THE DURBLUD FLOWER

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Durblud Flower is a haughty-looking flower growing hardly a handspan from the ground. Its long, leaves appear almost like pieces of curled parchment of dusty green, and bend under their own weight. As such, the Durbludís folds of leaves fall around its draping about its slender stalk like the folds of a petticoat. Despite its elegant design, the Durbludís leaves are quite poisonous, and the root, which is commonly used in nefarious potions, has a bitter taste.

Appearance. The Durblud Flower is a fairly simple plant, blending into the hills and plains where it commonly dwells, preferring the drier soil. The leaves, reaching out nearly two handspans at full length, appear to be rolled parchment, becoming more and more creased and withered near the tips. The younger leaves sprout from the plants center, little finger-nail sized nubs that, as they lengthen, becoming pushed down by other leaves as the plant grows. The stem behind these leaves can only be discovered by tearing the leaves from it, at which point the stout, tan stem appears. The stem, at full length, is a little shy of a handspan tall, and hardly a nailsbreadth across.

This, of course, changes come late summer. As the hottest part of the summer is yellowing the grasses and withering the delicate flowers of the plain, the Durblud is readying its bloom: it grows a long, thin stalk tipped with a bud that appears brownish-red. Petal by petal, it blooms the way a rose might, but with none of a roseís bright luster. The petals seem almost withered before the sunlight can touch them, and each are coloured a dark, brittle, brownish-red.

The bloom does not last long. The petals fall away like dry tears, and the base of the flower begins to swell and brown, forming a little pocket full of tiny seeds. The seed pocket swells and grows as the seeds within mature, and the stem bends under its weight. In early autumn, it bursts, and the seeds blow out across the hills and plants to find fertile ground in which to sink its roots.

And the roots are what make the Durblud such an innocuous, though it has yet to gain much notoriety for its capabilities. The leaves may appear as shriveled parchment, and the flower, like a withered rose, but the root is fleshy and colored a deep, blood red. It is from the roots that fell potions are made.
Return to the top

Territory. The Durblud Flower can be found sparingly throughout Santharia, particularly in the Heath of Jernais, the Aurora Plain, in the Alianian Hills and even in the foothills of the Tandalas, the Fores (both Higher and Low), and Mithral Mountains. It is sometimes scattered on the outskirts of cities like New-Santhala, Bardavos, and Nyermersys. As long as the air and soil are dry enough and there is plentiful sunlight, you are likely to find the Derblud Root growing somewhere amidst the tall grasses or even the craggy rocks.

The Durblud Flower is usually only found but one at a time. It does not grow in clusters, being rather solitary and preferring its own space. And in fact, other plants seem willing to give it the space it demands; usually Derblud roots have a small perimeter where nothing but withering grasses or a scraggly heath-flower will grow. It is generally assumed that the Durbludís roots sucks away nutrients and water from the soil, and perhaps even poisons it a little; when a Durblud Flower dies, it is common for nothing to grow in its place for a season or two.
Return to the top

Usages. The Durblud has very few positive usages. At its most benign, the root and leaves may be mixed to create a potion for killing sick or dying animals, with the benefit that it kills them quickly enough that they feel little pain and the poison becomes inactive after a day or two in the bloodstream (and after being cooked) so that the meat can still be safely consumed. The leaves are usually dried and preserved in vinegar. The root, meanwhile, is crushed to collect its juices. Once enough of the juice is collected (usually a pint for a horse, cow, or other large livestock animal), it is mixed with the leaf-soaked vinegar and fed to the unsuspecting animal, sometimes mixed with sugar or fruit to make it more appetizing, The juice weakens the animal (usually rendering it unconscious) and the leaf-soaked vinegar kill it.

Durblud Flower is often used as a way to weaken people. It is not preferred as a sleep-aid, as it generally leaves the consumer feeling achy and weak in the morning, and these effects can last for days. Durblud Root juice, when treated and combined with a select other herbs, becomes a potion which, consumed over a long period of time, has an aging effect: it whitens or grays the hair, wrinkles the face, thins the skin, and turns the bones weak and brittle. Consumed over a month or two, it can age a person ten to twenty years. It should be noted that these effects only occur if the juice is uncooked; boiling it eliminates these effects - though juice itself is bitter and has no place in the kitchen!

The leaves and petals of the Durblud Flower can be used as poison. Durblud leaves and petals are usually dried and crushed into a powder than can be applied to food or drink. Usually a thimble-full is enough to kill someone, though some claim that there is a way of distilling the poison such that only a few grains will do the trick. The method, however, is mere rumour and shrouded in mystery.
Return to the top

Reproduction. The Durblud Flower begins its life as a small seed, about the size of a grain of sand. Once it finds a suitable patch of ground (and spring is on the verge of dying into summer), it sinks its tiny root into the earth like a miniature claw, and sprouts a tan little stem and pale leaves. It grows slowly, deliberately, almost meticulously, like an assassin planning his next murder. It bides its time in the summer heat, and when the season is senescent, it sprouts its flower-stemmed tipped with a bud, and begins to bloom.

It blooms for a week, maybe two, and then resigns its withering petals to the wind, focusing its efforts on growing its packet of seeds. The weeks pass and the womb grows full until at last it bursts and the seeds take to the wind, carries wherever the zephyrs take them. Despite where they land, they will remain inactive, quietly and patiently waiting until spring is on its deathbed before beginning to root.
Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The Durblud Flower, despite its malignant capabilities and uses, is not much-regarded by most folk, who see it as little more than a heath-shrub or unappealing plain-flower. Among those who know of its uses, it is somewhat associated with Queprur or (occasionally) Arvins, though the reason for the latter association is lost to history. Some researchers hypothesize that poisons derived from this plant may have once been used in hunting; however, there is not yet any feasible theory to explain how hunters were able to concentrate the poison enough to take down prey.

There are no known creation stories explaining its existence, or any stories where the plant is mentioned specifically; there are, however, some half-historical, half-mythological stories documenting kings, queens, or maidens who were cursed by rapid aging. Whether the cause of this aging is linked to use of the Durblud Root remains unconfirmed - though the knowing herbalist will tell you that a connection is likely.
Return to the top

 Date of last edit 18th Turning Star 1673 a.S.

Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile