[CONTEST/PLOT] The Strange Flora

POSTED: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:28 am

The Strange Flora Spreading Across The Coasts Must Be Stopped

OKAY, SA, EXPLAIN YOURSELVES

As many of you have noticed, an unannounced, secret icon hunt has been in place since the February newspost. ;)

There are five innocuous seeds there. If you checked the file names of the seeds, they spelled out "there are ten of these." We hoped that this would be enough to signal towards there being ten seeds and an obvious icon hunt, but as far as we know, only one person even noticed the seeds at all.

The March newspost featured five sprouting seeds, whose filenames spelled out "our time is running out." We hoped this would get some more people to notice, but while more folks did notice the seeds being in the post, only a few found the file names, and even fewer thought to look back to the prior newspost for clues.

A few days after the March newspost, we stuck the sprouting seeds in the main board announcement box, under Current Events. By then, a few people had mentioned seeing seeds in various places around the board for a while, and a few had spotted various flower icons as well. A lot of hints were dropped in the 'Souls Discord, but it (apparently) wasn't obvious which things we said were actual clues.

Later on, we composed and tweeted a poem regarding the locations of the seeds, as well as hints towards the steps for the puzzle after that. The poem was the best summary of what was happening and the closest you guys ever got to an "announcement." ;)

(1)
there's one in a past life,
and three in this one;
one in our memories,
our records of fun.

(2)
one in the den
of a friend since departed;
one writ in history
of a pack now uncharted.

(3)
there's one who's a guide,
so we're not led astray.
and one giving suggestions
for new ways to play.

(4)
and finally, the last one
hidden deep in the ground
of a ten year celebration
with fireflies surround.

(5)
send in your seeds
to see what they grow.
the path then reveals itself,
if you know where to go.

(6)
the mad scramble, the hunt
does not long last.
we've had such a history
with them in the past.

(7)
have fun, my dears,
for the ending is nigh:
behold this beautiful gift
from our friends in the sky.

Where were the seeds??

As the original seeds spelled out, there were ten seeds. As per the poem, three are in main board threads, one is in an archive board thread, one in the Yearbook, one is in a (main board) account profile, one is on a defunct pack site, one is in the RP Guide, one is in the thread prompt generator, and one is on the "ONE DECADE" board skin.

Actually while compiling this, Kiri realises there were actually none in the RP Guide and four in main board threads. WHOOPS. Good thing the poem helped literally no one anyway!!

What about the flowers??

There were six flower icons "hidden," all with hover text that decoded to "decoy." These were, as they say, totally just decoys, and contributed nothing to anything. c:

There were two flowers on the RP Guide, one in the Request autochecker's results, two in the Yearbook, and one in the Store.

WHAT WAS THE NEXT STEP?

If you PMed the SA with your seed findings, we responded with specific flowers depending on which seeds you found. If you had all ten of the seeds, you'd get back ten flowers. If you only had five seeds, you'd get five flowers, etc. The flowers had more clue words in their filenames, this time numbered in a particular order.

The ten flowers spelled out "the strange flora spreading across the coasts must be stopped."

The last step was looking back at the most recent icon hunt prior to this, which was our 13th Birthday Icon Hunt (awarding a rabbit), which involved collecting clue words to build a URL PATH. The URL path gimmick was also used in one of our 14th Birthday contests (awarding a knife). No one solved the URL puzzle in either case and Kiri figured THIRD TIME WAS THE CHARM.

So did anyone win?

Congratulations to MYST, who got to the last step by piggybacking on others' publicly solving some of the prior steps. ;)

Honorable mentions go to Kite, Vida, Kitty, and Despi for trying really hard, and to Lin, who was the only person who noticed the seeds for like a month.

SO IS THE EVIL FLOWER THINGY A REAL PLOT??

Who said anything about a plot? ;D

What did you guys vote for?

'Souls Assemblage
The Few, The Proud
User avatar
'Souls Assemblage
'Souls Assemblage

POSTED: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:30 am

The Strange Flora

As described, the meteor from spring 2016 caused a variety of disruptions and strange flora began appearing along the coasts facing the impact site some time later. The plants had a very long incubation and slow-growth period, but then matured very, very rapidly as the weather warmed in early April 2017...

Affected Regions

The flowers bloom exclusively on coastal cliffsides with much of the growth occurring on newly formed islands off the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Flora Scale

Many individual plants are rooted in cliffsides starting several feet from the top of the cliff, so their stalks may appear shorter from a distance and their flowers more reachable from ground level.

Flora Specifications

The blooming flowers have the following properties:

  • The scent of nectar attracts and intoxicates fauna of all types. Insects swarm nearby areas and small game fall to their deaths from the cliffs as they approach the flowers mindlessly.
  • Luperci become more disoriented the closer in proximity to the flowers they are. Most Luperci can smell the flowers within a one mile radius, but aren't noticeably affected until within 250 feet. Effects are most severe at 50 feet and closer.
  • Horses and low-speech native species become impossible to control within 250 feet and will likely plunge to their deaths unless physically restrained.
  • The flower stalks secrete a sticky substance, which makes climbing, cutting, and burning difficult.

How do we stop the flowers??

You're welcome to try whatever you want. :)

Can we actually stop them??

That's a good question.

Timeline

  • Pre-April 2017: Literally no one notices these plants growing.
  • April 1-5: Plants enter rapid growth period and are suddenly 20+ feet tall almost overnight. Animals in a one mile radius notice.
  • April 5-30: Attempts are made to destroy flowers, probably!
  • May 1-5: A sudden flora virus appears out of no where and decimates weird flower population. They wilt as quickly as they grew and all effects are nullified. Most native flora species are unaffected by the plant virus, but a few non-native species in the area are -- if your character/pack is specifically growing a non-native species of plant, it might be affected. You can choose if it is.

That's a lame way to end the plot, SA...

OH WELL!!

Participation in this plot is entirely optional. Characters and packs can choose to be totally unaware of the whole thing! But yes, it's canon. Alien flowers. /jazz hands

'Souls Assemblage
The Few, The Proud
User avatar
'Souls Assemblage
'Souls Assemblage

POSTED: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:25 pm

Flora FAQs

Okay! A few questions have come up, so we're answering them below. If you have further questions, feel free to ask here, in the #help channel on Discord, or by PMing us!

What do the flowers look like?

Like giant sunflowers, basically. Color variance is okay! They are in a variety of shades.

What do the flowers smell like?

Sweet, pleasant. Details are up to you. It's possible for different characters to smell different things, by some combination of different interpretations and being influenced by the flowers' toxicity.

Is it at all possible for Luperci to alleviate or reduce the effects of the flowers' intoxication?

Yes, to some degree.

Wearing masks, otherwise covering the nose and mouth, trying to overpower the scent with another, etc, would all lessen the effects, but thinking, concentrating, and remembering what they're doing may still prove quite difficult, even if they aren't hurling themselves off the cliffs.

Only immune characters can approach the flower with no ill effects. If you don't know if your character is immune, they're not immune.

Can parts of the flower be harvested?

Yes, if done so realistically.

That is, please keep in mind the difficulty of achieving that task while the flower's effects are still active. As the flowers wilt, the effects will gradually fade, making harvest easier.

What properties do harvested parts have, if any?

The flower's intoxication effect only occurs when the flower is alive, mature, and blooming, so harvested parts will not have the same effect. Parts of a dead plant might still smell nice, but only as far as any regular flower might smell nice.

All parts of the flower are toxic, but would not be fatal to canines if ingested in small or diluted quantities. In large quantities, effects are similar to that of other flowers toxic to canines, such as azalea, daffodils, and oleander.

The most potent part of the flower are the ovary, bulb, stem, and leaves. Its petals, anther, and filament are almost harmless once the flower is dead (but if a ton of those parts are ingested, they could still cause problems).

Okay, but can they get high off it.

No, but we suppose they wouldn't know that without trying??

If seeds are harvested, can they be grown later???

No. The flowers will not mature enough to produce seeds before dying. Half-formed seeds cannot be grown.

'Souls Assemblage
The Few, The Proud
User avatar
'Souls Assemblage
'Souls Assemblage

News