A widespread herbaceous plant. It can be a bothersome obstacle or a varied resource.
I saw sparks down by the meadow, alert the rest of the village. Something may be coming our way.
DescriptionIt reaches 1 meter tall once it is mature, and during flowering, the plant can reach heights of 1.5 meters tall, thanks to the elongated floral spikes. The flowers are a beautiful bright, light pink and grow clustered together at the very top of the plant. They are pollinated by small insects, which flutter about the thunderclaw patches safely, as their minute body size does not trigger the thunderclaw's electricity release. The scent of the flowers is reminiscent of ozone.
A unique method of seed dispersalThunderclaw seeds are relatively heavy in comparison to similar-sized plants. When the seeds mature, they fall onto the leaves, triggering the electric discharge. This sends the seeds scattering in all directions, usually at pretty impressive distances. The seeds need electricity not only for dispersal but also to germinate. Thunderclaw seeds which do not receive a substantial amount of electricity, do not grow. Once the seeds have received a shock of electricity, they can germinate only if they receive substantial water quantity in their first weeks of life. The seedlings do not produce electricity during this time, so they are particularly vulnerable to herbivorous predators.
You don't harvest thunderclaw in foggy or rainy days, unless you want your skin crispy like a cooked witchetty grub. And never forget to keep the scythe's tassel touching the ground and away from you.
Scythes are the preferred tool to harvest thunderclaw with, as they put distance between the harvester and the plant. The handle is made of wood, and a metallic tassel runs from the blade towards the ground. The tools are expensive, and most villages that practice thunderclaw harvesting only have one or two at hand.
The right tool
Those humanoids who know how to harvest thunderclaw prefer to do it in dry and clear weather. A superstition says Hei Feng visits the patches of thunderclaw and brings with him the storm. Thus, when the weather looks like it may storm, everyone stays clear of those patches, in fear of angering a god.
The right weather
In Oceasile, grippli herbalists along the candle river use the thunderclaw in a variety of ways. Outside of this area, the plant is less common, and few uses are found for it.
MedicinalA poultice is made with the smashed leaves, which is applied to ulcers and boils. The white fuzz of the leaves is scraped and used as bedding material for people suffering nightmares and other sleep problems. The green parts are used in a tonic against feebleness, taken during seasonal changes.
EdibleBefore the flower spike opens its buds, it is a prized snack. The buds are said to provide a "popping" feeling in the mouth with a sweet and sour taste. Burrowing animals, however, live in between the root system. They are a prized catch and worth the effort of careful excavations under a patch of thunderclaw.
OtherThe ashes of the leaves are used to purify a pond in preparation for gripplis' spawning. It is believed to kill any potential harmful creatures that may have been transported with the water into the newly created pond. Teenagers sometimes play with the seeds, tossing them into a fire for a small blast of colour and sparks.
— Don't you dare take that torch anywhere close to the plants, you bloody idiot! — I don't have time for your nature-loving speeches today, druid. We need to get through here. — Do you want to start a firestorm? Because that is what you will get if you light a single plant on fire...
Name originsMany of the names given to this species are related to the Thunderbird, a species that shares its affinity with lightening. Specifically, the name thunderclaw comes from a tale about a thunderbird who lost a claw in a fight. The thunderbird was fighting for its territory against a pair of rocs. One of the rocs attacked the thunderbird's talons and managed to bite off several of its claws. These sprang a bolt of electricity damage, and the roc dropped them. These fell with lightning speed into the ground, where they sank into the wet mud. After fending off the rocs, the thunderbird went back looking for its missing claws and dug around the area. It could not find its claws, but at least, it found a patch of a delightful plant that seemed to crackle with electricity as it moved past it. What the thunderbird did not realise, is that it was their claws that had created the plant. The gripplies down in the ground, who had witnessed the fight and the claws falling into the ground, saw them sprouting from the ground before their own eyes. Thus, they decided to name the plant thunderclaw in honour of its origins.
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