The Green Guardian
"You know old Hallens down near Sudensun? He can grow crops all year round thanks to his vine and when trespassers come in the night, his vine will grasp them by the ankle and catch them, so they say."The sentry vine is one of the most useful plants in all of Pentham. Some even say Penthaar, deity of Pentham, gifted his spirit to the plants and as such the vine is one of the few remaining relics of the ancient age. Known for its semi-sentient responses to changes in its atmosphere, the vine protects and nourishes the crops or other plants in a given distance. Beloved by all, except trespassers and robbers that is, the sentry vine became a common hero in folklore, often saving the protagonist in the story and bringing punishment to the guilty. Although the stories tend to become far-fetched over time, the sentry vine still does its job and over centuries, has single-handedly kept the agricultural market from crashing. Through disaster and chaos, the sentry vine kept food on the table for all of Mescar. The primary function of the Sentry Vine is to sense trespassers and robbers and ward them off one's property. Prized for their unfailing ability to seize the unwelcome person by the ankle with a tendril, the Sentry Vine is an important necessity for farming in Mescar and neighboring countries.
Physical AppearanceThe core of the sentry vine in a bell shaped segment covered in thick, almost scaly organic material. This core is a foot in diameter and about two feet tall and is almost impossible to breech as the plant is sentient and can detect danger. The core anchors itself in the soil with numerous vines emerging underground from the base of the bell. These vines become as thick or thicker than a human's arm. These vines are as strong as reinforced steel and can withstand an ax easily. When its owner alerts the sentry vine that it needs to move in order to be transplanted in another area, the vine will dispel all its water suddenly and shrink up into the core. This way the owner can carry the plant easily to its new location.
The core of a Sentry Vine in a field (by --merlin--)
Reproduction and GerminationThe sentry vine does not reproduce very quickly, in fact some vines have a genetic defect which does not let them reproduce. A sentry vine gathers nutrients throughout the majority of a year then the vine core will open and a single seed will emerge. After the first seed has been produced, subsequent seeds will be created on the same night annually until the Sentry Vine dies. The vine creates this seed by splitting off a segment of its own genetics and DNA and supplementing the split section with nutrients gathered from the earth to create a new seed. Sentry vines, however are very particular about nutrition and location when gathering energy for reproduction and will not reproduce if its needs are not met or if it is in hibernation for travel. A typical sentry vine will produce a forty seedlings in its lifetime.
Growth HabitsAs a seedling, a sentry vine must be nurtured with care for the first year so it can grow into the indestructible guardian of plants which it is famed for. When the seed is first taken from the parent plant, the seed will be in hibernation until planted and can last in this state for up to a hundred years. Seedlings are prized in the agricultural market as they will give the buyer the more prime lifespan than a full grown sentry vine. The seedling grows a single tendril into the soil then the seed shell transforms into the core where the plant soul will dwell. After its first year, the plant is ready to be planted in a field, although its range will be limited due to core size. After a few years, a full grown sentry vine will be able to reach up to a mile in diameter underground. When the vine reaches an elderly age of fifty, the coverage will shrink again and the core will diminish in size and lose its green color.
Climate PreferencesAlthough the sentry vine can be found anywhere in civilized Pentham, the vine prefers places with cooler climate and damper soil. It is known to grow very well on the northeastern borders of the Mith Sea where fog is plentiful.
Nutritional NeedsThe sentry vine requires plenty of water when growing as it needs extra liquid in order to extend its vines into the earth effectively. It draws nutrients from the soil and has been known to eat plant parasites and small grubs without taking harm to itself. The vine regulates the amount of bugs in the earth to the crops needs and, as such, will absorb the excess in order to protect the other plants. In order to eat more solid things such as grubs, the vine will grasp its food and will quickly encircle with greenery. The vine can transfer semi-liquid substance from one tendril to another so it can grow almost instantly around the food. It will then suffocate its food and dissolve it to eat it. It is very rare that anyone has seen a sentry vine act carnivorous above ground although it does happen.
Travel and TransplantingWhen the owner of a sentry vine moves location and wishes to bring the vine with them, the sentry vine will remove its tendrils from the earth by discharging its liquid into the soil and will shrink inside the core plant, ready for transport. The farmer can notify the plant by placing it's hand on the core. The plant will recognize the hand and the signal and will comply to be moved. When outside of the earth, the owner needs to submerge the core in a container of water in order to keep the basic functions of the plant in motion. When traveling, one may see a farmer carrying such a heavy pack on his back as he moves on to a new future.
Societal and Monetary ValueWhile the sentry vine is used mostly for the protection and supplement of crops, sentry vines have been used as security measures in wealthy peoples homes or barricades for prisons. The sentry vine is well known as a fantastic trading piece as their value never goes down in price. Since sentry vines do not have a high reproduction rate and last a long time, they are a good investment and any up for sale will be snatched up immediately.
Abnormal Semi-Sentient QualitiesThe sentry vine is a semi-sentient plant allowing it to sense danger, ill intent, trespassers, sickness in other plants, weather, insuring disasters and other such things. Its abilities allow it to react to potential dangers and protect both the field or fields of crops, an area of land (preferably undeveloped), and the owner and all beings the owner trusts or are under its care. When the vine is alerted of an intruder in the area, the vine will emit a reddish glow from the core and the homing link, a specialized vine tendril growing above ground just outside the owners house, will squeeze inside the house either under the door or through a window and emit the same light (some owners have built a little 'vine door', a small hole in the wall for the vine to come in through). The vine will do the same if a crop had reached a point the vine cannot sustain them wholly but will shine blue, not red.
Sensing ThreatsRobbers and trespassers fear the Sentry Vine as it can always tell when someone unwanted is on the property. By sensing vibrations in the ground and using a special magical sense to detect types of life, the Sentry Vine can never be fooled as to the nature and intention of a visitor. Normal community members just out for a chat or visit don't have to fear the vine since it knows weather you intend harm or good. In the case of someone with evil intent, the vine has been known to burst up out of the ground and entangle the trespasser's feet with its greenery. The vine is never wrong and farmers rely upon the 'soul sensing' capabilities of the plant to guard their property and goods.
Owner LoyaltyThe vine is always loyal to its owner. When one purchases a vine, the new owner places it's hand on the core of the plant for a few minutes until a faint green glow could be seen along the seams of the core. This way, the owner has registered itself with the plant and the vine can detect the owners life force amongst others. The handprint is used to notify the vine of a transplant.
"I tell you, last night I was on my way here on the main road and the fog was just as bad as ever but I swear I saw the Karnm family vine light up. The house lit up and they all came barreling out to see what was the matter and I heard a few pairs of feet and what sounded like hooves running behind me but the fog was to thick that way and I couldn't see."
Sentry Vines are very well protected as they are coveted amongst various groups.
core - ten lbs., whole - unmeasured
core - 1 foot, whole - 1 mile
A segment of Sentry Vine above ground
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