Rethnar the wizard was uneasy. He and his companions, the warrior Dreden, and the bard Yornoth, had discovered a ruined city. And so, curious of the possibility of riches within the ruined gates, Yornoth and he had boosted Dreden up the wall, and Dreden had pulled them up with the rope. Dreden had let them down the other side with the rope, and had jumped over the wall himself.
The group had wandered the city, and fought off some of the new inhabitants (a couple of trolls and an ogre had decided that city life was for them) as well as old inhabitants (a crazed gang of apocalypse survivalists had decided that life outside a city was for noobs). And now they were in the city park.
Trees dotted the grass. Bushes and low-lying plants had taken over the edges of the area. And in the center was a paradise.
It had perfectly placed trees. And the flowers... oh the flowers. They were scattered over the area, adding dots of color among the green grass, and they looked gorgeous, as if pulled straight out of a story-book.
Naturally, being learned as he was, this made Rethnar uneasy. He had learned that paradises were usually places where you got killed.
But Dreden and Yornoth weren't uneasy. They had taken one look at the scene and had run through it, laughing like children. After Yornoth had played some music, Dreden had found it had annoyed him, and the two were roughhousing. Wait a minute... Rethnar thought.
The music had been sub-par for the bard's standards. And Dreden should have won the roughhousing contest by now.
But there they were, prancing and rolling through the grasses and flowers like children.
Rethnar looked at the dark alleys around them. Even darker shapes were among them. He tried to rouse his allies, but they looked up at him with big, bulging, eyes, eyes that were innocent and had not seen the torments of battle. Eyes that were childish.
'Five more minutes?' whined Yornoth.
'No!' cried Rethnar gazing around wildly for the source of this magic. 'We have no more time for games.'
Okay, thought Rethnar. He recognized (barely) the trees. They were good.
Dreden and Yornoth had run away, forgetting Rethnar's command. And Yornoth had picked a flower and placed in Dreden's ear. And then Rethnar thought to himself, as the recognizable stoop of an ogre, and the rocky shell of a troll emerged from the surrounding shadows, the flowers...
The Flowers of Innocence are an interesting plant. They tend to thrive in ruins. In those ruins, they tend to be near other plants. If a river runs through, or there was once a city park, that is where they could be found.
It has been speculated by the wizarding community that the flowers are the epitome of the flower. The perfect flower. But, all things being in a balance, they need to be balanced out. Perfection, according to human standards, in, and thus the opposite of that perfection must also come in. Which, in part, explains the Flower's need for blood and suffering.
How best to gather the blood? The Flowers used to simply wilt and die in the ruins and the parks. Such places are a hotbed for sorrow, and the Flowers could, for a time, live off that. But then the evolved. Slowly, surely, they developed the capacity for Innocence. They would make the human passerby de-age in the mind. They would become more like children.
Oh, some people could resist the effects. It usually takes someone strong in the mind to resist. A strong will-power, a strong sense of bardic lore (alas, in the above example, Yornoth was more of the singing disposition and less of the story-telling), or another such path.
This leads to the downside for the Flowers. If they fail to capture you in their thrall, they make the subject uneasy. But the human mind can't easily cope with sudden uneasiness, and so they'll grasp at a reason for this uneasiness. This might because they are in a strange place, a dangerous place, or it might be because they have heard of these flowers before.
Once the Flower has a person in its power, it will release a pheromone that attracts monsters to the scene. Depending on the nearness of monsters, it might take anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour for them to come. It also depends on other factors, like wind speed, climate, and other such things that effect both the willingness for the monsters to get up off their lazy butts, speed of the pheromon to travel, etc.
But the mosnters will eventually come, and the people will die.
Another idea I had for these is their drug potential. If you want, it could be possible to chew or smoke or whatever these. It would give the person a massive high, while reverting them to more childish thoughts. Naturally, because they can only be found in dangerous, monster infested ruins, they would be quite expensive. A little reward for the PCs who survive they're experience with the Flowers of Innocence
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? Responses (14)
What the score says. I think the underlying idea likeable and original but then there is one unanswered question that is nagging at me: You say that based on this flower's need for blood, it somehow 'surely develop the capacity for innocence'. I just find the logic of that too much of a jump. I mean, making ppl de-age (innocent) will make them less cautious and so more easily killed but surely that's not the only way to get blood.
Also, in general, I feel that this piece has somehow been rushed a little and could do with a proof-read. I normally don't deduct points for minor typos etc. but for this sub I sort of did because I felt some of the sentences relied on the readers to make the logical connections as well as having the typos. For example, when you discuss the downside of the flowers, instead of leaving things hanging, you could add in a sentence somewhere to say when ppl are not under the thrall of flower and are uneasy, they might move on and foil the flower's 'scheme'. Currently, it just trails off into a description of how ppl are trying to find a reason for the unease and I get a bit of a question mark on what this paragraph is trying to tell me.
I don't mean to be somehow negative abt this sub as I think it a solid one but I just think that it would benefit from some editing.
May I direct your attention to the Oekaki free text? Oekaki is where you do a piece in 30 minutes. So, yes, you could say it was 'rushed a little.' If you follow the free text, you'll find the sub where Scrasamax explains Oekaki better than I could in a petty comment.
Anyways, if at some point in the future the idea of the flowers is proven to be good enough, I'll go through and exterminate typos and badly phrased sentences with extreme prejudice.
I added the Oekaki graphic to help identify these subs a little better.
Ah I see, I saw the freetext but I wasn't in the Citadel when Scras threw up his sub on Oekaki so I had no idea abt it being a challenge at all. But now that you've explained it, I think you have done very well given the context. Therefore, I will now be revising my vote accordingly.
I think it is a fun idea. The idea of it entrapping the victims and attracting the enemy to kill them is pretty darn neat.
I find the logic of the flowers a bit thin, but the concept is kinda cool. I'd like to know why they only grow around ruins and other abandoned places. Seems like they'd be a better weapon to be cultivated around the lairs and stomping grounds of the fey.
Oh, the flowers can live in your forest glades and fey-homes. It's just that since they have the innocence is of them increased, that has to be balanced out by the dark side of them likewise being increased. And so, like a normal flower feeds on the nutrients of the decomposed dead to live, these flowers depend on sorrow and pain and blood to live. And yes, I just thought of that simile. Nothing of its form occured during the writing do this piece.
Anyways, because ruins tend to be places where some great calamity struck and caused the terror and fear and misery of thousands, the flowers like it there. The flowers thrive there.
A revote based on understanding of Oekaki, which was previously not accounted for. While I remain of the same opinion of the logic of the flower, I'm opting for a high score because I really appreciate the nature of the Oekaki challenge (and so I'm downgrading the point penalties on the logic part of the sub).
I like the opening line. People can deal with the facts, but there is a lot more to this...what is innocence, what is a monster, the flowers seem to have tapped into this oversoul of morality...and I am inspired by it. Wrote an Oekaki based on this
Wait a second... I inspired fanfic??? With a badly-logiced, badly-rationalized oekaki? I am honored. I shall have to go parse this fanfic as a god examines the petty lives of the mortals striving to gain a message that they are worthy of their very lives. I wonder whether this is how Stephanie Meyer feels like when she sees all the new vampire books and movies and etc.
Not bad - the only part that really jarred with me was the attraction of generic 'monsters' but I expect that is a result of the time limit.
The basic premise is solid, if a bit familiar. The specific mechanic by which this plant eats people is interesting, but I'm not sure I like the degree of perception required for 'trap people, then call monsters.' I might like to see a rework of that part if this were to be revisited.
That said, the drug use idea is great.
Bump! Magic Flowers!
Not flowers to mess with.