What kind of vine can you milk? A BoVine!
Excerpt from Torrie's Journey into the Unknown
We could hear the slow drip echoing ahead and knew we were close. He were trying to be as quiet as possible, don't want to wake them. Looking up at the ceiling we could see the Vines hanging down ominously. Cursing myself for being so greedy, but milk is a hot commodity and Lady Sorill is paying enough to live comfortably for half a year.
Thork waved us over and we saw it, a pool of white liquid. He carefully placed the small barrel in the pool, a few moments later the first drip came down. Once set, I waived everyone back to the entrance of the cave to wait for it to fill up. Then I heard it, Thyllis crashing to ground, knocking over the barrel. The sound echoing loudly.
I ran, I could do nothing else. I heard Thyllis scream, but I knew it was too late for her. I saw two Tendrils drop in front of me. I quickly hit the ground and rolled under them, narrowly avoiding them. I could hear Thork right behind me doing the same. I lunged through the cave opening and quickly looked behind me for Thork. I watched as a vine grabbed him by the throat while in midair. I will never forget the look on his face as he was lifted into the darkness above.
Anatomy & Morphology
These thick vines grow outside the city. They range from 4-10 inches thick and are usually dull green to grey in color. They grow in remote caverns usually in a cluster of one to two dozen, although this is more of an estimate. They tend to prefer high ceilings, sometimes over 100 ft high. They can grow to almost 200 ft long. Large bulbs rest at the top of the vine are called buds. The vines tend to grow out from the bud. Buds can have 2-5 vines each.
Genetics and Reproduction
Very little is known regarding the reproduction of the BoVines. No attempt at cultivating them has been successful. It is theorized that there is a secondary flowering plant living among them, but this has not been confirmed.
Growth Rate & Stages
Most attempts on tracking growth are very difficult given the dangerous conditions. The vines do tend to shed away every few years. It is estimated that the vines can grow almost 50 ft in their first two months, but slow down after hitting 100 ft in their first year. The cause of the death of the vines is largely unknown.
Ecology and Habitats
BoVines tend to find very tall caverns that are fairly dry. They also tend to grow among other similarly looking vines called Stem Vines locally. The BoVines hide among the Stem Vines making them difficult to spot. It has been theorized that the BoVines actually grow the Stem Vines intentionally, which has been dismissed by most scholars.
Dietary Needs and Habits
BoVines eat meat. This is well known and well documented. They are stationary hunters using a sweet milky substance to draw creatures into their caverns. This milk drips from a special sac that grows among some of the vines. Once a creature starts drinking the milk, the vines will drop down and grab the pray, lifting them up into their buds.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The vines seem to be able to sense vibration or noise.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
The BoVines and Stem Vines appear to live together, both using each other. The Stem Vines are protected from common predators while the BoVines are given camoflage making it difficult to tell them apart.
Benefits of the Vines
The milk the BoVines use as a lure is an expensive commodity to many of the noble houses. It has a sweet taste and is served at important dinners and celebrations. These families will pay hunters to go out and collect the milk, which can be a very lucrative deal for the hunters. It is also a very dangerous one and many now rest in the sacs of the BoVine.
The Stem Vines also have a use in medicine. They can be used to make a weak pain killer. While not usually worth a trip by itself, many hunters will grab a few if they can before they leave.
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