Endless Blue – Week 87.5 – Flotsam: The Lernynge Lax, or the Salmon of Knowledge   Leave a comment


The Lernynge Lax, or the Salmon of Knowledge

The tale of the Lernynge Lax is thought to be folklore inspired to help keep the masses of the Known World uneducated.  By shedding personal illumination in a negative context, the more educated hope to keep the population from seeking enlightenment.  Without education, the wealthy keep the advantage in survival to themselves.

As the story goes, once a great salmon swam the oceans of Elqua.  So powerful it was, that it could reach the bottom of the Shelf and leap over the mountain isles of the Spine of the World.  One day, it ate nodules that fell from the Vastness, that hell of aberrations above the waves.

This alien sustenance gave the salmon all the world’s knowledge.  To feast on the flesh of the salmon would bestow this knowledge upon the predator.  Some tellings say it would also grant eternal life.

Finn the demigod, child of Trishna from a dalliance with mortals, once caught the salmon, and tore some meat from its bones.  As he fed upon the flesh, Finn watched the salmon’s flesh regenerate.  Soon, his mind filled as quickly as the salmon’s body healed.  Finn was gifted with all that was known and as yet unknown, all that could be known, and the knowledge of what could never be learned.

Before the salmon healed wholly, it bled into the warm tropic waters.  Where the salmon bled into the water, the traces were carried across the world.  Wherever it came to rest, perdition plants took root.

The fruit of these plants, a berry, is avoided by the general populace despite being edible.  Consumption of even a single berry causes a strange effect, turning the sense of taste “inside out”.  Flavors no longer taste as the once did, with sour foods tasting sweet.  But a further side effect is to blunt or outright block a creatures sense of bloodtrace.

Because of their repute and effects, they are seen as aberrant.  The Church of Olyhydra brands them sinful in the eyes of the Mistress, and dogma forbids their consumption.  Rarely does outright prohibition work, and most every child has at one time picked a wild perdition fruit in ignorance and ate it.

Perdition fruit grows in the Shore, where the water is clear, making cultivation dangerous. The plants need the constant swell and fall of the tide to keep the fruit from deforming.  This puts cultivators within reach of any surface aberration that happens along the beach.

Additionally, only a few berries are grown per plant, so harvests are small.  The berry itself is only a thin layer of pulp over a large pit — large enough to be a choking hazard.

Synod Synesthetes use perdition berries in their auguries.  It helps block the extraneous negative stimulus of their synesthesia so focus can be pointed on the goal.

There is a big demand for Perdition fruit in the Mer Currents, but elsewhere it is considered contraband.  The Yaun-Teel have a thriving, if somewhat illegal, trade in perdition berries, and as expected the trend-obsessed Mer are the primary customers.

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