Aridin: The Wilderness
A land of sprawling jungles and hovering rocky outcrops, Aridin is lush with multiple varieties of both plants and animals. The floating temples provide an excellent viewpoint from which to gaze on the surrounding rainforests, covered as they are by a dense canopy. The area is full of many types of life - from the smallest insect to the massive colorful birds which crash through the gargantuan trees in search of easy prey. It is a dangerous place to explore without a guide, as the cenotes can be well-hidden, and the local wildlife is not always friendly.
A purple lichen which grows in cage-like tendrils or ‘beards’, usnea porpora is both rare and not particularly well-known except among doctors and skilled healers. It grows in symbiosis with a moss with yellow stamens (bryophyta aurum), which prefers high-up branches on which to spread its roots, and as such is largely found in the treetop areas of the Aridin wilds. While the yellow moss covers the bark of the trees in a dense pillow-like structure, usnea porpora drapes in long clusters, hanging from the branches. It is unheard-of to find the purple lichen without bryophyta aurum in the same vicinity, so local botanists theorize that usnea porpora requires the golden moss in order to grow.
The purple lichen is used for medicinal purposes. Special extraction methods involving high heat and added alcohols can result in a potent powder which is added to pharmaceuticals to relieve fever. If not properly extracted, consuming the lichen causes hallucinations and stomach ulcers in most beings.
Distilling the lichen in urine also yields a potent magenta dye, but due to the rarity of the organism and the extremely potent medicinal qualities, using the lichen as a dye is strictly forbidden in Aridin. Being caught doing so can land the individual with hefty fines and potential incarceration, depending on the quantities taken.
A lush, golden-coloured moss with yellow flower-like tendrils, bryophyta aurum grows high in the treetops of Aridin. It is a fairly common moss, and can be found in many areas within the rainforest. It is quite picturesque, and local artists often set up in thicker trees near guarded temples to paint the yellow-covered branches.
With the exception of using this moss to find usnea porpora, there have not been further uses identified.