Plants, Trees, Grasses
There is a tremendous variety of plant life on Aereth, as varied as the topographies that support it. There are several varieties of grasses, each adapted to their own particular habitat be it an alpine valley or grassy plain. This is true for almost all types of vegetation. There are great forests of hardwoods, including giant redwoods and massive old pines, mosses, and lichens that grow on the rocks and trees, even in the highest meadows. Some tough, drought-resistant grasses and plants such as cacti thrive in the desert wastes.
The various races have domesticated certain plants. There are numerous varieties of apple trees that have been cultivated and nurtured. There are also several types of wild grape that now graces the dinner tables in the form of wines, jams, and jellies. Hardy winter wheat has been turned into a yearly crop by numerous farmers. Along with these items, there are potato-like tubers that grow quite well underground, even in the harshest winters.
Several varieties of coffee and teas are grown and traded as well, although, to date, only the western regions of Laramidia produce the fine coffees as well as a one or two of the stronger varieties of black tea. The majority of teas and coffees are imported from Xia.
Also known as Blood Tips, merasha is a fleshy tubular plant native to the tropical regions of Aereth. It can be cultivated in hothouses, but it is not easy to keep it alive under artificial conditions.
Merasha has long been used as a medicinal plant because of its opiate type sedative properties. It is the most powerful painkiller known on Aereth for Murians and Travelers! For Gwerin and Ddraig, it has other properties that can be mild to deadly. Compounded and administered correctly, merasha can affect those with arcane abilities to varying degrees.
The oil in the plant’s leaves is at its most powerful when the tips of each tube turn dark red. Piercing the red tip and gently squeezing the oil out is the best method of extraction. Cutting the leaf and draining the oil diminishes its effectiveness. Extracted before the tips redden and the oil is useless.
Drops of the sweet-tasting oil can be added to various solutions such as tea, wine, or water for ingesting as a painkiller or as a nefarious way to get merasha into the system of an unsuspecting person. It can also be added to food without losing its potency. Adding it to creams or rubbing a bit of the oil directly on the skin makes it an effective topical anesthetic but it will be absorbed by the skin, thus still rendering it effects on some magic users.
Many people use a compound of merasha and black lotus as a recreational narcotic. Prepared properly and combined with other ingredients, it also works as a form of birth control.
Effects and Uses
Murians and Travelers: painkiller, topical anesthetic, sedative; no severe side effects. A large enough dose of the pure oil will kill.
- Uses: dull or eliminate pain, put a patient to sleep for surgery or other medical procedures.
Gwerin and Ddraig: hallucinogen, magic inhibitor, poison, birth control. The magical abilities of both Ddraig and Gwerin are disrupted for a specific period based on the dosage. It can also cause severe hallucinations. People that use it as a recreational narcotic call its effects Dream Tripping.
- Uses: poison, power inhibitor, disorient, birth control (must be combined with other ingredients). An infinitesimally small amount goes a long way. A needle dipped in merasha is all it takes to cause at least mild disorientation.
- During a Gwerin’s arcane training, they are exposed to merasha and its effects so they can recognize it and, to a small degree, cope with its effects. No Gwerin or Ddraig can totally withstand the effects of merasha.
Sedayin: causes vivid nightmares, slightly poisonous. Sedayin can die from the oil because it disrupts the flow of their fea.
Dwarrow: inebriant, a painkiller. Merasha oil eliminates the pain but also causes severe inebriation; in other words, they get drunk as a skunk.
- Uses: painkiller
These trees are also known as Rainbow Trees. They are indigenous to Bassilith and are not known to grow anywhere else in the world. No one has successfully planted them and had them survive. Groves of Chee-Chimers are cherished on Bassilith. Along with their incredibly beautiful wood, they produce stunning bell-like music. Chee-Chimers will not sing unless there are a certain number in a grove.