FIVE HEADACHES

Over the past few weeks I’ve been dealing with godawful toothaches/headaches, and a few times I glimpsed the ur-headache from which all others descend. For your enjoyment, here are some lesser-known varieties of the species:

  • Transtherial neuralgia: The etheric twin to a nerve cluster one one side of your head has become irritated and inflamed, causing debilitating pain through the eye, sinus, and jaw on that side. If left untreated, the psychic impaction will fissure open, splitting your mandible on one side as spined, curving growths of tangible astral pain erupt from your flesh.

  • Lithophthalmic: Your eye or eyes begin turning to stone (not to be confused with ossuophthalmic, when the eyes ossify into bone). The first symptom here is a painful heaviness in the eye as the humours begin solidifying. After several days this will proceed to blindness as the rest of the eye follows suit. Finally, the rods and cones change into new arrangements of stony cells, strange striations that allow sight only through solid stone. Of potential use, if the pain is worth dealing with.

  • Superspectral: Due to encounters with extradimensional forces, the topology of your soul has been changed. As your consciousness is being rearranged, parts of your mind begin shifting, sliding, and skipping across the occult superspectrum. At times your skull might be visibly illuminated from within by previously-unseen and -unseeable colors. At other times your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears may drip and leak otherworldly music that cuts like barbed hooks. None of this feels good.

  • Greater scintillating scotoma: Imagine the aura that accompanies visual migraines, only the aura starts puckering and ripping open and things start coming out and only you can see them, but also you have a debilitating migraine.

  • Buscard's pleromalphasia: Parasitological linguistic infection causes the language centers of your brain to become increasingly efficient. At first this can be helpful, as you pick up new languages remarkably quickly and can follow deductive leaps from the barest of philological information. Unfortunately, the condition doesn't stop at being helpful, and soon your mind is crowded with words, too many words, sentence structures of impossible languages, new declensions that contort your ability to reason or function beyond the point of failure.

WHAT HAS THE CANNY ODONTIC FARMER SOWN, AND INTO WHAT WILL IT GROW?

Common apocryphal knowledge holds that burying the tooth of a hydra will give rise to mighty warriors. It is less well known that burying the teeth of other creatures produces other effects.

1 - 2: Common Teeth

  • Serpent teeth: Grows small but dedicated warriors ranging from 3 and 3/4 inches to marionette-sized, depending on the size of the snake. They hate gemstones and will attempt to destroy them on sight.

  • Cat teeth: A small poltergeist, never seen. The corpses of ghost birds and ghost mice will be left near your sleeping area for two to four weeks.

  • Adult human teeth: If the person to whom the teeth belonged is alive, a small stream of blood will begin flowing from the area in which the teeth were planted within a week. Analysis would show that this is not the blood of the teeth's owner; nonetheless, the owner of the teeth will find it difficult to concentrate, like they had two cups of bottom-shelf jug wine. This lasts as long as the blood flows, about a day per tooth sown.
    If the owner of the teeth is dead, the odontic farmer must take pains to irrigate the planted teeth with brackish water every third night at midnight for two weeks. This will produce a brazenhead with a circumference of one inch per tooth planted. If multiple teeth are used they must all come from the same dead person. The brazenhead will answer a number of questions equal to the number of teeth planted. It knows everything in the owner's life as well as their current afterlife situation and is compelled to answer more or less truthfully, but it doesn't want to exist and probably won't want to be very helpful. The bigger the brazenhead, the louder it is.

  • Children's milkteeth: If irrigated with milk and carefully tended, a handful of children's deciduous teeth -- they don't have to be from the same child -- will compact into a fist-sized bulb which will then sprout into a small shrub that produces more milkteeth as fruit. This could probably be used for some kind of scam if you put your mind to it. If you stop tending the shrub, you may come to learn that the tooth-bulb is actually the larval form of horrible little creatures. After a few weeks without milk, the instar phase of the creature will emerge from the bulb. They look like five-inch-long maggots with weasel legs and they eat bone. If they eat enough bone they'll eventually create a cocoon, molt, and emerge as winged fey creatures possessed of a malign sentience.

  • Hog teeth: Grows into reverse mandrakes; delicious truffles that coo and groan happily if you pick and eat them.

  • Cow teeth: Produces an amount of cud equal to the size of the pile of teeth sown. Literally a wad of chewed and semi-digested grasses and other plant material packed into a soggy bolus. Provides sustenance equal to an appropriate amount of trail rations for 1/2 day per tooth sown, if you can stomach chewing on it. You have to chew it continually though, if you take it out of your mouth it loses the magic.
     

3 - 4: Uncommon Teeth

  • Dog teeth: Requires a full set of 42 teeth but they don't have to be from the same dog. Six days after planting a fully-grown uncommon dog bursts forth from the earth, full of curiosity and mighty hunger. Roll on the Uncommon Dogs table.

  • Mongoose teeth: Plant mongoose teeth at evening and come back the next morning. The teeth will be sitting on top of the ground where you planted them. If you swallow the teeth you become immune to poison and become more agile in combat, but you are compelled to eat any scaled creatures you encounter, living or dead. These effects last an indeterminate period of time.

  • Spider teeth: Burying a sufficient amount (for unspecified values of "sufficient") of spiders' fangs will cause an elaborate origami sculpture the size of a lotus flower to grow from the dirt. You can't quite pin down what the origami is in the shape of. Unfolding it will reveal a blank piece of paper. The next time you sleep after unfolding the origami, you will have a fully lucid, protracted dream quest. You will not be yourself in this dream. You will be very prepared for whatever it is you do during the dream and when you awake you will possess a new skill -- roll on the Uncommon Proficiencies table. On the downside you will have an extremely difficult time distinguishing the dream from reality and vice versa, and characteristics of your dream-identity will likely haunt you; you may forget people close to you or spend the rest of your life pining over a lost love from the dream.

  • Stag teeth: Antlers grow from the ground. Extremely invasive, like ivy on steroids. Will deeply screw up local ecosystem if left unchecked.

  • Eel teeth: A clutch of land eels hatches in a week. They only live for a few days, and aside from not needing water, are identical to normal eels.

  • Alligator teeth: Nothing readily apparent is produced save for a slight depression in the earth where the teeth were buried. Any pressure on the depressed area will cause alligator jaws to snap shut on the object causing the pressure, with all of the force of an actual alligator bite. The jaws are actually composed of vegetable matter.

 

5: Magical and Monstrous Teeth

  • Gorgon teeth: Sowing six gorgon teeth will produce a stone ovoid about the size of an osprey's egg. It is warm to the touch. Inside is a red, glowing yolk; if poured over a petrified creature, they will depetrify. If the yolk touches non-petrified flesh, it causes horrific third-degree burns. The egg breaks much more easily than is convenient.

  • Theriomorph teeth: Wolfsbane grows on the spot. This is the only way to grow wolfsbane, which is not naturally occurring.

  • Vampire teeth: Drains all life-sustaining elements (nutrients, minerals, etc) from the surrounding soil in a 1 foot per tooth radius. Result is like you salted the earth on an extreme level; virtually nothing will grow in that spot again.

  • Chimera teeth: Randomly produces an outcropping of animal, vegetable, or mineral matter that acts as a carrier vector for the chimeric disease. Any creature consuming the growth will wind up fusing with some other creature due to the chimeric agents it now carries.
    If mineral, it's a foot-tall irregular monolith of a random (solid) mineral, veined in a flaky, waxy prismatic substance. If collected and melted down, this substance is sovereign glue. Any creatures with mineral-based diets (rust monsters, etc.) are extremely attracted to the monolith and will attempt to eat it.
    If vegetable, it's an otherworldly-looking and very attractive plant, like some flowers or a small shrub. The plant's pollen/sap/fruit can be collected and rendered into sovereign glue. Any creatures that eat vegetable matter are drawn to the plant and will find it difficult to resist eating.
    If animal, it is a small and defenseless game critter, prime picking for any carnivore that may come across it. Its blood can be refined into sovereign glue.

  • Hag teeth: Grows curses.

  • Ghoul teeth: Corpse flowers sprout. Their repulsive stench is enough to drive most creatures away, but may lure carrion eaters. Prolonged exposure to the scent can cause vivid hallucinations of plague and death in humans.

 

6: Rare Teeth

  • Elemental teeth: Causes weather effects appropriate to the type of the elemental.

  • Wizard teeth: A random magical aberration - like a sub-sentient living spell -  occurs at the site of planting. May vary from harmlessly amusing (e.g. mystery-spot-like effects: water flows uphill, strange viewing angles, etc) to extremely dangerous (e.g. localized storm of arcane energy). Even if harmless, the aberration will make it difficult to access the buried teeth. If not dispelled, the aberration grows more intense and more aware with time. If the wizard is dead, the aberration will eventually coalesce into the wizard reincarnated; if the wizard is alive, it will coalesce into the wizard's doppelganger, who will not get along with the wizard.

  • Outsider teeth: Terraforms the area around the planting site to match the environment from which the teeth's owner came. Area transformed corresponds linearly to quantity of teeth.

  • Time-displaced teeth: Five days after burying, will cause bubbles equal to the number of teeth buried to pop out and hover a couple feet over the ground. The bubbles have an elastic, rubbery consistency and are somewhat resilient; you can poke them with your finger, but pop if crushed or punctured (i.e. they'd get smashed up in a backpack or other non-rigid container). Looking into a bubble causes mild vertigo. When popped, a bubble instantly causes time to move forward or backwards in a 10-foot spherical radius around the bubble. Direction of the temporal movement is determined by the time from which the teeth's owner had come; if they were from the future time moves forward 1d6 minutes, if from the past it moves backwards 1d6 minutes.

  • Golem teeth: Animates one cubic foot of surrounding material per tooth buried.

  • Doppelganger teeth: If the doppelganger was created through arcane means (e.g. via the burying of a living wizard's teeth), a new doppelganger will grow from the earth. If the teeth's owner is living, the two doppelgangers will seek each other out and fight to the death, though they are identical in appearance and motivation.
    If the doppelganger was created through alchemical means, the teeth will gradually transmute into a mixture of essential salts and ground glass over the course of a fortnight. If the essential salts are separated from the glass, they can be used to alchemically reconstitute the doppelganger.
    If the owner of the teeth is a true doppelganger, the teeth will disappear and be replaced by a gold ring set with carved jade bearing a mysterious symbol. The ring permits (or enforces) entry into the dark realm from which true doppelgangers originate.

UNCOMMON VEGETATION OF GULT

USEFUL VEGETATION

  • Lenticulating oats: A cereal grain inedible by humans, the seeds of which are translucent. When the seeds are dehusked and rolled or cut, the flakes refract recondite portions of the superspectrum, allowing e.g. some invisible things to be seen through them. You have to figure out how you're going to effectively look through a pile of transparent oatmeal.

  • Rusk: A low, sparse bush that grows relatively high on some mountainsides. Its buds, when harvested and ground, can be mixed with an equal measure of sand and left covered overnight; in the morning the mixture will have congealed into a solid piece of dark glass. The glass is difficult to see through, like overly-dark sunglasses, but allow the wearer to see through one meter of solid stone. The glass is coveted for use as lenses in stoneshades.

  • Walkingfruit: A one- to two-meter tall shrub growing on the borders of deserts and famed for its fruit, which are seemingly living ruminant animals attached by stems to the shrub. The fruit feed on the leaves of the shrub, and die when the leaves are gone. The fruit has blood similar to honey and a somewhat chewy meat.

  • Swyshemorem's Gluttony: Originally the product of a botanically-minded wizard's crossbreeding project, the petals of this flower can be eaten to allow the consumption of normally inedible material. It is difficult to gauge how long the effect lasts, and what exactly it will allow you to eat.

  • Rhu's Tongue: A dark moss that grows on the roots of certain trees. Two people that eat from the same patch of Rhu's Tongue can hear each other's whispers from any distance, for a period of time.

  • Grurnsh: The leaves of this herbaceous plant, when rolled and smoked fresh, will cause you to cough up a fist-sized glob of blood and mucous. This is as gross and painful as you imagine. Smoking the crushed flowers of the same specimen allows you to see and hear from that glob's perspective for five to ten minutes at a time. The glob dries up / congeals over the course of a an hour or two.

BALEFUL VEGETATION

  • Vitiatus: An innocuous, ground-based creeper that will work its way into bags, packs, and clothing, and spoil any perishable goods within.

  • Swyshemorem's Folly: The wizard bred this herb in an attempt to create a psychoactive compound for use in inducing visionary states. This attempt largely failed, and the tenacious plant now grows in the few cloud forests in the far east of Gult. Folly secretes an oil which, on contact, causes you to ooze a foul-smelling, milky substance from your pores. This substance is highly flammable. If consumed by another person, the substance delivers confused visions of your memories, fears, and secrets.

  • Pracc: The seed pods of this well-known plant are dried and ground to produce a mild, warm-tasting spice. If improperly dried, the seed pods can cause powerful hallucinations; you'll believe that various of your internal organs are communicating with you. The communications give you instructions on arcane methods of modifying and strengthening the organs in question.

  • Marablood: A dark red ivy that is sometimes seen on high, rocky cliffs. It produces a viscous sap that causes unpredictable anomalous effects.

  • Thraum's Oak: A seemingly normal oak tree. Its acorns are full of a dense pollen that cause a horrific, disruptive rash as each particle of pollen causes the flush it touches to be randomly time-displaced; the net result is e.g. your arm boils and distorts as its displaced by a thousand different durations. Attempts to use this as a weapon generally go poorly as the acorn shell is remarkably fragile.

  • Thievesbane: A maple-like deciduous tree. When its leaves have fallen and dried, they become incredibly brittle; stepping on them is absurdly loud. Additionally, the crystalline fibers of the broken leaves are uncannily sharp and tend to penetrate through shoes and boots and lodge in the foot as painful, near-invisible splinters. Naturally, they produce an inordinate amount of leaves. Predators know to listen for them.

WEAPONIZED VEGETATION

  • Algamb: A dangerous, fast-growing algae; quickly spreads through any fresh water into which it's introduced like Ice-9 and converts it into saltwater, then dies. Effective siege weapon, difficult to find as it so quickly destroys the fresh water it needs to survive.

  • Drytouch: A small tuber, the inside of which is intensely hydrophobic. Ground and turned into a paste, this can be used to coat equipment with a waterproof layer. If eaten, death is nearly assured.

  • Swyshemorem's Wrath: Another seemingly unsuccessful cross-breeding project, this tough grass is a dull blue with a coarse texture. Anything on which the seeds are spread will grow into the grass, including stone, other plants, animals, metals, etc. The seeds must be tended to fairly carefully, however, as they only germinate under specific conditions, likely making this a difficult weapon to employ. That being said, travellers across barren lands tell of sometimes coming across sporadic fields of Swyshemorem's Wrath, growing in patterns describing ruins of towns.

  • Mailfern: This cubit-tall fern grows near some difficult-to-reach swamps of Gult. Cut the fern's stem near the root and embed it in your body; it will grow fast to you, its fronds forming an overlapping scale-like mail, surprisingly damage-resistant. The implanting of the fern is painful and you will need several just to cover one arm, etc.; that being said, caring for it is relatively easy as long as you drink plenty of water and get a fair amount of sun. However, you will be driven to return to the swamps from whence you picked the fern, in order to sporulate at inopportune times.

  • Yradin: This jungle bromeliad grows high on the tallest trees. You can infuse the liquid in its tank into your veins, replacing your blood. You'll have to do this slowly, over several weeks, and you'll need to find more than one Yradin to do so. Once you're done, all your blood will be gone and it'll just be Yradin juice, a thick fluid that barely seeps from cuts. Over time, this will soak into the walls of your veins and arteries and saturate your organs, until after some years you won't bleed at all.

  • Salt-tooth: A cactus that's one giant spine projecting from the baked and broken ground, like a jagged canine tooth. Drinking its juice makes you faster and sharper than you should be, both physically and mentally. It also gives you a predisposition to clever violence and your eyes ooze thick blue-green jelly flecked with red.

RARE VEGETATION

  • Hapax: There is only one hapax, period. No one knows where it is or what it looks like. Touching it lets you make something unique; i.e. there used to be many of something and now there's only one.

  • Swyshemorem's Hubris: Likely the wizard's final effort, Swyshemorem's Hubris is a small, gnarled tree not more than a foot tall. If the seedpod of the tree is ingested, it lodges in the back of the throat in an irritating and painful manner, though you can still eat and breath normally. As the seed sprouts, it wraps its roots around your spinal column. It begins consuming the bone and flesh of the head to fuel its growth, and after it has consumed the entire head over the course of several months, you are left an animated body controlled by the small tree growing from your neck. Around this time you probably disappear and are likely never heard from again. Where the victims of the Hubris go and what they do is unknown. It is generally said that Swyshemorem themself was the original victim.

  • Ash Heather: A dark grey shrub, utterly non-native to Gult; it comes from some other world or dimension, and is widely known to be a sign of congress with dark forces. Its flowers are black. Often grows when reality is bent or things are disturbed which ought not to be.

  • Dogsign: Dogs, extinct from Gult for untold ages, have nevertheless left their mark. Coming across dogsign indicates that the remains of a dog, whether physical or ethereal, are somewhere nearby.

  • Ichorice: Said to only grow on the graves of an ancient race of witches. Its sap can be used as ink in hypergeometric tattoos.

  • Huntress's Favor: Grows where an old god is said to have left a trail of blood after a particularly trying battle. Can facilitate congress with those who came before, along with potentially granting other boons.