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A Vile Growth

Written by Sodose

Murder

  Residence 4-146 17th Street, Heria, Quantan, 16047   Physical Evidence: Body - male, middle-aged, strangled, puncture wound on the upper back, flower - On top of the body, black, red highlights, unidentified species, scraping marks on the floor from the body to shattered window - like something big and long was moved in and out of the building.   Other Observations: Increase of plant growth in the vicinity of the building, air noticeably cooler within 10 feet of the body.
  In the late 40s reports of murders such as the one above began showing up all over western Quantan. All of the killings looked the same: strangled body, shattered window, and a black and red flower sitting somewhere nearby. This was most certainly the work of a serial killer.   The search went on for six months, yielding no results. Killings of the same kind occurred within minutes of each other, even though the victims were miles apart. The evidence made no sense. Why would someone kill these people? What was the source of the scraping marks? Why strangling? No property was found to be missing from the victim's homes, leading police to believe that it wasn't theft that motivated this killer, and these people had almost nothing in common, so the motivation couldn't be personal.   All these questions were answered when Jet Adamin, a mixed martial arts master, escaped the grasps of this mysterious killer. "We have it all wrong," he said to chief detective Lyra Siconor.   "The thing isn't even remotely human. It's a plant"    
 
Evil Vine.png

Biology

  Given the fact that it likes to eat everything that tries to study it, this strange plant has been extremely difficult to study. However, the most technologically advanced empire in the Void is the one doing the research, and scientists did manage to learn a few things.   This biological super-villain is difficult to define. All of its parts are separate organisms, but they all share a collective intelligence. How the various growths communicate is unknown, it can spread between islands and even worlds, so roots do not connect them. Each area of growth has a large flower somewhere at its center, this acts as a brain and center of communication from the rest of the growth. If the flower is killed, another flower in the growth takes its place. It is theorized that somewhere there is a mother bloom, the great brain for the entirety of the Vile Growth.  

Origins

  Given its evil nature, most believe the Vile Growth hails from The Darkness. The growth has never been observed in The Eternal Night, but there are very few other places where something so physically and morally revolting could come from. The deamon lord Gulthias has a strong connection with plant life, so he might be the source of the growth.  

Cult of the Vampire Rose

 
Temple.png
 
I never knew humans could be so terrible.
— An innocent bystander
Wherever there is power, mortals are trying to get their hands on it. The Vile Growth has attracted an impressive cult. This malevolent super-society spans across worlds. People from all walks of life can fall into their organic grasp. Those who have seen the Growth and have lived to tell the tale often descend into madness. Their insanity eventually leads them into Cult of the Vampire Rose. The Growth doesn't kill or eat its cultists, signifying that there is some kind of method to its madness.  

Bloody Rituals

  Members of the Vampire Rose speak of The Awakening, a state of being where a mortal fully integrates itself into The Vile Growth. This hideous transformation dissolves a creature's mind and soul, leaving only a rotting husk. These living dead go by many names in many places, but all are bringers of plague, death, and madness. This state can be reached by way of a hideous rite, involving bathing oneself in human blood.   This cult performs other rituals too. Once every year they use the dark magics of the Vile Growth to commune with each other over long distances. May cultists also know some necromancy or fungus magic as well.

 

Vampire Rose Player Options

 
Druid, Circle of Corruption

Druid, Circle of Corruption

overview
Some druids reject the call of nature's power, and instead follow the path of corruption. These druid's might ally themselves with evil plant creatures or vampires. In the world of The Great Dream they are most often part of the Cult of the Vampire Rose. This is a Druid Subclass, not a class on its own.
hit dice 1d8
hit points at 1st level 8 + con
hit points at higher levels 1d8 (or 5) + con
armor proficiencies Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)
weapon proficiencies Clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears
tools Herbalism kit
saving throws Intelligence, Wisdom
skills Choose two from Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival
starting equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a wooden shield or (b) any simple weapon

  • (a) a scimitar or (b) any simple melee weapon

  • Leather armor, an explorer's pack, and a druidic focus

spellcasting
Same as Druid
class features
Same as Druid
subclass options

Circle Shapes

At second level, when you choose this subclass, your repertoire of forms you can take using wild shape expands. You can choose to take the form of a plant creature when you use wild shape. All other wild shape restriction still apply.    

Frighten Plants and Animals

You invoke the power of corruption, striking fear in the hearts of natural beings near you. You can expend one use of your Wild Shape feature to force each Beast and Plant creature within 30 feet of you to make a wisdom save with a DC equal to your spell save DC. On a failure the creature is frightened of you for one minute. The creature can repeat the save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. Inanimate plants are also frightened of you. For the minute after using this ability, you are unaffected by difficult terrain caused by plants and undergrowth, and have advantage a dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in shrubbery and undergrowth.    

Animate Plants

At 6th level you learn to evoke the power of corruption to reanimate dead plants and animals into undead. You recite an unholy chant that causes a dead plant of Small size within 30 feet of you to stand up and turn into a twig blight. This blight follows your spoken commands for the next 24 hours. At the end of this time it dies once more. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum of once).    

Vampiric Strike

Your cantrips and weapon attacks deal extra necrotic damage equal to your wisdom modifier. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a cantrip or weapon attack, you regain a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt by the attack that reduced the creature to 0 hit points. If this heals you above your hit point maximum, you gain temporary hit points equal to the excess healing. These temporary hit points can stack with temporary hit points gained through this ability.    

Avatar of Vile Growth

Starting at 14th level your ability to reanimate dead things becomes more potent. When you use your Animate plants ability you can instead create 3 twig blights, 2 needle blights, or 1 vine blight. You must provide a dead plant for each blight created in this way, and the plants must be medium sized if you want to create needle or vine blights.
Warlock, Creeping Vine

Warlock of the Creeping Vine

overview
This is content from Tasha's Crucible of Everything Else Volume 1   Your patron is a magical plant, a powerful primal spirit, or some other grand entity of nature and growth, such as a powerful treant, an ancient green dragon, a Totoro, or an archdryad. This being might seek to expand itself and its influence through seed or spore, or it might want to simply perpetuate, accelerate, or otherwise enable the natural cycles of life. In the Forgotten Realms, such beings include the Great Oak of Kuldahar and Zuggtmoy, the Demon Queen of Fungi. In the world of Ebberon, the daelkyr Avassh might be your patron, and in the world of Ravnica, the Selesnya Conclave might be the source of your powers
hit dice As Warlock
hit points at 1st level As Warlock
hit points at higher levels As Warlock
armor proficiencies As Warlock
weapon proficiencies As Warlock
tools As Warlock
saving throws As Warlock
skills As Warlock
starting equipment
As Warlock
spellcasting
As Warlock
class features
As Warlock
subclass options

Expanded Spell List

1st-level Creeping Vine feature   The Creeping Vine lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.
Creeping Vine Expanded Spells
Level Spells
1st entangle, ensnaring strike
2nd pass without trace, spike growth
3rd plant growth, stinking cloud
4th Evard’s black tentacles, grasping vine
5th tree stride, wratch of nature

Biome

1st-level Creeping Vine feature   You gain one of the following features, based on a biome of your choice.   Arid. You retain scarce resources like a cactus retains water. When you expend a Pact Magic spell slot on a spell that targets only one creature, and that spell has no effect on the target, you regain the spell slot.   Boreal. Like a pine tree in the taiga, you can enter a state of hibernation. As an action, you can turn yourself and your equipment to solid wood. You are petrified in a special way. You have all the traits of the petrified condition, except you remain conscious of your surroundings, you can perceive through your senses as normal, and your weight remains the same. You float in water, you are inflammable, and you do not need to eat, breathe, drink, or sleep. You cannot benefit from short or long rests while in this form. You can exit this state at any time (no action required), but no sooner than 1 hour after entering it. Once you have used this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.   Jungle. You can entangle and ensnare your foes in creepers and vines. You learn the thorn whip cantrip. It counts as a warlock spell for you but doesn’t count against the number of cantrips you can know. When you cast it, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.  

Defensive Growth

6th-level Creeping Vine feature   As a reaction when a Huge or smaller creature makes a melee attack against you, you can summon spectral vines to entangle it immediately before it strikes you. The creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw or become restrained until the end of your next turn. Once you have used this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.  

Flora Speaker

10th-level Creeping Vine feature   You can imbue limited sentience and animation to plants within 5 feet of you, giving them the ability to communicate with you. You can question plants about events in the area within the past day, gaining information about creatures that have passed, weather, and other circumstances.  

Natural Defense

10th-level Creeping Vine feature   You can adapt your form to become plant-like, making you resilient against certain types of damage. Whenever you finish a long rest, choose one of the following plant types to emulate. Algae. You gain resistance to slashing damage. Leaf. You gain resistance to bludgeoning damage. Wood. You gain resistance to piercing damage.  

Force of Nature

14th-level Creeping Vine feature   As an action, you can cast the awaken or wall of thorns spell once without expending a spell slot and without material components. When you cast awaken in this way, the awakened plant returns to mundanity after 8 hours.Once you use this feature, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.  
cult of the vampire rose flag.png
Flag of the Cult
Context Info
Quantan: A sub-tropical world inhabited by humans and a small population of Naga.   World Federation of Quantan: The most technologically advanced civilization in The Void. Based in Quantan.   Heria: The capital city of the World Federation of Quantan.   The Darkness: A dark abyss at the outer edges of the cosmos filled with evil creatures and dark magic.   Deamons: Evil monsters that hail to the Darkness.   Necromancy/Fungus Magic: Magic that calls on the power of The Darkness.

On Other Worlds


The Vile Growth has spread far and wide across The Void. It is known to overgrow entire islands. In The Outer Reaches of Suberia there is an island completely covered in the Growth’s vines. This realm of terror is called Zo Istal Kiv Gretya, or The Isle of Creeping Deamons.   The Growth also has a significant presence in Araborea, where it takes the form of a fungus instead of its normal vines and thorns. Some people believe that all of Araborea's fungal life is part of the Growth, but proving such a thing would be hard.   Despite being a cosmic serial killer, the Growth has made its way into Quantanian pop culture. The protection of the Federation has soiled its people, making them disregard even the most dangerous threats. Black rose stuffies can be found in many stores, and the Growth is painted less like a terror of the night, and more as a laughable boogieman.

Reproduction


The way that The Vile Growth creates more of its self is truly terrifying. Each flower, large or small, has a network of tendrils, these vines connect to other flowers and can growth like any other plant. However, the tendrils of a flower cannot sprout more flowers. In order to bloom The Growth must consume a sentient creature. To do such a thing The Growth must wrap its vines around the creature and squeeze the life out of it, at the end of this process a hole is punctured at the back of the neck, extracting the person's conciseness.   After this feeding is complete a fleshing ball forms at the end of one of the Growth's vines. This cancer-like blob develops into a full-sized copy of the head of the creature it consumed. After the head has grown (which usualy takes 7 days) a bulb grows around it and then blooms into a new flower of the Vile Growth. If one of the Growth's flowers is cut open, one can find the head of the creature that was used to create it.

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Comments

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19 Mar, 2021 08:10

Hello!!! I'll start with a little note: In the first paragraph it says "who have it all wrong". I'm assuming you meant either "You have it all wrong" or "We had it all wrong". (passed tense because the guy realised the truth :p) Okay, on to the actual article. I really like the addition of the classes. I might suggest them to my players if their character dies. The article also reads like one of those old-timey murder mystery summaries. The introduction immediately captured my interest. However, I do think that you could expand on the plants' actual biology. For example: why does it attack people? What does it live on? How does it reproduce? Does it have seeds or does it clone itself like a starfish (that would be terrifying)? Does it have weaknesses? Prefered terrain? I think it would add a lot of depth to the species. Although I understand if you want to stick to only the information known in-world.

19 Mar, 2021 12:15

Wow!   Thank you!!


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21 Mar, 2021 16:50

I added a bit on it's reproduction. I want to keep the article short though. 1200 words is my max (I'm 27 words away from it)) I don't want a huge wall of text. But at least it's something!


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22 Mar, 2021 14:52

Ah yes, now it is even more of a hellish creation. Perfect.

22 Mar, 2021 15:27

Ha Ha! Great!


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19 Mar, 2021 09:43

Oooh this is really intersting! I quite like the inclusion of player options, and the article is written in a really original way too! This is an interesting world you have here, consider myself intrigued!

Author of Interarcanum.
19 Mar, 2021 20:59

Why thank you.


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
23 Mar, 2021 21:24

Hi! This was a nice entry to read, well done. Given the plant's reproduction methods, I see why you found it similar to my entry: similar process, different world and mechanisms.   I did notice a bunch of typos/grammar mistakes here and there: a few "it's" that should be "its", mostly. I'd also suggest you say something more in the likes of "However, the most technologically advanced empire is the one doing the research, and scientists did managed to learn a few things.   Otherwise, I really liked your article! The player options at the bottom are a definite plus, and, well, I dig the lovecraftian intelligence that seem to hide in that terrible plant, and the fact that a cult literally formed around it.   Anyway, congrats for this pleasant entry.

With love,   Pouaseuille.   I finally participated to The Costume Challenge: here's an entry if you like!
23 Mar, 2021 22:25

Thanks! I'll squash that error right away.


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
26 Mar, 2021 13:23

I love how your starts the article with a murder mystery, this is a cool concept! And I love how creepy your plant is and that it has its own cult XD I totally want to be included XD And nice reproduction method!   I'm wondering how the plant chose its victims. Is it just the most convenient? Anyone it seen? Or does it has specific targets and a secret plan? Also how does it manages to hide from the government and the people? Is it hiding in the sewers? In any nearby bushes? Just quick note: " People from all walks of life can fall its organic grasp. Those who have seen the Growth and have lives to tell the tale often descend into madness." You have a "in" missing before "grasp" and it should be "have lived".

26 Mar, 2021 15:14

Thanks


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
27 Mar, 2021 21:26

The way this article start is really well written. I like the murder investigation start and the first paragraph where the people find out what the cause is. It really seems like a scary plant. The reproduction especially seems like a creepy thing.   The addition of the classes for dnd are also very nice. I might use those for the start of a villain in the future! Great article!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
12 Apr, 2021 19:36

This is so good! It's pretty much exactly the kind of stuff I think of that fits right into a worlds spanning horror story!   I'm really interested in the way you presented this, like a murder mystery, though I would love to see more details about the plant itself! I was very grossed out by the method of gaining new flowers, but in the way that I started to wonder how it affects the rest of its biology. Also, how does it decide which flower operates as a brain center? It sounds as though there is more than one flower per area and so when one dies, another takes over, but do they compete in some way, or does the master flower choose them somehow?

13 Apr, 2021 21:12

Thank you! For now I want to keep the article short and mysterious, latter after the plant challenge is over I'll likely add some more. I don't want to give the judges a massive read.


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
14 Apr, 2021 10:06

What a truly vile plant!! Fascinating...but so gross xD The beginning case notes of the murder is such a good start to this article and really draws you in to the mystery of it! Really nicely done (despite the vileness of it)   As a side note...I'm finding it very hard to type this comment due to the colouring of the text and box so that may need looking at!

14 Apr, 2021 14:36

Thank you so much! I'm sorry about the CSS, it's a modification of the theme I used for the rest of the world so there a lot of issues, I'll try to fix it soon :)


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
14 Apr, 2021 14:24

Hi Sodose! What a wonderfully morbid creation. I'm a particular fan of how you described the plants reproductive behaviour in your sidebar - a victim's head in the flower bulb is absolutely skin crawling. I also like the differentiation in the world tone I received from your article. I get like a black and white hardboil detective / pulp vibe unlike 99% of other worlds on WA. 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.
14 Apr, 2021 14:41

Thanks! I don't even know why I chose the pulpy vibe, It's sort of the total opposite to the rest of my world, but I'm glad you like it!


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Costume Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
14 Apr, 2021 15:03

Sometimes we just need to do something different as a break/mental refresh. Creating these articles and doing these challenges are meant to be fun ways to develop your skills! Have a great day!

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 18:17

An island entirely populated by these? Nuke the isle from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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