THE ICEMILK ("ICEMILCH", "PIXIEMILK")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

Icemilk (or "Icemilch", "Pixiemilk", "Garlickbane") is a common weed which grows liberally on wasteland and secrets a white, rosemint-flavoured sap which refreshes the mouth and breath. It grows mainly in southern Sarvonia, from the Heath of Jernais in the north to as far south as Narfost Plain.

Appearance. Icemilk stands only about a handsbreath tall, on short, hollow stalks with faint lateral ridges which branch out into dull spikes surrounding the main cup of the flower. Fat oval leaves, each no more than a palmspan long, emerge in a rosette pattern around the base of the main stalk, one or two layers deep. About ten to fifteen substalks grow from each rosette, and in turn each support a conical flower composed of a cluster of florets. The pale blue petals radiate from a central cluster of hollow greenish bracts that form a tapering cone about a fingerjoint in length. Below ground, the root is thready and expansive, spreading quickly and shallowly to proliferate the plant and cover the ground quickly.
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Territory. Icemilk can be found in areas ranging from the Heath of Jernais in the north to as far south as Narfost Plain, the Icemilk has a large area of habitation. It tends to thrive on stony or otherwise poor soil. It does not grow well in extremes of temperature, or damp situations. It is never found in swamplands or coastal locations, it is however common along fieldrows, road edges, disturbed or tilled ground, and lightly shaded forest verges.
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Usages. The stem and leaves of the plant secret a white, milky fluid with a strong rosemint taste. The fluid is very refreshing, leaving its rosemint flavour and cooling effect behind on the tongue and breath. It has no known harmful effects to any age, gender, race, or species, but is more popular with some than with others. There are many who swear by its breath-freshening effect, and are known to use the Icemilk fluid almost daily!

The sap is usually taken directly from the plant; the stem broken and squeezed onto the tongue or the thick leaf torn open and twisted to obtain a few drops of the refreshing fluid. Then one can use one's finger to rub the fluid over the teeth and tongue, or as the elves often do, use a short frayed twig as a sort of brush to clean and freshen at the same time. Some folk merely tuck a leaf directly into their mouth and chew meditatively on it when done their food; however, this tends to stain the teeth with the greenish substance of the leaf itself in the long run and is considered a rather "middle-class habit" by those who assign such labels... As the plant can readily be grown in containers, some people keep a pot of Icemilk in their kitchen gardens or near (not in) their washing area so that they can merely break off a leaf or two after meals.

Many receipts call for the Icemilk as one of its ingredients. An example of this is ormelin, a medicinal elixir that calls for 3 sips of Icemilk sap to be added in the creation of a mere two mugs of the strong tonic. Three "medium leaves" are used in the brewing of Rosemint Cordial - which, we must add, this compendium writer consumes almost daily!

Different people use the Icemilk to add fragrance to soap. Even the Shen-D'auras, of the Shendar people, use the Icemilk to flavour the fresh water bowls of their elaborate toilets, when it is available.

The elven tribes often mix Icemilk sap with Mahood-Euwen spores and cook the resulting sticky concoction until it ‘sets’, then pinch off tiny pieces of the cooling mass into individual ivory-coloured candies, which they use to soothe orators’ throats, refresh their breath, and console children. They name these candies "As’en-soor’an", or "Sweet-Spoken".

Another race to utilize the flavour of the Icemilk is the Gnorian Gnomes. They grow the Icemilk for various usages, including the production of candies, throat syrups, and flavouring mixes, though a good portion goes into the production of Ice Wine. Some of the Ice Wine, in turn, is used to distill Ice Brandy. Though not a common brandy, many connaisseurs consider this to be one of the better types.
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Myth/Lore. As can be seen from one of Icemilk’s other common names, the plant is associated with the semi-mythical pixie folk. The other races of Caelereth vary in their beliefs as to whether or not pixies actually exist, but these minute folk are said to feed from the Icemilk, cutting down its stems with leafhopper-leg saws at night and carrying them away on the backs of Hedge Mice which they have domesticated! Human scholars are skeptical but with no eyewitnesses to the contrary, are unable to come to a firm consensus.

We provide for your entertainment an ancient receipt from the Marcogg area which claims... well, read it for yourself! Despite the disclaimer at the end, we offer no contemporary confirmation and suggest that you try at your own risk; the Compendium cannot be held responsible for results.
 

A Drynke for Thy Lover or One Whom Thou Wouldst Have Love Thee. Take ane sup of Ysemilch, two handfils of etherflake gathered freshly, ane cup strong-brewed effer-chaa, and three grains powdered rhubi. Combine togither yn a vessel of pure glass and stopper tightly. Kepe as cool as ye may until the tyme yt ys needed. Heat ane cup of wine - sprynge joye yf yt may be found - wyth cinna and other spices as to mull it. Add thyse potion secrettly that thy lover may not see ye. Then thrust a heated poker or fyre-rod into the cup of wine ere serving yt to thy lover. There can no harmful thynge come from thys - save that thou add not more etherflake ye may use once or thrice in a night... Return to the top
 

 Date of last edit 1st Burning Heavens 1667 a.S.

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