THE ICEMILK

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

Icemilk (or "Pixies' Milk", "Onionbane") is a common weed which grows liberally on wasteland and secrets a white, mint-flavoured sap which refreshes the mouth and breath.

Appearance. Icemilk stands only about a handsbreath tall, on short, hollow stalks with faint lateral ridges which branch out into dull spikes surrounding the main cup of the flower. The short blue petals radiate from a central cluster of hollow greenish bracts that form a conical shape, about a fingerjoint in length. The root is thready and expansive, spreading quickly and shallowly to proliferate the plant and cover the ground quickly. Fat oval leaves emerge in a rosette pattern around the base of the stalk, one or two layers deep.
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Territory. Grows well on stony or otherwise poor soil. Does not like extremes of temperature, or damp situations. Never found in swamplands or coastal locations, but common along fieldrows, road edges, and lightly shaded forest verges.
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Usages. The stem and leaves of the plant secret a white, milky fluid with a strong mentholated taste. The fluid is mildly disinfectant and strongly deodourizing, leaving its mint flavour and cooling effect behind on the tongue and breath. It has no known harmful effects to any age, gender, race, or species, but is more popular with some than with others. The sap is usually taken directly from the plant; the stem broken and squeezed onto the tongue or the thick leaf torn open and twisted to obtain a few drops of the refreshing fluid.

The elven tribes often mix Icemilk sap with Mahood-Euwen spores and cook the resulting sticky concoction until it ‘sets’, then pinch off tiny pieces of the cooling mass into individual ivory-coloured candies, which they use to soothe orators’ throats, refresh their breath, and console children. They name these candies “As’en-soor’an”, or “Sweet-Spoken”.
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Myth/Lore. As can be seen from one of Icemilk’s other common names, the plant is associated with the semi-mythical pixie folk. The other races of Sorren vary in their beliefs as to whether or not pixies actually exist, but these minute folk are said to feed from the Icemilk, cutting down its stems with leafhopper-leg saws at night and carrying them away on the backs of Hedge Mice which they have domesticated! Human scholars are sceptical but not yet unconvinced.
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