Thought by many of the Scabbard Wastes to be literary fiction told to scare Ahn' Kalin children from adventuring alone into the desert. But like most stories in Erenel, truth was to be had in the embellishment. This intelligent carnivorous plant burrows deep under the sands lying in wait to feast on the flesh of those slow enough to be caught under massive roots and vines. If not contained, a Desert Lotus will continue to grow and consume in the dark until it matures into a gargantuan monstrosity. Once mature, the Desert Lotus will begin releasing two types of spores. Defensive spores will surround its lair for protection which release powerful toxins to poison and blind attackers and future meals. The second type of spores is perhaps the most terrifying. Tunneling long vines to the surface, the Desert Lotus release Rapport Spores close to unsuspecting humanoids. Once overtaken by the spores it is only a matter of time before your mind is lost to the Desert Lotus.
Anatomy & Morphology
Fully grown the Desert Lotus sits burrowed into the soil roughly 50 feet wide with the "trunk" reaching almost 50 feet high. Long vine-like tendrils reach out and can be extended and retracted at will into the trunk. These vines can extend almost 200 feet out with each vine having a massive 5 feet width. Reaching out the top of Desert Lotus sit what could be referred to as the mouth. This bulb-like stem opens and closes as a trapping mechanism to feed, absorbing nutrients by secreting a mucus substance dissolving creatures stuck inside. Thin reeds stretch out twirling and twisting with a subtle but entrancing motion.
Growth Rate & Stages
The Desert Lotus starts as a seed in need of very specfic conditions to fully grow. Mainly restricted to hot and dry climates, the Desert Lotus needs to avoid direct sunlight and have enough water readily available to begin the process. Also, a Desert Lotus needs to be insulated allowing for extreme dry heat without being exposed to the suns rays. Once a Desert Lotus has fully sprouted and begins to extend outwards, it must start to feed on meat. This is typically done by tricking meals with telepathy to come within range of its vine grasps. Once you've been grasped and pulled within reach, all that is left is to be swallowed and absorbed. A growth rate of an estimated 80 years is needed before the Desert Lotus has fully matured and is ready to release defensive and rapport spores. Most Desert Lotus do not reach a mature age due to the specific environment needed to fulfill its maturation process.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Typically found is hot and dry climates buried beneath the sands.
Perception and Sensory capabilities
When the Desert Lotus enters adolescence it gains the ability to speak telepathically, tricking creatures into coming close.
Rapport SporeIf someone is unlucky enough to be struck by a Rapport Spore, the insect pathogen fungus begins to attach to the infecteds exoskeleton. Once the fungus has fully attached to the exoskeleton, the host dies and is overtaken by the fungus. The fungus allows the Desert Lotus to communicate telepathically with the host body, moving the creature how it sees fit and seeing everything the infected creature sees. Weeks after the host body dies, soft tissue begins to structurally fortify. Sporocarp sprout from the tissue giving the host a plant like appearance. Once sporocarp begins the host may now reproduce by spreading their own weaker Rapport Spore to unsuspecting creatures.
- 160 years