Herbs of the central valley:
(pink spike, rustic tea, gift of ashes)
description: lankey in growth with a single main stem. lancelate leaves that are 4-6 inches long, the top is capped with a flower spike of medium to light pink flowers, that each have four petals.this plant is slender but can grow quite tall in the central valley, and in the coastal lowlands with collected specimins sometimes exceeding 5 feet in total length. This plant reproduces via seed pods held erect in a lancelate fashion similar to that of its leaves at the top of the plant.and when ripe open to produce cottony puffs of seeds.
edibility: this plant is quite nutritious when young, and savoury like spinach. As one of its common names implies, the leaves can be collected and made into a tea. Honey collected from pinkspike is proported to be some of the best honey in all of Ereth.
proported uses in magic: members of house Laxnasu have reported that this herb is very usefull in spells involving protection from fire, and fire based magical attacks.
In San Juan it is known as the phoenix plant because it can be found growing on areas that have previously been burned.
Herbs of the interior valley:
It is in my estimation, that all parts of this plant are edible. The root is likened to a turnip or carrot but much lager, with some specimins weighing in at 2-3 lbs. If your intent is culinary use gather this plant's young shoots and in its first year of growth, before it gets bitter. Or else, harvest the taproot the second year.
identification: this plant has large 12-15 inch heart shape leaves, that are covered in a fine down of hair. the taproot can reach as long as 4 feet underground. Upon maturity this plant can get to be about 6 feet tall. The flowers are easily identified, similar in fashion to the artichoke, or thistle, with colors ranging from lavender to deep purple. When ripe the plant forms its seed pods or "Klingems" that have small barblike hooks on them.
medicinal use: I have found that this herb stimulates the kidneys, and liver and acts to purify one's blood. Some blood based poisons can be negated with klingem. I have also been excited to find that klingem is effective in treating gout.
magical uses: Mothers often tell thier children, "don't wander too far lest the faeries put the kling on you." There is some truth to that saying, because members of house Jerinatu often employ this plant in order to add a greater degree of perminance
to thier spells, I will note that this doesn't always help.
Locally, our wizards and members of house Laxnasu will pay handsomely for but a few grains of klingem gathered from a faerie ring. This is said to be a potent charm, and a vital ingredient of a spell that invokes the fae.
Redstain, Waterwood (Red alder)
I once had a chance to travel with a good elven friend of mine, to the lands of the elven court. As I walked through the forests we came upon groves of alania. When I asked my friend as to the nature of so many in the grove, he replied, "climate control. Alania trees store massive amounts of water, and help regulate the temperature of our forests."
Identification: The leaves of the Alania are alternate, and have fine serrates upon thier edges. The bark is white to a greyish red brown. This tree produces through catkins and small cones, and is a decidious tree. When the inner bark is exposed to air it turns red or as the elves put it it, "bleeds." Some trappers and hunters have found this tree to be usefull in the process of dying leather.
medicinal use: Due to its tannin content the Alania tree is a good wound herb. Its small cones can be eaten while green, and are qite nutritious. However, they don't taste particularly well, and should be remembered as an emergency food source. While in the forest I often can find an Alania branch on the forest floor that makes for a good walking staff.
magical uses: Alania is a water herb. and is usefull in all spells involving water. House Laxnasu informs its magicians within the military, that Alania is substitute for any spell that involves water when in combat, or in areas like Quabara where
water sources are not as available. And that in their spell bundle, to have a couple of Alania sticks.
One should be advised that Alania is a tree frequented by dryads nerids and watersprites. It is advised that one should always give one crown to the spirit of the Alania, if one decides to take from the tree, lest one invokes the wrath of the element water, and the fae who like the tree.