Rangers of the North
(S. Cenetholch, Q. Cenyasuka)
Other Names: Baby-sitter.
Type: Organ Repair/Preservation.
Range/Where Found: Mountains, colder climes.
Foraged: The Angle
Characteristics: Aldaka is a difficult plant to take advantage of because the most useful part of it, a large tuber-like root, is usually located several feet from the plant. The plant is small, appearing to be less than 1’ tall with several slender stalks, each with several perfectly round leaves. Uprooting the plant reveals several lateral roots (rhizomes) shooting off
to all points of the compass. One of them leads to the plant’s main root; it may be located as far as 10’ from the rest of the. plant. Attempts to pull on the rhizomes breaks them, and the ground must be excavated by hand in order to keep track of where these roots lead. The plant is common in the higher elevations, but the time-consuming act of finding the root makes it expensive. When found, the aldaka root is about the size of a man’s fist, brown on the outside
and orange within, with the consistency of a hard boiled egg: firm, but easily crushed. Each spring. the aldaka sends out new rhizomes which eventually sprout, continuing the process. Where these meet rhizomes from other plants they join and produce an herb that, by the end of the season, generates its own rhizomes. Harvested roots keep for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry place.
Medicinal Uses: If crushed and boiled, the aldaka rhizome repairs damage to eyes burned by extreme light or heat. The patient must drink the mixture and then keep his eyes covered for 1 week. During this time, he must ingest a full dose of the mixture each day. Aldaka has no effect on an eye that has been punctured.
Other Uses: In the regions where this plant is found, parents sometimes promise their children prizes if they can find and bring back a predetermined number of rhizomes (an activity guaranteed to take an entire afternoon). For this reason, aldaka is sometimes called “baby-sitter.”
Cost: 100 gp/root. Not surprising, given the harsh terrain, the short growing season, the difficulty of finding the rhziome, and its short shelf-life. To someone blinded for life, it is a small price to pay.
Difficulty of Finding: Hard.
Warning: If travelers are invited to an aldaka hunt by mountain villagers, it generally means they aren’t welcome. They should take the hint and move on.