Deep within the damp, clay-filled earth of the Motionless Land where Riverwood Trees fall and spill their precious water upon the earth, disgusting growths quickly form and mature. These wild little roots are known as Tunnel Tubers. The root’s exterior is a blackened skin formed from the rich nutrients that it swiftly draws from the soil around it. Inside, a complex structure of soft flesh creates cavities filled with the precious water that has escaped from a Riverwood Tree's last breath. Affixed to the skin of the root plant is a plentiful array of rhizomes from which other Tunnel Tubers plentifully spawn. Older Tunnel Tubers can be found with signs of life devouring its many spuds, from subterranean life to the Frayroot Grass as it returns to the rapidly drying soil brought on by the tuber.
Survival is paramount within a harsh landscape, and the Tunnel Tuber is the next step in terms of surviving the Motionless Land. The Tunnel Tuber’s entire existence is centered around spawning forth deep within the ground after all the Frayroot Grass has died out from the sudden death of a Riverwood Tree. Once the soil is free to claim, Tunnel Tubers begin spreading as far as possible to reclaim the water before it goes to waste. Nutrients in abundance fuel the formation of extra spuds, and with it more water and supplements for an empty belly.
The taste of a Tunnel Tuber, no matter how prepared, always remains rather earthy, starchy, and dreadfully plain. However, this singular plant is filling and perfect for those in need of a method to preserve traveling rations. The fixtures to the outside of the skin that allows for the mass spread of these root plants are quite toxic to the stomach, causing extreme irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms pass after three to five nights for most mortal men. Those weak of health might experience permanent damage to their bodies, as the toxins leave irreversible damage on delicate innards. To date, there is no known brew made to counter the effects of the rhizomes when consumed, though one skilled in the magical arts may be able to ease the burden on the system.
Invasive Deep Roots
Indeed, a strange little root. These invasive things form, grow, and mature in unbelievable time. Within the first few hours, the signs of a Tunnel Tuber begin and the area is slowly drained of the water that dampens the earth. Within a couple of days, there are several growths interconnected by the rhizomes akin to a net in the water. At the end of the week, one would find the earth hard and home to Frayroot Grass once again, with anywhere from a bucket to a barrel’s fill of spuds and tendrils. A quality harvest, should one find the spot before they fall prey to the ecosystem’s cycle once more.
Though, peculiar as this root plant may be, it is untraceable to any point of origin. There remain no seeds in the soil to host this flora during times of drought. No enchantment holds the land in suspension, waiting for the perfect time to release this creation of the divines. And after the time in which the soil is arid and home to the ferocious Frayroot Grass once again, these Tunnel Tubers fail in their quest to steal away the water by being torn into nothingness by worms, roots, and any other lifeforms that find the treasure trove of water. It simply leaks out what it holds, shrivels away into husks, and is rendered to dust.
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