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Pumpkin was a ground vine that produced large, yellow-orange gourds (called pumpkins) with edible flesh, similar to squash in flavor and consistency, that were a staple crop in the north and central regions of Faerûn.[1][2][3][4]

Description[edit | edit source]

The tendrils of a pumpkin vine could grow quite lengthy and become thick and woody at the places where the gourds sprouted. Depending on conditions and cultivation, pumpkins could grow big enough that a medium-sized human could not get their arms around one, and would be hard-pressed to lift it unaided. Truly spectacular specimens were often grown by cloud giants in their gardens, producing pumpkins the size of a human carriage or caravan wagon.[5][6]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Pumpkins favored the temperate regions of Faerûn and were known to be cultivated in Cormyr,[3] the Dalelands,[2] the upper Dessarin Valley,[7] the Trielta Hills,[4] and along the Sword Coast.[8] But the best specimens came from the Goldenfields abbey east of Waterdeep.[1]

At some point in time, pumpkins were either relatively unknown, or scarce for some reason, because Aurora's Emporium of Waterdeep once sold an ounce of pumpkin seeds for twenty gold pieces, circa the mid–14th century DR.[9] But considering that over a hundred years later pumpkins were used for decoration in the City of Splendors, the shortage was only temporary.[10][note 1]

Pumpkins and squash on the docks of Waterdeep.

Pumpkins were also known to be eaten in Kara-Tur.[11]

Uses[edit | edit source]

The rind of a pumpkin was usually skinned and boiled to soften it, then used in soups[12] or mashed and used as a side dish.[2] It was also used to make desserts, such as pumpkin pie.[13] The many seeds found in each pumpkin gourd could be salted and roasted to make a crispy, chewy snack food, very popular in the Tashalar circa the late 15th century DR.[14]

Pumpkins were a big part of the Waterdhavian festival of Liar's Night, celebrated at the end of Marpenoth each year. Pumpkins and other gourds were hollowed out and a face was carved into each one to represent the facade of a person participating in the revel. A candle was placed inside and lit to represent the person's true self. It was considered bad luck for the candle to go out while the person was away at the festival. Likewise, anyone snuffing out someone else's candle or smashing their pumpkin risked drawing the enmity of both Mask and Leira.[10]

Pumpkins were one possible component for the head of a construct called a scarecrow.[15] A whole field of pumpkin plants could be conjured almost instantaneously as one possible outcome when using a bag of beans. Unfortunately, they grew, ripened, rotted, and exploded in a stinking cloud in a matter of moments, also leaving behind one or more evil scarecrows.[16][17]

If boulders were not handy, oversized pumpkins made a good substitute for hurling by giants with no change to range, accuracy, or damage to people and other soft targets.[18]

Rumors & Legends[edit | edit source]

The elves had a humorous myth about pumpkins being created by Aerdrie Faenya using the heads of orcs that were killed in innumerable battles. The joke was that the elves made much better use of the orcs' heads than the orcs ever did.[19]

Whenever a pumpkin grew unusually big in their garden, halflings believed it was the work of Yondalla showing them favor or bringing them luck.[20]

It was said by some topsiders that the cavern holding the Underdark city of Sshamath (full of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites connected by columns and bridges) resembled the stringy guts inside of a raw pumpkin.[21][22]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but Christopher Perkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1492 DR. Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1492 DR for events related to this sourcebook and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (which is referenced on pages 5 and 98 of Dragon Heist).

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Video Games
Sword Coast LegendsBaldur's Gate III

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brian Cortijo and Christopher Perkins (January 2013). “The Vulture's Feast”. In Kim Mohan, Miranda Horner eds. Dungeon #210 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  5. Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  6. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  7. Steven F. Johnson (March/April 1998). “Witches' Brew”. In Christopher Perkins ed. Dungeon #67 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19.
  8. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  9. Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  11. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 139. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  12. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  13. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 193. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  14. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 0786960345.
  15. Various Authors (May 2007). “Creature Catalog VI”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #355 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 51.
  16. Matthew Schutt (July 1991). “101 Surprises in a Bag of Beans”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #171 (TSR, Inc.), p. 118.
  17. slade et al (December 1994). Encyclopedia Magica Volume I. (TSR, Inc.), p. 129. ISBN 1560768428.
  18. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 198. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  19. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  20. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  21. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 176. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  22. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 89. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
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