He was frantically pointing towards the glowing mountain. “We need to cast The Spell!”, Bothar screamed!
I held up the scroll we all had risked our lives to get. “Nobody can cast this spell without a prepared mystic space and ritual equipment. It would be suicide,” I said. “Not even him,” I jerked my thumb towards the Magi who smiled slyly.
Silently, he unstrapped that bolt of cloth he had been carrying since I had known him. He unfurled it, tamped it down, with small spikes, pulled a small apothecary chest out, placed and lit four candles on the cloth, drew some lines with some handy chalk, unpacked his remaining tools, then he held his hand out expectantly for the scroll. It took a fraction of a candle mark.
“Solomontic Rug,” he said quietly. “The key to mastery is knowing and having the right tools, be they physical, mental, or magical, and having them ready when you need them.”
A wild species, vinus homophagus, more akin to sea-grape rather than the terrestrial variety, is not a monster despite its fanciful name. The grapes, a deep purple color when in bloom, and oozing dewdrops of perspiration, like the most prized and delectable of drinking wine grapes, do however deserve their moniker. Wine made from this fruit, is deadly to most humanoids, as is the raw berry if plucked and eaten from the vine. It is the unnatural chemical concoction found within the fruit’s tart skin, which gives the man-eating grape its name. The chemical stew found inside each berry, functions as a necrotic agent, the same as found in some species of venomous snakes.
The grapes literally eat their victims from the inside out, via cell death, melting and destroying the organs in quick succession.
The tribes of Pra-Oohk Crater, of the jungles of Ghlush are known to sell the fermented “wine” of this grape to merchants of distant lands. Sadly, the taste of the concoction is divine when first quaffed, and even worse, the man-eating grape wine will never detect as poisonous via mundane means, its horrid natures somehow masking all attempts. Luckily the man-eating grapes are extremely rare, and endemic to humid jungles.