07 September, 2017

#DIY30 #7

7. What happens when you water fruit trees with goblin blood?

Old Jed once claimed that Blood Oranges were first cultivated by watering a standard orange free with a careful blend of blood from minotaurs, satyrs, and a few obscure Mediterranean beasts now forgotten to the mists of time. Few believe him of course. 

Jed tried to repeat these cultivation steps with the ingredients at his disposal. Trying to make "blood" versions of other fruits, citrus and otherwise. The highly mutagenic nature of goblins leant their blood a higher degree of success than most other sanguine fluids he tried, but in Old Jed's experiments success was a relative term. Anything that varied from the base components was considered a positive result in his journals, even if that result could never be replicated. Therein lay the problem with Jed's work. 

The plains of Grab Grass, stretching between the twin mountain ranges of Northern Archaia are known to be a hazard to travellers through those regions. From a distance the grass of the plain looks like any other, but under closer inspection, the tips of the grass are articulated as tiny fingers, capable of grappling small prey, and slowing down larger creatures. The grass doesn't consume the prey, it simple holds anything that moves through it for a few minutes. The first patches of this weed appeared around a crystalline tower that exploded decades ago, and Jed was known to have been working in the area shortly before that time. 

The Orchard of Baron Kilmeister is said to be one of the few places where one of Jed's experimental work with Goblin blood and fruit trees continues to grow. The tree in question is known for producing a random array of fruits across it's branches, varying from season to season. Eaten raw, the fruits of this tree are more bitter than the standard varieties they resemble, but stewed they sweeten. Most notably, the fruit of this tree is fermented into an exclusive batch of cider... 12 bottles per year, sometimes less, never more. A single bottle is sent every year to the Goblin King as tribute, the remaining eleven sell for a small fortune and sustain the Baron's palace and it's estates. According to legend, this cider prolongs the life of those who drink it, at the risk that the remainder of their children will be born as goblins. 

One of the only other cultivators to have had significant success with utilising goblin blood to cultivate fruit trees is the Goblin King himself. It is said that he waters a particular grove of pomegranate trees with the blood of willing subjects, it is also whispered that annually, he fertilises the ground with a fallen goblin soldier (shredded, minced, and mixed with lime). The fruit of this tree occasionally (d6 minus 1 times per year) may be peeled to reveal an infant of the elusive Goblin Spawnmother caste. There are a number of other ways Spawnmothers are conceived, but those produced from the King's grove are the only Spawnmothers sanctioned to give birth to the Goblin King's Royal Order of Defenders.

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