Sometimes large fleshy leaves protrude like bizarre structures from the snow, well recognizable due to their black color. If you come closer and take a look at these inhabitants of the ice plains, you will also notice many small thorns that indicate that touching the plant would be undesirable. However, those who are discouraged by this cannot benefit from the advantages hidden inside the leaf.
Black and Spiky. Black fox ears are large, fleshy leaves that stand out due to their deep black color. The plants only produce one leaf, reaching a height of between 5 and 7 feet. It is slightly curved inward, similar to a fox ear, and covered with many small thorns. The plant can be found in isolated, wind-protected areas with a maximum of one or two of its conspecifics.
Sun Lovers. To survive the cold of the ice plains, the black fox ear has developed an ingenious mechanism to capture and store heat efficiently. The plant consists of a heat-conducting, closed outer skin and a porous, stone-like core, where water is stored. During snowstorms and cloudy skies, a vacuum between the outer wall and the center protects the heat inside the plant from the extreme outside temperatures. As soon as the weather clears and the sun comes out, the vacuum is flooded with water from the porous stone. The plant rotates its leaf throughout the day according to the sun's position, collecting the most sunlight possible and heating the water inside through the black skin. When the next snowstorm approaches, the water is drawn back into the stone, creating a new vacuum.
Help against the Cold. If you make an effort to collect the stony substance of the black fox ear, you can gain an advantage against the freezing cold. Consuming a handful of the crushed stones with plenty of water will give you resistance to cold damage for 12 hours. The only drawback is that if you are not careful, you will get severe stomach cramps, general discomfort, or even internal injuries from the rough and sharp-edged surface structure of the minerals.
Prickly. When a creature is pierced by one of the plant's spikes, it takes 1 piercing damage. If it falls onto the plant or vice-versa, the creature takes 5 (2d4) piercing damage.
Harvesting. Once the plant has been opened, for example by cutting it open with a sword, a creature can spend 1 minute collecting and crumbling a handful of black fox ear stones from its inside.
For each minute a creature spends collecting the stones, it must make a DC 12 Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check. On a failure, it pricks itself on a few spikes, taking 2 (1d4) piercing damage.
A single plant contains enough stones for 105 (10d20) handfuls.
You can use an action to consume a handful of these tiny, warm, stone-like pieces by swallowing them with water or another drink.
If the stones are still warm due to having been harvested within the last 48 hours, you gain resistance to cold damage for the next 12 hours. Additionally, you must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, or your hit point maximum is reduced by 7 (2d6) until you complete a long rest.
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