The Wangadi tree grows in the scrubland on the very edge of The Diamond Desert, a twisted, gnarled tree with iron-hard bark to protect it from browsing creatures, leaves that fold up into the branches when a browsing animal comes along, and large, tasty looking purple fruits. In most years, these fruits taste delicious and there is no danger to those animals and humans who eat them. The tree gets it's seeds spread, and those who spread the seeds get a tasty meal.
But there are years of deep drought where there is so little water to be found in the earth that the Wangadi tree is in danger of dying of thirst. When that happens, although the fruit looks the same from the outside, the tree makes it become explosive when the skin is pierced. Highly explosive. So the animal or human who eats one of these fruits will literally get his or her head blown off. If this happens close to the tree, the tree will send out roots through the ground that reach the body within a matter of hours, and grow up into the body so that the tree can suck out the moisture and nutriants to be found in the corpse.
This can provide the tree with just enough to keep it going until the rains arrive to give it water. Should a human take the fruit far from the tree before eating it, a seed or two always survives the explosion and a new Wangadi tree will start growing, fed well on the decomposing body beneath it, which it's roots will colonise within days, pinning the corpse to the ground.
Someone worth his or her salt who lives in this area knows when the fruit can be safely eaten and when it can be used as a grenade. Get it wrong, and you could either get your head blown off or pelt someone in a life or death fight with a soft,pulpy and totally harmless fruit.
Not Registered Yet? No problem.
Do you want Strolenati super powers? Registering. That's how you get super powers! These are just a couple powers you receive with more to come as you participate.
- Upvote and give XP to encourage useful comments.
- Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
- Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities (super powers).
- You should register. All your friends are doing it!
? Responses (8)-8
Great idea! I always like 'typical' or 'everyday' items in a fantasy setting that are different enough to give the game real spice. I could see someone deliberately starving one of these trees with the intent of growing 'grenades' for warfare or perhaps the more subtle assassination. Perhaps as a magical ingredient to a potion that has to be harvested in just the right way as to keep it from exploding. Another interesting idea/plot hook might come from an angry/evil dryad who lives in such a tree. Nice.
A good one, Cheka! Echo likes.
I really like this one Cheka! Exploding fruit? Hell yeah!
I could use some more details on how ro why exactly it explodes. Is it magical? If so, what is the history of the tree? Is it natural? How did the tree evolve like this? Would animals know not to eat it?
Also: How tall is the tree? Can a small desert-dwelling creature reach the fruit? With the iron-hard bark I imagine it would be hard for a claw-using creature to climb.
When it explodes what does the damage: Is it an explosion of fire? Or shrapnel? Something else?
Love picturing someone munching away on a fruit, only to have their head explode LOL. Kudos.
'Why are you pelting those ogres with fruit?'
'You'll see in a second'
a few seconds later...
'Well, they seem to have gotten the appetizers out of the way. We're next'
'Crap. But that dervish said--' BOOM!!
I love this idea. I am going to stand with Redgre with my love for 'typical fantasy items'. I also think you have a believeable phenotype which would fit most gamers understanding of evolution, and as suggested they would be fun to throw at Ogres.
Is there a fantasy flora codex, you could stick this in there with the flamesilk and other interesting world flavors?
Thanks for writing this.
Muahahahaha! Now that has just hit the right spot. Short. Logical. Silly. Applicable. Exploding.
Now don't you forget about proper storage. Love it! :)
This is quite amusing - though there is one weakness.
If the fruit are explosive, and something were to bite it on the branch, such as deer, would there not be a chain reaction that would blow the tree sky high?
I suppose this could be prevented by simply having the individual explosions very short range and the fruit well spaced.
Perhaps only one or two fruits per branch are explosive to avoid the whole tree being blown up by a deer.