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Thread: The Herbiary - Introduction and Catalog

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    The Herbiary - Introduction and Catalog



    The Herbiary

    In the interest of documenting potential agricultural choices and for the benefit of those who find work in said industry, the Commercium has placed an open bulletin contract for free agents to submit as-yet-unseen plant-life. With the Cataclysm upsetting much of the global ecosystem, plants which were once cultivated have seen mutated, becoming more difficult to farm or outright poisonous.

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    Ambrosias
    Cultivated / Foliage
    Flourishes exclusively Denuntiares Mountains, however many experienced florists can grow it under controlled conditions.


    In its natural state, the perennial flowering plant is rather beautiful to behold with varying shades of reds, blues, and violets blending across its deep lily like flowers. Many florists have a hard time keeping the plant in stock, as they are a favorite courting gift among various races.

    The plant has a multitude of uses in both alchemy and cuisine. From the base of the stem and up the plant is highly valued as a key ingredient to many erotic stimulant medicines. The petals of the flower, if eaten, grant a male Laicar prolonged stamina. For the Enlil and Velen the same result occurs, but also enhances their racial attractiveness such as plumage coloring.

    When ground into a fine powder, the effect is intensified and in controlled amounts can greatly increase the pain threshold, allowing for complex operations by medics, which can include amputations. The effect seems most potent in Laicars.

    The bulb-like root of the plant has a vast array of culinary applications because it too holds the same sort of properties as the plant. It does so through taste, creating a natural savory sensation when used as a garnish. If boiled, the root becomes softer and can then be eaten in this form, making it a perfect dessert for a romantic dinner.




    Azur Sollum "Sky Grass"
    Foliage
    Kingdom of Prendere


    Azur Sollum is, simply put, tall blue grass that exists in long, flexible blades. Where they can be found, they can be found in incredible abundance, and from a distance, the very ground it grows on appears to turn blue.

    Azur Sollum's uses are almost as abundant as the plant itself. Its inherent tensile strength allows it to be made into cheap rope, useful for tying light objects down. If cut down to small slivers, can be used as a topping on most foods to give them a slightly chewier texture. By watching the different shades of blue a section of Sky Grass turns, one can even use it to detect changes in humidity, which can give the astute some early warning for weather changes.

    Even if one ignores their utility, however, no one can ignore their aesthetic beauty. Indeed, a full plain of Sky Grass, with long blue blades waving in the wind and impossible to tell where the grass ends and the sky begins, is considered to be on par with the greatest natural beauties of the world.




    Comantem Vexillo
    Weed
    Found exclusively in the swamps of Paludis.


    Comantem Vexillo (literally: Blooming Flag) is, on the surface, a pleasing flower with a green stalk and reddish petals. It typically grows in small swarms of six to ten, but is only known to properly bloom twice a year. Its name is derived from the way in which it leans over and its petals appear to form a kind of hanging red flag. When it has finally bloomed, it produces seeds that are only good for either clinging onto passing fauna or being carried by the elements to moist soil. It is notorious for interfering with nearby flora's development, as its roots intertwine with any nearby plant's and absorb any nutrients, thereby damaging local floral development.

    An interesting sidenote regarding the Vexillo are the reports regarding its attempted cultivation and study. Any and all attempts to nurture it in a controlled environment, even one that closely mimics Paludis' swamps, have resulted in any planted Vexillo dying before they can bloom. Most botanists have dismissed the Vexillo's application as a nutrient, though some reports claim that local fauna can consume the plant without an immediate repercussion.

    It has been reported, however, that any fauna that have consumed a Vexillo plant in bloom have exhibited heightened aggression. Further reports as to the cause, whether it is the seeds, the pollen, the skin of the plant, or some other outside influence are sparse and largely hearsay. There is similarly little information on whether it is possible to replicate the effect in either velen, enlil, or laicar partially due to the difficulty in cultivating the Vexillo outside of Paludis.




    Conditus Folium (lit: Spicy Leaf)
    Cultivated
    Aridus


    This bright red flower is spikey in appearance and can be found on desert cacti. Its four-to-six leaf blooms are often plucked whole, with the center intact, then the leaves dried and ground into powder for a heated additive to food. Its center, containing numerous small powdery spores, can be prepared similarly to its leaves, dried then ground, for an even hotter additive. Notably, the leaves of this plant can be diced or rolled and smoked, inducing a condition known as "hydroxo-delirium", which is a combination of the dehydration the plant causes and unknown chemicals in the plant. Smokers tend to report euphoria, paranoia and mild hallucinations, though it is also known that Frigus Folium will significantly lessen paranoia and the hallucinations, making the mixture a common treatment for various chronic ailments like arthritis. Its widely sought after applications and recreational use has made its usefulness outweigh dissenting opinions that it should be illegal.




    Cor Pingitur (Painted Heart)
    Cultivated
    South-Eastern Hiemis, North-Western Secare


    The bland, colorless flower blooms near the fields and mountains surrounding Terminus, and have spread to the southern continent of Secare over time. When harvested, and placed in contact with skin, the white flower bursts into color, shades of red and pink pulsing inwards towards the center based upon heart rate, amazing people and making it mostly used in cosmetics and gifts.

    Upon discovery, they were initially meant to be used as a symbol of beauty. However, over time, It was put to use in hospitals and clinics to measure one's heart rate. Upon death of a person, the flower returns to its blank, colorless state. Doctors often keep their own private farms of the plant, growing it for use in their personal endeavors.




    Dulcia Acerbi Folium (lit: Sweet and Sour Leaf)
    Cultivated
    Jungles, Paludis and Boreas


    This tiny plant is recognized by its six almond-shaped leaves, which are round and soft. Only having been discovered around twenty years ago, this plant cannot be grown as easily as Frigus Folium, increasing its marketability and consumer demand. It can be consumed raw or cooked, is usually prepared by plucking the leaves from the stem and then added to the raw or cooked mixture for a distinct, as well as seemingly contradictory sweet-and-sour taste; hence its name. Like Conditus, a little bit goes a long way when used in foods.




    Folio Sanitatem "Healing Leaf"
    Foliage
    Located in Southern Paludis and Secare in abundance. Imported throughout the world.


    The Folio Sanitatem is another plant that was named simply for what it did. By crushing the leaves of the Folio Sanitatem flower, you can create a type of herbal tea that can be ingested to cure stomach ailments. If created correctly, the Folio Sanitatem and several other herbs can be mixed together to create a minor healing ointment. The Folio Sanitatem takes the appearance of a rose flower, though with ivory petals and seems to be without thorns.




    Folium Edacis
    Weed
    Found nearly all throughout Araevis save for the Wastes


    The Folium Edacis (literally: Devouring Leaf) is an invasive root that can grow in almost any climate. It is a green weed that can grow to cover a surface of almost any size or orientation given enough time. Reports of the weed indicate that under the right circumstances, it can spread from just a seedling to a 12,000-acre area in just one year. It is known to produce a bush that covers every inch of its overgrown root. No part of the bush nor the root itself, nor even the spores have been found to have any application, nutritious or otherwise.

    Folium Edacis is spread by allowing even a single leaf from the bush to come in contact with other vegetation, either by getting caught in the wind or picked up by passing fauna. The leaves are all loaded with potent spores which, when making contact with another rooted plant, aggressively hijack the plant's structure and convert it to more Folium Edacis.

    Prior to its initial bloom, Folium Edacis can take up to three years to be noticed, up until which time it is known to weave a large root network underground and absorb all available nutrients in order to facilitate its own growth. Methods of controlling an outbreak of the Edacis are still in development. The most successful attempts have involved demolishing its surface growths to prevent its spores from spreading, identifying its central root structure and destroying that as well.

    For the most part, botanists worldwide have recommended that the best way to keep the Folium Edacis at bay is to avoid it on sight, and barring that, not allowing any of its leaves to accompany even the most curious of explorers.




    Frigus Folium (lit: Cooling Leaf)
    Cultivated
    Marshes and Wetlands near the Merchant City Prenditus and the Port City Avelyn


    A large, green-leaf plant. This ubiquitous, over-sized grower is a popular decorative and useful plant, due to its ease of cultivation. Given large amounts of water, it can be grown in almost any climate. It is called the "Cooling Leaf" due to the minty cooling taste it adds to foods. The roots of this plant can also be used for the same effect in stews and salads. The leaves are generally diced prior to any cooking, and can be consumed raw or cooked. The Cooling Leaf can also be cut in half at its middle horizontally and then rolled, to be used as a fresh-smelling, aromatic incense.

    The plant is also used to temper the heat and effects of Conditus Folium, which is often used medicinally or recreationally to illicit a condition known as "hydroxo-delirium", a type of chemically induced dehydration that is accompanied by mild hallucinations and euphoria, among others.




    Fulva Vites
    Cultivated
    Initially discovered in northern Paludis and more temperate parts of Aridus.


    The Fulva Vites when first discovered was nothing more than a yellowish vine, largely known for covering small portions of any nearby detritus with its tendrils, whether flora or fauna. Twice in a year, its budding outcroppings bloom with seeds that produce a pungent scent which tends to attract nearby predators — an adaptation that assists in spreading itself, as its seeds themselves cannot be properly digested. Neither the seeds nor the vine itself are noted to have much in the way of nutritional value outside of not immediately killing any that consume it.

    A more recent discovery brought this particular plant to a greater popularity. When this crop's seeds are crushed and ground they produce a powder that, first and foremost, is highly addictive to whomever imbibes it. Further 'alchemical studies' have lead to the discovery that when processed and burned, the fumes themselves produce a similarly addicting effect.

    The Fulva Vites has, among certain communities, been nicknamed Contraversim (literally: In Reverse) and even more recently, shortened to just 'Contra'. In addition to being highly addictive, it is reported to give its user hallucinatory visions that gives the impression of time flowing in reverse.

    As a direct result of its appeal to certain interested parties, this crop has seen more of a global distribution in terms of its cultivation. Despite its recent appearance, a number of communities have outlawed it entirely, causing it to be a somewhat rare commodity for those without direct connections to cultivators of the Fulva Vites.




    Ghost Fruit Tree
    Foliage / Cultivated
    Forests of Aridus, however seedlings have been found on Secare and Boreas.


    A deciduous tree native to Aridus, it thrives in areas where there is a high concentration of Ghost Pollen Trees. Many believe the two are of the same plant because they are often found growing together.

    Unlike the Ghost Pollen Tree, the Ghost Fruit is not dangerous for consumption. Truth is it offers one of the best fruits for wine-making as it strongly accents the other fruit flavors combined with it. The fruit is completely edible and pure white in color. When peeled it has a bluish green-colored fleshy seedless center.

    It has no real taste of its own, but brings a salty sweet tang desired in many wines and naturally has a 5% alcohol content in its ripened state. In an unripe state, the fruit can have as much as 60% alcohol content with the center being almost blood red in color, though the skin remains just as white as when it is ripe.




    Ghost Pollen Tree
    Foliage / Weed
    Forests of Aridus, however seedlings have been found on Secare and Boreas.


    A conifer tree native to Aridus, the plant appears non-threatening at first, reaching heights typical for many trees. Unlike most trees, though, the Ghost Pollen Tree never stops growing. What makes this tree dangerous and causes it to be classified as a weed is the fact that its pollen has a neurotoxin effect on most races, but is especially potent against Enlil.

    The tree is named for its pollen. The pollen of the tree is released nightly. It is carried by the wind and is distinctly white in color. If inhaled it will induce a multitude of psychotropic effects, but the most common ones are loss of self awareness, visual hallucinations, fixations on colors or objects, intense terror or bliss, sleeplessness, manic or depressive bouts, and an extreme loss of appetite.

    The actual experience varies from one person to the next, however one constant effect is a crippling fear of water even in Velen victims. These effects will continue until the individual is completely submerged underwater or several days have passed since the last exposure.

    Submersion under water draws the pollen out through the skin and neutralizes the effect. It is the fastest and most effective treatment. The body will process out the pollen, however there is no guarantee it will be completely removed. The tree is relatively uncommon, but small forests can spring up in a handful of years if the environment is suitable.




    Infirioris Orbis (Sky flower)
    Foliage
    Desert areas, Oasis(es), Oceans near Aridus


    The Infirioris Orbis is a small flower no bigger than the size of ones palm, with golden feathery tendrils that hang from its underside in long strands. These yellow and cream flowers are extremely light and float in the air in huge colony like groupings, forming immense clouds over the continent of Aridus. They grow in the oceans of Aridus where they gather water, then when a tropical storm kicks up , they blow the small flowers high into the air, sending them flying in groups that appear as large clouds in the sky that are Vissends for a weary dehydrated traveller.

    The flowers posses an extremely high water content, storing liquid and sugars for its growth and sustenance within large sacs that hang from its underside like a coach in a hot air balloon, while its large meaty petals provide a filling and spicy meal. Besides their high water content and spicy sweet flavor, they all contain at least one blue petal, that seems to point towards water no matter the flower's orientation,and its single blue pistil that begins to lose its bright red color as it depletes it own water supply. Scientists have theorized that the tiny blue petal is some sort of guidance system that allows the Infirioris to find water during its long journeys across the arid desert.

    After staying airborne for a few days the flowers release the sacs on their undersides, to soar high into the clouds and produce a flat fruit with a bulge in the center that falls to the ocean, containing bitter and hot seeds that will birth a new hundred Infirioris Orbis in three months.

    These useful flowers were discovered by Enlil explorers near the coast of Aridus, at 12km, studying weather patterns in the desert's tropical zone.




    Luce Signifer "Light Bearer"
    Foliage
    Located in most non-civilized areas and seems to be commonly located in shrubbery and dark places.


    The Luce Signifer is a type of plant that lives completely to its name as light bearer. Appearing as a hibiscus flower, the plant seems to be nothing but ordinary in most instances. However, at night-time and in dark areas, the dew the flower excretes seems to show luminescent properties. The flowers can grow in almost any location, even shown to grow on the bottom of the Copiae, Chlorae and Tenebrae oceans if the ground is soft enough for the plant to take root. This makes owning the flower a common sight as it offers free light and seems to be more useful than a torch or light in most cases.




    Martisium Vine and Relis Moss
    Weeds
    Deep Forests of Paludis, but popular imports to wealthy families.


    The Martisium Vine is an odd flora. Its vines grow close together, twisting and constricting each other as it travels along. These vines normally grow slowly. So slowly, in fact, that the green Relis moss is often found growing in small amounts along it, obscuring where one vine ends and another begins. In fact, some scholars have determined that the moss and Martisium have developed a symbiotic relationship, where the Relis Moss gains a guaranteed food source and the Martisium gains a cunning source of camouflage as well as a way of detecting enemies.

    As it grows, the Martisium secretes a clearish blue liquid, secreting the area with highly conductive juices. These juices are, in a sense, a different form of detection, as Relis Moss is highly sensitive to both sound and changes in electrical charges, and will shudder or move away from the sounds of even the slightest splashes. This alerts the vine, which accelerates its growth, vines grabbing the vulnerable prey and trapping it as signals are sent through the liquid, numbing the lower body and slowly digesting it as the electricity creates a chemical reaction, turning the normally docile liquid into an acidic compound. Victims can often be found by the statuesque remains as the vine crawls on them, completely encompassing their body to ensure that no nutrient is wasted.

    This, however, does not stop many nobles from trying to claim their own bundle of Martisium Vine. With its cohesive nature and flexibility, it makes a great material to create garden decorations with, and can be easily shaped to make a wide array of plant sculptures. This “prize” often outweighs the danger of actually capturing and maintaining the carnivorous plant, and many a would be gardener has met their end in such an expedition.




    Nucifera
    Cultivated
    Tropical Shorelines, grows on trees.


    Plant Description: The nucifera is a fruit, that at full size can typically fits in a palm with outstretched fingers. It is covered in multiple layers of protection, starting with a green shell. Inside that is a furry, brown shell. That part typically has three dimples on it arranged in a triangular fashion. Underneath that is white, fleshy meat that is the edible portion. The inner most part is hollow and filled with juice.

    The fruit is quite dangerous however. Keeping it in the outer green shell is fine, but once that is breached, the brown fuzzy shell starts emitting a hallucinogenic gas. It is quite strong and even being in an open are will leave people affected. People describe the effect as dizziness and seeing strange colors.

    Drinking the actual juice, however, gives a much greater effect, to the point where no two people can say they have the same experience.

    The nucifera is considered illegal to possess or farm. Doctors can't quite agree if the substance is addictive or not. Some say it isn't, some say the withdrawal symptoms take a long enough time to appear that users just look recreational. They all agree that people tend to do stupid things when on it. It is quite popular among the kids looking for a good time, though. The street name is noice.




    Oasian "Wanderer's Solace"
    Foliage
    Deep Desert


    A spherical plant found in most desert conditions, it seems to thrive where there is little to no water. Called the Wanderer's Solace, finding the plant can mean the difference between life and death on a journey through a desert. This is due to the fact that the plant stores water in its center as a waste product. The bigger the plant, the more fresh water it contains.

    The outside of its green body is covered in fine point prickles, which are more of a nuisance then anything else. The needles easily fall off, as they are actually the plant’s seed. A traveler must approach with care if they wish to get to the water. Any force applied either from the top to cut into it, or pulling up to pick the plant up will dislodge the root and create a drain for the water inside. Those experienced with harvesting the plant usually dig down to the root and flip the plant over before going after the water.




    Pinguis Ducatus (Pinguis Ducati)
    Foliage
    Location: Oceanic, Global


    Literally meaning "Oily Lubricant" in the Common Tongue, this underwater plant secretes an oil common to artisan and mechanical applications. It serves as the most commonly obtained and grown lubricant used for vehicles and even for sealing weapons after being fully crafted. The underwater plant leaves are distinctly large and easy to recognize, roughly two feet in length and, at times, a full foot in width. The oil can be harvested from its natural underwater settings, where bubbles naturally separate itself into pockets that can be distilled and then transported in leather sacs to distributor locations. For single-person proprietors needing the substance, it is not uncommon to harvest an entire plant and then keeping it in a tank where it can be obtained in smaller amounts and then sold or used, given the proper licenses via a guild.




    Purpura Cicutae "Purple Hemlock"
    Weed
    Found in Secare, often growing near Folio Sanitatem.


    The Purpura Cicutae is the deadly twin to Folio Sanitatem. Its identical counterpart, the primary difference between the two is the thorns located on the stem. Unlike healing, the Purpura Cicutae instead induces harmful and very nasty effects when mixed into a tea or ointment. When ingested or rubbed onto an open wound, the victim suffers paralysis beginning from the source of the poisoning, and in extreme cases can spread throughout the body. The paralysis can last between 5 and 15 minutes. The known cure for it is Folio Sanitatem, the weed's twin. Otherwise, it seems best to let the paralysis work itself off.




    Sinuousus Granum
    Cultivated
    Originally discovered in eastern Hiemis, currently cultivated across Araevis wherever a cold environment can be found or simulated


    Sinuousus Granum (literally: Bending Grain) grows from a small green trunk that, up to seven times a year, blooms and produces from two to five hanging stalks covered in oily brown seeds. Its name is derived from the stalks' tendency to curve inward when in bloom, creating what's been reported as a 'C-like shape'. The oil produced by the Granum's seeds has long been put to a variety of uses in the trades. No part of the Granum has been reported to have any particular nutritional value.

    As long as one hundred years ago, it was discovered by an intrepid alchemist that demvir have a peculiar reaction to the Granum. When the seeds are heated in water, or enough of their oil is heated up, it releases a steam that is said to interfere with a demvir's cognitive capacity.

    Should either a demvir's core or cranium be exposed to enough of the steam, their inner workings are disrupted and they appear to enter a delirium shockingly similar to symptoms presented by inebriation in organic races. Some reports claim that over time, demvir build up a resistance and require more prolonged exposure to the Granum's steam in order to recreate the sensation.

    More recently, the Granum has been mixed with other processed flora in the interest of creating variety in the steam's consistency or strength. As more methods of cultivating the Granum have sprung up, so too has its popularity spread, though a contingent of demvir community leaders have reportedly raised moral objections to its use as an intoxicant.




    Subluceo viriditas
    Foliage
    Location: Oceanic, Global


    Colloquially known as ‘glow weed’ by the velen it was subluceo viriditas that allowed the culture to avoid some of the hassles that arose from a lack of electricity. Their streets and houses are illuminated not by lamps but through these rather hardy algae colonies. The stalks of these colonies are impressively quick to grow able to reach speeds of two inches of new growth per day as well as flourish with minimal water circulation. These colonies work as commensalists with a group of bioluminescent bacteria which give the subluceo their distinctive glow. The bacteria are confined to a rather large bulb protrusion at the apex of the algae colony which many velen pop to extinguish the light. Older and more rural velen homes have entire rooms dedicated to growing the plant for more control over their lighting.

    These archaic methods have fallen out of vogue with the coming of larger and larger velen metrolises. However the dawning of the levis hunts have thrown new ways of controlling the lights brought by the subluceo bacterium. Suspended in levis oil, the bacteria are able to reach much higher concentrations than in the native plant without triggering their luminescent properties. Simply shaking this container is enough to trigger the onset of light for a number of minutes. Further mechanical advancements brought about by levis oil have allowed the containers of this suspension to be placed within oil fueled machines which provided the disruption necessary to activate luminescence. Simply flipping a switch is all the hassle most cosmopolitan velen go through to illuminate their homes.




    Sussuratrix
    Weed
    Commonly found in graveyards and abandoned places all over the world


    "Visit your dead, or they'll soon be claimed by the Sussuratrix!"

    While many plants thrive on the healthy nutrients from soil and other plants, Sussuratrix thrives on what the legends say: the remains of the dead. These flowers of immaculate white are fairly large, and grow in odd bunches. They appear to be bioluminescent, often glowing in various colors and intensity, despite being in the same bunch.

    The Sussuratrix are stellate flowers consisting of seemingly hundreds of narrow petals arranged in distinct rows, with smaller petals near the center. They grow close to the untouched territory, usually lacking stalks. Once a spot has been untouched for a long time (local folks say decades, but some claim centuries), small white buds appear around the spot, usually with gaps of 5-10 meters between them. However, it grows in a rather unusual manner: rather than blooming then withering, this flower only blooms but never wither. The original bud opens up and from there, petals will begin to grow outward. In time, the first petals will grow longer and creep to the surrounding space, and more petals will grow out. Eventually, they form layers and layers of petals. Some grow to become feet in diameter, and once they grow large, they become truly unstoppable.

    Sussuratrix are beautiful and do produce a rather enticing scent, but the more they grow, the more they are to be avoided: once its petals sense contact with another object, a thick, thorny vine will suddenly burst out from the center of the flower and will attempt to ensnare anything that lie within the reach of its petals. It is for this primary reason that the people of Terminus do their best to nip them from their spot when they're small, and never attempt to go near when they're big.

    Another unique quality of these flowers is that they appear to mimic the loudest sound around them, as though echoing these sounds in softer volumes. Sometimes they don't, and simply echo a sound that have been 'remembered' in its memories. Their petals rustle when they mimic sounds, and seem to be whispering when there are many Sussuratrix collectively producing the same sound, or 'speaking' the same word. Whispers of 'come closer' are most common.



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