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  • Shiftrees


    Enigma
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    Shiftrees are a dangerous and invasive species that had made a sudden appearance and impact in the deserts of Moosahimian territory, often described as a monster that you absolutely need to kill and something widely agreed not to be preserved. They're an ambush predator that disguises themselves as a tree, striking only when the back is turned with illusory pheromones and earthern spears.


    Family: Cactaceae

    Region/s: Moosahim

    Habitat/s: Desert Biomes

    Threat: C-D Class | Beginner Wizard Level

    Hostility: Hostile and Territorial

    Name origin:

    Aptly called the Shiftree, is a composite species composed of various layers of deceit and lies, primarily so due to the countless levels of truthful replies that may better yet describe what it is and distract from the truth. It earned it's name as Shiftree because of their disguise as cacti in desert regions, it's habit of striking when the back is turned with it's limited intelligence, it's use of illusions, and the shifting sands and winds as offense. Because of this, they earned the name Shiftree as a mix of the word "Shifty" and "Tree."

    Evolution:

    Shiftrees possess a history as brief as one might anticipate given their sudden appearance and popularity, with some arguing that they lack an evolutionary lineage entirely. This stems from the fact that a Shiftree is not a naturally evolved species but rather a composite creature, formed from a parasitized McCoy and a zombie fungus. Unfortunate and as miraculous as it is, the two entities have had extraordinary compatability with one another allowing them to achieve such a perfect symbiosis that they have merged into a single organism, known as the Shiftree.

    This miraculous fusion and spore-ridden expansion brings reason to their rapid and dangerous growth in population, becoming known as a natural hazard. Not only are the Shiftrees capable of reproduction, but their spores can infect nearby McCoy to convert them into one of them; a first-generation Shiftree. In areas inhabited by Shiftrees, McCoy are often found dying out or have been rendered extinct, an unwelcome alternative to the benign cowboy cacti.

    As Shiftrees continue to pollinate and reproduce, their offspring progressively revert to a more primal form, shedding any humanoid traits in favor of resembling ordinary cacti—at least to those who do not look too closely beneath the sand, where a network of mycelium roots spreads far and wide. Typically, by the third spawn, second-generation Shiftrees emerge, necessitating intervention to manage their spread.

    Second Generation Shiftrees are widely recognized and documented: zombified, sentient, and vaguely humanoid cacti that employ their limited intellect exclusively for identifying and eliminating prey. They rely on a predetermined array of attack methods, hoping one will prove effective. Once the prey is subdued, they decompose of the body and wait for the next.

     

    Domestication:

    It is because of their primitive intelligence that Shiftrees prove impossible to domesticate. They lack empathy or emotions, their instincts mirroring those of insects: to hunt, kill, devour, and perpetuate. This relentless pursuit only ceases when their prey escapes their detective range, rendering them particularly challenging to maintain in gardens and homes, aside from their mundane appearance. The only known cases of Shiftree domestication are of affluent and influential businessmen seeking natural guardians for their desert retreats. However, even in these rare cases, there remains the constant hazard of being prey themselves.

    Ecology:

    Later.

    The creature and humanoids:

    The Shiftrees percieve humanoids as prey, as do they any other creature that is not them.

    Abilities:

    Shiftrees possess two distinct types of abilities: immediate and passive. These symbiotic creatures boast the best of many worlds; Flora, Fungi, and Fauna with the roots of their spores acting akin to magical muscles, not only enhancing the density within their hard cacti shell but also forming the basis of strength and dexterity, allowing them to swing their body with crushing strength that can break down even metals like steel. However, to minimize mobility loss, they have softer shells at their joint axis, marking a spot vulnerable to harm.

    Their passive ability manifests as a field of illusions, stemming from the spores they emit, the same spores which infect nearby McCoys. The Shiftrees naturally emit a cloud of hallucinogenic spores that affect the senses of those who inhale it. Carried by the desert wind, these spores don't create false imagery but distort the existing senses; left becomes right, near seems far, with arbitrary patterns updated by the mind's changing perception, creating the false illusion of sentient craftsmanship, whereas it's in truth nothing but the exaggeration of the subconscious mind.

    Their sole active ability and primary means of hunting, is the creation of earthern spears. Often misunderstood due to the illusions they emit whether it's the cause, or effect. Shiftrees can transfer their inherent stores of mana within the desert sand, transforming it into hardened spears that average the Strong-Powerful rank in spellcasting, flying forth like forming stalactites to impale and pin down their prey. This is an ability that stems from the mycelium, the conduit for their mana and the Shiftree's most vital organ.

    Naturally, Shiftrees are devoid of traditional senses; they lack eyes, a nose, a mouth, and even skin for tactile sensations. Instead, they rely entirely on a form of seismic sense as their way of detecting the world around them. Their sensitive mycelium can detect the impacts and vibrations of shifting sands from the ground around them, allowing them to sense life and movement up to 2 miles (or approximately 3 kilometers) away and distinguish between proximity with such remarkable accuracy it can be called a form of Spatial Sense.

     

    Creation:

    Gonna write a short skirt about how the first zombie fungus found the Shiftree and all that shit, pain.

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