Crimson Root, Teled Wax Shrub|
With a name as morbid as Bloodroot, some might assume that the plant has a morbid or violent past. This is not the case as Bloodroot’s name is derived from the color of its roots. Although steeped in light superstition, the plant itself finds beneficial use in tattoo ink. Bloodroot has found limited use in the Allorn Empire. Tattoos made of the plant’s sap remains popular in with the Kathar, Maritime Altalar, Daendroque Ailor, commoners and Avanthar tribes even today.
Bloodroot has its origins, like many Daen plants, with the Allorn Empire. During the Darkening, before the formation of the Allorn Empire, the developing Altalar made use of the plant’s roots in their cave paintings (known as the Twi’von script today). As time went on, the dye continued to be used for centuries, gradually being transplanted to other areas of Daen to accommodate the local needs for red dyes. But, as the Empire began to fragment, the plant found itself other uses. A number of cults, from the Cult of Suel to the Sons of Malice, used the plant to tattoo their unblemished Altalar forms for the first time in this period, a practice which was largely rejected by wider Altalar society. Still, these developments would produce tattoo techniques that later passed on to the Ailor slave population found within the Empire, who were sometimes forced to bear them instead of a brand. By the time of the Blossoming, the plant found itself used in dyes and tatouage by various sects and groups both good and bad across the various classes of the Empire. The Cataclysm and the Wildering didn’t change this use, in fact, it likely spread the plant even further. When the cults who became the Kathar retreated to the Far West, they took the plant with them. When the Ailor slaves freed themselves, some returned to Ceardia while others went to Corontium, further spreading the plant to distant regions. Since that time, the plant has largely been involved in the creation of tattoos for a wide variety of peoples and will likely continue to survive over the coming decades.
Bloodroot is actually a misleading name which only refers to the most important part of the plant. Bloodroot, as a whole, is a low-lying bush, and rarely grows taller than hip-height for an average Ailor man. The leaves are rounded, with the veins standing out on its underside as a dark maroonish color. The bark is black and is often sparse on the bush. The leaves themselves are coated in a waxy substance, making the leaves unfit to burn, eat, or cook into food. This waxy coating gave bloodroot its other well-known name - the Teled Wax Shrub. The roots of the bush are what give its macabre name - they are difficult to pull up, and run deep into the earth. The bush “bleeds” - leaking from its root system, also from the leaves or bark should the bush be damaged, is a vicious and crimson red substance, reminiscent of blood. In reality, it is only sap, but the sap is very bitter to taste and is generally unappealing; additionally it will stain skin and clothing. The bush populates the outskirts of forests and jungles across the world and can also exist in plains.
Uses and Abilities
Bloodroot has only one use: as a red dye. Since its discovery, many have tried to find a use for all other parts of the bush, but have failed. The bark and wood is an ugly brackish black color, and is much too sappy and bendy for artisan use - the leaves are waxy and make poor tea and tinder. The sap is its only saving grace. Found most concentrated in the roots, this blood-red sap makes for stunning dye, especially in tattoos. Bloodroot is the only way to get very vibrant red tattoos, which are often found in the Ceardian cultures, as well as the Avanthar and some pockets of the modern Altalar and Daendroque cultures. The plant can also be used to dye cloth and create more conventional paints.
- It was once believed that Bloodroot needed to be grown in Elvish blood to acquire the bright red coloration of the roots. This is only partially true, while it is hypothesized by some botanists blood does make the sap more vibrant, it does not have to be Elvish blood - not even humanoid blood.
HydraLana on 08/30/2021.|
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