Blinding Rod, Sweetmilk Stalk|
Wetlands and jungles|
Teudou is a unique, bamboo-like plant from Zhong known for its two uses. One is innocent, for sweet and delicious culinary creations, while the other is more malicious. The plant’s “bark” can blind people for periods of time based on how it is ingested and was a tool used by Sihai warriors in the past to weaken their enemies. Today, the criminal element of wider Aloria makes use of the plant mostly for this baleful purpose. As such, the more honest denizens of the Sihai community must be wary about who asks after this stalk and determine if they are a cuisine-focused friend, or a cruel and blinding foe.
Teudou is a plant that did not grow on the Sihai’s ancient homeland of Sheng, but was instead discovered millennia later in the wetlands of Zhong as Sihai colonists spread across the area. It was among the settlements that would become the Eastern Kingdom of Jin-Lung where the plant was first discovered. Originally enjoyed for its internal milk, legends tell of a conflict between settlements deeper inland (which would become the Western Kingdom of Heiyan) where the first Jin-Lung archers found that the bark of the Tendou served to blind foes who were struck and exposed to it. While arrows tipped with this poison are still a common story shared around many a fire in Aloria and Zhong itself, this method is–and was–impractical. Instead, Teudou bark was added into teas, and other culinary creations, or distilled down into other alchemic creations capable of impacting the eyes, to be effective. As the years wore on, it was utilized as an underhanded and treacherous tool, which often flared into use during warfare, such as the 301 BC spat between the Eastern and Northern Kingdoms of Zhong that saw the most successful use of the substance to date when an Eastern spy managed to poison the rice pot of a Northern military encampment, blinding several dozen soldiers just before a surprise attack. Such nefarious uses have dwindled following the Cataclysm, though, as the Sihai people increase their solidarity, and the loss of contact with Sheng has seen many put aside old enmities. However, with trade to the Regalian Empire and elsewhere, Teudou has found new life in helping people take it from others as part of the criminal underworld, or, though with far less humor for their victims, also helping simple pranksters fool about.
Teudou is a plant very similar in appearance to bamboo, with a tall height of anywhere between seven to ten feet in mature examples of the plant. The differences between bamboo and Teudou is primarily its color, that being a dull or dirty yellow, as well as a total lack of serrate leaves except for at the base of Teudou’s stalk, where they are clustered heavily.
Uses and Abilities
There are two major uses of Teudou. The first is culinary, as by the age of ten the plant’s core is commonly filled with “Sweet Milk,” a slightly viscous white substance that is sweet to taste and can be combined into culinary creations or used to top a number of rich dishes. To access the Milk, the Teudou stalk must be cut at either the top or bottom, as anywhere else beforehand is more likely to cripple the plant’s structure and thus lead it to fall apart. The second use is generally more sinister, and it involves the plant’s “bark” or thick external skin. The yellow substance can cause temporary blindness when ingested orally, but the duration of this effect varies. If a piece of the bark is directly eaten by someone, they will go blind for a full twenty hours, with an added two hours at the end of the blinding effect that resembles a scotoma-like effect of “fuzzy” and unfocused perceived areas through the eyes. If ingested with other food or a liquid that is not the Sweet Milk, the effect lasts only eleven hours, with one hour of unfocused eyes. The shortest time occurs when the substance is directly made or used in drinks, particularly tea. It only lasts four hours, and has an immediate emerance period with no waiting for full sight to come back. However, if this variety of the bark is drunk alongside the Sweet Milk found inside of the stalk, there is no blinding effect.
- Raw Teudou beyond Zhong is rare, as it spoils fairly fast after being removed from soil. Generally the only place to acquire it is either on the black market, or in Sihai communities where it is grown for culinary creations.
- Some among the Sihai employ the infamous “Double Deception Desserts,” where a sweet or creation made with Teudou milk also had the bark within it.
FireFan96, BillyTheScruffy, MantaRey||
HydraLana on 10/8/2023.|
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