The plant from which these unusual fruits hail hardly appears remarkable, resembling a broad aloe plant, with deep green leaves arranged in clusters with the berries growing in bunches around their base. The berries are a light yellowish green, with very firm flesh, and nearly perfectly spherical, about an inch in radius when fully grown. In daylight, the entire plant has a thoroughly humble and unassuming appearance. In dark or shadowed areas, however, the remarkable nature of the berries is starkly revealed, as the dozens of bioluminescent seeds inside the berry emit a soft green light.
These plants are usually found in thickly forested regions, given their preference for diffuse, indirect light. They are common throughout the northern temperate latitudes; indeed, a forest without several thriving populations of these bushes would be quite rare, and glow berries are perhaps the most easy herbal component for local practitioners to obtain.
The berries are quite sturdy, and easy to store and handle. They dry quickly when removed from the plant, and the medicinally active properties do not survive, unless the drying takes place in direct sunlight. Choose a sunny day for drying glow berries, and at first light, place them at least an inch apart from each other on a screen or other device which allows unfettered air flow. Leave them exposed to the sun for as long as possible; ten hours or more is ideal. When prepared in this way, the berries will retain efficacy for a season or more.
The precise mechanism by which glow berries impart their remarkable properties into herbal remedies is not deeply understood. It is theorized among many learned sages, including the present author, that a glow berry functions as a natural battery, absorbing latent positive energy from the environment and storing it in its seeds. It is this positive energy which causes glow berries’ most common product, minor restoration potions, to glow when brought near a living being. Such potions combine the energy of the glow berry with the antitoxic properties of Hallowseeds, and are among the first highly practical concoctions which most herbalists learn to brew. Also of note is the reagent known as essence of purity, which as its name suggests is a purifying factor in several alchemical techniques, including the production of incense sufficiently free of foreign contaminant that it may be put to use in a wide array of spellcasting rituals which demand precise governance of their components.
Glow berries are quite tart, resembling to the tongue a fresh spring rhubarb. Though the seeds within the berry are enclosed in a hull which is rather tough when raw, the berries soften quickly and considerably with heat, and can be put to use in cooked applications in much the same way as blueberries. The author fondly notes that the hinfolk of Bendir Dale have become quite proficient in the incorporation of glow berries into various dishes, which are noteworthy not only for their culinary appeal, but also for the striking appearance of a pastry which retains the berries’ luminescence even through the process of baking. Even the most accomplished herbalist cannot truly claim to understand the charm of glow berries without having eaten a slice of glowing pie.