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Maw Bean

Basic Information


Pod Pairs

Egg-shaped nuts grow in large pods and are considerably poisonous.


White tubular five-lobed petals with fragrant pink throats.


Dark, shiny and oval leaves arranged in a spiral around the flowers.

Genetics and Reproduction


Through the wind or passing animals from the previous season, the shrub's flowers will degrade and from which the pods spring forth and mature in 9 months. Some flower sprouts are more productive than others, while others may never produce a single bean.

Ecology and Habitats

Desert Conditions

The plant is capable of slowing its growth during drought conditions and can remain viable for up to a year.

Wet Conditions

River banks and lake shores, (clean and salty), are the favoured planting sites for the shrub.

Additional Information


Collecting Seed Pods

When the pods start to discolour from green to light brown to dark brown, then they are ready to open. Pods can open at any time of year depending on the time of pollination. After it opens, the beans would need to dry out for a few days and then replanted or stored in a dark dry place.

Uses, Products & Exploitation


When its leaves are mashed into a paste and dissolved, that acts as a common insecticide.


Crushed roots mixed with beeswax and coconut oil to prevent body odor.

Geographic Origin and Distribution


The maw bean is believed to have first sprouted from the alien fog inflicted on the land by Keanian colonists during wars with the Tuskin. It is not clear if the first variant was reliant on the ice river water or salty lake water to survive, but it eventually adapt enough to dry conditions as its environment changed yet again with the north's desertification.

Civilization and Culture

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Trial by Ordeal

Belief in a celestial justice that determines the outcome of innocence or guilt for someone accuses of a crime with insufficient evidence. The beans would be crushed and mixed with water, or sometimes just shallowed whole or only needing to consume just a piece of a crushed nut.   Lethality can vary according to:
  • Beans that are darker in colour are known to be more poisonous
  • Mixing with smaller quantities of water
  • Consuming the maw bean on an empty stomach
  Nobles or freemen compelled to undergo the ordeal, the poison is typically administered to the accused only after a dog or rooster stand-in has already died from the poison's effects. Slaves, by contrast, are required to immediately ingest the poison themselves.
Conservation Status
Often the poison of choice in Trials by Ordeal
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Light and dark brown stripes with intersecting ridges across its middle
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials
Ethnicity | May 14, 2021

Consequences for Consumption

  • Convulsions
  • Organ Failure
  • Vomiting
  • Asphyxiation
  • Brain Damage
  • Eventual Death
— Symptoms from the Maw Bean
Under the Floating Manse
Plot | Oct 11, 2021

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Cover image: Seed of Renewal by Pyro Helfier


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