THE KNIFEGRASS ("RAZORGRASS")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Knifegrass (also refered to as "Razorgrass") is a rather dark plant growing within forests in the Shadowlands primarily. Known for their slender, sharp-edged blades and the rather dark green that paints their leaves, the Knifegrasses tend to be rather aggressive, and have been known to take over other grasses or even small flowers, choking them out. The blades of Knifegrass are so thin and stiff that they have been known to make small cuts in bare flesh, and it is advised that people be wary not to walk on the grass barefoot, even though it may appear harmless.

Appearance. Knifegrass blades are packed thickly together, giving the illusion of a solid surface, or a dark greenish fur. The plant itself grows fairly quickly, but the bladesí length never exceeds a palmspan, though most remain at about 7 nailsbreadths long. The grass's colour is a very dark green, and because it thrives best in shadow, will often appear an eerie black. Though the blades are somewhat flexible, moving under the push of the wind, they are for the most part rather stiff despite their very soft appearance. The edges of the grassís leaves are sharp, with minute serrations, and there have been many cases of people getting their feet cut by walking on the grass, or having their hands slashed by brushing across it. Luckily, however, Knifegrass does not contain any known poisons and the cuts rarely fester.

Knifegrass tends to flourish in spring and autumn, but will die off in winter and summer, as the grass can't stand neither the extreme chill nor heat of such seasons. The winter will often cause the plant to merely wilt and the blades to appear a dark greenish-black, while the summer may cause the grass to become brittle and dye the blades a deep brown. At the end of their flourishing season, the grass will grow a stem to support the flower cluster, which appears as a tassel containing small grain-like seeds, usually a dark brown color. These contain the seeds that will grow new Knifegrass plants. The plant also has a thread-like root system and can spread underground if the weather is clement.
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Territory. These dark grasses grow primarily in the forests of the Shadow Lands, more popularly southwest of the Imlith Moutains, though the grass will grow northeastwards as well. It flourishes here and in parts of the Shaded Forest and has been known to grow as far south as the Hovel Frond Forest. These grasses only grow in partial sunlight such as that which might fall through the canopy of trees. They do not mind cold weather, but cannot grow in extreme chill.
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Usages. Knifegrass seems to have no purpose or use. Because of its razor-edged blades, no one save a few security-conscious nobles would choose to plant it in his garden or grow it for decorative purposes. It has no known medical properties, and though it is not poisonous, it seems to be inedible. Many animals avoid Knifegrass, though creatures such as deer that have hoofed feet are not harmed by the grass, and will walk through it, sometimes grazing on the young spring shoots which have not gained their edges yet. The grains have no real taste, and though edible, are not a desired food.
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Reproduction. At the end of each growing season, the Knifegrass plant may produce several stalks that hold the seeds. The seeds are connected to smaller stems that branch off from the main stem. These smaller sections are called culms, forming a sort of tassel-shaped seed head, and the seeds grow directly on the culms. These seeds tend to be a brownish-black and have a round, oval shape to them. When the grass dies, these little seeds fall. By the beginning of each growing season, the seeds have produced small sprouts that grow quickly in the first weeks of the season.
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Myth/Lore. It is said that Urtengor, when He forged His first great Axe, was unhappy with the edge, and sharpened it many times against the grindstone. When He had done, and the Axe was honed to His satisfaction, He swept up the filings and shavings of metal and cast them out over the Shadowlands. Where they landed, they took root, having been touched by the Divine Craftsman, and became the razor-sharp Knifegrass that Caelereth knows today.
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