Ghost lotus is a rare flower that grows in the Underworld—the only plant known to do so—and one which is valued by many. The ghost lotus is a pale grey in color, and it glows with a faint, white light when it is in bloom. People looking to harvest the flower generally do so while it is blooming, in order to find it by the soft light it radiates.
Because it is hard to find in the wild, and because the light cast by its bloom tends to draw the attention of shades and other Underworld denizens, it is rarely harvested by anyone other than phrenes. Like lotus flowers from the world of the living, it grows in water, generally in shallow pools near the many rivers which run through the Underworld. There are a few phrenes within Kheol who say that they cultivate the flower, but they are careful to keep the locations of these plants to themselves.
The ghost lotus is primarily valued for its magical properties, and parts of the flower are used in a variety of magical products, from tea to poison, and it finds use in various spells and rituals as well. Spellcasters of all stripes make the journey to Kheol simply to buy ghost lotus, and those that sell it with any regularity can make a decent living, as a single, whole flower can go for as much as three or four hundred coins. While the flowers themselves are rare and quite valuable, most products made from them use only a small amount of material from the flower itself, making those products much more reasonably priced.
The ghost lotus is also the unofficial symbol of the city, which has no heraldry or other iconography of its own as the Yamas do not seem to care about such things. But the image of the ghost lotus blossom adorns a number of buildings in different ways, often coupled with some other image that is relevant to the person using the lotus imagery. It is also a favorite of Sanguineous Tehom, who thinks the plants are beautiful and always manages to have some fresh cut blossoms decorating parts of his Scriptorium Sepulcher. Nobody knows where he gets these flowers, and some have risked death, or worse, to find out.
Ghost Lotus Oil Cost: 25 Usage Die d6
Rubbing this oil onto a weapon will allow it to harm incorporeal creatures. Rubbing it on armor will allow that armor to protect against the attacks of incorporeal creatures. One use lasts for 1 hour.
Ghost Lotus Tea Cost: 75 Usage Die d6
Grants the drinker the ability to Speak with Dead, as per the spell, but does not require a nearby corpse.
Ghost Lotus Poison Cost: 100 Usage Die d4
If mixed into food or drink, this poison deals 2d8 damage. If used on a weapon, this damage is added to the normal damage of the attack. If the target dies as a result of this damage, they return as a zombie within 1 hour.
Artwork: “Shop in Paris,” by Euène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, from Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle, vol. 2 , by Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, 1875