The Strange Flora
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In April 2018, something strange began happening along some of the coasts of 'Souls...
As described, the meteor from spring 2016 caused a variety of disruptions and strange flora began appearing along the coasts facing the impact site some time later. The plants had a very long incubation and slow-growth period, but then matured very, very rapidly as the weather warmed in early April 2018...
The flowers bloom exclusively on coastal cliffsides with much of the growth occurring on newly formed islands off the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Many individual plants are rooted in cliffsides starting several feet from the top of the cliff, so their stalks may appear shorter from a distance and their flowers more reachable from ground level.
The blooming flowers have the following properties:
- The scent of nectar attracts and intoxicates fauna of all types. Insects swarm nearby areas and small game fall to their deaths from the cliffs as they approach the flowers mindlessly.
- Luperci become more disoriented the closer in proximity to the flowers they are. Most Luperci can smell the flowers within a one mile radius, but aren't noticeably affected until within 250 feet. Effects are most severe at 50 feet and closer.
- Horses and low-speech native species become impossible to control within 250 feet and will likely plunge to their deaths unless physically restrained.
- The flower stalks secrete a sticky substance, which makes climbing, cutting, and burning difficult.
- Pre-April 2017: Literally no one notices these plants growing.
- April 1-5: Plants enter rapid growth period and are suddenly 20+ feet tall almost overnight. Animals in a one mile radius notice.
- April 5-30: Attempts are made to destroy flowers, probably!
- May 1-5: A sudden flora virus appears out of no where and decimates weird flower population. They wilt as quickly as they grew and all effects are nullified. Most native flora species are unaffected by the plant virus, but a few non-native species in the area are -- if your character/pack is specifically growing a non-native species of plant, it might be affected. You can choose if it is.
- What do the flowers look like?
- Like giant sunflowers, basically. Color variance is okay! They are in a variety of shades.
- What do the flowers smell like?
- Sweet, pleasant. Details are up to you. It's possible for different characters to smell different things, by some combination of different interpretations and being influenced by the flowers' toxicity.
- Is it at all possible for Luperci to alleviate or reduce the effects of the flowers' intoxication?
- Yes, to some degree.
- Can parts of the flower be harvested?
- Yes, if done so realistically.
- What properties do harvested parts have, if any?
- The flower's intoxication effect only occurs when the flower is alive, mature, and blooming, so harvested parts will not have the same effect. Parts of a dead plant might still smell nice, but only as far as any regular flower might smell nice.
- Okay, but can they get high off it.
- No, but we suppose they wouldn't know that without trying??
- If seeds are harvested, can they be grown later???
- No. The flowers will not mature enough to produce seeds before dying. Half-formed seeds cannot be grown.
In April 2020, much smaller versions of the alien flora began to bloom widely across the coasts and some further inland. While these flowers still had some of the pleasant intoxication properties of their previous counterparts, they were much, much less potent. They appear to be annuals and have reappeared every spring and summer since.
The hybridized flora look similar to sunflowers and some locals began calling them "starflowers."
- Duration: Annual
- Height: 6-8 ft
- Leaf: Green
- Flower: Color varies, most commonly red, orange, blue, white
- Bloom time: April-July
- Ideal habitat: Open coastal areas with moist, rocky soil
- Light requirement: Bright sun
- Water requirement: Medium
The flowers have an extremely pleasant smell and may cause momentary confusion, inexplicable happiness, or unexpected daydreaming to Luperci and other animals nearby, especially if there are a large number of flowers. However, the effect isn't strong enough to cause significant or lasting harm.
Wildlife: The flower attracts a variety of insects and birds for pollination -- perhaps even an excessive amount. Seems resistant to common garden pests and other predation.
Toxicity: All parts of the plant are toxic, but would not be fatal to canines if ingested in small or diluted quantities. In large quantities, effects are similar to that of other flowers toxic to canines, such as azalea, daffodils, and oleander. The most potent part of the flower are the ovary, bulb, stem, and leaves. Its petals, anther, and filament are almost harmless once the flower is dead (but if a ton of those parts are ingested, they could still cause problems).
Other: Drying and smoking any part of the plant does not replicate the pleasant smell or effect of the flower. It's only potent while alive and blooming. Smoking especially toxic portions of the plant may cause illness in Luperci.
DO NOTE: Luperci would not know any of the above by default and must figure it out by themselves, if they're to figure it out at all!