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Author Topic: Blazebushel Moss  (Read 36 times)
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Felsid Greytunnel
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« on: 08 August 2016, 22:52:27 »

Blazebushel Moss
A lethal, combustible orange moss that grows beneath the Low Fores.

Moss & Fungi, Moss

Vibrant, colourful and entirely hazardous. Blazebushel moss grows at a slow to modest pace in various dark underground spaces, and is native to the Low Fores of Southern Sarvonia. It’s bright orange hue might make it an attractive decorative plant but only a fool would consider intentionally introducing blazebushel into their home. This moss has one extremely volatile property: when sufficiently disturbed, perhaps from an errant step, it ignites in an explosive conflagration that consumes the entire blanket, scorching everything around it. The indigenous dwarves that first discovered this fatal flora have since learned to fear the bushy orange clumps that grow within their long-sealed chambers. A lesson learned the difficult way.

The moss is a very bright orange hue, paler closer to the base and darker at the tips of its frongs, and with darker, sparsely growing stalks of around four nailsbreadth. The moss grows unremitting over nearly any surface; nutrients from distant locations can be transported and diffused across the greater distribution of the plant, resulting in unbroken coverage, so long as a sufficient source of food is retained. The darker stalks tend to grow closer to areas of abundance. The moss itself consumes a particular variety of relatively soft stone. Veins of this soft rock called armelite are prevalent across the Lower Fores, and it is this soft grey mineral that the moss feeds on, eating away at it very slowly over a period of years. Often, after a patch of moss is ignited (angered, as the Thrumgolz might say behind a grimace), one can see the fissured patterns left by the plant in the stone. Because of the moss’ method of distributing sustenance, it is able to extend over variously barren surfaces in search of mineral deposits to feed upon. If the creeping blanket is able to find a new source its pace of growth explodes until every available inch of armelite is covered, before extending again across any inedible surface. Because of armelite's mostly nondescript appearance, it can be hard for the denizens of the Lower Fores to successfully identify the veins. Luckily, the moss’ fragility means it cannot easily grow in areas of frequent activity; disturbed air currents and warmth will fragment and disintegrate the young fringe fronds of any growing blazebushel, and movement will cause it to ignite well before any substantial coverage can be accumulated.

The most obvious characteristic of blazebushel is its unique property of combustion. The leafy body of the moss is swelled with a flammable liquid that, when exposed to air, will ignite. This liquid is kept is small, very pale white sacks that hang beneath the orange fronds. Young patches of moss will simply smolder and contract, eventually crumbling to ash. However, as the moss matures the fuel inside it intensifies and concentrates. Thus, if spotted early, the moss might be dealt with by simply brushing it aside. If left unchecked the virulent orange plant can quickly consume entire chambers and rooms in search of armelite, at which point it becomes impossible to deal with – igniting it would simply be too risky. The deep-searching cavern seneschals of the Thrumgolz, tasked with maintaining the unused warrens of the old dwarves, reckon that whole miles of ancient caverns have been lost to the plaguing moss.

The moss will eventually begin to starve if it grows too far from its source of food, providing a natural check to its growth. Starved moss will simply wither and the flammable oils within will degrade.

Blankets of blazebushel are in fact the extension of a single initial growth of the moss. It is possible for sections of the plant to become separated from rest of itself with its own vein of armelite, essentially producing a new organism. In this sense, blazebushel doesn't actually reproduce like a typical moss would (and botanists are indeed skeptical that it actually is moss, or a real plant for that matter). Thus, it is entirely possible that there exists the original blanket of blazebushel, somewhere beneath the Low Fores.

« Last Edit: 09 August 2016, 20:54:08 by Felsid Greytunnel » Logged
Felsid Greytunnel
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« Reply #1 on: 08 August 2016, 22:55:11 »

I have yet to spellcheck this one, but I feel like I was far too inconsistent with my spelling.

There are absolutely no uses for this plant. Nor are there any particular myths - yet. Perhaps an origin story involving one of the Low Fores more sinister legends? 
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