THE MOONGRASS ("ASSASSIN WEED")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Moongrass is a semi-rare, purple tinted, dark grass which grows mostly in northern Santharia. The upper part of each blade contains a very small amount of poison, so the plant is fairly notorious, and has been being called "Assassin Weed", despite not being a weed at all. It may also produce a small variety of flavours as a spice, although not common among the upper, nor lower classes. The reason that it was growing in places so isolated from more Moongrass was disputed for years, until it was discovered it was being spread by animals. - Note: This plant should not be confused with Moonmoss, the faintly phosphorescent and highly absorbent spongy moss which has a variety of benign uses.

Appearance. Moongrass is fairly rare, but grows in large patches. One would be lucky to see a field of Moongrass of any size, especially illuminated by moonlight, as it catches the eye with its purple tint upon the black night. Moongrass does not live very long at all, to an average age of approximately one month. It seems the longer this grass grows to be, the shorter its lifespan is. Moongrass that is three nailsbreadths seems to live two months, while Moongrass that is one fore lives to approximately two weeks. Sometimes you may actually see Moongrass growing. As it grows, it turns from black, with a slightly purple tint, but when it dies, it changes to white with a yellow tint. The dead Moongrass quickly decomposes and turns the dirt to a dark grey colour, thus making the earth much better for more Moongrass to thrive. Return to the top

Territory. This grass grows only in the region of today's Santharian kingdom, mostly in the north. The grass is concentrated south and west of Nyermersys, and along the eastern coast. It has been spotted at certain places along the western coast as well, and especially Voldar. It thrives on flat plains and coastal regions, and may also be found around hills and bases of mountains. It grows throughout the year, seemingly unaffected by the weather. It seems that the darker an area is, the better the grass is, and the more potent the poison.
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Usages. Moongrass is completely safe to touch, but the tips make a deadly poison when ingested in large amounts, so as one might guess, poison is what it is exactly what it is used for. Curiously, it seems to have less of an effect on certain tribes of elves and Brownies. As for cooking, the base of Moongrass may be prepared as a spice, and if prepared right, it may have a sweet taste, much like that of a fruit. The base of Moongrass is fairly expensive for most, but not very common as a delicacy among the upper-classes.
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Reproduction. After Moongrass dies, there is a good chance that more will sprout from the earth where the grass once stood. Although, there is also a chance that entire fields may disappear a few days after death. It's not a well known fact that Moongrass spreads to distant areas because of various animals walking through the fields in the past, spreading the tiny droplets of poison from the grass to another potential field. Once the small patch grows, it soon dies, and may produce even more, eventually spreading to quite a distance, assuming it doesn't fail to sprout more grass.
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Myth/Lore. An old legend has been told for longer than anyone can remember, about a beautiful, yet bitter female Erpheronian noble just south of Nyermersys. The most common version tells that a charming knight came from faraway lands to court the lady, and did so for many months, but she would never so much as look at him. After a year, the knight was still just as infatuated with her as ever, if not more. She began to notice him more and more, until one night, she realized she actually cared for him, and ordered her servant to deliver to him a note, telling him to meet her in the courtyard when the sun could no longer be seen. Not long after, she received a five page reply accepting her offer, and describing how beautiful she was.

That night, she sat and waited for her love, but he didn't arrive, for unknown reasons. Sometimes, however, the tale would describe how he had been slain by a jealous servant, or he had fled, and returned to another noble who had hired him to deliver to her the biggest insult she had ever received. In every version told, the maiden cries under the light of the full moon, and from her tears sprouts the first Moongrass, and she wanders from her home, never seen again. The patch of strange grass soon covers the entire courtyard, beautiful like the maiden, yet poisonous like her personality.

There is also tale, a much more believable tale one might add, of an Erpheronian alchemist from Voldar, known only as Korash, who is said to have produced the first poison from the plant. He heard a rumor that a traveller, overcome with hunger, died after ingesting a large handful of the grass. After further investigation at the edge of the Bolder Forest, it was a simple matter of squeezing the tips into a small vial, and testing it on a small animal, mostly believed to have been an unfortunate kuatu.
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 Date of last edit 26th Turning Star 1668 a.S.

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