Vendu is a vine that grow attached to and within the branches of a tall tree such as found within the Great Green Sea. The small white berries that appear in mid-spring can be harvested and their juices drained to be distilled into one of the most powerful curing elixirs known in Arland.
History and Harvsting
Vendu is a Hanabril word meaning "Green (or life) seed". Its curative properties have been known to their people for as long as can be remembered. The berries only appear when the mists of the forest canopy in the great green sea start to fade in mid-spring to early summer.
Only the bravest of Hanabril Druids would venture into the canopy to harvest the berries and return to their villages with the elixir called "Vensi" (Green (or life) blood).
The plant was widely unknown to the rest of Arland until the onset of the plague of Blood Fever. Humans were dying by the dozens and whole villages were being wiped out with no end in sight. There weren't enough clerics to cure everyone who was infected and many wizards were considered 'untouchable' by many of the clerics in the South Marches and Southlands.
When a wizard was healed of the blood fever by a Halfling druid, the secret of the healing elixir was revealed and the Great Green Sea was the next land to be explored.
As arcane magic draws more problems than it solves in the Great Green Sea, most of the work to harvest the berries had to come from human ingenuity and gnomish craft. Some of the gnomes of the Southlands had been toying with airship technology for some time but their leaders would not permit it. When a small number of their engineers met with shipbuilders from the marches all of the problems seem to be swept away with the parting of the mists.
As the berries only appear for two to three weeks each year, there is a mad rush by anyone wishing to turn a profit to gather as many of them as they can. They are quite literally worth several times their weight in pure gold.
This had lead several airships to be built and 'farm' the forest canopy of the great green sea for any number of profitable herbs, rare creatures and, of course, the Vendu berries.
To date and for the past two hundred years, no one has been able to transplant the vendu vines to any location other than the tree-tops of the forests along the cliffs edge in the Great Green Sea. They are a localized phenomonea.
When the airships leave the protection of the cliffs edge and travel into the wide expanse of the forest canopy, the true dangers of the Great Green Sea become quickly apparent. Whether pickers are snatched off of the rigging by a Canopy Howler, Tree Boa or Snag vines or if the airship is attacked by a swarm of fire hornets or, worse yet Wood Wasps that find rigging rope delicious. All of these dangers pale in comparison to the Great Green Serpents that can knock a boat out of the sky with a flick of their neck.