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September 1, 2007, 11:39 pm

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Cheka Man

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Liliensa Gigantus Gigantus


Colossal Water Lilies

The Colossal Water Lily, Liliensa Gigantus Gigantus

With leaves measuring some 3-5 meters in diameter and anywhere from 7-10 meters in length (!), and the ribbed, veined undersurface of intertwined leaves and roots, creating a bizarre, neural-network grid or matrix, the Giant Water Lily is truly a magnificent plant, and one that begs to be used in-game, if for no other reason, than to provide a visual of a natural flora, that seems to naturally belong in a fantastic realm.

As a reference, and for further inspiration, try googling images, ‘Giant Water Lily’.


Nine and a Half Ways to use a Giant Water Lily in a game:

One Griggs are tiny fey with the upper torsos and heads of humans or elves, and the bottom parts of a grasshopper, a sort of grasshopper-taur if you will. These wee creatures prance and play on the flattened floaters, and use the great lilies as gladiatorial arenas as well as concert halls when they play their fiddles and clack their heels in time of merriment.

Two The underside of giant lily can be used as inspiration for the worlds greatest palatial demesne. Perhaps architects of some renown, having studied both the complexity and simplicity of the giant lilys form, and imitated its structure by constructing a wondrous palace for the ruler of some far-flung kingdom.

Three The Sisters of the Unwound Spiral lie on their backs upon the monstrous lilies, by the hundreds, and chant and meditate for forty-eight straight hours. This odd spectacle, and an annual event, takes place during early fall, sometime after the first harvest, as onlookers, gawkers, and the holy gather on the banks of the River-Swamp and stare at the Sisters ritual. The Sisters believe that the giant water lilies were once the very stepping-stones their goddess used, when she first strode forth across these lands in antiquity.

Four In the many legends of the Slow Moving River Clans, the water lily is spoken about with great reverence and pride. It is depicted by the clansmen, not unlike the Norsemens Sagas had depicted Yggdrasil. The Clansmen believe their exists the Grandmother Lily, a plant one hundred feet across and with roots that descend into the very core of the Earth. The dewdrops that form on her surface every dawn, are called Grandmothers Pearls by the clansmen, and are said to suffuse the drinker with great and simple wisdoms.

(The girls name, Lily, here among the clansmen, is considered one of great fortune destiny for the girl so named, and is indeed one of the more common appellations here)

Five A great race is run once a year along the meandering waters of a certain river, studded here and there with giant water lilies. Each year young men and women participate and compete in earnest in order to earn the prestige and the prizes that go to the winner. The race is long distance and fraught with difficulties. Aside from the occasional unfriendly river denizens to fend off, there is the need for patience and willpower as sometimes the lilies float apart, and a long wait ensues, as the contestant is not allowed to touch his feet to any surface other than the lilys pad.

Six Rumours among sages suggest that the colossal water lily is indeed an ancient and divine creation, and further speculate, that in some way, all the inherent secrets of any body of water which supports the floating plants, can be discerned by lying prone and motionless on the lilys back for as many days and weeks as it takes to achieve gnosis, after having smoked the dried up and ground, pink and milk-white flowers of the lily in question, of course.

Seven A malignant and nearly indistinguishable relative of the Colossal Water Lily could be a mix of giant lily and Venus Fly Trap. Perhaps a single step onto the innocent looking platform of this creature compels it to enact a sucking mechanism, which plunges the unfortunate stepper, beneath the murky waters, as the lily pad folds in twain violently, and where upon, he or she is molested and quickly punctured by the lilys countless, snake-like roots.

Eight A ceratin cult which dwells amidst the bogs and swamplands, believes in taming and revering the ‘River Spirit’ by offering its fattest and most robust newborn babe of the season, and leaving it sittng in the middle of a giant lily pad, leaving it for the Spirit to come and claim. What sort of creature this may be is anyone’s guess. Chances are, the PCs will not take kindly to this tribal practice, and the chances are even greater, that they will no doubt face the Great River Spirit in a pitched battle, hopping from pad to pad. Frogger anyone?

Nine-and-a-Half  Where better than to discover or come upon an imp or familiar,sitting in lotus stance of course, than in the center of the lily pad. The peculiar flora serves as the perfect stage for a PC audience, as they quietly comes upon and witness the forbidden beauty of a basking nymph, swanmay, or dryad. Where better than atop a giant lily, can one stumble upon their yoda-like guru, teacher, or master? Perhaps an ingredient of a particular spell calls for the bottom-most root of the Giant Lily, and some perilous swimming needs to be undertaken, perhaps one particular, indistinguishable, plant of this species, is really a polymorphed queen of a bygone age, awaiting release from her magical prison.

In closing, when selecting river plants for your wetlands campaign, do not forget the magnificent, Liliensa Gigantus Gigantus. I hope to eventually make this part of an open codex, "Nine and a Half Ways to Use A…" featuring bizarre plants and animals of our natural world.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
September 2, 2007, 0:03
I liked 3, 7, 8, and 9.5

3. Go to sleep you little baby, you and me and your daddy makes three, no go to sleep you little baby - from O'Brother where art thou?, the Sisters of the Unwound Spiral are a mix of oracle and prostitute, wise woman and semi-pariahs.

7. Digestive enzymes, not stabby roots, but the visual is still a bit disturbing. I imagine some creature being swallowed down into an underwater rootball with a noisome *SLURP*

8. What the tribe doesnt know is that the River Spirit makes the child into a sort of avatar or heir to it's power as the spirit of the river dies and is reborn into the infant, the ritual every year is because not even the river spirit knows when it's time is at an end. The unneeded children are found downriver and generally safe, often delivered to parents weeping for a lost child...

9. Where else to find nature spirits than in nature? The idea is simply beautiful.
Voted manfred
September 2, 2007, 7:09
I have to seriously agree with Scrasamax here, on all the points. (Plus thank him for reminding me of the Siren scene of that movie... *sighs with pleasant nostalgia*)
September 2, 2007, 11:34
Any mention of one of my all-time favorite movies, works for me, gents! :)


7. yep, you speak sense. Enzymes, not stabbing roots. Will be fixed.
8. niiiiiice!

Look guys, I didnt mean for this to be an attempt at high literature. I just want to personally and subtely return to the core of the citadel's credo, "ideas". I tire of self-important, meandering epics.

Of course, this is probably a phase, and soon I will go back to meandering, self-important epics :)

Basically, I was impressed with the Colossal Water Lily. Nature rocks!
Voted Cheka Man
September 2, 2007, 9:27
I liked 7 best.
Voted MoonHunter
September 2, 2007, 13:33
Added to non adventurous plants.
Voted valadaar
September 2, 2007, 20:09
Awsome! One of these are going to be added to The Unseen Fortress...
Voted Pieh
November 22, 2010, 7:21

That's just plain interesting...

Great 9-and-a-half reasons to use a big-ass lily in your next wetlands game!

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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