I’m guessing this has made its way onto these forums before, but dang. I love the eerie red honey content and recently had the unexpected pleasure of taking a second dose, but I never though to research its appearance in our allegedly real world.
That… is very interesting. Fascinating, actually, because I can’t help but link Rhododendron ponticum with the sidebar description of exile’s rose growing "from Pontus to Baetica." So I do some quick research on R. ponticum, and find that its range stretches from the eponymous Pontus to southern Spain, i.e. the Roman province of Baetica. At this point I officially stop blaming coincidence.
Now, Rhododendron is not Rosa; it is not biologically a rose. However, Rhododendron does translate as "rose tree," and the flowers share poetic connections and the same five-point geometry with true roses. It’s not that much of an imaginative jump to turn the Rhododendron ponticum with its hallucinogenic honey into the exile’s rose that transports one into a dream. Add in an even more sinister version that shares R. ponticum’s color and more dangerous tendencies, and voila.
Have I mentioned I love this game?
Absolutely, deliciously, stunningly awesome find. I am speechless, had no idea this could be based on true fact (should know better, right…)