The Widowmaker is a walking carnivorous plant monster that eats small animals that it stumbles upon.
It stands about two to four feet tall, walking atop several short, flexible roots, that allow it to move in a manner similar to a an arachnid. Some longer, modified roots function as whipping tendrils that can help it to manipulate its chosen prey. The trap-jaws are muscular and thick, able to withstand the strugglings of prey up to the size of a rikkita or lappir, and the teeth edging the "leaves" are sharp and hard. There may be anywhere from one to three trap-jaws, radiating out from the monster's central core along with several non-trapped, long leaves.
The overall coloration is mostly green, but with vibrant, jagged markings in red, yellow, violet, and white. The inside of each trap is colored in garish reds and pinks, with some yellow. Depending on the monster, there may be a "crest" of white and yellow flower petals on a central stalk.
The plant is quite docile and often sedentary when it is not hungry, but will actively pursue anyone (or any thing) that disturbs its rest or attacks it. It primarily hunts as an ambush or luring predator, but has been known to consume something it has chased down.
It preys upon smaller creatures, particularly mawz and young dreysnakes, and can capture and consume creatures as large as rikkita and even lappir, though the latter is rare and can cause some damage to the plant-monster's "jaws."
Found primarily on Sundast, it is most common near the edges of Sereven, but there are rumors of similar monsters in the marshes of Jiskadar. It prefers to live in lightly wooded areas that provide shade and abundant small prey, and prefers moist and even humid areas, though it can also be found traversing the deserts. It cannot survive for extended periods in hot, dry climates, however, and will seek out the nearest oasis.
Lore & Culture
The birth of the Widowmaker happened when a human scientist, searching for new specimen to study, came upon a Vorfroth, a carnivorous plant commonly known as the Airla Jaw, that uses specialized "trap-leaves" to capture and digest insect prey. The human dug up the plant and put it into a plant pot, and started to walk towards town when he encountered a very bright light that blinded him and made him trip. The plant was sent flying into the magistorm, and when the scientist looked up, he saw the plant walking towards him. It had grown in size, its roots gaining the function of multiple short legs, and its formerly green coloring made more vibrant with slashes and whorls of color. When the plant snagged a mesmerized rikkita and began to consume it, the scientist freaked out and ran away.
There are rumored to be more than one Widowmaker in existence, but it is not known whether they originated when Magistorms passed through their habitats, or whether the plant-monster has been able to successfully reproduce in the same manner as the normal Vorfroth.
Strengths & Weaknesses
It is virtually immune to fire and very resistant to physical blows, though blades wielded with skill can be somewhat effective in piercing its hard outer layers. Exposure to cold, particularly ice, weakens it. If the surrounding temperature gets too cold, it will begin to slow down; if frozen, it may go into dormancy. For this reason, you will typically not find it in the southern reaches of Sundast, but the northern ones instead.
The pollen of this plant has mesmerizing qualities, that can lure and relax potential prey long enough for the Widowmaker to capture and subdue them. In this manner, it is eerily similar to the airla that legends say was turned into the first Vorfroth, bringing the legend full circle.