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Felsid Greytunnel
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« on: 10 August 2016, 04:46:34 »

A luminescent growth that transforms nutrient energy into light.


The eerie green light given off by Lightmoss is closely associated with the clandestine and mystical chambers of the Theregrim. UrKurr, as it is known in the dwarven tongue, is a slow-growing subterranean plant native to almost all the underground spaces of Sarvonia. It grows naturally in damp spaces and it can be easily cultivated with just a little watering. It can be gathered into transparent containers for use as a lantern, as it keeps its glow for quite some time after being harvested. The Theregrim often line their tunnels with this moss, cultivating it on ornate lips and sills of stone. Some Theregrim families have also found use for Lightmoss as a light source for growing TolKurr wheat, the resultant bread having a number of interesting and distinct properties.

Lightmoss is a thin patchy plant reminiscent of some lichens more so than moss. The plant itself is a whitish-blue colour, although the physical colouration is generally not visible underneath the strong green luminescence that it produces. UrKurr grows at a modest pace and is a fairly hardy plant that will resist dehydration for some time before dying off; a lack of water will kill off the strong luminescence, however, although re-hydration easily brings back its verve. The moss grows thinly across beds of soil; its roots are shallow and it requires little mineral nutrients from the soil itself. Rather, a damp atmosphere – or regular light watering – is all it needs to grow.

Lightmoss, when it dries out, blackens in colour, and its luminescence recedes. When rehydrated its colour returns and the light intensifies after a few hours. Drowning can also occur, however, in the presence of too much water and the plant simply dies, although this takes a good few days of submergence. Lightmoss is damaged by the harsh rays of natural sunlight, so it is incapable of growing on the surface.  

Lightmoss grows generiously across most of Sarvonia’s underground spaces. Certain regions that are overly porous and lacking in a stable flow of near-surface water are inhospitable for lightmoss to grow, thus lightmoss grows mostly around underground aquifers and rivers. UrKurr (to use the Theregrim nomenclature) is cultivated in most dwarven homes and public spaces across Sarvonia as well. It can also be found growing in basements and wine cellars, dungeons and sewers, although in sparser quantities.

UrKurr primary usage is as a source of light. The Theregrim tradition is to gently scrape a patch of lightmoss into a glass jar, pour in a little water to keep it bright and then seal it. The lightmoss lantern then retains a strong glow for approximately a week, and can be topped up with water, with diminishing results. These jars can be hung from belts or on the end of staves to light one’s way down dark passages. Homesteaders might also choose to pull larger brazier-like pots with lightmoss and place them in convenient spaces around their homes to provide a softer ambient alternative to torchlight or lamplight, both of which can be expensive. The most useful feature of lightmoss is that it’s an entirely non-flammable source of light! For the intrepid explorers of the Theregrim, who bore deep into the earth in search of riches and expanding their homes, few things pose as much danger as the toxic effluvium that is AkakiZeKoga, the anger of the earth, or simply the Rage. A hazard posed to all denizens of the underground, the Rage is nothing short of genocidal to the Theregrim miners. Cave-ins, silent suffocating deaths at night, the destruction of whole towns found to be built too close to an envelope Rage. Lightmoss performs the life-saving role of providing one with much need light, without incurring the hidden anger of the very mountains.

Another usage of lightmoss, considered somewhat unusual by most of the Theregrim, is as a source of light for growing TolKurr. The heavy matted moss, often referred to as “Dwarven wheat” by surface dwellers, requires only a low intensity of light to grow, and it is usually supplied with sunlight via fluted reflective tunnels that bore down from the surface. Because of this, growing TolKurr at any great depth quickly becomes a chore, as light intensity fades and tunnelling requirements increase. Some crafty Theregrim green thumbs had the bright idea to grow TulKurr moss under the soothing green gaze of lightmoss beds; the inception of the idea was met with mutters and consternation, for sure. Ultimately, lightmoss-grown TolKurr attains a somewhat greenish hue, as is the flour extracted from it. This flour, called Krrkheen, retains a sliver of the lightmoss luminescent properties and will begin to glow faintly when the subsequent ingredients are added necessary to make the Theregrim’s bread. The Borwul (bread) produced in this method is referred to variously as Gnome’s Bread (BorwulZeUndewirreli), Candle Bread (TheenBorwul) and sometimes simply Undemi, clever; the consensus being that whoever came up with such an ingenious method of growing TolKurr must have been very clever. Gnome’s bread is softer and expires faster than regular Borwul, although it retains the light green colour and will glow faintly in the dark. The taste is considered sweeter, almost like a cake, and goes well with chopped fruits and doch nuts. Aside from bread, the various other recipes that make use of TolKurr are each transformed in some way by the mystical lightmoss, sometimes making the altered flour unsuitable for certain delicate cakes and pastries.

A certain usage of lightmoss native to the Thrumgolz dwarves of the Low and High Fores is a distilled liquor called HorzilAnul, or crystal water. A hellishly potent drink with a very strong, sugary flavour that is typically added to steins of stale beer left over from a night’s celebration. Many believe that the gently glowing, syrupy liquid acts as a medication for hangovers, and so the beleaguered dwarves greedily add a dash of crystal water to their booze in the hopes that it’ll ease the pounding.


« Last Edit: 24 August 2016, 07:39:38 by Felsid Greytunnel » Logged
Felsid Greytunnel
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« Reply #1 on: 10 August 2016, 04:51:01 »

Just can't get enough moss in my life, apparently.
Artimidor Federkiel

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« Reply #2 on: 25 August 2016, 02:38:35 »

Another very interesting entry, Felsid!

I especially like the thought out Usages section - cool thing to have a non-flammable source of light! :D Also cool is the AkakiZeKoga, the Rage-thingy. This would even be interesting for an own entry in case you are bored. BTW: I wrote two dwarf-related short stories about magical phenomena (the fairy tale "The Only Friend" and the rather philosophical thought-provoking "Beyond the Rift") if you're interested. At any rate there are some possibilities for interesting entries there.

Light source for growing TolKurr is also a neat idea, and so is the distilled liquor!

You're really developing into a dwarven expert, Felsid! Very creative and unique ideas all around... Maybe a few lines on reproduction still... Myth/Lore isn't alway necessary, but you might have something there with the AkakiZeKoga which you could mention in a story or so. At any rate: Aura +1 for your dedicated work!

Oh, and:

- "generiously" isn't a word as far as I know.. ;)

"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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