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OPYS

Visual Identification:

The Opys is a desert plant with thick, tentacle-like stems, each tipped with a bulbous flower encased in a moisture-retaining husk. The mature Opys is a light orange at the bulb and slowly transitions into an earthy brown towards the ground. The plant tends grow in tufts of Savi (a type of crab grass known to have a natural chemical repellant that keeps most insects and animals at bay).

Observations:

The Opys is commonly found in the stretch of desert between the Dovana and Pesha Dunes (commonly referred to as the “Ghost Range” or “Low Desert”). It is an area protected by superstition inasmuch as the punishing heat, even by Anomaly standards, among the races. It is considered the realm of the Teana.

It is puzzling to see such a plant that has developed such a dramatic blossom in this environment (even if usually covered in its coarse husk). The Opys is said to have a vibrant flower within that can only be seen during flash monsoons, where the husk will open, as will the spaces between the segmented husks, to drink in as much water as it can before again closing-up for much of the year. The relationship it shares with the Savi grass may be symbiotic. Opys tend to rarely grow without the presence of the Savi (or do so very, very slowly), and Savi tends to grow at a much slower pace without the Opys. The two plant species are unquestionably distinct from one another.

My guess? The Opys gains natural protection from various insects and animals by sprouting amidst the Savi until its outer husk hardens enough to offer itself some measure of protection. In exchange for this, the Opys gathers and “shares” water with the Savi (through the root system) during the most sweltering months. I hesitate to call the Savi a parasite since it only appears to “absorb what it needs” and allows both itself, and the Opys, to flourish.

What is the Opys’ practical use? No one knows. Even the Teana do not harvest the plant for any reason and would rather use them as landmarks in this harshest of climates.




CRITICAL ACCLAIM