Crimson Root, Teled Wax Shrub|
With a name as morbid as Bloodroot, some might assume that the plant has a violent past. This is not the case as Bloodroot’s name is derived from the color of its roots, not anything shed in its long history. Although steeped in light superstition, the plant itself finds beneficial use in tattoo ink, and has been embraced by many across the west, from the Eronidas to the Kathar to the Ailor. The plant has also been used in the creation of dyes and paints for many years, making it truly essential to both artists and artisans.
Bloodroot has its origins in an ancient time, long before any truly known history. Ancient caverns which likely held the very first Elves show images and simple writing created using the sap from Bloodroot roots. With time, the Teledden and other Elves moved away from the use of Bloodroot in such everyday ways, but instead took to using it in their fabric dyes, as well as paints and colorings. This remained the case across the millennia of the Allorn Empire's lifetime, but closer to the end of that era, its uses evolved. Tattoos, once considered vulgar to Allorn society, became a brief fashion statement, and Bloodroot was among the many plants converted for use in the creation of such body art. However, even after the next craze came, Bloodroot as a material for tattoos stayed, and the proto-Kathar Elves adored to use it for the decoration of their bodies. Their slaves were also subject to its use in marking them, and so by the time the Allorn Empire fell, the broad uses for Bloodroot remained part of the populations which spread across the west. When the Eronidas arrived, the people they conquered transmitted the knowledge to them, and with time, Bloodroot has become a key part of dyes and inks for a range of purposes. Tattoos remain what it is best known for though, and fortunately for the world, the reformation of the Allorn Empire did not cut off the main supply of Bloodroot from the world, as the shrub has been transplanted across Aloria.
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 dark green leaves are rounded, with the veins on the underside of the plant standing out thanks to a dark maroon coloration. The leaves are also coated in a waxy substance, making them unfit to burn, eat, or cook into food. This waxy coating gave Bloodroot its other well-known name - the Teled Wax Shrub. The plant's bark is black and often sparse. 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 or 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 found in many groups today either because of their origins in the west, or thanks to trade with those who possess and grow the plant.
- It was once believed that Bloodroot needed to be grown in Elven 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 even need to be humanoid blood. However, only the Kathar (and some Ailor eccentrics) use blood to enhance the growth and thus coloration of their Bloodroot dye.
HydraLana on 08/26/2023.|
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