The Tatterdemalions-of-the-Flailing-Leper is a fanciful but somewhat fitting name for this vegetation, a bizarre plant which is extremely rare to find as a "Flailing-Leper", or the mother-plant state, while the pod-like leaves of the plant, the "Tatterdemalions", which tend to fall off, allowing the winds to twirl them for many miles, are more commonly encountered by adventurers.

The Flailing Leper

It is difficult to describe a Flailing Leper in full bloom, without nauseating the reader. A bulbous bush the size of a horse, with countless spines, drooping, sap-filled pods, flies buzzing inside their contours, with crooked stalks and branches extending like broken fingers in all directions, and bizarre rag-like leaves and growths that resemble so many dirty strips of cloth flapping in the wind. The colors of the Flailing Leper mother-plant are a rainbow of obscenities. Rust, ocher, dried blood, fat-tallow, sepia, olivine, mauve, and various flesh-tones, a true kaleidescope of eye-pain. This plant can best be described from afar, as a giant ragamuffin made up of swirling bits of stained, filthy cloth strips, and from near, as a grotesque abomination of nature. The Flailing Leper even makes a horrendous, gurgling noise, further distancing itself from species of common flora. One would expect a foul smell to ooze from the bowels of such a "monster", to go along with the gurgling, but alas, the mother-plant smells feintly of drying leather. A single redeeming trait perhaps?

Tatterdemalions

Once a season, the mother-plant Flailing Leper, will release its elongated rag-like leaves into the air, as it is the weird leaves of this plant, which carry the seedlings, in their many folds and twists. These leaves will usually clump together forming dust-devils of "rags", occassionally taking on mildly humanoid appearences. The tatterdemalions have no leathery smell like the mother-plant, and are harmless in every way. Sometimes wood elves can be seen wearing the Tatterdemalion swirls as camouflage cloaks, but superstitious humans just usually torch the "flying rags" whenever they come swirling into villages.

Additonal Information

This plant is highly misunderstood, as mentioned, and constantly mistaken for other creatures. Some say the Flailing-Leper motherplant resembles a roper, or an otyugh or even a shambling mound, and the Tatterdemalions of the plant, lend credence to legends of ragamuffins, scarecrows, cloth-golems, and yes, even "flying leaf-demons."

Bards strangely, are known to be rather fond of including references to this bizarre plant in their ballads, both those humorous and tragic, challenging themselves to find rhymes to pair with the flora's name in various innovative and clever ways. It is said in some circles, that if a bard does not have at least one composition featuring or at least mentioning the Tatterdemalions-of-the-Flailing-Leper, he is not worth his salt.

Sinsiter qualities are ascribed the flora as well. Some even say that the plant actually causes leprosy, but that is categorically untrue. Countless adventurers have come back to town, riding atop wagon-loads of the pulled, chopped, and uprooted flora, yet sages can make neither heads nor tails of the giant "vege-beasts", nor make any sense of the possible uses or applications for them. Botanists and alchemists are likewise stumped and confounded.

Most animals avoid the plant, its fleshy pulp is not even edible. Birds refuse to drink the collected dew and rain-water from the plant's contours. The flora seems to fit no master plan nor food-chain hierarchy. The Tatterdemalions-of-the-Flailing-Leper seems to be merely a revolting, putrid, unredeemable mistake of nature, nothing more and nothing less.

Unless of course, one understands the plant, which so few do, in which case some good can be squeezed from its pulpy, flesh-like form. But only the red-sashed monks of the Herringbone Brotherhood, those secretive explorers of the world's mysteries, may know the true properties and nature of this disgusting, and even worse, seemingly useless, monstrosity.

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