Ravenloft

Venus Weed

The Lonesome Road



Climate/Terrain:Temperate to subtropical/Land
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Solitary
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Photosynthesis, Carnivore
Intelligence:High (13-14)
Treasure:Nil
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:6
Movement:0
Hit Dice:8
THAC0:13
No. of Attacks:2d6+3
Damage/Attack:1d6 (x2d6)/1d3 (x3)
Special Attacks:Charm, blood drain
Special Defenses:-1 damage per die from bludgeoning attacks
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (12’ diameter bush)
Morale:Elite (14)
XP Value:1,400

Few creatures are as equally beauteous and deadly as the dreaded Venus weed. Seemingly a nightmare hybrid of a human woman and plant, the Venus weed lures unwary creatures to feed on their blood.

The Venus weed resembles an oversized rose bush, complete with wicked thorns. The plant has only a single flower, but that rose is enormous, nearly 4’ in diameter. When this snow-white rose opens, a beautiful human woman is revealed. The woman is unclothed and voluptuous, with long, strawberry-blond hair. Her pale skin is flawless, and her emerald green eyes sparkle with the promise of wicked delights. Unfortunately for the Venus weed’s victims, the “woman” is merely a specialized vegetable structure, intended to lure them close enough for the plant to attack. The woman lacks legs, and her hips are rooted at the center of the flower.

Venus weeds cannot speak to other creatures, though they understand speech, and are not completely mute themselves. The ?woman? at the center of the plant’s flower can utter noises, though usually this is limited to sighs of contentment (when seducing a victim) or shrieks of rage (when the plant is attacked). Venus weeds are highly intelligent, and communication can be established with them through the speak with plants spell.

Combat: The Venus weed can sense when an intelligent creature approaches within sixty feet. The plant’s rose will then open, revealing the beautiful “woman” inside. Any intelligent humanoid that lays eyes upon the woman must save vs. spell or be instantly charmed. Human males receive a -4 penalty to this save. Charmed victims are compelled to move towards the plant, infected with desire for the woman that beckons them forward. Those who make their save are immune to the Venus weed’s charm for as long as they stay within the plant’s presence.

When a victim comes within 15’ of the plant’s flower, whether compelled by the charm or otherwise, the Venus weed attacks. Thorny, spear-like tendrils erupt from the ground, seeking to impale victims. The Venus weed has 2d6 such tendrils, and can attack a single target with up to four tendrils at once. If a tendril hits, it inflicts 1d6 points of damage and begins to drain blood from the victim. Victims lose one point of Constitution per round until the tendril is removed or the plant is destroyed. Successfully inflicting six or more points of slashing damage will sever a tendril. Constitution points are regained at a rate of one point every two days, but victims who reach zero Constitution are slain. Gruesomely, a Venus weed’s petals gradually take on a red hue as it drains blood from victims.

The “woman” in the plant’s flower can also attack independently of the tendrils, hurling magical darts at victims. These darts appear to be red roses with wickedly pointed stems, and inflict 1d3 damage each. The plant can throw up to three such darts per round to maximum range of 40’, and has an unlimited supply.

Venus weeds take -1 damage per die from blunt weapons. Conversely, they take +1 damage per die from fire, both mundane and magical. They are deathly afraid of those who wield fire, and if attacked with flame they must make a morale check or release all victims they are currently draining of blood.

Habitat/Society: Venus weeds can survive in any wild, temperate area, though they grow particularly well in nutrient-poor soils where most plants would be stunted. Though they can survive on the blood of any mammal that wanders too close, Venus weeds seem to prefer a diet of human blood. They often grow far enough from settlements that they cannot be discovered easily, yet close enough to ensure a steady traffic of victims. Venus weeds are sometimes found growing alongside bloodroses.

Many occult scholars believe that the Venus weed is the product of a mundane rose bush that was watered daily with fresh blood by a hag inclined towards “experimental horticulture”. Though Venus weeds now mainly reproduce like normal flowering plants, it is thought that watering a rose in such a manner could produce a new Venus weed in time.

Ecology: Like other carnivorous plants, Venus weeds rely on digested organic matter – in this case, blood – for the nutrients needed to supplement photosynthesis. Unlike normal roses, Venus weeds blossom early in spring, with the flower persisting until late summer. This is to maximize its hunting time before the “woman” structure desiccates and ruptures, releasing pollen. Though the Venus weed is very rare, it is capable of self-fertilization. They are territorial creatures, without much use for other intelligent beings. They occasionally enter into alliances with other evil creatures, however, if a steady stream of fresh blood can be guaranteed.


The Lonesome Road


Last Modified: March 01, 2014, 12:43:24 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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