The gimlakk is a tall cactus native to Janikk. Its internal fluids can be harvested as an anaesthetic, while the weaker fresh growths have calming properties.
Moving on to a tall cactus, Jake gently broke off a berry of new growth and passed it to Lira. "Gimlakk. Will help calm your nerves. You can suck out the juice, or eat it whole." Lira wandered over and took the small piece of cactus from his fingers, looking at it for a moment before popping it into her mouth whole. It had a green, slightly sour taste, which intensified as the juices flooded her mouth. She swallowed and looked up at him, eyes shining slightly with excitement. "It just occurred to me that it would be very easy for the Mordena to murder me," she said, half-teasing. "You'd just need to tell me to eat something and I'd eat it."
Ecology and Habitats
Gimlakk is found in the hot, arid parts of Janikk, the untamed planet settled by the Mordena mercenaries. Over time - or perhaps through the Agrokinesis so popular among Janikk's former residents - the cactus developed an array of adaptations to beat the heat while retaining its water moisture. The gimlakk's skin is tough and thick, growing thicker and less palatable with age. Its roots also run deep in an effort to tap into its local water table rather than relying on precipitation for its water needs, while the random patterns of spines - coupled with its unique and medicinally useful defensive strategy - ensure it won't have to share with the local wildfife.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
While the outside skin of the gimlakk is thick and dry to prevent excess water transfer, the inside flesh is optimized to retain fluids. This not only guarantees the cactus' survival in its unforgiving habitat, but also makes the gimlakk a reliable source of water to other creatures. The cactus has developed a unique defense against water thieves, likely augmented by the ancient extinct civilization that once called Janikk home. It produced an efficient water soluble anesthesia, which mixes into the water. Animals that breach the cactus' outer skin to drink the precious fluid within will find their reactions sluggish, and their sense of pain dulled. Predators have also learned to prowl near gimlakk in search of easy prey, adding yet more protection for the cacti. The anesthesia is not broken down or expelled by the cactus, meaning the strength of its effects depends upon the age of that portion of the gimlakk. In Alchemy, fluid from older sections of cactus are extracted and purified to produce a strong and relatively useful anesthesia, while newer growths are often chewed to help manage anxiety.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
new growths are bright green, while well-established gimlakk slowly shift into a dark green, often accented by browns