THE DRACOROOT

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Dracoroot is an extraordinary plant, apparently absorbing the warmth and sunlight during the hot season and allowing it to trickle from its roots during the harsh winter of the far northern lands, keeping small patches of the ground from freezing and thus allowing other plants to live through the merciless cold. It is also a delicious spice, prepared in many dishes, sweet or not, used in teas as a medicinal preparation and rumoured to be used in the elaboration of a powerful healing potion by the ulvur.

Appearance. The Dracoroot is, like the gunthreed, a plant with a bulbous root, but unlike the gunthreed the root of the Dracoroot spreads over larger areas, with bulbs connected by tubular roots and stalks growing from these bulbs every few palmspans. The largest Dracoroot found occupied an area of approximately two peds and one fore in diameter, however it is unknown if this is the superior limit, or if moving one to the warmer southern lands would yield even bigger plants.

The stalks can grow up to two fores and a few nailsbreaths in height, with long leaves of vibrant yellow-green hues, and during the hottest time of the year, it develops a cluster of white, red, yellow or orange buds at the tip of the stalks that blossom into beautiful flowers, with a subtle sweet and spicy scent that lures birds and butterflies, making it a very appealing plant to keep in gardens.

The plant takes between two or three years to reach its full size and start flowering. Any bulb can be used to grow a whole new plant, but cutting and planting bulbs is only done early in spring, to give it as much time as possible to take in the sunlight and warmth it needs.
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Territory. The tundra of Cyhalloi, the Icelands and Akdor are the original territories where this plant is found, growing nearby the rivers and in open, humid fields. While it can be grown in the mountains, the rocky soil makes it hard for this plant to achieve its full growth and often makes it weak and sickly, drastically reducing its size and lifespan.

There is currently an attempt at growing a few specimens in New-Santhala, to better understand how well this plant develops in far more favourable conditions, with expectation that, like some other plants of the cold regions, it grows exceptionally large and healthy.
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Usages. The root produces a fragrant kitchen spice, with the younger roots being better since they are fleshy, rich in the yellowish juice that warms whatever it touches and adds a very spicy taste to any dish should it be added in quantities larger than a few drops.

Boiled in water, the root and flowers produce a sweet and spicy tea, often sweetened even further with honey. This tea is said to cure colds and alleviate the pain in the articulations, as well as nausea and seasickness.

With other spices and honey it is used to brew an ale, said to be capable of keeping one warm throughout the chilly days of the tundra.

Stories say that the Ulvur use this plant to spice their meals, scalding and grounding the roots of recently dead plants down to a powder. It is also said that with this plant and a moss only known to the wolf-kin, a powerful potion can be brewed that heals most any wound, however we do firmly believe this to be an exaggeration or part of folklore, as the moss has yet to be found, and would this be true, the Ulvur wouldn't have as many casualties due to battle wounds as they are said to have.
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Reproduction. The plant can reproduce in two ways: The first, already mentioned once, consist of cutting a bulb and planting it on another patch of soil, but this method can only be done during the first couple of weeks of the spring, as the plant needs all the sunlight and heat available to grow during the warm season.

The other is, also already mentioned, a cluster of flowers, which grow at the top of the stalks during the hottest months of the year, serving often as an indicator of when the best days are coming as it starts budding just weeks before.

The flower cluster evolves through the warm season into a round, dry pod and produces a soft, featherlike tissue that keeps the seeds warm through the winter. Come the spring, these pods crack open, and let the seeds fly with the winds or fall into the water, traveling down rivers until they reach some soil.
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Myth/Lore. The Dracoroot is said to be born from the tears of a powerful and ancient dragon, preserving some of the magical qualities of its creator, such as absorbing and keeping the heat and sunlight. Truth is, while not very well understood, it is known that the juice stored at the roots during the hot season somehow manages to freeze at lower temperatures than water, and theplant sweats this juice through its roots during winter, preventing the water from freezing around it.

Ximaxian scholars believe that this plant possesses a natural way to fix fire ounía to the ground through its juice, and thus the juice can be seen as a carrier of fire ounía, extremely useful in potions and alchemy.

It is also because of this belief that we can consider possible the creation of a healing potion using this root, but the process is still a mystery due to the insufficient study of this plant in the past.
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 Date of last edit 1st Turning Star 1675 a.S.

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