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November 28, 2010, 11:26 am

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Sentinent Trickster Bush


It yearned to see the world but was doomed to stay in one place, reliving the memories of the last person it had killed, until finally a new victim came along.

Most Trickster Bushes are simple omnivorous plants, that grow on the edges of areas such as the Great Woses and The Bushlands , areas where the soil is poor and nourishment is scarce. To survive in such places, they have evolved to eat animals. They grow in U-shapes and tempt in animals with sweet and tasty berries. As long as the birds and animals eat only from the outsides of the U, they are safe,and will pollinate the plant when they defecate so that the new plants will grow far from their parent. However, sooner or later, a greedy bird or animal, or even an unwary human foreigner who knows nothing of the plant's true nature, will enter the U to reach the berries there. Taking one berry will not provoke a response, but taking another will cause tendrils laden with sharp thorns and poison to lash out. Whilst the plant cannot see as such, it can here and feel through root-sensors on the ground and in the bush itself roughly where the person or animal is and how big it is.

The tendrils lash out, entangleing the prey and injecting it with two toxins manufactured within the plant itself. One has a strong sedative effect, making it harder to thrash around enough to get free. The other stops blood from clotting and is the same one that mosquitos use on their prey, meaning someone who gets free will have lots of itchy welts, as well as allowing the thorns to suck blood just like the proboscis of a mosquito. Once sucked dry, the decomposing body provides  more nourishment for the plant. None of these plants have a human level of sentience -except for one. There was a mage once from a city on the Eastern shore, who had the misfortune to encounter a large one of these and seeing the berries on the inside, the outside berries having been eaten already, he walked in, staff in hand, and picked one. It tasted sweet, so he picked another,and a tendril shot out, coiled around his neck and cut upon his throat in seconds, as other tendrils coiled around his body and staff.

In digesting his brain, it absorbed his magic and became sentinent, aware of what it was, as well as his memories of all the places he had been. And it hungered to visit them, but could not, being a plant fixed in the earth. By using the staff it could cast several spells;illusion ones to create false images of treasure or other such things within it's kill-zone, lightning to shock it's prey once it enters the zone, and a very limited ability to sense what others hungered for. Realizing that by killing a person it could take their memories and find out more about the world, it decided to do that.

When a human comes close,which it can sense when said human comes within fifty feet of it, it creates an image of what that person is looking for inside it's kill zone. And when that person enters to get it it sends out a tendril at throat level, attempting to kill the person outright. If this does not work it attacks with other tendrils and as a last resort, lightning bolts from the staff. Should the staff be somehow pulled or cut from it's grasp it will lose the ability to cast spells outright, so it will do it's hardest to retain control of it. Fire or fire spells will hurt it badly but also whoever it is holding, and blunt weapons will do very little harm to it. Should it be killed outright, the PCs can take the very real treasure from the people it has killed, and whose bones lie whitening there; a few gold pieces, some rusty, near useless weapons and , of course, the staff, which has a few charges left within it of lightning before it becomes just a sturdy stick.

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Comments ( 1 )
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Voted EchoMirage
November 28, 2010, 4:23

Well, DnD is full of trap-creatures like mimics, man-eating walls and floors and pants that are basically defeated by one roll to "sense whether there is something amiss" - if you don't you're screwed, if you do, the trap-creature is a sitting duck.

Thus, I suggest re-making the bush into something more original. Keep the name, but perchance... what about a sentient labyrinth of shrubberies, for example?

So far, a 2/5.



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