|Common Use||Cosmetic, Narcotic, Culinary|
|Habitat||Humid open terrain|
The Poppy is an old flower tied back to Westwynd history and the Allorn Empire. Poppies are believed to have been discovered by explorers of the Allorn Empire, millennia 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 Westwynd 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 grew the plant to help produce tons of Opium. The plant also spread beyond Westwynd during these last hundred years before the Cataclysm, likely at the hands of escaped slaves, resulting in the plant blooming in Southwynd and southern regions of Corontium. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm, the Poppy was abandoned for a number of years as the 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 Westwynd and Altaleï. 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 those Daendroque groups were 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 Westwynd, Opium production became tied to the criminal underworld but also to the wealthy. The Elves 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 have cratered. Once acceptable to use across the Empire, the government recently banned opiates, and has been cracking down hard on illegal operations which still seek to produce and sell the drug. Poppies on their own have become suspicious, even as growers slowly transition to other plants, or ensure the flower is only used for baked goods. House Anahera, while not ruined, has lost a great deal of power, and it is likely that this anti-opiate stance will remain in place across the Empire.
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 was widespread as a recreational drug across all of Aloria, though the ban of opiates by the Regalian Empire has significantly impacted supplies for many addicts (though at this rate, many are also clean). 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 cuisine.
- The word “Opium” is thought to be an Ailorization of what the Allorn supposedly called the drug.