Rafflesia arnoldi - panoramio

Campaign Chunk Volume 13.03 Rafflesia

In 1797, French explorer Louis Auguste Deschamps was a member of a French scientific expedition to Asia and the Pacific. Whilst in Java, he discovered a very large flowering plant.
Through a series of events, his notes and materials got captured and moved till they wound up, many years later, into the hands of Robert Brown. Brown proposed the name Rafflesia, after the adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.

This plant has a large flower that is almost 1 meter/3 feet wide. It grows from what resembles a maroon, cabbage-like bud that is approximately 30 cm wide. The “Stinking Corpse” part of Rafflesia common name comes from the fragrance of the flower, which is said to resemble that of a decaying corpse or rotten meat.In many ways, the Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, more like a fungus. It has no root or stem and grows inside its host, a Tetrasigma vine, which is of the grape family. It is believed that the plant uses it corpse-like stench to attract flies and insects to feed on and help it pollenate. The bowl-like centre, from which the stench is apparently strongest, is large enough to contain a cat.

The flower itself , lasts only for a few days, with the longest known to be 7 days. This had made studying of the plant in its natural habitat quite hard over the years since its discovery, with many contradictory reports of its growing season, from summer time, to only in certain months or during the rainy season.


Hooks & Rumors

  • There is rumoured to be evidence that Deschamps was NOT the person who discovered the RafflesiaRafflesia. This so-called proof is under lock and key and those guarding it are under increasing pressure to release or have the evidence inspected by a third party to validate it.
  • The buds of the Rafflesia are in some regions harvested and sold for medicinal purposes as aphrodisiacs and to bring pain relief during and after childbirth. Because of this, demand for them has gone up by a factor of ten in the last 18 months and authorities and conservation groups are struggling to understand why demand has suddenly increased.
  • A world-renowned botanist has claimed that he has not only grown a Rafflesia successfully without the host vine but managed to get its flower to last almost a month. So far, despite being free and open with his methods and notes, no-one has been able to duplicate his result. Even the botanists can’t explain this disparity.

Volume 12 (Creatures) of the compiled and updated Campaign Chunks is available at:
DrivethruRPG.com – http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/198692/Campaign-Chunk–Volume-12–Creatures
Open Gaming Store – https://www.opengamingstore.com/collections/ennead-games/products/campaign-chunk-volume-12-creatures

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