Thornies

Here be quote from a demon lord after realising that the thornies have deserted during the invasion of Paneus.
— author
  Thornies are sentient plant creatures from the Demon Plane, most of whom escaped into Paneus during the demon invasions. Unhappy with their treatment at the hands of the Demons they figured they could make a better life for themselves on this plant rich world. They found a secluded spot at the foot of a volcanic mountain and settled down, keeping to themselves in fear of the Demon Purges. Over the ensuing years they have remained largely undiscovered and have built a community and society for themselves. A recent partnership with the Assassin's Guild has seen the way of life for some Thornies change quite dramatically, but for the rest of their community life continues on as normal.  

Appearance

Two spindly arms protrude from either side of an only slightly thicker stalk-like body atop which rests a bulb shaped head. Their 6 legs sprout from the bottom of their bodies like thorny roots and can propel them across the ground and surprising speeds. They are covered in sharp thorns which grow from thick fibrous skin, making them appear like humanoid brambles.   Colouration varies from dark olive to bright green, with their thorns being several shades darker than the rest of their skin. The only facial features they appear to have are a pair of small round eyes, which look like red berries. From the tops of their bulb-like heads sprouts a short tuft of fine coloured fronds, these come in all colours across the red - blue spectrum.  

A Matriarchal Society

All Thornies are male and work for the survival of their system and to provide for the Mother. The Mother, while capable of movement, only does so under the most dire of circumstaces. The Mother will put down and grow an impressive root system which can stretch out for several miles given the right soil conditions. This system allows her to have a connection to the land it grows through and all plant life wihtin it.   The Thorny's job is to maintain the land the Mother claims as hers, keeping it free from pests and any plant life which would threaten the mother. They also tend the land, ensuring it does not become overgrown, as this can choke the mother's roots. The mother requires more animal protein for survival than do her male offspring, some of this she can get from her root systems as they encounter insects and burrowing creatures. However, in the weeks leading up to her flowering season she requires more than this, at which time the Thornies will hunt her down larger creatures, and bring them to her.  
There are two circumstances in which the Mother will produce a female seed: If she senses she is coming to the end of her life cycle, or if the System becomes too large. In the case of the former, this seed will be planted at the foot of the mother and her death will fertilise the ground upon which her daughter grows. In the case of the latter, the seed will be taken to a new location which has been deemed suitable by Thorny scouts and planted there to start a new system.
   

Mating Ritual

Every 2 years the Mother produces flowers, which sprout at random fron her body. At the same time, any fertile Thornies within the community will begin to produce pollen. This pollen production last for 3 days, on the second day the pollen is at it's most potent. On this day the Thornies will hold a fertillization ritual. This consists of the Thornies leaping and dancing around the mother in a 3 hour long ritual. This energetic movement causes the air around the mother to become full of pollen. This pollen then settles upon the flowers she has produced and pollinates them.   After a few days the flowers fall away and leave behind seeds. These seeds are plucked and planted in sulphur rich soil in a nursery not far from the mother. The seeds germinate for 4 months before sprouting to the surface as spiny pods. The pods continue to grow foe another 3 months, at which time the young thorny inside will break their way free. The young thorny will take several weeks to reach saplinghood, at which point they take up light duties. They reach maturity after a year at which point they are considered old enough to go out beyond the community home.
Lifespan
50 years
Average Height
one and a half to two foot
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
They range in colours from a dark olive green through to dark brown. Their thorns are usually a few shades darker than the rest of their skin.
 

Assassin Association

During the first few years after their escape, the Thornies never stayed in one place for too long for fear of discovery. However this prevented the mother from laying her root system, and she began to suffer as a result. A chance run in with a head of one of the Assassin's orders solved this problem, at a price. The assassin's agreed to show them somewhere safe to live and protect their secret if some of the Thornies agreed to come and work for the Assassin's guild.  
 

Planting for nutrients

They must plant themselves in the ground for at least fours per day, in order to get the necessary nutrients that they need. The length of time varies depending on the fertility and sulphur content of the soil. Due to their origins on the demon plane thay prefer soil which is rich in su;phur, this is why their systems are built near volcanoes.  
 

Plant magic

All Thornies have the ability to influence plant life. Causing them to shrink or grow, to bloom or wither, and even to attack enemies. They also have the ability to teleport themselves via plants, they can simply step into one plant and step out of another.

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Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Apr, 2021 23:13

That's a very nice plant! I love their physical description, that sounds very cool :D And the way their society works is also very interesting   "They must plant themselves in the ground for at least fours per day" I'm guessing "hours" is missing here?   "thay prefer soil which is rich in su;phur," you have a typo at they and one at sulphur. " under the most dire of circumstaces." a typo at circumstances here   "they can simply step into one plant and step out of another." Does that work with any kind of plants? Do they have to get inside or just stepping on top of it works? Could they do that with grasses for example? That would allow them to get almost anywhere. What if they crush the plant when they do that? Does that still works?   Do you have an idea for a rough number of how many systems of thornies are they in total? How big can one system get?   You have written Mother several times without the capitalisation and several times with it. It's best to stay consistent and keep the same spelling.   " The pods continue to grow foe another 3 months" you have a typo at for.   I really like the mating ritual and what you say about their childhood and their society in general :D

10 Apr, 2021 13:47

Very cool plant. They seem to have a quite unique appearence with their 6 legs. Their society gives me a little bit of an ant hive vibe, with one queen controlling everything, quite interesting. It is also interesting that they bonded with the assassins, they must be quite usefull to have :)   If found one type 'and surprising speeds' should be 'at' :) In all nice read!

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16 Apr, 2021 18:59

Oooh, so you can hire Thornies to have plants strangle your enemies? Neat!

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