|Common Name||Sleepy Thyme, V’drin Olva|
|Common Use||Medical, Decoration, Culinary, Utility|
|Habitat||Frozen coasts and cold, damp environments|
Ogrebait is a flowering shrub native to the frigid expanse of Ellador’s coasts, though has been known to grow in other cold climates as well. Rumored to have first been discovered by the Drovv of Drowda, its fruit has been enjoyed since the ancient Allorn Empire for its decadent flavor and medicinal applications. Its modern claim-to-fame is thanks to the Velheim of southern Ellador, who utilized the seeds of its fruit to develop potent tranquilizers for aggressive Ogre Truggs threatening their settlements. Foreign profiteers took notice of these properties, and have since refined the process of boiling Ogrebait’s seeds into a special tonic sold as a minor sleeping aid and muscle relaxant.
It is believed that Ogrebait’s use stems as far back as the Drovv’s civilization in ancient Drowda. Records vaguely reference a process through which a common local plant, referred to as the “V’drin Olva”, could be cultivated and alchemically altered to induce a deep-dream state. It is believed that the Drovv learned of this after witnessing the Thylan of early Jorrhildr gorging themselves on the fruit and falling into a deep sleep to survive the winter’s cold; a quirk of the species which persists even to this day. Drovv shamans claimed the dreams induced by this plant could be prophetic, and it is said the shamans consumed them for supernatural insight before major battles or hunts. These claims appear dubious at best, however, as across the globe the Allorn Empire was far more concerned with Ogrebait’s culinary applications. After cutting the sedative-producing seeds from its core, the bulk of the fruit was extremely sweet, and could be baked into tarts or pastries or simply eaten as is.
Its cultural relevance only further blossomed with the death of Frisit. Despite the flash freeze of most northern regions in her final spell, including Ellador, the Ogrebait plant continued to flourish. This cemented it to the Drovv as a plant of supernatural importance and resilience, who continued to study and experiment with it at length in hopes of extracting its full potential. All of these findings were lost with the Fifth Void Invasion, however, as the Drovv were wiped from the face of Aloria, along with all they had learned. It is only through Ancient Allorn accounts that we even know of its northern reverence, as scholars mocked the Drovv’s pursuits for being baseless superstition, and dryly joked that the Est-Allorn felt similarly inspired to commune with Estel using raspberry pies.
All use of Ogrebait among the Altalar effectively halted once the Cataclysm came, and a time of strife eclipsed the Allorn Empire, signaling an end to most recreational delights, including Ogrebait. Even so, Ogrebait continued its humble existence throughout the northern regions of Aloria in relative obscurity for decades, until Regalian emissaries to Nordskag were informed of the Tryllejag Realm's use of Ogrebait in their long war against the Ogres in their territory. Apparently for years the Velheim there had both rediscovered the plant and been utilizing it as a means of culling the Truggs that threatened their settlements. They had observed that Ogres would often congregate around the bushels to gorge on the fruit and then fall into deep, communal periods of sleep; similar to how the ancient Drovv had learned by watching the Thylan.
Once the hordes had been thinned and the necessity of such culls dwindled with depleting Ogre populations, entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to capitalize on the plant’s potential medicinal uses and began ventures into engineering a brand of Ogrebait that could grow in warmer climates or produce more potent effects. However, given the illicit nature of such expeditions, most, if not all of them, failed. Ever since, brews using Ogrebait seeds are largely exotic and ill-advised purchases, and its applications in alchemy have subsequently been limited.
Ogrebait is a generally tall shrub acclimated to the cold climates in which it grows, commonly reaching ten feet tall and four feet wide. Due to this and its bristly leaves, it is often mistaken for small spruces, distinguished only by its clusters of purple flowers that blossom around its fruit, which are often used by Velheim (or the Drovv in ancient times) for decoration. Its fruits bear orange skins and red insides and are similar to pomegranate fruit in shape and size. These fruits give off a sickly sweet scent which has been known to attract Ogres from up to a mile away, though is largely undetectable to humans beyond a sugary aftertaste.
Uses and Abilities
The most practical use of the Ogrebait plant is to farm its fruits. With the seeds removed, it makes a delicious, sweet treat that can be baked into confections, pies or eaten plain. Despite this, Ogrebait is arguably more famous for the application of its seeds, which produce a potent sedative to defend against predators. Ogres will commonly eat the fruit with no regard for this, as their massive bodies reduce the effect to little more than a pleasant nap; the same being said for non-humans like Urlan or Eronidas. The sedative is much more pronounced in humans, inducing a state of near sleep-paralysis. Those affected often report terrifying images and looming shadows just beyond their vision, all while they are effectively powerless to react for roughly thirty minutes, though never longer. Besides headaches and grogginess, there are rarely lingering side-effects.
A more niche use of Ogrebait fruit is to boil the seeds into a tonic which induces a state of sleepiness and relaxes the muscles. Some wealthy families seek these alchemical brews out, believing them to be a “cleaner” solution to insomnia or stiffness of joints, and openly profess the calm of mind and pleasant dreams it bestows on the user. In reality, its use in alchemy is overstated at best, given that far more effective solutions exist and there is little beyond superstition and habit to draw someone to use Ogrebait extract.
- It should be noted that Ogrebait, while sedating, has no effect on the body’s ability to experience pain or remember experiences. It is not recommended for use during surgery, as the patient’s pain response will always override its effects.
- Some believe the plant is a magical message, similar to materials like Chrysete that are believed to carry information and messages from people in the past. In this case, it is a message from the Drovv. However, such theories are viewed as the ramblings of chemical addicts.