Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flora et Fauna: Hydraexia

The hydraexia plant, also known as ice root or hail wort, is a creeping vine. It grows as a parasite on old growth trees much like Virginia creeper. Hydraexia blooms once every seven years with large, showy white blossoms. The blossoms scent is an anesthetic. When dried, the petals can be brewed into a tea which can be used to treat mild abrasions and burns when cooled. Only the tea made from the petals is safe to ingest directly.

The root is a globular cluster of root balls ranging from the size of a pea to the size of a chicken's egg. Generally spherical in shape, the root balls of hydraexia are potent with the anesthetic properties that are in the blooms. An average adult human male consuming one of the pea sized root balls of hydraexia will suffer respiratory distress in fifteen minutes. A sensation of cold will pass through out the body prior to respiratory distress. Death from asphyxiation occurs shortly after the patient enters respiratory distress.

Some magi have created a distillation of hydraexia that is useful as an anesthetic and relatively safe to consume in moderate quantities. It acts to open up the bronchial passage ways and can be used to treat asthma and related conditions if taken in minute doses (a few drops per a pint of ale). Hydraexia poisoning can be remedied by way of fireweed ingestion if the fireweed is taken prior to respiratory distress.

Hydraexia is used by some folk magi as a weather working charm. These white roots cause numbing to the hands when handled. The person handling the roots will feel as though they are holding a piece of ice, hence the plant's common name of ice root or hail wort. To invoke a storm, a root ball is thrown into the air blindly over a field. The size of the storm is supposedly determined by the size of the root ball thrown.

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