A plant originating on an unknown planetos, whose utility and usefulness caused it to be spread throughout the Observatory several kalpa ago. This rare vine requires special treatment, soil, and fertilizer, but produces a special kind of gourd. The flesh of the gourd is extremely energy dense and nutrient-rich, but also poisonous for most species unless properly treated or adapted to. In such cases, it acts as an intense curative. The flesh of a moderately sized gourd, only the size of two fists, can allow one to recover from the loss of a limb or a deep gut wound within a day. Additionally, the gourds themselves continue to grow when removed from the vine. Provided they are exposed to sufficient sunlight and dollops, the flesh inside will continue to grow, gradually expanding the gourd unless it is removed over time. These gourds are often combined with the seeds of the drought cactus, which when planted within the nutrient-rich flesh of the gourd will constantly gather water within it. This water will dissolve the innermost growing layer of flesh and allow one to drink extremely nutrient-rich water, which will greatly accelerate healing. These specially made drinking gourds are called 'Healing Gourds'.
With five-pointed leaves, this tan vine tends to grow up and out, preferring to climb up structures or living trees and spreading. It only generates gourds when they are able to hang.
Ecology and Habitats
The blood gourd plant only grows in dappled sunlight, and from the dollop-rich blood of living beings. But variants of the plant grow in almost any environment, from the Pillars of Silence to the Magma Forests, from the quietest fields to the Cloud Islands.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The blood gourd plant must be watered by the dollop-rich blood or ichor of powerful living beings. Many wild instances of the vine survive near the dens of powerful predators, drawing herbivores and omnivores to them due to their intense nutrient content, but also getting their consumers killed by the predators, and saturating the gourd in the blood of their victims. Intelligent predators and especially omnivores will often deliberately cultivate the plants for these reasons.
In more temperate climates, the leaves will shrivel in times of intense heat to preserve moisture.
Many less magically focused societies rely on the intense curative properties of these gourds, and have developed more specialized versions and combinations of the plants with other materials to get more specific medicines and systems.
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