|Common Name||Metei Leantan (Elven), Angry Sweetie|
|Common Use||Ornamental Houseplant|
|Habitat||Warm, humid environments|
Stranglers are carnivorous plants that emit a strong, sweet scent to attract prey. Unlike most plants, Stranglers are epiphytes, meaning that they growing in the air attached to trees as opposed to being rooted in the ground. The most notable features of this plant are its bulbous flower and its tendrils, which hang down from the plant and allows it to capture its prey.
Stranglers are native to the dense jungles of Daendroc, where records of the plant precede even the Elven Empire. A few scholars have theorized that it was most likely magically modified to its present form during one of the previous Void Invasions. Elves call the plant Metei Leantan in their tongue, meaning “hungry vines,” for the tendrils resemblance to an arm reaching out when it captures its prey. Yanar have given it the rather tongue-in-cheek nickname of Angry Sweetie, or simply “Sweetie.” After the colonization of Daendroc by Humans, the plant became known simply as “Stranglers” in Common.
Throughout most of history, the plant remained as an uncommon curiosity left alone in the wild with few botanists ever attempting to grow their own. Recently, after the subjugation of the northern Daendroc lands by the Regalian Empire, Stranglers have risen in popularity, and thus in population as well. Its unique traits have made it attractive as a houseplant among Humans, spreading even to the Holy City of Regalia itself. Smaller breeds of the plant have been cultivated to be easier to keep indoors.
Stranglers grow to be about a quarter-meter wide and are found attached to trees, usually atop a branch. The plant is not parasitic, and merely uses the tree as a home. Its roots snake out from beneath the plant, clinging onto the tree and absorbing moisture from the air. Stranglers have thick leaves that hold reserves of water and a bulbous flower head consisting of five petals around a vase-shaped central body. The petals are thick, leathery, and come in shades of red and pink. Underneath the main leaves, the tendrils emerge from the plant's stem. A Strangler can grow up to a dozen tendrils that reach more than a meter long and are about as thick as a human finger.
Uses and Abilities
Gardeners have been known to keep smaller breeds of Stranglers in specialized pots that let the roots and tendrils hang down. Stranglers are often kept as a curiosity or to catch small pests in one's home. The plant can detect nearby objects and waits for a suitable prey to come close enough to be ensnared. The tendrils will shoot forth in a twisting motion, tightening its grip to strangle the animal and pierce its skin so that they can later absorb the nutrients from its decomposing carcass. Stranglers only need to feed on animals once a month so owners wanting to catch multiple pests usually remove the animal from the plant's tight grasp to put it back into hunting mode.
Stranglers may also be used as an improvement to air fragrance. A Strangler emits a strong, nectar-like scent from its flowerhead to attract pollinating insects and animal prey. This scent is especially strong when it is in hunting but wanes during feeding, which is another reason why owners may take away the plant's prey and keep it in hunting mode. Doing this stresses the plant, of course, as it must continuously pump out more of its sweet scent bait as well as expend energy using its tendrils. Professionals often advise other keepers not to take away its prey too often to give it the chance to feed.
Stranglers are known to possess some level of intelligence with individuals having different personalities. Some Stranglers are picky eaters, preferring certain types of animals while ignoring others. They have varying levels of boldness as well: most only go after prey that they are guaranteed to capture but others may take more risks and attempt to ensnare larger animals.
A dormant Strangler is a happy Strangler; unless they are capturing prey, movement is usually a sign that something is wrong, whether they are threatened or otherwise feel uncomfortable. Some Stranglers might flail in warning if approached by something they think is a threat. They are capable of recognition and seem to be aware that they have caretakers so the plants will often act more favorably towards them, being less likely to attack if approached by one.
- Sailors may refer to the plant as “land squid” or “squid plant”, comparing it to the eponymous sea creature and exaggerating the dangers of the plant when passing tales of Daendroc.
- There are also unconfirmed tales of stranglers killing people.
- Stranglers and felines are not particularly fond of each other and will often fight when kept together.
- Stranglers are not fond of Kleinfolk either and are known to hunt them as their prey.