Notes on the Black Wurt weed found in Northern Gaia.
Also known as: Orc Weed (Slang), Djudidench (Slavinian), Ggnurt (Northice Orcish) or G’nash (Orcish slang).
A tough scraggy plant found abundantly on rock faces in the colder regions of Northern Gaia. This resilient weed has thick moist leaves which, when crushed exude a powerful smelling black ichor, the stench of which is enough to turn the stomach of even the most iron-gutted horticultural enthusiast.
Although widely regarded as a weed in civilised (and barbarian) society, the plant seems to have acquired a special place in northern orcish (and some primitive clans) herb lore. The ichor exuded has the special property similar to the insulating property of oils and fats. Many northern orcs use the foul smelling ichor to protect themselves against the cold if caught outside in winter months, possibly being the “root” cause of the perceived noxious odour of the species. This cultural practice may be what has led to the speciest prejudice against foul smelling ‘orrible orcs.
Although the root has been used by orcish raiders as camouflage in the past, its properties as a concealing agent are (according to orcish legend) usually countered by it’s foul stench. (Leading to many a human joke of smelling the raiders way before you can see them).
Another interesting property of the oily ichor is its uses as a lubricant for weapons and armour maintenance. Although the oil protects and insulates against rust and weathering the ichor also has a slight acidic quality when dry, possibly leading to the unexplained disintegration (and perceived lower quality) of orcish arms and armour. Many a looter has been found gnashing their teeth (or being gnashed) when seemingly fine looted orcish armaments suddenly weaken and rust. For this reason the plant must be applied often and kept moist (or washed off in limewater) to remain effective.
“The Extended Tome of Applied Herbology”
This article was first published I July MMIII