A tree that appears oaklike, but has a good number of large spikes growing on it. The spikes are an average of 9 inches long, some larger, and have a bulbous burl at the base. The spikes are actually the seeds of the Devil's Thorns. In much the same way ferns reach for the sun and some desert plants swell up and launch thier seeds in rain, the Devil's Thorns searches for the heat living creatures give off.
When it is strong enough to indicate the creature is in range, a rush of sap swells the burl and fires the thorn at the target, with intent to kill. The thorn bark is posionous and micro barbed like a porqupine quill, so even a shallow hit can be dangerous. The posion isn't abnormally strong, but will wear on the creature's health. The thorn will be eventually fatal if not treated.
If or when the creature is killed, the seed now has a lovely decomposing body to provide fertalizer for it's new life. And the cycle begins anew, and if left unchecked, a whole forest could be thickly mixed with these deadly plants.
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? Responses (5)-5
Once again, a very Moonish post. I like this one though, since there aren't very many predatory plants available. This one is quite possibly getting used in Tyren.
Remind me to wear full armor when tramping in fantasy forests.
Another bit of useful knowledge for ranger-types, and a plant even druids would consider destroying... solid idea.
I would recommend making the barb very hard to remove, but perhaps the posion not immediate. That way the animal would run away from the tree before dying. I say this because you don't want to have baby oak trees growing in the shade of older ones. Also, I think a predatory plant would want to spread sprasely, otherwise the outer ones would kill animals and the inner ones in a dense grove would not get fed. But that's only a minor detail.
A nice (?) horticultural horror!
Ouch, so many uses though, nice