Solstice Will-o-Wisps

Summer has come to Peyroux and the will-o-wisps are responding accordingly. Most infamous for leading unwary heroes and disrespectful travelers to their doom in noxious swamps and haunted forests, wisps also provide an invaluable service to all manner of cursed plants.

Traditional plants use various insects, bats, birds, even the wind, to pollinate and reproduce, but the otherworldly (and often malevolent) nature of cursed plants prevent such partnerships.

Will-o-wisps are incorporeal by nature and lacking a physical form allows them to bypass their hosts natural defenses. Every summer solstice, the wretchedest and most vile plant life throughout the Netherworld release signals, alerting the wisps to the availability of ectoplasm and nectar. The wisps, unable to resist such a rare treat, respond in nearly unimaginable numbers.

A will-o-wisp enjoying a seasonal snack on the summer solstice

To ensure the richest diversity and broadest range, cursed plants ration the amount of pollen given at a time. Wisps just starting out for the night are given a blend of especially tasty, but non-nutritious pollen mixed with sticky, slime-like ectoplasm. No one is quite certain how non-corporeal creatures collect such a prize. Some otherworldly botanists theorize the nature of the wisp phases the plasm, while others argue the plasm itself is out of phase and this coating gives the will-o-wisp their amazing properties.

As the night progresses and the wisps begin to tire, the pollen and ectoplasm blend shifts to an energizing mix. The plants work to keep the wisps hungry and moving, but must also give them enough to eat to maintain their strength.

This may seem like a very one-sided union, but the wisps are aware of their hosts strategy. Millennium spent in partnership have taught wisps which plants to visit most often, and in what order, to maximize their meals. The delicate balance between cursed plants and will-o-wisps ensure a rich variety of wretched weirdness in the Netherworld.

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Graceful ghosts lingering in empty rooms, absorbing secrets, radiating gloom.
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