This week for world building Wednesday, we’re dialing down to something smaller scale. My intent when I started these wasn’t to have every post be as long as they have been. However, it was kind of necessary to be able to lay the foundation for future world building. This week, we will take a look at the first bit of botanical world building I have done.
A Flower With a Sting
The bloodthorn plant is a fairly rare and hard to come by herb. It is found high in mountainous regions. It’s barbed roots are able to burrow into cracks in between rocks and hold it in place. The flower itself looks quite menacing. It’s petals are a bright crimson in the center, with black thorn-like leaves surrounding the head of the flower.
These thorns have been found to be relatively avoidable by intelligent races and really only pose a problem to animals. The flower can be grabbed from the back of the head and the thorns can be folded forward. This allows the head of the flower to be easily removed and the thorns can be dealt with later. It is important to avoid these thorns as a cut from them causes an intense, burning, pain.
Flower of the Orcs
There is a reason to seek out a plant whose thorns cause a great deal of pain. The orcs of Kush’ru’kai found that ingesting the flower filled them with energy and strength. An orc who was regularly ingesting bloodthorn flower could go days without sleep. They could fight more fiercely. This came at a price however. After an extended time on bloodthorn, the orcs wits would begin to fade. Once the effects wore off, they would find themselves incredibly exhausted. The longer they stay on bloodthorn, the worse the effects would be. Some have even died.
Over time, the orcs stopped ingesting the flower itself. Instead, they found they could dry the flowers and crush them into a powder. Orcs in battle will usually carry a vial of bloodthorn powder. Fierce warriors will begin taking it days before an upcoming battle to let the flower build up in their system. This gives them a great edge in combat and allows them to fight while others need rest.
Mechanics – Using Bloodthorn in Your Game
Currently, I am waiting for this item to be approved as public homebrew in D&D Beyond and it will be able to be added to your homebrew collection there. I’m hoping that this link will work once it is approved. Until then, and for those of you that don’t wish to use D&D Beyond, the text for it is below.
After ingesting this powder, the creature gains a +1 to their Strength score and a -1 to their Wisdom score for the next 8 hours. During this time, the creature does not get tired, does not need to sleep, and does not suffer the effects of exhaustion.
This effect can be a applied every 8 hours, extending the duration and increasing the power’s effect.
Once the creature allows the effect to end, it must making a Constitution Saving Throw (DC 11 + Number of days awake). If the creature fails this saving throw they immediately fall under the effects of the avoided exhaustion.