Temple Guardian Leaves

Properties

Material Characteristics

Those are leaves of Temple Guardian, a single, sacred, Tcha bush, covering an immense distance. A nearby Arena had to close off 15% of its doors, as they were leading to the sacred bush, which cannot be touched by unblessed skin, and which causes rather horrific wounds against bare skin and unprotected animals. The bush is 40000m2, it's a single plant. ever growing. It's a mystery how it got to be so big in a comparatively short time(it's not the oldest living Tcha plant, but the next oldest one is smaller and lighter at least a factor of ten, one of the mysteries is that it was previously thought that growth was continuous but at a steady rate in Tcha plants, i.e. that they steadily grew larger as they grew older, so the oldest should by right, be the largest) It is probably not a coincidence that the largest such plant grows over the Sietch Tabr geological feature, and practically on top of the temple known as Mountain Home , from which it probably gets its name, Temple Guardian. Due to the fact that the Elemental Circles religion is not limited to Kagomei, but the temple of Mountain Home is in it, Temple Guardian "brand" tea has been used in International Trade for centuries. The first such trade probably being the Pledge of Eurani . More recently, the Treaty of Rannick included valuable items from Rannick(Clove Spice), Moniq(silk) and sheaves of Temple Guardian leaves in equal amounts, each known to be more valuable than gold, to be distributed to the other three partners, in order to facilitate and equalize trade.

Physical & Chemical Properties

It's a central nervous stimulant related to Theobromine and Caffeine

Geology & Geography

It is only found on the Geographic Feature of Sietch Tabr, as part of the Mountain Home temple complex

Origin & Source

Early documents make no mention of a huge bush until 400 years ago, when a Moniqan Hunarch, visiting Megamisama asked what that green spot was on the holy mountain. His keen eyes has seen that it was a single whole, unbelievably, a single, outsized bush. This bush's leaves are now ritually consumed.

Life & Expiration

Regular Tcha expires after six months if kept in a cool, dry place. Temple Guardian Tcha expires after 15 days, why that is, is a mystery.

History & Usage

History

It is boiled in tea, as an infusion, provided it has not been contaminated by touching bare, unblessed flesh, as part of the Tcha ceremony

Discovery

No one knows how or when Tcha was discovered, at least, not with a degree of certainty. Tcha plants and a skillfully wrought Tcha set were found with the first signs of writing.

Everyday use

Not everyone can afford Temple Guardian, but Tcha itself is commonly used, more than Tea, at least in Moniq, Rannick, Kagomine and the surrounding area.

Cultural Significance and Usage

The plants are known to be ritually significant, and to have Tcha with someone implies a desire to know them, the choice of low Tcha(intimate, usually only 2-3 people, and most of them in house robes and other intimate attire) or high tcha(formal and precise, usually involving more than a half-dozen guests) Tcha itself is believed to ritually purify the body, making it able to receive mystical energies. It's also a central nervous stimulant, and students and army officers partake of the latter function with gusto.

Refinement

The leaves are dried(like tea)

Manufacturing & Products

Instead of the leaves, the flowers can be eaten.

Byproducts & Sideproducts

The flowers crushed for their essential oils , yielding an oily tincture that is used in traditional medicine and religious rituals.

Hazards

The most obvious are the thorns, which are capable of doing damage to most unprotected mammal flesh, a cat would die exsanguinated, if it was dropped in a mid-sized Tcha plant. A full sized ox was once thrown across Temple Guardian when the bush was half its current size, the animal did not survive. Outside of contact with its thorns, and a low risk of fire if dry, the plant is perfectly safe.

Enviromental Impact

Tcha culture is extensive, and usually occurs on terraced valleys and on hillsides. The plant prefers cooler weather, but will grow even in tropical mangroves, but will not reach the largest sizes, which seems to only happen on mountain tops. It's speculated that the largest specimens, larger than Temple Guardian, grow on the slopes of Chomolungma, between Hand and Turcassan, past Moniq, Hunarchate of , but covering the low-altitude flanks. Travellers from Taibit often say Temple Guardian is "not monstrously large". What that means is disputed. As the plant itself is native, and only considered invasive in New Lolland, its impact is small.

Reusability & Recycling

Tcha leaves are ritually required to be composted in Moniq and Rannick, and such is also suggested in Kagomei. The high nitrogen content of the leaves is preferred for Tcha plants themselves, Tomatoes, and Roses.

Distribution

Trade & Market

Temple Guardian Leaves are a strictly controlled luxury item, whose ritual component usually means even the very wealthy do not have a constant source. Full potency is only reached when a household member(not a servant) goes and gathers the leaves themselves by hand. This is controlled by the Elemental Circles with the assistance of the Kagomine Aristocracy.

Storage

Leaves are considered potent only for two weeks. Regular Tcha leaves can be kept for six months in a cool, dry place.

Law & Regulation

By Law, a household cannot hold more than one person can carry at one time, which is basically a no hoarding law. The treaty of Rannick actually had to exclude the various treaty organizations from this law, just to enable distribution.
Type
Biomaterial
Value
It is considered on par with exotic spices and silk as a luxury commodity. The fact that it
Rarity
Temple Guardian is a singular plant, lying in a ritually controlled area surrounded on one side by a military base, strict controls keep it rare.
Odor
The flowers have an intense parfume, again, not unlike Earth Roses.
Taste
It tastes, and indeed is related, to Camellia Sinensis(tea). It also is related rose-tea hybrids.
Color
All Tcha flowers in Kagomei are blue, in Moniq they are Bright Green and blue in a tiger-pattern, and in Rannick, the native Tcha plants are black and red, again in a tiger-striped pattern
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