Two Poisonous Plants

Night Maiden : This low growing herb has dark glossy leaves which are lined at their edges by fine, silvery hairs. From early summer until autumn, it produces small clusters of star shaped, five petalled flowers, each with a cone of bright red or yellow anthers at their centre. The petals are usually dark purple or blue, though white, reddish and even a spotted purple and white variety have been found.

Once the flowers are pollinated, clusters of berries form, ripening from a dark green to a vivid red. These take about three weeks to fully ripen and are often quickly eaten by local birds.

Although the whole plant is toxic, it is the berries that are particularly useful / noxious. The green, unripe berries can be crushed, and their paste (which is very sour) used to make a sharp tea, which is prized for its ability to sharpen one’s senses and keep them awake1. However, the ripe berries can be crushed, and used to make a powerful stimulant that can cause panic and death in those that consume it2.

1: Night Maiden Tea: After 1d6+9 minutes become very alert. Cannot take a long rest for the next 2d12 hours, and gain advantage against effects that cause sleep during that time. +2 bonus to Initiatives and +5ft speed. However, you gain the following flaw during that time: You are quick to assume that things are a danger to you, and will misinterpret even normal sounds and actions as possibly dangerous. You will be on edge, will struggle to sit still, and will become easily panicked.

2: Night Maiden’s Blood: Consumed poison; 1d20 minutes after consumption target must make a D.C. 12 Constitution saving throw. If they succeed they are affected as if they had drunk Night Maiden Tea. Otherwise, they quickly become suddenly overwhelmed by panic, and drop to the floor weeping, screaming and generally act as if they are imminently doomed. Whilst in this state they are Incapacitated. Every round they start in this state, they must make another Constitution saving throw, the D.C. increasing by +1 for every save they have made before. If they fail a save, they loose 1d2 points of constitution (dying if their score reaches 0). This continues until either 1d10 minutes have passed, they die, or until the poison is neutralised. Lost constitution returns at the rate of 1d6 points per long rest, or instantly if the poison is neutralised.

Bitter Milk Fig: A common tree found on many worlds in subtropical swamps, prone to summer drying. They can live for up to 300 year of age, and grow to be almost 100ft tall. They are distinctive plants, that begin life as parasites, draining nutrients from larger trees, before breaking free and supporting themselves. Trees over 5 years of age develop swollen, tear drop shaped trunks with smooth, shiny green bark. At the top of the trunk, long stems grow, each bearing clusters of glossy sessile leaflets. After 20 years of age, they also, once a year, produce clusters of white to creamy yellow flowers, which are born directly from the trunk, and smell strongly of honey and sweaty feet. These are followed by armoured nuts, which are inedible to most, but have a strong, earthy flavour when ground and used as seasoning.

However, it is the milky latex that fills the trunk and leaves of this plant that is valuable. Firstly, if mixed with a mild acid, the latex forms a crude rubber, which has many uses in artifice and engineering. Secondly, the latex is mildly poisonous, those drinking at least a mouthful of it (which is not easy as it has a deeply unpleasant “grassy” taste) having to make a D.C. 10 Constitution saving throw 1d6 minutes later. Failure indicates that until the end of their next long rest, they are impossibly thirsty, and gain the following Flaw: You are overwhelmed by your thirst, and no matter how much you drink, you cannot slate it. When something even slightly potable is in your line of sight, you struggle to concentrate on anything else (can inflict disadvantage on rolls at GM’s discretion), and you must – you must – drink it down, for anything that can stop you feeling as you do, is worth a try...even if it is a risk...

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