(also known as "Pariya's Net"s, "Mermaria's Grace") is a brightly hued sea weed,
native to the shores and seas of the continent of Aeruillin, making its home
never farther than 10 peds from shore. These slimy plants are home to many of
Aeruillin's sea-creatures and provide food, clothing and other goods to the
people of this vast land.
Appearance. Fireweed is thus called so because of its magnificently bright coloration that from a distance appears as fire upon the water. These plants are made up of a vast network of leaves and roots that intertwine with one another to create a net-like appearance and are dried and used for this purpose by the fishermen of Aeruillin. Throughout the slimy mass of bulbous leaves and thick orangey-red roots, small sea creatures make their homes or come to feed. Many creatures depend on this native plant for survival and indeed so do many people.
The leaves of Fireweed are thick and round and grow on the surface and underneath the water. Inside each leaf is a very wet and sticky yellow substance that can be eaten as a water replacement. These leaves are the brightest parts of the plant as they have a brighter orange and sometimes yellowish color. They are all connected to many roots and stems that intertwine into a complicated pattern that only the most skilled fisherman can unravel.
Territory. Fireweed is only native to the shores of Aeruillin and will only grow up to 10 peds away from land, which is thought to be because the plant depends on fish that are also only found closer to shore. Fireweed likes the warmest waters and hottest conditions, so it is unlikely that one would be able to grow it anywhere other than Aeruillin, although the southern tip of Sarvonia and other surrounding lands might have some chance at cultivation.
Usages. Fireweed has many uses ranging between medical, food, and other practical things, but is mainly distinguished for the brightly colored dyes it produces.
Fireweed is cultivated by many tribes in Aeruillin for its healing and even cooling effects. It is considered odd that such a plant would have an association with any of these powers but it is thought that these were implemented into the plant by Mermaria to sooth the fisherman's burns (refer to myths). Many people crush the leaves and apply them in poultices to sooth sunburn or heal smaller cuts.
This weed is also known as the housewife's cure-all and has been used in teas, brews and poultices of all sorts, however, not always to a healing effect. Some women swear by this weed and use nothing else, no longer even consulting physicians. Many deaths have resulted in neglect of more serious cases or injuries. Some tribes are even now creating laws that require people to consult a physician after a certain degree of sickness or injury occurs.
Fireweed as Food
Fireweed is sometimes eaten wrapped around small fish (sometimes raw) or in large baking dishes native to Aeruillin. It has a very salty and fishy flavor to it, but is very rich in nutrients and water. The leaves and roots of this plant can be cut open and mashed to produce a very nutritious slimy substance that can be substituted for water in times when water is scarce. The roots of the Fireweed can be cut and eaten and are sometimes served in soups. Fireweed is also a harbor for small fish and invertebrates that can be caught within its intricate root system. Fireweed depends on these animals to keep it alive, as it feeds off of the unfortunate rotting fish that manage to get too tangled in its roots.
Fireweed is noted most for the bright orange, yellow and red dyes it produces and is very coveted by people all over Caelereth. It is a major trade source for many of Aeruillin's tribes, but can only be bought on other continents by those who are wealthy. It is a favorite for the wives of Aeruillin's merchants to display their fine dyes in their clothing attire. Nyvians are known especially for their particularly fine dyes and make most of their income through their trade.
Fireweed is skillfully untangled and dried by fishermen, then braided back together to form strong nets and ropes for fishing and other uses. In poorer regions it is used to thatch roofs after the water is extracted from the leaves. These roofs have to be repaired often and refreshed with new leaves seasonally to keep the hot rays of the desert sun and the harsh weather from causing too much damage. Most tribes no longer use this roofing method.
Fireweed does not reproduce, but rather grows out and then separates to create
new plants which also grow and separate again, most of these plants end up in
one large tangled mass because of this.
Myth/Lore. It is told that a fisherman once cursed the Goddess Pariya in anger that his wife had been so influenced by her priestesses to become independent and strong willed. Hearing this, Pariya's temper flared and she vowed she would have her revenge.
One day an opportunity came, when the fisherman was out fishing in his boat and had become tangled in his nets of evoor. Pariya took this chance to tangle him further and set his net alight using the oils of the evoor to create a very dangerous fire, unquenchable by water. In desperation the fisherman called out to Mermaria, Goddess of Water and the Seas, to help him. Mermaria was heartened by his calls to her and turned the burning mass into seaweeds. Because the weeds retained the color of the fire, they appear as bright orange masses, tangled together like nets.
Information provided by Amuwen