24 May 2013

Earthdawn: Part 25 - Flora of Barsaive

This is the twenty-fourth part in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

As a part the most recent arc (at the time of writing this) of my Earthdawn game the characters were exploring an ancient, creepy forest populated by some very curious and rare things. When I asked them what kind of trouble they wanted to get into during their stay, one of the characters intended on looking for interesting plants. It is worth mentioning that the forest is located in the Cara Fahd/Landis region of South-East Barsaive.

The entire exploring the forest became a mini-game unto itself that was a remarkable amount of fun. Nonetheless, here is a list of the 30 interesting flora that I created which could be found in this forest. As always, feel free to adapt any of this for your own game. Most of these effects don't have mechanics attached to them so that they can be introduced however would best suit your world.

These oily leaves are a pungent and powerful insect repellent. They can be turned into an ointment that is water resistant as well, though soluble in alcohol.

A crunchy red tuber that is slightly sweet. When dried and allowed to age, it gains a euphoric quality that causes severe disorientation and some memory loss. Consumers are also susceptible to suggestion during this time.

Orchan Nuts
Not truly a nut, these brilliantly red legumes are considered a long-lost secret of Cara Fahd. Amazingly potent, they were used in a special dish for warriors prior to battle to "light a fire in their belly." For other Namegivers, these are almost unbearably spicy - though rumored to be popular with dwarfs and elves that may still haves stores. In other Namegivers, they heighten perception and creativity, though lower inhibitions and cause aggression.

Lustre Fruit
A purple fruit in a brown membrane casing. While incredibly juicy, this fruit is considered to be too tart to be edible for most Namegivers, though obsidimen and some lowland trolls have developed a taste. It is commonly used as an alchemical ingredient. Each fruit is worth 20 silver pieces in alchemical reagents.

Nyin Berry
These yellow berries are bitter and sour, with a tough skin and jelly-like center. Popular with dwarf, ork and troll warriors, these berries provide additional stability. Obsidimen find their effects disorienting, and they interfere with a windling's ability to fly.

Lum Melon
This green melon as a crisp and sweet flesh. When preserved with smoke and salt, it gains the properties adventurers most prize: it naturally wards off disease (+5 to tests to resist disease for a day).

Yantos Fruit
The blue and aqua fruit from this low-growing plant are crisp and refreshing. They are particularly prized by Therans for how long they remain fresh, and popular for use in beverages in hot climates across the world. Consuming the crunchy and lush fruit will protect against the ill effects of heat for a day.

Jimicia Fruit
This yellow fruit grows in bunches off of vines. Considered to be very rare, it only grows in very specific places (with seemingly no correlation). When consumed, the fruit puts the subject into a euphoric state where some claim to see visions; none of the visions have a reputation of being pleasant, but some seek this experience.

The bright red stalks of this plant are bitter, sour and spicy. Popular in some ork and human foods, they also gain dangerous properties when properly treated, then dried and powdered (a process know to few alchemists). The powder is extremely pyrophoric and will ignite on contact with water.

Fren Berry
An orange and green berry that is tasty and pleasant. When used to brew alcohol, it gains curious properties that engender a sense of friendship between the imbiber and those around them. Not many brewers posses the knowledge to craft this beverage (vanishingly few).

Merlan Berry
An orange fruit with red spots from a low shrub. Slightly sweet when ripe (entirely red), it is sour when unripened. In the unripened state, they can be dried into a powerful stimulant. It is illegal to possess merlan berries in this form in Throal. (+3 to initiative for one hour.)

These red seeds are exceptionally spicy and popular in some warrior cultures. They cause aggressive behavior and a significant loss of control. Because of that, they are almost never included as a part of a recipe. For 10 rounds, they consumer must adopt the Aggressive Attack stance, but does not take any Strain for doing so.

Braben Beans
These beans are brown and flavorless, if nutritious, when fully grown. In their immature, green state an oil can be press
ed from them that is a dangerous poison. It takes some specialized equipment and knowledge, along with quite a few beans, but it is popular with assassins. Also very, very illegal.

Guvos Melon
This small, low growing "melon" is actually a seed. The green casing is hard and bitter, but the yellow seed is savory and custard-like. It is rare, but very popular with human, dwarf and elf desserts. When dried and powdered, it is known for its restorative properties. (+3 to the result of Recovery Tests for the remainder of the day.)

While the silver flowers of this plant are renown for being lovely, it is the bulb that interests most alchemists. When consumed raw, they place the consumer in a trance-like state for an hour or two that is incredibly restful and has significant healing properties. Unfortunately, they do not stay fresh indefinitely. When dried, they are commonly used as a part of healing aids (worth 50 silver pieces each).

Cerac Seeds
These blue seeds are popular with windlings, particularly warriors. They greatly extend the period of time a windling may remain aloft without rest, though there are downsides. The following day, most windlings find it difficult to fly at all. Repeated use may even impair their ability to fly permanently.

Licotta Melon
A green melon with a hairy, yellow fringe in sections. The flesh is stringy and unpleasant. For those willing to brave it (a difficult task indeed), this melon is amazingly nourishing (+2 to Recovery Tests for a day, a Willpower Test of 8 is required to eat it). It cannot be overstated how difficult it is to stomach a meal of licotta melon. The dwarfs of Throal occasionally investigate ways to make it more palatable.

Zentos Root
A red, bulbous tuber with a stringy texture and spicy flavor; the are popular in ork stews. Often warm to the touch, it can keep someone that eats it warm on a cool night, though exceptional specimen may cause burns when consumed (these are prized with Scorchers). Certain areas have been known to grow zentos that have True Fire in the roots, generally very close to Death's Sea.

Sen-Sen Seeds
The seeds are uninteresting, but the pink pods from this vine produce an entirely pleasant state of euphoria. This effect eliminates all pain and is extremely addictive. Curiously, it also aids in the healing process, but has been known to be lethal in t'skrang and windlings.

Quarsh Berry
A purple berry cluster that is remarkably sweet. Despite the delightful flavor, there are no culinary uses - it has been impossible to remove the soporific effects, which are significant.

Iosh Root
A white tuber with pink spots that is a common ingredient in alchemical recipes. Each root is worth 10 silver pieces in alchemical reagents.

Edden Leaves
The new leaves of the edden shrub can be turned into a poultice originally made popular by a healer Named Kelix. Used in the treatment of various poisons.

Cirtas Berry
Yellow berries from a large shrub. Capable of providing a tasty snack, they are mostly popular for their glow when crushed. Naturally a yellow color, other varieties have been cultivated. Every society prizes these berries for celebrations.

Obop Seeds
The green seeds from obop pods are rare due to how quickly they ripen. In this state, they are dangerously toxic, though have been spread across Barsaive from their origins in Poison Wood. The only way to prevent their ripening is by storing them in alcohol. Don't drink the alcohol.

When juiced and rendered, this purple squash with an amazingly hard rind, affects a significant change in the imbiber. It turns their skin purple and hard, granting 3 Physical Armor for a day in this excruciating process (inflicting 1 Wound and costing 1 Recovery Test).

Uva Fruit
A red and orange, spikey fruit that grows at the base of trees in the area that was once Landis. Considered the royal fruit of that kingdom, it is said to grant incredible clarity of thought, or protection from Horrors (even both!) depending on the story. Regardless, it has an interesting, if acquired texture and a spiced flavor to the flesh.

Ninoku Leaves
Blue and brown leaves from this rare ground cover plant are a mild stimulant when chewed and are a common ingredient in alchemical creations. Each bunch is worth 25 silver pieces.

Topo Berry
This black and pink berry is bitter and causes severe nausea for a day in anyone that consumes one. Prolonged exposure can result in death.

Krilion Berry
These blue, purple and green berries have a luxurious texture and a lightly sweet and sour flavor particularly prized by elves, windlings and some t'skrang as a part of their spiced fish. These berries act as an amazing preservative when juiced, or a delicious and filling meal when eaten.

Riash Root
A round, orange tuber popular in salads when it can be found fresh. However, when dried and suspended in alcohol, it increases the imbiber's sensitivity to magic and astral energies. There is considerable wariness regarding the use in this way.

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