APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 9 October, 2000


Mirage Rose

Janne Kemppi


Badlands in Western Desert and White Desert regions.


Very dry, desert rocky areas. Crag, plateaus and slopes from 100 to 400 meters above sea level.


Mirage rose is irregular star looking plant with no flowers or seeds. Several stems radiate from central anchoring body. Coloration is usually blotchy green. The size of Mirage rose depends on age and nutrition, with oldest and largest reaching sizes over three meters. Most found examples vary between 30 centimeters up to 1.5 meter in diameter. There have been unconfirmed rumours of Mirage rose up to radius of ten meters.

Very small Mirage roses can spead by gathering its stems into loose ball and rolling with breeze of wind. Larger roses have already found optimal place and do not need to move. Upon unwinding from its latest prey mirage rose throws small part of itself. This part will then grows independently unless catched by another rose that's its only chance of sexual reproduction.

Name "Mirage rose" came from settlers who first saw it. They saw fairly rose shaped shimmering mass of stems. Upon closer observation they saw prey inside it. That moment people became aware of its existence as well as its dangerousness.

Mirage rose is carnivorous flora. Generally speaking it can be described as dead plant. Most of its mass consists of dead tissue. It gets its nutrients solely from its prey. It can be said to be living only when it is digesting its prey.

It mimics living green vegetation with irregularities in coloration and camouflaging its true shape. When prey enters into killing zone (approxinmately one third of its diameter), it triggers the trap. Stems wind rapidly towards center impaling prey with thorns. All this activity is purely mechanical. Thorns contain chystallisized salts which upon puncture rapidly poison prey using preys own fluids to liquify salts.

It can only live in remore dry areas where there are no other competing lifeforms. It survives by catching mobile transient lifeforms such as birds, mammals and small reptiles. Mirage roses advantage of being dead plant is also its greatest weakness. Other plants grow over it and render its stems inoperative and scavengers can eat its prey. It can not survive in sandy deserts either as shifting sand will cover it preventing winding properly. Mirage roses cannot survive in oasises either as moisture simply rots it.

Adventure Hooks

Mirage rose can roughly catch a prey that is one third size of its radius. Mirage rose does not grow large enough to seriously threaten (eat) humans. However, largest roses can eat small domestic animals such as cats and dogs. This can create interesting roleplaying opportunities any pet lover can imagine. Ten meter sized mirage roses would be extremely dangerous to unwary humans, possible even gears. It is up to GM to think if such man eaters are encountered.

However, seriously put lethalizy of mirage rose depends on three components: its size, size and shape of thorns and lastly poisonous salts contained. Poison effect varies from irritating to lethal. Several roleplaying possibilities arrive with this. Poisoning in remote regions can be difficult to treat and getting victim to hospital can be adventure against a clock.

Alternatively this lethality can be used by making character encounter someone who has died by mirage rose. This victim may carry some clue to help characters in their adventure. This trick, however, should be used rarely.

Mirage rose can be most dangerous in areas where it is not expected to be. Unwary traveller moving across tangle weed patch may suddenly notice having stepped onto only partially covered mirage rose. Shifting sand may also hide a nasty surprise. Mirage rose effects do not need to be affiliated with poison either. It can make characters lives difficult by grabbing foot of unwary traveller or at extreme cases winding against vehicle tire stopping it.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 9 October, 2000