Today was Laurie's birthday. She was pleased with her presents, which in turn pleased me. She's not a disagreeable person by any stretch, but in her own way she's a very hard person to please. She rarely objects to anything ... but she rarely enthuses about anything, either. She is Ms. Placid -- which I don't mind sharing with the world can be a frustrating thing to a guy who thrives on making people around him happy. So when I make a positive impression on her (in this case by giving her some Bugs Bunny earrings I got at AnthroCon, among other things), it makes me happy.
But Enough of That Non-Geek Stuff!
Robert E. Howard wrote a short story that was, for all intents and purposes, a Conan story, except that Conan wasn't in it. (The story was later rewritten as a Conan story by L. Sprague de Camp, if I recall, but Howard's original was set in the stone age, not the Hyborian age. But I digress.)
The story centered around an ancient winged fiend of some kind who lived in a tower that was surrounded by a sea of vampiric plants. In a stroke of pure Howard, the plants where ghostly white lilies until they gorged themselves on a living being, at which time they became flushed red. Nobody could approach the tower to get at the fiend within, because they had to go through the plants to get to it, and the plants would eat them if they tried. The winged fiend, on the other hand, could come and go as he pleased, by landing on the roof.
That was such a wonderfully, horribly cool idea that I just had to steal it, and steal it I did for the current D&D scenario. The celebrated Vormorax is half dragon -- he's got wings! Most of his lackeys either stay in the tower, also have the ability to fly, or are flown in on a case-by-case basis by the dragonpriest himself.
Anyway, there weren't any official D&D stats for the vampire plants -- or so I thought. But apparently, the writer of some ancient 1st or 2nd Edition AD&D module read the same story, because while I was tooling around The Creature Catalog, a source of old materials converted to 3e, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but exactly the beastie I'm looking for, almost down to the last detail, all written up for me!
I love making discoveries like this. It's like a little present from the universe. Or from other geeks who inhabit the universe, either one. It's very small -- barely even rates a 0.5 on the insignificometer -- but it's like a gem to me.
In the words of Weebl, "How handy!"
Oh, speaking of Weebl, Camstone brought PIE to gaming last night. What a silly fox. :)
Well, I guess I better hit the hay. Gotta drive all over the DC metropolitan area for 8 hours tomorrow, starting at 7:00 a.m., so I need to get some rest. G'nite LiveJournal, and be good while I'm away. 'cos if you don't, I'll just have to kick your ass when I get back.
One of the reasons I'm not happy with my own fantasy stories, is that I spend so much time trying to come up with wonderfully, horribly cool ideas like this one, and being disappointed by the results. Howard was good, man. Howard was real good.