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Monday, August 3, 2009

Grim Monday: Insidious Plants

Today's article includes a few seemingly innocuous plants that are something quite different in reality. Nobody expects trouble from a plant, do they?

Peeper Moss
This low growing, moisture-loving moss commonly grows in rocky areas near streams, springs or bogs, clinging to rocks and fallen trees. Its usual form is a clump the size of a spread hand, with a number of stringy tendrils rising from a central mass. Each of these tendrils ends in a globular appendage which bears a strong resemblance to a partially opened eye. These appendages give the plant its name.
Unfortunately for travelers, the plant is an ideal target for divination magic. A skilled mage can establish a scrying link to moss colonies with very little effort (Great bonus to divination magic using a pinch of the plant to establish a link with the original colony). Once a link is established a single round's concentration allows the mage to view the area from the colony's point of view. This link remains even if the plant is transplanted, making it both a boon and a hazard.

Wire Vine

This dark green, slender vine grows in open fields and prairies, its tough low-growing stems and thin, grass-like leaves giving it enough resilience to survive grazing herds. It grows in broad spidery networks of vines that blend in with native grasses, making it difficult to spot.
Wire Vine is a scavenger plant, feeding on any organic matter that touches its wide-spread network of vines. When it senses a food source it will immediately send forth tough, fast-growing tendrils to take advantage of the situation. These tendrils can grow two or three feet in a few hours, quickly penetrating and entangling anything left within their reach. Though living creatures are usually not threatened by this behavior (though an incapacitated individual might be), anything else left on the ground will be consumed within a few hours.

Mimic Fruit

Not a true plant at all, much less fruit, Mimic Fruit is a puffball-like fungus that forms hanging colonies on fruit trees that exactly resemble the tree's normal produce. These colonies are normally benign, but if disturbed, they collapse and spray forth a cloud of spores in a ten foot radius, causing temporary blindness and disorientation to anyone within the area of effect (Good resistance check to avoid these effects).

For more vegetative goodness see the previous article featuring the Carnivorous Water Lily.
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