Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Virtuesome Lilies & Lily Maidens

Flowers are obscene. They are botanical genitalia, left hanging out in the air for all to see. Birds fuck them. They fuck bees. Flowers are exhibitionists, flowers are zoophiles, flowers are depraved, debauched, perverted, and we allow the things around children!

As the knife can be turned from the hand of the killer to the heart of the sinner, the issue of flowers could be made a resolution of itself. This resolution was the virtuesome lily, a wonder from the labs of righteous fleshworkers. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. If thou wouldst keep it from offending thee in the first place, let a virtuesome lily take root along its sinews.

That was the idea, anyways. Alas the work of man alone is not capable of cleansing sin. The resolution went awry.

Virtuesome lilies are so white they seem to glow. They have no stamen, no pistil, the flower equivalent of a Ken doll. They smell like nothing - not merely the absence of smell. A virtuesome lily removes olfactory stimulation from the air around it. They will not take to root in soil, that bed of worms and ordure, but thrive intertwined with the image of God, in human flesh.

The sacred city of Araenush where the first lilies were born is now an ivory bouquet, but for a time it was the holiest place in a fallen world. Many things left buried amid the pale petals and soft, composting bones are blessed by that holiness. Many have failed to return after seeking those blessings, and those few who do often carry a seed of Araenush's destruction within them.

Fear tints the flowers now, but has not entirely eliminated their use among extreme votaries and puritanical families. In fact some whisper that what happened in Araenush was not an accident of overzealousness but a deliberate purification. What a divinely-inspired endeavour it must have been, to make those people the equals of angels.

Lily Maiden

Kiki Xue

If carefully pruned and kept quiescent with certain tonics a virtuesome lily will never be more than a gentle guest of the body. However as with any garden the lilies will overgrow when untended. One overgrown by virtuesome lilies becomes a lily maiden.

HD: 2
AC: As Leather
Atk: 1d6 + Implant, or Rapturous Choir
Move: As Human
Int: As lobotomized person
Mor: 10

Implant: On being hit by a lily maiden you must save or have a virtuesome lily seed implanted in your body. Roll on the following table for the implanted location and its effect (D6):

1. Eyes: Evil creatures and evil deeds are covered by more benevolent hallucinations in your vision, and looking at them can't harm you (a medusa's gaze can't turn you to stone, visual memetic weapons can't infect you, and so on).
2. Ears: Evil sounds are replaced by pleasant harmonies for you, and you become immune to sirens' songs, banshees' screams, and the like.
3. Throat: You can't speak cruel or evil words, and immediately vomit up any poisons or intoxicants you ingest.
4. Hand: The implanted hand can't be used for evil or violence, but can touch cursed, diabolic, and similar things without harm.
5. Heart: You can't draw on negative emotions for things like a barbarian's rage, but also become immune to attempts to magically inflict negative emotions on you.
6. Groin: You lose all capacity for arousal, and can't be tempted by incubi or the like.

One can also willingly implant a virtuesome lily seed in the above locations for the same effect.

Rapturous Choir: Left on their own, a lily maiden will sing. This singing is so beautiful that those within 30 ft. must save. On a success they may act normally. On a failure they must choose between being stunned for a round weeping with joy, or immediately dropping what they're holding and covering their ears. This save takes a -1 penalty for every lily maiden past the first that's singing.


  1. Weirdly I've been thinking about lilies a lot, mainly in a non-gaming context.

    I used to have a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal with a lilly of the valley on the cover. Very appropriate for a decadent poet, its scent being its own dissolution. But I was linking the idea of decadence in civilisation with that but also the "final florescence" of dying trees, which become fantastically fecund & fragrant in their final growing season... you know, to ensure their genetic material will survive them.

    So here we have the inverse of that... sort of?

    More specific to what you have produced, this is some good writing. I especially liked "The sacred city of Araenush where the first lilies were born is now an ivory bouquet, but for a time it was the holiest place in a fallen world"

    ...because the ivory bouquet metaphor, which I don't think I fully understand.

    Trite (because this gets said about all plant-related content in OSR circles) but these really WOULD fit nicely into Ynn! A weird adjunct to the Rose Maidens, who are just dryad gardeners.

    1. Heh, that's what I thought instantly too: great fit for the Gardens of Ynn!

  2. Does a person becomes Lily Maiden if all 6 locations are implanted?

    >...because the ivory bouquet metaphor, which I don't think I fully understand.
    I think it is just all people there either lilies or lilies took over the their bones (perhaps, they aren't dying after the host is dead even after all flesh is sipped away).

    1. Nah I'd give 'em six months to find somewhere pious to lay roots.

      The lilies are still the person! Have just replaced the interface between their soul and the harsh world

      In the outer layers there's still a person shape to them, and they can still sing, when the breeze sighs through them.

      The garden temple has lilies older by centuries. The danger of their hypnotic song is passed but legend warns etc etc

    2. I couldn't settle on a mechanic for transitioning from merely hosting a lily to becoming a lily maiden. Would probably adjudicate it as not immediately transitioning at 6 implantations but dramatically accelerated process.

      And you are correct about the ivory bouquet, that was just imagery and not a metaphor.