|Official Name||Avinla Spice|
|Common Name||Drops of Sunfire, Memory Herb|
|Habitat||Dravinda’s Garden, Avela Shishumar|
Avinla Spice is an exotic creation formed by what are commonly said to have been the tears of the Estelley goddess Avinla. When the droplets fell to the earth, the Spice was born, both with a blend of explosive flavors and the capacity to impart hallucinations of events from the longstanding Suvial-Kathar conflict. The plant is heavily guarded and remains enclosed to the site known as Dravinda’s Garden, where an elite group of warriors and mages restricts access. Simultaneously, the nearby city’s leadership has also legislated very harsh restrictions on the plant’s availability and to whom.
Avinla Spice supposedly comes from one of the final acts performed by Avinla before her untimely petrification beneath the Void-out she stopped with her powers. The story goes that as she marched toward the site of the next strike, she crossed paths with a simple crop tender known as Dravinda. The middle-aged woman was working in her fields, the land not the most fertile but acceptable, and long a source of pride for her family. However, her husband and son had been killed in the conflict with the Kathar. Like many others, Dravinda is said to have begged for the goddess to act and save her chosen people from such destruction and hatred. Perhaps her plea was the one to convince the goddess, or perhaps the goddess was already resolute in her actions. Whatever the case, as Dravinda bowed and wept into the earth, Avinla is said to have blessed this woman with a final gift to the world. By the time the crop tender looked up, the goddess was gone, but in her place now eagerly sprouted the orange plant life which would become known as Avinla Spice, all other crops wilting in its presence. Later that day, the goddess gave her form to stop the carnage, at least on the scale it had been before.
The truth of this story, however, is suspect. Some outsiders believe that Avinla Spice was merely a rare plant which the Suvial, in their obsession with the goddess which so defined their society, constantly used up whenever it appeared in nature, leading to its constant scarcity. A shrewd agriculturalist then, soon after the sacrifice of Avinla, took the opportunity to dramatically increase the price of an already rare product, raising it up to mythical status. It is also possible that the initial event is based in some form of truth, a passing encounter between Avinla and a supplicant that was warped by the chaos that took place surrounding the final Void-out. Dravinda herself is said to have died mere months later, and was not reborn, a local sign that something had indeed gone wrong with their normal way of being. Whatever the case, the unique hallucinogenic properties of the plant have seen it jealously guarded. A group known as the Fireguard was specifically formed to surround Dravinda’s Garden, a place of great pilgrimage for the Suvial Race, and guard the theft, disturbance or destruction of any of the plants.
Avinla Spice may be exotic and strange looking at first glance, but botanists who have been allowed to visit the Garden have observed the plant to share several features from at least three different spice plants in the spice’s structure. However, in the end, the blend of these features and the general coloration and effect of the plant make it different from those it bares similarities to. The plant has a network of tiny pure white roots that run beneath it before meeting at a central stalk, surrounded by smaller ones of a thinner size known as junior stalks. These lesser stalks can sometimes meld with those of others or grow to extraordinary lengths, allowing the plant to act like a vine while also being a ground-based plant. Above ground, the plant’s stems are covered in oblong or obovate leaves clustered in pairs of three. The coloration of its stems is often a pale orange meshed with patches of deeper orange-red coloration while the leaves are a deep, dark red coloration. At the end of the central and junior stalk grows a flower of six petals, each flower having a rotate pattern and each petal, a slight point to them. The petals are a gradient from a deeper tone of orange to a much paler one at the edges, with a yellow pistil rising from the middle of it. However, around the pistil grow stiff, dark red stems, three for the main stalk, and only one and sometimes two for the junior ones. The stems are swirled with tiny pricks of yellow, usually due to the spread of pollen, but at the end of each sits a single, bulbous orange Dravinda Fruit, used to form the plant’s unique spice.
Uses and Abilities
Avinla Spice has a primary purpose in cuisine, given its exotic range of sensations it alights in one’s palette. Dried and ground resulting in a red-orange powder, the spice is said by some to taste of an individual’s favorite blend of spices together into one. Given that only a handful of people out of all Suvial, or even all Alorians, have tasted the substance, this claim is yet to be commonly accepted, but that it is a blend of seasonings is certain. It can be applied to many native Suvial dishes, either in the baking process itself or mixed in afterward. About twenty minutes after consumption, the individual will begin to feel tired and dizzy, and within thirty minutes, will start to have the visions that the plant is truly best known for. The imagery of Suvial and Kathar clashing is what flashes before their eyes as they experience a hallucinogenic episode characterized by rapidly flickering eyelids and the utter relaxation of the body. The imagery is violent, showing all sorts of fights, on land and sea, with Magic and more mundane weapons, and everything in between. After eight or nine hours, the individual awakens with these memories fuzzy and already fading, feeling only vaguely rested.
- The most famed individual so far to ingest Avinla Spice is High Playwright Bhasva Puni, the man hired to entertain the combined Avelan courts at the grand capital of Sallatar. Using his three visions, he had produced majestic and highly complex mock-battles, the most recent one from 304 AC combining both mundane and magical combat to depict a battle he saw in his vision.
- The punishment for stealing Avinla Spice is the loss of a hand and banishment from Summar.