Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ichneumon Rose

A climbing vine with tiny, almost unnoticable white flowers, often found growing within abandoned ruins, invading the upper levels of dungeons and crawling over the walls of many an isolated tower, the ichneumon rose has a tempting and deadly method of seeding more of its kind. Though the mature ichneumon has no strange powers of its own, the immature plants possess a unique suite of abilities which can be granted to their "host".

The small, dry-flesh rosehips of an ichneumon rose are seedless, the remnant of an ancestral means of reproduction. Instead, when ready to reproduce the vine injects a tiny, coiled seedling into any living being which inadvertently finds itself being stabbed by one of the plants' long needle-like thorns. After a day or two the seedling breaks painlessly through the host's skin - usually at the hollow of the throat, or near one temple - appearing a translucent green vinelet with tiny heart-shaped leaves. The seedling grants the following abilities to its host -- usable once a day each -- with the knowledge of these new powers automatically granted to the host:

- "hatching": detect magic
- 3 days: protection from evil, know alignment
- 1 week: sleep, cure light wounds
- 2 weeks: phantasmal force

At any point before the one-week mark, the seedling may be destroyed via cure disease or similar abilities. After that point, remove curse is also required in order to separate the seedling's influence from the host. After two weeks the seedling cannot be removed short of a wish or similar, and the host loses 2 points of Constitution a day until death as the seedling fuels itself one final time.

If left undisturbed, the new ichneumon rose will root itself in the corpse, but it can be transplanted if rich soil is supplied for it.

6 comments:

Rick said...

Yikes !!! Nice monster.

Chgowiz said...

I like this. Any thoughts about likelihood of getting nailed by thorns? 2in6 like a trap?

taichara said...

@Rick:

Yikes !!! Nice monster.

Thanks -- *grins*


@Chgowiz:

I like this. Any thoughts about likelihood of getting nailed by thorns? 2in6 like a trap?

2-in-6 works nicely, I think, especially if the PC or PCs are close to the vine. If they can put a healthy distance between -- or do so by accident -- 1-in-6 might be better.

I left the chances vague because I couldn't pinpont different odds in different situations. It can't leap to attack or anything of the sort, so it's a little more situational. Trap odds are a good default, though; nice suggestion!

Chgowiz said...

Yes, or making a decided attempt to avoid the vines would drop the chance to nil... unless there's a battle in the same room. :D

taichara said...

@Chgowiz:

Yes, or making a decided attempt to avoid the vines would drop the chance to nil... unless there's a battle in the same room. :D

Indeed :D

And then there's the people who will actually try to pick the thing ~

Chgowiz said...

And then there's the people who will actually try to pick the thing ~

Oh yes, puppies... that we want! :D

(The "oh yes puppies" is a quirky thing that my wife and I have gotten used to saying when we're excited about something - we always say that the dog is "losing his puppy head" when he gets all "wheee!" and runs around like crazy.)