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Elkhankhadz

General introduction


Elkhankhadz is a material highly sought after by the Dzel Luak and the Kubolen in the two eastern chambers of the Eastern Erana Cave-tinent (EECT). It shares the properties of two very different kinds of materials: wood and metal. This makes it resemble the Kawata da Nuani of Auchulpa, which also shares these properties. Indeed Ekhankhadz is a ligneous material, that can be used as a stable, yet somewhat flexible and not too heavy building material. Well dried it can also be used to make a fire, but it is consumed quite fast by flames and considering its importance and relative scarcity it is only rarely used for that purpose.

What makes it work like a metal is the fact, that it can be smithed with a hammer, but without the necessity to bring it to a glowing hot temperature. The structure of the Elkhankhadz can be densified so much, that the resulting objects are almost as hard as cast iron, yet less brittle.

Sources and harvest


The orange-lavender giant cap is by far the tallest mushroom in the EECT. It reaches heights of up to 15 metres, rivalling some surface trees in size. It is this mushroom that is the source for the Elkhankhadz. As many mushrooms it has a stem and a cap. The cap is utterly useless and has never been shown to have any exploitable qualities whatsoever. The stem on the other hand is made up almost exclusively of ekhankhadz. The orange-lavender giant cap has a relatively long life span, due to its size. It takes it about six weeks to grow to full size and it stands for another three months, before the process of sporulation and eventually decay set in. After sporulation the fruiting body breaks apart within a week or so. The orange-lavender giant cap can be felled in its late maturity stage or up to the end of the sporulation phase. The Dzel Luak actually exclusively cut them during sporulation as to not disturb the reproductive cycle of the orange-lavender giant caps.

Cutting down the stems is not an issue, since they behave similarly to regular mushroom stems, albeit being a bit stronger due to the contained lignin. The caps have to be separated from the rest quickly though, as they are the starting point of decay. Then the skin has to be removed, as it also starts to rot and spoil the stems after a while. In addition the skin is quite leathery and prevents the stems from drying, which is also important for making them a viable resource with the desired properties. The last step then is the drying process, for which, depending on the people, different techniques are used. The Dzel Luak mainly hang them up in well ventilated areas, sometimes in chambers of their bigger settlemens. When drying them in chambers, they heat those with fires, to dry out the air and speed up the process. The Sanad Kankunz Takori have more combustable materials at there disposal and tend to dry almost all ekhankhadz over a fire, lieing on huge grids.

Properties and use


The stems, when thouroughly dried, are stable and durable. Even in the moist climate of the caves they can be used for construction. The buildings and machines build with ekhankhadz though need more repair and maintenance, since it is not entirely equal to wood in quality. It also makes for a sort of firewood, though burning quite fast, so bigger amounts would be needed for heating purposes. Because of this, it is - if at all - only used for cooking.

As the wood phase of the ekhankhadz is rather soft, when going for more fine, precise and intricate applications and also applications which demand a harder material, it can also be used similar to metal, if treated accordingly. For that, the ekhankhadz is struck with blunt tools as to not cut into the material, to densify it. When the original piece is reduced to half of its size, it begins to behave like a metal. The further it is densified, the harder it becomes. In this phase it can be manipulated by hammering to bring it into the desired shape. It can also be sharpened with grindstones, cut and pounced, depending on what it is supposed to be used for.

The material changes its colour when densified quiet dramatically. In the wooden phase it is a light wood colour, similar to birch wood, only lacking the grain. When reduced to half the size and entering the metal phase, it turns reddish like copper, but without the shine, keeping its biological appearance. From there on it turns browner and browner, the more densified it becomes. The most dense pieces known are the colour of stout beer.

Type
Organic

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Comments

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24 Aug, 2022 10:43

Wenn das keine großen Pilze sind weiß ich auch nicht. Jedenfalls ein gut beschriebener netter Pilz mit definitiv interessanten und sehr nützlichen Eigenschaften. Mich hätte nur interessiert, warum er - wenn überhaupt - zum Kochen verwandt wird. Klar, weil zu wertvoll für große Feuer, aber sind es dann Pilzreste, die verfeuert werden? Und hat der Pilz ggf. nette Eigenschaften wie ein nettes Raucharoma? Könnte ja alles sein.