|Common Name||Absinthium, Armoise, Slippyroot|
The small silvery-green swirled plant known as Wormfern has been farmed for years, dating back to the arrival of Nelfin slavers to Ithania. Used by the Elves for cooking, the magical uproar of the Cataclysm altered the plant in such a way that its minty taste wasn’t its only asset. To Vampires, ingesting Wormfern easily causes issues and when made into alcohol, it causes even more problems. This has made the drink very popular in the military sector as well as the commercial.
Wormfern has a curious history in that it is one of the few plants the Elven Empire actually discovered first. While the specifics are vague in Elven records from the period as to exactly where, Wormfern was a plant found in only one small area of Ithania. A simple and unassuming herb, very close in appearance to useless grasses, Wormfern was seized and immediately cultivated in areas across Daen by the Even Empire for its Mint-like taste. However, cultivation methods over time altered it to prefer less fertile earth and arid temperatures. Whether this was a result of negligence or a deliberate act is anyone’s guess. By the Night of the Fallen Star, it had almost vanished completely from Aloria and in the chaos of the Cataclysm, was assumed extinct. Fortunately, it was not. Instead, up in the north of Ithania, the Void just barely touched the plant and altered it slightly, though not enough to transform it into any of the monstrous creations past invasions had created.
The plant was rediscovered in 30 AC by Ailor in Ithania who in turn spread it back into Daendroc where it took root near the rocky and humid coastlines. Its minty taste again proved a hit with the locals, and it was added not only to food as in the time of the Elves but into drinks as well. Gradually, it shifted over exclusively into this use. In 155 AC, following the dispersal of Vampires across Aloria in the aftermath of the Unspoken War, reports emerged that the drink put Vampires into a coma. While these reports were exaggerated, the drink was determined to make Vampires sick which led to the substance growing ever more popular. Today, Wormfern is used by alcohol makers across eastern Daen and is sold for commercial uses, and also more militant uses such as with guard forces and Vampire hunters seeking to test their potential targets with a sip of Wormfern-infused liquor.
Wormfern appears as a short fern-like plant that grows in rocky areas. Fine, silky white hairs facing outward cover the stem of the plant while curled leaves fold out above this like those found on a fiddlehead plant. These leaves are swirled white and green from the fine hairs and the plant’s natural color. Small, globular flowerheads, bunched together in groups of five to seven are arranged at the top of the stem which holds the curled leaves. These flowers range in color but are commonly light blue and yellow, with violet being the rarest.
Uses and Abilities
Wormfern has had a variety of uses through the years. It can be used to season foods with its minty taste when mint is not available. It can also be used to flavor alcohol, and many regional brands in eastern Daen are particularly well known for their wormfern-flavored drinks. However, these drinks have the ability to poison Vampires. It is not fully know why, but they become horribly sick after suffering a coughing fit, often vomiting. The subject will also feel weak for at least an hour after drinking. Ingesting the raw plant has little to no effects beyond coughing and reports of mild burning sensations in Vampire’s throats.
- Some of the most famous brands of Wormfern alcohol are drinks like Absinthe and certain spiced mead, as well as Bitters, Vermouth, and Pelinkovac.
- Orcs gave the plant its name of Slippyroot because the plant looks vaguely like an upside-down root and is slippery like a worm.
- Food with Wormfern in it barely affects Vampires, only giving their throat a slight tickle when going down and thus is useless in identifying them.