Embrace of Shadows

Come and accept the embrace of the shadows. You must fully give in to it so that you can become a shadow lord!, You must allow the embrace to overcome you, for only those that do will see the true path of our god!
— part of a sermon by a shadow priest
  It was said that when the world was created by the shadow god, that he planted a tree in the area where the old empire capital once stood. The tree would be kept in a chamber for thousands of years out of caution and safety of the people of the empire sealed by the shadow god himself. Not even those of the empire knew about it. Until the day the church of the shadow god discovered it by accident while expanding the lower part of the cathedral.     When the church of the shadow god could not wait until the next of the shadow lords to appear. They decided they would create their own instead, not knowing that the very thing they would use would break the minds of all that choose to attempt its embrace. For this tree was created not by man but by the gods themselves and sealed away in a chamber thousand of years ago. Until the day the church discovered it and in secret attempted to use it to create what they could not recreate, all thanks to a pair of texts that spoke of an embrace that would turn a man into one of the lords; of shadow. They would call this plant Amplectere obumbratio or embrace of shadows, and they would experiment on many poor souls in their vain attempt to recreate a "shadow lord". But what they did not know was that this plant had another agenda, for the souls that were killed because of it, the bodies they left behind held a secret. And the reason they sealed it away all those years ago.    

Amplectere obumbratio true intentions

         
  “I was in charge of transporting and burying the bodies outside of the city walls in a special graveyard," Thomas said breathing heavily with each word ."It was a normal routine but when I lifted the sheet that was covering the body I noticed something strange." Coughing, a bit before continuing" The eyes of the body were wide open and I could have sworn I saw breathing!. As I got closer to the body after digging a hole in the ground, it suddenly bolted upright and climbed over the cart, Not just one or two but all the bodies they all sat up and climbed out. They headed in all directions as if being driven by something unnatural. Thomas said out of breath, “ We must inform the church! “ The guard, being a vet of 10 years heard it all before, soon dismissed Thomas with a flick of his hand.
— Thomas the Cart driver
    Amplectere obumbratio is more than just a tree. Within its body structure unknown to the church was a spore of the tree that could infect those who come into contact or have that have been killed by Amplectere obumbratio and it waited until the right moment to activate. Its sole purpose was to spread across the world and the only way it could do this was to make use of the bodies that were killed by it. Once the body gets to the destination it falls to the ground and an unnatural decomposition happens. Where the body loses its limbs and all sense of what it used to look like and slowly over time turns into the tree, rooting itself into the ground of where it has fallen so that it could repeat the process once again. this process appears to be fast as in a matter of hours the bodies are no longer present and instead a tree are in its place. No matter how many bodies though it seems only one tree will appear in there place or so it has been observed

Basic Information

Anatomy

Amplectere obumbratio has long black tendrils that protrude all around the main stem of the tree trunk, these tendrils are thick as they are able the hold a human in place without any difficulty, they also have many thorns on them, The roots of the plant go deep into the floor of the basement holding it in place as well as being able to gather nutrients and water they serve as an anchor.

Biological Traits

The only biological traits that one can be observed are that the vines have thorns and that the vines are completely black and that it has some form of intelligence as it can detect when the victim is in agony and when it needs a bit of a break although the break is more likely not out of mercy but out of pure thrill.

Genetics and Reproduction

The only way that it can reproduce is by using the bodies of those killed near it as a way to transport a parasite/ Seed to a new location. So that the process can begin again.

Additional Information

Domestication

Over time the church was able to control the first Amplectere obumbratio. No longer did it randomly lash out at those in the room, It began to listen to commands and instructions from its caretaker who was a high-ranking member of the church. In exchange for not lashing out randomly at those in the room, the tree was offered some of the blood from the victums with a priest slowly cutting into the arm of the victum to bleed it into the tree roots.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Amplectere obumbratio only purpose is to break those that accept its embrace and give them a false hope they could become a lord of shadow. It is mainly used to test and ultimately weed out those the Chruch considers too weak but yet could not outright kill due to the laws that prevented them for doing so. It has no other use other than that.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Amplectere obumbratio officially can only be found in the church of the shadow god in the heart of the capital of the kingdom of Reaveth. No place else in the kingdom can the plant be found and it has not been recorded in any other parts of the kingdom officially that is... But reports have come out claiming that the plant was found in other parts of the kingdom and when told to church officials they dismissed it as nothing more than a copycat or worse a fabrication besides how does a plant even travel distances, And nobody is sure how it would even attempt to do that.  although in the reports the only common thing found in each of them  is that a body was first discovered and then reported and by the time someone arrived to take it away the body was no longer there and instead a new plant that looked like an Amplectere obumbratio appeared almost out of nowhere

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Amplectere obumbratio has been observed to be able to pick up on when people are in pain and to apply more pressure. It has also been observed to know when to stop and to let the person rest briefly before applying the pain once more. why it does this nobody is quite sure as it should not be able to do what it does in the first place. But it seems to also take delight in making people scream in pain several times it has been observed that the louder one screams the more it digs into their skin with its thorns.

Civilization and Culture

History

The Chruch is not sure how the Amplectere obumbratio was created or why it was in the chamber, to begin with. At first, they ignored it thinking the chamber would lead them to the more written history of the first empire or even the secret writings of the shadow god himself. But what they did not expect was to find a plant that was much more than what it appeared. One church member got too close to the plant and instantly the plant grabbed its left foot and then right foot and then right hand and left hand and lifted the poor man high into the air. It then using its vines would place the man against the wall. This is where the others watch in horror as the main would unleash cry after cry. At the time they had no idea that at that very moment the plant was digging its thorns into the man's body, that the screams were making the plant react with almost glee fueling its infliction of pain. Soon the man would die and fall to the ground hard, the plant would return dormant waiting for its next victim. Everyone would leave and return later to find the body was gone, No hint about where it went but that it was no longer in the room, thinking maybe someone took it for burial they moved on with the next phase of the plan.     It was not long after this incident that the church would use it to further its goals. One such thing was to create a story behind the plant and how it would lead to further salvation in the eyes of the shadow god. and with a few pen strokes, a tale was written. How this plant was the key to making their own shadow lords instead of waiting!. They w would also explain the importance of the embrace and that was how they git people to come to the chamber to test out the embrace, they would make sure to mention it was a way to get closer to the shadow god and only his chosen could do the embrace as they would call it. The embrace would last as long as they struggled and did not accept the shadows completely.     And so the first of the chosen was brought down and was made to stand next to the plant. And the same thing would happen to each one that would attempt its embrace. Each one would fail within minutes of attempting because they would struggle and fight and cry out in agony. But this was to be expected. Those in charge of the plant wanted to see what it could do first. After some time they realized they could make it even better, They would construct the embrace chamber as they would call it, With two wooden beams joined at the top spaced far apart from each other for a humanoid creature to go in between. Instead of being stuck to the wall during the embrace, they would hopefully be hung up from the center of the structure and mostly, this worked as intended.
Amplectere obumbratio - Embrace of shadows
WHAT DOES THE CHURCH OF THE SHADOW GOD KNOW?
  • The Church Church of the Shadow God  knows the tree is able to inflict pain and that pain is the only way one can embrace the very nature of the shadows
  • They do not know how the tree got to its present location only that it was hidden away
  • The text suggests the tree was there during the age of shadow and the first shadow lords came from the embrace the tree gives
  • As of now, they do not believe reports of the tree being found in other places in the kingdom of Reaveth Kingdom of Reaveth 
Lifespan
1000 years
Who are the shadow lords    The shadow lords spoken in the texts are the direct sons of the shadow god himself, Sent to the world in preparation for his return. two of them have already come to the world and the last one is needed before they must all come together and bring their father to the world of Daemonum. the church believes that they could make their own to hasten the return of their god, But this is not possible, and although the text states that the Amplectere obumbratio created them. It is a mistranslation of the text and the church knows this. There use of the plant has to do with weeding out those they consider weak rather than making one a lord of shadow.


Cover image: Fantasy setting background temple altar ar by Diyan35

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 Mar, 2021 16:38

I love your article! Your header picture is great, this feels very ominous! And this plant in general is very creepy :D I like that it's just spreading everywhere while nobody is noticing   I'm sending you through discord the notes I took while I was reading :D

23 Mar, 2021 04:22

Thank you for your feedback!

26 Mar, 2021 13:01

This plant has a very interesting concept! The history and religion linked to it were great additions. It seems like a scary and mysterious plant with some motivation of its own. I am curious how far it will be able to spread in the end. Nice article!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
26 Mar, 2021 16:49

thank you for your feedback!

16 Apr, 2021 21:35

Hey Robert!   An excellent dark article and a pleasant read. I have a few suggestions for you (minor edits)

-Consider looking at how frequently you use shadow in the opening and if you want to add some variety by changing up the word use a little
-you have a lowercase i in the "Thomas" quote
-"happen" is orphaned in the paragraph after that quote box

I particularly like the 'rate of decay' in your tree formation. It would be a terrifying sight to see a crowd transform. Great work!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
16 Apr, 2021 21:56

Thank you for feedback!

17 Apr, 2021 10:08

Eeks, so basically they unleashed a sadistic tree upon the world?! Bloody fools.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
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