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Dourdem root

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Dourdem root
Threat levelMedium
Major featuresBioluminescent bulbs, vine-like appendages, large florescent petals
AbilitiesSleep poison, djedivory
Most common inNyka, the Aperture

The "Dourdem Root", also known as the Glowlight, is a type of flora found in dark crevices of the Aperture, where the plant has developed a sinister technique for trapping its prey. As the Aperture is a dark place, with light reaching the lowest level for less than an hour on certain days, the plant has evolved mobile bioluminescent bulbs affixed to thin vines that snake along the walls of the Aperture. Once a potential victim is drawn into the light, the Dourdem reels back in its long appendages at a gradual speed, eventually bringing the victim within a few feet of the bulbous root. The bulb then deflates releasing a gas that causes the victim to become drowsy and quickly fall into a deep sleep. While sleeping, the Dourdem root will expose large fluorescent petals, these petals have tiny, fibrous hairs that absorb the Djed expelled while dreaming through a process of diffusion. The Dourdem is readily recognizable by the rather large, bulbous sac which it uses to expend poison every half an hour to keep its prey asleep until it either dies or gets killed by more physical means.


Description and Djedivory

The Dourdem is most recognizable for its tulipian petals and bulbous stem. When tiny feelers pick up the presence of Djed, the flower opens wide to further improve absorption. When no Djed is present the petals furl around each other, layering one petal atop the next like a tulip. The roots of the plant have absorbed minerals from the earth, giving the petals a soft fluorescent light and a vibrant array of colors. There are typically four to five large petals surrounding a single large stamen, while the remaining four stamen develop outside the center bulb into long, vine-like appendages. Each petal measures a maximum of five inches long and five inches across.

The roots stretch underground forming a protective cage around the central stem, they absorb nutrients from the earth giving the petals and stamen pods their fluorescent bioluminescence as well as providing operable nutrients for the plant. These nutrients allow it to function during the favorable seasons on a bare minimum sunlight which can be collected via the outstretching stamen. In the winter seasons the petals wither and fall off, the bulbous stem deflates and the roots feed off accumulated Djed.

The bulbous stem has split in two halves, one underground protected by the plants thick roots and one above ground that inflates or deflates depending on the proximity of the outer stamen. The stem itself is rather disproportionate forming a gourd like shape and is cordoned off in sections by a sphincter like opening at ground level. This is also the base of Djed-synthesis regulating the flow of Djed through the plant and converting a portion of it into the noxious vapors. The vapors dispersed in this manner have the potency of effective dosage in a large animal of .1 milligram per kilogram, inducing sleep within seconds of breathing in the fumes.

The four vine-like stamen have evolved several defining characteristics, including a bioluminescent pod at the tips and countless hairs that provide rapid movement along any solid surface. They can stretch a length of over 20 meters and retract at a rate of one inch per second. Each feeler hair retracts when any number of sensors at the stamen detect nearby life. The bulb itself is covered in hairs that detect movement across the luminescent portion, a common spot for insects and the more curious species. The stamen itself has a single olfactory nerve allowing it to pick up sudden changes in smell. As a fail safe the plant will retract up to a foot before waiting for the sense to be triggered again, either touch, Djed, or smell. This prevents false triggering and reduces energy expenditures, however once the sensor is cued a second time the stamen completely withdraws to the base.


After the Valterrian, when the Aperture formed, vast amounts energy was displaced. That power settled in many different forms but some was absorbed by the soil eventually becoming a sustaining force for the roots of an unassuming flower where it forced an evolution to cope with the harsh new environment. The Dourdem Root, no longer able to receive sufficient nutrients from the sun, began to feed on the new energy source abundant in all of life. Slowly over time the plant underwent several more evolutions to help it capture its prey from farther and farther away and keep the victim immobilized through the use of a poisonous gas that locks the victim in a deep slumber for long enough to drain them of their Djed.


The plant has many natural predators outside of the Aperture fissure, making survival outside the dark crevice almost impossible. It has lost most of its ability to convert sunlight into energy causing the many sensitive feelers to quickly become damaged. As such, it requires a dark, damp climate such as a cave, accompanied with a steady supply of Djed. There have been no attempts at a transplant however it is possible that one might prove successful in which case further evolution would make it a deadly force and with the open air the plant could quickly spread over the country side.

Life Cycle

It wilts in the late Autumn and blooms in early Spring as soon as the winter chill has lifted. During the fertile season, the root’s stem grows longer and the sac fills up with a single large seed which the wind will carry to fertile soil, often in futility. This is largely unsuccessful; with a life expectancy of up to 30 years and the petals effective radius of five meters, most sprouts that grow too close to the parent plant cannot sustain themselves and eventually shrivel up.

The Dourdem root has three phases: the budding phase when the seed grows into thick roots guarding a large sack, a blooming phase where the bulb peaks out above ground and large fluorescent petals open up, and then it starts to send out the outer stamen with bioluminescent bulbs at the tip for attracting prey while then the sack converts dormant Djed into a noxious poison causing the part of the bulb above ground to swell up in size. Finally, in the winter times, these resilient plants wilt down to just the root and feed off the accumulated Djed until spring.

Credit to Ezra Crenshaw