THE TUBERFRUIT ("KUL'COEIR", "JUTOG")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Believed to be one of the many species belonging to the tuberroot family, this plant is found in the cool climates of higher altitudes. This hardy tuber is found throughout much of Northern Sarvonia and has become a staple of the Kuglimz as well as being eaten by other peoples. Unlike most tuberroots that have a more bland taste, the Tuberfruit is very sweet. In non-Tharian languages it is referred to as follows: in Kuglimz-Seitre the Tuberfruit is called Kul'coeir (lit. "Black Root") and in Thergerim Jutog (from "Juuh Tog", lit. "Sweet Root").

Appearance. Originally just known for their attractive flower, it lasted some time until people thought to try eating their root nodules. The flower has twelve white petals that have a thin blue line that runs down the center of it. Rather than being defined, this line looks somewhat smudged, and the edges end up blending into the white. Several of these flowers protrude from a bush that can grow up to half a ped in height and width. Dark green leaves with spade shaped leaves thickly cover the stems of this plant.

Many tangled roots lead from the bush into the ground. The Kuglimz name for this plant comes from the fact that unlike many plants that have a brown or yellowish root system, this one is completely black. Along the root system large irregular growths occur. These growths gather and contain the bulk of the nutrients of this plant. It are these "nodes" that are now the prized portion of this plant. Many differently shaped nodes can be found among the same root system, they range from oval, to conical, to nearly spherical. Often, smaller growths are attached to the larger, giving them a rather lumpy appearance. Unlike the difference in shape, they are all uniform in colour, black. Researchers believe that the unique coloration is to help hide these nutrient rich nodes from underground animals.
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Territory. Only the Sarvonian continent is home to this tasty tuber. Found in the cool climates and higher altitudes they grow in the mountains of Santharia. But in the North they can be found growing in hills and mountains due to the higher altitude north of the Tandala Highlands. Due to the scarcity in the south this has become a common trade good from the North where they are commonly cultivated.
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Usages. Due to the sweet flavour of this tuber, it is often times simply pulled right out of the ground, washed off, and eaten. The peoples who use this tuber the most are the Kuglimz, though the Epheronians and the Kurakim dwarves eat them as well. Easy to find, very filling, and sweet, these properties makes it a good addition to any meal. The Kuglimz tend to slice the Tuberfruit into small pieces and then cook it along with different meats and onnz (lit. "beans"). It is thought to especially compliment the taste of woolly boar. Another way that it is eaten is dried. For this, first they slice it into small pieces, then they smoke it. After smoking, it can be stored for quite some time before going bad. One good thing about smoking it, is that the process leeches out some of the sweetness, so it can be eaten in larger amounts. It is common for Kuglimz traveling any long distance to have packets of dried meat and Kul'coeir.

Whenever a
Kuglimz child wants a sweet dessert they are given Kulícoeiríli (lit. "Honey Black Root"). A favourite among children and adults as well, this is made of Tuberfruit that is smoked over wood from the tulmine tree. Right before and soon after smoking it is covered in honey. The first batch gets constituted into the Tuberfruit while it is smoking and helps give back some of sweetness that it looses. A second batch is added and is allowed to dry, after this process is done, it is often placed on a stick as parents donít want sticky children if possible.

The dwarves call this tasty yam the Jutog and enjoy it roasted with a lot of pepper or Kragghi sauce. They also slice it and use it as a sort of toasted chip to be eaten with JhelHee.

You might also note that the coastal Proudman folk of the northwestern provinces of Santharia, Nermeran and Enthronia, cut the Tuberfruit thickly on the diagonal, dip it in salt water, and hang it to dehydrate for use as dry rations.
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Reproduction. In the spring, the Tuberfruit's bush puts forth its small flowers. Bees and smaller birds are used to help pollinate the varying flowers around the hills and valleys. After summer, the flowers die off. The larger that the plant grows the greater the root structure, and the more Tuberfruit may be harvested. It is common for a bush to be allowed to grow for three to four years before being pulled up. From a single Tuberfruit another whole bush can grow by sprouting out fine roots which creep outward, eventually when some of the roots reach the surface they will turn into the stems of a new bush.
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Myth/Lore. This plant plays a prominent role in a Kuglimz myth about their Vir'tog (lit. "Great One") Porag, "The Calm".

The Vir'tog and the Kul'coeir. Soon after the Ger'ak Kuglim reached the lands that would belong to them, a harsh winter descended upon the Celeste Lowlands and no animal could be found to be eaten, no vegetable could be pulled from the icy ground. Even the volcanoes of the Celeste Mountains are said to have frozen. Chilling winds raced through the hills, causing man, child, and beast to catch its death. Trees would shatter at the slightest touch. The Ger'ak Kuglim thought this would be the end of them, the one last horror that would finally kill them after they had escaped the "Year Of The Burning Night".

Porag though, ever calm and patient went out from the barely built town of Lu'hynto with five men. Porag searched and searched for food for the Ger'ak Kuglim. One by one, the men that went with Porag died, until only Porag was left. Just as the Vir'tog was about to give in to death, Porag found an enormous Kul'coeir plant. All of the Ger'ak came and together they managed to pull the plant from the ground. The nodes were so numerous that no one could count them all. So it was that there was enough food for all of the Ger'ak Kuglim to last throughout the winter.
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-- "Tales from the North" by Hog Vaimeir, p. 7.
 

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