Monday, July 11, 2011

Assasin Vine

Assassin vines may be the quintessential monstrous Plants—no siren scents, no spores, no splintered maws…just innocuous, efficient murder.

Just before the harvest festival, assassin vines strangle several victims.  Accusations fly as the townsfolk blame each other, witches, hags, evil fey, and every local elf and gnome down to the last pointed ear.  Even Mother Wheat (an honorific for the druid asked to lead the festival) is not immune.  The real culprit is someone no one expects—a four-time champion dwarven brewer who nevertheless fears all competition, and whose faculty with the vines outstrips even his talent with barley and hops.

The more frequently an assassin vine feeds, the sweeter the berries—so the saying goes.  Likewise the sweeter the wine, as has been proved by one vineyard-owning aasimar aristocrat.  (A resilient dash of lillend blood is responsible for her gourmet palate; four generations of mean, grasping barons and baronesses produced her black heart.)  The aasimar is also a wizard, but a conjurer, not some enticing enchantress or crafty illusionist.  Her victims therefore face progressively prolonged, horror-filled deaths, as webs, obscuring mists and summoned monsters herd them toward the trellises.

An unassuming scarecrow hides an assassin vine.  Grown fat and woody on crows and farmhands, it can no longer leave its perch, but still manages to stretch just far enough into the road to snatch unwary meals.

Pathfinder Bestiary 22

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