Minga Melon

The only things that's universally true in Far Harbor. Everyone loves Minga Melon.
 
Minga Melons can be found onboard every ship and in every harbor around the Tairuk Island Chain. These melons grow from in abundance all throughout the region and are beloved by almost all the locals as well as the coastal villages of mainland Tairos. They grow in at the tops of short, leafy, palm trees that can usually be found near the coast of any island in the chain with the noted exception of Stepping Stone Island which has precious few of these plants.
 
Minga Trees themselves do not offer much else in value. Their wood is rather soft as it retains a great deal of water and their leaves contain bitter enzymes meant to deter pests from feeding on the melons while growing. When burnt the smoke from the leaves can produce an insect repelling scent that drives away bugs as well as anyone with a working nose. The leaves can be boiled down and rendered into a thick ointment that can also repel insects and is far less offensive to humanoids (though Halflings still seem to be bothered by the smell as their sensitive noses can pick up on the slightest hint of it).
 
The melons are extremely popular in all inhabited locations, both with the people of Far Harbor and with the Tairuk Tribes. The inhabitants of Far Harbor generally just eat the flesh or use the juice as a drink (or additive to cocktails). While the Tairuk tribes eat the flesh as well they also are skilled in processing the juice and rind into various products like lotion, soap, hair care lathers, and dental scrubs. Portions of the outer shell are also vital to certain contraceptive gels they are known to produce too.
 
The biggest consumers of Minga Melon are the Baggage Crab who seem to have an insatiable craving for the fruit. The riper the better. Tons of Minga Melon are consumed every day by labor beasts and thus the harvesting and transportation of these fruits is an essential part of Far Harbor's economy. Pirate Lords and other nefarious sorts often use the melons to deliver secret messages between ports by hollowing out a single melon in a large shipment and hiding a small note inside. The receiver of the note will know to look for a melon a certain mark etched or painted into it. Such marks are indistingiushable among the natural variations in the shell's color as well as the tally marks used by harvesters.

Significance

Common food item in certain regions. In central and eastern Tairos the melon is exceptionally desirable among food aficionados

Item type
Consumable, Food / Drink
Rarity
Very common in Far Harbor and still common along the western coast of Tairos (when brought in by merchant sailors). They can also be found in Melanthris though the melon doesn't enjoy the same popularity with the noble elves. Lakeside Elves on the other hand enjoy the melon and consider it an exotic delicacy. The melon is extremely rare to be found anywhere east of Melanthris and will fetch a very high price at market due to the costs in transportation
Weight
4 to 8 lbs
Base Price
3 copper coins per pound in Far Harbor. Prices are generally closer to a silver coin per pound in the coastal villages of the mainland.


Cover image: Minga Melon by Steve Bellshaw

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