THE FRAGRANS TREE

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Frangrans Trees (also called "Fragran's Trees") are high slim trees with approx. 8 peds in height with reddish brown bark and black leaves with small purple spots. The tree's bark especially is a valueable source in order to produce anti-nausea tea with an earthy, pleasant taste. The name of the tree is said to have derived from a noteable healer, Fragran from Voldar, who died near such a tree lending it his healing powers.

The Fragrans Tree

View picture in full size Image description. The Fragrans Tree. Drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. A slim tree averaging 8 peds in height, with reddish brown bark, and black leaves with small purple spots. Will produce tiny purple flowers in the spring (usually during the months of Awakening Earth, Changing Winds and Singing Bird), which become hard, tiny inedible nuts in summer and fall (from Rising Sun through Burning Heavens, Sleeping Dreameress and Fallen Leaf, to Passing Clouds.) The bark is rough, as if the tree were covered with small sharp grains, and will catch at anything that brushes against it. Return to the top

Territory. Found throughout Santharia, these trees can grow in most locations, even on cliff-faces. However, optimal conditions for the tree are rich soil, good water, and a nice, sunny, area. They are also found mainly around healer huts.
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Usages. Bark can be grated and used as an anti-nausea tea. It has an earthy, pleasant taste and gives a feeling of extra energy. The spice will often be added to drinks to give them 'kick' and flavour. Fragran's spice can also be mixed with butter and honey to make "Bark-Butter", a delicious and healthy spread for fresh bread.

"Spice Preparations:

To make Fragran's spice, one must find the tree, and then peel the bark off. The best time to do this is the month Singing Bird, when the bark slips easy, although this can be done any time the leaves are on the tree. After you have the bark, most people smoke it, to add more flavor, although it has also been steamed. After this is done, you take a grater, and finely grate the bark till you have very fine dust. Then you can put it into a leather pouch and it is ready for use. There is a large population of the fragrans tree around Voldar, near the Thaelon Forest (the area in which it is said to have first started), and therefore this region happens to be the world's largest prouducer of Fragran's spice…"

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Excerpt from "Gough's book of Spices"
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Reproduction. The Fragrans tree reproducts in the normal way of trees. During the months of Fallen Leaf and Passing Clouds, they shed their nuts, which either grow from that spot, or are carried off by birds, who later find they are too hard to crack. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The most common myth centered around these trees, is that of the healer Fragran, who came from Voldar, which is told as follows:

"Fragran, a notable healer from Voldar, was returning there for a family reunion. He was getting tired, as he had traveled from Thyslan, where he now lived, through the Aurora Fields, up through Cemphiria, and through the forest to Voldar. He had stopped at a tavern in Cemphiria, where he bought a drink and mentioned he had been up all day, traveling. That was the last anyone saw him alive. It is widely believed that he stopped to rest on a tree. What he didn't realize was that its bark was so rough; it caught anything that touched it, even his skin. When he woke up, he found that he could not move. He was starving, and, as no one expected him for many days, he soon was on the verge of death. It's believed that, right before he died, he somehow spread his spirit into the tree, not only giving it healing properties, but also making the bark less rough, so as it still caught anything that touched it, but that, with enough force, the item could be peeled off.

When he had not arrived for the reunion, his family was worried. The whole town searched the forest, and soon found the remains of Fragran, which was just the tunic he was wearing, and the leather satchel that he carried his healing potions in. They looked at the tree, and immediately noticed the black leaves and purple blossoms, which were his favorite colors, and had guessed what you've just read. Right then and there it was called "Fragran's tree", and later spelled "Fragrans tree". The people of Voldar soon made sure that any tree that kept hold of a test cloth, no matter what strength applied, was chopped down, though they didn't dare go too deep into the woods, and so there may still be old specimens of the old tree there."
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