Yellow Musk Creeper

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Yellow Musk Creeper
Climate/Terrain:Temperate/Forest and subterraneanTemperate/Forest and subterranean
Activity Cycle:AnyAny
Intelligence:Non- (0)Animal (1)
No. Appearing:11 per two flowers
Armor Class:7Varies (10)
Hit Dice:32 (special)
No. of Attacks:2-121
Damage/Attack:Special1-8 (weapon)
Special Attacks:GasNil
Special Defenses:See belowSee below
Magic Resistance:NilNil
Size:L (20' square)M (4-7' tall)
Morale:Fearless (20)Fearless (20)
XP Value:650120

The yellow musk creeper is a plant that attacks humanoids, draining Intelligence and turning them into yellow musk zombies. The zombie serves the plant for a couple of months and then dies, enabling the new plant embedded in its head to feed on the body.

The creeper is a large, light-green climbing plant with leaves like ivy, 1d4 dark green buds, and 2d6 flowers like those of an orchid, bright yellow with splashes of purple. It can cover an area up to 20 square feet from its single bulbous root. The creeper has a sweet, entrancing odor while dormant.

The zombie is a man-sized humanoid with yellow skin and a fixed, glazed look. It wears whatever it had on when taken by the creeper. A fresh zombie has no unusual odor, while those close to death smell strongly of creeper musk.

Combat: The creeper is dormant unless a creature moves within 10 feet of it. When that happens, the nearest flowers turn toward the prey and attack. This attack is a puff of pollen that smells like musk and strikes the face of the victim if the attack roll is successful. The victim must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell or be entranced and walk into the plant. He will resist any attempt to hold him back. The round after he walks into the creeper, dozens of roots attach themselves to his head, burrowing into his brain in two rounds. Each round after that he loses 1-4 points of Intelligence as his brain is devoured.

If the victim's Intelligence is reduced to 1 or 2, he immediately becomes a yellow musk zombie under the control of the creeper. If his Intelligence is reduced to 0 or less, he dies instantly. If the plant is killed before the roots can reduce him to a zombie, Intelligence is restored at the rate of 1 point per day. A heal spell instantly restores all lost Intelligence. A zombie can be cured, if the mother plant is first destroyed, by casting neutralize poison and heal, one immediately after the other. It takes the victim four weeks of rest to regain all his original characteristics and levels of ability.

When a humanoid is made into a zombie, it keeps all its hit points, but attacks as if it were a 2-Hit Die monster. It keeps and uses any weapons in its hands at the time of death, but cannot cast spells or call upon magical powers. The armor is retained, but no bonuses due to Dexterity or Wisdom are allowed.

The creeper can be cut back with slashing weapons, burnt, frozen, or otherwise damaged by anything that would harm a vine. However, it will eventually grow back from the main root unless this root is directly damaged. Points of damage are only recorded if done to the bulbous root just under the surface of the soil. YeIlow musk zombies are not true undead, and therefore cannot be turned by priests. Like the creeper, they are immune to charm, hold, illusion, sleep and other mind-affecting spells.

Habitat/Society: The creeper is found primarily in soil areas underground, or in the depths of forests and jungles where little light strikes it. It can climb trees or rocks, like common ivy. It is occasionally planted intentionally to guard a particular area. The zombie can range up to 100 feet from the creeper.

Ecology: The creeper attacks any creature larger than a house cat that approaches, but it can only create zombies from man-sized humanoids. It feeds on the bodies and on the soil in which it is planted. The bones or personal items held by those it kills are buried by the zombies close to the root. The zombie does not eat, being partially supported and kept alive by the seedling in its head. The creepers only natural enemies are disease, insects, and a lack of food.

The creeper has 2d6 flowers and 1d4 buds. It can control one zombie for every two flowers. If a victim dies, a new flower opens from a bud, and a new bud appears. The zombies' main goal is to drag creatures, particularly humanoids, into the creeper. After about two months of zombiehood, a zombie wanders at least 200 feet from the parent plant and dies. The seedling that has been growing in its head now sprouts and flowers within an hour, feeds upon the corpse, and becomes a new creeper. This creeper covers the same surface area as the prone body.