THE LORAHOUGH

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - IMPORTANCE

Appearance. The Lorahough, or Fireblossom as it is sometimes called, is a red flower with orange leaves. In spring, Lorahough is only visible as a tiny green shoot. In summer, the flower practically explodes with growth. It got its common name when a farmer, seeing a large patch blossom overnight, thought his fields were on fire. The petals and leaves are both very dry and soft once grown. Any cold snaps will kill the flower, but extreme heat is worse. The seed pods that will appear on the flower in late summer are extremely oily, and any extremely hot and dry periods will cause the pods to burst into flame. Also, shaking has about the same effect on the Lorahough seedpods. This is not all bad, for while the flower itself will die, the seeds within the pod will grow much better with the burnt remnants of the surrounding vegetation around it, as will any other survivors.

Territory. The Lorahough will grow in very arid places, but in the absence of rich soil it will need other vegetation to fuel its growth.

Usages. Lorahough seed pods are prized fire starters, and several of the Mages of Ximax have discovered that they make an excellent ingredient for fire-oriented spells. It has had a hard time staying in more civilized areas, as youths of a more mischievous disposition have used these for prank purposes. As such, it is rare to see one growing inside any city.

Importance. Worshippers of Foiros consider this plant somewhat holy, and one of their many sacred tests involves being given one of the seed pods and setting it ablaze in the hand. Some of the more fanatic followers of the legend of the phoenix have even suggested that there is a relationship between the Bird of Flame and the Lorahough. The following poem is one of the more interesting comparisons.

Death and Rebirth
Bird and Flower
Fire in its purest form

Fire of Wind
Fire of Earth
Foiros' gifts to both

Both, from the ashes
Of the parent-self
Will return and grow again

Deadly and Beautiful
Blessing and Curse
All that Fire truly is.

Death of Earth
Birth of Wind?
Only She knows.

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