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Posted by on 1999 Jul 13 |

Morah Vines and Creepers

(1 Uthor 358 SV: 7 of 19)

Dear Reader,

The last day of Shorka has seen me travel westward from the City of Therenborough into the wilds of Ker’leor.  The Baron’s castle is set strategically on the eastern terminus of the road from those savage lands and acts, purportedly, as a buffer between the known provinces and invasion from the north east.  A crumbling wall, who’s upkeep has been neglected within the last several decades, serves as a grim marker of the borders from one region to the next.  As soon as you climb over its top, you can tell the road ahead will be arduous and time consuming.

The route’s dreary nature tends to sap one’s will and those with seriously bleeding wounds should be cautioned for they will find little desire or ability to tend them.  While this lethargy ends as soon as you reach the end of the road, your danger increases as the savage residents of this corner of Elanthia begin to hunt you down.

The object of my travel’s was one of those hostile creatures: the mobile plantlife known as Morah Vines.  These animated vines pull themselves along the ground by means of their tapering, whip-like, body lashing out and dragging the bulk of their trunk behind.  If the vines were to remain still, it would be easy to mistake them for any other common thorn-bearing ivy. The danger arises not from its rather small thorns, however, but from the serrated and iron hard leaves that cover its length.  These red-tipped leaves have a razor’s edge to them that slices easily into any flesh it slides across or lashes against  .

Since they lack roots to draw nutrients from the soil, the Morah Vines are constantly on the move to find things to eat.  I watched one from a distance as its tendrils poked and prodded along the lower branches of nearby trees.  I suspect that the lack of squirrels and bird nests in this region of the Ker’leor is thereby explained.  The Vines are more than willing to tackle larger and better armed prey as I soon found out.

VinesThere were many hunters looking for these plants, and this is a good thing for their rate of growth is rapid.  If the carnivorous weeds were not cut back we would be swiftly buried in green and red.  I traveled among the hunters, and was guided to an area by a helpful gentleman by the name of Jzerroth.  He made introductions to me of a Gor’tog barbarian named Makari. It is from this large fellow that I gained most of my knowledge of the Vines.

The first thing I learned is that Morah Vines do not travel alone. They are, in Makari’s words, the "head" of a single, much larger, plant. When the first Vines  came across us, they started vibrating along their entire length.  It caused the very ground to tremble and I felt it through my hard-soled boots.  Within seconds, Makari and I were surrounded by Creepers called by the Vine’s thrumming movements.  Any who fight these vines must be skillful in the art of facing many directions at once as one Vine can call up to five creepers.  If you must choose which to face first, always look to the Vine in order to prevent further tendrils appearing. Destroying a Vine will not kill those creepers it has already called, though, so speed is of importance.

Attack they did.  Constant footwork allowed me to evade any serious injury and my axe felled them as if it were a scythe in a wheat field.  The greatest danger came when I had been surrounded by two vines and a multitude of creepers.  I spun around so often, that my dizziness began to effect my balance.  The battle was chaotic for the number of people involved, but swiftly all that was left was a barbarian, a paladin, and a lot of mulch.

I could not gain a suitable trophy from the plant as there was no real way to skin it’s leaves.  However, on searching it’s coils, I discovered that the Morah’s are very attracted to shinny objects.  A large amount of gems and coins were found, leftovers no doubt of past meals less fortunate than Makari or myself.  These I gave in appreciation to the barbarian and his Elothean wife Mikyria who joined us toward the end of the hunt.  Since night was now fast approaching, I bid them safe paths and took the road back to

Before I end this entry, good Reader, one last caution must be stated.  The Morah Vines do not hunt Ke’leor alone.  Gypsy Marauders travel unharmed through these woods and with intent desire to throw back those they consider intruders.  The Marauders possess some secret magic or way of ensuring that the Vines do not attack those Gypsies who pass beside them. Within the next few entries, I will seek one out to test my mettle and continue with the Quest.  May this entry find you whole and hale.