THE CYLIAN POPPY

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Cylian Poppy is a flowering plant with blindingly bright white petals surrounding an iridescent gold coloured center. The foliage is jagged, spiky and sharp enough to latch onto leather without trouble. It is mainly used for its thick, milky sap, which is a highly addictive narcotic, and a rather strong one at that, but can also be used in deadly brews with the right levels of skill, which is colloquially known as "Murdrum" in certain cities.

Appearance.  The Cylian Poppy is usually approximately two fores high at its maximum height in the summer when it flourishes, but it can retract to as small as one palmspan during the colder seasons. The stem is rather thin (around one nailsbreadth), allowing the plant to swing around as it needs to to latch onto its prey, which it latches onto with its leaves and leeches off of for food while simultaneously releasing a powerful shatír'ó'chón'cár (lit. "winged spirit") into the subject's body, not only numbing them to the pain, but also causing them to fall asleep while still in the plant's grasp.

It should be noted that this effect seems to be amplified based on the level of sentience of the subject. Creatures with extremely high levels of sentience, such as elves and men, have even been known to become unknowingly addicted to the shatír'ó'chón'cár and felt compelled to wander the area where they had been caught in the plant's trap until they got caught in another one. This, after a few months, usually results in the death of the victim as they become mindless slaves to the plants by coming within five peds of it due to what is assumed to be some sort of aura emitted from it, making it mighty hard to escape the call of the Poppy.

The leaves of the plant seem to have pulsating veins all over them and can vary in length from three nailsbreadths to a full palmspan. The radius of the flower, however, is always around one third larger than that, so as to hide the leaves from any people, whatever race they may be, and to lure them into its trap. The Cylian Poppy flourishes in warmer climates, but can retract its stem to avoid over exposing itself to the cold should conditions temporarily cool. That said, the Poppy should never be exposed to conditions too far below the freezing point of water for more than two moons, or it will shrivel up to a nailsbreadth and not come back up until conditions of room temperature or better are reached or it dies for lack of food.
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Territory. The Cylian Poppy is found only within one league's radius of the Thaelon Forest, particularly around Ephirn's Lake, where it is believed to have originated. It is unknown exactly how far the plant grows from the lake in each direction due to the likelihood of a researcher accidentally getting addicted during their research. They are able to escape the plant's grasp because of their knowledge of its effects, but they must separate themselves from their research permanently in order to avoid any residue shatír'ó'chón'cár affecting them.
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Usages. The most common usage of the Cylian Poppy is as a narcotic, which is administered either using the leaf in its basic form or through the extracted sap, which is often modified with a pinch of forget-me-nut powder to remove the urge to go on a quest to Ephirn's Lake, a side effect of the drug which made early dealers of the drug lose customers rather quickly. However, every once in a while, dealers of the drug will "forget" to add the forget-me-nut powder to the drug, and the user is sacrificed to the plants to keep them alive after constantly being drained of their sap. The drug can also be refined to the point of causing the brain of the user to shut down completely, creating an instant and untraceable death.
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Reproduction. The reproduction of the Cylian Poppy is just as confusing as any other part of it; it sends spores into the body of a victim who has died while still attached to the leaf of the plant they were killed by. If a victim of the Poppy dies from the from the plant, the plant senses the lack of pulse and releases pulses of aura to speed up the decomposition of the body, before releasing tiny spores into the body, which, once inside, reassemble into a seed like structure, which eventually grows into a new flower.

Due to this form of reproduction requiring new generations to grow no more than a few fores away from the previous, the plants often grow in thick clumps that dot the
Thaelon Forest. The plant can spread further, however, if it mistakes an incredibly deep sleep for death and sends spores into the host while it is still alive, who, with any luck, will move around the forest, spreading the plant's seed. It should be noted, however, that the plant can't live too far outside the Thaelon Forest. Travelers have been found dead on the roads a few leagues from the forest with traces of Cylian Poppy spores in their body. In these cases, the spores appear to be shriveled up, leading many to draw a line directly outside of the forest and declare it the extent of the plant's growth.
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Myth/Lore. Although it is unknown exactly how the Cylian Poppy originated, an interesting tale concerning the subject is held by some of the people in Carmalad. They believe that the plant is born of the spirit of Ephirn that was created when the light elves refused to perform their Rite of Return on him, but instead sunk him in what is now known as Ephirn's Lake. They believe that his spirit, still searching for the human woman he sought after his life ended, continues to search for her, only to be continuously foiled by the boundaries of the Thaelon Forest. Other stories state that the reasons for the existence of Ephirn's spirit aren't quite so romantic. They say that either his spirit is angry for his death or the spirit is composed of all the hatred of humanity he'd pent up over years of assisting humans, who he considered less than him. The last one, however, is usually held by those with a hatred towards elves in general, and is the least common of these fables.

The entire plant is believed to have connection to the Netherworlds, though again, this is just unverified superstition, as are most things concerning the Netherworlds. The sap is believed to be usable in a brew with some vaninen concoction, a touch of veell elixir, and a few ods of wizardleaf for a frightening potion that, upon lighting, is said to summon a mystran hoard large enough to take out a small town in minutes and haunt it for years on end. This may be mere myth however, because no known person has ever been fool enough to light one of these, and if they have, they haven't lived to tell of it, which, given the power of a mystran, should not be incredibly surprising.
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 Date of last edit 7th Molten Ice 1675 a.S.

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