The Gromgrom Bush
It makes sense that a plant and not a thinking beast would be gifted with pre-cognition. Plants typical don’t dwell on about lack of self-agency, paradoxes, fate, destiny or the relative linearity of time.
Three to four feet tall with thin branches covered in grey bark and pale blue nettles, this species of hearty evergreen shrub grows throughout the Kazan Mountains. Unlike most conifers the gromgrom produces a flower. The fleshy thick flower, a grompod, looks like a waxy red berry that has been cut in half and hollowed out. A grompod is about the size of a man’s finger joint and will cover the branchs of a gromgrom whenever the plant is in bloom. Gromgrom bushes are imbued with the mystical ability to foresee their own demise. Without heed for season or weather the gromgrom starts flowering sixteen days before its’ end. The gromgrom only flowers when the bush is about to die; regardless of what action or event precipitate that death. At five days before the shrub expires the flowers bud into seed pods and about the twelve hours before the plant’s passing the seed pods quietly burst letting loose scores of tiny seeds attached to billowly blue feather like stalks that carry the seeds away on the wind.
Gromgrom seeds are resilient and long lived. The seeds wait to germinate until temperature and moisture will allow it. The plant will grow in most soils, often to the exclusion of other plant species. The perennial shedding of nettles releases a toxin into the soil to which prevents most plants from taking root next to a gromgrom. The hale and hearty nature of the gromgrom shrub and its unique breeding cycle means that after a disaster such as a fire or flood wide swaths of land become solely populated by gromgrom bushes.
The seeds and nettles of the gromgrom are a strong diuretic. Injestion of less than a gram can severely dehydrate a grown man. The flowers while sweet tasting, are also a strong diuretic and have hallucinogenic properties. Many fools think eating grompod gives you the ability to see the future. When in actuality the flowers are at best a way to convince somebody they have seen the future.
One that farms or harvest gromgroms from the wilds is called a Grom Digger. Gromgroms are cultivated for their medicinal properties ('drying the patient out' being an accepted medical practice in many parts of Decathros), but have also been fashionable garden plants. In many wealthy households the gromgrom is cut down as soon a person dies, a child is born or some other event of import occurs. In this way the household will be able to predict such an event by sixteen days.
The Grom Digger’s Paradox
The central stalk or trunk of the gromgrom contains a very rich sugary sap, which has none of the plants diuretic properties. This sap is built up and stored over the life of the shrub. Thus, older gromgroms (It has been recorded that some gromgroms have lived for centuries) have larger and sweeter sap veins. However, the sap vein must be harvested before the plant blooms. Once the flowers appear much of the sap reserve is used to produce the flowers and the rest of the sap is digested by an endogenous enzyme into a inedible fibrous material. Harvesting the sap vein kills the shrub. Thus harvesting the sap vein is nigh impossible, because the gromgrom's precognitive abilities will inform the plant such a harvest is going to occur and the bush will immediately begin blooming. Of course if the person seeking to harvest the sap vein is familiar with the gromgrom than they will know not to bother harvesting a gromgrom that has already bloomed. Therefore the gromgrom tree will not bloom, because were it to bloom it would no longer be destined to die.
Additional Ideas (2)
The Death of the titan Rossmartboot and Drylake Valley.
The floor of Oldedrylake Valley had been completely taken over by gromgroms. One day the tin miners working on the cliffs above the valley notices]d there were several patches of blooming gromgroms about 100 yards apart and one large section of blooming gromgroms arranged in a rough cross on the valley floor. Several weeks later the titan Rossmartboot came running through the valley pursued by the vengeful Nazak, Last of the Griffin Riders. The titan’s enormous feet crushed the patches of gromgroms that had previously bloomed. When a Nazak drove his magical lance, Ztem’oroum, into the Titan’s neck, the great man-shaped being fell forward with his arm’s out stretch, and crushed the cross shaped swath of gromgroms that had bloomed.
One year a invading force* laid siege the mountain. Try as the dwarves might they were unable to break the siege. For years the invading force surrounded the Kazan and pushed inward. Cliff by cliff and tunnel by tunnel the dwarves were pushed back. Then one cold morning the chief of the attackers climbed on top of his ramparts and saw little red flowers on blue pine pushes. Every gromgrom for as far the forgein chief could see was flowering.
The chief of the invading army was wise after his own fashion. He knew what the blooming meant. He ordered his army to break camp and march away from Mount Kazan. The dwarves of Kazan, seeing the army preparing to march, increased their skrimishes and haressments. The invading army was slow to move. After a day on the road cheif still found himself surrounded by gromgroms decoorated by red flowers. The chief pushed his men, the dwarves pushed his men, the narrow mountain roads pushed his men, and harsh mountain weather pushed his men, but despite the slow crawl of a fight retreat, they moved with military discipline. Until one moonless and starless night, the cheif was leaning over a pry bar as he and his men tried to move boulder from the path. Mid-task the chief took a break to straighten his aching back and lean his hot face into the cool mountain breeze. He wiped the sweat from his brow found that his face was covered in the blue feathery seeds of the gromgrom bush.
The next morning Dahkturin broke free from his home beneath the earth, tearing of the top of Mount Kazan in the process. With in moments the sky was blacken with his ashey breath and the air was filled with poisonous bile. Dahkturin spat his firey blood all over the land surrounding Mount Kazan consuming his faithful dwarves and their hated enemies in one single act of swift justice.