|Common Name||Numbing plant, Magic Fruit|
|Common Use||Anesthetic, Culinary|
|Origins||Farah’deen, Al-Alus, Caliphene Republic|
The Gardu plant has had a place in history for as long as the sands of Al-Alus have been inhabited. One of the only plants to produce fruit in the desert, it has peaked the interest of nobility and biologists alike. Raised exclusively in Califaera, Al-Alus, and other parts of Farah’deen, this plant remains difficult to farm and even more difficult to obtain outside the unforgiving sands. Its properties, when boiled, have caused it to become an essential part of medicine in the Songaskian culture and word of its properties has spread to Regalia, who seek it for its value in medicine.
This particular shrub was first discovered in Al-Alus long before the current Songaskian regime took over. The natives that inhabited the area prior to its hostile military takeover often used the plant in their day to day lives as a sweet culinary treat, dubbing it ‘Magic Fruit.’ After the first ruler of Al-Alus was shown the plant, he demanded that it be cultivated and used in his daily meals. The plant was eventually taken to Farah’deen by an unknown traveller, and from there it spread to the various other desert-dwelling populations around Aloria. Its popularity in gourmet dishes for royalties caused it to be the subject of much experimentation. This experimentation by various different cooks and alchemists caused the discovery of the plants second trait, painkilling and sedation. The demand for this small, difficult to farm plant skyrocketed, and word of its medicinal merits swiftly crossed the seas to other wealthy communities. It is only in recent years that the price of the plant has steadied significantly, as farmers have finally cultivated it to the point where they can produce ample amounts yearly.
While it is commonly found in the arid cultures of the world, the Gardu shrub quite uncommon in Regalia. The failing relationship between the Songaskian Masaya and Regalian Empire has caused nearly all trade of the plant to cease entirely, with the only credible source existing in a few small farms in the Califaera. This causes the plant to be priced exponentially higher in the Regalian Holy City and the Caliphene Republic than in Al-Alus or Farah’deen.
The Gardu plant, to the untrained eye, looks like a dead mass of thorny vines that lay slightly raised from the ground, much like a dead shrub. During times of extensive draught, these vines extend deep underground and actually act as the plant’s roots. The plant sucks water from the surrounding landscape, before receding its vines and appearing dead so that animals won’t bother it. Once a year, the Gardu plant produces three fruits that are often eaten by the Desert Mouse before any human can acquire it. It produces a sweet scent to attract any animal that can spread the seeds of the plant.
Uses and Abilities
When the vines of the Gardu plant are sliced and the water inside collected, it is used as sweetener and additive to expensive meals that are often served to the highest of nobility. That is its most common and easiest purpose. It’s secondary ability is only available through a select process of boiling, straining and the addition of potent alcohols to enhance the abilities that this rare fruit possesses. Should an individual be educated enough to know how to properly extract the sap from the Gardu plant, they will find that the fluids are an effective painkiller and sedative. These properties are not found in the plant prior to boiling it and straining out the far thicker liquid that it produces.
The effects of the plant’s fluid can vary based on how it is applied to a patient or victim. When applied to the skin of a patient it can cause localized numbing and offer pain relief to severe wounds. When ingested or injected into the bloodstream, the fluid causes intense drowsiness and numbing sensations across the whole body, starting in the fingertips. If given in high enough doses it can cause a patient to lose consciousness entirely—a purpose treasured by physicians performing intense surgery. The plant has no harmful side effects, and can be given in high dosages with little to no repercussions due to how fast the body typically absorbs it.
- The fluid that is produced by the shrub is unable to be traced in the body, making it an excellent herb to assist in crime and thievery. The effects are not immediate however, so Songaskian criminals take heed to restrain the victim first before administering it in high doses.
- Due to the extreme rarity of the Gardu's fruit, it is considered a prized delicacy. The native inhabitants of Al-Alus frequently preserve jams of the Gardu's fruit to be given to relatives on their deathbed, believing it to have magical healing properties.