Thieves & Kings
Nightscale Roots are a rare spring vegetable, with dull black scaly skin and roughly 3-4 inches in diameter, weighing about a pound. Its interior is a moist, white meat with a spicy, pungent flavor, and a texture that is unique, almost like meat when steamed or boiled.
The most common recipe for preparing nightscale roots, includes making a soup with chicken and mushrooms, but they are also very tasty when simply fried with herbs, cheese and butter. Baked, with a little oil and salt, they become flavored chips with no equal. They can be eaten raw, though most find their strong flavor unpalatable, unless drowned in salt. They are also quite good with rye bread. Their stems and leaves are also edible if washed and mixed with other less pungent greens, but most use them to feed hogs or cattle.
The vegetable grows quite rapidly, with a crop coming to harvest in two-three months, if the conditions are good, meaning a careful, knowledgeable farmer can bring in two or three crops each year. This can go a long way to feeding a hungry farm family that has to usually wait on one grain crop each year, and shows great promise in smaller cottage gardens. it might also be possible to raise them as a winter vegetable, providing winter cover for fields. When properly stored in layers of wet sand, they can last for a season in a cool cellar.
A pound of nightscale roots has a market value of one (1) silver piece, which roughly equates to a single root, with greens attached. An acre of land can produce 200-300 lbs per harvest, perhaps half that when found in wild patches.
Nightscale roots were first discovered in a large wild patch in the western reaches of Echo Wood, where the Sootscale Kobolds had been feasting on them for generations. The large patch they were growing in was left wild, but careful investigation has proven that they were originally ‘given’ to the tribe by the “Shadow Man”, in exchange for periodic shipments of gold flakes from their secret mining efforts.