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Blaswch Y Dŵr

Blaswch Y Dŵr is a species of small trees whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. This species is native to Midmore and is grown using a mixture of natural resources and druidic magic. The trees are mutated by the druid circle's innate powers to provide different flavours of tea each year. The leaves and flowers also contain a high level of caffeine which helps to promote the tea created as a solution to late night working.   Although there is the traditional tea plant that is most common across Arrasgoth, this particularly species is the rarest and most popular. It can only be found in Midmore and is fiercely protected by their population. Stealing the tea plants can result in severe punishment. The plants cannot reproduce on their own so the druids need to take a cutting and use artificial propagation.  

Naming

I've always felt that names should be obvious. Why name something complicatedly?
— Nyxis Lightstitch
  Blaswch Y Dŵr was first named by a gnomish botanist, Nyxis Lightstitch, who was also the first to discover the leaves could be used to make a type of tea. The name is originally in Gnomish but translates into Common as 'Flavour the Water' and it's name is a literal description of what the plant does.   Most of the gnomes and firbolgs who work with the plant call it Blaswch for short, translating directly to 'Flavour'. On the other hand, common folk who buy the tea just call it tea or 'tea tree'. Only people in Midmore and more focused botanists call them by their full name.  

Description

Blaswch Y Dŵr are evergreen but their flowers blossom in a variety of colours that are cultivated each year. There is a normal strain of these plants that grow a kind of tea that is purely natural in flavour.   The plain strain has yellow-white flowers, and can only be indiscernible from a regular tea plant by practiced eyes, specifically the druids that inhabit Midmore. The flowers from the mutated strains change dependening on flavour and are influenced by the magic that grows them. The most common colours tend to be from the brighter spectrum to be more obvious to predatorial birds to keep them away from destroying the plants.   They grow to be no more than 1 metre high at maximum but most are cut down to 50cm tall or shorter. The flowers are harvested for their colours to make dyes for the teas, and the leaves themselves are harvested to provide the flavouring.   The lifespan of the trees are short which is a constant concern for the gnomes and firbolgs of Midmore. Despite their constant attention to keeping the plants safe and magical nurtured, there seems to be no visible way to extend their life expectancy. The plants will die the moment they reach the end of their fifth year with no obvious signs of why or how. The plants wither almost instantly on the first day of their sixth year, before disintegrating into an ash-like substance on the second day.  

The Discovery

The discovery of Blaswch Y Dŵr was mostly by accident in 400 BTU. Nyxis Lightstitch was somewhat of a taster when it came to her exploration of the world of plants. Known for picking up flora and licking them, she often found herself on the other end of a healing spell.   She discovered a small collection of these trees surrounding an old oak tree, no more than five of them at the time. They were barely growing and on the verge of extinction when she tested them by licking one of the leaves. She felt the taste had potential but needed more substance to them, so combined them with water to see whether that had an impact.   After much experimentation with the leaves, and various attempts at growing the plants with her own innate druidic power, she discovered the best way to use the leaves was to put them in boiling water, just like traditional tea. She took the last remaining plant home with her to Midmore and the expansion of the species continued from there, turning Midmore into the hub of tea trade it is now.   A druid circle was created specifically for the caring and cultivation of the tree, the Circle of Dŵr. This circle's only focus is on the plants and no other areas. The circle is very restrictive due to the need to protect this somewhat endangered species, so they are very careful about who can join their ranks.   They use the profit they make to help sustain the farms and themselves. Many have seen this as a selfish reason, but it is for the safety of the plants themselves. The druids were trained by Nyxis to care for the plants and only they are aware of the magic needed to grow and sustain them.   It has been known for those with more money than sense to try and steal the plants to grow their own. They quickly found themselves on the wrong side of an angry druid circle.  

The Magical Mutations

The Blaswch Y Dŵr traditionally did not have all the flavours that the tea now creates. It is through the product of druidic magic that the species has evolved and flourished to the state it is in now.   Originally they intended to infuse it with innate druidic power only using the spell Plant Growth. The inhabitants of Midmore discovered that by adding in spell components within the growing mix of the plants, they were able to change the flavours and colours of the flowers and leaves to whatever they felt like.   This, however, has led to the speculation that the constant infusing of other ingredients has led to the weak lifespan of the plants. It's unclear whether the Blaswch Y Dŵr can be given a longer lifespan by not magically altering the plants, and little research has been done into finding the direct origins of the plant in order to give it the optimal growing conditions. There also is concern about the ecological damage the spells might cause on the surrounding environment, but as of right now, no correlation negative or positive has been found.  
The problems that come with Blaswch Y Dŵr is the fact that it cannot be kept 'pure'. The pure species, without magic, lasts a year at most. Without our intervention, this species would be lost.
— Nyxis Lightstitch
 

Parasitism

One of the major concerns with Blaswch Y Dŵr is the fact that it has been taken from one source - the final tree that rested in the place Nyxis Lightstitch discovered. Due to this, the plants are extremely vulnerable to any form of blight as they have not built up any resistances. There is no real genetic diversity amongst these plants. If one is vulnerable to one disease, all of them are so can be wiped out in moments.   The only protection the plants have against rots and infections are the magical protection that comes from the druid, but any slight disease that one of the plants caught could wipe out the entire tree plantation.   The druidic magic that was infused with the plants could be considered as a way to give the plants more protection. However, any protection effects but on the plant will not hold for more than 24 hours. It is unclear why this is the case.  

Cultivation

Blaswch Y Dŵr is created using the cuttings from the original plant by artificial propagation. This process is done by removing one of the leaves within the fifth year and planting it directly into the soil. The tree is then coaxed into a small growth by druidic power to create the sapling of the tree ready for the five years of the new tree's life.   Due to the sudden death of the plants, there was a concern that they would lose plants quickly and that the species would become extinct. To prepare for this, the druids created ten plantations of the trees to make sure that they are never without any of the plants. Three are left empty for each year to prepare the soil for the new growing season. One plantation is kept growing the natural plant which is kept secure and regulated more often than the other crops. The other six plantations are kept for the cultivation of the mutated trees, with two for each flavour.   The soil that the trees are grown in are fertilised by the druids using their own natural growing power, as well as using the ash from the previously deceased trees that were planted there. The ash provides the plants with more nutrients and helps to further increase the flavour of the leaves. The ash does not cause any harm to the trees, despite the quick death that occurs to cause it.  

Flavours

In its purest form, when unassisted in its growth by using magic, Blaswch Y Dŵr has the typical flavour of tea. They are the rarest of these species as magical mutations and mutagens has helped make the changed flavour variety easier to grow. There are only a handful of the plain flavoured Blaswch Y Dŵr in existence and they are kept under the most protection.   Due to the nature of the plants, only one cutting can be taken at a time from one plant. If more than one is taken at any time, the plant can wither almost instantly as if under the effects of magic. It is unclear why.   The inhabitants of Midmore have adapted and changed the flavourings of the trees over time to reflect their own opinions, magic and what is happening in the world around them. Each year they have three main flavours of teas, alongside the plain flavoured tea. The three flavours are cultivated by the oldest inhabitants, the youngest inhabitants, and the general population as a whole. This gives everyone a chance to use their magic and to help provide new and exciting flavours for the trees each year.   The three mutated flavours for this current year are:  

Raspberry and White Hibiscus Tea - The Oldest Cultivation

The flowers appear pink in colour with white lines appearing to be drawn along the inside. The magic was infused with both a raspberry plant and a white hibiscus plant to create the taste.  

Chocolate and Lemon Tea - The Youngest Cultivation

The flowers appear yellow in colour with brown lines appearing to be drawn along the inside. The magic was infused with both cocoa and lemon seeds to create the taste.  

Beer Tea - The General Cultivation

The flowers appear brown in colour but give off the smell of a overused brewery. The plant was magically grown inside of a beer keg to create the taste.  

Trading

Blaswch Y Dŵr are not traded themselves, as stated before, as they are fiercely protected by the druids of Midmore. However, the tea itself is packaged and sold to the majority of towns and cities across the continent.   The main trade hub for the tea had been Egomont within the market of Egomont, but they now trade predominently in Purgatory where the Egomont market has moved to. It is known that you can get the best deal for the tea by speaking directly to the druids at Midmore rather than buying from one of the other settlements.  
You know, this is so good, it would be criminal NOT to pay!
 

Other Uses

Although the main uses of Blaswch Y Dŵr is in the making of the tea, the plant also has other properties, which makes it a useful component or ingredient in other products.  

Construction

The bark of Blaswch Y Dŵr trees is extremely flexible and therefore can be used to create strong bindings for fences and ties, though it is rarely seen outside of the buildings of Midmore. The bindings are not the strongest type that could be used, but they also have the added benefit of making the house smell faintly of tea.  

Potions

The flowers have also been used in certain potions to help speed up the ingesting process due to the high level of caffeine in the plant. It has been known to be used within Haste potions in particular to further improve on the sudden change in speed the potion creates.
Lifespan
5 years
Conservation Status
Blaswch Y Dŵr trees are under the protection of Midmore.
Average Height
50cm
Geographic Distribution
     

Relevant Articles

Midmore
Settlement | Mar 20, 2021
Nyxis Lightstitch
Character | Mar 19, 2021
Egomont
Settlement | Mar 20, 2021
Purgatory
Settlement | Mar 20, 2021

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Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 Mar, 2021 12:18

This is a great article and a cool tea plant. I like the idea of the druids mixing plants together with their magic to get the flavours and colours they want – and it's great that you've given a concrete example with this year's brews.   I love how you've organised the article and use the sidebar to put the images.   I like the literal translation of the name and the story of Nyxis Lightstitch: " Known for picking up flora and licking them, she often found herself on the other end of a healing spell." XD   I've taken notes of my reactions and suggestions while I was reading:   "Most of the gnomes and firbolgs who work with the plant call it Blaswch for short, translating directly to 'Flavour'. Most common folk who buy the tea that the plant is a part of just call it tea or 'tea tree'. Those that are in Midmore and more focused botanists call them by their full name." This reads a bit awkwardly and I would rewrite that paragraph to: "Most of the gnomes and firbolgs who work with the plant call it Blaswch for short, translating directly to 'Flavour'. On the other hand, common folk who buy the tea just call it tea or 'tea tree'. Only people in Midmore that are more focused botanists call them by their full name."   "There is a normal strain of these plants that grow tea that is purely natural in flavour." Could be rewritten to: "There is a normal strain of these plants that grow a kind of tea that is purely natural in flavour."   "The plain strain have yellow-white flowers, and can only be indiscernable from a regular tea plant by a practiced eye, specifically the druids that inhabit Midmore." Into "The plain strain has yellow-white flowers and can only be discerned from a regular tea plant by practiced eyes, specifically those of the druids that inhabit Midmore."   "The flowers from the mutated strains change dependent on flavour " into "depending"   "They grow to be no more than 1 metre high at max but most are cut down at 50cm tall or shorter." Into "cut down to". Also I would say "maximum" as "max" feels rather informal compared to the encyclopaedic tone of the article.   "It has been known for those with more money than sense to try and steal the plants to grow their own. They quickly found themselves on the wrong side of an angry druid circle." I'm curious why only the druid circle has access to the plant. Do they want to keep the profit for themselves? Do they think they are the only worthy of being aronud the plants? You could add the explanation here.   "Originally just intended to be infused with innate druidic power, " into " Originally just intending to infuse it with innate druidic power," Also this sentence is a bit long and could be cut in two. And in the next paragraph you're repeating the same information.   In general, your sentences are a bit long. I'd advise you to read them aloud and see when you run out of breath to cut them into smaller ones.   In the "concerns" section, I think you could make it clearer why the fact that they come from only one tree is dangerous: no genetic diversity and so if one plant is vulnerable to one disease, all of them are, and so they can all by wiped out at the same time. As opposed to "normal plants" who have more genetic diversity, and so not all specimen would be vulnerable to the same disease, with some of them resisting better than others.   I’m curious about why the druids were not able to give more protections to the plant since they have changed it to give it different colours and flavours. Or, is it that the plants don't keep the characteristics they are given by the druids and don't pass them to their children? And so every time, the druids start with the same base plants and need to re-give it all the characteristics they want, including magical protections? But it doesn't seem so from the rest of the article. I would expect that mixing the plant with other plants to give it the right flavour would also bring other characteristics such as protections against insects and diseases. Any reason why it doesn't? And why the tea plants with different flavour are not different enough from each other to give them some protections?   "They are the rarest of these species as magical mutations and mutagens has helped make it easier to grow these plants." Do you mean "hardest" here instead of "easier"? Is there anything that prevent the druids from getting more seeds and making more plants out of them so as to have more specimens of this rare version?   "The main trade hub for the tea had been Egomont within the market, but they now trade predominently in Midmore and Purgatory where the Egomont market has moved to." Into "The main hub for trading tea has traditionally been the market of Egomont. However contrary to other teas, Blaswch Y Dŵr is traded predominantly in Midmore and Purgatory." Although I think I'm missing something here. Or do you mean "The main hub for trading tea has traditionally been the market of Egomont. This is a mobile market that is now predominantly located in Midmore and Purgatory." ?

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 Mar, 2021 12:18

oh and I forget to add that I love the prononciation guide :D

20 Mar, 2021 12:37

Thank you for all your suggestions and comments! Much appreciated! I will take the feedback on board and have another read through :D

28 Mar, 2021 01:37

I like how this article is actually going from the first use of the plant towards the current situation. It seems you put a lot of thought into the backstory :) The flavours sound nice but I am not so sure if beer tea tastes good :p Nice read!   I found a small error in a sentence at the end. 'extremely flexible and so can be used ' : The 'so' should either be removed or the last part should be changed into 'and can therefore' I think.

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
31 Mar, 2021 12:08

Thank you for the feedback! I imagine it tastes horrible, to be honest, but worth a try aha. And I will have a look at the document soon and address any spelling mistakes hopefully. Thank you :)

8 Apr, 2021 09:46

Damn, you sure have a lot of info going on! The paragraphs are well spaced out, which makes it easier to digest everything you put on the table - however the titles of the sections are a little bit redundant (even though they are very clear ^^). I would encourage you to take a bit more lyrical liberty with them, though I totally get it if its not your style!   Other than that, I really do enjoy the amount of info you poured into the article, especially in the "flavour" section (reading about food and how things are cooked is one of my favourite things to do)! The quotes are all very spot on too, I'd love to see some more if you have enough words to spare :D

Author of Interarcanum.
8 Apr, 2021 10:23

Thank you for your comments and feedback! I will have another look at the titles, I think I just wanted it to read somewhat 'clinically' if that's the word I'm looking for?   I will also consider putting in more quotes. I think I might be cutting it fine on the word count though so I'd have to double check that! Thank you! :)

8 Apr, 2021 10:45

Its mostly the repetition of "of Blaswch Y Dŵr" that does it for me, especially as since we are in an article about that plant its not all that useful of an indication. The titles would have the same vibes without the extra words I think ^^

Author of Interarcanum.
8 Apr, 2021 10:51

That is a valid point! I could take back those words... and use them for quotes... Thank you!

8 Apr, 2021 11:11

This is a really interesting article. I love the backstory of how the plan was discovered, and also that druidic magic is used to mix flavours whilst the tea is growing. All the detail is so fun. :D

8 Apr, 2021 11:22

Thank you! I wanted to make something that would be useful but also super magical! I wouldn't recommend the beer tea though...

8 Apr, 2021 11:15

These druïds would probably be absolutely terrified of finding my plant in the vicinity. XD   I have one VERY important question if I am to use the tea of this plant in my own setting if it's okay with you. At what temperature should the tea be brewed to achieve maximum flavouring?

8 Apr, 2021 11:24

Oh goodness, I'll have to have a look at your plant!   You can certainly use it in your own setting as long as you link it to the article! I'm pretty open with sharing my stuff but I like my tea plant a lot aha. And I think it would be at boiling point to achieve maximum flavour, but left for exactly two minutes to cool a little.

8 Apr, 2021 11:20

An excellent article! I would pay good money for some tea from this plant!

8 Apr, 2021 11:24

As would many others in the world aha. Take a visit to Midmore and they'll hook you up! Thank you!

8 Apr, 2021 15:53

I love tea! And it's highly caffeinated, even better. This was a nice article to read, and I particularly like that this tea is so vulnerable to blight and other parasites.   My only real question is that if the pure form tastes like regular tea, what makes it so expensive/desirable? Is it the high caffeine content or perhaps the rarity of it? Or perhaps the handling of it? Are the druids doing the drying process? Is there anything special about that process? Are they selling black and green varieties? Aged or fermented?   I love that you have different flavors, and that these are developed magically. I also really love that your druids utilize both the flower and the leaves. However, I'm a little confused by what this means: "The magic was infused with both a raspberry plant and a white hibiscus plant to create the taste." Does this mean the magic is infusing the plant with genetic traits from raspberry and hibiscus or that the magic is infusing only flavor or--?   I also wonder if these are literally the only flavors packaged and sold or if perhaps plain tea might be blended with bits of dried fruits, flower petals, blackberry leaves, etc. much as you might see IRL.

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy Summer Camp!
9 Apr, 2021 08:10

Thank you for the feedback!   As is the case with a lot of things, just having the tea from such a rare plant has that status amongst it. Almost like the situation where you can have the same t-shirt, one much cheaper, but one comes from a top designer.   So in that regard, the plants are grown with the plants that flavour it. So both are almost grown into one plant.   And in theory they could blend the tea with dried fruit, etc, but the plain is aimed at those that are more traditional, I'd suppose!   But I really did have to think on that! Thank you!

14 Apr, 2021 16:08

Hey Oncomingshower! Wonderful tea plant creation. I really like that you've taken something with a singular source that has been modified over the years by different groups to create a unique/desirable effect/flavour. Personally I'd suggest dispersing some of your images throughout the article to break up the text rather than just having them all in the sidebar but that's just a stylistic preference. Great work!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
15 Apr, 2021 07:46

Thank you! I did contemplate it but I quite like the pictures down the side myself. I did contemplate like picture borders to break up each section but I have yet to figure out how to do that....

15 Apr, 2021 13:57

I'm not sure what you mean by "picture borders" but chances are you'd have to dive further into CSS. I do know that the hr bbcode can be changed into an image (instructions in the WA Codex). If you mean changing each section into it's own bordered box, I think you need to be a Grandmaster so you can define and use sections/containers but, being only a Master myself, that may be something to inquire about in one of the Discord help channels. I hope you figure it out :)

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
15 Apr, 2021 21:20

Thank you for that! I'll have to have an investigate and ask around!

17 Apr, 2021 12:36

I can understand why people want to steal it, but it'd likely be a failure since they don't know how to keep it alive. Good to read that the Druids have backup mechanisms to make sure even a plague won't wipe out the entire plant.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
17 Apr, 2021 13:45

Absolutely. Anyone who has attempted has quickly found it dying without the proper care that only those who grow the plant know! Thank you :)