Death and Nettlevine

Posted in Arcana on December 20, 2007

By Wizards of the Coast

The elves of Lorwyn often hunt eyeblights, creatures who fail the elves' exacting standards of beauty and therefore have the lowest status in their eyes. But sometimes, instead, they create vinebred minions from such creatures. Elves can animate a parasitic plant called nettlevines to bind around their victims, creating twisted, but powerful and eminently controllable minions.

In the background of the art of Elvish Branchbender, you can see the elf's victim, a tree that has taken on a twisted life as a result of the nettlevine. Other treefolk would be horrified by such a vinebred creature—it has not undergone a true Rising (the process by which a tree gains sentience and motility to become a treefolk), but is instead an unnatural mockery of a treefolk.

Elvish Branchbender Elvish Branchbender art by Ralph Horsley

Nettlevine is also, eventually, lethal for the afflicted victim. In the art of Nettlevine Blight, we can see a vinebred treefolk suffering the lethal effects of the controlling vine.

Nettlevine Blight Nettlevine Blight art by Michael Sutfin

The card Scarred Vinebreeder represents what happens to an elf who has afflicted himself with nettlevine. The parasitic plant will shorten his lifespan, but in the meantime, he gains immense strength.

Scarred Vinebreeder Scarred Vinebreeder art by Alex Horley-Orlandelli

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