Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Gossamer on August 18th, 2018, 1:07 am

Monster Manual Challenge!


That's right! We have a new challenge that will encompass this weekend and through the next weekend. I want to give everyone plenty of time to get an entry in because its coming close to the Season Change and I want to make sure people have time to get threads done as well.

What is the challenge? Create a UNIQUE monster to the site! We want you to craft a unique monster roaming Mizahar.


What you need to include...

Overview
Appearance
History
Diet
Reproduction and Social structure
Behavior
Captivity

In addition.....

We'd like sidebar information...

(Type of Monster) = see Wiki for more information
Picture
Frequency
Threat level
Major features
Abilities
Most common in


Entries are due by 9pm PST Sunday August 26th. This gives you the entire week. Prizes will be announced at the closing of the contest on Sunday. Winners will be announced Monday after voting. You can post multiple entries. :)

Entries MUST be original.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Gossamer on August 18th, 2018, 1:11 am

Types of Monsters can be found here: http://www.mizahar.com/lore/Monster
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Lua Petri on August 18th, 2018, 11:15 pm

Penomou (pehn-NOH-mahw)Image

Type: Fauna
Frequency: Uncommon
Threat level: Medium, High if provoked
Major features: Antlers, large body
Abilities: 50 mph running speed, powerful antler and hoof attacks
Most common in: Taldera

Appearance
Penomou are large moose-like creatures. Bulls can stand up to 15 feet tall at the shoulder, weighing roughly 3,500 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, standing 12 feet tall and weighing a little more than 2,700 pounds. Males have three pairs of antlers, as shown in the picture above, while females only have the one on the top of their heads They have three-toed hooves on their front legs, and two-toed hooves on the back. They have sharp incisors and canines for tearing and piercing, and wide flat molars for crushing and grinding.

History
Before the Valterrian, Penomou were creatures who were hunted for sport. Their meat was tough and difficult to process, so their main value were their antlers. By BV/AV 0, their range was a small area near modern-day Novallas. When the Valterrian occured, destroying most of humanity and reshaping Mizahar, their main threat had disappeared. Their numbers grew and their range widened until today where they can be found all across Taldera as well as some parts of northern Sylira.

Diet
Penomou are omnivores, but their diet mainly consists of meat. Their most common prey include deer and foxes, but will go after larger or more difficult prey when food is scarce like bears or even human settlements. They also eat leaves, berries, and fruit. Their teeth are strong enough to crush bones and often eat their prey bones, fur, and all. They also eat fruits whole, crushing the seeds and digesting it. In some areas of Taldera, where the Penomou call home, the saying "have the stomach of a Penomou" is common and means that the person can eat anything, even things most people cannot.

Reproduction and Social Structure
Penomou are polygynous, with one alpha bull and numerous cows and their calves. Male calves are part of the herd until they mature at 2 years, which is when the alpha will attack them. Two outcomes will come of this: the young bull will be killed, or he will flee to be on his own. Female calves mature in 1 year, and stay as part of the herd. Bulls who flee from herds can either stay on their own, which usually ends up in an early death, or attempt to make their own herd. They will enter another herd and challenge the current alpha to a fight to the death. If he wins, he becomes the new alpha.

The average lifespan for both male and females are 30 years. Females go through heat during spring, and give birth within three seasons' time.

Behavior
Penomou are very territorial, herds often fighting each other for land. If in these fights an alpha dies, the two herds are combined and the surviving alpha becomes alpha of one giant herd. If another creature comes near or even directly approaches a herd, they will be defensive and stare them down. They usually do not attack first unless food has been scarce, and when they are provoked their attacks are brutal. They attack with their multiple sets of antlers and hooves. Their front teeth are sharp enough to crush bone, though they are mostly used for eating. Calves are particularly helpless, and are subject to hunting by predators. The adults will attack, but if they see the calf is a lost cause they will leave.

Captivity
Penomou are not creatures that accept a captive lifestyle. If attempted to be captured, it will fight. And if one is foolish enough to try to rope in a penomou when they are near a herd, that heard will attack to save them. There have been attempts to tame them to use a battle mounts, but these have all failed due to the beast's resistance to leaving its herd.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Nahaali on August 19th, 2018, 12:00 am

Nadirst
Image
Common Artist's Depiction

Type: Relic
Frequency: Very rare
Threat level: High
Major features: Non-corporeal
Abilities: Air reimancy
Most common in: Plains

Appearance
Nadirst, "We are Veiled" in the ancient tongue, are beings that seem to be made of pure Djed. They are not seen as much as felt, those who are nearby feeling a unique sensation similar to a cold breeze when near one. When depicted in art, they are humanoids made of wind, but in reality are thought to be formless and just a ever-changing mass of Djed.

History
Nadirst have been recorded for as long as humans could record. Before the Valterrian, they were much more common and caused the deaths of many humans. During the Valterrian, however, many Nadirst simply combined with each other instead of being destroyed. It makes sense, since they're made of pure Djed and Djed cannot be destroyed.

Diet
Nadirst do not eat so much as they "absorb". They suck the djed out of living things, in the process shrinking it into an empty husk. The process can take anywhere from three seconds to a whole minute, depending on how much Djed the being has, how powerful the Djed is, and if they try to resist. Beings like plants and lesser animals take less time, while humans and other sentient creatures take longer.

Reproduction and Social Structure
Nadirst do not reproduce, nor do they die. The Nadirst simply are. They have been around since the beginning of time, and they will likely exist until the end. Since humans have never been able to investigate them without being attacked, and when they are attacked most die, their social structure remains a mystery. Many believe they are not social beings, mostly being isolated from each other until they combine into one.

Behavior
Just as Djed transforms, Nadirst do as well in a sense that they often combine and seperate from each other according to their strength. Many people call them "Beings of A Thousand Souls" because it's possible that one single Nadirst can be made up of thousands of weaker Nadirst. When a Nadirst grows particularly powerful, it explodes and seperates into multiple weaker Nadirst.

When it comes to humans, they are extremely hostile and will attack on sight. Since they are invisible to the naked eye, most humans will not realize they are being attacked until they feel their Djed being sucked from them and they are dying. Only very powerful wizards can escape from an attack, but will often be left with much less power than before.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 20th, 2018, 10:23 pm

MAULHORN
Image

TYPE: Fauna
FREQUENCY: Rare
THREAT LEVEL: Medium/high
MAJOR FEATURES: Large antlers, glowing eyes
ABILITIES: Extremely agile, can see clearly in the dark
MOST COMMON IN: North and Western Kalea

APPEARANCE
The Maulhorn essentially looks like a deer, however there are some very distinct and obvious differences between a regular deer and a Maulhorn. For a start, the Maulhorn is on average 8 feet tall, not including the antlers. Antlers can grow to be up to 6 feet long and have numerous wickedly sharp points.
Aside from its size, the most prominent feature of the Maulhorn is the eyes, which appear to glow green. They have no pupils. The Maulhorn possess razor sharp, pointed teeth and the hooves on all four feet are equally sharp and perfectly capable of tearing through bear hide. The only difference between male and female Maulhorn’s is the size. Females are on average 7 feet tall and the antlers are also slightly smaller, but still pointed like the males.

HISTORY
Before the Valterrian, the Maulhorn was a lot more common and much more widespread, once roaming through the lower forests all over Kalea and through into Taldera. Some used to call them evil spirits of the forest and they were often hunted by those who wanted to prove themselves brave, for the enormous antlers made a worthy prize.
When the Valterrian occurred, Maulhorn numbers dropped drastically, and the creatures became something of a legend. What was left of the population was concentrated mainly in Western Kalea, and they learned to adapt to live better on the mountains. Many people don’t believe the Maulhorn exists in the wilds any more.

DIET
The Maulhorn is carnivorous and preys mainly on the larger animals that roam Kalea. Wolves, foxes and deer make up the bulk of their diet, but they will also prey on what are considered to be the more dangerous creatures. Bears and lions are not too difficult for a Maulhorn to take down. In tougher times, they may resort to small animals such as rabbits, but they would need to find a lot of them to sate their hunger. A Maulhorn will also kill and eat a human if it comes into contact with one, but their scarcity means that this is an incredibly rare occurrence.

REPRODUCTION & SOCIAL STRUCTURE
Maulhorn’s are largely solitary creatures, each one roaming over a large territory, although females often have boundaries overlapping those of males. They come together on two occasions – to mate, or to fight. Fights are usually over territory, and less often over a female. They are violent and often end in the death of one participant.
Maulhorn’s can live upwards of 50 years, and a female cannot reproduce until after their 20th year. They will only ever have a single offspring at a time, which takes 8 years to mature and leave the parent.

BEHAVIOUR
Maulhorn’s are incredibly territorial within their own species and will always fight if a boundary is crossed. More than half of these fights ends in a death. The Maulhorn usually stays deep in the forests with little need to venture into more open lands until prey becomes scarce.
They usually move around slowly and are incredibly silent when they do so. The slowness is simply to conserve energy, for in reality the Maulhorn is extremely fast and very agile, able to weave through trees at speed with no problems. A Maulhorn will usually try to charge its prey first and spear it with the point of an antler. Failing that they will then attempt to trample it under their sharp hooves.
Maulhorns are most active at night. They can see incredibly clearly in the dark which gives them a huge advantage while hunting.

CAPTIVITY
Nobody has ever managed to capture a live Maulhorn. They are far too large and become too violent for attempts to succeed. It is likely that if anyone was ever able to capture a Maulhorn they would struggle to keep it contained for very long.


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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Mauriel on August 21st, 2018, 1:44 pm

Meenoc

Image


Type: Relic
Frequency: Very Rare
Threat level: Medium
Major features: Pathfinders, usually formless, drive people paranoid
Abilities: Pathfinding, illusion of form at night
Most common in: Kalea, Falyndar

Overview: Meenocs are solitary creatures who use the ancient magic of Pathfinding to follow their targets around. They normally don't have a body visible to the races, but they can take forms at night. They usually briefly appear as an eye in the dark, although they may take other forms that scare the person they've been following. They can't do any physical harm, but they have been known to drive people mad or trick them into harming others.

Appearance: Meenocs are formless creatures comprised of Djed, invisible to the races. They can be detected through Auristics or Pathfinding, as well as some Gnosis marks, such as several marks of Telepathy, but they still will not have a form or mind comprehensible to a person used to the materialist world. At night, they're known to take various forms that people instinctively find scary, especially a focused predatory eye or pair of eyes. They take these forms only for split seconds, to arouse both imagination and doubt in their targets.

History: Before Humans came to Mizahar, Meenocs were a complex immortal social species, with ability to see and communicate through patterns of shapes they were taking at night, as well as use various forms of magic. They were friendly to other Relics, but were highly territorial with any other type of creature. Naturally, they didn't like the arrival of Humans who spread throughout the continent. They banded together to hunt them, and slaughtered them, usually leaving one or two alive to spread the word. They always attacked at night, and they usually followed the ones who they've left alive and used their illusory shapes to further scare them.
Humans started fearing the night, and increasingly everything associated with it. This had angered Leth, who had Syna curse these creatures with blindness, so they cannot see each other and thus cannot communicate, damning them to a life of loneliness and anger. He also appealed to Dira to make them mortal, which she eagerly did, in a way that severely limited their powers by making them die when they consume too much Djed. That's when the hunt turned around, and they were almost exterminated. The few of them that are left, roam around looking for targets to take their anger out on.
Over time, due to their increasing rarity, Meenocs got removed from fairy tales and legends, and replaced with creatures people were still actively fearing. Modern people know nothing of their existence and wouldn't recognize their influence once it starts.

Diet: Menocs don't need to feed for sustenance. Although they're creatures made of Djed and do absorb some of it from the environment, taking it too much of it pushes them into overdrive, causing death.

Reproduction and Social structure: Meenocs have no ability to reproduce or communicate with each other.

Behavior: Meenocs live in Mizaharian wild or float above oceans, aimlessly practicing their Pathfinding on whichaver trails they come across, but ultimately giving them all up. When they encounter a person, they're imprinted on them, and Meenoc will follow them forever. When a person dies, Meenoc will wait for another target, but otherwise they won't leave their target alone unless they're killed. If the person tries to lose them by traveling, they'll use their Pathfinding skills to try and find them, and usually eventually will.
Meenocs can take visible illusory forms at night, and will use them to scare the person they're following, and sometimes to drive them to hurt others (e.g. shoot an arrow in the direction of another person). They will usually appear for a brief moment, and so that only that person can see them, before disappearing. This is done so the person is even unsure whether it's their imagination or are they seeing something. With time, Meenocs will start appearing more and more frequently, raising the anticipation and fear.
They're susceptible to Gnosis mark powers, they can be communicated with using Telepathy for example, but they won't say anything comprehensible to the bearer, they may even just send a scary image back. The only way to get rid of them is to kill them by infusing them with a high quantity of Djed, concentrated by any powerful Djed-based magic discipline.
It's important to note that they don't use any form of magic to make their target scared, the fear comes about naturally. This means that if the target realizes what's going on and is able to adjust their emotional responses, they can go on living with a Meenoc following them without any problems. Sometimes, however, people will overadjust and not be mindful of real threats because they perceive them as imaginative. Whichever the case, because Meenocs have been forgotten by culture, most people don't recognize their influence as illusory and think either that they're going mad or that they're haunted by something more dangerous.


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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Gossamer on August 23rd, 2018, 3:00 am

Please note, your entries must be DETAILED. Entries that have writing like 'The ____ of the ____ is unknown..." Will be disqualified. Like all potential lore articles, these entries must contain very detailed information. It's something of a cop-out to develop something and then say its details are 'unknown'.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Trynne on August 23rd, 2018, 11:05 am

Capocha Korhea
Image

Type of Monster: Fauna
Frequency: Uncommon
Threat level: Low, high when exposed to external light sources
Major features: Glowing lines across bodies
Abilities: Bioluminescent, venomous and corrosive bite, web spinning
Most common in: Dark or subterranean areas of Syliras

Overview
A bioluminescent spider like creature found in dark or subterranean areas of Syliras. They usually are found in large groups and are mostly harmless, though can become dangerous when exposed to external light sources

Appearance
The Capocha Korhea is a spider like creature that has a span around two to six inches and long spindly legs. It is a dark blue in colour with translucent lines running across its body, though this is rarely noted by those who encounter it. The most notable feature of the Capocha Korhea is the blue glow that it emits from the translucent lines along its body with some points at the joints of its legs glowing a slightly more greenish tinge.
They each have eight eyes, though this has only been observed by those studying their dead, and each spider has a small pair of pointy fangs in their mouth to allow them to inject their venom into their victim.

History
The Capocha Korhea were first observed before the Valterrian, though at that point they were simple spiders that were dark blue in colour and had a dangerous bite that they attacked with when exposed to the light. Pre-Valterrian researchers believed that their colourings came from various mosses that the spiders were exposed to in their subterranean homes.
During the Valterrian these spiders were mostly unaffected due to being hidden away underground, though some of the died that washed over the world interfered with them, giving them their bioluminescence and making their bite even more deadly.

Diet
These spiders aren’t picky about what they’ll eat, as long as it’s some sort of meat or fungus. Primarily they will feed on whatever insects and small creatures get caught in their web, though if they come across a humanoid body (or even kill one themselves) they will feast on the decaying corpse and keep themselves sustained for an even longer amount of time.
They kill their prey using the venom in their fangs. This venom is potent and corrosive, and can kill a full grown adult humanoid within two days. On top of that, the corrosive nature of the bite can leave open sores on the humanoids body which can be difficult to keep clean and prevent infection in.

Reproduction and Social structure
As a type of spider, the Capocha Korhea’s reproduction cycle is fairly violent. A male and a female spider is required for reproduction, and after mating the male will die, leaving its corpse for the female to consume. Unlike many spiders, the female gives birth the live year after four months of gestation, and once this has occurred the female will die and be feasted upon by her young. After half a season, these young will be fully fledged adult Capocha Korhea. If these spiders live a further five years, these will be considered elder Capocha Korhea and are in a state of decay and dying that will consume them once they reach around six years of age.
Adult Capocha Korhea live in large groups, often ranging from twenty spiders to over a hundred, though if the amount of spiders exceeds the space allowed for, they will fight each other until a balance has been restored.

Behavior
When light has been kept away from the Capocha Korhea’s territory, they will behave fairly calmly and friendly. In this state it is fairly safe to allow one to crawl over you and they are unlikely to bite. Most injuries inflicted by the spiders when there is an absence of light are usually caused by leaking venoms from elder spiders.
During this state, the spiders will spend most of their time spinning large webs throughout their territory.
When an external light source is introduced to their territory, the spiders will become highly aggressive, attempting to attack whoever brought the light into their territory. They will leave their territory in order to attack those who brought the light, though once they lose sight of the enemy they will relent and return to their own territory.

Captivity
Capocha Korhea are not easily kept in captivity and only dead specimens have ever been brought away from their groups for research purposes, usually for poison extraction, or attempted research into their bioluminescent nature.
Taking a live spider from its territory is possible though if it is exposed to light it will attack. Because of this it is not advised to take a live Capocha Korhea into captivity.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Allassanachassanya on August 23rd, 2018, 4:01 pm

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The Iniss

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Type of Monster: Valterric
Frequency: Rare
Threat Level: High
Major Features: Swirling shadows, humanoid, jagged stone protrusions
Abilities: Earth, air, and water reimancy, shadow creation, projectiles wreathed and carried by shadows, camouflage
Most Common In: Anywhere, city suburbs/boundaries

Overview
The Iniss is a miserable creature born from the ultimate violence of the Valterrian. Once, the Iniss was a human mage. Although humanoid in shape, it has long since lost its humanity and exists in a state of perpetual fear, hate, and envy over everything sentient, living beings represent. The Iniss is a lone monster that has a considerable power when it comes to manipulation of shadows and malevolent earth reimancy in particular, and is a fused hybrid of human and gordios. It has an extraordinarily long life, although it is not completely immune to death.

Appearance
The Iniss is human in its overall shape. Roughly five and a half foot tall, it is slim and slightly stooped, and completely hairless. Its skin is almost soil-toned, blotchy and hard to the touch. It is shot through with streaks of darkness that run just under the surface and are in constant, swirling movement. Its head is rounded and wizened, with no discernible features except perhaps the gaping, ragged maw of its mouth, bristling with broken, sharp stones and seeping teeth. The mouth is far larger than it should be and there are scars at the edges of the lips which indicate that it has been torn wider over time.

The Iniss is covered in scars and wounds that have healed or been patched up, but its legs are the worst affected, and it walks with bare feet whose toes have been completely severed. This gives it the effect of walking on stubs. Across its body are small to medium protrusions of stone and a glass-like substance that is grey and razor-sharp. If one was able to cut open the Iniss, one would find a mess of twisted root-like stones and wet earth, surrounding a swirling anti-light, pitch-black core interlinked with its ruby red heart. Its arms are long and strong, covered with sheaths of crumbling earth and flaking stone, and its arms and hands trail swelling shadows and pus-like Res. At first glance, the Iniss appears horrific and relatively weak, but its skill lies beneath the surface and it is stronger than it looks.

History
Once, before the Valterrian, the Iniss was known by a very different name: Amera. She was an expert earth Reimancer and Familiary mage, with several other magical skills under her belt, in particular Shielding and Glyphing. Amera was bonded with a Gordios named Eses. The two worked incredibly well together, as their natures were similar. Both relished secrets, and both closely guarded their own and each other. Amera was famously shrewd, known for being blunt and to the point, if she spoke at all. Nevertheless, she was well-regarded in the Alahean Empire, for she had a skill that many sought but only a few could afford. Amera took secrets and buried them underground in secure vaults that only she and Eses knew how to access. Some say she hid terrors that should never have been created; others that she had records of secret affairs that could destroy a dynasty, should they get out. However, they never did, due to Amera’s skills and Eses’ ability to identify excellent hiding places.

When the Valterrian hit, Amera and Eses succumbed to the powers and forces raging and clawing across the surface of Mizahar, but they did not die. Instead, by freak accident, their Chavi became entwined and their Djed melded with each other to form a new being, one that would eventually become known as the Iniss.

In the time directly after the cataclysm, Amera wandered amongst the charred and deformed landscape, full of such overwhelming fear over her new, malformed existence that it grew into madness. Where once there was one consciousness, now there was two in the same body, occupying the same space. Amera was no longer human, and no longer truly Amera. When humanity first started to re-emerge after the Valterrian, the twisted creature that was Amera and Eses combined could only look on with a deep-seated envy and vicious self-hatred. Whenever she was seen she was attacked and repelled, and eventually picked up the Iniss as a name and title, which originated from tales told in the darkness amongst travellers.

Fear and envy turned to a bitter hatred of anything living. She travelled across Mizahar, both attracted to and repelled by the cities that were gradually beginning to form again. Ever seeking to become accepted once again, Amera targeted a newly forming Sunberth in the hopes of showing that she could live amongst them. Instead, she was seen as the monster she had become, and was almost killed in the ensuing fight. It was this event which finally convinced her that she could never trust humanity again and instilled within her a sense of hatred and viciousness that she retains to this day. She fled, and has been wandering Mizahar ever since, knowing she cannot ever return to her old life, yet nevertheless seeking that which can never be and refusing to move on.

Abilities
The Iniss is defined by its fused nature with the Gordios, and as such one of its main abilities and defining features are the shadows. These dwell within the Iniss’ body, and can project outwards so long as it is not in direct sunlight. The shadows cannot inherently harm, but the Iniss often combines them with reimancy, which can. This often comes in the form of spiked projectiles, such as stone stakes. These are sheathed in shadow, thus making them difficult to detect, and are then released on the hapless victim.

However, this is not the only ability that the Iniss possesses. Another feature is its ability to hide in plain sight, through clever camouflage skills gained from the Gordios. It has become adept at hiding in plain sight over the years, and can even infiltrate to the outskirts of cities as long as it is careful.

It is capable of thought, although as it is mainly mad it doesn’t do that often. Such thoughts are two consciences vying with each other in a self-defeating spiral into further madness. It is impossible to reason with the creature, and doing so will usually result in death or injury at least.

Diet
The Iniss eats roots, leaves, berries, and occasionally scavenges for fresh corpses of animals and people if available. It usually prefers carrion meat over having to hunt. A meal, even tiny, can sustain it for much longer than most sentient species, a peculiar quirk of the transformation of the Valterrian.

Reproduction and Social structure
The Iniss is long past being able to reproduce. It has no social structure, as it is a solitary creature that cannot be accepted into ordinary society.

Behavior
Most of the time, the Iniss is either wandering through the wilderness, finding meagre sustenance, or otherwise it is nearby to cities, greedily and warily gazing within. It does not speak, although it has been known to emit certain sounds that could be speech, but more often fall into the realms of screeches or piercing, garbled howls. It is a completely unknown fact that the Iniss tends to favour the places where Amera once secreted the underground vaults, although whether those creations still exist any more is unlikely. Nevertheless, the Iniss is mostly random in its actions and activities, often-times secretive, other times aggressive and agitated. If discovered or provoked in any way, it is likely to attack. The Iniss sometimes makes nests, which are miserable holes dug into the earth and covered over with a rudimentary roof of stone crafted from Reimancy. These are especially prevalent during the colder seasons, and they are usually full of rotting flesh from creatures long departed from life, their decaying corpses providing enough warmth and food to survive particularly bad spells.

Captivity
The Iniss can only be driven away, or killed. It will not tolerate capture or study.
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Week Writing Challenge (18-26th)

Postby Anais Seawind on August 24th, 2018, 4:53 am

Red Silence (also Bloody Silence, Deathbloom, Red n'Dead)

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Type: Flora
Frequency: Uncommon
Threat level: Very Low - Low
Major features: Multitude of red-tipped petals, easily dislodged pollen
Abilities: Pollen has long-lasting paralytic properties, can be delivered via direct and airborne transmission
Most common in: Humid environments (rainforest, swamp): Cyphrus, Syka; Red Silence cannot survive in consistently cold climates and may appear sporadically in areas with humid seasonal weather at least one season out of the year

Overview: Semi-sentient, passive-opportunistic predatory flora capable of "attacking" its prey with paralytic pollen

Appearance: The Red Silence has a mounding growth pattern, and can reach heights of 16-24 inches. It is considered a fast-growing plant, reaching its mature size in less than 2 seasons. After maturity, the Red Silence begins to send out mother-roots, independent of its taproot, whose express purpose is to propagate the plant. These mother-roots extend approximately 24-32 inches out from the main plants and will begin producing new plants (pups) within 2 seasons' time.

The foliage of the Red Silence is lush and vibrant, ranging from yellow-green tones to deep, nearly black ones. The color variations are indicative of how recently and what type of life it has most recently fed on. Yellowish, lighter tones can indicate that the Red Silence has not fed recently, or has fed on substandard (small) life forms such as mice or small birds. A darker growth of foliage indicates a more recent or higher quality (large) food intake as in humans or large animals.

The flower of the Red Silence is an attractive, many-petaled specimen. The buds appear as pure white, small, and tightly wrapped. As the Red Silence begins to bloom, red gradually appears at the tips of each petal, streaking inward, creating a colorful display that often attracts birds and other omnivores (and humans unaware of the Red Silence's more sinister properties). An invisible dusting of pollen liberally covers all petals of the flower, and is easily dislodged with the lightest breeze or movement of the plant.

History: The Red Silence appears to be a descendant of the common chrysanthemum, although its specific evolutionary path has not been charted. Of those able to recognize the plant (L4 Herbalism), most have been unable to study it outside of its naturally occurring environs, due to difficulty in cultivation (see below). The first recorded mention of the Red Silence is dated 372AV, where contact appears to have been limited and accidental, and properties of note included only the striking color of the petals and surprising lack of scent. Herbalists since have posited that the plant continued to evolve after this recording, as any attempts to smell the flower of the Red Silence now result in a direct exposure to the paralytic pollen that is it's means of obtaining food.

Diet: Red Silence requires continually moist, well-drained soil. A location receiving sunlight for no more than 5 bells per day can be tolerated, but shady growing conditions are preferred. Soil content must be high in organic matter.

Reproduction and Social structure: The Red Silence is assumed to be at least semi-sentient, however has no social structure to speak of. Reproduction is achieved via underground rooting. With sufficient food supply, the Red Silence can be expected to grow by 5-10% yearly, in an outwardly-spreading pattern. A typical Red Silence plant, in ideal conditions, can be expected to live not more than 2 years; a lack of food and/or water, or an abundance of sunlight can significantly shorten the life expectancy of these plants.

Behavior: Interesting to note, the Red Silence appears to be at least semi-sentient. While it is unable to communicate through traditional means, studies indicate that the plant does react to outside physical stimuli (slicing, cutting, crushing) with writhing and spasms. Herbalists and scholars have studied this reaction, largely in the field, and documented that the plant seems oblivious to visual or audible stimuli, and mildly reactive to changes in temperature (extreme heat has consistently produced the same reaction as physical stimuli, suggesting the plant is reacting to pain/threat factors). Studies are ongoing, but hindered by the difficulty in cultivation (see below).

The Red Silence uses color as its first attractant; the bright red tips of its leaves attract many small bugs and birds to the plant. Once approached, the plant's main weapon is passively distributed; a pollen with a highly potent paralytic effect liberally coats all petals of a mature Red Silence flower. This pollen is easily transmitted through direct contact with the plant and through airborne means, therefor inhalation and direct skin contact are both viable means of exposure to the paralytic. Once exposed, the powerful paralytic has a nearly instantaneous effect; victims weighing less than 150lbs are immediately rendered immobile, while those weighing more are affected more slowly.

In the case of a fully paralyzed victim, the only escape from eventual death is through outside intervention (ex: being removed from the plant's vicinity by a traveling companion, in which case paralysis will remain until the pollen's paralytic effect has worn off. This can take anywhere form 3-12 bells, depending on level of exposure). Otherwise, the unfortunate victim, felled near the plant will simply continue to be exposed to the paralytic, unable to move or call out, until starvation sets in.

The Red Silence, through its growth process, saturates the ground near it with an oil which speeds decomposition, allowing the plant to make quick use of any and all who wander close enough to fall prey to its paralytic pollen. In cases of particularly large victims, decomposition may begin before actual death.

Captivity/Cultivation: Red Silence can be cultivated, with the proper skill (L4 Botany), and provided the conditions of temperature and humidity are met. Whole-plant transplants of mature specimens are the only viable method of obtaining the Red Silence, but the process is made difficult by the plant's rooting system: Red Silence sends a very long, but remarkably thin taproot up to 1 meter into the ground. If the taproot is not taken in its entirety, and undamaged, the plant will struggle and ultimately perish, even if all other necessary growing conditions are met.

Pups are unfit for transplant, as they are entirely dependent on the main plant until their own taproot is fully formed. Removing a pup from the main plant without a taproot intact will result in a smaller, dead plant.

Conclusion: While the Red Silence does not appear to be an active predator, its nature and characteristics make the plant a viable threat to travelers who are unfamiliar with the dangerous nature of this flora. Additionally, studies are ongoing to determine what level of sentience the plant possesses, and what effect sentience would have, if any, on the plant's threat level. Thus far, no uses have been found for any part of the plant, although several enterprising poisoncrafters have attempted, unsuccessfully, to craft a poison from the pollen.
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Anais Seawind
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