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Author Topic: Falserock  (Read 1433 times)
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« 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

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