Numerous things exist within the Hedge that lies between the mortal realm and Arcadia. Amongst the thorns and brambles, there are strange plants that bear fruit that are similar or even completely alien to their mundane counterparts.
Goblin fruits are edible sources of Glamour, and are a commodity within changeling freeholds and Goblin Markets. On top of this, they come in a variety of different shapes, colors, flavors, and side-effects upon consumption. Some are beneficial, healing wounds or empowering certain skills. Other times they can be hazardous, be it because they are poisonous, or attract dangerous creatures.
Some goblin fruits can be made safe to eat if cooked or only having a specific part of itself eaten.
Species of Goblin FruitsEdit
- Main Article: List of known Goblin Fruits
Rare forms of fruit have special properties that are powerful enough to do any a number of things, limited only by the Storyteller's imagination and sense of restraint. Most goblin fruits have names that are play-on-words with what they appear to be, like a "honey-suckle" being a fruit dripping with real honey.
- Main Article: List of known Oddments
Not all goblin fruits are necessarily "fruits" or even consumable in the traditional sense. The Hedge certainly hosts any number of bizarre flora, some of which have uses outside that of food or resuscitation. These fruits are called "oddments," as they seem to grow with the express purpose of being used as tools, but those uses are so very specific that it's odd they could have evolved at random.
Are they the results of forgotten Fae's efforts to grow specific plant servants? Are they some altruistic wanderer's gift to those who would venture past the hedge? No changeling will ever know.
Foraging Goblin FruitsEdit
Many changelings take advantage of their visits to the Hedge to harvest goblin fruits. Whether they're used for their otherworldly tastes or for the mystical effects, taking a few extra goblin fruits is a long-standing tradition among the fae. Gourmet changelings sometimes make delicious desserts or succulent jellies from these fruits, and the greatest victual artisans in Faerie fashion elaborate presentations of meals from the Hedge's bounty.
It's not so simple to just grab a handful of fruits and be on one's merry way, however. The number of goblin fruits a changeling may carry depends on his Wyrd, his ability to force order from the inchoate vegetation of the Hedge. The following chart lists how many goblin fruits a changeling of a certain Wyrd level may carry with her.
- Wyrd 1 - May carry 3 fruits
- Wyrd 2 - May carry 5 fruits
- Wyrd 3 - May carry 7 fruits
- Wyrd 4 - May carry 10 fruits
- Wyrd 5 - May carry 15 fruits
- Wyrd 6 - May carry 25 fruits
- Wyrd 7 - May carry 50 fruits
- Wyrd 8 - May carry 100 fruits
- Wyrd 9/10 - Beyond level 9 a changeling can carry a full bounty
The maximum amount of fruits carried includes oddments as well. Most goblin fruits are about the size of a small apple or a peach. Thus, even a character who can, by Wyrd, carry 25 of them will probably need a bag or basket. Unless prepared as some kind of cooked repast, goblin fruits last for three days once plucked from the vine. At the Storyteller's discretion, they may be dried or otherwise made travel-safe, especially by a character with some kind of culinary or herbalist's knowledge.
Most goblin fruits are protected by the Mask, and mortals have an easy time mistaking them for similar fruits, weeds or the like. However, partaking of goblin fruit will often reveal its true nature to the consumer; the peach becomes something else after the first alarming bite.
Cultivating Goblin FruitsEdit
In overly simplistic terms, cultivating a plant in the human world is easy: plant a seed or a whole fruit (or plant a shoot or scion of the original) and you’ve cultivated new growth. It works that way in the Hedge, too, except every new planting require more than just a little water and some sun. Plants require fertilizer. Of course, in the Hedge, fertilizer isn’t conventional (which will be discussed in the next section).
Whenever a character hopes to cultivate a new goblin fruit or oddment, she must first take seeds or shoots or a whole fruit from the original subject and then plant it in whatever new location she chooses. Traditional concerns of ground quality and sun or water exposure generally don’t matter — though, if the plant is obviously not suited for this area (trying to plant a swamp flower in the middle of a bone-dry desert, for instance), then it becomes difficult, though not impossible, for the transplant to gain life. In any case, the transplant must be fed the food that the transplant hungers for most.
Once a plant has received its nutrient, the player must roll her character’s Wits + Crafts score. She gains a number of bonus dice appropriate to whatever food the plant required (see below). The roll may suffer penalties such as if the character is distracted (–1) or if the fruit or oddment is transplanted to a wildly inappropriate locale (–3). This roll, which involves physically packing the soil around the seed or shoot, can be made only once per day. If the character fails the roll on the first attempt, successive attempts can be made 24 hours later, and at a cumulative –1 penalty to the Wits + Crafts score. The sacrifice of specific nutrients needs to be paid only once, up front. (In other words, if the plant thirsts for blood, the character doesn’t need to spill new blood every day — one time at the beginning does the trick. Repeating a sacrifice will eliminate a number of penalty dice equal to the initial bonus, however.)
It usually takes several days for a plant to grow into a mature version, and twice that time to actually provide usable fruit or oddment. To figure the exact number of days, assume that the time is equal to 7 minus the successes gained on the Wits + Crafts roll, down to a minimum of one 24-hour day. Double this to determine how long it takes for the plants to start fruiting or to provide functional oddments. Hedge fruits or oddment plants cannot grow outside of the Hedge. The results of these plants — the fruits or oddments themselves — can leave the Hedge with a changeling. The plants will not grow outside the Thorns, however.
In the Hedge, “Plant food” is altogether different from the expected nutrients provided by phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium compounds. The plants there hunger for unnatural nutrients. And, to grow, these nutrients must be provided once, if not often. Some goblin fruits and oddments do not have the same “nutrient requirement” from planting to planting, and a character may need to try several foods for the plant to take root.
“Taking root” becomes very obvious, indeed: the plant always shows some sign of success. The roots may stiffen and sink into the earth. Leaves may instantly unfurl, or a tiny sprout may peek up through the heady soil. Below are a number of the potential nutrients one may find that plants desire, though Storytellers are welcome to get creative and come up with their own. Each adds dice to the roll to officially “cultivate” the plant, as noted above.
Blood (+3) - A plant may hunger for fresh blood. Enough blood must be spilled (close to a pint) to soak the ground around the plant. One concern with this is that spilling blood may attract more voracious hobgoblins. Spilling blood causes one lethal point of damage to whatever creature is giving up the red stuff.
Carcass (+1) - Curling a dead body — be it from a squirrel, cormorant, hobgoblin, or human — around the plant gives it the essential life it needs. The body decays very quickly, turning to a unrecognizable pile of moldering waste by the end of a 12-hour period. Again, this may attract carrion-feeding hobgoblins.
Dreams (+1) - The character merely needs to whisper to the plant one of his dreams from the last three nights. In giving up a dream, however, the character can never again recall that dream (it literally leaves his mind the moment he whispers it “into” the plant). The character will also suffer a –2 penalty to all Expression rolls for the remainder of the day. Some believe that giving up one’s dreams, even nightmares, is unhealthy, a way of “giving up one’s thunder.”
Gift of Attribute (+5) - The plant literally draws out one of the character’s Attribute dots into itself. The character doesn’t usually have the choice of which Attribute; in deciding to give the plant any dot, the plant decides what it wants (though sometimes this may make a bit of thematic sense: choking gallowsroot, for instance, desires Strength while the stimulating leaves of the jarmyn plant demand Stamina). The character regains that Attribute dot after a number of days equal to 10 minus the character’s Wyrd score.
Gift of Skill (+3) - The plant consumes a dot of the character’s Skill. As above, the character retains no choice in which Skill; the transplant decides. (Again, theme sometimes applies: gallowsroot might leech a dot of Brawl or Melee while the magic-empowering promise leaves demand Academics or Occult dots.) The character regains that Skill dot after a number of days equal to 10 minus the character’s Wyrd score.
Memory (+2) - In whispering a memory to the plant, the character forgets that memory forever but helps the plant grow. The memory must be something more than just a name or phone number; it must be a memory that has a story, however small, attached to it. (For example: “I remember swinging on the old tire over the trout stream, and one day I fell in and almost drowned.”)
Sanity (+4) - The character lends the plant some of her own sanity (which helps to stabilize the dreaming nature of the foliage, giving it the constancy necessary to grow to fruition). In doing so, the missing sanity fills in with a temporary derangement (mild) of the plant’s choosing. Once more, theme sometimes applies: fear gortach may cause Obsessive Compulsiveness. The derangement lasts for a number of days equal to 10 minus the character’s Wyrd score.