transplanted' it by moving it in complete darkness', etc. etc.  (I like the 'reacts badly with light'!  Convincing - perhaps you could say just HOW it reacts - the 'grapes' swell and burst, leaking their contents, while the plant stems themselves shrivel up?) This lets you add some interesting detail and give it some history.  See Gean's comments and try to integrate them as well. 




Usage:

The Nightgrape is only farmed by mitharim dwarfs due to the plants choice of location and habitat.  Be brave - branch out!  Er, no pun intended...  Most of the plant can be harvested, - for what? - but the most commonly used part of the fungi to be used is the fruit that is used to make a special form of wine as well as an interesting type of vinegar. The globule called the grape can be eaten raw but it will lead to a slight fever. Some brave, or crazy dwarfs are in the process of experimenting with the branches to see if it can be used to fill pipes although this is seriously doubted.    This is not clear at all.   Did you mean that the stems are hollow and can be used as piping?  Very unlikely that they are either thick enough or strong enough, given that this is a soft-bodied fungus, not an enlarged grass or tree.   It might be interesting to use the (otherwise useless?  Details! You do say above most parts can be harvested!) branches as insulation or mattress stuffing, if they don't decay and wither immediately.  Perhaps they make great fertilizer for the underground farms, turning into an almost liquid pulp when removed from the rock and allowed to die...?   
When domesticated the plant has to be pruned regularly.  (How fast does it grow?  Measurements!  Why does it require pruning? Why not 'train it' on carved trellises and arches of natural rock to create fantastic 'tunnels' and 'garlands' of fruit-bearing vegetation?)

Reproduction:

The Nightgrape reproduces in a complex system of underground tunnels and sporing inside the caves. The Nightgrape can be cut off of the wall by very persistent farmers and moved, although this is very complicated procedure. Sometimes part of the plant will get separated from the main plant, when this happens the part that is separated will form a new plant and continue growing in the same way. The spores of the plant will stick to a creature that brushes the grape and drop of at a later point. The spores are released at a point above the grape where it meets the branch. The most common creature that the spores attach to are bats. With domesticated plants they are given a helping hand by the dwarf grape farmers that employ children to brush up against the plant and then brush up against another part of the wall.    Cute!  Bats in dwarven are 'Morjual'.  I don't think you can 'transplant' a fungus by cutting it off the wall, or by division, so perhaps we should keep transplantation and domestication strictly through sporing. 


Any legends or myths about this?  Receipts for Nightgrape vinegar?  Poultices that can be made with the mashed stems?  A saying or proverb?   ("Gossip grows like the Nightgrape but is far less useful..." for example)   Give a bit of historical background describing how it has spread out through patient transportation of the spores from one clan to the next.    Tell us how dwarven children dare each other to taste the raw fruit and risk a fever in classes the next day.   Show us how the dwarvenmatrons make up pickled bottles of the immature 'grapebuds', like capers, to go with roasts and other meat dishes.    Let us feel the passion that our farmers have in tending this unique and interesting plant!   

Ok, Thortar, all yours.  Have fun, and let's see what grows out of this... (yeah, pun intended that time....)
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« Reply #11 on: 07 May 2007, 06:25:04 »

Very good entry except for one thing, Why does it cause fever? huh
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« Reply #12 on: 07 May 2007, 06:43:56 »

  Great entry, Thortar! thumbup  Just one small thing: Aren't branches of fungi called "hyphae", or is that really scientific sounding?
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« Reply #13 on: 07 May 2007, 10:37:34 »

Correct me if I'm wrong Thortar, but I think "can be used to fill pipes" refers to attempts to see if it is smokable.  They may be experimenting to see if it could be used as a type of tobacco.  Who knows, maybe it is, but has hallucinegenic effects!

The entry is coming along nicely!  It looks like just a few adjustments and you will have it done.  Keep thinking...
« Last Edit: 07 May 2007, 10:41:49 by Hylphán » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: 07 May 2007, 21:28:19 »

Hi

@Hylphán, yeah when i said the pipe thing i meant to fill and smoke.

@Klancey, i thought about it but decided it was to scientific.

@Colussuem, i will think about it.

@Bard, jokay i shall go through and edit and embelish as soon as pos. I am not however sure on wether it was recently discoverred or why have you got any ideas? :)

Thortar

Edit: Actually bard don't worry
« Last Edit: 08 May 2007, 01:32:38 by Thortar » Logged

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