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Lifeforms
Flora
Tundra/ Arctic
4.17
6 Votes

30xp


Hits: 4476
Comments: 13
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.1667
Condition: Normal
ID: 2396

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Updated:
March 8, 2006, 2:51 am

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Cheka Man

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Fireleaf

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This odd, fern-like plant taps into the power of fire to protect itself and prosper amid the cold northern tundra…

Full Description
Fireleaf is a fernlike plant that grows in the colder regions of the world, where the height of summertime reaches the temperature that more temperate regions see in the early springtime, and where winter sees the ground frozen solid enough to break even dwarven mining tools. It doesn’t grow farther north than the tundra, however, as even the plant’s heating properties can only accomplish so much.

Rising nearly six feet in height at full growth, the Fireleaf contains alternating pockets of secreted chemicals that, when a plant-eater tries to graze on the fern and breaks the pockets open, intermix and rapidly heat to nearly the boiling point. The fern itself is tough and fibrous, with the sap containing small traces of the heating chemicals - such that during the winter season, the ground around it remains unfrozen, but not enough to damage the plant itself. The temperature only rises dramatically when the chemicals are allowed to mix freely.

In appearance, the Fireleaf fern ranges from three to six feet in height, ranging from light green in the winter months to a deep, rich emerald hue during the summer, with the pockets of chemicals marked by the slightly more yellow bulges in the leaves and stems of the plant. At full growth, the main stem is nearly three inches thick, and many of the northern tribes value the tough, fibrous material for any number of tasks, from construction to fishing poles.

If carefully harvested without damaging any of the bulging pockets of the plant, the liquid-filled pockets can be drained without combusting, leaving the fibrous and thin, glossy leaves to be used in industry.

The chemicals often see use in hunting, warfare, and cooking, as careful mixture can produce both a potent weapon and a comfortable, fireless heat.

Additional Information
The chemicals secreted by the Fireleaf fern produce temperatures in direct proportion to the amount which gets mixed together, and take approximately sixty seconds to achieve full heat.

The stem is flexible, but due to the way the fibers are interwoven it remains amazingly strong even when drained, and as such can be used as a servicable fishing rod or for simple construction, although it remains too flexible even when dry to be of much use as a support structure or a proper weapon.

The leaves are naturally glossy and waxy, and when the chemical pockets are drained they can be used to form an effective waterproof shelter, which is commonly seen in the permanent villages in the northern lands.

One of the least-known uses of the Fireleaf fern is by a small subset of mages, who uses the ground-up roots as an additional material in fire-based magic, amplifying the potency of the spell by a small degree.



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Comments ( 13 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
March 6, 2006, 13:10
0xp
Now this could be a very useful plant.
Voted Scrasamax
March 6, 2006, 15:59
0xp
Good submission, it is versatile and not entirely devoted to kewl powerz for players. It has an ecological niche and a reason for existing. Nice touch.
Voted Strolen
March 6, 2006, 21:30
0xp
Probably would have been a point less if it wasn't an artic plant. That defined it better for me and helped it make more sense in the scheme of everything instead of just a plant with special traits amongst others.

I like it for any artic adventures when the players could use it to survive the artic cold. Perhaps they grow in groves and hold their own small ecology of creatures. Almost like an oasis in a desert, with travelers going from Fireleaf grove to Fireleaf grove to travel across the inhospitable area.

I have never been in an artic adventure so could be modified to only gain the described traits in the winter months in order to use it without it being too much.
Kassil
March 7, 2006, 4:44
0xp
The arctic aspect was one of the key points. A lot of things in arctic conditions shy away from unnaturally hot things, the heat generated by the chemicals in the sap allow it to keep growing even during the coldest part of winter without freezing or getting stopped by frozen soil, and anything foolish enough to graze on it will, at the least, get a nasty burn inside the mouth, and more likely through the entire stomach and throat region.

Although I can picture a native of the region, angry at a visitor from the warmer lands, carefully cutting a leaf from one of the plants and saying something like "Here, chew this, it'll warm you up."
Voted MoonHunter
March 8, 2006, 0:30
0xp
Technically it is a plant for the Tundra (or permafrost environments), rather than a real arctic environments... as these need soil to grow.. rather than out on the ice. There is only so deep things can pull through the ice to reach rock and sand under the artic snow and ice.

The heating chemical could be drained and possibly used, if treated and stored correctly. That could make stands of these plants very useful to the indigneous people.

If these plants do exist, I am sure something is around to eat them... perhaps sucking up the heating liquid to keep itself warm. Just a thought.
Kassil
March 8, 2006, 2:35
0xp
You're right about the climate, of course...

I'd considered the idea of a creature adapted to eating Fireleaf, but I'm not sure how it'd work out yet. Maybe some kind of insect that drains the chemical pockets and mixes them internally to keep warm during the cold months, the same way the plant does...
Kassil
March 8, 2006, 2:51
0xp
Updated: Adjusted with a climate note.
Voted Murometz
March 11, 2006, 15:09
Only voted
Cheka Man
April 2, 2006, 21:17
0xp
These could be grown as crops and used as a sort of wall as well to ward off attackers.Armies pushing through it would get burnt by it.
Kassil
April 5, 2006, 13:24
0xp
Only if they damage the pockets holding the chemicals; the stalks themselves only have a small amount of the compound in the sap to keep them from freezing. Admittedly, a lot of armies are rather careless, but unless the leaf pockets are ETREMELY frail, it'd only work once - and then you'll eventually end up with burnbees.
Cheka Man
October 24, 2009, 19:24
0xp
Can the leaf pockets be used as grenades?
Kassil
October 29, 2009, 17:09
0xp
Unlikely. The individual pockets each contain only one part of an exothermic compound. It would be more likely to harvest the individual chemicals and use them to fill a breakable jar that's divided to keep them apart, then use that as a grenade-like splash weapon; the substances doesn't actually burn or explode, it just gets really, really hot. This is the 'warefare' use noted in the entry, as the reaction tends to run out quickly enough to not harm the plant after browsers burn themselves on it. Used in steady moderation, it makes a pleasant, smokeless heat source, but never quite makes it to the boiling point of water.
Voted valadaar
April 11, 2014, 10:06
0xp

An interesting magical plant. It being a fern is a somewhat odd choice, given they are not all that hardy, and their extreme surface area would make keeping warm require a great deal of energy.



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