Vampire Ivy

By Moe Lane


Corporeal Forces: 1
Strength: 3
Agility: 1
Ethereal Forces: 0
Intelligence: 0
Precision: 0
Celestial Forces: 0
Will: 0
Perception: 0

Vessel-Equivalent: 1

Body Hits: 6

Skills: Climbing/3, Fighting/4, Move Silently/4

Songs: Numinous Corpus/3 (Acid)

Discord: Need/3 ('Fluids'), Vulnerability/3 (Sunlight or Fire)

Saminga may not be the smartest Superior out there, but he's a dedicated researcher, in his way. Of course, his particular way would make even Vapula roll his eyes (and almost make Jean wince), but it has to be admitted that occasionally the Prince of Death will hit on something interesting. Vampire Ivy is 'something interesting'.

And bloody dangerous, to boot.

Zombification of plant life has always been possible: even fairly easy enough. The standard Create Zombi ritual (at -1) can be used: in this one case, it can allow for up to 10 Forces' worth of Undead plant life to be created at a time. It's just that there usually wasn't much point to it, unless of course the idea was just to try to tick off Novalis. Even then, most sensible necromancers were reluctant to make the attempt - the problem with trying to tick off the Archangel of Flowers is that you might somehow succeed. There's no telling what might happen afterwards - and is it really worth it, just so you could have an Undead houseplant? Just what were you going to do with it, besides use it as a conservation piece?

Saminga's innovation - and it was one, make no mistake about it - was actually two breakthroughs in one. The first was making the zombified plant mobile. Ivy and kudzu are best suited for this sort of modification: after the ritual, their new method of locomotion is much like that of an inchworm. An oozing, disgusting inchworm with a taste for any sort of liquid and a smell that kills flies at ten paces, true - but that's just part of the Vampire Ivy's charm.

Another part of said dubious charm is its attack habits: these things aren't remotely sentient, even by a regular Zombi's relaxed standards. They're barely capable of waiting motionless until something gets within range, then swarming all over him, her or it. The favored feeding 'technique' is to coil around any handy repository of fluid (tree trunks, canteens, arms, legs, throats and... other places), constrict and use their modified roots as fangs. Once attached, they stay attached until dead or there aren't any more fluids.

This might not be so bad a problem - even a regular human can kill a sprig of Vampire Ivy, and celestials can always take celestial form - except for the other breakthrough. You see, while individual sprigs of Vampire Ivy may not be so tough, nobody ever encounters just one sprig. These buggers usually hunt in packs of about, say, twenty or so.

That tends to change the tactical situation a bit.


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