THE MULBARGRASS

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

A resilient, fast growing grass that, each year during summer, turns a magnificent violet before crumbling and turning brown. It grows exclusively and sparsely along the eastern shores of Sarvonia, usually in small patches but in certain places the grass blooms into a glorious spectacle of indigo.

Appearance. The grass is wiry and tubular, growing short and low to resist seaborne winds, and approximately five nailsbreadths in height. During winter it retreats underground as nothing more than a dormant rooted seed, then sprouts again as spring draws near. It's metamorphosis from pale green spring to vibrant purple in summer is short, almost over night, and is accompanied by a thickening of the stem and a raise in height. This blooming last only a few short months: Burning Heaven sees it change its form from nascent to mature, and over Sleeping Dreameress the colour deepens and the blades begin to droop. Staining an aged brown, the stem crumbles and dies and the seed once again lies dormant. A single seed of Mulbargrass can, however, continue this cycle for generations.

As the grass cycles indefinitely, patches of Mulbargrass are known to be incredibly old. Folk tales often include reference to a local brush of Mulbargrass as a sight for magic or romance.
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Territory. The Mulbargrass grows sparingly across most of eastern Santharia, from Herring's Bay to the southern shores of the Sea of Tears. However, the grass is sparse along beaches as it prefers cliff-faces and higher territories; it grows best in shallow, empty soil. Disabling features in the landscape can restrict its growth, such as deep beaches where the tide draws out too great a distance; the grass requires the constant presence of the sea to signal germination properly.
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Usages. The Mulbargrass doesn't have much use as its criteria for growth means it cannot be easily cultivated. If gathered during maturity, and then ground and dried, it makes a powerful purple dye which may be used, but it is easier to produce the colour through other means. The grass can be used to mark locations, as it is stationary, and it's display predictable and obvious. It is not uncommon for ships in the province of Vardưnn to use well-known copses of Mulbargrass as landmarks to track progression. On the Peninsula of Paragonj it has frequently been associated with romance, and there it is a common local practice to take ones lover to the nearest patch of purple during warm summer nights.
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Reproduction. Mulbargrass requires particular conditions to reproduce. Firstly, the temperature must be right: warm, yet not humid. Lots of sunlight, and a constant ocean presence, is needed to trigger the reproduction process, where the seed sends small tendrils underground to create small nodules. From these nodules, a new blade is grown. After its first turning, or maturity, the link breaks and the second blade is on its own, left to repeat the process. The whole movement usually happens when the leaf is turning purple and continues over the summer. As the parent's leaf dies, the second plant is ready for sprouting in spring. This method of reproduction means that, over a few good years, the number of shoots can grow exponentially, as well as halt growth for many years if conditions are never met. A typical shoot will reproduce no more than twice, after which it becomes fully mature.

If the grass runs out of space to grow then reproduction ceases, and the only change is the endless cycle of purple bloom.

The seeds, or nodules of the grass are searched out by birds for food; the grass grows shallow so picking the stem roughly will often pull seed up out the ground. However, the Mulbargrass seed is a hardy thing, and often survives the stomachs of hungry birds. This can lead to the roosts of larger bird colonies growing wildly purple in summer, or in the case of Heathen's Reef, in bizarrely isolated locations.
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Myth/Lore. The grass, while rare, is well known among seaside communities. There are many local tales that include reference to the grass: in Paragonj, it is often used as the setting for the hero's romancing. Further south, in Nommeros, it is often associated with magical creatures, such as the site of a witches hut or monsters grove.
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 Date of last edit 22nd Awakening Earth 1674 a.S.

Information provided by Myralden Tomesmith View Profile