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1  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Re: Rotflesh - Question: Help with territory, please? on: 08 July 2005, 02:45:00
Thanks, I know everyone's busy or distracted about now :)  

2  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Rotflesh - Question: Help with territory, please? on: 07 July 2005, 09:47:00
Name - Rotflesh (Also; Menflesh, Hellspit).

Category - Misc, possibly Fungi

Overview - A bane of the Lillivear city of Sah, Rotflesh is low and parasitic 'plant' of twofist size or greater, that looks and smells like nothing more than a chunk of rotting meat.  Woe to the unfortunate creature or person who investigates, however, as Rotflesh will use any such curious being as victim and host for its future generations.

Description - In its youth, and before reaching fruiting maturity, the Rotflesh strongly resembles a deflated pigs bladder - with many wrinkles and folds where the plant has not yet inflated from within with its spores.  The vapors from it at this time are weak, though still disagreeable, and bring forth comparisons to putrid eggs and stomach ichor.  In the two month period during which Rotflesh stays in this state, it is growing the spores within and causing its bladder-like structure to fill out and gain size.  Indeed, a ripe Rotflesh is to the touch, slightly spongy with this internal pressure, though this author cannot advise strongly enough against any reader getting so close as to test this.  

A fully grown, or 'ripe', Rotflesh averages a rough ball, two human fists in size.  With a shiny, mottled bloodred skin, with occasional flashes of white vein, Rotflesh to all but the careful observer, resembles a chunk of the rotten flesh that serves as its namesake.  It reeks of the smell of putrifaction, attracting flies and other carrion seekers, and on a warm day the deeply unpleasant aroma emitted from a single ripe Rotflesh can be strongly detected a full dash away, more if the wind is with it.  

However, it is the reproductive or defensive instincts of this hateful plant that demand attention far greater than some unpleasant smells.  This plant, when fully ripe and skin taut like a drum, can explode in a cloud of sharp white hairs when triggered.  Puncture, pressure or the sensing of close body heat is enough to cause the Rotflesh to spasm and tighten in the space of an eyeblink - and it is this that throws out its cargo of deadly motes.  These tiny hairs are in fact the seeds of this plant - seeds that on contact with skin or lungs bury themselves into the flesh and irritate the body with a pain that no living being can now tell.  Such is the agony that pitiful victims have been known to claw themselves open, and many find death relatively swiftly by their own panicked hands.  Those less fortunate are apparently sucked dry from within as the tiny hairs swell up with their victims fluids, starving the mortal shell of the sanguine humours and appearing as angry red spherical swellings just underneath the increasingly pale skin of the victims.  Death is often within a hour, and is guaranteed.

Territory -

Uses - There are no civil uses for this horrific plant.  Unlike the knife which may hurt or heal, Rotflesh is a parasitic horror that has no beneficial gift for mortals.

Reproduction - The hairs, or rather, spores of the Rotflesh require the explosion of the mother plant for their initial distribution.  Later travelling can be achieved in macabre fashion with those poor victims wounded by the spores, their panicked frenzy taking them hither and thither.  These victims also provide an initial grisly food source for the spores in their blood.  The spores can grow without an initial host, but their progress is greatly slowed and instead of a growth time of two years, decades can be required before this monsterous parasite shows itself in its youthful, bladderlike stage.
Mother plants do not survive their spore spreading explosions.  It is the end of that plant, leaving a white misting of spores, fragments of dusty wrinkled red 'flesh' and a slowly fading smell.

Myths/Origins - The only way to contain a Rotflesh eruption was discovered by Priestess Xályníá some time around 4503 b.s. by the happenstance discovery of a particular runic lace.  This lace had been an accidental creation at first, an attempt at a different lace that went awry.  Sold relatively cheaply as a beautiful mistake, the lace was taken by a well to do lady and used as a wrap.  It is believed that the lady somehow fell from her carriage and landed close enough to disturb the repose of a ripe Rotflesh.  The Rotflesh exploded, the lady collapsed in on herself in panic, wrapping the lace around her.  She survived unharmed, the lace protecting her from the the vicious hairs with an aura that those cunning fragments could not breach.  
Once discovered, and eventually and cautiously tested by woodland rangers, this lace was made for the purpose of containing the Rotflesh, and specially equipped teams could be called out to deal with Rotflesh when reported.


_______________________________________________________________

This was a plant requested a good while ago.  I was given the following to work with, but I do not know the area/territory at all.  Any help would be appreciated.

"All this is not to say, however, that Sah has suffered less from the quirks of wild flora than any Lillivear city. The menflesh (a.k.a. “rotflesh” or “hellspit”), roughly about five thousand years before the Breaking (1649 b.S, a.k.a. “The Year of Darkness” in Sarvonia), had almost caused the newly-fledgling town to be abandoned. Lillivear scholars have not yet agreed on the proper description – least the classification - of menflesh but that the plant resembles an “orange-pink jellyfish” or a “rotting bulk of flesh and nerve” is a known fact."

Edited by: Firewyre at: 7/7/05 10:44
3  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Alrik'ran. on: 05 February 2005, 15:12:00
Name - Alrik'ran.  Also known as Womensroot and Mother's Blue.  

Category - Medicinal Herb, Bush

Overview - A small woody bush with tiny coin shaped succulent green leaves and medicinal roots found growing in areas of scorched land in the Narfost Plain.  Dependent on the plains-fires brought on by the Lorahough's propensity to combust, this plant is a somewhat uncommon sight, but greatly in demand amongst the Shendar women of that area.

Description - Alrik'ran is a perennial bush that grows to a height of a ped and usually has an upright growing habit, looking more like a miniature tree than a low-growing bush.  With a single 'trunk' that branches off in twin pairs, the mature Alrik'ran looks dry, with a peeling, papery bark and clusters of little sognastheen-green circular fat leaves.  The leaves cluster into groups of around eight, arranged haphazardly along each short branch.  Each leaf is coated in a thickish layer of wax, which can be harvested; this seems to help keep the plant moist within.  When in flower, the buds form at the base of the leaves where they are attached to the papery bark, and create little bouquets of very pale blue-green flowers, each one being no bigger than the nail on a human's smallest finger.  The root of the plant is long and tough, branching many times and mat often be as long as a ped and a half.  This tough, fibrous root is the source of the plants popularity, it is difficult to extract and when cut 'bleeds' a blue milky sap.

Territory - Alrik'ran can be found sporadically growing slowly in the Narfost Plains.  Usually they are to be found near areas of Lorahough growth, where the fires of the plains start and are at their coolest.  Further out from the Lorahoughs, the fire has grown in intensity and can even damage the seeds if it gets too hot.

Uses - The Alrik'ran has found some small use as a wax producing plant.  Candles made with the wax, which must be scraped from, or boiled off, handfuls of the small leaves, burn with a pale pinkish flame with some white smoke, and give off a scent that is both warm and relaxing, like a mug of heated spiced wine by the fire.  The main use of the Alrik'ran, however, and the source of its other names, is the root of the plant.  Dug up, with some effort, washed, dried and peeled, this fibrous tough root can be split into thin sticks of manageable length and chewed by those women who suffer from cramps, headaches or other complaints during their monthly courses, or cycles.  It tastes of bitter-sourness, though not strong and some women come to like the mouth-shrinking sharp flavour.  This root, which then releases slow amounts of its active essences, seems to aid in the cramps, pains and emotional turmoil that plague some women at these times.  A side effect of this, however, is that the blue sap of the root stains the women's teeth a pale blue.  This lasts for a few days after, but no stigma is attached to a blue toothed woman in the Shendar.  This may however, be why the root's medical properties have been slow to catch on elsewhere, as ladies of note who could afford to import such a medicine, would be unwilling to walk around with blue teeth.

Reproduction - The Alrik'ran is a peculiar plant, in that it seems to rely so closely on the Lorahough and its fire-bringing propensity.  Once the Alrik'ran has finished flowering, and the little bouquets of pale flowers have fallen from the bush, the bases of the flower-heads, next to the leaf bottoms, swell up over the course of a week, until it becomes a swollen dark-green sphere of two nailsbreadths in diameter.  This dries in the sun until it is quite blackened, withered and crispy, and then drops to the ground along with two or three of the green waxy leaves that have curled around.  There, it waits until the next plainsfire.
When the fire hits the plains, and this might not be for months, or even several years, the Alrik'ran seedpod is consumed in the fire - the waxy leaves going up in a ball of pinkish flame.  This fire is the only thing that the seeds inside will respond to, for they will not germinate otherwise.  In the devastation left by the plainsfires, the seeds of the Alrik'ran, left in a small pile of nutritious ash from the seed pod and the burning vegetation, very swiftly sprout, take root and start their growth.  It sends forth a green sprout with two rounded leaves, but these fall from the plant as the second set of leaves and the thickening of the stem replace them.  By the second week, the bush has two branches and a stalk and is already starting to become papery.  It is only when the rest of the plains have recovered that the Alrik'ran's growth spurt is halted and it resumes its slow patient growing pattern until it drops its seed pods again and the next fire hits.  From immolated seedpod to mature flowering bush, it is often less than a year.
It should be noted, that while the parent plant is burned to the ground by these fires, if the roots are left where they are, they may sprout again, once again demonstrating that the Narfost Plains let nothing go to waste.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 3/4/05 16:25
4  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Ar'pun Grass on: 02 February 2005, 06:57:00
Name - Ar'pun Grass.  Sometimes known as Shakegrass.

Category - Grasses

Overview - One of the hardiest desert grasses on Caelereth, thriving in extreme dryness, heat and other unforgiving conditions.  Growing in patches, it can reach two peds in height, and can be found in places where no other plants can survive.  From the south of the Ai'Nuvic Grounds to the freezing, but dry, regions of Northern Sarvonia, Ar'pun can survive all but that which others need to live - water.

Description - A tall, pale, silvery-green grass of up to two peds in height, Ar'pun has thin straight blades that start at a mere three nailsbreadth wide and taper elegantly to sharp and dry browning points.  Sheathed in between two tall leaves, the flower and eventual seed stalks have a circular cross-section and are mostly hollow.  The flowers are quite difficult to discern, like many grass blooms, and are coloured like the grass itself - composed of tiny feather-like twists.  There are, on rough counting, about a hundred such flowers per flower-head, and about one flower-head to every twenty normal blades.  When the flowers turn to seed, they darken to oval grains of an almost black green and give a faint dry rattling sound when moved by the breeze, almost like the sound of the far distant sea.  In higher winds, the whole plant sways and bends, flexible at all times, ready to spring straight again when the air once again breathes calm.  For roots, the Ar'pun has a tangled mess of thin white fibers that may reach down as far as three peds to try to gather moisture.  For its part, Ar'pun does much to halt or slow the movement of the sands with its net of fine roots and can lend stability to areas where there may be none.

Territory - Ar'pun is a uniquely desert dwelling plant, being unable to withstand extended periods of high dampness or rainfall.  Subjected to any such glut of water, Ar'pun rots just above the root-ball and the tall elegant leaves collapse, never to rise again.  Indeed though, one could say that the Ar'pun thrives in those places where other plants would quickly wither, and can be found 'flourishing' in the inhospitably dry Southern Ai'Nuvic Grounds, sporadically in the valleys of the Great Dunes, and in stunted form on the borders of the Lands of Pain.  Heat, vast amount of sun, occasional high winds, dryness, earthen salts and bitter cold nights are Ar'puns favoured conditions.

Usages - Ar'pun has, for all known time, been used as a source of rough grazing for the aka'pi and the somewhat smaller aka'lol, though these animals will seek sweeter grass when they can.  Animals raised on a diet of Ar'pun have been found to have brighter eyes than others, though the softness of their coat sometimes suffers and a diet of Ar'pun alone is not recommended.
The Shendar find uses for Ar'pun, as they find uses for all things in their lands, and have used the split blades of grass for weaving temporary baskets and brief shades against the sun.  Ar'pun will be most often seen, however, used woven into a wrapping for small cakes of maturing aka'pi cheese.  The leaves of the Ar'pun contains the moisture of the cheese, and imparts a pale green colour to the soft outer rind, and a taste that can be called closest to roasted nut.  While not the only method of cheese wrapping, Ar'pun wrapped cheese is very common and certainly not unpleasant to even a non-Shendar's tongue.

Reproduction - A perennial grass, Ar'pun flowers and brings forth seeds once a year, though few of them ever manage to sprout in these harsh environments.  At around the month of the Sleeping Dreameress, Ar'pun sends its flower spike up and by the end of a month, it has come into subtle bloom.  Then, by no later than salarí'herín, almost in reverence of Baveras, Ar'puns flowers have withered swollen to the hollow rattling green-black grains that make the distinctive sea wash sound.  These grains, when ripe, fall from the plant and roll, bounce or are strewn by autumnal winds to find crevices to rest in.  It will be half a year before they may first try to sprout, and some choose not to for several years, such is the hardiness and patience of Ar'puns grains.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/19/05 15:44
5  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Falserock on: 03 February 2005, 10:13:00
Name - Falserock.  Also known as Rock of Unthruths.

Category - Edible Plants, Cacti(?)

Overview - A small plant that looks more like a stone than a living thing.  Hiding as it does amongst the pebbles in the Ráhaz-Dáth deserts, Falserock has with its gray and brown exterior the perfect disguise.  If it weren't for the fact that it is a welcome edible treat for the Shendar, then it would probably go unnoticed.

Description - Small lumps, no larger than a Shendar child's closed fist, of gray and tan brown are the outer signs of a Falserock.  With a rough texture and a single crack down the centre, to all but observant onlookers, Falserock is very much invisible against the rocks and pebbles of the desert.  On closer inspection, however, Falserock quickly tapers down to a narrow base and a barely fibrous root stump.  This root stump is only strong enough to stick the plant to another, real, rock and possibly pick up moisture from the dew.  When Falserocks flower, they sprout a brown nodule from the centre of the crack they have on their surface.  Once this opens, an astonishing sun-yellow daisy-like flower emerges, with up to thirty petals of two nailsbredth in length.  The center, a bare nailsbreadth across, is a dotted mid brown and is where the seeds are formed.

Varieties -
Common Falserock - See above.

Painrocks - A strain found in the Lands of Pain, this Falserock is similar to it's common cousin, but with a redder hue, white flowers with green tipped petals, and a rougher skin.  This red colouring taken from the nearby sand, no doubt, affects the inner flesh also and Painrock 'meat' is often a rich orange colour and it's spice is stronger tasting.

Burntrocks - A kind of Falserock found near the Norong‘sorno, and named so because of it's already burnt colouring.  It appears blackened and has small lumps apon it that look like cooled lava bubbles and have a slight shine to them.  Their flower tends towards the pale, with white ones being common, and occasional pastel blue ones appearing.  These are considered a fine gift for a girl.  In taste, the Burntrock is much blander than it's other cousins, though it is thought to be good for ridding the body of toxins and belly ache.

Territory - Mostly found amongst the stones and pebbles of the south-eastern hills of the mountains of Nirmenith, Falserock can generally be found anywhere in the arid parts of the Ráhaz-Dáth where the rock touches air.  Be this an old dried riverbed, salt encrusted extinct lake, a wind blown rock rise or even in great fields around the bottoms of the Yar'Dang rock formations, where the wind has blown away the everpresent sand and revealed a ground covered with pebbles.  Yar'Dang Falserocks are unusual in that they have been gifted a yellow colour that they might blend with the local environment better, though they are slightly tougher when cooked.

Uses - Falserock is edible, though it requires a great deal of cooking before it becomes palatable.  Shendar children are often given the task of searching out the devious plant, with their quick bright eyes and nimble fingers.  They're plucked from the ground, cleaned with rough sand and then laid amongst the embers of the nights fire.  By morning, the rough outer has blackened and gone hard and can be broken off to reveal the now yellow, moist flesh within.  This slow roasted Falserock flesh has flavour almost like warm spiced meat, and is often eaten with similarly roasted desert roots and crumbled Aj cheese.

Reproduction - Two days after a mature Falserock has been drenched in water, which is usually from rain, a bud has emerged from the center of the plant and on the third day, it will splay open to reveal its bright yellow flower of a palm in diameter.  Spending only four to five days with us, the flower petals wither and fall off, leaving only the speckled center.  This is a small honeycombed chamber that contains the tiny black specks that serve as seeds.  A thousand of these would not be enough to fill a thimble.  When the time is right for the Falserock to loose its seeds, the seedpod falls from the main plant and rolls or tumbles from the mother plant.  As it does, it shakes out seeds, like one might sprinkle spice upon a dish.  This process will take no more than two weeks from the time of rain, and by then Falserock seeds that find even small amounts of damp may attach themselves to rocks in shade and begin to sprout a tiny green stalk.  This initial stalk seeks only to find the light, and is then replaced with the first emergence of the bulbous, initially pale and soft plant body.  Over the next several weeks, this will grow, harden and darken to the Falserock familiar to most.

Lore/Myths/Origins - As children are wont to do, the Shendar young have a game they play while collecting the Falserocks for the nights fire - called Untruths, hence Rock of Untruths.  The game involves the normally very honest Shendar children trying to out do each other in the brazenness of their lies, and each child gets to try their hand at creating a bigger lie every time they find a new Falserock.  For example, one child may find a Falserock and declare to the others, "Why, this Falserock is as soft as Aj ears!" which is obviously false.  The next might say "I have found a bright blue Falserock here!" and so on, and so forth.  This game has of course entered the consiousness of the Shendar, and in jest when tales are being told, someone may kindly inquire "...And where is your Falserock, friend?", if they think the tale too tall.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/5/05 17:16
6  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Foolsbed on: 01 February 2005, 15:39:00
Name - Foolsbed.  Also known as False Dreaming, Batbush and Wanderthorn.

Category - Bushes

Overview - Native to the Lands of Pain, this is an unusual, woody desert shrub with unique methods of moisture collection and mind-effecting defenses from those creatures who would take that moisture.  Has also been recorded growing in Aeruillin, especially near the Void.

Description - A short, ground hugging plant which may never reach higher than a fore in height, but will rather bend low upon the dry earth - choosing to spread across rather than grow up-wards.  A woody stemmed, brittle looking plant, Foolsbed seems to all intents and purposes like a dead plant of other regions, but this is misleading as there is still strength and life within its withered looking, thorned branches.  Emerging from the cracked soil with a stem a bare half-palm around, it branches quickly, twisting and turning like a dried bramble.  Every half-dozen nailsbreadths or so is a pair of close set thorns, thin and straight and two-nails long.  Between these thorns is a thin papery membrane, somewhat like a bats wing, and coloured like the sand.  These are best seen in the first moments of dawn, when the thorns are still open from the night and the membranes are fully extended, catching what early morning dew that may be found.  After the first rays of sun have fully hit the plant, it closes its thorns again and seeks to conserve its hard won water from the cruel sun.
The root system of the Foolsbed is shallow and thin, twisting much as the branches of the upper plant portions do.  When Foolsbed flowers, it does so in shades of orange - ranging from pale salmon colours and brilliant gold through to rich dark shades that are reminiscent of stalls of dried hot spice.  These tiny daisy-like flowers are never more than a nailsbreadth across and seldom last more than a glorious colourful week.

Territory - Found in arid lands of sand or pebble, Foolsbed is hardy to dry wind, bitterly cold nights and the almost intolerable heat of the midday desert summer sun. It will be found on the long dry banks of abandoned riverbeds and wadis, and sometimes on the southern side of low desert hills. Foolsbed is however intolerant to damp conditions, and should it suffer rain more than twice in a month it will be likely to develop a powdery brown mould that softens the branches and weakens it's constitution.

The Shendar say, that the Lands of Pain took their colour from the Foolsbed, for it is the only plant of noteworthy size which grows there in abundance. Found in arid lands of sand or pebble, Foolsbed is hardy to dry wind, bitterly cold nights and the almost intolerable heat of the midday desert summer sun. But the Lands of Pain are not the only place where it grows. It will be found on the long dry banks of abandoned riverbeds and wadis like in the northern part of the Seven Jewels and sometimes on the southern side of low desert hills.
There are no reports, that it is common in the Nybelmar deserts, but it is widespread in Aeruillin and grows where the climatic conditions allow it, especially in the very south. There, near the void, the vision-causing effect of a drop is said to be much stronger, and so-called observations of strange beasts living in the void may be mere waking dreams brought on by unnoticed contact with this plant.

Uses - Foolsbed curious method of collecting precious water in the depths of the desert is also the source of it's one use. Each night, over the course of hours, the small pairs of thorns at each branch joint separate from its twin and thusly extend the papery membrane between them in small half-circle fans. These little 'bat wings' lie horizontal to the earth and at the night ends and dawn approaches, the dew is caught upon the undersides of these fans. Slowly then, the thorns close up again, hiding the moisture from the suns theft. However, this dew has been changed with closeness to the plant, and collection of this precious water yields a most powerful drug. Foolsbed dew, if rubbed on the skin, or sipped in tiny quantities of no more than two drops, is a bringer of sleep and befuddler of the mind. Those who have taken it will be taken with the urge to rest, though they will forget all cause of worry or sense and will claim to observe things that are not there. Taken too freely, however, it can cause permanent feebleness of the mind, night terrors, and in extremis, a sleep that one cannot be roused from.

Reproduction - Every other year, during the brief rain season, Foolsbed bursts into riotous colour, with every pair of thorns becoming adorned with a tiny orange flower. These flowers are coated in sweet musky smelling yellow pollen that flies off the flowers in small puffs like a housewife beating a rug. The yellow haze above a goodly crop of Foolsbed bushes is a lovely sight that serves to soften the image of the normally harsh plant, and seemingly is enough for it to bring forth small black seed from each withered flower-head. These black seeds are less than a nailsbredth across and coated in a sticky gum like substance. Foolsbed seeds are thusly, ideally suited to their method of transportation - sticking as they do so well into the hides of passing animals and on the clothes of the peoples of the area. When eventually shed, they roll over the now hard ground to find a crack that they might fall into, and over the course of the next year, sprout a bare palm in height and develop its first thorns.

Myth/Lore/Origins - It was once thought that taking Foolsbed dew would give visions of great power and fortune to the imbiber, and one such tale is told of a Azhorhria youth who accidentally found the knowledge of the False Dreaming. Micipsa was a tall and handsome youth but his family had fallen from grace and he was very poor. His mother had no food and his father had taken a women of
another tribe.  He was out hunting very early when he stumbled and landed upon the branches of a Foolsbed, being pierced but once in his arm.  All at once a great tiredness sought to overtake him and he sat down with a bump.  Beneath the branches, lay a small furred creature, who blinked at him and spoke in his own tongue "You, Micipsa are very poor, and you are now very tired, but if you stay awake this day in the glare of the burning sun, I will make you wealthy again."  Micipsa was very tired, but spoke to the wonderous creature "Creature - I do not doubt that you can do this, as you can speak as well as a man, but the sun will bake my skin and no wealth will bring me back from the dead."  The creature smiled and said "Well, you are as small as I now, climb under the bush with me and we can shade together and see what fortune will bring you."  And Micipsa found that he was small, and crawled under.  He spoke of many things with the creature, and learned much wisdom, until late in the day when the sun was less, a great foreign caravan approached and Micipsa watched as it stopped.  The people were weary and very tired and looked very lost.  Micipsa could hear them talk.  "Oh, I would give 10 strikes to a man who could lead us to a village." One woman was heard to cry.  Micipsa started forward, but his friend stopped him.  "Oh, I would give a dozen minim to any soul who could guide us to such a rest!" Exclaimed another.  Micipsa looked startled and went to move again, but again he was stopped.  "Well, I would give one starbright to any hero who could lead us to shelter, and I promise on my soul that this is true." And Micipsa emerged from the Foolsbed, tall and handsome, like a hero of old and led them to his village gladly.  He was paid his starbright and bought many good things for his mother, thanking all the while the Foolsbed and the little creature beneath.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/4/05 19:48
7  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Tareptail on: 01 February 2005, 07:59:00
Name - Tareptail.  Also known as Common Whiteball, Snowpuff, Wet-a-Weed and Mothers-Scorn.

Category - Weed, Flower

Overview - Tareptail is a common, low-growing bi-ennial flowering weed, bane of the gardeners of New Salantha and the source of much mischief for children.  Found wilder near the Sharadon forest, particularly places of mild habit, has some use in cooling teas and aids to fluid expulsion.

Description - When in its prime, Tareptail is a low growing, two palms' tall, plant, usually characterised by a ground hugging crown of dark red serrated leaves and two to three flower stems issuing from its heart.  These flower stems are topped by a single flower each of white hue and of bushy character, these last no longer than a month.  Individual petals are thin, of no more than a nailsbredth in length and spray out like rays of a pale sun, or spines on a bleached sea urchin.  Beneath the ground, Tareptail is possessed of a single strong taproot of a palmspan in length and tapers from two nailsbredths at it's top.  This root has a white milky flesh and a brown, rough skin.
After the flower has passed, the petals fall from it and the base of the flowerhead swells to contain the seeds within.  After a week or so, though shorter in fine weather, the seedpod will split open, exposing an untidy bundle of seeds, no bigger than a grain of sand, thickly coated in feathery white hairs so that they might fly further in the wind.  Indeed, pale clouds of snowflake-like seeds are seen to fly a dash or more with a kind zephyr to aid them.

Territory - Found in temperate climes, Tareptail prefers warm summers and cool wet winters and springs, though it can with some complaint, tolerate frost and may be seen as far north as the southern rim of the Thaelon.  The muggy summers of the Narfost plain are too hot for it, however, for it never ventures further south than the shady north of the Sharadon forest. Seldom found near the coast, as Tareptail cannot abide the salt nature of such places, but will be found most often in places of rich soil, high humus and occasional shade. As such, while often a common sight near the edges of forested land, Tareptail has taken to places of refuse and other dumping grounds on the limits of larger settlements. New Santhala in particular is 'blessed' with widespread patches, known as tareptail hills, which were formed when the council of Santhala ordered that the refuse of the town had to be carried out past it borders and dumped there. A great amount of refuse has been disposed like this in the thirty years since the edict, and when the hills grow too high, another new 'hill' is opened. The older ones are left to rot, creating an ideal place for the pioneer weed Tareptail, till other plants claim their right on these newly made fertile grounds.

Usages - A seldom used plant, sympathetic to the sanguine humor, Tareptail leaves have in the past been dried and used sparingly as a component in cooling teas to combat an overabundance of this warming humor.  Given that the leaves on their own have a bitter and astringent taste, this reluctance to use in any quantity is understandable.
The milky sap of this plant, which all parts, barring flowers, contain, has the well known property of being a diuretic - so well known, indeed, that it is not only responsible for its names as 'Wet-a-Weed' and 'Mothers-Scorn', but that it has featured in many a childs prank - with the 'victim' child enduring the so-called 'Mothers Scorn' effect a mere two hours or so after the consumption of even small quantities of the sap.  While this may be of great amusement to children, it is found that sometimes this effect can be beneficial to those who find themselves filled with unpleasant waters.

Reproduction - The tiny gossamer coated seeds of the Tareptail are easily carried on the breeze, far from the mother plant, and in late months great clouds of these seeds can be seen swirling and catching in spiderwebs and all but clogging puddles and streams.  Those seeds that do find fertile purchase sprout some weeks later, issuing forth two smooth dark red leaves which in time give way to the more characteristic serrated leaves.  It is only in the second year that Tareptail will give forth flower spikes and eventually bloom.

Myth/Lore/Origins - There is a tale that tells that Tareptail sprouted from the ground when a mage of olden times, who had taken the form of a fleet-footed tarep to escape capture, was pierced in the tail by an arrow loosed from the bow of his lovers husband.  The arrow sorely rooted the distraught mage to the ground, and only by a hasty spell was he able to free himself, but in the process lost his tail.  His tail became a flowerhead, white and fluffy, the arrow became the stalk and where his blood had hit the ground, sharp looking leaves grew.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/4/05 20:50
8  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Potential Botanist Seeks To Join. on: 31 January 2005, 16:23:00
Hello everyone,

I have to say I'm attracted by your botany section for Santharia (though I haven't read much else from the site yet) and I was wondering if I could possibly be admitted for sporadic submissions?

For one thing, your weeds section needs filling out with more 'mundane' fantasy weeds ;)

Congratulations on your world so far!

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