Lifeforms
Flora
Swamp
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ID: 2523

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Updated:
January 18, 2007, 5:41 pm

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Cheka Man

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Black Oleander

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Often mistaken for the mystical Black Lotus, the Black Oleander is a common blooming plant found in temperate swamps.

Full Description
The Black Oleander is well known through Falhath and was exported to the Midlands as an ornamental plant. It pruduces a number of woody stems, rather like a bush. In the wilds of the Great Woses, well east of the Bosque valley these plants can grow up to twenty feet tall and be more than 15 wide.

The leaves are long and narrow and radiate out from the central stalk, some have called the plant the Crown of Swords, but the name is only useful among botanists and plant collectors. It flowers in late spring and eary summer, and the blossoms are noticeable for their velvety texture and deep blue, almost black color. It is this deep hue that grants the plant it’s name. An interesting fact is that the plants that were relocated to the Midlands bloom a much lighter shade of blue.

Additional Information
The Oleander is a poisonous plant. The juices from it can cause nausea, dizziness, and fatigue, while consuming the leaves, flowers or stems simply extends the duration of the symptoms. After blooming, the plant produces small waxy pods that contain one seed in each. This seed can kill.

It is a longstanding tradition, and addiction of the Falhathian nobility to consume a potion brewed of many things, one of which is the seed of the Black Oleander. This potion creates a feeling of dislocation, mild euphoria, and even a surreal sense of lucidity. With the ascencion of the Trinistine Faith, usage of this potion has fallen off dramatically.

A new trend has emerged in the last few years. A mix of old ancestor veneration, and rebellion against the heirarchy of the nobility and the church has sparked an interest in the seed as a suicide pill. If a person consumes a single seed, it will cause their heart to radically slow, and if untreated, can cause the heart to fail completely. It is told in the new telling of the tale that Romeus, son of Montag D’Ozea and his forbidden lover Julian of Dreifach both took oleander seeds and died in each other’s arms.

Plot Hooks
For the Faith - The Church has gotten rumor of the Oleander potion (like opium, man) is coming back into circulation. The PCs are duty bound/contracted to seek out the new source of the potion and eliminate it. This could lead the PCs into the seedy underworld of the Holy Land where the plant is cultivated, or across the continent to find the masterminds of a multi-kingdom drug running empire. This may seem far fetched, but the British ran a good long scam against the Chinese selling illegal opium they brought in on their ships back in the day.

For the money - The PCs have found a way to payroll it to the bigtime. A new crime boss has decided to put the Oleander potion back on the market and needs suppliers, manufacturers, and dealers for the venture. What’s the gain? All the money in the land, what’s to loose? Everything, the law could so strict that people found with materials to make the potion are to be executed on site.

For the Show - Several people have been assassinated, having eaten and about an hour later passing into a death like sleep before perishing. No magic can be found, and the only clue is a single glossy black seed. The PCs are set on the trail of a very subtle poisoner.

And Go - The PCs have been acquired to protect a very unhappy and dramatic princess. While resting near a garden the Princess picks a seed pod, eats the seed and very inconveniently dies on the PCs. They now have to deal with a very irate, and possibly militant employer, public backlash, and even death threats while they try to prove their innocence. All because of a simple black flower.

In Real Life the Oleander is a poisonous plant, and eating the seeds can cause heart failure. This is the newest ‘suicide fad’ in Sri Lanka.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4888840.stm



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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
April 12, 2006, 16:57
0xp
Another wonderful submission from you.
Voted Murometz
April 12, 2006, 17:11
0xp
Four plot hooks for a flower. Very nice :)

As usual its the details that do it!

I just read about Yellow Oleanders, and how they are the leading tool for suicide in some country or other, literally seconds before seeing this sub, so that was pretty cool!
Voted MoonHunter
April 13, 2006, 11:09
0xp
Good detail, nice cultural intergration, well executed, and good plot leads. Two paws up.
Voted punkcasher
March 13, 2009, 10:06
0xp
Cool. I read the stuff about yellow oleanders too.

:)
Voted valadaar
April 18, 2016, 15:09
Only voted

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

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Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp


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