Scattered throughout most lands, like a weed, are short stubby bushes that blend into any flora that is normally in the area. To call them chameleon plants may go too far but if it is in the plains, they don’t grow larger than the biggest shrub and in the deep woods the can grow large and healthy. They also, more often than not, adapt to the colored surroundings as well to blend in.
Their distinctive leaves in the size and shape of a babies hand are the main way to identify them. They carry no berries, fruits or seeds. It is said that they evolved from a single plant that was somehow created and all the bushes branched off from there. In the time since then they have spread and died leaving some in isolated and others covering a huge area.
They live in harmony with their surroundings and don’t kill off other plants. They are very subtle and difficult to notice for a layman. Their root system is what separates them from most normal plants. It is a set of tiny tendrils, almost like veins, that rarely delve deeper than a couple inches under the dirt. The snake and turn and spread at an incredible rate and distance. If you were to try and pull one up and maintain the roots you would be forced to destroy a very large area up to hundreds of meters in every direction. They would be so intertwined in the surrounding area it is impossible to just pull them up.
However, if you did actually try to pull one of the bushes up, you would simply rip the bush part and leave the extravagant, yet fragile, root system behind. Once you destroyed this single bush another one would simply regrow somewhere else along the system.
For those attuned with nature and who have an affinity for magic, the Tracker Bush is an incredible tool. Druids and Rangers with some magical ability find them to be of the greatest advantage for when the bush is touched and a magic is coursed through the plant the root system turns into a large pressure plate of sensory information. The roots are so fragile and so close to the surface that any pressure on the dirt above it is felt by the roots and transferred to the main bush.
The system is so intricate and spread so well that these sensory inputs can be interpreted by a trained Tracker.
Initially, the Tracker would be so inundated with sensory information that it may overwhelm him. Through time and practice the Tracker can learn how to isolate the input and direct his attention and, very slowly, learn how to interpret the information and relate it to the surrounding area. Once fully mastered, a Tracker may be able to magically “see” the footprints of any being in that root’s system scope. They will be able to interpret the steps of humans, deer, rabbits, etc., by their pressure on the root and pattern of their footfalls. One could quickly see the power of this information.
The bush is a fragile thing so overuse can damage the plants and roots. They are not made for the power of the magic flowing through their roots so they cannot be overused. After each 20 minutes of use it should usually be allowed to rest a day or two in order to ensure its safety. Once the roots are destroyed they won’t grow back. The bushes don’t overlap. As soon as the plant senses another it maintains a buffer zone between each other. Another plant can grow into a dead plant’s zone.
Roots that are delicately extracted and that have been used as a Tracker will retain some of the magic pushed through them. These roots, if prepared correctly, could imbue some temporary, random sensory affects. They could give increased eyesight, hearing, taste etc. Leaves from the bush are a minor poison that will cause random, impaired sensory affects.
Notes and Game Usages
- Generally, the main use is for Druids and Rangers to be able to track those who go through their domain. By knowing where and how to use the Tracker bush they can review a great swatch of land in as few as five minutes. By a couple, quick checks the Tracker could find people and determine their direction of travel.
- It is said that there are some powerful mages that are so attuned with nature that they can go one step further and use the roots as an extension as themselves. By intricate and complex magical forms it is said that some could actually grow the roots and use them to ensnare people and animals. Some could cast spells through the roots as if they were there. These actions would kill the root system so there are few that would do it except in the most extreme circumstances.
- So far none have been able to come up with a way to create where a new bush will grow. It would be very valuable if a Tracker could develop a way to have all the bushes, of separate plants, all grow very close to each other. Then they would have a central area where, very quickly, they could scout an immense area vs. having to travel from bush to bush.