Alth'mon (lit. "Ice Plant") is a plant that is found North of the
Tandala Highlands. Several
different names are used for the plant depending upon its location. The name
used here is the one associated with the
Kuglimz. Further North it is called "Poiya" and to the Ice Tribes is is
known as "Varro". It is used by some people to numb the body to aid in healing
treatments, others though have been known to use it as a drug.
Appearance. The Alth'mon is a small plant that ranges in height from a nailbreadth to a handspan. It lies close to the ground with a shallow root structure that will often stretch across a small span to several different Alth'mon. This grouping usually consists of three to four linked plants. Its coloration is different depending upon its location. In the Celeste Lowlands it is a dull, somewhat chalky colored white, however the further North one goes the more it seems to resemble its namesake. It grows a sharper, more crystaline white until along the Ice Coast the leaves seem all but icecicles coming up from the ground.
The plant itself is made up of four layers. The first layer consits of six leaves that come from the base of the plant in a circular shape. The leaves curl upward slightly to help form a protective outer shell, the bottoms of the leaves lay against the dirt. All of the leaves are spade shaped with a fiberous texture to them. The tip of the leaf is harder and has a small spine on it. This discourages animals from eating the plant. The next layer consits of eight smaller leaves that are slightly higher up from the lower set of leaves. These more delicate leaves still have the spine on the end of the leaf. The third layer is a series of ten even smaller leaves. All three layers of leaves curl upwards slightly so it is difficult to see any space between them or much space in the middle of the plant. The final layer is actually not a layer of leaves, but rather a singular white flower that is nestled between the spines of the third layer of leaves.
Territory. The Alth'mon can be found all of the way from the Tandala Highlands to the tip of the Peninsula of Iol. There does seem to be one place though, that the Alth'mon does not grow. That is the Kanapan Peninsula. Due to a unique climate that is more that of central Santharia it does not seem to have the necessary chill for the plant.
Usages. The leaves of the Alth'mon hold a poison that is inteded to keep animals from eating it. This poison affects the animal by first giving the skin a tingling, then a burning and finally a numb sensation. It will even kill rodents and smaller animals. The other reason for the Alth'mon's name besides its coloration is the numbing effect that it has is similar to becoming frostbitten.
There are several different ways that the Alth'mon is used. The Ash'mari along with some of the varying orc tribes and even some of the dark elves peel off the leaves and chew them, allowing the juices to seep into their bloodstream. This allows them to be more courageous in battle for they do not feel much of the pain that is inflicted upon them. The Ash'mari do not take part of the Alth'mon whenever they are performing their tatooing ritual as it lessens the effect in their mind. The Kuglimz, Injerín, and some of the other inhabitants will only use it to numb a specific area so that it can be sown or to help it heal. This is done by crushing the leaves and mixing it with fat to create a salve. This is salve is called Por'mon (lit. "Ice Frost")
Some of the Injerín have been known to use the roots of the plant for use in making drinks most notably Mon Tea. They claim that the roots of the Alth'mon still contain a very minor amount of the numbing effect of the petals and is good for putting in a lightly flavored drink as the mild toxin helps to keep one cool in the midst of summer.
Reproduction. This plant reproduces thanks to only one animal, the talilea. This small bird has a long narrow beak that slips through the spines to reach the fragil flower. While supping on its nectar it gets pollen on it. When it goes to another Alth'mon to drink the pollen rubs off and pollenates the flower. From there the roots will spread out and another linked Alth'mon will pop up a small distance away. The apparent maximum of linked Alth'mon seems to be six, though four is much more common. Every year about half of the group dies off and is replaced by new plants, this creates a constant cycle of growth within the limits of the natural grouping.
Myth/Lore. Most of the inhabitants of Northern Sarvonia have a legend about how at one time or another a great ball of ice came down from the sky and as it came down it splintered and showered its crystals along the whole of the North. These crystals took root in the earth and became this plant. It kept its frigid temperature and can still to this day freeze a man's skin.
Information provided by Drogo