Richtho Bush Species in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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Richtho Bush (RICK-thow)

Ritho's Gift...   A rather plain-looking plant possessing near-miraculous healing properties, this prolific leafy specimen can be found just about anywhere on Thanged barring the Northern Ring and Basek de Rhakka supervolcano. Thangien myth states that Ritho the Morning Mother-Goddess of Hearth and Home-gifted seeds as a symbol of the covenant between the people and the gods and a reward for the hardiness of the ancient people as they graduated from the plains to the great city. Fast-growing and able to heal nearly any injury, internal or external, the Richtho leaf is to plants what the Grand Cresta is to beasts. In any other environment it would be viewed as an invasive weed, but its benefits vastly outweigh any drawbacks, and the people can think of it in no other way than a gift from the gods.

Basic Information


Richtho Bush (full view+cutaway) by Mardrena
Made with BlackInk
Richtho bushes are commonly found as short knee-high stems festooned with broad bold green leaves that droop, burdened with moisture. The leaves span several inches and are slightly wider than a human hand. The surface of the leaf is very veiny with a soft texture while the underside is covered with barely-visible microspines that pierce the skin when applied, but due to their size inflict no pain.   The spines seem to act as a delivery mechanism through which beneficial nutrients are injected into the flesh, greatly accelerating regeneration. Plants will periodically produce a palm-sized seed pod with a rough leathery hull. While the plant itself is fairly short, roots penetrate deeply straight down into the soil rather than spread outward. The stem is thickest towards the base and the darker the green, the tougher the stem.

Genetics and Reproduction

Seed pods are too heavy to be carried via the wind and will not open until the hull hardens and eventually splits open. Sttanavoseni and tree bears are able to eat seeds without any adverse effect and the stockpilers will drag intact hulls to their burrows for safekeeping. If an intact hull remains above ground long enough, it erupts with needle-like fuzz capable of becoming wind-borne.   Individual seeds are relatively tiny, no larger than the head of a sewing pin. Bizarrely enough, seeds will not take root immediately next to a more established bush, instead seeming to tumble over the ground until a suitable uncontested patch of soil is found.
“ShaTakin, you should take these.” Tornath stepped over and held out two objects. “Fresh leaves and a Richtho seed pod you can plant. They require little care, and will grow in any soil. Use them to help Danaetanera,” he said and placed the bundles into her hands.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 16

Growth Rate & Stages

A bush can reach full maturity within less than a month from a tiny seed, but the plant itself does not seem to have a definite lifespan. No matter how many leaves are harvested, the bush will grow back to its fullness over time. Unless the plant is devoured completely-roots and all, or incinerated, it will eventually regrow if enough of the roots remain intact.

Ecology and Habitats

Ritho's Edict bars bushes from growing anywhere that benefits an enemy of the Thangien people, so they will not grow on Planet Thunthen, but because of their high nutrient requirement in order to maximize their healing abilities, they require moist, fertile soil. They can be found in the wild or grown in planters or even underground if proper lighting and nourishment is provided. Bushes have never been found past the northern border of Kundain, not even in the tundra separating the plains from the Northern Ring. They are very selfish when it comes to nutrients and will bully out smaller, weaker varieties such as tall grasses, flowering shrubs, or fungi. The ground of the Traedeskaton's inner garden is full of bushes.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Kayura stood towards the back of the chamber tending to the trough that had been set up to grow Richtho bushes. Danae had taught her how to grow them indoors and set up an array of reflective panels to provide light.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 29
It is possible to grow plants even underground without direct sunlight if alternate light sources are provided. They react positively to any form of nutrition applied to the soil be it organic compost or chemical fertilizer.   Attempts were made in the past by Sur Daggur's forces to eliminate wild bushes, but the plants had an aggravating tendency to soak up herbicides and if anything grow even faster...

Biological Cycle

Leaves have never been witnessed to dry or shed regardless of the storm or flood seasons. Because Richtho plants did not exist on Thanged during the Dread Winter, it is unknown how they would react to extended periods of cold. Cultivated bushes kept within Bainshaebo did not seem to react poorly to the artificial snowstorm conjured by the Ronin Warriors to put an end to the Weeping Death outbreak ravaging the city at the time. Even if all of the leaves are plucked from a stem, new buds will form the next day.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Richtho Tea

  Perhaps its best known and most widespread byproduct, this bright green extract distilled from steeped leaves can mend internal trauma as quickly as external injuries. Leaves can either be cold or hot-brewed, fresh or dried, crushed or whole. The process of steeping causes the microspines to fall off or soften so they cause no irritation.   Because bushes are not intended to be eaten, the tea has a rather notoriously caustic taste which has been described as ranging from dishwashing liquid, rubbing alcohol mixed with disel fuel, locker room sweat, and moldy socks. It is speculated that the tea actually HAS no taste and that the brain simply conjures up the most heinous things imaginable, but according to Tar Uhnin it does have a taste...
“Ryo, you can either take your medicine like a good little human, or I can stand here and regale you for hours in explicit medical terminology what Richtho tea actually tastes like,” Tar warned, his wrinkled, scaled lips enunciating words fluidly over his razor-sharp teeth.   “…You wouldn’t…” Ryo eyed him warily and raised an eyebrow.   “I’ve been doing this since before your father’s father’s time, Ryo. I. Never. Bluff.”
— Fight Alone Ch. 11
Attempting to sweeten the tea even with natural substances like honey and cane sugar will completely negate the healing properties, regardless of the concentration. Ingesting the tea temporarily adversely affects human taste buds, causing other injested foods to taste strangely. Captain Caroline Wendell regularly imbibed tea to counteract early-onset Alzheimers and claimed to have gone "taste-blind after so many years". Tea can be administered in a dilluted form intravenously in cases of extreme internal trauma, and while recovery is slower, patient stability is insured.   Much like the plant itself, the tea has its limits. Terminal illnesses such as cancers or neurological disorders are not known among the Thangien people whether due to genetics or healthy diet, but in humans the tea can at best slow the progression of severe illnesses before it deterioration eventually outpaces the restorative effects. It cannot outright cure metastatic growths or reverse neurological deterioration. Even the tea found its properties stymied by the sheer aggression of Weeping Death.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Initially exclusive to Planet Thanged, a limited number of plants are kept inside the infirmary located in the Roost. Despite their usefulness, seeds are not allowed to spread outside the underground base out of precaution. Bushes will grow on islets in the Southern Salt, wallows and shorelines in Kundain and the Winding White, and in loose rings around trees in densely forested regions such as Tirmutua and the Eastern Jungle.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Pei Monkey
Will harvest leaves in the wild for medical application.  
Eats, hoards, and spreads seeds in the wild.  
Grand Cresta
Will rub up against bushes to heal wounds after rut duels.  
Bovines will freely munch on plants with no noticeably adverse effect. Ingestion of Richtho bushes does not affect the edibility of meat nor impart any healing abilities.   Despite being something of a botanical bully, it is unknown or unrecorded whether other species of plants native to Thanged have reduced in spread or gone extinct due to competition from Richtho bushes.

Civilization and Culture


Events of Spacequake

With the arrival of visitors from the Vault of Stars in Ch. 11 "Challenge of Roth", it is revealed that the plant is indeed not native to Planet Thanged and the name of the plant actually does not translate into "Ritho's Gift" as erroneously believed for millennia.  
"Ricthandillius! You've gotten it to grow on this world!" Janxilo remarked as she gently cupped the leaves of a small Richtho plant.   "I...I...It does more than simply grow, it thrives. We once thought to call this planet Thangeodo in memory of our lost world, but we are but guests. The world is called Thanged, and this hardy plant which has been such a boon to those living here is all that remains of our dead home," Ritho lamented.
— Spacequake Ch. 11

Common Myths and Legends

Beast Buddies by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape
Ritho's Gift
Passages in the Geodolpha state that Ritho initially appeared as a little girl before changing into her commonly known form as a young woman. When the Gods first arrived on Thanged, she carried with her many seed pods. After the completion of Bainshaebo, before the City Strife would unfurl, she planted her seeds in the garden of Tirmutua, granting her boon to the people once they proved themselves.  
Battle of the Bloody Bricks
In Raaezen's story-window depicting the final showdown, Ritho is seen with a leaf in hand tending to a grievously wounded soldier, looking on sadly as Yapign's sons are slain by her fellow Queens.  
Doctor of the Plains
In this popular childrens story written by Deres, a Pei monkey uses Richtho leaves to bandage the wounds of a stubborn Grand Cresta stallion.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Thangiens keep bushes in their homes as a sign of good luck but also as first-aid foilage. Warriors will often carry wrapped bundles of leaves sandwiched between moist towels.   While the plant is not permitted to grow widespread on the Oldworld, human allies have gotten into the habit of carrying wrapped leaves and packets of dried tea for mixing. In many cases it is easier to apply leaves or tea to address wounds rather than expend magical energy.
"Richtho leaves grow abundantly on Thanged; a gift from the goddess Ritho. They stimulate rapid healing by infusing the wound with the necessary nutrients to repair broken tissues. Your wounds were inflicted because of my ignorance, and as a wound leaves scars, I would not want such reminders of our first encounter," Danae explained, looking quite contrite.
— Aftermath Ch. 5
The Traedeskaton
Building / Landmark | Dec 30, 2023

Second only to Thananagreia itself, this colossal mega-hospital provides state-of-the-art medical care to the populace, spearheading much technological advancement alongside Peirolyth.

Scientific Name
Conservation Status
Average Height
24-35 inches
Average Weight
Average Length
7-10 inches (leaf)
Charles winced as he cut into the tip of his left index finger. He set the scalpel down and retrieved an eyedropper filled with bright green fluid and applied two drops to the cut. The liquid sizzled and foamed and Charles waited a few seconds before wiping blood away with his thumb. No trace of a wound remained. Satisfied with the test, he picked up the filled IV bag and headed for Danae’s room.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 16
Profession | Dec 30, 2023

In order to give patients the best chance for recovery from anything ranging from a hairline fracture to a debilitating sickness, against foes that cannot be fought with swords or polearms, they provide their charges with every weapon available.

Cover image: Richtho Plant Header by Mardrena


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Jan 6, 2024 21:17 by Mochi

I love how much detail you've gone into in this article, and I love the art! Thank you for participating in my Unofficial Challenge! Here is the badge's ID: [img:5093419]

WE23 Unofficial Species Challenge Badge by Mochi

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!