THE SALT REED ("PUÉR'ECHALONUÁ")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Salt Reed, as it is known to the Blue Druids, or "Puér’echalonuá" (Styrásh lit. “Salt Wood-Grass") is a variety of reed that grows in great numbers and creates a barrier at the mouth of the Liben river. This rare plant possesses the unique ability to filter the majority of salt out of saltwater bay as it flows into the river. As a result, the Liben is left fresh and made perfect for use as drinking water for the Injerín elves and the Kuglimz tribes. It is prized by the Arthryon elves for the salt that it collects, as they use this in their cooking, and also trade it to other tribes for an abundant profit.

Appearance. Salt Reed is rather average in appearance, with its dull cinnabrown palor and general lack of vivid colour. Growing to an average height of one ped and one fore, this can be a tough plant to move through, especially considering that they grow together in dense clusters. Its stalks form as a slender, pole-like structure, that widens considerably to create a bulb-like formation that is barsadusk in hue on the upper two palmspans of the plant. Running up and down this plant are hundreds of tiny bumps that allow the plant to catch salt. Researchers are uncertain as to what allows these portrusions to attract salt, only that it is densely clustered upon them. When salt has not been harvested in quite some time, it begins to build up, giving the reeds the appearance of being covered in snow. For one that is unfamiliar with this plant, that sight alone would be enough to boggle their mind. Beneath the surface of the water, the reeds cling to the riverbed, using strong root-like structures to anchor them and to prevent them from being swept away by the strong river current. Luckily these plants are hardy, as the soil of a riverbed is often poor in nutrients for such plants. Return to the top

Territory. Salt Reed grows in many places upon Northern Sarvonia, but is well-known for its presence at the mouth of the Liben river. This plant is so hardy that it even manages to survive on the icy continent of Cyhalloi. It is well-equipped to deal with the harsh weather of its immediate surroundings, with its strong root system anchoring it to the riverbed.
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Usages. The primary use for the Salt Reed is its ability to collect salt from saltwater bay as it flows into the Liben river. The
Arthryon elves harvest this salt from the reeds as it collects over time. The Blessed Sea Elves realize that the Liben provides life for many living creatures south of the Bay, so they have developed a way of harvesting the salt without cutting down the Reed. They use a special metal tool to scrape salt off of the reed's buds. Only very trusted members of their society are permitted to harvest, as it is very delicate work. The elves must be careful not to damage the buds in any way, so that the reeds may continue to purify the Liben. They use the salt that they harvest in the majority of their cooking, and it is also an invaluable commodity that they trade with surrounding tribes. This traded salt is shipped to many parts of both Northern and Southern Sarvonia.

The Blue
Druids that live on the island of Únn'chrónn also have a special interest in these plants, but they do not possess the same motive as the Blessed Sea Elves. Their main focus is in regards to the properties that the plant possesses. They hold this plant to be sacred to nature, as it purifies the water of the Liben river, and therefore providing a source of life to all the creatures and people that benefit from it. For this reason, they study and observe the plant in great detail, and go to great lengths to protect them from anyone with a destructive intention. They value this plant for its seemingly miraculous ability to provide life for those south of Eight Winds Bay. Return to the top

Reproduction. The Salt Reed plant has a long life span for a plant of this type, living up to five years before it dies. When the plant is getting ready to die, it begins growing a heavy stone-like seed with rhizomes extending from it. It is actually made of incredibly dense ryand compacted wood inside of the bud at its very top. When it becomes heavy enough, the bud breaks off and sinks to the bottom of the river bed. The rhizomes almost immediately begin to attach themselves into the river soil, ensuring the seed will not be swept away. As the plant grows inisde of this protective casing, it will begin to burst through the seed as the outer layer weakens considerably. The plant then grows rather quickly, taking approximately one week to reach full maturity.
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Myth/Lore. Scholars believe that the Salt Reed is a close relative of the yealm reed, a similar plant that also purifies water. This theory is supported by the fact that both plants seem to flourish in colder temperatures.

Some members of the Blue
Druids that hold beliefs in the Twelvern pantheon believe that the Goddess Baveras created the reeds from the water inside of an ancient tree, giving it the hard, wooden properties that it possesses. The reason behind this was that the Water Goddess was providing for her children, namely the different creatures and peoples that depend upon the river for survival. The following is a short poem composed by a female Blue Druid named Water Lily:

Blessed Reed

River you flourish
Under Baveras' watchful eye
Life you nourish
Under Grothar's sou'cald sky

Blessed reed I thank you
For your gift of life from above
Water cleanse me anew
With a Water Goddess' love
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 Date of last edit 23rd Fallen Leaf 1671 a.S.

Information provided by Eldor Delrossa View Profile