Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Carnivorous Water Garden

An extract from what I'm working on:

The Carnivorous Water Garden

An oval space 200 yards in diameter under a blue sky - whether it is a shallow pond or waterlogged turf or something in between is not important. The only important thing is that it is sloppy sogging wet to the depth of a human's knees, and every inch contains coiled carnivorous bladderwort. Their yellow flowers stand up from the surface in their thousands, swaying gently in the breeze.

In the centre of this oval space stands a plinth on which two stone hands are positioned as if grasping upwards for something. A spear made out of the same type of stone and of similar design stands plunged into the wet bog 50 yards from the plinth, and when this is placed into the hands, the fists close around it. This spear symbolises that which was once owned by Itxlub, and returning it to its rightful place causes the doors to his mausoleum to open [see Area 6]. Movement in the marshy area is slowed to 1/4 the normal rate.

The air throngs with tiny albino flies, on whose larvae the bladderworts prey. These flies sap psychic energy and use it to breed. Any sentient being which enters the marshy area loses 10 XP per round. Once the cumulative total drained XP reaches 200, the albino swarm begins to undergo frenzied breeding. They come together in a dense, swirling cloud and the accumulated psychic weight begins to bend and flex reality in the dream world. Pressure is forced outwards and storm clouds gather overhead. The air grows cold and winds begin to swirl. The very air itself stretches, twists and writhes - and the effect on the human body is yet more profound. Anyone remaining in the marshy area three rounds after the flies begin to breed is squeezed, crushed, and wrung out, taking 2d6 hp damage per turn. The flies cease to breed after 6 rounds.

Seven servitors stand around the edges of the oval, positioned at the N, NE, SE, S, SW, W, NW. These are constructed from jade green ceramic material. Each is fixed in place and cannot move - a torso planted into the ground. Water constantly gushes from the mouth into a bowl that is held in the fists; periodically the servitors throw the contents of their bowls over the bladderwort field, scattering fresh water across its surface. The servitors are not aggressive, but if anybody attempts to remove the spear from the area, they will cause enough commotion through their movements to bring about a random encounter.

No comments:

Post a comment