Tol Tales of Fabulous Flora #5
If struck with a Poison Mangrove coated weapon:
- A creature is slowed. Save ends.
- A failed save brings on paralysis. Save returns to being slowed.
Entering Poison Mangrove water:
- Requires a save against being slowed. Save ends, but each round in the water a new save must be made against being slowed again.
- If slowed for a total of 3 rounds in an encounter, a failed save causes paralysis. Save returns to being slowed.
- An open wound in the water acts as though struck by a poisoned weapon.
Poison Mangroves grow along the shoreline of the Blight Swamp. They grow to be very dense, and form a barrier between swamp tributaries and the tides of the Gulf of Halag. They are distinguished from other mangrove species by the almost complete lack of submarine species in the vicinity; as their name suggests, their roots poison the water around them, and only some highly specialised fish and one breed of alligator have adapted to life in that blighted environment. The Caymen tell of hoverflies the size of rats that suck the water up and inject it into animals, before feeding for days upon the incapable carcass.
Stepping into the water causes a numbness, and after a short while sensation in submerged parts of the body is lost. Slow paralysis follows, and an unsuspecting creature will likely drown, unable to command its limbs and unable to feel what little movement it retains. At least the end is painless. Open wounds and other entry points like the eyes and mouth advance the process noticeably: fish are paralysed immediately; a swimmer will not last long.
The Caymen collect the roots, careful to travel only on the sediment beds around the mangroves, their hands caked in thick mud to prevent the inevitable numbness of contact as they cut and bundle them into swamp leaf sacks. It is a dangerous job, and not just because of the hostile terrain and its predators – the shoreline is deep within Gatorman territory, and collection is only undertaken at auspicious times identified by their priest. An unsuccessful collection augurs ill for the tribe.
Once collected, roots can be whittled and dipped into pools and tributaries to paralyse fish. Highly concentrated root paste is applied to spearheads for the hunt, and a struck foe is numbed and paralysed by a single strike. Like Maste Root Paste, its use in the hunt is imbued with ritual. The evening before, a Cayman wears the skin of one of their larger prey and drinks a brew laced with the poison. Paralysed, he is laid before the hunters and taunted, while other hunters boast of their greatest exploits. The hunter who wore the skin will lead the hunt. The skin is one of the Caymen’s most treasured items, and is kept in a revered place in the temple.
During their stay with the Caymen, the Heroes of Winterhaven witnessed the Poison Mangrove Ceremony twice. It was explained that a Mask Root Hunt and a Poison Mangrove Hunt are distinct types of hunt, and they are believed to represent different hunting virtues.