We walked through the Valdutan corralum plains when I heard one of my camera man belt out a series of expletives, many of which our Sazashi hosts have never heard before. I looked down to see a sharp 'L' shaped chitin punctured right through his boot.
It took an hour of careful wriggling and cutting to get the spike out of him. Punched between the tedons of his toes, and into the dirt below, pinning him in. Snapvine our guide called it, as he stuffed antivenom into the wound.
Makes it a lot harder to appreciate the surroundings when we are all watching the ground now.
Jhoutai's Man Traps
Snapvine is a type of plant that grows in many different regions and conditions. It is a carnivorous family of plants, with a snapping mechanism and venom for the capture of prey. They grow in small colonies, commonly around the entrance to small corralum tubes.
These plants grow as individuals, forming a 'corridor.' When enough are grown, they link their root system into a pressure plate of 'nerves' that are shallow beneath the soil. Above the surface, each individual grows into an upside-down 'L' shaped limb. The limb consists of a thicker stem growing from the ground wth a sharp, narrow 'arm' bent from the stem.
When an unwary or unfortunate creature steps on the combined nerves of the plants vines, the compression starts a chemical reaction within the plants stem that shoots the sharpened limb downwards. Anything caught underneath the spikes when the trap is sprung is impaled by the sharp arm.
The Snapvine also generates a low-potency venom that is exuded when the trap is sprung. Each serration on the arm contains a venom gland that triggers on activation. To most Sophontic life, the venom is a secondary threat to being pinned to the ground by a spike through the foot. Left untreated however, the Venom can spread, causing nerve damage and permenant paralysis of a limb.
Antivenom is cheap to produce using farmed variants of Snapvine, but its application is a painful process and needs to be combined with quick removal of the Snapvines arm.
An Important Predator
Snapvines serve as critical predators of many other dangerous lifeforms of Jhoutai. Smaller vermin and rodents are common victims, but they also help control Blight Fly populations, as the corralums they build into would otherwise serve as nests for Blight Flies.
When a Snapvine is triggered, it spews venom before spewing digestive enzymes. Anything that is trapped by the Snapvines will be slowly decomposed into the soil and the shallow root system below. When the trapped creature is several days into composition, the arm of the Snapvine will slowly reset over the course of several days.
In all regions they grow in the same sort of conditions, which is around the entrance to corallum tunnels.
Snapvines have caused enough injuries to Sophont to make them an obvious choice for organic traps and vermin control. Varieties can be bred and guided to grow along corridors, forming an organic bear-trap.
Many homes with Jhoutaioan architecture have natural Snapvines grown into the walls for the control of pests.
Beneath the Moons
Like many of Jhoutai's creatures, the Snapvine grows with luminsecent bands that light up underneath the moons of Ansang. These plants can many times form glowing lines around the entrances of the corralum, which otherwise might be hard to spot through foliage.