: Echo Caverns
: Dangerous, covered in moss, hard to kill
- Side note: The original caves started in Rhakros but this has yet to be discovered IC
: Anywhere there are caves both above and below ground, sea type tend to be covered in algae rather than moss. They cannot survive in the Northern regions cold, keeping to central or southern Idalos.
: Echo caves are named after the caves they imitate but are truly a plant. At first glance they will look like a moss covered cave of some sort, further investigation reveals that rather than a cave the moss works like skin over a dark gray pitcher like outside that resembles rock. The outside retains the sturdiness of malleable bark, while the inside moss is soft and damp, with liquid resembling water pooling at the end of the cave or dropping from the moss. If you were able to swim through the pool before being digested you would then find that it narrows into the stem, a hard, thin root that goes farther down than the eyes can see. This thread will connect with others until the main cave is reached. It is said that some make a full route all the way to Rhakros as is where all the thickest and main stems are connected but this has yet to be proven or disproven.
The most common sighting of an Echo Plant is those not well hidden, as a whole most common method is to simply invade spaces with high coverage and many weeds to hide what they truly are. This does not mean they are unnoticeable but a well hidden Echo Cave can be impossible to tell from a standard cave, especially for the average animal, but if a human should see bark where their should be none or a cave with too much moss compared to its surroundings, they would do well to be wary of entering.
: The Echo Caves prefer humid weather but aquatic variations do well in fresh or salt so long as the temperatures do not drop below freezing. Spreading from Rhakros they are not Idalos wide yet but they occupy a large part of central and western Idalos wilds.
Lifespan and Development
: The Echo Caves are a quick growing plant that grow from the roots of their fellow caves or by planting the moss of an echo cave to hide their outer bark like appearance. A parasitic plant and a mimic roots will often invade crevasses or caves themselves to help give shape and hide their roots from those who would cut them off from their mother plant, and thereby kill them. From these caves and holes they will take root, connecting with plants and such around them. A quick growing plant it will only take one Cycle for the plant to reach full size, and as long as a steady diet is maintained they can live for many, many arcs. The longest recorded grouping of Echo Caves was one hundred and fifty arcs but it is thought that in their home city of Rhakros they could live far longer, grow much larger and be far more dangerous, spanning farther than some cities. But all of this has yet to be proven for certain.
As they age so does the potency of their digestive juices, being strongest when nearing the end of their life. As they near death, when digestive juices are strongest the Echo Cave will begin to devour itself, the juices overflowing and eating away at the outside of the plant until their is nothing left. The only thing left is the mosses which will then root in the juice to create yet another Echo Cave.
Like any plant they are susceptible to weed killer, however, weedkiller must be added to the root of the plant or the digestive juices will simply eat up the weed killer. And although it is easy enough to cut at the plants firm membrane and moss, unless you cut the root off they can heal by absorbing nutrients from both the plants around them and their mother and sister plants they are connected it. In most cases, unless the root or mother plant is damaged the Echo Cave will not die and only be injured until it can grow back same as it was before.
A mother Echo Cave is the only one that has a slight tell tale difference in development and when killed could stop a spreading of Echo Caves. Mother plants tend to have very little memories or mimicking retained making them vulnerable because of their inability to lure prey via sounds, instead it will absorb scents around it via roots, urine, water, sap, other plants, etc to entice herbivores or hunters to their area. As more creatures around it come, it will begin to trap those sounds until it is fully grown and can beginning spreading roots, teaching those to mimic from the get go.
: Unlike similar plants the Echo Caves uses sound to lure its prey rather than scent. Emitting cries of help, sounds of animals in distress, mating calls or in some cases the sound of running water, whatever will lure prey. It works most on animals but humans have been known to fall prey as well. The downside to this ability is that it can only repeat sounds it has heard before or plants the "mother" plant has heard, though this ability is not infallible and starvation is their main cause for being not quite to widely spread and keeping the population down. This ability is where it gains its namesake from.
For aquatic variations they will mimic vibrations and echos of the area or simply wait for unsuspecting fish or mer to hide in it.
Once prey is in the mouth they will find that not only is the stomach acid quick acting dripping from between the moss, coming out of the veins of the plant, though most is pooled at the base of the throat. It is sticky, sucking moss and membrane of the plant works like a throat swallow, convulsing that shoves its prey farther down to the root. If one reaches the base of the plant alive enough to cut the root they may have a chance of survival as now they only have the quick sand like stomach acid to contend with and not the undulating mouth of the plant.
: Mostly carnivorous the Echo Cave requires a high protein diet of at least one large animal every other day, it take a full day for digestion and another to recoup juices used for the digestive process.
: While dangerous on its own the digestive juices, when used in combination with alchemy or chemistry can be used to make a very strong acid or as a strong glue if the corrosive properties can be diluted or completely taken away. Potentially it would be capable of eating through stone in a matter of minutes or even use in place of clay in buildings with the strength it has.
- Secret Use: The moss can be used to treat deafness as it absorbs sound, creating a louder echo in the listeners ears, can also be used in spying to enhance sound through walls, etc. but this has yet to be discovered IC.
: Highly aggressive feeder but a sedentary and otherwise calm plant.
: Hardy on the outside but soft on the inside, its main defense is its ability to mimic voices and the strength of its stomach acid. when threatened the Echo cave can produce a ear splitting shriek.
Mimic: Their main ability, caused by the moss insides ability to not only stick prey to them but to trap noise within the moss itself as well. These sounds are stored in the base of plants roots, close to the mother plant who gives much the mimic to the connected plants. There is a limited space, it is not endless and depending on the area the Echo Caves will only keep about several. Storage space depends entirely on how many roots and connected plants there are to the mother plant.
: Korva with some help from Ghoul and Munch