|Common Use||Cosmetic, Narcotic, Culinary|
|Habitat||Humid open terrain|
The Poppy is an old flower tied back to Daen history and the Allorn Empire. Poppies are believed to have been discovered by explorers of the Allorn Empire in Daen, centuries before the events of the Cataclysm took place. The plant was then discovered to be processable into an effective stress and pain relieving drug known as Opium. It came to be used by many cultures, most notably those under the sway of the Regalian Empire, who were introduced to it by the Daendroque descendants of some of the slaves who originally cared for the plant. The plant is also notable for being the product which helped put House Anahera on the map.
The Poppy is an ancient flower from Daen with a relatively unknown history until a few centuries before the Cataclysm. Some believe Allorn Empire Void cults used the plant for centuries before it found its way into widespread use, while others believe it emerged as a new discovery during and after the Mage Wars. What is known for certain is by the time of the Cataclysm, vast plantations in Daendroc grew the plant to help produce tons of Opium. The plant also spread beyond Daen during these last hundred years before the Cataclysm, likely at the hands of escaped slaves, resulting in the plant blooming in Talamoor and southern regions of the Regalian Archipelago. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm, the Poppy was abandoned for a number of years as the Altalar slave population revolted and then moved to settle along the coastlines. This lack of oversight allowed the plant to grow unhindered, slowly spreading out beyond what had once been carefully manicured fields into the jungles and plains of Daendroc. Eventually, the plant and its use was rediscovered by the Daendroque people who quickly turned it into a valuable cash crop for their nations.
One of Daendroque groups was the ancestors of House Anahera. Eventually moving to the Regalian Archipelago, this noble house played a significant role in supplying, dealing and creating the opium market in Regalia. Through this, they gained power and wealth which they used to fund further ventures, but they never forgot their roots. Back in Daen, opium production became tied to the criminal underworld but also to the wealthy. The Altalar also began to rediscover the plant, resulting in a vibrant trade community around the substance. In recent years, however, the Poppies have once again run wild, and Opium sales are down for various reasons. The largest issue is with all of the chaos in Daendroc, multiple large-scale opium operations have been shut down as either the plantations in the rural wilds have been ravaged by the Avanthar, or the processing and storehouse facilities in the cities have been damaged in the loss of government control. Another reason for decreased Opium use and sale is due to Emperor Cedromar I openly dismissed the practice, which resulted in many casual users in the upper and middle class across the Empire to stop their own use of it. As the leading proponents for Opium, House Anahera has suffered, but it weathered the storm prompted by the Anahera Dictatorship to remain in control of a power base in the south of the Regalian Archipelago. Moving forward, the Poppy will likely continue to be a key plant grown and processed across the world due to its ability to help relieve stress and its addictive nature, which is not easy to get rid of.
The Poppy is a tall flower, standing at just over three feet tall on a firm light green stalk. It has large lobed leaves near the base of the plant and these, along with the whole stalk, bear a sparse number of thin, white hair-like fibers. The flower itself appears as a compact, rounded light green bulb topped by a small fluted cap about two inches in diameter until it blossoms. When it does this, the plant unveils four equally sized petals of either white, red or a shade of purple. These petals lightly cup the plant’s light green and yellow pistil. The flower’s diameter is three to four inches.
Uses and Abilities
Poppies hold three uses. The first is its ability to be processed and converted into the drug known as Opium, which produces a relaxing and painkilling effect to its users. The substance is widespread as a recreational drug across all of Aloria, though disruptions in supply over the past few years have decreased these numbers. The second use for the plant is decoration as it is still a flower. It is most commonly found in Daendroque homes though they are used sparsely. The final use for the plant is for use during baking. By extracting the plant’s small black seeds, one can produce a variety of Poppy seed baked goods though this mainly occurs in Ithanian and Leutz-Vixe culture.
- The word “Opium” is thought to be an Ailorization of what the Altalar supposedly called the drug, that being ‘Opellessimlar.”
- Opium addiction is an issue but is not publicly addressed in most cultures. This is because to these cultures, to fall into dependence on such a substance is seen as a weakness in one’s character. In Daendroque-hating culture specifically, they consider addicts susceptible to “unholy” temptation and dangerous Daendroque ideas overall.
- Anti-Opium laws are limited across Aloria though in an ecstatic reflection of Cedromar I, each of the New Ceardian Colonies enacted local laws against the substance shortly after he took the throne.