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Plant and Creature Backgrounds

Selected texts intended to be used by artists to create updated versions of creatures or plants. 

Nimbus

Image by Smit Patel

The Nimbus — so named because of the halo-like appearance of its globed fungal caps — is a fluorescent lithophyte found in Desert Cave environments. It is actually a symbiotic configuration of TWO plants: a woody shrub with a distinct, bio-luminescent fungus growing on it. The shrub element feeds off the droppings of cave creatures, whilst the fluorescent fungus feeds benignly from its shrub host. The sickly sheen of the fungus discourages cave creatures from eating either one of the plants. The spores of the fungus are poisonous, causing respiratory problems if breathed in. It will deliberately eject these poisonous spores from the apertures in its caps upon sensing sudden movement in its immediate vicinity. This ejection was once described as being like a 'plume of cancerous fairy dust', being the same sickly luminescent color as the fungus itself. If collected, the spores can be bio-engineered to add glows to manufactured products at the finishing stage. The Nimbus comes in a variety of pestilent-looking colors, so there is a thriving market for Nimbus spores among those who wish to make their weapons look especially deadly.

Caudatergus

Caudatergus.jpg

A bulky, bull-like herbivore that steam-rolls though the jungle and loudly announces its sizable presence. The Caudatergus will sometimes raise itself to its full height to produce a low, bassy rumbling that rolls through the jungle like the seismic wave of a minor earthquake. It thus proclaims dominion over its territory to every beast in the jungle.

Crooktree

Image by Tim Peterson

Crook trees are extremely long-lived terrestrial trees that grow specifically in the less sheltered, more windswept parts of the desert plain. Here the howling winds can reach incredible speeds, shattering branches and eroding hollows in the crook tree's soft surface. Such a harsh environment may sound counter-productive, but it is in fact the very reason for the crook tree’s long life. Just like the forestry practice of 'pollarding', the regular removal of branches keeps these trees in an ever-juvenile state. Through this endless cycle of damage and regrowth the crook tree attains a state of near 'eternal life'. Chikarans hold a deep respect for the crook tree, seeing them as the perfect embodiment of the merits of dedication and striving. However their ancient, malignant, twisted appearance is sometimes viewed as a bad omen by the superstitious — especially at nightfall. Even the more level-headed traveler may feel uneasy upon seeing the crook trees' gnarled, tortured silhouette against the darkening sky. Some crook trees are more hollow than others. The shallower hollows of the crook tree are perfect as nests for small animals. Those that are completely hollow shelter specialist plants in the cavity of their trunk, to the sheer delight of Chikaran botanists.

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