A bryophite, in basic terms, is a “plant person”. They are a type of character that has encountered what is called Verridian Moss, a parasitic type of moss that turns them into what they are today.
They are replaced by the moss and mode entirely out of plant material, from their skin to the organs the moss decided to recreate, everything is crafted genetically from some sort of material that count be found in a plant around the world of LOTC.
Often among them are things such as crawling ivy going down their leafy arms, vines and leaves for hair, flowers on their shoulders and collarbones, etc.
One day, a little 7 year old human girl wanted to sleep outside, but her parents said she couldn’t because she would catch a cold. Nevertheless, after her parents were asleep, she gathered her blankets and made a small tent of sticks and blankets on a nice mossy spot and went to bed murmuring to herself, “No one can tell me what to do.” Little to her notice, this moss was a special species. Known now as the Verridian moss, distinguished by tiny microscopic golden colored specks in it, this moss was in the stage of Replacement, the final stage of growth. As the little girl slept, the Verridian moss grew quickly around her; it had been saving all its energy for a moment like this. Around an hour later, the moss had fully enclosed her, and emitted a sweet smelling aroma of sleepiness; now she could not wake up. The moss then proceeded to shoot roots and spores throughout her body, reading it and landscaping. As the little girl slept, the moss replaced every part of her body with plant material. Her hair became roots, her skin became a solid unbroken leaf, her organs replaced with plant-made counterparts, her bones became cellulose. Then it came to her brain, last of all, this would be its hardest task. The Verridian moss plunged in, copying everything, from her memories to her skills to her involuntary motions. It linked its semi-conscience with the girl's conscience. Spending every ounce of energy it has left, it did this so fast the girl still stayed alive. The moss relaxed, it was almost done. It finally analyzed everything it copied; every detail was gone over with scrutiny. It finally finished by going into the next and final phase: Body. All this took 5 hours in full from start to finish. The little girl slept through it all. When she awoke, she felt nothing different, nothing strange until she went to pick up her blankets. She was...green and leafy. She felt her hair; it was...roots. She quickly ran to her mom and dad, who were awestruck. They asked her what her name was, what was on her birthday cake last year, and other questions that only she would know. She answered them all correctly, and her parents accepted her as she was: their daughter. Time went on and something wasn’t right, their girl now acting was extremely rebellious since her new body, always saying, ”No one can tell me what to do.” The moss had taken the last thought in her mind before Replacement, assumed it was the focus of her life as it was the strongest and most fresh, and amplified it to her subconscious life motto/goal/guideline. She was reborn a rebel. She was reborn a plant. She was reborn a Bryophite.
What is Verridian Moss, and Why Does It Do That?
All plants have adapted to certain strategies to get through life. For a specific moss, it started with making more endurant spores, and having little specks of gold, as well as being cushy to spread spores by getting an animal to sit on some the appealing moss and spread spores via them walking. Sentient creatures tended to care more about the texture of something they sat on, so by detecting nearby conscious beings to coordinate release of spores became optimal. Eventually the moss tried with spores that grew on people and produced spores, and, though it was not liked by the host, it was perfect.
The moss got more aggressive progressively, until sitting would cause great puffs of spores which either caused avoidance or washing, which resulted in failure. Learning from its failure, the moss eventually developed sleeping powder, releasing vast amounts of spores once the victim was asleep. This, however, again resulted in failure, as hosts would die soon after as the spores either branched into vital organs or from nutrition deprivation.
It was here that the moss gained such names as 'Nether's Bed'. Undaunted, the moss eventually figured that out, and solved the problem by much trial and error. Doing the unreasonable because it had to, the moss developed a way to not damage the body's system by, well, seeing to the bodily functions itself. After success and success it came to depend on this technique and refined it to perfection.
What is it? / Description
As the victim is asleep, the Verridian Moss releases waves of airborne spores that enter them via their respiratory system. Slowly, the parasite begins to destroy and replace the body from the inside out, a completely painless process. The body is rebuilt by the parasites being controlled by the Verridian Moss, slowly made into a new body, deeply resembling the previous. Scars, injuries, and illnesses are usually not re-made, destroyed and replaced with healthy substitutes. At times this can lead to bryophite “birthmarks” which are patches where the moss was left to it’s own because it needed to replace something with a new portion that was not a duplicate of the original.
Things such as memories can be lost in the process, as the moss isn’t fully sentient, it does not understand the life of the victim and simply recreates that portion of the brain with as much of the original intact as possible. In most situations, a newly made bryophite will forget what names go with what faces, the names of towns, sometimes even their own names. The easier something is to forget, the more likely it is to be left behind.
Old memories will be more likely to be completely forgotten, for instance, if a 200 year old elf is changed, they are very likely to forget anything above 60-70 years ago.
Depending on the race of the victim, the way the body functions may be drastically changed.
Humans, for example, are strict omnivores, they can eat just about anything. A human bryophite will find that they now have a distaste for most kinds of meat, and would rather eat things such as sugary meals, sweets, grains and fruit or vegetables.
Many bryophites might also find the insatiable thirst, for sugar water.
They now breathe, not oxygen, but carbon dioxide, and exhale oxygen, just like a normal plant.
Many of the victim’s physical traits are changed, as well, but generally, a Bryophite looks like it formerly did in shape, but everything is made plant material. This term is vague, because a huge variety of plants have been found in use, some Bryophite have been found with eyelashes of venus fly traps, others with roots for hair. Only thing that has never been seen is tree bark.
Some people have been known to go insane. The fact that their body has changed to a plant is too much for them to handle mentally. This Elf Bryophite has run off into the woods and lived alone. It is important to note that this insanity has no direct connection to body changing, the concept of being different for the rest of their life is what drives them mad.
Misconceptions (These are Untrue):
Bryophites use photosynthesis to get food.
Bryophites cannot go in a desert.
Bryophite bodies do not age.
Bryophites go dormant during winter.
Some people have been cruel enough to capture and harvest from Bryophites. A body of Verridian Moss will re-generate almost 100% of the time [in rare occasions, the plants growing on the bryophite can indeed change or die off after harvesting] to the exact same plant material, this makes them easy to harvest from, as they grow all season, can live almost anywhere, and have been known to render better, fresher, stronger, and slower spoiling items. It is not unheard of to find bryophites enslaved or imprisoned by underground markets, bandit groups or slavers who wish to use them for the items they may or may not have an advantage for.
This list below contains things commonly sought for and why they are sought for.[things that are asterisked (*) will apply to all Bryophites, those without one only apply to certain Bryophites who are made up of or produce that material]
Bryophites producing normal plant life: At times, it has been known for the bryophite kind, being comprised of plant materials, to sprout average plant life in accordance with the materials that make their bodies. This does not mean the plants that grow on the bryophytes bodies are like limbs, they are simply, plants. If they grow vines for hair, they cannot move their hair like snakes or arms, it’s just normal, everyday vines.
Alchemical ingredients: If the Bryophite's body grows an alchemical plant ingredient in an easily accessible place (say, their skin, that will occasionally grow leaves), some alchemists will take advantage of this and use them like a tree for the plant. This is especially the case when the ingredient is either strong or a pain to find. Bryophitian ingredients tend to be more pure and, when doing recipes that require perfect balance or are going close to shattering equivalent exchange, they can be very helpful, giving you an edge.
Herbs: Some Bryophites can find themselves sprouting common or even in some cases uncommon or rare herbs. Things like herbs used for cooking, or even healing, have been know to grow on the shoulders and collarbones of a few curious Bryophites. It is unknown what determines the kind of herb that a Bryophite may sprout, or even if it will happen at all, but it is known that the herbs when harvested tend to be higher quality than what one can get from your average garden, giving it high demand.
Valuable Plants: Some of the more common but valuable plant materials that have been found to grow on Bryophites consisted of things such as Violets, or Lavender flowers, used in the expensive purple dyes that most nobles tend to keep for themselves. Dyes being the most commonly used of the valuable plants, there have been others such as fiber like materials in their hair that were often used to craft ropes and twines. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of to find female Bryophites whose hair had been cut for this very reason, as the fibers were more plentiful in this fashion, than harvesting actual fiber plants.
Incense Plants: There have been a few cases where Bryophites have been found growing certain herbs or plants that give off pleasing aromatic effects. A few different categories were made at one point, to describe these odd mixtures that at times will appear amongst the few. These plants have been known to smell inexplicably better, people saying that although it smells the same, it feels (and even the orcs would struggle for the right word) "more pure" (as most say) or “BETTER-ER-ER-ER” (as most orcs said).
The Harvest: This type of incense is when a Bryophite grows the sorts of herbs that give off the aroma of the fall, pumpkin spices and the leaves of maple trees, these Bryophites are often sought after in the fall and winter seasons, though their incense continue to grow throughout the season.
The Frost: These Bryophite can be a curious mixture of things at times, from the clean and harsh mint herbs to the cool and sweet smell of winter grass, their incense is sought after in the winter and spring seasons. These incense are used a lot at times by taverns and other places with large gatherings, due to the fact that this particular type is the strongest smelling, and able to put strong odors at bay.
The Sweet: The sweet Bryophite, more often seen amongst the females, are a spring time category. They are the ones who grow things like sweet smelling flowers, honeysuckles, herbs that give off a calming sense. They are often sought after in spring and summer, and at times in the winter from those who dislike the season and try to replicate the warmth of spring in their homes.
Poison Ingredients: Some Bryophites have been found with deadly plants or ingredients that grow on them. This is extremely useful for poison brewers, as they can make the same poison again and again. As with other plants, these plants will reproduce and care for themselves [as long as the bryophite is healthy] and stay in optimum health, without needing the knowledge of the care for the plant itself to keep it alive.
*Bryophite Blood: Some have tried injecting rats with Bryophite sap blood to see if it is contagious. Bryophite blood is full of nutrients, more so than normal blood. When injected (in moderated amounts) it acts almost like a caffeine shot, however, if too much is injected, the animal or person will die from an overdosage of the nutrients and vitamins found in bryophite blood, do to the fact that bryophites are built to harbor the nutrients, while other races are not.
Bryophite blood has proved to be "DEE-LISH-SHUSH" (~Anonymous Orc who was halfway through a cup of it, slobbering it down) to Orcs, but other races find it "not pleasant tasting, but then again, not bad" (~Anonymous High Elf, coughing and spitting it out when we told him that he was drinking blood).
Some Bryophites have been known to bear fruit. This is NOT very big, usually the fruit is only about as big as a grape. No, the fruit does not shrink, any fruit much bigger than a grape just doesn't grow. A Bryophite eating it's own fruit has no benefit whatsoever, as their body put its own energy into the fruit in the first place. The net gain is zero.
On that topic, you cannot ‘plant’ a seed on a bryophite, or germinate a bryophite with a plant's pollen. Bryophites plants that grow on them grow because of how the bryophite developed during the transformation process. If you for instance make a bryophite eat grape seeds, it would be the same if a human had eaten them. At times it has been known for bryophites to “bloom late”, where when they hadn’t anything growing on them before, it would turn up after a year or so, but once something begins to grow on a bryophite, it will always grow and reproduce in moderation. Just as so, you cannot stop the product from being grown, it’s part of the Bryophite’s genetic makeup, remove it and cut it as you will, you will only make the Bryophite sick from lack of nutrition, as it is being put into the fruit and removed, and possibly kill it if you try much harder such as attempting to "dig it out from the root".
Clarification on Magic
Bryophites are not genius. This results in most Bryophite having a hard time becoming a scholar, enchanter or alchemist unless it was already learned before hand.” Bryophites can learn most Deity magic, it's just difficult for them to learn things which take large amounts of understanding, or large amounts of new knowledge. Now, bryophites do have the capacity to learn dark magics like necromancy, however it's not very smart to do. Being a creature made the way they are, the practice of dark magics like that would simply cause them to be sickened, and die. Evocation magics, which already in the long run have negative effects on normal beings, are more harmful towards Bryophites, as their magical defenses are lower than other creatures.
On a non magical level, for instance, a bryophite who was a skilled carpenter as a human, would most likely not be able to learn another profession like traditional medicine that has nothing to do with carpentry. Their new brain just can't handle that kind of high function.
Bryophites as Druids
As their bodies are plants, they have a slightly easier time connecting with nature than other simpler races. They have an easier time learning druidism, but can't become any stronger than other druids simply due to being a bryophite, because of their nature from the previous race they had belonged to.
- Because their bodies are made out of plants, they can regenerate 1.5 times faster than normal humans and can regrow whole body parts that are as strong as the ones that they lost. That is, providing that they don’t bleed to death initially.
- Plant bodies don’t die from age. However, if the life force of the person runs out, they will die. This means that Bryophites usually will live up to the maximum life expectancy of their former race.
- In events of damage to the body, the living moss will sometimes emit small doses of the same sleeping powder that it used during the Replace stage. This results in two things: relief from pain and a soothing aura around them (which might help if they were angry).
- They don’t get sunburnt.
- Fire, as they are made of plants.
- They are generally outcasted or make people feel uncomfortable because they are viewed as being different.
- Because they are made out of plants, they are generally weaker than their former race.
- They don’t need sunlight to survive. However, sunlight gives them comfort. At two days without proper sunlight, they will feel mild discomfort, three and they feel slightly dizzy, day four without sunlight results in extreme dizziness, day five becomes nausea (RPly, not through any plug-in status effect), day six brings shakiness, and finally the seventh day without sunlight, giving them all of the above as well as hallucinations. All this slowly goes away, though, when sunlight is reintroduced, and within an hour they are back to normal. Lack of sunlight has been used, unfortunately and sadly, as a torture device against Bryophites.
- They will freeze to death faster than humans because their bodies are more susceptible to cold.
- Bryophites aren't very smart.
- Unless they were previously one before the Replacement, Bryophites aren’t scholars, enchanters, alchemists, or lumberjacks.
- Bryophites can learn most Deity magic, it's just difficult for them to learn things which take large amounts of understanding, or large amounts of new knowledge. Bryophites do have the capacity to learn dark magics like necromancy, however it's not very smart to do. Being a creature made the way they are, the practice of dark magics like that would simply cause them to be sickened, and die. Evocation magics, which already in the long run have negative effects on normal beings, are more harmful towards Bryophites, as their magical defenses are lower than other creatures.
- Unless they were previously one before the Replacement, Bryophites aren’t scholars, enchanters, alchemists, or lumberjacks.
Serving the September Prince is the only way to become a bryophite at the moment.